Final Cut Pro X – Color Grading

A series of free training videos for Final Cut Pro X color grading have been posted by Color Grading Central. The site is run by Denver Riddle (maker of the Luster Film Burns we featured a couple of weeks ago). If you’re interested in having copies of the tutorials downloaded so you can watch them on your own time, for a mere $49 you can own a copy.


01. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: What is Color Grading? from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

What is Color Grading? What is a Colorist? It’s the last step in the post process, the sexy part of filmmaking, the stuff of legend for those who have pioneered the path of Colorist. Please join me as I share with you how to utilize the tools in FCP X to color like the pros and bring new dimension and scope to your filmmaking!


02. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Order of Operation Worfklow from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Okay this is the big one! In this color grading tutorial I share with you the same workflow that top colorists use. It’s important to have an ordered systematic approach to your grading so you don’t get lost and end up making your image look “muddy” because you’ve lost track where you’re at. This tutorial will serve as the primer for all all the correction tutorials.

 


03. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Interface from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

With the release of FCP X, Apple introduced the the new “Color Board.” In this color grading tutorial I will be explaining this new interface and its functions so that we can begin grading like pros!


04. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Scopes from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Ahhh, you thought the scopes were impossible to understand. In this color grading tutorial I decipher the scopes so that you can read them as though you were reading the Matrix. They are a very valuable tool and will make you look like a sophisticated color grader :)


05. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Setting Exposure from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

As the first crucial step in color grading, setting the focus exposure lays the foundation for the rest of the grade. In this color grading tutorial I share how the concept of setting the exposure based on the center focus of the shot, will give priority to what’s most important and will serve as a guide in making exposure decisions.


06. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Setting Dynamic Range and Contrast from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Once we’ve set our exposure then it’s on to dialing in our shadows and highlights and setting the desired amount of contrast. Sometimes all an image needs to give it that “pep” is contrast. In this color grading tutorial I go over what dynamic range is and how to set the proper amount in FCP X using the Color Board.


07. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Color Balancing from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Color balancing is what most people think of when they think of color correction. This is the process of correcting for color casts, ensuring the shot doesn’t exhibit a dominate colors, having clean blacks and clean whites. In this color grading tutorial I show you how easy it is with FCP X‘s Color Board to make these fixes.


09. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Creating Mood from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Filmmaking is storytelling. Creating emotion that resonates with the audience. In this color grading tutorial I share with you how to create different looks that will influence the mood visually thus complimenting the story.


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10. FCP X Color Grading Tutorials: Suggesting Time of Day from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

A powerful post technique is suggesting to the audience a time of day even though principal photography might have taken place at a different time. In this color grading tutorial I share with you how to suggest a golden hour look, dusk look or even a simple day-for-night look.


11. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Contextual (location) based looks from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Looks can play a powerful role in suggesting to the audience where a scene is taking place. Is it a cool New York look? Or a warm sunny California look? In this color grading tutorial I share with you how create these different contextual looks to assist in the storytelling process.


12. FCP Color Grading Tutorial: Popular Looks from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Popular looks is the stuff of legend. Looks that have been immortalized in Hollywood films like Saving Private Ryan, Slumdog Millionaire, Transformers, etc. In this color grading tutorial I share with how to create some of these popular looks using the tools and presets found in FCP X.


13. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Stylized Looks from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

The fun sexy part of color grading is creating stylized looks. In this color grading tutorial I share with you my approach to creating fun stylized looks. I also share with you some of my grade presets from my Luster Grades Preset pack to give you some ideas.


14. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Clean-up with Secondaries from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

The Secondary/Isolation tools in FCP X are helpful in making corrections to specific parts of the image. In this color grading tutorial I share with you how to use these tools to make targeted correction to skin tones, skies and lighting issues.


15. FCP X Color Grading Tutorial: Focusing with Secondaries from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

Focusing is a powerful technique in color grading. In this video tutorial I share with you in FCP X how to bring attention to your talent or object of focus by using shape masks. It’s adds that nice finishing touch after all your other grading to make your images “pop!”