I will take a little shot at this...but there are many many ways to CC and Grade
images. Some depend on your tools.
Techniques may vary to a still photographic method because a still photograph stands alone and movie footage needs to accceptably match between scenes and they also have the complication of movement ( both camera and subject).
First : I dont understand why you said " However, AE completely killed the remains of HD quality..."
It should not do this and AEFX would easily do what you acheived in your P.S method. It has all the tools that you had in PS to do it.
I would not expect to totally match those scenes if you are talking about exact matching sky, sea, plants, sand. The time of day, the camera angle, the scenes location etc...are all different
However you should be able to get an acceptable match of "feel and look".
IMHO : Forget generally about "Compositing and masking" to achieve this (unless you can work it in AEFX.)
Work on one of the clips at a time then work on the next. Its a to and fro kind of process later down the track.
Set up a "reference monitor" in PPRO. (someone will advise a properly calibrated external monitor also)
Using only the tools in PPRO. : Set your Levels (first), These are the tones and grayscales in your image. Kind of ignore the color at this stage.
Then play with the 3-way Color Corrector (and /or Curves). Now think abut the color. HSL will be useful.
Then work with the secondaries ( if you can understand them in PPRO).
So ...I would work to achieve a similarity in the sky first ( Color / Saturation). sea/sand next ...via secondaries.
FWIW: I would use Colorista II for this task though. It has masks and color keying etc..
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> However, AE completely killed the remains of HD quality...
If you come to the After Effects forum, we can help you through whatever problem you're referring to here.
Thanks for your reply shooternz!
I'll try to explain the issue of matching colours more precisely...
Although different clips are shooted in different location, light conditions etc., we often need to get them together in one scene.
E.g. those particular clips are included in introductory chapter of the movie.
I don't expect colours would be totally matched. That's why I mentioned about 'more or less acceptable result'. (And you are talking about the same - acceptable feel and look)
The task of matching represented clips colours (in my humble opinion) becomes complicated that different parts of the footage - sea water, sky, left thicket and right thicket - need different adjustments in brightness and contrast, light temperature etc. (therefore, different 'levels', 'curves' etc. adjustments for each part...)
Regard to AE, I also HAD NOT EXPECTED that the outgoing result would be so depressing. After Effects was my first idea, because I could implement there the very ideology of masking multiple layers. However, I trust my eyes (at least yet) - After Effects blurs HD video...
I'll be there within a couple of minutes
As I said ...you will manage exactly what you want in AEFX . Your end result will be excellent once you sort whatever the issue is.
AEFX is an awesome application. Only thing...its not realtime so you need to change your thinking a little.
...its not realtime so you need to change your thinking a little...
I'm quite flexible in thinking.
Hope, we will be able to elaborate solution in AE forum...
After Effects blurs HD video...
I find that very hard to believe. Operator error seems the far more likely explanation for the undesirable results.