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FCPX Tutorial: How To Use The Powerful Final Cut Pro X Color Matching Tool

In this post, we’ll learn how to use the new Final Cut Pro X color matching tool to “instantly” color grade your video projects!

One of the most impressive new additions to Final Cut Pro X is the inclusion of a tool that allows you to match colors between two shots. There’s a myriad of uses for this handy tool including matching footage that was shot on multiple cameras, accounting for different lighting conditions and ensuring a consistent look and style throughout a project.  Although the results are not always perfect, you can apply the color matching tool to get a solid starting point and can then tweak the color settings from there for even more precise adjustments.

  1. Find a clip in your Final Cut Pro X timeline whose color you’ like to change.  In this example I’ve found this bright, saturated clip.
  2. Park the play-head over a frame and click on the clip to choose it (a yellow border will highlight the active clip).
  3. Use the shortcut OPTION + COMMAND + M to bring up the Match Color window.  Just remember, M stands for “Match”.
  4. Now, locate a frame from another clip in the timeline or the Event Library whose color properties you would like to apply to the first clip.  To do this, click on individual frames in the timeline.  Each time you click on a new frame of video an updated “matched” shot will appear in the split-screen preview.  For this example, I would like the first shot to look more like this blue tinted dark, grungy clip.
  5. When you’ve decided on a match click “Apply Match”.

This tool is great to lay a foundation for matching color properties between clips.  However, you may need to make additional adjustments once you’ve gone through the above steps. Additional color grading can be done in the color correction settings in the Inspector panel.  To access the inspector, click dropdown on the top left side of the clip in the timeline and click Color Adjustment.

Look for more information on using the FCPX Color Adjustment tools in future PremiumBeat.com posts.

Have you used the new color matching tools?  We want to hear your thoughts or suggestions in the comments!

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