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Apple Color: September 2009 Archives

apple_color_icon.gifColor's secondary rooms offer you a powerful keying tool that isolates region of your image based upon hue, saturation, luminance, or any combination of the three.  They also supply you with "vignette" tools, which allow you to designate specific geometric regions of the image for manipulation.

Conventional motion graphics folks seem to want to use one tool or the other to isolate complex selections from their shots -- and, in my experience, they tend to quickly find themselves fighting Color's limited masking tools and dubious keyframing model.  While tedious manual keyframing really is the only acceptable option in some situations, I quite frequently see budding colorists overlook an easier solution: combine a rough mask with the powerful HSL key.
Color's ColorFX room gets a bum rap from a lot of folks used to "serious" node-based compositing and keying environments, but its native toolset, however limited, can unlock a tremendous new degree of control over Color's extremely powerful color-correction capabilities.

Many of the ColorFX nodes replicate pieces of the functionality exposed in Color's other rooms, except that ColorFX node trees allow you to "mix and match" them in ways far more nuanced than Color's (already-powerful) default workflow.  One of the most useful isolation tools, which you'll use over and over in a typical node tree, is the HSL key.  This node works exactly the same as the HSL key in the Secondary rooms – except that you can use as many of them as you'd like to very precisely isolate portions of your image.

Let's say that your source video looks something like the image below. Ignore the overall color problems – for now, your task is simply to isolate the subject's face, and do something different to it than to the rest of the image.  It could be a skin smooth, a goofy Pleasantville effect – doesn't really matter, we just need to isolate the narrow region corresponding to this particular actor's face in this particular type of footage.


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This page is a archive of entries in the Apple Color category from September 2009.

Apple Color: February 2009 is the previous archive.

Apple Color: October 2009 is the next archive.

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