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Wow, that's really bad. Color Finesse might be able to HELP, but with the color balance so far off, I'm afraid there will be no total cure.
Well, that's not quite true, but you should ask yourself this first: is it worth it to spend a week or more to only slightly improve the colors in the shot beyond what Color Finesse all by itself could do?
There is almost no blue in the scene. Your best option would be to drop a cyan solid over the orange (opposite color) then set the blend mode to Color and adjust the opacity. That would throw a little blue in the scene. Then it's a matter of getting the red green and blue levels, gamma, and pedestal (black) levels close enough to bring some color back into the scene.
This is typical of Sodium lights. There's a huge hole in the blue part of the spectrum. Throw in the lack of any other light source and you've got a serious color problem that was compounded by the lack of proper color balance when you were shooting.
If it were my footage I'd just throw the blue or cyan layer over the orange, blend to color, and adjust the opacity, and go for a very low saturation look.
I'm not trying to completly transform this...because I know I can't or I don't know yet how to do it, or it would take too long and it's not worth it. I've played right now with the color finesse but I'm not so familiiar with it. I admit I just found out I have this, do you have any suggestions regarding the modifications needed to make this look more alive/real? Much appreciated.
I've posted before the page was refresh and didn't see your post. I'll try your suggestion with the layers right now and post some results.
This is the first shot modified. Only in color finesse, no layers added in ae or anything.
I wonder if I double the video and modify the colors different, play with the opacity and the put them in some kind of order wil it improve the video...but I guess then I'll have a big rendered file at the end right?
You're well on your way! It's looking much better.
Your color corrected layer has lots of red and green (due to the aformentioned issues). Digital video works with RGB color (Red Green Blue). If you put a blue solid over the top, as suggested, it might help balance out the green and red a bit.
Just a couple of comments on top of what others have already suggested:
People expect urban night exteriors to have a yellow cast because we've all grown accustomed to sodium-vapor lighting in real life and video. So don't think you need to get it to look like perfectly balanced daytime footage. (Watch the first two Terminator movies again to see how the then-prevalent blue mercury-vapor lighting was embraced and exaggerated. Yellow isn't as attractive as blue, but trying to correct/re-light is not always what you want to do.)
I don't know the context of the footage, but sometimes desaturating it to nearly black-and-white will work. You can then overlay whatever color you want: blue for "moonlight" or green for "night-vision."
This is what I've got with a little play in color finesse, I haven't used layers yet because I didn't understand how to use them...I will look further into it. The car from the first image is actually white and the "WKD" vinyl is fluorescent yellow/green but I couldn't make it look like that. I guess it's part of the night thing.