Quick Tip- fixing under exposed footage
I originally did this in FCP 7, but it also works in Premiere Pro & After Effects. (I’ve added the steps for working with Adjustment Layers in PP & AE).
I have a tutorial on using Adjustment Layers in Premiere Pro CS6 here. http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/adjustment-layers-premiere-pro/
Color Correction is your friend. Just like cleaning up your audio in Soundtrack or Audition, it can make your work stand out from the rest.
That said…we live in a world of deadlines and often wear multiple hats (shooter, editor, producer), so sometimes you need to quickly make footage look better, and get it out the door.
A common scenario is underexposed footage. In this example I have some footage of a band performing in a warehouse (shot on Canon 5D).
I am going to use a trick that is also commonly done in Photoshop & After Effects.
This is useful for videos that are short (30 seconds to 2 minutes) but would be tedious for longer timelines (as you have to duplicate the clip. You don’t for the filters listed below).
For that I would look at the “Filmic Look” filter from CoreMelt http://www.coremelt.com/products/editors-tools-v2.html.html#filmiclook
or Magic Bullet Looks http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/magic-bullet-looks/.
1. Select your Footage in the Timeline, hold down Option + Shift, and drag the footage to the track above.
2. Apply the Composite Mode “Softlight” right-click, choose composite mode “Softlight”.
3. Apply the Color Corrector 3 Way Filter to the top clip (select Visual, or you will get sliders).
4. Boost the Mids & Whites by dragging the slider to the right til it “looks good”.
5. Next apply the Gaussian Blur filter to the same (top clip) and set it to a Radius of 20 or more. Adding the composite mode is the key to the blur softening and not being blurry.
6. You can save these 2 filters as a “Filter Pack” or Favorite by going to Effects>make favorite effect.
7. You could also make a button for Soft Light mode. http://vimeo.com/16716532
8. To do this in PP or AE, add an adjustment layer instead of duplicating the layer. Use the Fast Color Corrector in PP and Levels in AE to boost the mids/whites.