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AE ships with some very good color correction tools. Color Finesse from Synthetic Aperture springs to mind. You can achieve most, if not all, of the magic bullet looks with AE's built-in tools. It will just take longer.
However, I think this one might be your best bet.
Remember, you can use duplicates of your footage laid over itself with blurs, effects, and various blend modes to get some pretty cool effects. Try desaturating a layer, blurring it a bit and using overlay blending mode. Suddenly all kinds of ideas should leap into your mind.
You can aso use Levels and Curves with masks to color correct your footage.
I'm just curious, is there any way to do what it does with the AE supplied effects?
Yes. You have the same 3way color correction (and curves, and levels and more...) in Color Finesse's full UI. Similarly, many of the tinting effects that Colorista would produce can be easily achieved using the Color Balance, Levels and Hue and Saturation effects.
Thank you everyone.
Get colorista working, it is not the same as standard 3 way colour wheels at all.
Try sliding the black values down on a standard 3way - then colorista - you will immediately see why you bought it.
Have you downloaded the recently released version of colorista for CS5 and 64 bit? After a quick try, this new version does appear to be working in CS5. But I am not sure if you are on CS5 or not? If not, the older versions will not work on 64bit systems I think.
I am on a 64-bit system but I'm using AE CS4. As for the Colorista, however I tried it doesn't like my graphics card, so I gave up on it. It's a shame that the company makes that software so restrictive. There's really no need to limit it to a certain set of graphics cards, it doesn't do anything that can't be done with software only.
In the meantime I was able to accomplish what I wanted using simple Curves, Levels, Color Balance, Tint, and Hue and Saturation like it was suggested above. It took a little bit longer to match the scenes, but the result is exactly what I wanted.
So thank you everyone.
The 64 bit version of Colorista for CS4 and CS5 has only been out for a few days, I think. So unless you tried this brand new version, your test was not an accurate representation of what the software can do on your system.
The key about these types of after market plugins is that they claim to do things faster than you can do otherwise. You can certainly do great color correction with the included tools right in AE. But which is "easiest" and how often to do you need to do this is the question that one should consider to determine the worthyness of an external plug-in like this one.
I agree that Red Giant was a bit late to the game with their 64 bit compatible plug-ins. They should have seen this coming and got them working long before CS5 came out. They act like they are doing their customers a favor by releasing 64 bit system compatible plug-ins and charging for the upgrade in the process. I can see where they are loosing a lot of potential clients due to this.
I am on 64bit cs5. I use colorisa II with great ease. It is very well laid out - UI is terrific. Even though I may be getting Blackmagic Divici for client reasons I cannot say enough goodness about Corista II ... I have dabled with Finesse and it seems robust but clunky and awkward. I am not discounting it just havent had the time to learn it.... like anything really.
But I digress - You aked if AE can do what collorista does and I think the answere is yes. And like most things AE I am sure it will do a great job. Lynda.com is always a great training source and has been worth the money to me. I thing 35 bucks will get you a month of training.