Basic Color Theory Tips in After Effects

Every Motion Designer needs to know a little bit of color theory. With more MoGraphers than ever being self taught a lot you might not know the first thing about color theory. Today we're going to fix that. In this lesson Joey is going to show you his favorite color tips and tricks to get you going in the right direction with color. You'll cover a ton of stuff like how to avoid "buzzing" colors, to using Kuler inside of After Effects to work up a palette, using a "value-check" layer, and color-correcting a composite. This lesson is jam-packed with tips you can use right away in your work.

If you want to take your designs to the next level and really get an in-depth look at how to use color and value in your work make sure you check out our Design Bootcamp course. You can find more info on that in the Resources tab.

If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP.

 Design Bootcamp

    00:00:11,641- What's up?
    00:00:12,474Joey here at School of Motion and welcome
    00:00:13,685to day 14 of 30 days of After Effects.
    00:00:16,289Today's video is going to be a
    00:00:18,045little bit different than the previous ones.
    00:00:19,684What I'm hoping I can show you are some hacks
    00:00:21,848and some workflow tips when dealing
    00:00:24,026with color inside of After Effects.
    00:00:25,749I don't come from a graphic design background
    00:00:27,830and I never really learned color theory
    00:00:30,135the way you're supposed to.
    00:00:31,243So when I'm working with colors, a lot of times I feel like
    00:00:34,347I'm just guessing and I'm hoping it turns out right.
    00:00:37,807So over the years, I figured out some tricks
    00:00:39,645that I've learned from other artists,
    00:00:41,693an I'm gonna show you a bunch of ways that non-designers
    00:00:44,213or even designers that struggle with color,
    00:00:46,765can really make things a lot easier.
    00:00:48,650And hopefully destress you a little bit.
    00:00:51,540Obviously, the end goal is to make your work look better.
    00:00:55,542Now, if you're really interested in getting into
    00:00:57,508the design side of motion graphics,
    00:00:59,781you'll want to check out our design boot camp course.
    00:01:02,450Taught by award winning industry pro Michael Frederick.
    00:01:05,847You'll learn the art of visual problem solving
    00:01:08,608in this absolute ass-kicker of a course
    00:01:11,053that tackles everything from how to approach a client brief,
    00:01:14,160compose beautiful images that use color properly.
    00:01:16,786Create a set of boards that work together as a unit,
    00:01:19,289and so much more.
    00:01:20,472Also, don't forget to sign up for a free student account
    00:01:23,174so you can grab the project files from this lesson
    00:01:25,498as well as any other assets from
    00:01:27,383any other lesson on the site.
    00:01:28,619Anyway, without further ado let's hop into After Effects
    00:01:30,959and I will show you some cool stuff.
    00:01:34,958So this is actually the first tutorial
    00:01:36,404where I've used the latest version of After Effects CC2014
    00:01:40,889there's a very important reason why,
    00:01:43,475which I'll get into in a minute.
    00:01:45,084What I want to show you guys,
    00:01:47,213is just some tricks that I use in After Effects
    00:01:49,244to help me pick good colors and make sure
    00:01:53,130my colors are working together in a pleasing way.
    00:01:57,112First, why don't we make a new comp real quick.
    00:02:00,363I'll show you guys something that you know I still
    00:02:04,735to this day have a tremendous amount of trouble with,
    00:02:08,603and that is picking colors when
    00:02:10,521you have to start from scratch.
    00:02:12,358So let me just call this color pick or something like that.
    00:02:15,706Let's say you have a simple design,
    00:02:19,250you're gonna have a background,
    00:02:21,264and maybe on that background you're gonna have
    00:02:24,043some type of bar you know, let's just
    00:02:26,320make everything black and white for now.
    00:02:28,043Then you're gonna have someones name,
    00:02:31,375like Stinky McFarts right.
    00:02:39,388When you have to start from scratch
    00:02:42,168and come up with it the design all by yourself
    00:02:44,571it's very helpful if you have some kind of design background
    00:02:49,284and maybe you've learned a thing or two about color theory,
    00:02:51,673how to compose things, and I'm sure a lot of you have.
    00:02:55,773I actually never went to school for that.
    00:03:00,028I'm sure like a lot of you, I fell into motion design.
    00:03:02,498I've had to learn along the way and because I don't have
    00:03:05,985such a great background in it, I was never taught
    00:03:09,837the fundamentals, I'm very much self-taught.
    00:03:13,198I've had to use a lot of hacks and tricks
    00:03:14,973to make sure that I can fake it while I'm learning.
    00:03:18,972What I used to do when I had to pick colors
    00:03:23,196for stuff like this, I would make a new solid,
    00:03:26,676and I'd put back here and I'd say,
    00:03:29,683okay, what's a cool color?
    00:03:31,291Let me put the Generate > Fill effect on here.
    00:03:34,429Then let me just think, um well,
    00:03:37,891I'm feelin' like green's pretty cool right now
    00:03:41,500but not like this green, more like in here somewhere.
    00:03:44,572But that's too bright, so I'm gonna make it a little darker
    00:03:46,750okay cool, that's my background color.
    00:03:48,749Without really thinking about,
    00:03:50,601that was literally my thought process,
    00:03:52,959that's my background color
    00:03:54,617and that's a terrible way to start.
    00:03:57,201What you really need to be thinking about
    00:03:59,509before you start is, what's my color palette.
    00:04:02,614How are my colors gonna work together.
    00:04:05,231Because one of the amazing things about color's
    00:04:08,693that this green if I put it next to another color
    00:04:12,008will look totally differently.
    00:04:13,650If I put a yellow color over this green
    00:04:16,346it will feel different than if I put red over it.
    00:04:18,620It's really not a good idea to do this
    00:04:21,173and that's why a lot of, the best designers,
    00:04:25,302they go out first and look for swipe,
    00:04:29,595they look for examples that have the color palette in it.
    00:04:32,602One trick that I use all the time,
    00:04:35,479I'll go to Adobe Kuler website.
    00:04:39,169There's other websites that are kinda like this
    00:04:40,762but Kuler works really well, I'm not even sure
    00:04:43,003that's how you pronounce it, cooler, color.
    00:04:45,278Basically I can do the same sort of thing,
    00:04:48,531I can say ok, I want a green background
    00:04:52,400and what I can do, is this middle color here
    00:04:55,179this is your base color.
    00:04:56,429This is the color that your palette
    00:04:58,966will be based off of and it will have this little icon
    00:05:01,192appear in the color wheel.
    00:05:02,818If I drag this over and find something along the lines
    00:05:06,996of that green color, right, it was a little darker,
    00:05:13,985it's automatically gonna let me create palettes from this.
    00:05:17,314This little color wheel box if you don't know anything
    00:05:21,348about color theory you can Google these
    00:05:23,236and see what they are,
    00:05:24,198I don't wanna jump too far into that.
    00:05:25,788These are basically different, easy ways,
    00:05:29,172of coming up with color palettes
    00:05:30,879that are usually a great starting point.
    00:05:33,252It's just a way of picking colors
    00:05:34,812that should work together, they don't always,
    00:05:36,890but they should.
    00:05:38,258So if I try different ones, I click on this triad button
    00:05:42,354and you can see a triad kind of creates
    00:05:44,646this triangle shaped Kuler palette.
    00:05:47,880So here's my base color, and then Kuler is telling me
    00:05:52,480that these colors should work well with it.
    00:05:55,130You can try different ones, Complementary,
    00:05:57,877a lot of times Complementary sort of too harsh.
    00:05:59,890I generally go with Compound just because there's
    00:06:04,281a lot of contrast there's a lot of variation.
    00:06:07,617But the colors don't get too far apart.
    00:06:10,169And then if you need to, if you really do need some
    00:06:12,819really hot accent color, you can adjust these colors
    00:06:20,872and add new colors if you need to.
    00:06:24,188So let's say that we like this color palette
    00:06:27,585and I wanna use it.
    00:06:28,690Well, the old way, of using it, you can look at the values
    00:06:33,437and you can just copy and paste them into After Effects.
    00:06:36,182But what I used to do, I would hold on a MAC Shift+Cmd+4
    00:06:41,579see how my mouse turns into this little crosshair
    00:06:43,855and I just drag a box right across that.
    00:06:47,155What that did, was it took a screen shot of this color box
    00:06:52,828and then I would go into After Effects
    00:06:56,126and I would import that screen shot, there it is.
    00:07:01,995I would double-click it so it open it up
    00:07:05,018in a footage browser like this
    00:07:07,014and then I would stick that somewhere here,
    00:07:08,870and then maybe lock it.
    00:07:10,512Now, I've got this little window here
    00:07:13,925that's just gonna stay up.
    00:07:15,222Now I can come to my background layer
    00:07:17,095and I can pick these colors.
    00:07:20,281And I can go to my shape layer,
    00:07:22,800and click on the the Fill, and let's say
    00:07:24,929we'll fill that with the green color.
    00:07:28,814Then on the type, I can Fill the Type with this pink color.
    00:07:31,965These colors aren't working that great together
    00:07:34,633but, let's stop for a minute.
    00:07:36,421This method of creating a palette
    00:07:38,875and being able to use it and pick from it is great.
    00:07:42,837Up until literally today, this is how I did it.
    00:07:46,821I had heard this rumor that the
    00:07:49,619new Adobe After Effects CC2014,
    00:07:53,081and if you subscribe to Creative Cloud
    00:07:55,015you get this upgrade for free.
    00:07:57,063I had heard this rumor that Kuler,
    00:07:59,826that tool, is now embedded in After Effects
    00:08:02,021and I thought, well that's amazing,
    00:08:03,289why don't we try that and this is amazing.
    00:08:05,808You go up to Window and you go to Extensions.
    00:08:10,305And you pick Adobe Kuler.
    00:08:12,846This window opens up, and it takes a minute
    00:08:15,999for it to start working,
    00:08:18,809but now, you literally have that whole website
    00:08:21,895right in this little window inside of After Effects.
    00:08:26,186I believe that, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong,
    00:08:28,852The technology that sort of allows After Effects to do this
    00:08:33,517is gonna open the door for a lot
    00:08:35,532of really cool plug-ins and scripts
    00:08:37,970that actually pull information off
    00:08:39,563of the internet in real-time and apply it to After Effects.
    00:08:42,408So this really really cool.
    00:08:44,017And it's amazing for someone like me
    00:08:46,582who has trouble picking good colors.
    00:08:50,597It's always been a challenge for me.
    00:08:52,464I can use a tool like this just to get myself started
    00:08:56,871and make sure at the very least,
    00:08:59,943the color combinations that I'm picking
    00:09:02,527are sort of scientifically designed to work together.
    00:09:05,499Another cool thing is you can click the Explore button
    00:09:07,794and you can look through other people's themes here.
    00:09:13,174On the site you can look through hundreds of these
    00:09:16,381you know sometimes these are just kind of cool.
    00:09:18,592You can look at most popular, and you can look at
    00:09:22,248what's been popular this week and these are palettes
    00:09:26,577other people have made and saved.
    00:09:27,924What I think is cool about it is
    00:09:29,373I'm an American and I've lived here my whole life
    00:09:33,727and there are colors that are just more common here
    00:09:36,947than, say, South America or Japan or China.
    00:09:40,742So there's color palettes that I'm very unlikely
    00:09:44,259to come up with on my own because the environment
    00:09:47,412I've been raised in.
    00:09:48,355I see a color palette like this one here,
    00:09:52,190This looks pretty American-y to me
    00:09:54,352but them something like this Hebridean Beach,
    00:09:58,578I don't even know what that means.
    00:09:59,761But just the way these colors work together
    00:10:02,609that's something that I wouldn't necessarily
    00:10:04,413come up with very easily on my own.
    00:10:06,311And so then you can click and now you have this
    00:10:09,976theme loaded up in Kuler and you can adjust it
    00:10:13,065if you want to, you can adjust the colors.
    00:10:15,697You can adjust the base color and you
    00:10:19,371can move all these things around
    00:10:20,590and then all you have to do is use my color picker
    00:10:24,764and I can pick those colors, it's pretty great.
    00:10:27,122Let's pick some theme here, why don't we try this one.
    00:10:34,828This is kind of a neat one, alright.
    00:10:37,348Where do I go with this, how would I actually apply
    00:10:40,063it to something like this?
    00:10:41,249Well first, I would pick my background
    00:10:43,871and there are a few rules that you can use in color theory
    00:10:48,519they're very helpful and of course rules
    00:10:51,559are meant to be broken, and the best artists
    00:10:53,591know how to do this all the time,
    00:10:56,159and they'll break the rule and it looks great.
    00:10:58,532But if you think of colors in terms of how much they weigh.
    00:11:01,620Like this red feels pretty heavy, but then this blue
    00:11:05,128that's next to it feels lighter.
    00:11:08,736You want to, in general,
    00:11:11,454put heavier colors underneath lighter colors.
    00:11:14,542Just think of it like you're stacking them,
    00:11:17,094and you want it to be a stable structure.
    00:11:18,719If I was gonna have that red be the background
    00:11:24,099and I'm not sure I would ever want to do that
    00:11:27,561because it's such a strong red color.
    00:11:29,774So what I might actually do is use this blue.
    00:11:32,488This blue could be the background and that way
    00:11:35,739I can put the lighter colors on top of it.
    00:11:38,486Like this is a lighter color, the feels lighter.
    00:11:41,033The red and the orange, it's hard to tell
    00:11:43,738those might be heavier colors.
    00:11:45,379But let's pick a color for our band.
    00:11:50,580I'm gonna use my fill effect here.
    00:11:53,246Just to make it easier to pick
    00:11:54,690these colors and change things.
    00:11:55,977Maybe the band is yellow, okay?
    00:11:58,285Let me turn off Stinky McFart for a second.
    00:12:01,097You can see that these two colors work great together.
    00:12:03,275There's a ton of contrast and they look nice,
    00:12:07,969they look good together.
    00:12:09,448What if I duplicate this band,
    00:12:13,287and I take the bottom copy and nudge it down a little bit
    00:12:16,782and then I make that bottom copy have that orange color.
    00:12:20,090The yellow and the orange look good together
    00:12:22,579but there's something going on here.
    00:12:24,369Let me turn the yellow band off for a minute.
    00:12:26,805And I'm kinda glad this happened
    00:12:28,834because this is a problem, it happens all the time.
    00:12:32,734Even though this palette looks great
    00:12:34,754when you look at it like this,
    00:12:35,973you have to be careful because this color
    00:12:38,099looks great next to this color
    00:12:39,565looks great next to this color
    00:12:41,272and so on and so forth.
    00:12:42,572But when you put the orange and this dark blue
    00:12:44,912next to eachother it's buzzing.
    00:12:47,529What I mean by buzzing is, when you look at it
    00:12:53,088the boundaries between the colors, it sort of vibrates.
    00:12:56,020It almost gives you a headache
    00:12:57,598and it just doesn't look right.
    00:12:59,532In general, the reason that's happening,
    00:13:02,767is because the values for these two colors
    00:13:05,335are too close together.
    00:13:07,107What the heck does that mean?
    00:13:08,635Value, basically means the amount of black in each color.
    00:13:12,796It's hard when you're looking at color,
    00:13:16,534especially if you don't have a tone of experience doing it
    00:13:19,637it's hard to tell what's causing the problem
    00:13:22,288and how to fix it.
    00:13:24,154So there's a really cool trick
    00:13:26,547that I honestly don't remember where I learned it
    00:13:28,871otherwise I would definitely give him credit
    00:13:31,341but it's a trick that a bunch of PhotoShop painters use
    00:13:35,031and illustrators, to basically look at
    00:13:38,200a black and white version of your composition.
    00:13:41,220So what I do, is I make an adjustment layer
    00:13:43,516on top of my comp and I use
    00:13:46,943the Color Correction > Black & White filter.
    00:13:51,626It strips all the color out of your comp.
    00:13:55,300But it does it in a way that sort of maintains
    00:13:57,783very closely the value of those colors.
    00:14:01,720When this is off, it looks like wow,
    00:14:05,068look how much contrast there is
    00:14:07,198between these two colors of course
    00:14:08,579they should work together, well in reality,
    00:14:11,553there's very little contrast in the value
    00:14:14,593between those two colors.
    00:14:15,552That's why we're getting this buzzing kind of effect.
    00:14:18,624So if we want to fix that, easy thing to do
    00:14:22,720is turn on this adjustment layer
    00:14:24,508and then select the band, so we're gonna tweak
    00:14:29,352the orange color a little bit, and if I click on the color,
    00:14:36,056in general, when I'm adjusting colors and trying
    00:14:38,283to get them to work together, I use the HSB values
    00:14:42,411here to adjust them.
    00:14:44,004This stands for Hue, Saturation, and Brightness.
    00:14:48,165You can think of Brightness as value.
    00:14:49,953Down here you've got the Red, Green and Blue component.
    00:14:54,429You can adjust either these three or these three
    00:14:57,244they sort of work together.
    00:15:00,674When you're really dialing in the color
    00:15:02,575and you say, hey, I'd like a little more blue in there,
    00:15:04,606it's kinda nice to just come into the blue channel
    00:15:07,045and just add a little more blue.
    00:15:09,256But when the problem we're having is a value problem
    00:15:13,401I can just go to the brightness and I can adjust that.
    00:15:16,196You can see if I bring it down,
    00:15:19,415there's a point where it totally
    00:15:21,316blends in with the background,
    00:15:26,494so I either need to crank it up higher
    00:15:29,577which isn't really gonna work because it's already
    00:15:31,940about as bright as it can go, or I can make it darker.
    00:15:35,716OK, let's try that, now there's a lot more contrast
    00:15:38,089and if I turn this adjustment layer off
    00:15:39,712I can see okay, it's not buzzing as badly anymore
    00:15:42,801but now it's turned into this ugly color.
    00:15:45,192So now I'm gonna leave this adjustment layer off.
    00:15:49,386Now I can sort of manipulate the color.
    00:15:51,160I can try to bring some of the brightness back.
    00:15:56,166What's probably happening too is
    00:15:57,889these are totally complimentary colors
    00:16:01,433sometimes complimentary colors are so harsh
    00:16:05,400that they can create that buzzing too.
    00:16:07,188So if I just roll the Hue one direction or the other
    00:16:10,748maybe push it a little more yellow.
    00:16:14,844Now, having pushed it a little more yellow
    00:16:19,102and pushing the brightness up to 100%
    00:16:20,695it's not buzzing anymore.
    00:16:22,321If I look through the adjustment layer
    00:16:24,661there's more contrast, it's still not great.
    00:16:28,237So maybe another thing I could just do
    00:16:30,334is grab that background and lower the brightness
    00:16:32,658just a little bit, cool.
    00:16:36,234Now you're getting plenty of contrast and it's not buzzing
    00:16:40,590so this little adjustment layer is kind of a neat little
    00:16:43,012trick to help you do that okay.
    00:16:45,343Now we can turn that yellow band back on
    00:16:47,034and look, the colors still work together
    00:16:50,629because this color and this color are still
    00:16:52,725very close to the two from the color palette.
    00:16:54,660Because we just did those subtle little adjustments,
    00:16:57,992now they work better.
    00:17:00,006Now let's turn on our Stinky McFart
    00:17:03,193and it's funny, that color reads fine and works well.
    00:17:07,078But let me add my fill effects and let's pick,
    00:17:12,292let's try this cool, crazy red slash blue color here.
    00:17:17,641And there you go, it actually works pretty well.
    00:17:21,121And now I've got this color I haven't used
    00:17:23,363and a trick that it's funny, i find myself
    00:17:26,322overusing tricks, like I'll find a trick I like
    00:17:29,134and I'll literally just beat it to death
    00:17:32,611bring it back to life, and beat it to death again.
    00:17:35,051The trick of the day for me is making a highlight layer.
    00:17:42,593So what I do is, I make a new layer,
    00:17:46,672add my fill effects, and then we'll pick
    00:17:48,899this brighter blue color.
    00:17:51,093I'm gonna put this over the background like this
    00:17:53,044and then I'm gonna make a mask over it.
    00:17:55,271Then I'm gonna click here, I'm gonna click Shift,
    00:17:57,627to constrain it to 45 degrees and I'm gonna pick out
    00:18:01,155a triangle portion, and then I'll just play
    00:18:03,479with the opacity a little bit.
    00:18:07,867There we go, so now we've made a Stinky McFart flag
    00:18:10,647and the colors are working together.
    00:18:13,455You can always check it with your adjustment layer.
    00:18:19,537This works great and using this embedded color tool
    00:18:24,612is just incredible.
    00:18:26,221Now because these are all using
    00:18:29,196the Fill effects to set their colors,
    00:18:31,293it makes it pretty easy to adjust things.
    00:18:33,194That's the first thing I wanted to show you guys.
    00:18:36,591How to use this to pick a color palette
    00:18:39,493but then you cannot just use those colors blindly.
    00:18:42,045You have to adjust them sometimes
    00:18:43,492and make sure that they don't buzz
    00:18:44,922and that they actually work well together,
    00:18:46,613So that's trick number one.
    00:18:48,222Let's take another look at another example.
    00:18:52,093So, let me copy my Black & White adjustment layer
    00:18:55,165and this is one of the comps I used for the gears tutorial.
    00:19:02,918What I wanted to show you was how using the adjustment layer
    00:19:09,859can help you avoid buzzing colors,
    00:19:14,068colors that are too close together
    00:19:15,710or too far apart and either one of those
    00:19:18,603can make them buzz and give you a headache.
    00:19:20,489It can also help you make sure
    00:19:23,429that you've got enough contrast in your composition.
    00:19:29,542These colors I've already picked from another color theme.
    00:19:33,848So let's pick a different theme now.
    00:19:37,962Let's mix it up a little bit.
    00:19:39,392What I'll do I'll just change all these colors
    00:19:40,985and then we'll use the adjustment layer
    00:19:43,017and we'll see what else we can come up with
    00:19:46,869and fix it so it works together.
    00:19:50,201Why don't we try this Japanese Village,
    00:19:53,305it's kind of interesting.
    00:19:54,736So I pick Japanese Village as my color palette.
    00:19:58,434I set up my gears comp so that I can change
    00:20:01,001all my colors using this color control mill.
    00:20:03,735This is gonna make it pretty easy.
    00:20:05,907So let me pick a background color.
    00:20:08,404I think this kind of beige color would be a good background.
    00:20:12,256And then we'll start picking the gear colors.
    00:20:14,076So there's four other colors, so I'm just
    00:20:15,409gonna pick really quick, one, two, three, four.
    00:20:22,496Now we've got all of our gears setup.
    00:20:25,257Okay, lovely.
    00:20:26,316None of the colors are buzzing,
    00:20:28,959they all sort of work and have good contrast.
    00:20:32,472One thing that I don't love about it
    00:20:35,678all of the gears feel like they're
    00:20:37,137kind of the same darkness.
    00:20:39,009If I turn on the adjustment layer we take a look at this
    00:20:41,798Let me make this the size of my comp, there we go.
    00:20:46,090You could see that there's not that much contrast
    00:20:48,675in the brightness values of the gears themselves.
    00:20:51,861So it just kinda looks boring.
    00:20:57,386You know like if you look at this brown color
    00:20:59,435and this blue color, the value comes very close together,
    00:21:03,233so it would be nice if we had a little more contrast to it.
    00:21:07,579What I want to do is leave that on for a minute.
    00:21:15,026I'm gonna adjust these colors a little bit.
    00:21:18,390I know that the brown color is probably the darkest.
    00:21:21,381So I'll leave that where it is.
    00:21:23,396But then the blue color is pretty dark too,
    00:21:26,127so why don't I just click on the blue color.
    00:21:28,305I'm gonna go to the brightness and I'm just gonna
    00:21:29,996hold shift and hit up, and knock it up, you know, 10%.
    00:21:35,872Now let's take a look at it.
    00:21:38,626Alright, it's a little bit better.
    00:21:40,061Why don't I do that again, up to 40%.
    00:21:44,266Cool, okay, and that's pretty good.
    00:21:47,354I feel like if I go too much further
    00:21:48,606it's gonna start buzzing a little bit.
    00:21:51,724Since I've done that, you know color is very interesting.
    00:21:54,718When you up the brightness,
    00:21:56,961it tends to take down the saturation.
    00:21:59,558I feel like that's happening,
    00:22:01,398so I'm just gonna up the saturation a little bit.
    00:22:06,485OK, that's super-subtle I don't know
    00:22:08,149if you guys can tell that that did anything,
    00:22:10,484but that's something you need to watch out for,
    00:22:11,768when things get darker it can add saturation
    00:22:17,099when they get brighter, it can take away saturation.
    00:22:19,505So now let's look through this again.
    00:22:20,779Now look at the blue and the green.
    00:22:22,713The blue and the green are very close together now.
    00:22:24,907So why don't I try to make the green much much brighter.
    00:22:29,052Now the brightness is 48, why don't we try 75.
    00:22:32,482Now we've got a lot more contrast
    00:22:35,976between the blue and the green.
    00:22:37,423Now let's see if we can actually see the green,
    00:22:39,585we still can, and it doesn't really look that green anymore.
    00:22:43,319I'm gonna just shift the hue down a little bit more.
    00:22:50,133And what I'm doing is holding Shift
    00:22:51,807and using the up and down arrows.
    00:22:53,107I'm pushing the hue down, so I'm adding
    00:22:56,066a little bit of yellow to it.
    00:22:58,228And you can see it makes it feel a little bit more green.
    00:23:01,267Maybe I'll saturate it a little bit more too
    00:23:05,835and see what that does for us.
    00:23:10,139Alright, so now, we've got a lot
    00:23:13,247more contrast between the gears.
    00:23:15,473It's really easy to see with
    00:23:17,763our Black & White adjustment layer.
    00:23:19,391Because you can see all these different values.
    00:23:20,951It's just a way of tricking your brain,
    00:23:22,560and tricking your eye into getting more contrast.
    00:23:25,746Another reason this is very important is
    00:23:30,427when I have this off, and I want you all to do this.
    00:23:38,294Let me make this full screen.
    00:23:39,838I want you to close your eyes, count to three
    00:23:42,601and then open them and notice where your eye goes first.
    00:23:44,584If you're like me your eye goes to this gear.
    00:23:47,315This is compositionally it's probably
    00:23:52,955the most contrast-y part of this composition.
    00:23:56,889Which maybe that's where you want people to look.
    00:24:00,042If it's not, you want to put something contrast-y
    00:24:05,974where they are supposed to look.
    00:24:07,616For example, if I wanted someone to look
    00:24:09,680at this gear first, I can change the color of this gear.
    00:24:16,133I did have the foresight to actually add a control
    00:24:22,602on to each gear to let me offset the color.
    00:24:25,821Let me offset this color, there we go.
    00:24:28,828Let me make that one, leave that one blue
    00:24:31,510and now let's make this gear brown.
    00:24:37,521So this color offset it's just an expression,
    00:24:40,807that allows me to individually offset each gear.
    00:24:44,903So now if you look at it, now your eye goes there.
    00:24:49,896If it's not immediately obvious where your eye is going
    00:24:52,802sometimes it's easier to look at this
    00:24:54,395with the Black & White adjustment layer on
    00:24:56,622because color can kind of fool you,
    00:24:58,748but value is a lot easier to see.
    00:25:02,798Now that's where my eye is going.
    00:25:05,074So now I'm gonna show you,
    00:25:06,683this is kind of along the same lines.
    00:25:10,779This is the example I used in the color cycling tutorial
    00:25:16,403and this is totally un-color corrected.
    00:25:19,881The final result that I rendered out for you guys
    00:25:22,027had a ton of color correction to it.
    00:25:23,473I wanted to show you the lengths
    00:25:27,082that you can go to to make an image look good.
    00:25:30,349The first thing I did, actually, let's see here,
    00:25:38,135I'm gonna have to Google this again.
    00:25:41,922When I did this tutorial, I was using this as a reference
    00:25:47,984I wanted the tutorial to have a similar feel color-wise.
    00:25:54,145When I was working on getting the effect
    00:25:57,704and getting the animation to work right
    00:25:59,639I wasn't so concerned with color, but now at the end
    00:26:01,313I want to color correct everything
    00:26:03,686so it feels more like this.
    00:26:07,048What I decided to do was to start by color correcting
    00:26:10,431the mountains to something that's kind of
    00:26:13,568in this very red color range.
    00:26:16,573I have everything separated out onto layers.
    00:26:20,411So why don't we start by color correcting this mountain.
    00:26:24,068There's a lot of ways to color correct
    00:26:25,954things in After Effects, there's going to be more
    00:26:28,246than one tutorial on this.
    00:26:29,156A really simple way to do it is
    00:26:31,935actually this is kind of an interesting color palette here.
    00:26:34,520Why don't we look for a different color palette.
    00:26:36,307Why don't we use the Tint effect
    00:26:41,021to color correct this mountain.
    00:26:43,768This is gonna be sort of video game looking.
    00:26:48,238I have an adjustment layer that is turned off right now
    00:26:51,635which posterizes and applies this mosaic effect
    00:26:54,544so it looks very pixel-y and like a video game.
    00:26:58,744I know that the colors can be pretty stylized here
    00:27:02,255so what I'm gonna do is use this tint effect.
    00:27:03,832I'm gonna look over here, I can use color
    00:27:08,627in a bunch of different ways.
    00:27:10,008This color, if I go back to the website,
    00:27:12,495it's a little bit more orange-y feeling than this.
    00:27:18,230This is a little pinker maybe.
    00:27:20,019So what I'm gonna do is I'm going
    00:27:22,264to pick whip both black & white to this.
    00:27:28,037Then I'm gonna go into black,
    00:27:31,853and I'm gonna darken it a little bit,
    00:27:35,445then I'm gonna go into white
    00:27:37,428and I'm gonna brighten it a little bit.
    00:27:39,508This just give me a sort of base tone for it.
    00:27:41,765Then I'm gonna use this amount to tint
    00:27:43,734and I'm just gonna kinda fade it back like this.
    00:27:47,877Until it looks good to me, OK,
    00:27:49,943until it's kind of the color I want.
    00:27:52,479I'm looking at this, this feels like
    00:27:56,087it's got more yellow in it than this does,
    00:27:58,899this has more red to it.
    00:28:00,687So what I could do is just adjust these tint colors
    00:28:05,856so I'll go to the Map White and I need add more red to it
    00:28:11,186so I need to go to the red channel and I'm gonna up that,
    00:28:15,037and then I'm gonna go to the black
    00:28:19,379and I'll add more red to that.
    00:28:22,110Now it's come back here and you can see that the color
    00:28:23,328is a little bit closer now, cool.
    00:28:25,995Now, let me solo this for a minute.
    00:28:28,010You can see that I've kinda got the color cast that I want
    00:28:33,472but there's barely any contrast to it.
    00:28:36,202So I'm gonna use the levels effect to get the contrast.
    00:28:40,640Using levels you can see how
    00:28:43,470everything sort of ends right here,
    00:28:46,491then on the black side, everything kind of ends right here.
    00:28:50,083That means that nothing in this scene is really black
    00:28:52,266and nothing in this scene is really white
    00:28:54,683so an easy way to make sure you have contrast
    00:28:57,186is to make sure you take these input arrows up here
    00:29:01,681and make sure that something in your scene is white
    00:29:04,897and something in your scene is black.
    00:29:08,296There you go, now I've got the color cast that I want
    00:29:10,669and I've got some contrast to it.
    00:29:14,229So now the mountain looks pretty,
    00:29:16,553it's super stylized and there's some other tricks
    00:29:20,161I could show you to make it look less stylized
    00:29:21,998but that's actually what I was going for here.
    00:29:25,860Now I want a nice sky color to go with this.
    00:29:29,605And I want some other colors
    00:29:31,035that I know will work with this.
    00:29:34,449What I can do is actually use a color picker
    00:29:38,919to pick this color, then I can stick that
    00:29:41,178right in the color inside of After Effects.
    00:29:44,071So let's go to the Create tab here.
    00:29:46,403Let's turn on Compound, OK.
    00:29:51,280First thing I need to do is set my base color
    00:29:53,805because the base color is the color
    00:29:55,094that it builds the palette off of.
    00:29:56,591I want it to be this color here.
    00:29:58,455So one quick way you can do it
    00:30:02,213is if you look up in this info box here
    00:30:04,550and move my mouse over a color,
    00:30:06,570it will tell me the RGB value of that color.
    00:30:09,496Very important to note if you're not
    00:30:11,638in eight-bit mode in After Effects,
    00:30:13,693if you hold CMD and you click on 8-bit
    00:30:16,486it goes to 16-bit and then it goes to 32-bit.
    00:30:20,875If you pick a color in one of these modes
    00:30:26,322the RGB values are different.
    00:30:28,468In 32-bit mode it goes from zero to one
    00:30:31,602and in 16-bit mode it goes all the way up to
    00:30:36,531I think, 32 thousand something, so those numbers
    00:30:41,442and if you look up in the info box,
    00:30:43,148it happens up there too, these numbers do not work
    00:30:46,527inside of Kuler, Kuler the tool works in eight-bit mode.
    00:30:51,891So what you've got to do is just
    00:30:54,189be in eight-bit mode when you do this.
    00:30:56,765So you can look at the RGB values or what I like to do
    00:31:00,769just to cheat is I'm just gonna use this color-picker here
    00:31:05,943on the character palette just because it's handy
    00:31:08,052and I'll pick sort of a mid-tone value of my mountain.
    00:31:13,287Then I'll click it, and down here is the hex value
    00:31:16,126for that color, so I'm just gonna select it
    00:31:18,127and hot Cmd+c and copy it.
    00:31:19,973Then I'll come here into my color palette
    00:31:24,405and I'm gonna double-click this hex value
    00:31:27,550and then hit delete and then paste in the hex value
    00:31:30,981which it's not letting me do for some reason
    00:31:33,123so I guess I am going to have to do it the other way.
    00:31:37,875Let's look at the RGB values for this, it's 146, 80, 50.
    00:31:43,346So I'll just type in 146, 80, 50
    00:31:47,560and now that is my base color
    00:31:49,439and now I've been given colors by the tool
    00:31:53,499that should work and there's no blue color.
    00:31:55,257So that's not really gonna be all that handy for me.
    00:31:58,340So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna switch this back over
    00:32:04,853let's switch this to triad, there we go.
    00:32:09,242Now I have to re-update this one more time to 146, 80, 50.
    00:32:17,636There we go, cool.
    00:32:20,596So now we have our brown, we actually have a green color
    00:32:23,208which, I don't think we really need it but we've got a
    00:32:26,413dark brown color and we've got these two blue colors.
    00:32:28,921So let's start by making a sky using these blue colors.
    00:32:32,822So what I did for the sky, I started with just a base solid.
    00:32:38,067Nothing special, so then I added another solid
    00:32:45,029and I sort of masked it around
    00:32:46,941the shape of the mountain and feathered it a little bit.
    00:32:49,958That can be the darker color.
    00:32:52,605Then I added this noise adjustment layer
    00:32:57,499which I believe also has a levels effect on it.
    00:32:59,536Let me turn that off.
    00:33:00,964I added some noise to it just because
    00:33:02,723when I turn on this mosaic effect if you don't
    00:33:07,895have that noise on there you get all this banding.
    00:33:10,473So by turning this noise on it makes it look
    00:33:12,214a little bit more dithered I think is the word.
    00:33:14,914So let's turn all that stuff off, let's go back to this.
    00:33:17,909Now, let me turn off the waterfall
    00:33:19,041and everything else off for a minute.
    00:33:20,591Now if I look at this, I go to 100%.
    00:33:28,809When I look at this, I mean the colors work together
    00:33:32,485it's sort of beautiful but that sky feels way too dark.
    00:33:38,128So now I can just tweak it right.
    00:33:39,904This gave me a really great start, now I can just tweak.
    00:33:43,352This noise adjustment layer I'm gonna add a Levels
    00:33:46,365back on top of it and I'm gonna push the Gamma
    00:33:50,649so it gets a little bit brighter.
    00:33:52,965I want to show you something, you notice
    00:33:54,654how red this is starting to look?
    00:33:57,544It's surprising, if you pick these colors
    00:34:01,202I mean this dark color is very very blue.
    00:34:04,233But this color here actually has
    00:34:07,211a decent red component to it and when you brighten up
    00:34:10,102the color you're going to see more and more of that red.
    00:34:14,493Sometimes if I'm brightening this and I'm like
    00:34:16,460that's starting to look a little red,
    00:34:18,305I might switch my Levels effect to the red channel
    00:34:22,242and pull some of that red back out.
    00:34:25,064When you're doing overall adjustments,
    00:34:27,850this middle arrow, which is called the gamma
    00:34:30,271this is what you want to play with.
    00:34:32,792And if I push it this way, it puts more red in.
    00:34:35,771If I push it this way it pulls some of that red out.
    00:34:38,229Keep that a little bit more blue.
    00:34:39,918That's without the levels effect
    00:34:43,454and that's with the levels effect.
    00:34:45,544It's kind of nice, it's got this nice warmth to it.
    00:34:48,415I'll keep going back and comparing to this.
    00:34:51,639You can see the sky here is actually a lot brighter.
    00:34:55,398So maybe I'll also go back to the normal RGB channels
    00:35:00,172and I'll push this white value a bit.
    00:35:04,090So I'm getting those brighter colors down there.
    00:35:08,409And I'm still seeing a lot of red in there
    00:35:10,064so I'm gonna pull even more out.
    00:35:13,320So I used these as my base color, but then I adjusted it.
    00:35:20,339Actually adjusted it quite a bit, but the actual overall
    00:35:23,299kind of, the vibe of that color is still there
    00:35:27,059and I got it from this plug-in.
    00:35:29,096Cool, so the same thing for the water.
    00:35:30,840I want the water, using just a little bit
    00:35:35,542of color theory here, like the two parts of it I know
    00:35:38,938if you have a composition right now for example,
    00:35:43,570if I look at this the color of
    00:35:45,660the water doesn't make a lot of sense.
    00:35:49,456This mountain is so red and it should be reflecting
    00:35:54,559in that water, that water should look a lot more red.
    00:35:58,495Also it just kinda feels like this mountain
    00:36:01,124it feels like it's not sitting on anything.
    00:36:04,137This water should be darker it should feel
    00:36:07,027a little bit more like it has the weight
    00:36:08,683and the mass to hold this mountain up
    00:36:10,372and it doesn't feel that way.
    00:36:12,636So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna base the water
    00:36:14,479off of this dark blue color, okay.
    00:36:16,363So why don't I do the same trick.
    00:36:17,704Why don't I take this Tint effect and just copy it
    00:36:20,297and paste it onto the water, and then let me map black
    00:36:26,011to that blue color and that white to that blue color.
    00:36:30,417And then I'm gonna do the same trick
    00:36:31,602I'm gonna grab the black and darken it a little bit
    00:36:35,084and I'm gonna grab the white and brighten it a little bit.
    00:36:40,431Then I'm gonna add my Levels effect.
    00:36:43,740Here's where my eye is starting to get fooled too.
    00:36:48,405This is also a great place to grab
    00:36:50,584your Black & White adjustment layer
    00:36:52,552paste it on there and take a look.
    00:36:55,251Because you know what I want, I want it to feel
    00:36:59,361like this water is much darker than this mountain
    00:37:04,790and when I look at it here, it feels like it is.
    00:37:08,417When I actually look through the adjustment layer
    00:37:10,615you can see there's not as much contrast
    00:37:12,318as you might think, so don't always trust your eye.
    00:37:15,765You eye lies, you just can't trust your eyes.
    00:37:21,408I didn't mean to do that.
    00:37:22,888Let me put the Levels effect on the Water layer
    00:37:26,250I'm just gonna push the Gamma and I like
    00:37:30,307how dark it's getting that's kinda nice.
    00:37:32,153But there's a couple problems.
    00:37:33,581One is it's far too saturated.
    00:37:36,002So we'll deal with that in a minute.
    00:37:37,865Also there's not enough red in it, because remember
    00:37:40,843it's reflecting this mountain,
    00:37:42,655there should be more red in it.
    00:37:43,926So I'm gonna push a little bit back in there.
    00:37:47,757Then I'm gonna add a Hue/Saturation effect
    00:37:52,108and just bring that saturation down a little bit.
    00:37:57,359Maybe like that, okay.
    00:37:59,565Let's look through our adjustment layer when we do this
    00:38:02,156and now you can see there's a little more contrast there.
    00:38:04,528It's feeling a little darker, it's looking a little better.
    00:38:07,157I may even want it to be a little bit darker.
    00:38:11,790So why don't I push Gamma a little further
    00:38:16,022maybe even crush the blacks a little bit.
    00:38:18,390This is called crushing the blacks
    00:38:19,661when you move the black input over.
    00:38:22,465Because it adds more true black to your scene.
    00:38:26,906And then I just need to make sure
    00:38:28,038that I didn't make this too too red.
    00:38:30,772You guys can see this yellow mask that I drew here
    00:38:33,522if you click this little button,
    00:38:35,004it'll hide your mask outlines which is kinda handy
    00:38:37,721when you're doing color correction.
    00:38:40,908I think I added a little too much red there.
    00:38:43,779Yeah, you just need a little bit like that.
    00:38:47,717So I'm kinda diggin' that.
    00:38:50,258Next we've got the waterfall.
    00:38:52,767Now, here's the interesting thing.
    00:38:54,472You'd think I could just make this
    00:38:57,111the same color as this water or the same color
    00:38:59,843as the sky and that you make sense right.
    00:39:01,639But the problem is that waterfall
    00:39:03,607is the most important thing in my scene.
    00:39:05,679It really is, that's what I want you to look at.
    00:39:07,821When I look at the value of the scene,
    00:39:12,401your eye doesn't really know where to go yet.
    00:39:14,909Because there's no focal point to it
    00:39:16,280so what I need to make sure I do
    00:39:18,388is I need to make sure that waterfall
    00:39:20,408has a lot of contrast to it.
    00:39:22,881So I'm gonna leave that adjustment layer on
    00:39:24,410I'm just gonna put Levels on and what I'm gonna do
    00:39:27,148I'm gonna put Levels on the Waterfall layer
    00:39:28,678and I'm gonna take the white input,
    00:39:30,369and I'm gonna really crank it.
    00:39:34,340I'm gonna take the Gamma, I'm gonna push that.
    00:39:38,676It's starting to get more contrast,
    00:39:39,913but now I think I may also have
    00:39:42,142to push the mountain back a little bit.
    00:39:44,352So maybe I need to go into the Levels for the mountain
    00:39:47,819and darken it just a little bit.
    00:39:50,780You can see how much easier it is to see what you're doing
    00:39:54,520when you're working in this Black & White mode.
    00:39:59,400As I warned you when you darkened the mountain
    00:40:01,838it gets a lot more saturated so I'm gonna also need
    00:40:04,747to put a Hue/Saturation effect on there.
    00:40:08,212Just dial that back down a little bit.
    00:40:11,747OK, so now let's look through there
    00:40:14,273and now we're starting to get more contrast
    00:40:15,979on that waterfall, but still not enough for my liking.
    00:40:19,619I'm afraid I'm gonna kill the color on it if I go too far.
    00:40:23,726Then I can push the mountain maybe a little bit further.
    00:40:30,242Maybe pull the whites down.
    00:40:31,929So now you can see that your eye
    00:40:34,457does sort of go right to that, that waterfall.
    00:40:37,570I could also darken the sky a little bit too
    00:40:39,489that would help so I'm gonna grab
    00:40:41,092the Levels effect that's on the sky.
    00:40:43,231I'm just gonna push it a little bit further.
    00:40:52,765So another thing that can help with contrast is color.
    00:40:57,723Obviously there's a lot of contrast
    00:40:59,325between the mountain and the water,
    00:41:01,763there's not a lot of contrast between
    00:41:03,261the water and the sky though.
    00:41:07,336Maybe what I'll do is I'll push a little bit of
    00:41:10,088this nice green color that's part of the triad
    00:41:13,586in this color palette, so maybe I can push
    00:41:16,181some of that into the waterfall.
    00:41:18,760Maybe what I'll do is grab my Tint effect.
    00:41:25,980And I'll just grab that green color
    00:41:30,010and I'm just gonna tint it just a little bit
    00:41:32,724I don't want to tint it too much.
    00:41:33,903I want to tint it before the Levels effect.
    00:41:37,847The reason you want to do that is because
    00:41:39,519you want the levels effect to be working
    00:41:41,957on the result of this.
    00:41:45,353You can see how muddy and green that looks.
    00:41:48,400Because I've got it up 200%.
    00:41:50,473What I want to do is maybe tint it
    00:41:53,137just a little bit, maybe 30% and brighten
    00:41:55,506that green color too.
    00:42:00,046It's just giving it a little bit of a cast.
    00:42:06,441Then, with the color on, why don't I take a look
    00:42:09,386at just increasing the contrast in there okay.
    00:42:14,209So that's a little bit better.
    00:42:17,309And just to show you guys too,
    00:42:18,632if I turn off the effects on the waterfall
    00:42:20,565that's what we started with, and here's where we are now.
    00:42:25,146Of course we did a little bit of work to the mountain too.
    00:42:27,512And the sky.
    00:42:29,604You can see how much more contrast you're getting.
    00:42:32,843It's so much easier to see in Black & White
    00:42:35,874and I know I keep repeating myself.
    00:42:37,944And I want to stress that, this adjustment layer
    00:42:40,224really can be very helpful.
    00:42:41,703The last thing we want to do is add the splashes
    00:42:45,412and the foam back on and the splashes are basically
    00:42:49,191a white animation over a black background
    00:42:52,883that have screen mode turned on.
    00:42:56,659That's fine, but sometimes what you want to do
    00:42:59,219is you want to maintain a little bit of a color cast to it.
    00:43:02,406So, instead of having it just be black & white
    00:43:07,163you can sue that same tint effect
    00:43:08,779and maybe tint that white not green, don't want green.
    00:43:14,145Maybe this blue color, and then go in
    00:43:17,191and adjust the brightness and the saturation
    00:43:19,698down a little bit, just so there's a little bit
    00:43:21,966of that blue color in there just to help it kinda fit
    00:43:27,260in the scene a little better.
    00:43:28,793Then the same thing with the foam right.
    00:43:31,057This is the foam, actually let me show you guys
    00:43:33,564what this is so you guys can kind of see it.
    00:43:36,542I've turned the animation off by the way
    00:43:38,876so that I could work faster.
    00:43:40,548So let me just quickly show you what
    00:43:42,881this looks like as it's animating right.
    00:43:44,362You can see that it looks like steam
    00:43:47,409or foam coming out of the water,
    00:43:49,220but there's no contrast to it.
    00:43:51,480So the first thing I did actually,
    00:43:53,987was put a Levels effect on there and crush those blacks.
    00:43:58,219Like, pretty good, almost lights up.
    00:44:00,901Now you get a lot more of that cycling
    00:44:04,280kind of feel to it.
    00:44:08,163Then, I can use that Tint effect,
    00:44:10,321so let me copy this Tint effect over from splashes
    00:44:14,380so you get a little bit of that.
    00:44:18,003That's a little bit too much there.
    00:44:20,301So I'm gonna just turn that tint down just a little bit.
    00:44:25,630And then I can use the Levels effect,
    00:44:27,738this is also a screened layer, so I've screened
    00:44:30,803that kind of animation over everything else.
    00:44:33,987So this bottom part of Levels,
    00:44:38,082I'm gonna do a whole detour on Levels.
    00:44:41,252This top row is input, this bottom row is output.
    00:44:43,166So if I tell it to output less white
    00:44:46,076it's actually gonna bring down the transparency of this.
    00:44:52,081Now, color correction wise everything
    00:44:54,940is working together overall, right.
    00:44:58,876My eye goes to this waterfall and one thing
    00:45:05,267and my friends who've worked with me
    00:45:06,758are gonna laugh at me right now.
    00:45:08,712Because this is something I do way too much.
    00:45:11,570If I want you to look here, I'm gonna make you look there.
    00:45:15,246And the way I'm gonna do that is
    00:45:16,482with my good friend Mister Vignette.
    00:45:18,868The way I like to do vignettes is just
    00:45:22,804make an adjustment layer, grab my ellipse mask tool,
    00:45:26,792And sort of draw a mask around
    00:45:29,909the part of the frame I want you to look at.
    00:45:32,312And I'll hit F and invert the mask,
    00:45:34,402and maybe Feather this like 200 pixels or something.
    00:45:37,223Then I'll put wither Levels, Levels works very well,
    00:45:40,132or Curves any color correction effect
    00:45:43,301where I can darken the scene a little bit.
    00:45:47,411Bring down the white level, cool.
    00:45:51,295I mean it subtle, I mean it's actually not subtle
    00:45:55,226when I do it, but it should be subtle.
    00:45:58,413I can adjust the Opacity just a little bit.
    00:46:00,955If I look at the adjustment layer it's just
    00:46:04,142a subtle little darkening of the edges
    00:46:07,065that subconsciously makes you want to look there.
    00:46:11,143I put vignettes on just about everything.
    00:46:16,123Then the last thing I want to do
    00:46:17,290is just overall color correct this.
    00:46:20,129Because it's just way too saturated,
    00:46:22,585if that's what you want cool, but it's not what I want.
    00:46:26,190So now I'll just put one more adjustment layer
    00:46:28,993way over the top of this whole thing.
    00:46:31,292I'm gonna start by just knocking down
    00:46:32,995the saturation overall, it's pretty brutal.
    00:46:38,317That's a little bit better.
    00:46:41,624I'm gonna grab a Curves effect.
    00:46:46,194And Curves, the way that I generally use curves
    00:46:50,132is really simple, it's just like increase the contrast
    00:46:54,068by pushing the whites up.
    00:46:56,245If you don't really understand how curves work
    00:46:57,792I will explain that in another video,
    00:46:59,989but it's actually one of the
    00:47:01,330most versatile tools in After Effects.
    00:47:03,541But you do have to practice using them a little bit.
    00:47:06,554This is the new version of Curves by the way
    00:47:09,389that is in After Effects CC2014 which works a lot better.
    00:47:12,597As I darkened the blacks down here,
    00:47:16,324that's what this little part of the curve did
    00:47:18,344increased the saturation back.
    00:47:20,243So now lemme push this back a little bit.
    00:47:25,578Then if there's any overall color correction
    00:47:27,905I wanna do now that I have that on there
    00:47:29,679I would think the water's getting super dark
    00:47:32,935so let me just bring a little bit
    00:47:35,359of that brightness back to the water.
    00:47:40,218Let me add to my color correction adjustment layer here
    00:47:43,995let me just add another effect I use all the time
    00:47:47,393which is Color Balance.
    00:47:50,423With this you can make overall decisions
    00:47:52,844about the color cast.
    00:47:54,376So if I look at this color down here
    00:47:56,884if I hold my mouse over it and it looked right here
    00:47:59,844I can see that this is almost a monochromatic black pixel
    00:48:05,051there is more blue to it than red and green.
    00:48:08,291Blue is 21, green and red are 13.
    00:48:12,261If I hold my pixel here, there's more red to it.
    00:48:14,125There is kind of a cast to the mountain and the water.
    00:48:18,287But if I wanna apply it to the whole scene
    00:48:20,324I can add blues across the board to the shadows for example.
    00:48:24,783So look at the water, right it's very noticeable
    00:48:27,514in the water, so that's too much.
    00:48:30,756So I'm just going to add a little bit of blue to it.
    00:48:33,644And then in the midtones right,
    00:48:35,841where most of the mountain is.
    00:48:38,593Most of the waterfall.
    00:48:40,491Maybe there, just to get a little more contrast
    00:48:43,225I want to subtract some blue, okay.
    00:48:47,438So I just did a minus 20 on a midtone blue balance.
    00:48:51,355Then in the highlights, that's just the brightest parts
    00:48:53,550of your image, maybe I want to add some blue
    00:48:55,693back in there too, not too much, just 10.
    00:49:01,509So this is without color balance, this is with.
    00:49:05,371It's super subtle, I'm really just seeing it in the water.
    00:49:10,462If we turn our color correction layer off and then on
    00:49:13,039you can see that it's just that last little piece
    00:49:17,271of special sauce that really gives
    00:49:19,622it the look that we're going after.
    00:49:21,381If I turn the mosaic effect off
    00:49:23,520you could see this is what it looks like
    00:49:25,247until I turn on my magic pixel effect here.
    00:49:33,519There you go, and so if you want
    00:49:35,365to double check it again move your adjustment layer
    00:49:37,316your Black & White value checker is at the top
    00:49:42,506and it helps you check your values.
    00:49:43,722There you go so take a look at this.
    00:49:48,044I'll do this real quick, I'm gonna duplicate this.
    00:49:52,659I'm gonna call this scene color corrected
    00:49:55,288and I'm gonna duplicate it.
    00:49:58,422On the duplicate I'm gonna turn off the color correction,
    00:50:03,731the vignette, I'm gonna turn off all the effects
    00:50:08,158that we've put on all these things
    00:50:10,300because I just wanna show you one more time
    00:50:13,260exactly how much work we did
    00:50:16,778just with the color and hopefully
    00:50:20,488you guys also saw a few of my little cheat methods
    00:50:26,024to get this to work right.
    00:50:30,658OK cool, so this is where we started, hard to believe.
    00:50:34,803That's where we started, this is where we end up.
    00:50:38,109It's the exact same scene, just color corrected okay.
    00:50:43,116And this takes some practice, like anything.
    00:50:47,395But you can also help yourself.
    00:50:49,641If you didn't go to design school
    00:50:52,164and you're not good at picking colors,
    00:50:54,361use whatever tools you have.
    00:50:56,712Don't be ashamed to use these things
    00:50:58,262and give yourself a starting point.
    00:51:00,317You're gonna have to know a little bit about color
    00:51:03,798to be able to make your composition work
    00:51:06,865and draw the eye to where it needs to go.
    00:51:08,867Hopefully I gave you some tools to do that now.
    00:51:12,768Thank you guys so much for hanging out
    00:51:14,998and I'll see you next time.
    00:51:16,913Thank you so much for hangin' around.
    00:51:18,672I hope you learned a bunch of tips and tricks
    00:51:20,359to make picking colors on your next project easier.
    00:51:22,817Now we can only cover so much ground
    00:51:24,784in just one short lesson, so if you
    00:51:26,595really want a deep dive into the design world
    00:51:29,048make sure you check out our design bootcamp course.
    00:51:31,297If you have any questions or thoughts about this lesson
    00:51:33,551definitely let us know, and we'd love to hear from you
    00:51:36,295if you used this technique on a project.
    00:51:38,507Give us a shout on Twitter @schoolofmotion
    00:51:40,231and show us your work.
    00:51:42,841Thanks again, I'll see you on the next one.