Adjusting Exposure in Final Cut Pro X

Some productions have the time to set up and adjust lights to ensure a high quality video image, others must shoot on the fly with very little camera setup on lighting support. This is the classic example of “fixing it in post,” but with Final Cut Pro X it has gotten a little bit easier.

Color Enhancements in Final Cut Pro X

There are three primary ways to improve image color:

1. You can let Final Cut Pro X automatically color balance your clips when you import footage.
2. You can match color balance from one clip you like to another.
3. You can manually adjust color attributes using the Final Cut Pro Color Board.

In addition, you can apply many color presets to your project.

Color Board for Exposure Adjustments


Exposure controls in Final Cut Pro X

The Color Board has four sets of controls that change or alter pixel color or brightness:
Global: Changes all the pixels in the image
Shadows: Changes the darkest pixels of the images
Midtones: Changes the midrange pixels of the image
Hightlights: Changes the brightest pixels of the image

I suggest you learn how to manually adjust color and exposure. 

Chef’s Recipe: The pro workflow for adjusting color is to always start with the exposure level and then move on to color and saturation in that order.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Command-4 Open Inspector
Command-6 Show/Hide Color Board
Command-7 Show/Hide video scopes (histogram)

About Chip Dizárd

Chip is a Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Photoshop Certified Trainer and is passionate about helping people leverage technology for business and communications. He’s done a bit of everything from video production, to web, and application development.
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