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Changing Colors in Your Footage Using Premiere Pro


Trying to switch up the colors of elements within your shot? Here’s a quick and simple guide on how to do it within Premiere Pro.

Whether you are trying to change a color scheme on a stock clip to match a company’s branding or you’d just simply like a different color on an actor’s outfit, knowing how to change colors within your footage is a very important tool for correcting footage. There will always be a client who will ask, “Can we change that shirt color to blue? I like blue. Blue represents our company’s values. Also I’m a big fan of blue shirts. Can you do that?” and then you can blow them away with a simple five minute fix that gets them what they want. So today, with the help of Charles Yeager from Shutterstock Tutorials, we’re going to show you three ways to change color inside your clip within Adobe Premiere Pro.

Shifting Color on Your Entire Clip

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Shifting Color Through the Entire Clip

Say your clip has a motion graphic or something in the background of a corporate presentation or in a title sequence. Sometimes it’s cool to put a little hint of flair on it by changing it to the brand’s color palette. Adjusting this parameter is extremely simple. Just open up the Lumetri Color tab, and select your clip.

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Hue vs Hue

Then, open up the curves box, and scroll down until you find a rainbow-lined box named “Hue vs. Hue.” Select a portion of the line, and you can start dragging around the dot with your cursor to change the hue of your clip. It takes a bit of experimentation, but after you mess around with the crosshair a bit, I’m sure you can get the color scheme you are looking for.

Changing a Single Color

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Changing a Single Color

In this example, we filmed a clip of a blue coffee cup, but we need to change it to red to match a company’s cups for a promo. To start this one off, drag over the Change to Color effect onto your clip. Select the midtone range color that you would like to change. If you are looking for the midtone, try to find a spot on your color that’s between the lightest and darkest portion of the color.

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Color Dropping for the Midtone

If you want the color selector to grab more range of your color, hold Ctrl on your keyboard while selecting to make your dropper bigger. Once your color is selected, select what color you would like to change to in the effect tab.

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Solving Artifacting

If your color is one that naturally appears in footage due to lighting, such as a blue or an orange, you might see some problems with artifacting. To solve this issue, do some slight color correction to avoid the Change to Color effect seeping into the colors you want to keep. In this example, red is seeping into the shot because of the daylight blue reflecting on the skin and white of the coffee cup. To fix this, simply add some warmth to your clip in the temperature slider. Now the red won’t seep into your shot like it was doing before.

Leave Color

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Getting a Schindler's List Look

Want to pull off a Schindler’s List type effect where there is black and white footage, but one color is left? It can truly make an image pop and single out a color you want to highlight.

Changing Colors in your Footage inside of Premiere Pro — Leaving Color in Your Footage

To do this, just drop the Leave Color effect onto your tab. Then, select the color you want to keep on your footage. Once selected, increase your Amount to Decolor slider to take away all the other colors in your shot. From there, it’s just a simple balance of increasing the Tolerance and Edge Softness to get your desired look, since the effect might not work right away.