Pro Tips, Tutorials

Creating Color Themes and Looks with Adobe Capture CC


There are tons of creative mobile apps out there. One of the most useful, and my personal favorite, is Adobe Capture CC. This app allows you to create looks, color themes, vector files, patterns, and even custom brushes. It syncs into your Adobe Creative Cloud library and can then be used in your design and video work.

In this short tutorial, I’ll focus on creating Color Themes, which is useful for grabbing some nice color combinations from the world around you; and Looks, which allows you to create a quick color grading that you can apply to your videos and photos. These can be used within Adobe programs including as Premiere Pro, After Effects, or Photoshop.

Before starting, make sure that you have the mobile app installed in your phone. If not then you can download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You also need to have an Adobe ID.

Creating a Color Theme

Open the app and sign in to your Creative Cloud account.
Tap the word “Colors” and then tap the “+” icon. There are two ways you can work in the app. You can use your camera to grab images from your surroundings, or you can use existing images in your device. In this cas,e I’ll be using photos that I downloaded from Pond5. After tapping the “+” sign, you’ll notice that your camera is active. Tap the stacked square icon to browse the images in your device.
I selected this really nice lake photo by jonbilous.
Boathouse and fall colors reflecting in Echo Lake, in Franconia
Once you’ve selected your image, you’ll notice that there are interactive color circles that you can move around to modify the colors selected. You can choose some preset combinations by clicking on the smiley icon on the lower-left corner of the screen. Tap the check icon when you’re done.
After you tap the check icon, a new screen appears. Give a name to your color theme and then tap the check icon at the top-right corner to save.
And that’s it! You now have created your first color theme. This automatically syncs into the Creative Cloud and will show up in the library of your Adobe programs.

Creating Your Own Look

Now let’s create a Look. This offers a fast and easy way to add some unique color-grading styles for your photos and videos. Tap on “Looks” and then tap the “+” sign. You can use your phone camera and tap the capture button to grab an image in your surroundings or, once again, you can tap the stacked square icon to browse your phone photos.

This time I’ve selected this retro window image by MaciejBledowski.
Retro vintage stylized picture of Manhattan.
Instead of capturing photos, Adobe Capture CC creates a snapshot of the color and light in a scene. This is visualized by the color swatches at the bottom of the screen. A simple “Refine” screen opens, which allows you to preview your Look.
You’ll notice that the color swatches have been applied on the thumbnails. By clicking on a thumbnail, you are changing the midtone-shift of your Look. Adjusting the slider in the middle of the screen adjusts the color intensity. Once you’re happy with what you have, tap the arrow icon on the top-right corner, give a name to your Look, and save it. This appears in the “Looks” tab and automatically uploads to your Creative Cloud library.

Applying Your Look

Open one of your Premiere Pro projects or create a new one. Switch into the color workspace and create a new adjustment layer. I’ve chosen this clip of a girl walking on the street by TheStacks.

Open your “Libraries” panel. You’ll see that your files have synced and can now be used. Place the adjustment layer on top of your clips; just drag your custom Look onto the adjustment layer to apply it. This now appears as a Lumetri effect in the Effects control panel. You’ll also notice that the Look is still editable. I decreased the intensity and saturation in the creative tab because this Look is a bit strong. As a final touch, I added some vignette.
Here’s how our image looked before we applied our Look:

And this is the result with our Look applied:


Using the Color Theme

I have a Dynamic AE template by wave5_ open in After Effects. I’ll be changing some of the colors in this template by using the Color Theme I created.

I have my libraries open and, as you can see, it’s exactly the same as what I had in Premiere Pro. All I need to do is to use the eye dropper tool to pick the colors in my Libraries panel.
Here’s how it looks with the colors applied. It changes the entire feel of the AE template and makes it look a bit more retro.
Using Adobe Capture CC will help you a lot in focusing more on your creativity — especially now that project timetables are getting shorter and shorter. You need to find a way to do things fast and simply, and this app helps you with that.

Another valuable tool to check out is our own Pond5 Adobe Premiere Add-On, which allows you to search stock media from within Premiere Pro CC, download preview files, and buy them from within the program.

What other creative tools do you use to enhance your work and get things done more efficiently? Tell us in the comments!