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Adjusting the color

The shot is looking quite polished, but the color of the office_mask.mov layer is rather dull. Warming it up will make the image really pop.

  1. Select the office_mask.mov layer in the Timeline panel.
  2. Choose Effect > Color Correction > Auto Levels. The Auto Levels effect sets highlights and shadows by defining the lightest and darkest pixels in each color channel as white and black, and then redistributing intermediate pixel values proportionately. Because Auto Levels adjusts each color channel individually, it may remove or introduce color casts.

    Why apply this effect? Sometimes video cameras favor a certain color channel that makes the image cooler (bluer) or warmer (redder). The Auto Levels effect sets the black and white pixels for each channel, with the end result looking much more natural.

    The color of the office_mask.mov layer should look much better now.

  3. Choose File > Save to save the finished project.

In this lesson you have worked with the mask tools to hide, reveal, and adjust portions of a composition to create a stylized inset shot. Next to keyframes, masks are probably the most-used feature of After Effects.

You can preview the clip now, if you’d like, or render and export it following the steps in Lesson 14, “Rendering and Outputting.”

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