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10 Great Color Correction Tutorials for Final Cut Pro X

Danny Greer

In this post we’ve rounded up the best color correction and color grading video tutorials for Final Cut Pro X.  Learn the new interface, FCPX’s color matching functions and how to create custom looks.

Color correction has gotten quite an upgrade in Final Cut Pro X, with significant improvements to the color grading interface and automatic color matching tools.  The following video tutorials cover all aspects of the FCPX color correcting environment, addressing topics such as the FCPX color correction interface, workflow and advanced color effects.

Final Cut Pro X Basics Tutorial: Color Correcting / Grading

YouTube user: Dan Allen

Get your feet wet with this primer for color correction in FCPX.  Dan Allen gives you the full rundown of the FCPX color interface, exploring how changes to the color, saturation and exposure tabs effect your video image. He clearly explains the difference between color correction and color grading and shows how using FCPX color presets can quickly give your video project a custom look.

Color Correcting Inside Final Cut Pro X

YouTube user: FilmmakingWebinars

Ben Brownlee gives an overview of the basic color correction tools in Final Cut Pro X. Learn how using FCPX’s built-in video scopes will enable you to gain consistency in your correction and stay within broadcast safe levels. This video is a preview of a longer on-demand webinar from FilmmakingWebinars.com.

Overview of the FCPX Color Board

YouTube user: macProVideoDotCom

This quick tutorial has a ton of great info about primary color correction in FCPX.  Learn how adjusting the shadow, midtones and highlight pucks in the Color Board will effect your video image.  Another great takeaway: always adjust exposure first!  Learn the shortcuts of the FCPX color board to speed up your color correction workflow.

FCPX Match Color

YouTube user: BX Films

One of the major color correction advancements in FCPX is the auto match color function.  In this short video tutorial, learn how you can quickly match the color look between two different shots, bringing more continuity to your final edit.  This is one simple trick that every Final Cut Pro X user should know!

Final Cut Pro X Color Matching + Vignette

Vimeo user: PixelWizard

Discover some of the highlights of color correction in Final Cut Pro X. Learn how to quickly match the color of two shots, change the overall color of your video image and add a vignette to your image as a secondary corrector.  Implementing these tips will give your video projects style and color uniformity.

FCPX Color Grading Workflow

YouTube user: TelekinesisBacklot

Once you have a handle on using the color correction tools in Final Cut Pro X, it’s important to develop a consistent color workflow.  In this video tutorial, you’ll learn the order of steps to take in a typical color correction process…working from a baseline primary correction toward specific secondary corrections (skin tones, vignettes, etc).  Having a dedicated workflow is essential to being efficient at color correction.

How to Apply and Keyframe Shape Masks for Color Correction

Vimeo user: Premiumbeat

Although it’s important to have a solid primary correction of your entire video image, it’s often necessary to hone the correction down to a specific area of the frame (skin tones are one example of this).  One way of performing this secondary color correction in Final Cut Pro X is by using shape masks.   In this video tutorial, learn how you can isolate your correction to a defined area of a frame and how keyframing will allow you to move the mask in sync with the video’s action.

Final Cut Pro X Sky Color Correction

YouTube user: Matt’s Macintosh

Exposing your video for foreground action can often cause a background sky to look blown out.  Learn how to manipulate only the color of the sky by adding a color mask in Final Cut Pro X.  This is a great for trick for turning a desaturated gray sky into a vibrant blue.  Make your video pop!

FCPX Selective Color Tutorial (Sin City / Pleasantville Effect)

YouTube user: FCPeffects

Learn how to create a Sin City or Pleasantville effect in Final Cut Pro X! This color treatment isolates a particular color in your video, while desaturating the rest of the frame.  In this FCPX video tutorial you’ll discover how to accomplish this effect by using a simple color mask.

Vimeo user: Color Grading Central

Color Grading Central has released a thorough series of color correction video tutorials for Final Cut Pro X.  In part 12 of their series, you’ll learn how to recreate the bleach bypass effect popularized by films as Saving Private Ryan.  Add style to your video projects with this unique grade.