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Using Apple Color to isolate specific colors

Here's a quick tutorial on how to send media from Final Cut Pro into Apple Color.  You can use Apple color to isolate specific colors and then change their values.

Continue reading for a full text transcript of this tutorial...
Apple color is an amazing color correction program that allows you to do some amazing things.

For example, I can easily isolate multiple colors within a video frame and change their color values.

To create this effect, you can send a clip or an entire sequence to directly to Apple Color.

In this example, I'm going to right click on my sequence and choose send to Color.

Give the Color project a name and press ok.

After Apple Color launches, click on the setup tab.

You'll see a list of all the clips contained within your sequence.

Double click on the clip that you'd like to color correct.

Then click on the secondaries tab.

The secondaries controls allow you to isolate a particular color without affecting other colors.

Click on the eye dropper next to the HSL qualifiers.

Now click on a color that you want to isolate within the preview display.

This automatically activates the desaturated preview mode option.

Go back and adjust these HSL qualifiers until you've isolated the color of your choice.

You may find it necessary to turn off the saturation or luminance parameter in order to select the color range necessary.

I've also found that it helps if you soften your matte a bit.

To do this, click on the Matte only preview button.

Then click within the key blur parameter.

Hold down the option key and roll the mouse wheel up until you've got a decent looking matte.  Holding down the option key makes the values move a bit faster.

Then click back onto the final image preview mode button.

Within the secondary color balance controls you can now change the isolated color.

I recommend starting with the mid-tones, and then adjust the shadows or highlights if needed.

If you need a richer color, you can adjust the Master Gain downward a bit.

If you want to change an additional color, you have 8 secondary color banks.  

Click on another bank and repeat the same process again.

When you are done, to send the color corrections back to Final Cut Pro make sure the clip is selected within the timeline window.

Then use the keyboard shortcut command 8 to bring forward the render queue.

Press the add-selected button.

Then press start-render button.

Next, navigate to the file menu and choose Send to Final Cut Pro.

If you get the message, that all of your clips are not rendered, it's ok, because Final Cut Pro will still link to the original media that hasn't been rendered within Apple Color.

When you're back in Final Cut Pro, look for a new sequence that shows it is from Apple Color.

Double click on the sequence from Apple Color and you can now watch your changes.

For other great tips like this, or to enroll in a Final Cut Pro or Apple Color training course, visit GeniusDV.com
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Nesting within Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Using Apple Motion to track a text object onto a moving background is the next entry in this blog.

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