How to Create the Sin City Effect in Adobe Premiere [ReelRebel #44]

How to Create the Sin City Effect in Adobe Premiere [ReelRebel #44]

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.

 

View The Full Video Transcript:

Hey I'm Stephen Scweickart with this episode of the Reel Rebel and BOY have I got one nifty editing technique for you thats a little advance, and you might not use it everyday, but its a great trick to have up your sleeve-- its The Sin City Technique or as some of you might know it as, The Pleasantville.

The Sin City effect is a correction technique that allows you to select a specific color in your footage and highlight it by turning everything else in your scene black and white. This is the ideal outlet for all of you artsy butterflies out there waiting to come into bloom!

There are many ways to achieve this effect, but since I use Adobe Premiere THATS what I'm gonna show you!

Import your clip into the timeline.

Double click that clip and open the Effects Control tab.

Navigate in your effects window, under Video Effects, Color Correction, and Leave Color.

Click and drag the Leave Color effect into the Effect Controls.

Choose the eye-dropper tool

Click the color that you want to keep in your video

Change the "Amount to Recolor" setting to 100%

Switch the "Match Colors Setting" to Using Hue

If you don't start seeing the color effect taking shape, well I did say Advanced, so throw your training wheels back on and come back when you're ready to run with the Big Dog!

To finish things up, adjust your tolerance and edge softness amount to the highest it can go BEFORE other colors start to come back into the image.

BOOM! Now you can look Hollywood fancy with your new artsy technique! Before your head gets too big, remember where you came from and click that subscribe button below!

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Sofie Marien

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

    Sofie Marien