How to use Adobe AI to color match your video footage in Premiere Pro

Color matching multiple video clips can be a tedious task. Adobe's Sensei AI can handle this task in a single click.

The best Adobe AI tools for photographers TechRepublic contributor and photographer Ant Pruitt shares the best tips, tricks, and techniques to get the most out of Adobe's AI toolkit.

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I love shooting videos for my own personal projects or clients. I love the editing process even more--there's just something about the creative process of making multiple clips work together to tell an awesome story. I also love processing audio in the footage as well as color correcting and color grading.

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But there are some instances where color correcting can be a challenge because multiple cameras may have been used or clips were recorded in different lighting. Manipulating all of the color adjustments in your video editor slows down your editing workflow. Fortunately, Adobe's Sensei's AI allows you to color match multiple clips with one click inside of Premiere Pro. Here's how.

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Speed up color correcting

Footage color may not match due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes the lighting changes, the environment changes, or there may even be varying cameras in use. The Lumetri Color panel powered by Adobe Sensei lets me utilize the color match option with ease (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: Ant Pruitt

Locate the Color Wheels Match option under the Lumetri Color panel. Then select the comparison view (Figure B).

Figure B

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Image: Ant Pruitt

Find the footage you want to correct in your project by jogging the playhead in your timeline to the point of interest. If you look at the comparison view, you'll see a Reference monitor and a Current monitor. Use your mouse to drag the playhead in the reference monitor to the scene, which has the optimal color correction. This will give you a great side-by-side comparison between your current and reference view. You'll see the differences in the color and temperature (Figure C).

Figure C

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Image: Ant Pruitt

Now click on the Apply Color Match button. Within a few seconds, the Current footage will have the color correction applied (Figure D). Seriously, this happens within a few seconds. It's that fast.

Figure D

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Image: Ant Pruitt

In most cases, the AI does a really good job of trying to match up the color correction. Don't worry if it doesn't totally match. You can fine-tune the color adjustments under the Lumetri panel as you normally would. It shouldn't take as much effort as using the color wheels if you opt to use the sliders in the basic panel.

Beware of LUTs

Take into consideration if you have adjustment layers or lookup tables (LUTs) applied to your footage as you apply the color match. Try to be consistent in how you apply the color match AI. I recommend applying the match to the raw footage before applying any LUTs.

Huge time saver

I have used this feature on several occasions, and I find it beyond useful and efficient. As I said previously, I do enjoy editing footage, but color matching scenes can be a grueling and tedious task. The AI power of Adobe Sensei does a great job of understanding the footage at hand and attempting to match the effect throughout a project. Have you tried this feature in your projects? Let me know in the comments.

Also see

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