Tip #411: What Do the Color Wheel Controls Do?

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #411: What Do the Color Wheel Controls Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Color can be controlled for the entire clip or isolated to shadows, mid-tones or highlights.

The four color controls in a Final Cut Pro X color wheel.

Topic $TipTopic

Each color wheel in Final Cut Pro X has four controls. These color controls can apply either to a selected clip, a group of clips, or a mask within a clip. As well, they can apply to the entire clip or isolated to shadows, mid-tones, or highlights.

From left to right, these are:

  • Saturation. This determines the amount of color in the selected clip or mask. Drag up to increase the amount, or down to decrease.
  • NOTE: As you drag the Hue puck, the color of the Saturation slider changes to reflect the change in hue.

  • Hue. Drag this dot out of the center to apply a color shift to the image. To add red, drag up left, drag right to add blue or down left to add green. The farther from the center this dot moves, the more intense the color.
  • NOTE: Press Option while dragging this puck to reduce the amount of change while dragging.

  • Luminance. Drag this triangle up to boost luminance, down to decrease it.
  • Hooked arrow. This resets all color values to their defaults, which makes no changes to an image.


It is possible to alter these settings and exceed the legal range for the color space of your project. Always use the video scopes when making corrections.

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2 replies
  1. Pat PAGANO
    Pat PAGANO says:

    Great newsletters.
    I want to change just my white background in a clip…to red.
    Went to hue – hue – got the pointer….clicked on the white background with it..and it changes the
    color of my characters in clip…not background. I tried clicking on characters…same thing. I know it can be done..and if anyone knows..it’s you. Thanks Larry….you are the best !


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