Silhouette Color Correction

This demo shows how to color correct a wide angle silhouette shot that has no color except black, blue and white. See the final result in Quicktime or RealVideo.

In this example I already have a clip on the timeline that I want to correct. The problem with the clip is poor white balance and the pea-green color of the water. Since this example is from an existing project I've left the video filters already installed but disabled so you can see the original clip. I assume you know how to apply video filters to a clip already.

The process here is to correct white balance using the center of the sun as white, then tint the clip so that the water is blue. If necessary, contrast and brightness would be applied last.



In the second picture I've enabled the RGB control. You can see that the sun is now white. I can use a simple RGB adjustment here because there was already red information in the sun, just not enough. After this adjustment the water color could still be better.



In the third picture I've added the second step of tinting the water blue. In this case I've simply used the hue control. This will work best when the whites are set well and there are no other colors in the frame. I've also had to use the saturation control to avoid the image becoming "too blue".



That's it for this type of correction. Whenever you have a predominantly monochrome image you can take huge liberties with correction and no one will know better. The hue control can be used much of the time in small amounts to help make the water blue, but too much will have a noticable effect on overall color. Combining smaller hue adjustments with RGB gains, green controls in the channel mixer, and green gamma adjustments can have profound effects on the water color without noticably degrading color even in macro shots!