How to Brighten Video in FCP

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How to Import & Arrange Scenes in Final Cut Pro....5

One of the many things that you can do in Final Cut Pro is make the image of a film appear brighter. Learn how to brighten video in Final Cut Pro with help from a professional filmmaker in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Film Editing
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Tom Mitchell and we're going to be looking at the question how to brighten video in Final Cut Pro. It's important to remember that not all video can be corrected. There are limits after which the image deteriorates so badly that reshooting or replacing the scene is the best answer. Let's take a look. For the vast majority of cases, Final Cut Pro has an excellent tool for this purpose. Here is an example of a usable shot in need of a little bit of help. First, double click the clip to load it into viewer. Now, very importantly, do not apply the brilliance contrast filter. It sounds so right and it usually isn't. I have the brilliance filter loaded to illustrate why it's wrong. As you can see, it raises all three levels equally and at the same time, note how quickly we get a white haze on our blacks. It is unlikely that this shot as we see it here will match anything else that was correctly exposed. What we want is the color corrector's three way filter. From the Apple menu choose effects, video filters, color correction, color corrector's three way. I always start with some simple corrections on auto, contrast, white point and black point just to set the stage. Then we'll slightly increase the mid level slider until we get close. Try adjusting the highlights to see what if any impact that has and do the same with the blacks. As a rule I don't like to increase the middle brilliance anymore than 20% because excessive brilliance adjustments can cause excessive grain. To accurately check your levels press on the numeric button then touch the disclosure triangle and we have all the numbers right there. Well I like the levels, they are within my limits, I think we're done. So that's how to brighten video in Final Cut Pro. There's a lot more that can be done with the color corrector's three way filter. Color matching, pleasantville effect and much more but that's another story. I'm Tom Mitchell. Thanks for watching.

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