iMovie for Mac: Adjust a clip’s color

Adjust a clip’s color

There are a number of ways to adjust a clip’s color in iMovie, from applying a quick automatic color adjustment to individually adjusting shadows, highlights, brightness, contrast, saturation, and color temperature.

Important: When you adjust the color of a range, the adjustment is applied to the entire clip.

Make automatic color adjustments

  1. In the browser or the timeline, select a clip or range.

  2. To show the color balance controls, click the Color Balance button.

    Color Balance button in adjustments bar
  3. Click the Auto button.

    The clip’s color values are automatically adjusted, removing any color casts and maximizing contrast. The Color Balance and Auto buttons are both highlighted when you select the clip, to indicate that you’ve applied automatic color adjustments.

    Viewer showing automatic color adjustment applied to movie

    To remove the changes, click the Reset button to the right of the color balance controls.

Match the look of one clip to that of another

  1. In the browser or the timeline, select a clip or range.

  2. To show the color balance controls, click the Color Balance button.

    Color Balance button in adjustments bar
  3. Click the Match Color button.

  4. Skim a clip in the browser or timeline to find a frame that has the look you want to match.

    As you skim, a preview of the match source clip appears on the left side of the viewer, and the pointer turns into an eyedropper.

  5. Click the match source clip to take a sample.

    The clip on the right side of the viewer changes to match the color palette of the match source clip.

    Viewer showing clip on right and preview of match source clip on left
  6. To apply the new look, click the Apply button above the viewer.

    To remove the change, click the Cancel button . To temporarily turn off the effect, drag the slider above the viewer.

Fix a discolored clip

  1. In the browser or the timeline, select a clip or range.

  2. To show the color balance controls, click the Color Balance button.

    Color Balance button in adjustments bar
  3. Click the White Balance button.

  4. In the viewer, find a part of the frame that should appear white or gray, and click.

    Clip in viewer, with instructions above to select color in clip using eyedropper

    The color in the clip is automatically corrected, removing any color cast.

  5. To apply the change, click the Apply button above the viewer.

    To remove the change, click the Cancel button . To temporarily turn off the effect, drag the slider above the viewer.

Correct the color of a clip based on skin tones

  1. In the browser or the timeline, select a clip or range.

  2. To show the color balance controls, click the Color Balance button.

    Color Balance button in adjustments bar
  3. Click the Skin Tone Balance button.

  4. In the viewer, find a part of the frame that shows a well-exposed part of someone’s face or skin, and then click.

    Clip in viewer, with instructions above to select color in clip using eyedropper

    Skin tones in the clip are automatically corrected, removing any color cast.

  5. To apply the change, click the Apply button above the viewer.

    To remove the change, click the Cancel button . To temporarily turn off the effect, drag the slider above the viewer.

Make manual color adjustments

  1. In the browser or the timeline, select a clip or range.

  2. To show the color correction controls, click the Color Correction button.

    Color Correction button in adjustments bar

    The color correction controls include a multislider control, a Saturation slider, and a Color Temperature slider.

    Color correction controls, including multislider control, Saturation slider, and Color Temperature slider
  3. Do any of the following:

    • Adjust shadows: Drag the black slider in the multislider control.

    • Adjust brightness: Drag the gray slider in the multislider control.

    • Adjust contrast: Drag either of the half-moon sliders in the multislider control.

    • Adjust highlights: Drag the white slider in the multislider control.

    • Adjust color saturation: Drag the Saturation slider.

    • Adjust color temperature: Drag the Color Temperature slider.

Published Date: Oct 10, 2019
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