An in-depth tutorial on color correction using Curves inside of After Effects and Photoshop. This method explains how to color correct most any footage "by the numbers". It's a bit of a science that requires only a minimum amount of understanding of RGB values.
Please bestow a ♥ like or leave a ✉ comment if you have questions!
You can skip the introduction if you so choose: 0:45 - Before and After (Full Color Correction Example Here: vimeo.com/14400218) 1:09 - Color Correction After Effects Tutorial Start 12:37 - Edit your color corrected footage in Premiere! (Dynamically Link the CC'ed Footage)
Using Photoshop for color correction is really a lot easier than you may think. In this tutorial, the method is very simple and fast - NO rendering multiple frames, NO importing video files into Photoshop, and easy access to making color changes.
This tutorial is a tad long at 15 minutes - please bear with me as I fully explain the techniques here! (It was recorded it in the middle of the night. :) Hopefully you will find the techniques in this After Effects Color Correction Tutorial helpful. UPDATE 3/31/11 - I have re-uploaded this tutorial as I have redone the intro.
✏ Choose areas that are large enough to sample and don't contain color casts or Chromatic Aberration
✏ Remember to use common sense. If the colors are just not looking right, either sample a different area or adjust to your liking.
✏ Your footage may have different areas of brightness or color shifts throughout the video. Animate your Levels for differing brightness, and animate your Curves for differing color where needed.
✏ Sometimes having crushed blacks or blown highlights are okay - especially in video. Keep this in mind when working with the Levels effect and don't worry if you have either of those in your final result.
✏ If you have the opportunity, use a gray card somewhere in the image - so that later in post, you can reference that neutral gray midtone for color correction.
✏ IMPORTANT: If you are using CS5, make sure you are using the Eyedropper Tool, NOT the Color Sampler Tool. Thanks to Ryan Yakich for the heads up.
RGB Color Correction Values Reference (also at 9:54):
Highlights ✏ 245
Midtones ✏ 135
Shadows ✏ > 12