Color correction can be a real drag, especially if a good portion of your shots are improperly exposed or color balanced poorly. Trying to correct them by eye, while not entirely impossible, is not only an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process, but it's easily the most impractical way to go about the task of color correction. On the other hand, through learning to quickly decipher the luminance and chrominance information in your shots with a quick glance at your scopes, you can take your color correction skills to the next level. Here's an in-depth video from Larry Jordan in which he discusses what scopes are and how to read them:
Jordan breaks this webinar excerpt down into an analysis of the three main scopes that are used to perform color correction: the waveform, vectroscope, and RGB parade. Here's a quick breakdown of the three major scopes and what they do:
- Waveform: Displays luminance or gray-scale values on a vertical scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is pure black and 100 is pure white. 50 is middle gray.
- Vectroscope: Displays the chrominance or color values of the image in a circular "color wheel" fashion, where the angle within the circle represents the hue and the distance from the center represents saturation.
- RGB Parade: Displays the balance between red, green, and blue values on an identical "waveform" 0-100 scale.
Reading these various scopes is like anything else; it takes practice and persistence. When I first discovered how useful scopes could be, I spent hours playing around with various footage of mine, applying and adjusting basic color correction effects like the "Three Way Color Corrector" and the "Luma Corrector" and making note of how these changes affected what I was seeing in the scopes. Little experiments like this can help you familiarize yourself with the functionality of scopes in no time at all.
What do you guys think? Do you rely on video-scopes for your color correction work? Do you have any tips for first time users? Let us know in the comments!