How to use ColorFast 2

NewBlue ColorFast 2 is an integrated plugin that streamlines both color correction and color grading in one simple workflow. With a variety of features geared for speed and efficiency, you can quickly fix exposure problems and create the look you want across your entire production.
 
Setup

Primary Correction provides a quick and easy way to fix the color balance in your video. It can also adjust the color saturation, brightness, and add lighting depth of film. Adjustments made to the Primary Correction will affect your entire video; later sections will describe how to localize your changes to just a certain part of light range of your video.

Unbalanced colors are caused by lighting conditions at the time you shoot the video. For example, a shot might have been illuminated by indoor incandescent lighting - which is "warmer" (more reds and oranges) than outdoor light - or by outdoor light (more blues), or a combination of indoor and outdoor lighting. The result is unbalanced color in your video.

The Primary Correction solves this by letting you point out something in the picture that should be white (or even gray) and it then uses that as a reference point to bring the colors back into proper balance.

Use the color dropper to select a spot in the image that is intended to be white (a piece of paper, a wall, etc.) and turn up the color correction so it does indeed balance out to white, fixing the rest of the picture at the same time. Then, further adjust the image to get the look you want by setting the saturation, brightness and film gamma.

  • Use the Pick White color dropper to select an object in the clip that you know is normally gray or white, such as a piece of paper or a white shirt. Try to use an object close to the main subject of the clip. This tells ColorFast what should be white.
  • White Strength sets the strength of the color correction. 100 sets full correction (enough to make the sampled color genuinely a balanced shade of gray.) 0 sets no correction at all.
  • White Tweak tunes the sample color to a warmer or cooler color temperature.  A value of -100 will tweak the image warmer and 100 will cool the tones.  0 specifies no tweak amount.
  • Hue modifies the overall shade of your image.  The adjustment ranges from -100 to 100, with 0 meaning there is not hue adjustment.
  • Saturation adjusts the color strength. At 0, the colors remain unchanged. Turn down Saturation to remove color; turn it up to enhance the colors.
  • Exposure raises or lowers the overall image luminance. (With newly expanded range in ColorFast 2!)
  • Brightness controls the higher end of the luminance curve without affecting black levels. (With newly expanded range in ColorFast 2!)
  • Film Gamma recreates the brightness behavior of film. Film tends to have a linear region in the middle, but the highs (brights) and lows (darks) are compressed. The Film Gamma control recreates this by compressing the lights and darks while expanding the mid tones. So, brights are brighter and darks are darker!

 

Secondary Correction allows you to change the coloring and light behavior of the three light ranges in the image independently.

Choose an image range to work on (Highlights, Midtones, or Shadows). Next, choose a color to tint that image range with using the Pick Tint control. Dial up the Tint to increase the influence of that color. Further adjust the image by setting the Saturation and Level controls.

  • The Pick Tint control sets the desired color for tinting, either by choosing from a palette of colors or using the color dropper to pick a color from the video image.
  • Tint sets the influence of the color. Tint can be turned up above 0 to increase the color or turned down below 0 to subtract it out.
  • Saturation adjusts the color strength. At 0, the colors remain unchanged. Turn down Saturation to remove color; turn it up to enhance the colors.
  • Level adjusts the brightness for that image range.
  • Enable turns the effect on and off for the selected image range.

 

H/M/S Mask Range allows you to adjust the set points for the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights of your video.

Adjust the Mid-Shadow Threshold control to set the "border" of your image's low/mid luminance range, then adjust the High-Mid Threshold control to specify the image's mid/high range. Next, adjust the Blend control to soften the "crossover" from one range to another. If desired, adjust the Spread control to blur the Luminance masks. (Tip: Set "Show Mask" to Highlights, Midtones or Shadows to observe how you are modifying the masks.)

 

Skin Mask allows you to select a skin tone and eliminate it from being affected by the Secondary Correction.

Check the "Enable" box in the Skin Preservation section, use the color picker to select the color of the skin, and select "Skin Mask" from the "Show Mask" dropdown so you can easily see the affected area. Now adjust the Sensitivity and Soften controls to fine-tune the selected area. Then set "Show Mask" to None.

  • Pick Tint sets the color that is to be ignored during secondary processing.
  • Sensitivity sets the sensitivity of the mask. Adjust this to find the best threshold to separate the skin areas from the rest of the image. You might enable the Show Mask option so you can more easily see the affected area.
  • Soften softens the edges of the Skin Mask, allowing you to control how smoothly the colors are blended in with the rest of the image.
  • Blend determines the strength of your Skin Mask. 
  • Enable sets whether the Skin Mask is enabled.
  • Enabling Invert changes the behavior so that only the color selected is affected by the Secondary Processor.
  • Set Show Mask to Skin Mask to see the image as a negative mask. This makes it much easier to calibrate the affected area

Shape Mask creates a user-defined region in the picture that will be affected by the Secondary Processor controls.

Turn on the Shape Mask by checking the Enable button. Adjust the position controls to set your shape. Use the Curve control to round the corners, and the Feather control to set the blending between the regions inside and outside the shape.

  • The Shape group lets you adjust the four corners of the image.
  • Roundness sets the curve of your Shape. With Roundness set to 100, your shape will be an oval. With Roundness set to 0, your shape will be a rectangle.
  • Feather sets the amount of blending between the inner region and the outer region. Turn Feather up to create a soft blend between the two regions. Turn it down for a sharp delineation between regions.
  • Blend determines the strength of your Shape Mask. 
  • Setting Show Mask to Shape Mask displays the area outside your region as a negative image. This makes it much easier to define a region using the Shape controls
  • Enabling Invert changes the behavior so that the region outside the shape is affected by the Secondary Processor.
  • Enabling Limit Color Mask effectively makes the Shape Mask a "garbage matte" for the Skin Preservation mask. When used this way, anything outside the area defined by the Shape Mask will be ignored when the Skin Preservation color is processed.
  • Enable sets whether the Shape Mask is enabled.

 

Output Correction gives you the opportunity to adjust the image's Exposure, Saturation and Brightness after customizing the rest of your video's look.

 

Region Scopes is an inspecting tool that helps you monitor the image adjustments you make with ColorFast 2.

  1. Dial in the Width and Height to set the size of area you wish to inspect.
  2. Move the Position X,Y controls to place the green bounding box around the area of your footage you wish to inspect. You may also use your NLE’s overlay position targets in the preview window of your NLE.
  3. Select which Video Scope you wish to view so that you can see the information which is most helpful to your task.

  • Position determines the X,Y coordinates of your Target Region for inspection.
  • Width and Height determine the size of the Target Region to be used.
  • Video Scope allows you to project one of three scopes on your preview so that you can see how your gamma adjustments are affecting your picture.
    • Vector - Classic is a traditional display which shows saturation levels in your picture.
    • Vector - Color displays saturation information with the addition of color being shown in the scope display.
    • RGB Parade shows the luminance levels of your picture, separated out into separate Red, Green and Blue channels.
    • Waveform shows the luminance levels of your picture from black or shadow levels at the bottom to white or highlight levels at the top.
    • Histogram shows the spread and quantity of pixels from black or shadow levels toward the left side to white or highlight levels toward the right side. This scope also separates out three channels of Red, Green and Blue and the combination of all three as combined luminance represented by White.
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