Lighting and Color Grade Example

I originally set out to test some lighting in my office. Once I got this video into the edit, it became much more.

As for the lighting, I’m using my window as a key light, a cheap LED light ( as a fill and a halogen work light ( to light up the background.

The LED light is daylight balance so it plays well with the window. The halogen in the background is tungsten balanced which I’m using to create separation.

For color grading I brought the project into After Effects (AE). I’m new to AE and I’m finding it to be incredibly powerful. I’m really happy with the results of the color grade. I used Curves, Selective Color and Levels to create the look I wanted.

Add it to the list of things AE does really well. Also, round-tripping from Premiere Pro (PP) to AE is a breeze, making the entire process seamless from one program to the next.

As happens with any edit, you start to think of additional things you can add to your video that you might not have planned when you started. This was certainly the case here since I wasn’t even really planning on publishing this video (as evidenced by the crummy audio coming from the on-board mic). However, after the nice results of the color grade, I decided to turn it into a video that would help me learn some other AE features as well.

Enter motion tracking. You’ll notice that the text notations at 1:00 stay in track with my eyes. This was accomplished using AE’s motion tracking features. I’m definitely looking forward to using this more.

Additional, easy to add features in this video included a vignette, warp stabilizer (applied to shots of the 60D) and some edge blur which you could use to simulate the shallow depth of field look you get from DLSR’s if you don’t have one or weren’t able to shoot with a wide open apeture. Here’s the tutorial

I found and followed a slightly more complex tutorial for removing blemish. More accurately I would say this tutorial works best for giving a beauty look (often seen in wedding photographs or modeling photos). Basically you can use AE to create a smoothing of the skin which you’ll notice worked nicely here in the video when comparing the final video and the shot where I worked in the original, non-graded footage. I really like the way it softened the light on my face and knocking a couple years off your age never hurts;) The results were unintended but I left them because I liked the way it looked. Lots of creative work involves “happy accidents.” Here’s that tutorial

Finally, I couldn’t resist making a new motion graphic to open the video. This was created in Photoshop, PP, and AE and simulates the live view mode of a Canon HDDSLR when focusing.

Duration: 166

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