Final Cut Pro X: Use the Color Board

Use the Color Board

You can adjust a clip’s tint, saturation, and exposure with great precision using the Color Board. First you add the Color Board color correction effect to the clip, and then you adjust its settings in the Color inspector.

Controls in the Color Board

To provide objective, precise information as you color correct a clip, use the video scopes and other video measurement tools (see Measure video overview). You can also create a custom workspace layout for color correction, or switch to the predefined Color & Effects layout (see Change the workspace layout).

Note: Because you can apply multiple color correction effects to a clip, you’re not required to follow all of the steps below, nor the order of those steps. For example, you might adjust the overall contrast with the Color Curves effect and adjust a color tint with the Color Wheels effect. Or you could achieve the same results with multiple instances of the same effect. For a summary of the color correction effects, see Color correction effects overview.

  1. In the timeline, select the clip you want to correct, then position the playhead in the clip so that the clip appears in the viewer.

  2. Open the Color inspector.

    Tip: If you frequently add a particular color correction effect, you can speed up your workflow by setting it as the default color correction. Then just select a timeline clip and press Command-6 to start adjusting the effect in the Color inspector.

  3. Click the pop-up menu at the top of the Color inspector, then do one of the following:

    • Add a new instance of the Color Board effect: Choose Color Board from the Add Correction section at the bottom of the menu.

      Color Board being chosen from the Add Correction section of the pop-up menu at the top of the Color inspector

      For more details and methods, see Add a color correction.

    • Correct a Color Board effect already applied to the clip: Choose the Color Board effect you want to correct from the Corrections section at the top of the menu.

    Color Board controls appear in the Color inspector. The effect also appears in the Effects section of the Video inspector.

    A Color Board effect in the Effects section of the Video inspector
  4. At the top of the Color inspector, click the button for the correction you want to make:

    • Color: Adjusts the tint.

    • Saturation: Adjusts the chroma level.

    • Exposure: Adjusts the luma level.

  5. Drag the controls (or select a control and press an arrow key), or enter values in the value sliders.

    To make fine adjustments, hold down the Option key as you drag a control.

    You can adjust the whole clip image or just the shadows, midtones, or highlights. Dragging a control up adds color to the image or increases the chroma or luma level; dragging a control down removes color or reduces the chroma or luma level. In the Color pane, you can also drag the controls left or right to choose the color to add or subtract.

    The Master, Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights controls in the Color Board

    To reset the values for a pane, click the Reset button in the top-right corner.

Tip: If you want to color correct the next or previous clip in the timeline, press Command-Right Arrow or Command-Left Arrow to move the playhead to the next or previous clip and select it. These shortcuts select clips in the same role only, so you can quickly move between video clips and skip over clips not suited for color correction (such as music or titles).

After you apply a color correction, you can copy it to another clip or group of clips. For more information, see Copy effects and attributes between clips.

Published Date: Mar 22, 2019
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