Call attention to an object in a scene by emphasizing its color and desaturating everything else using Hue and Saturation curve adjustments in Adobe Premiere Pro.
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This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file. Any reference to “The Getaway” is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.

Adjustments you make to the Hue (color) and Saturation (intensity) curves in the Lumetri Color panel in Premiere Pro can result in dramatic changes to your video — such as desaturating all but one color in a scene.

Place your footage — it’s ideal if it’s naturally saturated — in a sequence and switch to the Color workspace. Option/Alt-click the video clip in the Timeline panel and drag it up to create a copy of it in the track above. Keeping the upper clip selected, expand the Basic Correction section of the Lumetri Color panel and drag the Saturation slider to increase it slightly, depending on how muted the colors are. Open the Curves section, activate the eyedropper for the Hue vs. Sat curve, and click the color you want to isolate in your shot. This places three keyframes in the curve (horizontal line). 

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In the Hue vs. Sat curve, drag the first and last keyframes down to reduce their saturation to zero. The isolated color will remain bright, while the others will become grayscale. Depending on the actual color you targeted, you may need to widen or narrow the curve (spacing between the three keyframes) either to sufficiently include the colored highlights and shadows in your object or to exclude colors appearing elsewhere in the shot that fall close to it in the spectrum.

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When adjusting the curve width fails to exclude all traces of color from extraneous areas, you’ll need to mask your primary subject so that it constrains the area affected by the Lumetri Color curve adjustments. In our example, we’re targeting the blue in the backpack and want to exclude all traces of blue from the hiker’s shoes and socks, as well as from the foliage. Open the Effect Controls panel (Shift+5) and click one of the Opacity mask tools to create the mask. Increasing the Program Monitor’s magnification may help you finesse the mask’s shape and position.

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You’re done now — unless your masked object moves. In that case, track the mask for the duration of the shot. Next to Mask Path, click the wrench icon to pick the tracking method that suits your moving object best. Click one of the tracking buttons to start the tracking process. If your object enters from offscreen, first move the playhead later in the sequence so your object is in view and then track backwards. Once you’ve tracked the mask to the beginning of the shot, go back to where you started tracking and then track forward. If the tracked mask strays from the object, click Stop in the Tracking dialog box, reposition or resize the mask as appropriate, and then resume tracking. This can be a laborious process.

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Play your sequence to ensure that your object is fully, accurately tracked. Only the area inside the mask will be affected by the Lumetri Color curve adjustments; everything outside will look normal. With the lower clip selected, expand the Basic Correction section of the Lumetri Color panel and decrease Saturation to zero. Play the sequence. Now only your targeted object should show any color throughout the shot. 

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Once you’ve singled out the color in your shot, you can change it. With the upper clip selected, adjust the Saturation slider to intensify that color or make it more muted. Back in the Curves section of the Lumetri Color panel, click the Hue vs. Hue curve to add a keyframe and then drag it around to see how the color changes to something completely different.

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09/02/2020

Adobe Stock contributors: Maridav, Farknot Architect

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