Add a color correction

The first step in adjusting a clip’s color is adding a color correction effect to the clip. You can apply multiple color corrections to a clip to target specific issues.

Add a color correction

  1. Add a clip to your project and select it in the Timeline.

  2. Position the playhead in the Timeline so that your clip appears in the Viewer.

  3. If the Video inspector is not already visible, do one of the following:

    • Choose Window > Show Inspector (or press Command-4).

    • Click the Inspector button in the toolbar.

      Inspector button
  4. Click the Video button at the top of the Inspector pane to open the Video inspector.

  5. Do one of the following:

    Note: You can use the last two methods to add the first color correction only. For information about adding multiple color corrections, see “Apply multiple color corrections to a clip,” below.

The Color Correction effect appears in the Effects section of the Video inspector. (If you added the color correction using the last method, the Color Correction effect appears in the Effects section only after you make adjustments in the Color Board.)

Color Correction effect in the Effects section of the Video inspector

To proceed with the color correction, follow the instructions in Color correct the whole image.

Apply multiple color corrections to a clip

You can apply multiple color corrections to a clip to target specific issues. For example, you could have one color correction that mutes a bright orange shirt and a second one that enhances the green in the lawn.

Note: Applying multiple color corrections to a clip has no effect on the color masks in the additional color corrections. For example, if the first color correction removes all chroma from the clip, the second color correction can still create a color mask based on a color originally in the clip.

  1. Follow the instructions in "Add a color correction,” above.

  2. To add an additional color correction, do one of the following:

    • Add another Color Correction effect from the Color category of the Effects Browser.

    • Choose Window > Go To > Color Board (or press Command-6), click the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the Color Board, and choose Add Correction.

    The additional Color Correction effect appears beneath the original Color Correction effect in the Effects section of the Video inspector.

    Two Color Correction effects in the Effects section of the Video inspector

    The additional Color Correction effects that you add are named Correction 2, Correction 3, and so on. Each correction has its own Color Board button —clicking one of these opens the Color Board with that correction’s settings. You can also choose a correction in the Color Board using the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner.

    To proceed with the additional color correction, follow the instructions in Color correct the whole image.

Note: If you have applied multiple corrections to a clip, you can change their order by dragging them in the Video inspector. Rearranging the processing order can provide different results. To ensure the highest-quality results, the Balance Color and Match Color effects always appear at the top of the Effects list by default.