3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 24, 2012 1:54 PM by B_Kaufman

    Rescuing unbalanced footage

    Nikon D90 Gent II

      Fairly recently I became actively involved with Adobes Lightroom 4 which was an eye opener for me especially in the area of correcting, coloring and in essence rescuing less than optimal or intended shots. As a videographer and editor, I'd really be pleased to learn how to execute similar tasks in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 or 6.0 ( the latter is brand new to me). Is there a reasonably straight-forward equivalent as detailed below for Prem Pro?


      I can't get the same quality result with the highlight/shadow video effect controls. Not even close!


      I shoot in a very challenging environment with my footage quality literally being affected with every passing cloud overhead through a long window/wide slit located in the ceiling. White balance, lighting and color accuracy especially.


      It causes the following for example. Main scenarios:


      a)  My frame is composed of levels of exposure that are proper, under or over exposed.


      Mission: To boost the shadows and take out the overblown highlights/glow. More even levels across the board-entire spectrum.


      b) Balance is generally fine accept for one or two areas which are highly overexposed.


      Mission: To reduce the excessively highlighted area(s) only (which are caused by overexposure/light saturation) to a more acceptable level.


      LR 4.1 has a great, quick and easy fix (in a lot of cases) accomplished with a couple of sliders that balances the elements into more balanced level, then you boost the whites, tweak the blacks & presto proceed from there. It's not a miracle process, however it's proven to be a tremendous aid thus far.


      A couple of examples that I need sage advice on how to rectify:


      a) Light shines on pianist and his sheet music. Sheet music is glowing and out of white balance whereas every else is fine.


      b) Flower decor ( Usually light colors) is excessively bright in comparison with its entire surroundings. Sticks out like a sore thumb!


      Here's the issue: I can fix part of my shot but not all of the issues as described in part above. How do I adjust only one targeted area and leave all else untouched?


      Please, would someone care to walk me through the process, pointing out resources, tips or techniques which will help me overcome this critical shortfall?


      Thanks so much in advance.

        • 1. Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage
          Jim_Simon Level 9

          Not everything can be fixed in post, more so with compressed video formats.  Especially blown highlights.  Once they're gone, you can't get them back.  Shooing RAW stills offers a degree of control you just can't get unless you're also shooting RAW video.


          In short, your best option is to fix this on set, not in post.

          • 2. Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage
            Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

            It's much easier to deal with such issue in post in After Effects than in Premiere Pro. E.g. with help of Roto Brush tool.

            • 3. Re: Rescuing unbalanced footage
              B_Kaufman Level 1

              As a colorist, I deal with these issues a lot. You likely got better results in Lightroom because the pictures you were grading/correction were in a more workable compression format/color space.


              What I would recommend is taking the footage into a program with a color correction application that supports secondary adjustments (After Effect's Synthetic Aperture and Magic Bullet's Colorista both support secondaries).


              You can then use the secondary adjustments to isolate the problematic areas and then correct them. The one disclaimer is that you can only correct as far as your compressed codec will let you (unless you are using a RAW camera like a RED or an Alexa).


              Hope this helps!