Setting The Mood with Adobe Hue CC: Jason Levine

Part of a series for which we challenge filmmakers to transform the atmosphere or feel of a short video clip, by using custom Looks created with Adobe Hue CC. Show us what you can do with the same footage by downloading it here. Catch the next post in the series, with creative director Ko Maruyama, on the Moving Colors blog.

Color and light have a huge impact on the art of filmmaking. They set the mood and tone of a scene, and guide our experience of the story. To illustrate this phenomenon, we caught up with Jason Levine and asked him to use the all-new Adobe Hue CC to capture three custom Looks and apply them to a single video clip, using Adobe Premiere Clip, to see how creative looks alter the feel of a piece.


The original montage

Look #1: Desert Sunrise072415_HueMood_Look1

When and where did you capture this Look? This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 6:15am, in April 2015.

What was the inspiration for this Look? There’s simply nothing like a desert sunrise, a true feeling of rebirth and resurgence, particularly during the spring. On this particular day, amidst beautiful reflections from the adjacent hotel, I stood in awe… and then snapped the shot.

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip? Naturally, there’s a sense of “warmth” that’s immediately added to the video… but it’s more than that. It feels like “a beginning,” and this is where the “time of day” essence (and brilliance) of Hue CC really shines. It not only makes the scene “feel” warmer and brighter…  it actually feels like morning.

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look? It produced the result I expected, however, I was equally impressed to see that it really carries the essence of that original time and place, regardless of what footage it’s applied to (sometimes with subtle tweaks, but often, as-is).

Look #2: Sandstorm072415_HueMood_Look2

When and where did you capture this Look? This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 5:15pm, in April 2015 (and curiously, it was later in the same day as “Desert Sunrise”).

What was the inspiration for this Look? Living in the desert myself, I’m no stranger to sand and dust storms. This particular one, however, came about very quickly and almost immediately darkened and clouded the entire city. There was so much wind that I wasn’t able to grab a clear shot whilst on the ground, so this image was once again captured from the window inside my hotel room.

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip? In the case of this Look, it really adds more drama and dimension to the video in question. It feels darker, more mysterious. It creates a moodiness and atmosphere that is totally opposite of the previous example. And by tweaking the shadows/highlights and exposure in Clip (on the original footage), I was able to give it a little more contrast and dimension.

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look? I was curious how this Look would perform on the Seashore clip. One of the benefits of Adobe Hue CC is that the Looks created will never completely de-saturate, so while the primary tones of the Look were nearly monochromatic, it leaves behind enough essence of color to just add to this creepy, moody feeling. And again, because you can always go back into the Look and alter the intensity and primary hue angle, I was able to achieve a cinematic “darkness” instantly, with footage that was shot in a bright, clear environment.


Look #3: Spring Southwest072415_HueMood_Look3

When and where did you capture this Look? This Look was captured in Phoenix, Arizona at approximately 12:00pm, late March 2015.

What was the inspiration for this Look? While people are accustomed to the earthy red and brown tones of the desert, some are unaware that there’s also a lot of green…and blue sky is almost a daily occurrence. This particular day seemed to have the perfect combination incredibly vivid blues and greens (with a hint of desert brown).

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip? Based on the mid-tone shift that I selected when I was creating this Look, once applied to the video clip, it really emphasized the blues and greens at the beach—the water sparkles, the plant life thrives, and you can definitely sense that this isn’t early morning nor late in the day. It “feels” like a mid-day shot, clear and vibrant.

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look? I was concerned that the blues might be accentuated too much; this is again where the Intensity slider came into play (along with auditioning this on the footage in question, right inside the app, to find a good balance). It definitely “cools” the image (without feeling too blue) but more importantly (and shockingly) is that this particular Look really carries that “time of day” stamp with it. As mentioned, you know it’s not morning and it somehow feels like spring.

Just a few more questions Jason…

So, if you were going to make this video clip into a movie, which of these Looks would you want to use? For a long form piece, I’d probably go with the Sandstorm Look; it has a very cinematic, dark feel… and with the ocean sounds behind it (and some slow, building underscore) there’s a sense of drama and interest.

What do you think of Adobe Hue?Adobe Hue CC is a fantastic way to apply your own visual memories of color and light, time and day, directly to your video content. It’s a great way to get started with color and grading, and the simple implementation of the app gives the user a truly infinite palette of color presets, right from their camera phone.

Do you have any suggestions for people who want to use Adobe Hue? Try it for yourself. It will amaze you. The fact that we’re actually creating 3D LUT files gives the power user a lot of flexibility; and for new users, it is once again a unique way to have color presets “built” for your video, based on places and images of color and light that you’ve personally experienced. And that’s what we try to do with our stories… share our personal experience, our connections to a place in time, the look-and-feel of a place in time, and that’s  precisely what Adobe Hue CC delivers.

Jason took this video to the next level by bringing his #MadeWithClip project and Looks from Adobe Hue into Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015:

Thanks for chatting, Jason!

Accept Jason’s challenge

Download the same video file he used and alter it using a Look from Adobe Hue and Premiere Clip. Publish and share your video with #AdobeHueand #MadeWithClip for a chance to have your workflow featured.

Fascinated by how color alone can transform a video clip? Read the next post in the series to see how creative director Ko Maruyama uses southwestern color palettes to alter footage of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Adobe Hue CC is a new kind of app that allows you to capture color and light dynamics from real-world experiences, either live with your device’s camera, or from an image you have saved in your camera roll or Creative Cloud account. Looks you capture with Adobe Hue can be brought intoPremiere Clip, Premiere Pro CC, and Adobe After Effects CC to immediately transform your video footage, whether you’re a color grading specialist or new to the process.