Final Cut Pro X Tutorial – Get Cinematic Look

Final Cut Pro X Tutorial – Get Cinematic Look


Hey guys my name is Denver Riddle, I’m a
colorist and filmmaker and if you’re wondering how can I get the the look of my films to
stand out and to look big budget well I’m going to reveal how to do that in this Final
Cut Pro X tutorial…. Final Cut Pro X is the easiest, fastest way to edit. If you’re just picking it up or you’re a lifelong user, you already know this. It’s a fast modern editor with live previewing while you’re scrubbing, simple drag and drop editing, beautiful titles and transitions and the magnetic timeline that keeps everything in place and organized like magic! But what about the way your film actually
looks? For that you’ll want to color grade your
films and if that’s something that you’re new to or if it seems overwhelming to you. Well not to worry. I’m going to break down the grading process
in this tutorial and we’re going to create this amazing look together, which you can
download as a LUT or look up table to apply to your own footage. Now while I’m going to be using the built-in
native tools I also want to mention an alternative for content creators who don’t want to specialize
as a colorist but still need a professional look with on screen color grading, lightroom
style controls, false color mode for landing the correct exposure and real time previews
of LUTs and presets, you can find out more about the Cinema Grade plugin, I’ll have
a link for it in the description below. And finally while YouTube is a fantastic resource
for learning about so many different kinds of subjects if you are looking for a step-by-step
guide that takes you all the way through discovering the art of color grading and getting the big
budget Hollywood film looks I want to let you know about a free training workshop I’m
going to be doing where I reveal my top color grading secrets, I’ll also have a link for
it in the description below. Alright, let’s do this thing! So to get started we’re going to work in
the Color & Effects workspace. For that let’s go to Window, workspaces… Color and Effects. This will bring out the inspector and the
video scopes. All the color tools we’ll need can be access
through this icon on the inspector panel. Before we jump in and start grading this thing,
let’s discuss basic terminology for how we define color. The three basic terms that we use to define
color are Hue, Saturation, and Luma. Hue is the name we call colors. Saturation is the intensity or vividness of
a hue. And Luma is the brightness or shade of hue. It’s also important to know how to read
the scopes, which can be super beneficial. I’m going to change the view to show the
three scopes that I use the most. These are the luma waveform, RGB
overlay waveform and the vectorscope. The luma waveform let’s us correct for exposure. If I overlay an image on top of the waveform,
you can see that the trace the stuff you see here actually corresponds with the image of
the girl dancing. The trace at the bottom represents the shadows… and the trace at the top represents the highlights. The RGB Overlay Waveform is helpful for correcting
white balance issues, it reads the same as the luma waveform but it also shows the color
channels in red, green and blue. This makes it easier to spot imbalances if
either the image is too cool or too warm. The Vectorscope, corresponds directly with
the color wheel, and I’ve overlaid it here for convenience. It shows what colors are in the image as well
as their saturation. The further the trace extends from the center
of the scope, the more saturated or vivid the colors are. Here’s a simple but powerful workflow for
color correction: We first correct the exposure or brightness of the image, second the white
balance or color temperature if there are any issues and lastly the saturation by either
increasing or reducing it. This will make more sense as we actually do
it! I’ll choose this clip as our Hero Shot. Let’s first make a correction to the exposure
of this image using the color wheels. To the right of each color wheel you’ll
find the exposure control. The shadows control affects the darkest parts
of the image, the highlights affects the brightest parts of the image, and the midtones control
affects everything else in between. The fourth wheel is the master control which
adjusts the entire image and there are some circumstances where you use it. Now looking at this you can see it’s really
flat, this is a very common way to see it if you capture in a Log or flat profile. So how we’ll correct this shot is we’ll
adjust the shadows while watching the waveform. We want to bring the trace and the shadows
down until the darkest parts of the image sit right above zero. Then we’ll bring up the highlights so the
brightest parts of the trace sit right about here near the top. Then I’ll bring the midtones down. This gives us good contrast and exposure. This is the first step. Next we’ll fix the color temperature, since
our image looks too cool. We can clearly see the blue trace dominating
the middle of our Waveform. Our goal here is to neutralize or white balance
the whites. I’ll achieve this with the temperature control
which adjusts the color balance along the orange to blue spectrum. In this case I’ll drag it to the right adding
warm colors and I’ll keep dragging until the red, green and blue traces begin to align,
turning white. Now you’ll see that the blue and green traces
are align, but not the red one. To fix that we’ll use the tint control which
adjusts the color balance along the green to magenta spectrum. I’ll drag it to the right adding red, and
then adjust again the temperature control until the trace turns white. For out final step let’s boost the color a little bit
by increasing the saturation with the control on the left side of the master color wheel. Here’s what the clip looks like before and
after the correction. Doesn’t that look awesome! If it does… go ahead give this video a like! Alright! Now that our hero shot is color corrected,
let’s move on. In this next shot we’ll repeat the procedure,
going for a nice balance of exposure with the shadows, highlights and midtones controls. The color temperature in this shot looks off
too, so we’ll use again the temperature and tint controls. Lastly we’ll add some saturation too. Moving to the third shot, we wanna match it
to the first shot for obvious reasons, since this is pretty much a wider version of the
shot. To give us a good starting point let’s copy
the correction from the first clip to this one. We’ll go to the first shot select it and
use the keyboard shortcut command C to copy. We’ll then come
back to this clip… go to Edit and choose Paste Attributes from the dropdown menu. Make sure the Color wheels effect is checked
and click Paste. This copies the correction and gives us a
good starting point, but you’ll see that we still have some matching issues. The image is too dark. To help with matching we are going to set
up a side by side view with the Comparison Viewer so we can see both images and their
traces in the waveform at the same time. To do this let’s go to window… show in
workspace… then comparison viewer. This opens a new window to the left of the
Viewer, that’s were our reference image will show. Now the scopes are showing between the viewers,
let’s change their position by enabling the vertical layout. Now let’s enable the scopes for the Comparison
Viewer and set them to vertical layout too. If we needed to compare our shot to the last
frame of the outgoing or the first frame of the incoming shot just make sure the comparison
viewer is set to timeline and click on Previous Edit or Next Edit. In this case we want to use our first frame
as a reference, so lets change the comparison viewer to saved mode, move the timeline playhead
to the frame we want as a reference and click Save Frame. Now if you happen to save several frames, you can open the
Frame Browser to select the right one. Let’s close the Frame Browser and move the
playhead back to the third clip. Now that this is setup, we can see both images
and their traces at the same time. To match the traces we’ll bring up
the general exposure using the control on the right side of the master wheel. We can see in the Waveform that both traces
look like they’re at the same level. That’s a nice looking match. Now we can disable the comparison viewer and
the vertical layout for the scopes. In the interest of time I’ve already gone
ahead and performed color correction to these remaining clips. But in this last shot you’ll see that the
yellow pole looks greenish compared to the ones on the other shots. Well what’s really cool, is that we can
fix that one color with a Color Mask. So I’ll add another Color Wheels Effect,
click here to select Color Mask… and now lets click and drag over the pole to qualify
or isolate it. We can click here to view our mask and if
we need to add a little more, we can do it by holding the shift key and dragging. You can see we are grabbing a bit of the girls
clothes and the background wall as well, so we can further qualify adding a shape mask
and position it around the pole so we’re using both together. Let’s disable the View Mask option and now
we can drag the master color wheel control until the pole losses that green tone… Bam!! But, if we play the clip back, you’ll see
the camera moves making our mask move out of place, so we want to address that. Lets select Shape Mask 1 in the inspector
panel and on the right hand side you’ll see the add keyframe button. Let’s click on it to create our first keyframe. And what we have done here is save the mask
parameters on this current frame. To view the keyframes of our mask in the timeline,
select the clip, and use the keyboard shortcut Control-V. Then click here on the Color Wheels 2 effect
and choose Shape Mask 1 from the dropdown menu. Here we can reposition the keyframes or delete
them by right clicking on it and choosing delete. Now let’s move the playhead a few frames
forward and reposition the mask… and when we do that, a new keyframe is automatically
generated. I’ll keep doing this until the end of the
clip, making sure the mask always stays on the pole… And that’s it, the mask is tracked to the
pole… pretty awesome, right? Okay now it’s time for the really fun part
and that’s creating an awesome look for these clips. The Orange/Teal Look is a really popular look
because it uses principles of color contrast to make the skin tones or our talent pop out
from the background. And frankly it just looks awesome so you’re
going to love this! I’m gonna show you a quick way to apply
the SAME look on top of all of these clips and this will save you time and ensure you
have a consistent look across the board. To do that, we’ll highlight all the clips,
then right click and select new compound clip. We’ll give it a name, in this case Orange/Teal and click ok. Now when we make a color adjustment to the
compound clip it will apply the same correction to all the clips uniformly. Pretty sweet, right?! If you’re getting something
out of this Final Cut Pro X tutorial let me know in the comments below. Alright now let’s create the look. This time we’ll use the color curves for
more precise control. You can do that by selecting them here. Now a quick crash course on the way this works
in case you haven’t already used these in Photoshop is bottom point adjusts the shadows,
the top point adjusts the highlights and we can make as many points as we want on the
curve in between to shape the tonal range. In this case we don’t want to affect the
highlights or the shadows too much so we’ll create contrast in-between these areas known
as the undertones and midtones. I’ll make a point here in the midtones and
drag it up. This improves our exposure but makes the undertones
look a little washed out. So let’s add another point here and drag
it down to adjust the density of the undertones, there that looks nice, now we have a much
richer contrast. Now for color we want to push teal into the overall
image but without affecting the skin tones. So let me show you how we’ll do this, we’ll
add another color wheels effect and add a Color Mask. Let’s select our talent’s skin… enable
the View Masks option and refine the mask by adding other warm colors from her coat. Now the trick to make this actually work is we currently have our skin tones selected is we want to invert our selection (like so), we’ll disable the
view masks option and now we can use the master color wheel to introduce teal into the image
without affecting the skin tones. Now we are onto something… right? But we are not there yet. Because we pushed teal into the entire tonal
range our shadows also look teal, the skin tones need some extra saturation too and because
the yellow poles where out of our color mask, they’ve become greenish. To fix all this issues will add a Hue/Saturation
Curves Effect. First I’ll show you a great trick to clean
shadows. Let’s go to the Luma Vs Sat curve. The way this tool works is the shadows are
to the left and the highlights are to the right, and then anywhere that we place points
on the curve, we are able to adjust the saturation for that part of the tonal range by either
pulling up to increase the saturation or pulling down to decrease it. So this is a really cool way for selectively
reducing the saturation in the shadows without affecting anything else. We’ll place a point here so nothing above
is affected and then we’ll drag the left point all the way down to reduce the saturation
in the shadows. Voila our shadows are nice and clean and the
skin tones and everything else kept their saturation. If I toggle the Hue/Saturation Effect off
and back on again… you can see the difference it made in pulling the teal out of the shadows
on the walls, her hair and the trash can. Okay, so don’t forget that cool trick. Now let’s jump into the Hue vs Sat curve
to add some pop to the skin tones. I’ll use the eyedropper tool and click on
the skin tones to auto set the range of points on the curve. Then dragging up on the center point we can
make the skin tones pop without affecting anything else. We’ll then just refine the curve to make
sure that all the warm colors that we find on the skin are saturated evenly. Finally to fix the poles color, le’ts go
to the Hue vs Hue curve and use again the eyedropper tool to select that yellow greenish
tone… and drag the center point up, effectively changing its hue towards red. As a final touch, I want to apply one of my
favorite LUTs from Ascend that’s available for download when you sign up for the free
workshop. For that let’s go to the effects panel and
under the “color” section you’ll find the Custom LUT effect. I’ll drag and drop the effect on the compound
clip. Go to the inspector and use the LUT browser
to select the ASCEND 3Strip LUT. Now at first it’s too strong but that’s
okay because we can dial it back to taste with the mix slider. What an awesome look! Now I know that I covered a lot of things
here, but my purpose was to help you get started with seeing a difference in your films today. If you’re looking for alternative that gives
you real time previews of your favorite LUTs and onscreen color grading I suggest checking
out Cinema Grade. And if you’re intent on using the native
tools and want more guided help I want to invite you to our 1-hour color grading workshop
where I reveal the top color grading secrets used in Hollywood for how to the best color
grade in Final Cut Pro X. You’ll find a link for those of those in
the description below. In the web class I reveal how I went from
being a wedding videographer down to 0 wedding bookings during the recession of 2008 to improving
the look of my films and landing client work with some of the biggest brands like Facebook. I reveal the same techniques that have had
the biggest impact on my career, so if you’re serious and want to be guided every step of
the way you won’t want to miss it. I also want to point out that if you want
to learn more about our Color Grading Academy it’s the only way you can do that. People ask if we do formal training, well
this is your opportunity to discover that and we’ll have a special offer for it at
the end of the presentation. So be sure to save your seat, click the subscribe
button and then the bell for more grading videos! I hope you enjoyed this Final Cut Pro X tutorial
as much I enjoyed creating it for you and I look forward to seeing you at the training. Have a great day!

100 thoughts on “Final Cut Pro X Tutorial – Get Cinematic Look”

  1. Mind-blowing detailed yet easy to follow!!! I'm just at the stage of my career now where grading ( not correcting ) is a huge focus and priority for my work!! Denver! Thank you so so much!! I will be purchasing Cinemagrade as well… as much as I like the technical side of FCPX – reality is – I'm running a company and SPEED and Volume ( at a health balance ) is very important to run a profitable, sustainable company!! Great work!! THANK YOU!!!

  2. Thanks bro! ☺️☺️☺️ I’m just starting out using Final Cut Pro and I have no clue how it works especially Color grading. I mainly do for my music covers.

  3. What a great tutorial- easy to follow and dense with info. This is going in my favorites to watch as I color correct.

  4. What a great tutorial- easy to follow and dense with info.
    I loved the presentation and end of this video, Very authentic and genuine quality! Totally effective and real.

  5. hey, i got big problems color grading footage with people that have red/orange hair, the hair always look bad when the rest looks good and other way round. it would be nice if i would get more help
    your sincerely Timm Biedermann

  6. Thank you so much for this! However, can you show us how to get other looks? As Teal and Orange does not always fit the atmosphere of the film you are making?

  7. Learned many things from this tutorial. really precisely explained and I tried to apply and it works. This software gave new meaning of editing experience!

  8. Wow! The best hands down tutorial on YouTube. I love how he doesn’t just show and expect us to blindly follow you achieve the cinematic look, instead he explains the theory so that we actually learn what we are doing and the intention behind it. This man is an excellent teacher and deserves success

  9. how to import file mov in fcpx 10.4.8 i update macOS catalina can't import & open file mov. on FCPX

  10. $80k in film school… and now know more about color grading from a 20 min video than 4 years of school…. :-/ Very well put together and easy to understand. THANK YOU !
    (In all fairness… school focused on corrections more than grading… that's why some specialize as colorists while others focus on other aspects such as DP or Directing…..)

  11. Awesome video. I'm not so familiair with FCPX. At 03:10 you mention that you overlay the picture on the LUMA overlay waveform, How do you do that?

  12. Hi, I'm having trouble for finding color wheels. I have FCP X 10.4 but never find it
    Can I download separately? Thanks

  13. Love what you've done, but wouldn an adjustment layer be a safer option for the whole piece? If a scene requires adding later, which has happened, or removed. The adjustment layer will still cover it… Right?

  14. Merci beaucoup pour ces explications très claires et simples à suivre pour les personnes qui commencent avec l'étalonnage. Thanks!!

  15. awesome explanation, make so much sense as i really love to learn grading like a pro, i am gonna watch this video a couple of times to understand every aspect of the grading! thanks a lot so helpfull

  16. Do you have a tutorial on color grading HDR using FCPx. Plus info on equipment like an HDR Monitor at a reasonable price that really works.Colour equipment tools too. Thanks all the best Peter

  17. This was just what I was looking for in terms of depth for color grading and what I want my screen to look like in terms of scopes, comparisons etc… thanks man! very helpful

  18. This is by far the best color grading tutorial I've ever seen. I've been trying to learn for so long, and now it finally clicked. Thank you!

  19. Wow thank you. All other vids were so complicated this is easy to follow. Appreciate your work. I’m trying to level up my vids and this knowledge is priceless

  20. Great Video, extremely insightful yet easy to follow!

    One question, if you're going to be adding effects that can alter the look of your footage (such as vintage style effects) would you grade the footage before or after applying those effects?

  21. hey man!!

    WOW!! i have been searching for this kind of tutorial a long time already. Thank you so much you have done such a great job.

  22. This is one of the greatest tutorials on YouTube, and you did it in under 20 minutes. I’ve watched countless colour grading videos and have some knowledge, but this is a game changer. Thank you!

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