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FCPX tutorial: How to fix your footage with colour correction

Follow our guide to learn how to master the colour correction techniques big name studios use to turn their raw footage into blockbuster-worthy films in minutes.

FCPX - Colour Correction - Featured

FCPX - Colour Correction - Featured
FCPX - Colour Correction - Sidebar
With film-editing software becoming so financially and commercially available to film-makers from all walks of life and experience, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out from the crowd.
It’s not always about a strong story line and script – shots and image quality also make up a big part of a film’s success or breakthrough potential. The good news is that regardless of the calibre of equipment that you own, it’s entirely possible to transform your video images into something professional and slick. All you need is a little bit of time, some video clips and some hand power.

Final Cut Pro X has some pretty nifty tools to help even the most amateur of film-makers get the most out of their projects and transform them into something simply amazing. Using just a few clicks and a little bit of elbow grease (okay, finger grease), your Final Cut Pro project won’t look out of place on the Oscars shortlist. Even the heavyweight film producers are using Final Cut. Regardless of whether you consider yourself to be a new-age David Bailey or you’ve never done any image editing (besides clicking Auto-Enhance in iPhoto) – don’t panic. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to use Command+Z when things don’t go quite to plan! If you’re ready to do some serious transforming, pull up a chair, stick the kettle on and launch the Final Cut Pro X app – let’s get ready to make things more colourful than ever before and help your project stand out from the crowd.


FCPX-Colour-Correction-Step-by-Step FCPX-Colour-Correction-Step-1

Step 1: Get started

Locate an existing project from the Project Library on the left. If you can’t see this, choose Window>Show Project Library. Double-click on the project to open.


Step 2: Choose your clip

Navigate to the Timeline at the bottom of the interface and click on a clip to colour correct. The chosen video clip will have a yellow box around the outside.


Step 3: Show Inspector

To see colour correction options, you need to open the Inspector. Click on the ‘i’ icon to do this. It’s always good practice to leave the Inspector open.


Step 4: A quick fix

If you’re in a hurry and want a quick correction solution, scroll down to the Color section in the Inspector and click Balance. This quickly enhances colour.


Step 5: Colour balance at import

For more accurate colour balance, you can choose to have your clips analysed when you import them. Choose the ‘Analyze for balance color’ option.



Step 6: Remove Colour Balance

Final Cut offers great options for more advanced colour correction. Navigate to the Color section in the Inspector and click Color Balance to turn it off.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

FCPX - Colour Correction - Annotated