Premiere Pro's Curves feature allows you to make quick and precise color adjustments to achieve natural-looking results. The two types of curves you can use to edit color are: RGB Curves and Hue Saturation Curves.

Premiere Pro's Curves feature allows you to make quick and precise color adjustments to achieve natural-looking results. The two types of curves you can use to edit color are: RGB Curves and Hue Saturation Curves.

RBG Curves

You can edit curves using two approaches:

  • Using the RGB Curves available in the Lumetri Color panel.
  • Using the RGB Curves effect available in the Effects Control panel.
Edit curves using the Lumetri Color panel and the Effects Control panel
Edit curves using the Lumetri Color panel and the Effects Control panel

Adjust luma and tonal ranges using control points

RGB Curves let you adjust luma and tonal ranges across the clip using curves. The master curve controls the Luma. Initially, the master curve is represented as a straight white diagonal line. Adjusting the master curve adjusts the values of all three RGB channels simultaneously.

Adjust luma and tonal ranges using control points
Adjust luma and tonal ranges using control points

Here are some of the ways you can manipulate control points:

Highlights and shadows

To add highlights, drag a control point to the upper-right area of the line. To add shadows, drag a control point to the lower-left area.

RGB colors

Selectively adjust tonal values for RGB channels. To adjust different tonal areas, add control points directly to the curve.

Contrast

To lighten or darken the tonal area, drag a control point up or down. To increase or decrease the contrast, drag a control point left or right.

Keyboard shortcuts

To delete a control point, press Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (macOS) and click the control point.

Usage examples

Warm look
Add warm tones to a video clip

You can add warm tones to a video clip using the RBG Curves. In this example, the white, and red lines are used to increase the warm tones in the clip. The blue and green lines are used to decrease the presence of blues and greens in the clip. A reddish tint is added to the clip making it appear warmer.

S curve
Natural looking contrast using S curves

You can edit the contrast of an image using the RGB Curves. In this example, a S curve is used to enhance the contrast, making the guy look less pale. The blue color of the sky also appears brighter.

Hue Saturation Curves

Premiere Pro offers the following color hue saturation curves that you can use to make different types of curve-based color adjustments to your clip.

  • Hue versus Saturation - Select a hue range and adjust its saturation level.
  • Hue versus Hue - Select a hue range and change it to another hue.
  • Hue versus Luma - Select a hue range and adjust the luma.
  • Luma versus Saturation - Select a luma range and adjust its saturation.
  • Saturation versus Saturation - Select a saturation range and increase or decrease its saturation.

Grade color using control points

Grade color using control points
Grade color using control points

You can adjust colors using control points. While moving a control point, a vertical band appears to help you judge your final result.

Here are some of the ways you can manipulate control points:

Add color points

Add individual control points by clicking directly on the curve. You can add as many control points as you like.

Eyedropper tool

Add three control points to the curve by using the Eyedropper tool to select a color on the Program Monitor.

Move control points

To raise or lower the output value of the selected range, drag the center control point up or down

Keyboard shortcuts

Press the Shift key to lock a control point on the X so it can only move up and down.

Sample colors

With one of the color curves tabs open, click the Eyedropper tool to sample a color in the Program Monitor. Three control points are automatically placed on the curve.

  • The center point corresponds to the color you selected. 
  • For the Hue curves, the value for the selected pixel is the Hue.
  • For the Luma and Sat curves, the selected pixel corresponds to the Luma and Sat values.

By default, the Eyedropper samples a 5 x 5 pixel area and averages the selected color. Press the Cmd (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) keys while using the Eyedropper to sample a larger 10 x 10 pixel area.

How Premiere Pro handles Hue Saturation curve adjustments

Premiere Pro processes effects that are applied before the current Lumetri effect before sampling the color.

  • If the effect applied earlier affects the color, the changed color is sampled.
  • Effects applied after the current Lumetri effect are not considered when sampling the color. 
  • The Lumetri panel process from top down. Basic, Creative, and RGB Curves are processed before feeding into the Hue Saturations Curves.
  • Lumetri sections that come after curves (Color Wheels, HSL Secondaries, Vignette) are not considered when sampling the color.
  • The Hue Saturation Curves process in parallel. All the curves sample the color value at the time it feeds into the Hue Saturation Curves section.

An example to illustrate this behavior:

Use the Hue versus Hue curve to change a green color into blue. Now, use the Hue versus Luma curve to sample the resulting blue color. Premiere Pro adds the control points to the green section of the curve - the original color - not blue.

If you want to ignore the Hue versus Hue change while editing the Hue versus Luma curve, deselect the check box above the Hue versus Hue curve.

Examples

Hue versus saturation
Hue versus saturation

This curve lets you selectively edit the saturation of any hue within an image. In this example, this curve has been used to increase the saturation levels of the image making the girl look less pale. The saturation of the blue sky and the light has also been increased to make the image as a whole look warmer.

Hue versus hue
Hue versus hue

This curve allows you to change a hue to another hue. In the above example, this color curve has been used to change the hue of the girl's dress.

You can also use this curve to quickly make minor but dramatic adjustments to color. For example, you can select yellowing leaves on foliage and change them to green to make the foliage look more healthy.

Hue versus luma
Hue versus luma

This curve lets you increase or decrease the lightness of specific colors. In the above example, the pale blue sky and its reflection in the water below has been darkened to add more drama to the image.

Notă:

Adobe recommends using this curve with high-quality footage, as this can reveal pixelation or artifacts (if the original image quality is not good).

Luma versus saturation
Luma versus saturation

This curve lets you adjust the saturation of an image based on image tonality rather than hue. In this example, this curve is used to slightly increase the blue tones within the luma.

Saturation versus saturation
Saturation versus saturation

This curve lets you selectively manipulate image saturation. In the above example, this curve is used for desaturating only the oversaturated blue wall without affecting the similar less-saturated picture of the dolphin in a similar blue color.

Another great use of this curve is for ensuring broadcast legal saturation levels by desaturating everything above 75% saturation.

Keyboard shortcuts for Curves

Feature/Workflow macOS Windows
Remove a single control point Cmd + Click Ctrl + Click
Remove all control points Double-click Double-click