Color Correcting with RGB Curves in Premiere

Simple color correcting techniques can allow you to make dramatic improvements in your videos. However, many new video and film editors often overlook color correction and its benefits when producing a video. While factors such as good lighting and exposure are always important to a good shoot, using color correction in the post-production process can make an average video good, and transform a good video into an excellent one. This simple how-to guide will give you some insight on  how to use RGB color correction techniques to make your videos more pleasing to the eye.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Adobe Premiere installed
  • A video file to edit

Step 1: Create a Standard "S" Shaped RGB Color Curve

Adobe Premiere allows you to easily add a RGB color band to any clip or sequence in your project fewer. You can add an RGB color ban to your clip simply by going to the Effects menu, then choosing Color Correction and selecting the RGB Color Correction option. Once you apply a color correction filter in Adobe Premiere, you can then create a simple "S" curve in the RGB settings to brighten dark areas of the image and darken other areas that are too light. You can accomplish this by simply holding down your mouse key on the graph line and creating a very slight "S" shape on the graph. Although this is a very simple technique, you will find that it will make almost any video look better.

Step 2: Add a Tapered RGB Color Curve

If you want to give your footage a more natural or softer look, you can also add an additional color correction band to the 'S' shaped RGB color correction filter. You can choose whatever color you like, be it red, blue or green. Generally speaking, choosing the most dominant color in the clip works best when applying a tapered curve. So, choose a primary color and then slightly pull the graph line so that it creates a small arc. You don't want to create too much contrast, but creating a slight taper and adding it to your S-curve will give your video a more authentic old cinema effect.

Step 3: Create an Older Looking Film with RGB Color Curves

From time to time, you may want to clip create clips and sequences that look like they were shot on older film. An easy way to achieve this is to create three different color correction filters using RGB. Create a filter with the RGB filter and then also create a slightly smaller 'S' band curve using the red color channel. Next, create a straight graph line with a blue color correction filter, but move the top and bottom edges up and down slightly from the corners.

Adding these simple filters will give your film a much older look, such as film used in the 1960s and 70s. The above graph suggestions are just that - suggestions. Feel free to play around with the settings to achieve the look you want.

Step 4: Create a Black and White Film with RGB Correction

There's something about black and white film that just appeals to many people, and with RGB color correction, it is very easy to achieve. Create a slightly sharper 'S' curve in your RGB graph and add contrast to give your black-and-white film depth and realism.

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