How to Use the Selective Vectorscope

How to Use the Selective Vectorscope

View, identify, and alter the color profile of clips with new Selective Vectorscope. Correct color shifts between clips to keep skin tones looking natural, draw attention to objects, improve project cohesion, and ensure that your color saturation is optimized for TV broadcast, or online viewing.

The Selective Vectorscope Color Grading tool allows you to easily view the colors in your video clip to ensure the skin tones of subjects in your clip appear natural. The Vectorscope is selective, which means you can use the selection brush to limit the vectorscope to an area of color that you select in your clip. Skin tones of all colors should fall along this line. If you notice a shift away from this line, manipulate the colors in your footage until they draw back towards the Skin Tone Line, reducing the sense of detachment between clips caused by variations in warmth and lighting.

The same method can be applied to use the Selective Vectorscope to ensure color consistency of other objects across your project. If a subject always wears a red coat or carries a blue umbrella, shifts in those colors caused by different cloud cover, lighting or color adjustments can be monitored and adjusted by comparing the positions of that color on the Selective Vectorscope.

The Selective Vectorscope Color Grading tool allows you to easily view the colors in your video clip to ensure consistency across your project, and ensures that your color levels are properly saturated for TV broadcast and internet viewing.

Accessing the Selective Vectorscope

You can access the Selective Vectorscope for any clip on the timeline by selecting that clip, going to ‘Properties’, clicking to the color tab, show video scope, then select Vector – Color to display the selective vectorscope.

Reading the Selective Vectorscope

The Selective Vectorscope shows information about the current frame’s color. At any time, you can limit what is displayed on the vectorscope to an area of color in your clip by selecting it using the selection brush. This is particularly useful for checking skin tone accuracy or measuring other color consistencies across clips.

The line between red and yellow on the Selective Vectorscope is the Skin Tone line, which allows you to quickly and effectively check for the accuracy of all skin tones in your footage. All skin types should fall along this line if you want them to look realistic. You may not always want or need skin tones to fall on the skin tone line, as dramatic warm or cool lighting may call for a unique balance of colors that will shift your skin tones. While editing, decide on a case-by-case basis if the selective vectorscope should be taken into consideration when color-correcting clips.

A reference for 100% saturation for Red, Magenta, Blue, Cyan, Green and Yellow is shown at the centre of each color section with a small target. As you increase the saturation in your clip, the hues will increase towards these target points. Avoid boosting any of the colors beyond these 100% saturation limits, as you are likely to have inaccurate colors once you export your video project.

The outer targets show the limit for TV broadcast safe levels – usually 75% of total saturation. If you are editing for TV broadcast it is wise to check your footage doesn’t fall beyond these 75% limits, as your edit may be automatically rejected for broadcast, and you’ll need to re-edit your project.

Using the Selective Vectorscope

The vectorscope can be used to quickly view and compare the colors of consecutive clips, ensuring a consistent look between shots that are of the same subjects.

  1. Paint the areas you want to compare for color consistency on both clips using the selection brush. Any color difference between the clips will be reflected in the scope.
  2. Use HSL tuning to alter the overall or individual hues of the clips to correct the differences. Generally, it’s best to make hue corrections as specifically as possible to the color shift that you’ve identified. Make note of what color the clips are shifted towards and focus on those colors when making adjustments to avoid altering the skin tone of subjects away from the skin tone line, or tinting the entire clip in a way that throws off the overall tone of your project. You may also need to adjust the temperature, tint, and saturation of the clips to effectively match the colors.
    Note: When using the Selective Vectorscope to check for skin tone accuracy, compare the skin tones you’ve marked out with the selection brush displayed on the vectorscope against the skin tone line to keep all skin tones looking natural.
  3. Review your corrections to ensure that your changes have not thrown off the balance of colors across other objects in your footage, or taken your saturation above the optimal levels for your intended audience by noting the display of color in relation to the center 100% saturation targets for online viewing, or the TV broadcast outer targets.

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