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How to Color Balance a Video for Accurate Skin Tone Using Premiere Pro

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In this lesson on Check Skin Tone from David Bode's How to Color Correct Video with Adobe Premiere, you will learn how to use the vectorscope to check if the skin tones in your videos are accurate.

Finding the Neutrals

If you have something in your shot that is supposed to be in neutral colour, it will make the process of skin tone correction quite a bit easier. In the example below, the girl is wearing a grey sweatshirt—grey is a neutral colour—that we can use as a reference.

Go to the effects and grab a crop effect to crop the image so that just a patch of the sweatshirt is visible. After using the crop effect, zoom in to the patch of sweatshirt you have cropped so that you can reference the patch of grey with the scopes and try to neutralise the colours. 

Just by looking at the patch we can see that it doesn't look grey at all and looking at the Lumetri Scopes you can see that the blue is a bit low. 

Correcting the White Balance

To correct this, use the white balance slider to increase the blue.

Now the blue is more balanced but you can now see there's a lot of green information there. So you'll need to push the Tint slider towards magenta, which will create a fairly neutralised grey. 

Take the crop effect off, to see the effect to the whole image made with the changes using the white balance sliders.

You can tweak the white balance if you think you have erred a bit too much one way or the other. In this image we may need to warm things up a bit to create a more natural look.

Checking The Skin Tones

Now that you have set the white balance for the image correctly, it's time to see what the skin tones are doing. You need to reset the crop effect in the effects panel to crop into a small patch of the girl's forehead.

Now Control-Click on the Lumetri Scopes to open the Vectorscope YUV to check on the skin tones to see if they're even close to being accurate. 

What you are looking for is the skin tone to be along the vector scope line.

Now that you know how to check the colour of your skin tones, we should acknowledge that the image does look a little under-saturated,

That's something we're going to address in an upcoming lesson where you're going to learn how to adjust the saturation in your clips.

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