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Old August 24th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Rescuing unbalanced footage

Fairly recently I became actively involved with Adobes Lightroom 4 which was an eye opener for me especially in the area of correcting, coloring and in essence rescuing less than optimal or intended shots. As a videographer and editor, I'd really be pleased to learn how to execute similar tasks in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 or 6.0 ( the latter is brand new to me). Is there a reasonably straight-forward equivalent as detailed below for Prem Pro?
I can't get the same quality result with the highlight/shadow video effect controls.

I shoot in a very challenging environment with my footage quality literally being affected with every passing cloud overhead through a long window/wide slit located in the ceiling. White balance, lighting and color accuracy especially.

It causes the following for example. Main scenarios:

a) My frame is composed of levels of exposure that are proper, under or over exposed.

Mission: To boost the shadows and take out the overblown highlights/glow. More even levels across the board-entire spectrum.

b) Balance is generally fine accept for one or two areas which are highly overexposed.

Mission: To reduce the excessively highlighted area(s) only (which are caused by overexposure/light saturation) to a more acceptable level.

LR 4.1 has a great, quick and easy fix (in a lot of cases) accomplished with a couple of sliders that balances the elements into more balanced level, then you boost the whites, tweak the blacks & presto proceed from there. It's not a miracle process, however it's proven to be a tremendous aid thus far.

A couple of examples that I need sage advice on how to rectify:

a) Light shines on pianist and his sheet music. Sheet music is glowing and out of white balance whereas every else is fine.

b) Flower decor ( Usually light colors) is excessively bright in comparison with its entire surroundings. Sticks out like a sore thumb!

Here's the issue: I can fix part of my shot but not all of the issues as described in part above. How do I adjust only one targeted area and leave all else untouched?

Please, would someone care to walk me through the process, pointing out resources, tips or techniques which will help me overcome this critical shortfall?

Thanks so much in advance.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage

Bruce, you're essentially asking for a whole chapter out of the book on color correction. I suggest you take a look at this:

Alternatively, if you are proficient with Lightroom, you can convert the footage to a sequence of tiff or png frames, and then do your correction via Lightroom.
Creative Impatience - The Solace of Simple Solutions. A few useful plugins for Adobe users, and my remarks on the tools and the craft in general.
Bart Walczak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 30th, 2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage

Second on the Van Hurkman book. Just excellent. What you're looking for is called "secondary color correction" and it's covered extensively by Van Hurkman.

I came at this just like you did. From a stills photography background. Take it from me, color correction and color grading (not the same things) for video is very much different than doing similar work for stills. The controls and tools needed are different, and the way they're applied is different. I'm just saying that you're looking at some learning curves. But they aren't *that* steep; color is still color. And it's well worth doing.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage

Here is a good tutorial on secondary color correction. I think this guy also shows how to do this in after effects.

Link for youtube
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