Recently, Premiere totally overhauled its video scopes and color correction software to integrate features from SpeedGrade into Premiere Pro.
In this article, I want to showcase these new Lumetri video scopes.
NOTE: If you want to learn how to use these scopes to improve your images, please watch this video.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
I never liked the look of the old Premiere video scopes. They were an ugly orange, difficult to read and very, very old school.
But, now… Wow!
NOTE: Adobe has not yet updated their help files to include these scopes. If you want to learn more, visit this link.
THE NEW SCOPES
To access the new scopes, click the Color workspace at the top of the Premiere window. (If the Lumetri Scopes panel is not visible, access it from the Window menu.)
There are five scopes to choose from, which you can access by clicking the Wrench icon in the lower right corner of the scopes panel:
Of these five, I never use the Vectorscope HLS and have only a limited liking for the Histogram. Others, however, may find these two scopes indispensable.
To display, or hide, a scope check or uncheck it from the Wrench menu.
Clockwise from the top left corner these scopes are:
Waveform Monitor displays the gray-scale values in the image under the playhead, where left to right matches the image left to right, but up and down indicate the gray-scale value of the pixels in the image.
Vectorscope YUV displays the color values in the image under the playhead, where the angle of the pixel represents the hue and the distance out from the center represents the amount of saturation. Pixels at the center of the vectorscope are gray and the color hues start with Red in the top left and, rotating clockwise, transition to Magenta to Blue to Cyan to Green to Yellow and back to Red.
RGB Parade is a special form of the Waveform Monitor, in that it shows the amount of red, green and blue in an image.
Histogram is similar to the Histogram in Photoshop in that it shows the distribution of pixels in an image from pure black at the bottom to pure white at the top. Of the four scopes, I find the Histogram to be the least useful.
Vectorscope HLS I never use.
A new feature that I like a lot is the ability to switch the scope display from 8-bit to float in the lower right corner. When in 8-bit mode, all gray-scale and color values are displayed in a range of 256 values from 0 to 255. (Many video formats such as AVCHD shoot with this bit-depth.) While not bad, 8-bits does not allow the range necessary to accurately calculate all color or gray-scale values. Floating point, though it takes longer to calculate, provides much more subtle, detailed scope images.
My recommendation, if you have a new system, is to run the scopes in Float mode.
In the Presets menu – part of the Wrench menu – are a number of scope presets that allow you to quickly display a specific combination of scopes; though I am really surprised that the Waveform RGB / Vectorscope YUV combination is not one of them.
You can create your own custom preset simply by checking the scopes you want to see. Premiere remembers the last-used scope settings when you quit the application.
Standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) video use different interpretations of color, called “color spaces.” When you are using the video scopes in SD, return to the Wrench menu and choose 601 (SD). This alters the display on the Vectorscope YUV so that it remains accurate. Use the 709 (HD) setting for high-def video.
The new scopes, and the accompanying Lumetri Color panel, are very welcome additions to Premiere. If you haven’t explored them yet, this is a great time to start.
And, if you want to learn how to use them to analyze and color correct your clips, this online video session will help.
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