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How to Correct Tone and Contrast in Video Using LumaFusion

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It's amazing how approachable and accessible video editing has become. Of course, there will always be a place for the state-of-the-art editing suites used for the blockbuster flicks, but we, the average person, are in a great position to get into editing without needing all the bells and whistles, yet still having access to professional tools to yield stellar results.

In this tutorial, we'll be going over adjusting tone and contrast using LumaFusion, a powerful mobile editing suite for the iPhone and iPad.

LumaFusionLumaFusionLumaFusion

First Things First: What Are Tone and Contrast?

With film, when we speak about terms like contrast, we're referring to the tonal range of an image. Breaking this idea down, contrast can pretty much mean difference. When we say "contrast" in the context of film, it somewhat suggests tone, and tone denotes the brightness of objects in an image. In the simplest sense, when we adjust the contrast, we are changing the tonal range/colour in relationship to how light reacts.

Why Adjust the Contrast of an Image?

There are lots of reasons why you would want to adjust the contrast of an image. A common reason is that when you are dealing with footage from multiple sources/cameras, it's unlikely that the footage will match, even when shooting with a flat profile. But overall, in a perfect scenario (not trying to fix a bad image), you'll usually make a change to an image for personal artistic reasons. 

Using LumaFusion to Adjust Contrast

There's no single way to tell you how to edit your images because the choices are so personal. With that being said, I'll explain how to get to the editing features and how they work. The first thing to do is navigate to Colour and Effects.

Applying Colour and Effects

If you have the LumaFusion Keyboard, you can press 5 and it will automatically bring you to the Colour and Effects page. For those using the program without the accessory, follow this process.

  1. Double-click a video on the timeline. This brings you to Frame and Fit.
  2. Choose the Colour and Effects tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select a preset if desired. There is a contrast preset that you can try to use as a starting place. It's pretty good, and you can manually adjust the parameters. A checkmark will be shown on the applied presets.
  4. Adjust the settings using the sliders or the overlay controls in the preview if available for the effect.
Applying Colour and EffectsApplying Colour and EffectsApplying Colour and Effects

If you want to adjust the contrast on the image from scratch, go to the Preset menu and select Original.

Once you start making adjustments to the original image, if you then select a preset you will overwrite any existing corrections you've made. 

The editing here is pretty straightforward—they all work with a basic slider, and you'll see the changes being applied to the image in real time. Here's a breakdown of all of your options.

Levels

There are five points on the Levels slider. This allows you to set the brightness for each luminance range and the contrast between them.

Brightness

Using Brightness lightens or darkens evenly across all the colours of your image.

Contrast

As stated above, the Contrast adjusts the luminance difference between the dark and light areas of the image. 

Saturation

With Saturation, you'll increase or decreases how much colour is in your image. 

Vibrance

The Vibrance feature is useful for leaving skin tones intact while increasing the saturation of other colours. It will raise or lower the saturation of cool colours (green, blue) and leave the warmer colours alone.

Conclusion

LumaFusion is a wonderfully easy-to-use program to edit your footage. By using not just contrast but all the editable parameters, you will be able to shape the tonal range of your image to fit the overall look you are going after.

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