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Selective brightness with Pinnacle Studio

Selective brightness with Pinnacle Studio By saby - Last updated on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
27456 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 1)
Category: Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / Edition  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Sunday, January 12, 2014
Created on Sunday, December 8, 2013 2:22 PM

There are several ways to change the brightness of a video into Studio. One I like and that I most often use is called Selective brightness. I recently discovered a very useful and undocumented feature of this tool that I wanted to share with you.

How to access Selective brightness ?

This effect is part of medias Corrections of Studio. To open it, double-click a video in the library or a clip on the timeline.
From the library, the Corrections window opens and one must select (1) Enhance :

Enhance from library

From the timeline, same thing, but the tab Corrections must be selected first :

Enhance from timeline

In both cases, the effect called Image Correction CPU is opened :

Image Correction CPU

The "Image correction CPU" effect is also available as an Effect  - if applied as an Effect (to a clip on the timeline) it can be copied/pasted to other clips, saved as part of an effect composition, etc

(kudos and thanks to Richard aka culpanr from the Pinnacle forum)

How does it work ?

Pixels of an image have almost always different brightness intensity values. Instead of changing the overall brightness of an image and thus increase the light intensity of each pixel uniformly, Selective brightness effect can change separately certain ranges of light intensities : Blacks, Fill light, MidRange, Highlights, Whites.

Photographers are used to say a picture has blown out highlights or crushed black. These terms correspond to very over-exposed areas (pure white) or very under-exposed (deep black). With Selective brightness it's easy to correct a crushed black image : increase the Blacks sliderand only the darkest portions of your image become brighter.

The problem is that we can not know what are the upper and lower limits of each light intensities range determined by Pinnacle. And even if we had these datas we could not know which areas of the image they correspond to. In photography and video there is a very valuable tool, the histogram :

Histogram exemple

The happy owners of a camcorder with this function can judge at a glance of the distribution in their image of dark and light tones. The dark pixels are presented on the left of the histogram while the bright pixels are presented to the right of the histogram. The more pixels there are of the same brightness level and higher is the peak of these pixels.

There is no histogramm in Studio, so we will have to do with the means at hand.

The trick

This is while playing with this effect on a photo that I discovered an undocumented tool in the Studio's manual. While walking my mouse over the image I could see that the cursor shape changed to a small sun with a square attached. Color of the square changes according to the pixel the center of the sun is hovering over. Each shade taken by the square corresponds to one of the five ranges of light intensities of the Selective brightness effect :

Blacks       Blacks

Fill light       Fill light

MidRange       MidRange

Highlights       Highlights

Whites        Whites

Even better, if once hovering over a pixel you hold the left mouse button pressed, moving the mouse right and left, the cursor corresponding to the light range of the Selective brightness effect increases or decreases. At the same time the result of adjustment is immediately displayed in the viewing window.

To apply this tip to a video take a snapshot of your video and use this still image to make your adjustements before duplicating them to your video.


Just below Selective brightness is Selective saturation. The principle is exactly the same as selective brightness but with ranges of colors intensities instead of light intensities : Red, Magenta, Blue, Cyan, Green and Yellow.

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