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An adjustment layer with an animated mask and Curves, Levels, or other color correction effects would be the closest you could come to selectively changing the appearance of isolated areas in a video.
If you really wanted to paint on the effect you could paint on a solid and use that layer as a track matte for an adjustment layer.
You can also use masked copies of your footage with various blend modes like multiply or screen.
Colorista has built in masking in the second section. SpeedGrade also has tools to select and correct only portions of the video.
If that does not do it for you then please explain exactly what you are trying to accomplish and show is a sample frame or clip.
Thank you, Rick. Do you know any tutorials that show something relevantly similar to painting on a solid and then using it as a track matte?
SpeedGrade may be a bit more adaptive for what I'm looking for. Could you tell me what the tool is called, so that I can look up demos?
The clip that I'm editing is one due to very bright overhead lighting. The face is poorly lit but the forehead is overly lit. I'd like to dull the overhead lighting, and if possible, lighten the face a bit.
You can probably do a lot of that with simple curvs adjustments. How much do you know about color correction? Is the camera moving?
SpeedGrade comes with the CC bundle. Colorista is a great tool available from Red Giant.
If you post a frame of the movie I'll throw a simple color correction on it probably using Levels Individual Controls. This doesn't sound like something that is going to require Dodge and Burn techniques but I can't be sure until I see the project.
I don't know too much about color correction in after effects.
I also downloaded SpeedGrade and am taking a look at how it works.
Finally, I sent you a message in response to the clip.