Cinematic Color Grading (Movie Looke Effect) – Photoshop Tutorial

Cinematic Color Grading (Movie Looke Effect) – Photoshop Tutorial

Cinematic Color Grading (Movie Look Effect)- Photoshop Tutorial Hey guys.

Welcome back to another very excitingtutorial here at photoshoptrainingchannel.


My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can findme on Twitter @JRfromPTC.

In today's tutorial, we're going to be talking about creating thecinematic effect using color grading techniques in Photoshop.

Usually, the term color gradingis reserved for film but these days, a lot of people are using that term for photographsas well.

You might have also heard it referred to as creative color correction and that'swhat we're going to be doing today.

We're going to take this image and create a lookof a summer blockbuster.

But before we get started, we're going totalk about the differences between color correction and color grading because they're very importantto this process.

And to explain it a little bit, we're going to click over just for aminute on to this file that I created and as you can see, this is the color wheel.

We'regoing to talk about it in a moment.

But before we do, I want to show you some still images,so you can see the effect that we're going for.

This is the still of the Terminator Genisysand as you can see, this is the movie look that you might be familiar with.

And justto point out, the color scheme that a lot of these films have is Teal tint in the shadowsand an Orange color in the highlights mostly in the skin tones.

It is because they're complimentarycolors.

And as you know, when complimentary colors are put side by side, they pop andthey standout.

In this case, they make the afterstandout.

That's one of the reasons whythat particular color scheme is used for movies.

the story that you're trying to convey byadding this color grade.

This another image dark areas and the lights especially the lights[00:02:05] especially the skins do not have that Blue tone.

Here's another still framewith The Matrix and this is a little more exaggerated.

The skin stones actually do havesome of that Green tint but as you can see in the shadows, the Green is really noticeable.

And this still is from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and as you can see, it's the samecolor screen.

Teal in the dark and Orange in the light.

This is the reason why we have the color wheelearlier.

The Yellows, Oranges, Reds, and Magentas are usually where you find the skin colorsand the opposite of that are the Greens, Teals, Cyans, and Blues.

If you don't have a colorwheel, I'm going to show you a little trick.

You can go into color.


Com and you getthis color wheel here.

You can click in complimentary and if you find a color that is similar toa skin tone and I'm just going to find one here really really quick, I may not be tooexact on this but I mean what this said that this color here is the color of the skin.

You'll notice that the opposite color is the Cyan color.

And no matter what maybe whenthat think of your skin tone then we have Green.

And if we move over in, you know, thiscolor would be a skin tone, so as you can see the cool colors are all in the oppositeend of the color wheel when it comes to skin tones and they're complimentary, which iswhy color is used this color scheme for the movies.

So, we're going to try to do in Photoshopis replicate that effect.

Now, how does this related to color correction? If you're goingto apply the color grade to an image, it is a good idea to have an image that has neutralgrace.

That means there's no colorcast on the image that you're going to working with.

Now, this is a color correction tutorial.

I have a tutorial on color correction.

If you go to my website, photoshoptrainingchannel.

Comand you go into a photoshoptrainingchannel.

Com/curvescolorcorrection or you can just search for color correctionand color matching with curves and type in the search bar, you'll get this tutorial whereI talk about color correction and color matching for about 30 minutes.

But just in case thatyou don't know how to do color correction, we're just going to do a really quick colorcorrection on this image.

And if we're going to color grade this image, we will first needto remove the Green colorcast and one of the easiest ways of removing the Green colorcastis with the Curve Adjustment Layers, so I just created our Curves Adjustment Layer ontop of that and if I click on this icon here on this Eye Dropper, I can set the dark pointon my image.

If I click on this handle here and hold Alt, Option on the Mac and drag,you see how the image just gets its weird color, so you see Cyans, and Greens, and Yellowsbut I keep dragging to the right, at some point, you'll see where the image starts showingBlack, and those should be the dark points of my image and that's where I want to click,so some along on the left wheel, so I'm just going to click on that and that's it the Blackpoint and notice right away, how much better my image looks, and I'm going to do the samething for the White points.

So, I'm going to click under White Point Eye Dropper, holdAlt, Option on the Mac, click and drag on this.

I'm going to click and drag this tothe left and wherever I see my image turns White, that's where my lightest point is goingto be and I gotta be careful not a specular highlight.

I want it to be a White that doeshave some detail and in this case, it's probably around here, so I'm just going to click therefor now.

And now, I'm going to click on wherever I think my create point should be.

Anythingon my image that I think should be neutral gray, so it could even be this White here,so I'm just going to click on there and this should probably pretty neutral.

And one way to tell if your image has a colorcastor not is by grabbing the Eye Dropper tool, click on the Info panel and go in over anarea that should be a neutral gray.

So in this case, if you see here, right over here,there's going to be two numbers.

The numbers in the left represent the numbers before theAdjustment Layer and the numbers on the right are going to be the numbers that representthe image with the Adjustment Layer applied to it.

So if we hover over the White, you'llsee that it's Red of 164, Green of 162, and Blue of 163 and that is pretty neutral andI could tell that there is no colorcast on the image.

Now, there is a slight colorcasthere on the shadows and we can fix that by going into the Curves if you want it to butthat's not the point of this tutorial.

So for the most part, this is a good image towork with.

It's a lot better than what we started with.

Now one thing before we get going, one waythat you can tell if an image has a colorcast is what I just showed you and just to emphasizethat point, I'm just going to show you how that works.

If we have a neutral image, noticethe RGB numbers here and I'm just going to rid of this Adjustment Layer, so we see oneset of numbers when we hover over the gradient here.

Notice that Reds, Greens, and Blueshave exactly the same numbers in this area here.

That means that there is no colorcast.

Now, I'm going to hover over this image here.

Notice that in this case, the number whereI hover on this gradient on the left side, the Red is always higher.

That means thatthere is a Red colorcast on this gradient and with this gradient on the right side,we have something similar but in this case, the Blue is highest, so therefore there isa Blue color tone to the image or it could be Green or a combination of two colors.

Butif you want it to be a neutral gray, the numbers are going to be identical or as close to identicalas possible.

Sometimes that's not possible depending on your image.

But anyway, now we're going to get into thecolor grading of our image.

And just to remind you, what we're going to do is we're goingto have the Teal in the darks and the Oranges in the light areas especially in the skintone source that gets pops out out of the image and it creates the cinematic effectthat we're used in seeing in a lot of movies.

And you know what, one thing before I getstarted that I didn't want to bring up is, if you are going to be working with video,then I wouldn't use Photoshop for that.

I know Photoshop can handle video and if youapply adjustment layer onto a video, you can render that out.

But if you're going to bedoing color grading, Adobe actually has a tool called SpeedGrade CC which is availableto you if you're a member of the CreativeCloud.

So, if you're a member of the CreativeCloud,Adobe has a program that is designed just for color grading a video.

So, you might wantto take a look at that if that's something that you're interested in.

But anyway, so how do we color grade an imagein Photoshop? As I mentioned before, one of the things I recommend you do is to colorcorrect your image.

As you can see, there's a lot of neutral grades on this image.

IfI hover, for example, on this pillar, you'll see that the Red, Green, and Blues are actuallyvery very close or 89, 88, and 88.

If I hover over in his suit, maybe in this area, 63,60, and 66, so still pretty close and that's close as there in this color but overall,this image does not have a colorcast, so that's where I'm going to start with.

What I'm goingto do first is create a Curves Adjustment Layer.

I'm also going to delete the layermask just to keep things more clean and you can see what's going on.

I want to renamethis curve Color because this is going to affect the color and I'm going to create onemore curve and this one is going to affect the Luminosity, the luminance values of theimage.

I'm also going to delete Layer Mask and I'm just going to rename this Luminosity.

So now, I have two Curves, Color and Luminosity.

And we're going to start with Luminosity atthe bottom, so the Color Curve Adjustment Layer is top and Luminosity at the bottom.

I'm going to click on this little Eye icon to disable it.

Eventhough, I haven't madeany changes, I just want to disable it, so we know that we're working only with the Luminosity.

Now, why that I name this Luminosity? It is to remind us of what this layer is going tocontrol and this going to control how dark or how light the pixels in our image are.

So you'll notice that if I create, for example, an S-curve, it darkens the image.

I'm actuallygoing to make this an extreme case, so you can see what happens.

So, image is darkerand lighter and the lighter ear is creating higher contrast.

If I zoom in into the imageand I'm zooming in by holding Alt and using the mouse wheel, does Option and mouse wheelon the Mac.

Now, one downside of doing the curves in a normal blend mode is that it alsoaffects the colors of the image.

But if I only want it to affect the lightness values,I can choose some blend too in Luminosity and notice what happens.

The image is stilldark but the colors are not affected.

It just makes some darker without increasing the saturationof the image, so that's what we're going to do.

The Curves Layer that controls the Luminosity,we're going to change the blend mode to Luminosity and I'm going to disable this for now.

Andfor the Color, you've probably guessed that already.

We start changing the different Alphachannels and increase the Red.

We don't want the Luminance Values to be affected, so we'regoing to change that into color and you'll notice what happened there, they're normal.

You see how the image was lightened because I dragged this up.

It lightens the colorsbut I don't want the colors to be lighter.

I just want to add the color, so change thatto color and the Luminance Values stay but the colors go up which is what I want.

So,I'm just going to click and drag on that point and drag it out, just so I have a straightline again and then I want to bring it back here just for now.

So, I want to disable thelayer just by clicking on the Eye icon and I want to enable the Luminosity Layer andthat's what we're going to be working with.

And I'm going to click and drag this out andthat's where we going to start with a clean Luminosity Adjustment Layer.

So, the first thing I'm going to do is I'mgoing to, first of all, zoom out and we're going to look out at our image and what Iwant to do is I want to increase the contrast and make the background much much darker likeso.

And by the way, I don't want you try to duplicate exactly what I'm doing in termsof the inputs and outputs and try to get the exact curves and numbers because for yourimage, it maybe different and in fact, it will be.

All images are different.

So, justlook at generally at what I do and try to tweak it, so it matches your image.

For example,on this image here, most of the data is on the dark pixels as you can see and this iswhat the graph is showing us.

You may have an image where the data is in the lighterpixels or in the mid-tones all across spectrums.

So if you duplicate exactly what I do to thecurve, it may affect your image differently, so keep that in mind.

By the way, you candownload this file, and follow along with this file once, and then apply to your ownprojects but, you know, this file is available for you to download and play it with and thisis a composition that I created using several stock photos but anyway.

So, I'm going toclick and drag down on this curve and this is going to make the darker pixels even darker.

If I want to lighten up the lighter pixels, I can just click and drag this up and I'lldo this for now just because I think this may work but, you know, we can always changeour mind and come back if we want to.

So now, I created contrast in that image like so.

I think the Luminosity is okay for now.

So I'm going to click on Color, enable that layerand now we're going to be playing with color.

So if you remember, in the examples that Ishowed you, the darks had Blue-Teal effect to it and the skin colors were not affectedat all, in fact, they stand out.

So, we're going to try to create something similar here.

So, how do we create a Teal color in the background while leaving the colors in the face intact?Well, we're going to use the RGB channels for that.

We're going to start with the Redchannel.

If I click and drag this to the right, it takes away Red.

What that means is thatit adds Cyan.

And if I click and drag to the left, it adds Red.

If I click on this pointand drag it up, it adds Red.

If I click on this point and drag it down, it adds Cyan.

So, how do you know what happens when you click and drag these points.

The oppositeof Red is Cyan, the opposite of Green is Magenta, and the opposite of Blue is Yellow but howdo you know that I going to remember that one tip I can give you is clicking on theInfo pallet, which is this pallet here.

You can go into Window > Info that is not enabledand you'll see here your RGB.

Red opposite is Cyan.

Green opposite is Magenta, Blue oppositeis Yellow.

That's one where you can remember.

So, we're going to start with the Red channeland we're going to add some Cyan to the dark areas.

I'm going to click and drag and placethis point here in the middle because I don't want to add any color to the lights.

ActuallyI do, I want to make them redder.

I just want to click and drag this point on the topover to the left and now you see how the shadows got a Cyan looks of them and the lights gota Red looks to them as well.

I'm going to click on the Green and I want to drag up justto add a little bit of Green and maybe drag this over to the left just right a littleMagenta on the lights.

I just want to click on this curve and bring that back to the middle,so the middle stays the same.

The darker pixels get Green and the lighter pixels get Magenta.

Now, I'm going to go into the Blue Channel.

Click in the middle again and I want to adda little bit of Blue to that and I'm going to add a little bit of Yellow to the lightcolors like so.

Before and after just so you can see what we've done there.

And from this point on, we can start playingaround with different parts of the image.

For example, if I think there is too muchRed, for example, on this face here, I can click on this icon.

Come to the part of hisface where I think there's so much Red.

You'll notice a circle up here right around thisarea as I drag along his face that I can click and it's going to create a point, then I canuse the Arrow Keys in the keyboard if I want to to bring that down, so it just takes alittle bit of that Red away.

If I want to go back into the Green channel and add moreGreen, I can click on that point and just use the Arrow Keys to adjust that.

Actually,it has enough Green.

Maybe it needs less Green.

I'm trying to get that Teal color and I thinkthis is working fine.

So as you can see, we're almost there.

This is obviously more Bluethan what we've got going here but I wanted to go for more of the Teal look and the Orangelook.

Like I said before, there's no right or wrong.

It all depends on the story thatyou're trying to convey and the look that you're going for, so you don't have to getit exact.

You can change it or you can do whatever you like.


So what I'm going to do now, is unleash the Channel Mixer just to create a more interestinglook and the name of this Adjustment Layer is actually very descriptive.

It mixes thechannels.

So before I get started, let me just get rid of this layer mask just so wecan keep things clutter-free and things won't distract you.

So with this Adjustment Layer,you have different Presets.

For example, if I click on Black and White Infrared, you seewhat happens here.

There's negative 70% on the Red Channel, 200% of the Green channel,and negative 30% on the Blue channel.

The Blue filter, no Red, no Green, a 100% Blueand the total is down here at the bottom.

You can have higher than 100% if you wantit too but usually we try to stay around 100%.

And there's different ones and what I'm goingto do is I want to look for one of these presets that sort of gives you the best contrast ofmy image and I think I want to go with Black and White with Orange and what I'm going todo now is I'm going to bring the Opacity down all the way to 0% and then just bring it upto maybe something like that.

And once I'm here, I can go back and change my presetsand maybe another one will work better.

Actually, I kind of like the one with a Red fill becausehis face stands out more, so maybe that's what I will use and maybe I will bring theOpacity because a little too strong but you can use the Channel Mixer to desaturate yourimage and give it more contrast as well.

And once you've gotten to this point, youcan also make other changes.

You can may be subtract colors from this channel.

Maybe he'sgot too much Red and you want to add some Green or subtract some Blue.

It all dependson what you want to do but I'm just going to stick with what I have before.

And youknow what, I'm looking at it, still a color to dark and maybe lined it more.

I think thatworks.

Notice how Red the face is and it's a little too dark and if I have this ChannelMixer, it takes away that Red and it lightens it, so that's what I want to do.

I want toput all these Adjustment Layers into one group, so I want to Shift click on the top one whileholding Shift, I'm going to click on the bottom one.

Ctrl J, Command J to turn that into agroup and I'm just going to name this Grade because we applied a color grade to it andyou can see the before and the after.

Now this was done using two Curves AdjustmentLayers and if you find Curves Adjustment Layers hard to use, I recommend that you spend thetime learning them because they're really really powerful.

And it's pretty much theonly adjustment layer for color correction that you'll need if you learn how to use them.

Now if you're beginner and you're just starting and these sound very confusing, there is anotherway you can do this.

It's a little more visual but I don't think the results are as good,so let me show you what that is really quick.

Use a Selective Color Adjustment Layer andagain, I'm just going to delete the layer mask to keep thing clutter-free.

What thisadjustment layer allows you to do is to add Cyan-Magenta-Yellow or Red-Green-Blue to anyoneof these colors.

So for the Blacks, we want to add Cyan, so we're going to increase that.

We don't want any Magenta, we want to take the Magenta away, so we're going to add someGreen.

We don't want to add any Yellow, so we're going to take away which gives us Blueand the image is a little washed-out, so we're going to increase the Blacks like so.

Andyou know what, maybe a little less Yellow and a little less Magenta.

Something likethat and maybe increase the Blacks even a little bit more.

So if you notice, we addedBlue, Green, and Cyan to the Blacks, to the dark pixels, which is what we did earlierjust even in more controlled way.

This might be a little bit easier to see but the resultis not as good in my opinion.

Then we can do the same thing to the neutrals.

Reducethe Yellow, reduce the Magenta, which adds Blue and Green.

Maybe add a little bit ofCyan and make these colors darker.

Of course, I'm going a little fast, maybe you can getthis colors a little bit better if you took your time and I don't want to do anythingto the Whites.

Now, I'm going to go into the Reds.

I don't want to any Cyan in the Reds,so I'm going to bring that down.

Maybe add a little bit of Magenta.

Maybe add a littlebit of Yellow.

I'm looking at the face here.

That's what's my real concern is, and justfind a nice skin tone, and maybe do the same in the Yellows.

Maybe bring the Cyans down,add a little bit of Magenta, add a little bit of Yellows.

Something like that and Iknow it's oversaturated but we're going to fix that in a moment and we're going to dowhat we did before by adding the Channel Mixer and I'll delete the layer mask.

And I'm goingto go into the Presets and we'll choose the you Curves Adjustment Layers to create yourcolor grades, I would recommend learning curves using a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer.

Whata Color Lookup Adjustment Layer allows you to do is to use L-U-T files, LUT files whichare lookup tables.

That software that I mentioned earlier, SpeedGrade, uses color LUTs.

They'resort of like presets that allow you to add color grade to video and Photoshop has somebuilt-in.

We have all of these and we haveĆ³I'm just going to scroll to them really quick,so you can see that the different ones that are available in Photoshop.

One of my favoritesis film stock but this is not have the color effect that we were applying earlier but thisone does.

Teal-Orange, I want to select that one and this is the effect that we get, aTeal-Orange effect.

Now if you compare to the rest and to compare although what I didearlier, I want to open up the History Panel, click on snapshot, so now we have the colorgrade that we did manually.

We have the one that we used the Selective Color AdjustmentLayer and we have the one that we created using that Lookup Adjustment Layer.

So asyou can see, they're all very similar but using curves has the greatest control; second,will be the Selective Color Adjustment Layer; and third, would be Color Lookup Table simplybecause you really don't have any control.

If you wanted to change the Color Lookup AdjustmentLayer, you would have to add other Curves Adjustment Layer and, you know, maybe changethe Luminosity or change the different colors then why start with a Color Lookup AdjustmentLayer, you can just use curves.

Now don't get me wrong, I use Color Lookup AdjustmentLayer all the time but for a specific color grading effect, there's nothing better thanusing curves and you have the control of coming back and making any change that you want,and maybe, if you want less Green to have more Blue then you can do so.

So, I want togo back into the Blues channel and increase that Blue, so notice how this now has a Bluetone to it and maybe this is not as bright as we would want it to be and actually, maybethat's a little too much Blue and maybe something like that.

And then maybe, add more Red tothe face and we change the Yellow a little bit and I think maybe even need some Magenta.

But anyway as you can see, this is a completely different look that we easily achieve justby changing the curves in the Color Adjustment Layer and just for fun, I'm just going toadd another snapshot.

So, this is the Blue version and this is the Green version.

Soyou can see, you can create many different color grades using Curves Adjustment Layers.

Okay, and that's it for this tutorial.

Asalways, I hope that you learn something new.

If you have any questions, feel free to leaveyour message down below and don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter where I send youan email notification everything I put a new tutorial and Tip Of The Day roundup everyMonday morning.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Once again, thankyou for watching and I'll talk to you again soon.

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