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  • Writer's pictureDylan John Dickerson

Getting the Teal and Orange movie look in Final Cut Pro

The teal and orange color grade is one of the most commonly used color palette's in the film industry. To color grade your shots with this cinematic blockbuster grade, you'll use the HSL masking controls that came out in October 2019 which allow for quick, easy, and accurate color grading of your shots.

I’ll assume you’ve already done some basic color grading to expand your dynamic range and get your exposure looking good. This tutorial we’ll only focus on the mood of the shot through color.

We’ll press Command 6 to bring up our color board. We’ll click Color Wheels, and we’re going to use the same technique we used last week, ‘Color mask with HSL controls’. We’ll want to protect our subjects skin in the shot so their faces don’t end up an off color, so we’ll make a mask to isolate them by clicking and dragging on the skin. Don’t worry about making a perfect selection because we’ll fine tune to shot using the HSL controls.

Click view mask and start to play around with the Hue, Saturation, and Luma controls to find a selection that puts the majority of your subjects skin in white, while keeping the background black. Depending on your shot, you may use one control more than the other. Just play around with them to find what works best.

Remember, these top triangles are for the range of that certain control and the bottom two are for feathering.

Once you’ve made a good selection we’ll click view mask again to turn off the mask view. Next we’ll click outside so we can make changes to everything on the outside of our mask. In this instance it’s pretty much everything but their skin tones. Head up to the Master Wheel and we’ll push the color value towards the teal. I’ll increase the saturation a tad and then we’ll go to work on these ugly looking skin tones.

Head down to the HSL controls, press inside so we can make adjustments to the inside of our mask (ie our skin tones) and we’ll press command 7 to pull up our Vectorscope. We’ll practice what we learned last week by cropping in to our subjects skin, noticing his skin is not on the skin tone line, and we’ll correct them buy pushing the master wheel until the skin tones do match up. The skin tones also look a little oversaturated, so we’ll drag down out saturation slider on the master wheel and that looks good.

I want the shadows in my shot to look more natural, so the last thing we’ll do is clean up our shadows by isolating them by using the hue/saturation curve. We’ll head down to Luma vs Sat, which if you remember, Luma is referring to exposure. So we’ll click the dropper, drag the shadows in our image, head over to our curve, and drag down the left side of the curve to remove the saturation from our shadows. Adjust this how you’d like based on the shot you’re correcting.

And there we have it! Quick and easy.

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