Image Control filters control changes in the levels of black, white, and color or chroma in your clips. They can be used to correct clips with exposure or color problems, to correct the color balance and brightness of a group of clips in a scene so that they all match, or to create color effects.
You'll probably use the Color Correction filters described earlier for most of your routine color-correction adjustments. However, it's a good thing that this older filter set is still included in Final Cut Pro. It lets you update projects created in earlier versions of FCP using these filters to the newer versions of FCP without a hitch. These filters do have some differences in their uses. Nevertheless, you might find them very intuitive. For example, examine the Proc Amp filter. Its adjustments are the same as those used by professional proc amps.
You use the Brightness and Contrast (Bezier) filter to alter a clip's brightness and/or contrast by percentages to lighten or darken the clip. Brightness and contrast affect all of a clip's colors and luminance values at once. Using this sometimes helps the washed-out look of VHS, for example.
Color Balance allows you to alter the amounts of red, green, and blue in a clip separately. You can select whether your clip's highlights (bright areas), midtones, or shadows (dark areas) are affected with the buttons in the Tones box. This filter can be used to correct white balance on video footage or to create color effects. It can also be used to help with key effect to boost a level that needs to be keyed out, such as green or blue. Remember that you can add more than one of these filters to adjust the three tone levels independently.
Desaturate removes color from a clip by percentages. A 100 percent selection would turn your image into shades of black and white (a grayscale image). You might want to correct oversaturation with it, or just give your image a dull look, reflecting depression, perhaps. Matching overall color levels might be another use of this quick and simple filter. But do not use Desaturate to make a black-and-white version of your footage. Use Tint instead at the default settings. It creates a much richer black-and-white version of your footage.
Gamma Correction changes a clip's gamma (the relative brightness of the midrange area of the image's luminance) by an amount you specify. The Gamma Correction filter can be used to pull details out of underexposed or overexposed footage without washing out your clip. It does not affect the brightest or darkest area of your footage.
Levels is similar to the Gamma Correction filter but offers greater control. You can specify a particular alpha or color channel of your clip to be affected using a pull-down menu. Adjusting the sliders alters the input, input tolerance, gamma, output, and output tolerance individually. It has more-sophisticated controls than the simpler but still quite useful Gamma Correction filter.
Proc Amp gives you control over your picture's black, white, and chroma levels, as well as the phase of your clip. Setup controls the black levels, Video controls the brightness, Chroma controls the amount of color, and Phase adjusts the image's hue. These adjustments are the same as those found on a professional analog video deck such as a Betacam SP machine. They have parallels to the controls found on most television sets. You'll find many uses for this filter. It's one of the best for correcting problems.
Sepia adds a tint of sepia to a clip as a default setting . You can change the amount of tint with the Amount parameter and the tint's brightness using the Highlight adjustment. You can select another color with the Color control. Giving a photograph an old, faded look is an example of its use. You might even add it to video for the same reason.
Tint tints the clip with the color of your choice. By clicking the triangle next to the eyedropper, you can specify values for the color's hue, saturation, and brightness. You can specify the amount of color from the slider next to the Amount parameter. It works much the same as Sepia but lacks the Highlight adjustment.