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Tutorial: Using the New Lumetri Color Interface in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015

The new Lumetri Color panel makes it simple to correct your footage and then creatively control the color with preset looks or your own adjustments. It's one of the best new additions in the Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 update.

Correcting Color in the Lumetri Color Panel

The Lumetri Color panel itself has five basic areas (Figure 5, below). The Basic Correction area, shown on the right in Figure 1, is where you’ll do most of your color correction work.

Figure 5. The 5 correction and grading areas in the Lumetri Color panel.

For example, if you’re working with multiple clips from different cameras that might have different color balancing, you can choose an input preset from the Input LUT drop-down menu shown in Figure 6 (below), and that will kind of flatten out all the color in the clip and you can work with a common starting point.

Figure 6. Part of the extensive list of input presets in the Input LUT drop-down.

You're going to correct your clips in the Basic Correction area, both for multiple cameras and for problems in your single-camera shoots, and then you're going to get creative in the other four areas below (Creative, Curves, Color Wheels, Vignette). You can go back and forth among all of these, of course, but generally you’ll do your basic fixes first and then move on to the creative stuff after that.

Assessing Color Issues With Scopes

The clip we’ll work with in this example is from a trip to Moscow, a shot of the famous Onion Dome near the Kremlin. We’ll begin by taking a look at the Lumetri scopes (Figure 7, below), which have been completely redesigned for Premiere Pro CC 2015.

Figure 7. Our shot of the Onion Dome as represented in the default configuration of the Lumetri Scopes. Click the image to see it at full size.

As before, you have a great deal of customization options regarding which scopes are visible, and what they look like and what they show. By default, you get the four scopes--Vectorscope, Histogram, Parade, and Waveform (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Choose scope options from this drop-down menu.

I prefer working in the Parade and Waveform (Figure 9, below). The RGB Parade shows Red, Green, and Blue values. With my Waveform I prefer working in Luma, so I have only brightness values, not color values, here.

Figure 9. My scopes of choice—Parade and Waveform.

Now we’ve got our scopes up and we’re in our Basic Correction mode. We’re ready to work.

With this clip, we can look at the color values, as shown in Figure 9, and they’re pretty even, so there aren’t any obvious problems there. As for brightness values, we've got peaks represented by the white areas in the waveform in Figure 9 right around 100 IRE, so those are good. We’ve got valleys in the waveform close to 0 IRE, which means we have pretty good contrast in the clip as a whole. But the midtone regions--around the center of the image, where we see the middle dome on the building, as you can see in Figure 1--are a bit too dark for my liking.

To address this issue in the Basic Color Correction area, we can brighten the shadows by dragging the Shadows slider to the right, and we can see increased brightness in this area, as shown in Figure 10 (below).

Figure 10. Pushing the Shadows slider to the right brightens the Midtones in the image significantly, but also brightens the Blacks a bit too much, which necessitates a bit more tweaking. Click the image to see it at full size.

We're not brightening the whites, as you can see in the waveform on the left in Figure 10. We’re pulling the blacks a little bit off the bottom (also visible in the waveform), so we’ll need to push those back down by dragging the Blacks slider to the left to make sure that we maintain good contrast. Then we can boost the Shadows a bit more by dragging that slider just a bit to the right. We can toggle the effect on and off by selecting and deselecting the checkbox at the upper-right corner of the Basic Correction area, and we can see that we’ve increased brightness sufficiently, which is pretty much the only corrective adjustment that this clip needed. Now we can close up the Basic Correction area and get creative.

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