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Tutorial: Enhancing GoPro Footage With Photoshop's Camera Raw Plug-in

I'm a big fan of Camera Raw because of its simple time-saving features. In this tutorial, I'll demonstrate how to enhance some GoPro footage with color and lens-distortion issues.

Adjusting Color and Tonality

Now that we’ve corrected the lens distortion, we’ll proceed with making some color and tonality adjustments by using the Camera Raw filter. We can launch Camera Raw by navigating to Filter > Camera Raw Filter (Figure 7, below). Photoshop launches the Camera Raw interface (Figure 8, below Figure 7).

Figure 7. Choose Filter > Camera Raw Filter to open the Camera Raw interface. 

Figure 8. The Camera Raw interface. Click the image to see it at full size.

We’ll start adjusting our clip by focusing on the right side of this window. In the first panel we can adjust several different settings for our clip with these sliders. From the top we can dial in our White Balance by choosing the Auto (auto-balance) option. You can also choose Custom to create a stylized look. Typically the Auto option does a pretty good job.

From here, you can adjust the Exposure, which I'll bring down a bit, and then bring up the Contrast. I'll add a little more to my Shadows by bringing those up.

Finally, I'll bring back the color in the shot by increasing the Vibrance setting. This is a nice option, because it applies only to color needed in the midtones region. The nice thing about these adjustments is that you can double-click the toggle, and it will reset to the default settings. You can continue to play around with these to your liking. You can see the settings I’ve applied in this example and how they have affected the image by comparing Figure 9 (below) with Figure 8.

Figure 9. Here’s how the clip looks after making basic adjustments. Click the image to see it at full size.

Applying the Graduated Filter

Finally, we'll play with one more setting that I really like called the Graduated Filter (Figure 10, below), which is found at the top of the Camera Raw window.

Figure 10. Click here to apply the Graduated Filter.

When you select the Graduated Filter icon, you will see a plus (+) symbol appear over your video preview. By clicking and dragging down or up, as shown in Figure 11 (below), you can add a graduated filter look to this footage.

Figure 11. Dragging the plus (+) symbol to apply the Graduated Filter

In this particular clip, applying this filter is going to help me with the sky, which really wasn’t doing much for me in the original. You can zoom in and out by pressing the plus and minus buttons in the lower-left corner of the screen to see the green handle of the filter. I’ll grab the green handle and further extend the gradient, so that it blends in a little more with my video.

To the right you can further fine-tune the Graduated Filter settings with the use of the sliders shown in Figure 12 (below).

Figure 12. Graduated Filter Edit settings

Now, as you can see in Figure 13 (below), we have some sky back in our image, but the filter is spilling over to the building on the left-hand side.

Figure 13. The image with the current Graduated Filter settings applied

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In this tutorial we'll explore how you can use Adobe Photoshop to apply a customized black-and-white filter to your footage to created a stylized effect. Although Photoshop isn't a video-first tool, it does offer some nice features that aren't available in Premiere Pro or After Effects.