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Setting the Mood with Adobe Hue CC: Ko Maruyama

This post is part of a series where we challenge filmmakers to transform the atmosphere or feel of a short video clip, by using custom Looks created with Adobe Hue CC. Show us what you can do with the same footage by downloading it here.

Color and light have a huge impact on the art of filmmaking. They set the mood and tone (no pun intended!) of a scene, and guide our experience of the story. To illustrate this phenomenon, we’ve been asking a few of our favorite creatives to test drive Looks they’ve captured with Adobe Hue on video footage that we provide, and share about how each color profile alters the feel of the original piece.

When we heard that creative director Ko Maruyama (@ninjacrayon) was taking a trip to the Southwest, we couldn’t wait to see what he would capture. Grand Canyon, painted rocks, desert sunsets – the southwestern United States has a really unique climate and coloring. Ko used Adobe Hue CC to capture three custom Looks on his road trip, and for juxtaposition, we supplied him with a short video clip of the Golden Gate Bridge to alter in Adobe Premiere Clip. Of course, Ko surprised us.

Here’s the original footage we shared with Ko:

If you want to download this clip and see how your own custom Looks from Adobe Hue alter the tone of the piece, you can do so here.

 

Look #1: Fry Bread & Beans
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When & Where did you capture this Look?

The Look was created from a lunchtime photo captured as a still image during a trip through Painted Desert National Park in Arizona. The lunch, albeit delicious and served by a wonderful kitchen staff was just a simple Indian Taco: fry bread with beans, cheese, and veggies on top.

 

What inspired you to create the Look?

Although the videos of the badlands and Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park were amazing, I had joked and noted that so many of the same tones were in my lunch, but with more saturated values.

Sometimes I want to correct saturation in videos captured on iPhone, and with all of the muted reds and browns of the Painted Desert on an overcast day, fresh tomatoes and fry bread offer a good range of color choices.

 

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Ko’s project with some of the desert scenery he encountered in the Southwest

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Here’s how the Fry Bread & Beans Look alters the desert footage. It’s a scorcher!

 

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip we shared with you?

Applying Fry Bread&Beans to the Golden Gate Bridge created a bright pinkish sky. Valentine’s Day Trip to Marin County! Pink cotton-candy wisps of fog drifted across the lanes. When the video passes one of the supports (:21), the orange color becomes super saturated and red, with more contrast than the original video offers.

 

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look?

I had no idea that I’d create some kind of Valentine’s footage, and I wasn’t quite sure what would happen when I captured the look for color correcting the desert.

I’m still new to Adobe Hue, and applying a preset to my own clips is a difficult decision. Applying it to footage that I didn’t shoot is something else completely.  I didn’t intend to color correct the Golden Gate bridge with a desert look, but it’s not too bad.

Fortunately, I had some idea of what might happen, based on the original color and greyscale of the clouds. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of saturation I put into the clouds, but I expected that there would be some hue shift in the sky.

 

Look #2: Pike’s Peak

IMG_5193 Where were you when you captured this Look?

This look was captured at the top of Pike’s Peak (14,115’) (4,302m), high above Colorado Springs, Colorado in July 2015. The summer afforded a drive up the mountain to the “purple mountain majesties” that Samuel Ward wrote about in 1882.

 

What inspired you to create this one?

Oh c’mon. Once you’ve driven to the top of Pike’s Peak, any direction you look is an inspiration.

Although it’s not the tallest of the 14ers, it’s a beautiful blue sky that wraps the peak. The blue is a nice way to cool any shot, and make even foggy San Francisco days look sunny.

 

How does this Look change the Golden Gate Bridge footage?

Honestly, I’m not sure which way the camera is facing on the Golden Gate Bridge. On many days, you can tell which way you’re going by the fog that clings to the San Francisco side instead of the Sausalito side. My family used to joke that you could see the sun on the other side of the Waldo tunnel because of the rainbow. But even with this Look applied, I think I can see the sun on both sides of the bridge, despite the fog drifting through the bridge… And yes, there are many sunny days in San Francisco despite late summer days.

 

 

What did you expect when you captured this Look?

Actually, despite being fairly new to Adobe Hue, this is pretty much spot on what I expected when I captured the look.

A range of super rich blues that can cool down the image, or pump up the skies of an overcast day.

 

Look #3: Bedrock Bright

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When & Where did you capture this Look?

This was captured in BedrockCity, Williams, AZ on July 4, 2015. If you’re unfamiliar with Bedrock City, it’s worth a virtual tour. Crazy little Flintstones memorial museum.

 

What was the inspiration for this Look?

The location is a strange array of colors. I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do with the look, but it does offer a certain neutral boost that seems work well with varied clips.

 

How do you think this one impacts the clip?

The video now looks like I’m sitting in a smoking car. Or maybe I’m entering smoggy Los Angeles of the 70s.

It’s not a standard photography tobacco filter, it’s the stained nastiness that unhealthy air produces.

Instead of a bright scene, or even foggy scene, the strange yellowing that offers some warmth to some footage doesn’t create any kind of optimism for the story that this clip might inhabit.

 

 

What did you think you’d get when you captured the Look?

This isn’t what I expected from the Look on the blue and red footage. On more evenly warmer tones, this Look creates richer skin tones and more contrast in the dusty earth of desert video.

 

So, if you were going to make this video clip into a movie, which of these Looks would you want to use?

I think I’d be tempted to use Fry Bread & Beans.

Why? Because who could pass up the chance to say they color graded their movie with fry bread and beans.

And, it could be the basis for a cartoonish short with evil little cupids camped out in Fort Point.

 

What do you think of Adobe Hue?

I like it. It’s easy to use. It’s definitely a great way to add a color Look to Premiere Clip. As we begin to use our mobile phones and tablets more, and allow the data to bridge the gap between personal and professional work, I’m sure that it will find its way into my professional pipeline.

 

What are your suggestions for people who want to use Adobe Hue?

USE IT! The best way to understand how any tool can work for you is to use it yourself. The one thing I would recommend is to duplicate looks and create versions (with different midtones selected and intensity values) instead of editing an existing one.

And import a still image to use as a preview file. Although you can import a movie clip as well, I find that a still image can provide similar color results without having the looping footage in the preview.

If you’re using Adobe Hue to color correct personal video clips (videos of the family), make sure you get a person in one of your test images. You don’t want to turn your niece the color of an Oompa Loompa even if the background looks great.

 

Thanks, Ko!

 

Want to see what you can do with the same footage?  Download the same video file we shared with Ko and alter it Premiere Clip using one of your custom Looks from Adobe Hue. Publish & Share your video on social media with #AdobeHue and #MadeWithClip for a chance to have your workflow featured!

Watch this quick tutorial to learn how to apply one of your custom Looks in Premiere Clip:

It’s easy to use your custom Looks into Premiere Pro and After Effects, too. Head over here to see how you can #MakeIt with Adobe Hue.

 


 

About Adobe Hue: Adobe Hue CC is a new kind of app that allows you to capture color and light dynamics from real-world experiences, either live with your device’s camera, or from an image you have saved in your camera roll or Creative Cloud account. Looks you capture with Adobe Hue can be brought into Premiere ClipPremiere Pro, and After Effects to immediately transform your video footage, whether you’re a color grading specialist or new to the process.

 

Setting the Mood with Adobe Hue CC: Jason Levine

This post is part of a series where we challenge filmmakers to transform the atmosphere or feel of a short video clip, by using custom Looks created with Adobe Hue CC. Show us what you can do with the same footage by downloading it here.

Color and light have a huge impact on the art of filmmaking. They set the mood and tone (no pun intended!) of a scene, and guide our experience of the story. To illustrate this phenomenon, we caught up with Jason Levine (@Beatlejase) and asked him to use the all-new Adobe Hue CC to capture three custom Looks and apply them to the same set of video clips using Adobe Premiere Clip to see how creative looks alter the feel of a piece.

Here’s the original montage:

Look #1: Desert Sunrise

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When & Where did you capture this Look?

This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 6:15am, in April 2015.

What inspired you to create the Look?

There’s simply nothing like a desert sunrise, a true feeling of rebirth and resurgence, particularly during spring. On this particular day, amidst beautiful reflections from the adjacent hotel, I stood in awe… and then snapped the shot.

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip?

Naturally, there’s a sense of ‘warmth’ that is immediately added to the video…but it’s more. It feels like ‘a beginning’, and this is where the ‘time of day’ essence (and brilliance) of Hue CC really shines. It not only makes the scene ‘feel’ warmer, brighter…but it feels like morning.

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look?

It produced the result I expected, however, I was equally impressed to see that it really carries the essence of that original time and place, regardless of what footage it’s applied to (sometimes with subtle tweaks, but often, as-is).

 

Look #2: Sandstorm

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When & Where did you capture this Look?

This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 5:15pm, April 2015 (and curiously, it was later in the same day as the previous look, ‘Desert Sunrise’).

What inspired you to create this one?

Living in the desert myself, I’m no stranger to sand storms and dust storms. This particular one, however, came about very quickly and almost immediately darkened and clouded the entire city. There was so much wind that I wasn’t able to grab a clear shot whilst on the ground, so this image was once again captured from my window inside my hotel room.

How does this Look change the video clip?

In the case of this Look, it really adds more drama and dimension to the video in question. It feels darker, more mysterious. It creates a moodiness and atmosphere that is totally opposite of the previous example. And by tweaking the shadows/highlights and exposure in Clip (on the original footage), I was able to give it a little more contrast and dimension.

What did you expect when you captured this Look?

I was curious how this Look would perform on the Seashore clip. One of the benefits of Adobe Hue CC is that the Looks created will never completely de-saturate, so while the primary tones of the Look were nearly monochromatic, it leaves behind enough essence of color to just add to this creepy, moody feeling. And again, because you can always go back into the Look itself and alter the intensity and primary hue angle, I was able to achieve a cinematic ‘darkness’ instantly, with footage that was shot in a bright, clear environment.

Look #3: Spring SouthwestLook3_0190

When & Where did you capture this Look?

This Look was captured in Phoenix, Arizona at approximately 12:00pm, late March 2015.

What was the inspiration for this Look?

While people are accustomed to the earthy red and brown tones of the desert, some are unaware that there’s also a lot of green…and blue sky is almost a daily occurrence. This particular day seemed to have the perfect combination incredibly vivid blues and greens (with a hint of desert brown).

How do you think this one impacts the clip?

Based on the midtone shift that I selected when I was creating this Look, once applied to the video clip, it really emphasizes the blues and greens at the beach; the water sparkles, the plant life thrives, and you can definitely sense that this isn’t early morning nor late in the day…it once again, ‘feels’ like a mid-day shot, clear and vibrant.

What did you think you’d get when you captured the Look?

I was concerned that the blues might be accentuated too much; this is again where the Intensity slider came into play (along with auditioning this on the footage in question, right inside the app, to find a good balance). It definitely ‘cools’ the image (without feeling too blue) but more importantly (and shockingly) is that this particular example Look really carries that ‘time of day’ stamp with it. As mentioned above, you know it’s not morning. And it feels like Spring, somehow…

 

So, if you were going to make this video clip into a movie, which of these Looks would you want to use?

For a long form piece, I’d probably go with the Sandstorm Look; it has a very cinematic, dark feel…and with the ocean sounds behind it (and some slow, building underscore) it effortlessly creates a sense of drama and interest.

What do you think of Adobe Hue?

Adobe Hue CC is a fantastic way to apply your own visual memories of color and light, time and day, directly to your video content. It’s a great way to get started with color and grading, and the simple implementation of the app itself gives the user a truly infinite palette of color presets, right from their camera phone.

What are your suggestions for people who want to use Adobe Hue?

Try it for yourself; it can amaze you. The fact that we’re actually creating 3D LUT files gives the power user a lot of flexibility; and for new users, it is once again a unique way to have color presets ‘built’ for your video, based on places and images of color and light that you’ve personally experienced. And that’s what we try to do with our stories…share our personal experience, our connections to place in time, the look of feel of that place in time, and this is precisely what Adobe Hue CC delivers.

Thanks for chatting, Jason!

 

Want to accept Jason’s challenge? Download the same video file Jason used and alter it using a Look from Adobe Hue and Premiere Clip. Publish & Share your video with #AdobeHue and #MadeWithClip for a chance to have your workflow featured!

See Jason take this video to the next level by bringing his #MadeWithClip project and Looks from Adobe Hue into Adobe Premiere CC 2015:

 


About Adobe Hue: Adobe Hue CC is a new kind of app that allows you to capture color and light dynamics from real-world experiences, either live with your device’s camera, or from an image you have saved in your camera roll or Creative Cloud account. Looks you capture with Adobe Hue can be brought into Premiere Clip, Premiere Pro, and After Effects to immediately transform your video footage, whether you’re a color grading specialist or new to the process.

The Brave New World of Corporate Video

Meet Phanta Media

Corporate video has changed dramatically in the past years with the explosion of web-based communications and the switch to modern digital production. Based near Toronto, Phanta Media uses an all-Creative Cloud production pipeline, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, Audition, Media Encoder, Illustrator, Photoshop, and more.

“It’s one thing to produce something amazing when you have hundreds of hours to put into it, but we don’t have that luxury… We want to push the envelope and produce work that is more and more creative, and looks more and more stunning, that’s put together under faster and faster timelines, and Adobe Creative Cloud helps us do that,” says Mark Drager, founder of Phanta Media.

In this video, Mark Drager, Rolland Echavarria, and Kyle Wilson of Phanta Media explain how the Adobe Creative Cloud tools tools allow them to create great work and deliver on time in fast-paced world of corporate communications.

SpeedGrade CC Learning Resources

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Here’s a round-up of useful SpeedGrade CC learning resources.
 
Creative Cloud Learn
 
hands-on tutorial with downloadable assets
Presented by Colin Smith
How to correct color and create stylized looks with SpeedGrade CC is an excellent free tutorial and includes downloadable files so you can follow the short tutorial videos exactly: a great place to start for the beginner.
video tutorial by Robbie Carman
The SpeedGrade scopes are essential for accurate color grading. Here’s an introduction to the Luma Waveform to get you started working with scopes, or “Analysis Tools” as they are called in SpeedGrade-speak.
video tutorial by Jeff Sengstack
Jeff is a very knowledgeable colorist and this short tutorial is packed with interesting observations.
video tutorial by Patrick Inhofer
This piece is a little dated, but it’s a great primer (is that a pun?) in using the 12-way color corrector and Pat Inhofer is another great SpeedGrade trainer.
video tutorial by Patrick Inhofer
Again, this shows an earlier version of SpeedGrade, but it’s a great introduction to basic color correction in SpeedGrade
video tutorial by Patrick Inhofer
SpedGrade now allows you to apply global corrections to Master Clips, but you may still need to copy grades from one clip to another. This tutorial shows you how to do that quickly and easily.
video tutorial by Patrick Inhofer
Learn to use this feature to ensure visual continuity between different clips on your timeline with a handy side-by-side view.
SpeedGrade Help Docs
 
This Help doc provides an easy overview of all the new features in SpeedGrade CC (October 2014.1 release)
This handy guide includes a downloadable PDF, making it even handier. Sometimes keyboard shortcuts are the fastest way to learn a new piece of software.
Third-party resources
This is a great overview article with lots of great embedded video resources by Jonny Elwyn in Premium Beat
Lynda.com course by Robbie Carman
Here’s the latest SpeedGrade CC course taught by the great Robbie Carman. Definitely worth joining Lynda.com for this!
By Alexis Van Hurkman
This book does not include Direct Link or any of the 2014 features, BUT it is packed with brilliant grading advice from one of the gurus of color grading, Alexis Van Hurkman.
Download SpeedGrade CC and get started today!

2014 release of Adobe SpeedGrade CC now available

2014 release of Adobe SpeedGrade CC now available

At last we’re delighted to announce that the 2014 release of SpeedGrade CC is now available. The new version offers a more flexible Direct Link workflow with Premiere Pro, Master Clip effect, broadcast standard scopes, including a brand new YUV Vectorscope (much requested), an improved Look Manager, and more.

You can read more about the new features in our earlier blog post from NAB 2014. This SpeedGrade CC release is part of a much larger Adobe Creative Cloud release, including new 2014 versions of all of the desktop apps, new mobile apps, expanded integration, and more. Read more about the Creative Cloud release here.

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Creative Cloud members can install the new 2014 release of SpeedGrade through Creative Cloud for desktop. You can also log in to your Creative Cloud account and download SpeedGrade CC from there.

Not yet a Creative Cloud member? You can still test drive the 2014 release of SpeedGrade CC with a free Creative Cloud membership. For information about Creative Cloud memberships, visit this page.

SpeedGrade CC Release Notes (2014.0)

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