Inevitably, a video project normally ends up being shot in various light settings. In some films, each scene has a tailored-video adjustment to fit the mood of the scene. For example, a dark and scary scene may be enhanced by keeping the video dark and shadowy, whereas a happy scene should be brighter. However, in other films, such as mine, the goal is to achieve uniformity in video appearance across multiple clips that were shot in various lighting settings. My initial thought was to simply apply “Auto Contrast” and “Auto Brightness” to each clip, but these effects turned out to be finicky, and the slightest shadow would cause a drastic change in the color of the video. After playing around with the various effects, I found the most homogeneous effect to be “Auto Levels.” From what I can tell, this effect more accurately distinguishes the light levels and is able to produce more uniformity among the clips shot in various light settings. Below you can see the big difference that this effect can make.
Before Auto Levels effect was applied
After Auto Levels effect was applied
Even more interesting than the better quality brightness and contrast, Auto Levels makes uniform looking clips that were shot in different tints of light. For example, some of my clips were shot using yellow light and others with a whiter light. Unlike the auto brightness and auto contrast effects, auto levels filters out this “noise” of the colored light and provides uniformity among all of the clips.