You ever watch a movie like Sin City or Pleasantville, and wonder how they got everything to look black and white except for one color?  The same thing was done in a handful of scenes in Schindler's List as well.  It's a neat effect when you're trying to go for some sort of color symbolism, or well, you're just trying to be cool.  While this is an advanced color correction technique, it can be done fairly easily using these steps in Adobe Premiere (I'm sure it's fairly similar in Final Cut Pro).

Tutorial for the Sin City Effect in Premiere

This is a color correction effect that works by highlighting a specific color and turning everything else black and white.

In Adobe Premiere, it works like this:

  • Import your clip into the timeline.
  • Double click that clip and open the Effects Control tab.
  • Navigate in your effects window under Video Effects.
  • Go to Color Correction and select Leave Color.
  • Click and drag the Leave Color effect into the Effect Control.
  • Choose the "eye dropper" tool.
  • Click the color you want to keep in your video.
  • Change the "Amount to Recolor" setting to 100 percent.
  • Switch the "Match Colors" setting to Using Hue.
  • To finish the effect, adjust your Tolerance and Edge Softness to the highest it can go before the other colors start showing back up in the image.

For other cool effects you can try out, take a look at the Old Movie Effect, or the Split Screen Effect.


  • Sofie Marien

    I love the sin city effect. Definitely going to try this.

    Sofie Marien