Example: Using the Color Corrector 3-Way Filter Match Hue Controls

This example shows how to use the Match Hue controls of the Color Corrector 3-way filter to match the flesh tones of an actor in two different shots. In the first shot, the actor is outside, and the color of the shot is correctly balanced for daylight and has a cool blue look. In the second shot, the actor has walked inside, where the color is incorrectly balanced for tungsten, causing it to be excessively warm and emphasizing the reds.

Figure. Viewer window and Canvas window showing two similar images with mismatched hues.
To use the Match Hue controls of the Color Corrector 3-Way filter
  1. Choose Window > Arrange > Multiple Edits to select the Multiple Edits layout.

    This layout makes it easiest to use the Match Hue controls.

  2. Because you’re matching the colors of clip 2 to those in clip 1, apply the Color Corrector 3-way filter to clip 2.

  3. Open clip 2 in the Viewer, then click the Color Corrector 3-way tab.

    As with any color correction, the first step is to adjust the contrast of clip 2 to match that of clip 1 as closely as possible. In this case, raising the midtones by dragging the Mids slider to the right brings out more detail in the actor’s face and matches the contrast of clip 1 more accurately.

    Figure. Viewer window and Canvas window showing two different clips with matched contrast.
  4. Once the contrast has been adjusted the way you want it, click the Match Hue eyedropper.

    Figure. Match Hue eyedropper.
  5. Move the pointer into the Frame Viewer 2 tab where clip 1 is showing. When the pointer becomes an eyedropper, click a highlight in the actor’s face in clip 1.

    Figure. Eyedropper positioned over a highlight in the actor's face.

    The Match Color indicator fills with this color to let you know it’s been selected, and either the Whites, Mids, or Blacks Auto-Balance eyedropper is highlighted to let you know which Auto-Balance eyedropper you should use in the next step.

    Figure. Match Color indicator and highlighted eyedropper in the Color Corrector 3-way tab.

    When selecting a match color, the level of the color you select affects how well the match works. When matching flesh tones, choosing a highlight generally gives the best results, but in certain circumstances you may achieve better results by choosing a midtone or shadow.

    Note: When selecting a highlight, make sure that the highlight you select is not overexposed (for example, a reflection or surface with excessive shine), but rather represents the lightest area of the actor’s face that accurately represents the skin tone.

  6. Now, in the Color Corrector 3-way tab in the Viewer, click the highlighted Whites Auto-Balance eyedropper.

    Figure. Whites color wheel showing the Whites Auto-Balance eyedropper.

    The Auto-Balance eyedropper that is highlighted depends on what you selected as your match color. If you selected a highlight, as in this example, the Whites Auto-Balance eyedropper is highlighted, letting you know that it’s the appropriate eyedropper tool to use. If you selected a shadow, however, the Blacks Auto-Balance eyedropper is highlighted.

    Note: In general, it’s always a good idea to start by picking a match color that will highlight either the Whites or Blacks Auto-Balance eyedropper, and make this adjustment first. Adjust the midtones afterward, if it’s necessary to achieve the look you want.

  7. With the Whites Auto-Balance eyedropper selected, move the pointer into the Canvas where clip 2 is displayed. When the pointer becomes an eyedropper, click a highlight in the actor’s face in clip 2 that matches, as closely as possible, the highlight you selected in clip 1.

    Note: For best results, it’s extremely important to select an area of color in the clip being corrected that accurately matches the level of the area of color you selected as the match color.

    Figure. Eyedropper positioned over a highlight in the actor's face.
  8. The Whites control adjusts, dipping into the blues to compensate for the overly warm lighting. The color balance of clip 2 now approximates that of clip 1 much more closely.

    Figure. Viewer window and Canvas window showing similar clips that have been color balanced.

    If you’ve achieved the results you wanted, you can stop. Often, however, using the Match Hue controls is simply the first step, and you will make other adjustments afterward.

    Tip: Holding down the Shift key while adjusting the color balance control you’re working with will lock the angle along which the color balance indicator moves, allowing you to keep the exact hue of your adjustment the same.