Five Neat Color Grading Tricks in Premiere Pro CC 2019

Along with the official launch of Premiere Rush CC two weeks ago, Adobe also released a significant update referring to all Creative Cloud applications, including the full-fledged Premiere Pro CC.

Other than improved platform stability and the plethora of all-new video and audio editing features, Adobe has overhauled the Lumetri Color Panel by including a new set of color adjustment tools, allowing editors and colorists to further dial-in the look they aim for as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Jordy Vandeput of offers five neat color grading techniques to everyone who wants to learn more about the new additions inside of the Lumetri Color panel available with the latest version of Premiere Pro CC 2019.

Once you go inside the Lumetri Color panel and open the Curves tab, you’ll notice the brand new set of curves which expand on the traditional RGB Curves tool. What’s more, you now have the ability to adjust settings such as Hue vs Saturation, Hue vs Luma, Hue vs Hue, and Luma vs Saturation.

The first color grading trick outlined in the video is a basic correction technique you can use when trying to edit log/flat-looking footage. In fact, if you want to add contrast back into your scene, you can go into the RGB Curves and create a simple s-curve by bringing down the shadows and raising the highlights in two simple steps.

The second technique suggests using the new Hue vs Saturation curves to bring back color detail into skin tones. Traditionally, this would be done with the HSL Secondary tool, however, Premiere’s new tools have made this task even simpler.

In the Hue vs Saturation curve, you’ll have to create a point on the red and yellow areas of the curve. In between the two points, you’ll also need to add another one in the center and raise the curve, which will then increase the saturation for the skin tones.

As an extension to the previous trick, you can also use the Hue vs Luma curve to select the skin tone color and increase the curve to brighten it up, thus helping your talent’s face stand out from the background.

Another technique you can apply when it comes to skin tones is isolating your color grade so that your corrections only affect the actor’s skin, rather than altering the colors of your entire image. To do this, head over to the Effects Control and select your Lumetri Color effect. Then click on the Ellipse mask tool and draw a mask around your talent’s face.

If the subject is stationary, you can simply leave your mask where it is. However, if it’s moving, you’ll either need to use Premiere Pro’s mask tracking feature, or you may have to manually create a mask path that follows your actor throughout the scene.

The fourth technique shown involves using the Hue vs. Saturation curve to emphasize a specific color of the image. This can be done by going into the Hue vs. Saturation curve, selecting the desired color, and increasing the curve to enhance its richness. To further emphasize a particular area of the image, you can use the Luma vs Saturation as shown in the video.

On the other hand, if you want to shift the hue of a particular color, go into the Hue vs Hue curve, select the color range you want to tweak, and change the curve’s position until you nail it down.

Lastly, if you go into the RGB curves and select each individual channel, you can change the luminance for each specific color. For example, if you want to give the overall shadows of your image a predominantly blue tone, you can use the curves to lower the shadows for the red and green channel. As Jordy points out, you can use this technique to create different custom looks on the fly.

As eager as you may be to play around with Premiere Pro CC 2019 new set of color grading tools, remember not to get too carried away. As Vandeput notes, sometimes a little goes a long way. Don’t dwell on how many LUTs, curves or color wheel adjustments you use, as more often than not, a simple grade or just a basic color correction may be all you need to get the most out of your image.


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