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Colorista 3-Way lets you change the color of the shadows, midtones and highlights for your clip. The wheels are arranged in a triangle, with Shadow on the left, Midtone on the right and Highlight in the middle position.
The BulletProof pipeline. Colorista 3-Way is a good step to getting balance, saturation and exposure correct for your footage.
Already know Red Giant? If you’re familiar with our Red Giant Colorista II and Magic Bullet Looks 2 products, then you will recognize these 3-Way wheels. They function the same in BulletProof as they do in Colorista and Looks.
The 3-Way wheels correspond to the color grading concepts of Lift, Gamma and Gain. In our wheels, Lift = Shadow, Gamma = Midtones, Gain = Highlights.
Shadow sets the black level in the footage. You add density or darkness when you move the Shadow color. You can raise or lower the Shadow levels with its Luminance control. You can offset the color balance in the Shadow regions with the Hue Point. Moving toward any of the colored regions pushes the color balance toward that color, moving from unsaturated at the center to completely saturated color at the edge.
Midtone changes the mid-tones in the footage, shifting the middle tones to be darker or brighter. For instance, to make your image more warm, just move the Midtone dot toward the yellow/red area of the wheel — the more you move to the outside of the wheel, the more 'warm' the image becomes.
Highlight lets you set the white level in the footage. The Highlight wheel will brighten and tint the entire image but it mostly affects the highlights.
R, G, B numeric entry
Each of the nine colors corresponds to a color dot in the wheels. Numbers can be scrubbed to reach a value. You can also type in a numeric value. Double-click a number to reset its value to 0.
This slider works like an Amount control. Less Strength lowers the effect of the color adjustment.
This slider affects the bright colorfulness of the color adjustment. Less Saturation makes the colors less bright.
We recommend the following order of operation for adjustment.
Workflow Note. The 3-Way wheel controls may sometimes react slowly, but for a very good reason. Unlike many color tools, Colorista II gives you a real-time preview every time you make a change. Every time you scrub a number or move a color dot, you get a real-time update of its effects in the Viewer. All the pixels for that operation are recalculated and all the operations above it are recalculated as well for a very accurate update.
Anatomy of the color wheel
Now let's look at the specifics of how to use these powerful 3-Way tools.
Each color wheel is divided into Hue, Saturation and Luminance controls. The wheel has four parts: Hue Point, Hue Shift, Saturation Shift and Saturation Shift. Value range of each is 0-100%; default value is 0%.
A two-dimensional control that adjusts Hue and Saturation together. It is a dot inside the wheel that moves along the Hue axis and Saturation axis.
A one-dimensional control that adjusts Hue only. It is a chip on the outskirts of the wheel that moves along the Hue axis.
For instance, let's say you are working on skin tones and you know the Saturation level is correct but the Hue is wrong. You can change the Hue only, perhaps make it more yellow than orange, without touching the Saturation.
A one-dimensional control that adjusts Saturation only. It is a color gradient with a white chip along the left side of the wheel.
A one-dimensional control that adjusts the Luminance. It is a grayscale gradient with a black chip along the right side of the wheel.
Our Midtone, or gamma, control works in a unique way. The Midtone calculation protects changes in the Shadows and Highlights. In many other correction tools, when you shift the midtones, you also inadvertently lift the shadows and clip the highlights at extreme values.
In our Midtone calculation, there is a little toe at each end of the gamma curve that prevents it from touching changes to the absolute white and absolute black points. The gamma does a mathematically smooth curve, so the gamma change gives you a smooth result in the shadows and highlights, and protects them from data loss and radical adjustment.
At left, a regular gamma is typically clipped at its white and black points. At right, our Midtone calculation blends at either side of the gamma.