Color correct the whole image

You can adjust a clip’s tint, saturation, and exposure with great precision using the Color Board.

Manually color correct the whole clip image

  1. Add a color correction to a clip in the Timeline.

  2. In the Video inspector, click the Color Board button for the Color Correction effect you just added.

    The Color Board appears.

    Controls in Color Board
  3. If the clip has multiple corrections applied to it, choose the correction to adjust from the pop-up menu in the Color Board’s upper-right corner.

  4. To add or remove a color tint, click Color (or press Control-Command-C), and drag the controls in the Color pane.

    • To adjust the tint for the whole image: Drag the Global control (the large gray control).

    • To adjust the tint in the darker areas of the image: Drag the Shadows control (the black control).

    • To adjust the tint in the midtones: Drag the Midtones control (the small gray control).

    • To adjust the tint in the brighter areas of the image: Drag the Highlights control (the white control).

    Dragging the controls up adds the color to the video, and dragging them down subtracts the color (effectively adding the opposite color). Dragging the controls left and right chooses the color to add or subtract.

    You can also select the control and enter values numerically using the corresponding value slider.

    Tip: To move the selected Color Board control up or down, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key. In the Color pane, you can also use the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key to move the selected control left or right.

  5. To adjust the clip’s chroma level, click Saturation (or press Control-Command-S), and drag the controls in the Saturation pane.

    Tip: To go to the next pane in the Color Board, press Control-Tab.

    • To adjust saturation for the whole image: Drag the Global control on the left.

    • To adjust saturation in the darker areas of the image: Drag the Shadows control.

    • To adjust saturation in the midtones: Drag the Midtones control.

    • To adjust saturation in the brighter areas of the image: Drag the Highlights control.

    Dragging the controls up increases the chroma level, and dragging them down reduces the level. These controls do not move left and right.

    You can also select the control and enter values numerically using the corresponding value slider.

  6. To adjust the clip’s luma level, click Exposure (or press Control-Command-E), and drag the controls in the Exposure pane.

    • To adjust exposure for the whole image: Drag the Global control on the left.

    • To adjust exposure in the darker areas of the image: Drag the Shadows control.

    • To adjust exposure in the midtones (similar to a gamma control): Drag the Midtones control.

    • To adjust exposure in the brighter areas of the image: Drag the Highlights control.

    Dragging the controls up increases the luma level, and dragging them down reduces the level. These controls do not move left and right.

    You can also select the control and enter values numerically using the corresponding value slider.

You can use the Command Editor to assign a keyboard shortcut to turn color corrections on and off while making adjustments in the Color Board, and to assign keyboard shortcuts to many other Color Board functions. For more information, see View keyboard shortcuts in the Command Editor.

Reset and turn off Color Board color corrections

  1. In the Timeline, select a clip whose color corrections you want to remove.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To reset the currently selected control in the Color Board to its neutral state: Press Delete.

    • To reset all of a Color Board pane’s controls to their neutral state: Click the Reset button in the pane’s upper-right corner.

    • To reset the entire Color Correction effect to its neutral state: In the Effects section of the Video inspector, click the Reset button on the right end of the Color Correction bar.

    • To turn off Color Board corrections without resetting them: In the Effects section of the Video inspector, deselect the checkbox for the correction.

      Turning the corrections off and on makes it easy to quickly see the effect of your adjustments.

      Video inspector showing a color correction in the Effects list