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
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.
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
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
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.
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 Clip, Premiere Pro, and After Effects to immediately transform your video footage, whether you’re a color grading specialist or new to the process.