In this article, I’m going to show you how to use false color and histogram in FiLMiC Pro V6.x to set exposure.
Setting exposure correctly is important. If you under or overexpose too much you will lose detail information in those areas. Using these tools will help prevent that. But remember, that they are just tools to assist you, and depending on the look and feel you want in your video, you may have it a bit darker or brighter than the tools tell you to use.
Use your eyes and your creativity to determine what is optimal. For this discussion, I’m assuming you are not using the Cinematographer Kit add-on for FiLMiC Pro. For this example, I’m using an iPhone XR.
Evaluating the histogram
First, let’s look at the histogram, which you can see below. The histogram shows the range of darkest areas to the brightest areas in the image, with the darkest on the left and the brightest on the right. When a peak is pushed to the very top of the histogram, that means you have an area that is over or underexposed. In this example, you can see that the histogram shows light in the middle and more toward the darker side.
You can also see a peak on the left side rising all the way to the top. When that happens you will lose all the detail in that area. If you see this is your histogram, you’ll want to adjust your exposure so that it’s no longer touching the top.
Now let’s look at false color. In the image below I’ve turned on false color. Using it is pretty simple just remember that the color green means good exposure, blue mean underexposed and red means overexposed. That doesn’t mean that you will only have green in your image if it is properly exposed. You will typically always have some amount of red or blue. You just don’t want too much of them and combining the histogram with false color can help in preventing that.
The way I use the histogram along with false color is as a double-check of false color’s red and blue areas (over and underexposed). If false color is showing red in areas (overexposed/too bright), I look at the histogram and see if the white area on the right pushed to the top of the histogram. In this case, if the scene is too bright, I will reduce the exposure. If I see areas on the left that are pushed to the top of the histogram then the scene is too dark, and I will increase the exposure.
In the example below, it looks pretty good, but you can see that peak in the histogram on the left that tells us something is underexposed in the scene and so we need to adjust the exposure to be a bit brighter.
Now watch this short video showing how to set exposure manually using these two tools in FiLMiC Pro.
Finally, you will want to turn off false color and fine-tune the exposure so the video looks good to you. And then double-check the histogram to be sure you didn’t over or underexpose. While this can seem like a lot, here are the steps. Once you’ve done this a few times, it will become fast and easy.
- Turn on false color
- Turn on histogram
- Turn on exposure wheel
- Adjust false color keeping an eye on the histogram
- Turn off false color and fine-tune exposure