gradients and discourage anyone I possibly can from using them. This is a person preference of mine, but when I see gradients on amvs, I'm automatically turned off
I know there have been a few good cases for this, but I can't remember any of them off the top of my head.If you're creative enough, gradients can be used well. I discourage adding the same gradient over an entire amv and calling it color correcting though, because it's so obvious it's painful. And you're very limited with a flat gradient.
I use Color Curves in Vegas for everything (not
Color Corrector) but I know you can also buy/download things that are specifically made for that as well. Personally, I don't see the point. Every color correction that I've ever wanted to make I can easily do with Black and White and Color Curves in Vegas (b&w not always necessary either.)
shati makes an amazing
point that I think people literally forget when color correcting. Skin tone is the most important thing to pay attention to. Always try to preserve the fleshy tones of skin. Even if you're using a blue color for correcting, you can get away with having a very light blue tone to the skin, and really, you can experiment with this and create different moods, there's no right and wrong. You can achieve a "dreamy" affect with some glow and blue, etc. It's all open for interpretation. But cranking up the saturation, using gradients, or adding a very saturated color at all, I advise being careful because it erases the fleshy tones and then it's so obviously color corrected, but in a bad way. Obviously there's exceptions to this-- it all depends on what effect you want. But this is just something to take special note of.
Color Corrector is not the right way to go if you want a very rich and natural color correction, imo. I never use it, I think it looks shitty and flat.
Adding levels seems like an easy fix, to get rid of the dusty, dry effect, sure. But you're limiting yourself using color corrector. Depends on the effect you want, maybe you want something verrrrrry subtle, but man, you're crazy limited. I don't even bother, even if I want something incredibly subtle. You can achieve the same thing with color curves, but you'll have more depth and control.Here is an example.
Top img: original. Second: Very basic color curves. Third: Adding Black and White before the color curves. I wanted a flat brown/sepia color, so I made this with the black and white on there.
**so even though there are sepia presets on vegas, I create my own in Color curves. You have sooo much more control.**Example 2:
Top is original. Everything below are just different color curves I saved. All but the bottom one are just 1 color curves. The bottom is 2, with a 75% b&w. Mixing in b&w is a great way to discover different colors as well.Example 3:
When masking and overlaying scenes that take place during different times of the day, color curves is useful as well. If you don't have color curves on the rest of the video, I can see color corrector being used here, or just smart scene selection and not having to use much. For my recent video, I did
have color curves on other scenes, and so using it on the masked scene made it look more natural. If I were to just have color curves on that one scene, it would look odd compared to the others.
Here I masked two scenes, one taking place at sunset, the other at dawn. So one had bluish tints, the other orange. They look alright together, but not completely blended (top scene.) However, I had to make this masked scene fit with the previous scenes, which take place at night. So, I then added a multitude of color curves to each. (second.) Then, I placed the background on a layer that had color curves applied to that entire layer, which gave it a reddy warm tint. The top layer remained unaffected. (third.) Lastly, I rendered all of that, and placed the flattened clip on the layer with the curves that applied to the entire video. (as well as soft contrast for the blurred border, four.) You can see how this blends with the previous scenes before it in Please Don't Go.
I've also used Color Curves to make night images look like day, and vice versa. (Not like the above-- I mean, dark clips, to daylight scenes.)
There's a plethora of different combinations. For that last slide, I used about 5 different color curves on each clip, plus some levels and black and white, and so on. It depends on the effect you want to create. All of my needs are met by using those few effects, and it's so much fun making different colors as well. I've about 30 different curves saved, which I can mix, use alone, adjust how I want. It's really quite simple, and it's frankly the most fun I have making an amv
Even though when you look at mine, I really don't use them that often. However, even if I'm not doing intense color correcting, I always use color curves on my videos to add more depth and vibrancy. I never saturate anything, just add color curves.
****As far as how you get to creating the colors: open up color curves, add the Warm Colors preset to a clip, and you get the blue, green, and red line. Take the squares that you see and drag them up, down, left, right, whatever, and just see what it does. Each of these can be bended and stretched for different results, and each line controls certain colors in the image. There's an unlimited amount of combinations-- you have complete control. And it's really quite easy. You can add different presets and play around with the lines on them as well to get whatever effect you want. When all the lines are in a straight diagonal line, that's when you have the original image colors. Then just move the lines, save what you made, and blah blah so on.By adding the Reset to None preset, you control the blacks and whites and brightness and such, which is a better alternative to using Levels imo.
^^^^You may already know how it works, but that's just a basic how-to, just in case.
And I don't claim that my method is the best. I'm just sharing how I
do things. You can use a gradient if you like, or color correction. It depends on what you're trying to create. But really, gradients cause me great pain to see. So ugly.