With Capture One Pro 8.2 we have released a completely re-designed Color Balance tool. This new tool offers an easy and accessible way to tone your shadows, midtones and highlights, while maintaining the legacy functionality of the old Color Balance tool.
Giving your pictures a subtle color tint in Capture One can be done in many ways. We have the global color adjustment tools in the White Balance and the Color Balance Master. Previously, If you want to target local tones in the shadow, midtones or highlights Curves and Levels can be used. The learning curve when using Levels and Curves in specific color channels can however be quite steep. This approach requires in-depth knowledge of complimentary colors and how input/output values affect the picture.
Simpler. Better. Faster.
With the new Color Balance tool, we wanted to make the color adjustment process simpler, better and faster. The tool has been separated into the 3 basic components of the image. Each of these tools has 3 user inputs: Hue, Saturation and Lightness, allowing for more intuitive and precise control of the final outcome.
The new tool has a completely new algorithm, which allows for more precise adjustment while maintaining separate control for the luminance and saturation. Compared to Levels or Curves, this retains much deeper shadows, and brighter highlights, so you can actually achieve the toning you want, without getting that tell-tale “milky/soft” look.
However, if you still want to create the low-contrast look you get by adjusting the Shadow output Level, this can be obtained even more locally using the Color Balance Lightness slider. Using these sliders in their respective components provides a brand new method of adjusting lightness that only affects the selected tonality.
Adjusting Levels will affect the entire images, because of the linear nature of the tool. Curves with enough carefully placed point can provide the same local effect, however, Curves also affect the saturation to a much larger extent.
You can of course still combine all of Capture One Pro 8’s tools with the new 3-way tool, and I highly encourage anyone to do so. This will open brand new possibilities for color grading and adjusting your pictures to achieve the exact look you want.
The tool is highly customizable, and like other tools can be viewed as a floating tool. You can also decide if you want to use the 3 way, or the separate shadow/midtones/highlight tools for easier reference.
We have also introduced into this tool a convinient set of mouse- and keyboard shortcuts for the tool to offer quick control of each setting. Some basic default shortcuts are:
- While hovering over the Saturation, Hue and Lightness slider, the mouse scroll wheel controls the amount.
- If the ring inside the Hue circle is selected, the scroll wheel controls the saturation. If the Shift-key is pressed, the scroll wheel now controls the Hue instead.
- Hue and Saturation can also be controlled with the arrow keys, if the ring is selected.
In the upcoming Part 2, I will cover workflow, good practices using the tool, along with examples on how and why to mix the 3-way color balance with other tools in Capture One Pro.
Christian is Test Manager with the QA/Test department in Phase One. In the very little spare time a job in Phase One gives Christian, you’ll find him shooting pictures, recording aerial imagery with pro-grade drones or trying not to crash on the mountainbike in the woods.