January 17, 2014

Premiere Pro Tutorial: Taking Creative Control of Your Black & White

Premiere Black and WhiteBlack and white seems to be going through a resurgence of sorts. In the past year, a plethora of well-received black and white features have hit theaters, from Frances Ha to Nebraska, the cinematography of which we've talked about extensively. While there are multitudes of methods for capturing black and white images in camera, more often than not, modern films are shot in color and then converted to black and white in post processing. Unfortunately, many younger filmmakers think that the only way to accomplish this is through complete desaturation and maybe a boost in contrast. However, the infinite possibilities of our modern color tools open up a world of possibilities when it comes to black and white. Stick with us, and learn how to take creative control of your black and white inside of Premiere Pro.

This tutorial comes courtesy of CreativeCOW. Even though it's for an older version of Premiere, the tools and concepts are the same for all newer versions. Here's the tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6IygAZN46Y

When it comes to creatively manipulating your black and white images, one of the best things that you can do is to learn how to manipulate the individual color channels. Just like the cinematographers of yesteryear would apply color filters to their black and white images, you can do the same through your NLE, but in a much more versatile and exciting way.

In this video, Andrew Devis uses the "Calculations" effect, which is one of those effects that would probably never get used if it weren't for fantastic tutorials such as this one. "Calculations" essentially allows you to isolate the gray-scale values of individual channels, which gives you several unique flavors of black and white with a single click. However, the effect also allows you to isolate another channel, blend the two together with various blend modes, and control the opacity of the second channel, which creates an absolutely mind-blowing array of possibilities when it comes to black and white manipulation. And that's only with one instance of the effect.

What do you guys think? Have you used channel effects like "Calculations" to manipulate your black and white images? What other techniques and effects have you used to create stunning black and white? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: Creative COW channel -- YouTube

Your Comment

15 Comments

Very nice. Can this be done in Resolve?

January 17, 2014 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yes. Resolve 10 has the ability to separate the channels within each node. Right click the node (if my memory serves me correctly). There's a tutorial on achieving the technicolour look somewhere if you google it. In this tutorial they show you how to split the colour channels. This will give the the info you require for just B&W as well.

January 17, 2014 at 11:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Wolfie

Yep! Three strip colour look:

http://www.mynahmedia.com/2013/01/3-strip-technicolor-look-in-davinci-re...

There are similar ways to split the RGB or CMY channels in Nuke and After Effects too, great for grading or a cheeky bit of chromatic aberration.

January 17, 2014 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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WillS

I use the 3 strip as the basis for a lot of grades, daylight balanced skin tones just glow

January 17, 2014 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Zack

Will definitely check this out. Thanks!

January 18, 2014 at 11:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Great! I was looking for something like this.

January 17, 2014 at 10:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

That was brilliant. Thanks for posting it.

January 17, 2014 at 10:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Shawn

Awesome, is there a similar process in FCP7 I wonder? Or could you possibly achieve the same results using multiple clips at different opacities somehow? I love black and white!

January 17, 2014 at 11:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mark

Film Convert B&W in resolve is pretty much all you need IMO. It's scary accurate to film.

January 17, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

Bloody lovely!

January 17, 2014 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Harry Kemball

I wonder if there is a way to do this in Speedgrade. I know that someone had mentioned Resolve, but I have a bad feeling that nothing like this exists in the Speedgrade program....yet, at least.

January 17, 2014 at 11:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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David Andrade

Fucking lovely. At the same time laughing at dude saying film convert is all u need

January 18, 2014 at 1:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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thadon calico

Film Convert and Da Vinci Resolve.

January 18, 2014 at 3:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

Clever!
And faster than replacing with a AE composition.

January 24, 2014 at 6:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Morten

Hi Natalie,The concepts of tageetrd touch delegate and spritesheet are independant of each other. So it's up to you to decide if you want to use one sprite sheet or several sprite sheets. Your animations are wonderful!

March 18, 2014 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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