Color grading can go a long way in helping your movie stand out from the crowd.
When done right, not only will it make your movie look professional, but it will also bring more emotion to the scenes to give people the highest levels of satisfaction and experience.
It positions you as a real filmmaker albeit independent.
However, color correction is sometimes used interchangeably with color correction. To start this post, we’re going to reveal the stark differences between the two. Then we’ll go ahead and explain why you should put significant weight on post-production color grading.
Now that we’ve covered these two points, we’re going to start discussing 9 examples of how color correction is done.
By the end of this post, even if you are just starting out, you will know the basic tricks to get a professional looking movie Make money in the film industry.
Let’s jump right in.
The difference between color correction and color correction
First of all, color grading should ideally come before color grading.
Color correction before color correction takes away a lot of weight in the latter. There are fewer steps to take and it becomes less complicated.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Color grading changes each clip of the footage to produce a standard image. This includes correcting the problems with the underlying image by making the black look black and the white looking white, and balancing the colors to make sure it is even.
By correcting the color, you can adapt the footage to an actual representation. Simply put, it makes the footage look more natural, just like you would see it in real life.
An example of this is when you are shooting outdoors where the quality of the sun fluctuates. Because of this, the colors of the movie clips do not match.
Hence, you will need color grading so that the video looks consistent even when external factors cannot be fully controlled.
Color grading is the process of adjusting ISO noise, improving tones, exposure, white balance, and contrast so that the clips look uniform.
Essentially, you are digitally modifying the raw material to replicate what it would look like when perceived by a human eye.
To top it off, the goal of color grading is to get a consistent look across all of the clips to make it more natural to the human eye.
Once this is done, the color grading should follow. So what is it really?
Unlike color grading, which corrects clip colors, color grading is about enhancing colors to create a mood for the movie. It adds more detail to the story.
Take this photo from the podcast host Instructions for the podcast software. It has a color graded image of Colin Gray that sets a relaxed tone.
In a nutshell, color grading is all about fixing color problems. On the other hand, color grading is about adding an artistic choice, a style, to the movie clips. Even Graphic designer keep this principle in mind.
Why color correction is important
To start, we touched on how color grading sets your film apart from beginners and yours Filmmaker dream career comes true.
For filmmakers, color grading is the spice that adds a touch of the film and makes people remember the masterpiece not just because of the plot, but also because of the cinematic.
Additionally, in this era when social media is used for marketing with heavy video usage, color grading means being a trusted brand or influencer as well. Content creators step up their game of color grading to stand out.
Even illustration types of videos like that of VPN overview will benefit a lot from the color grading. Although it doesn’t contain any real-life footage, the color grading made the video more engaging and professional.
And the benefits of color grading don’t stop with videos, even those in the e-commerce industry costume Store uses color grading for professional looking images.
Now let’s get to what you came here for, the 9 examples of how to do color correction.
Know your footage
Different cameras have different outputs. But for the best color grading result, shoot in “log”.
Log means that the image initially looks dull, flat, desaturated and low in contrast. That way, you’ll have plenty of room to keep details when you start color grading.
On the contrary, when the high-contrast footage is burned in, details in the white are blown out and the black shredded.
Assign a hero shot
As already described, the aim of color grading is to achieve a uniform appearance of all footage.
Think about it:
Wouldn’t it be distracting to find footage from one camera angle with a different color temperature than another?
For consistency, choose a hero shot and start correcting from there. Just make it a reference for all other footage looks.
This Guy Edits’ colorist suggests starting with a wider take of the scene, balanced out with medium levels of contrast to make the job easier.
Source: YouTube (This guy edited)
Set up your oscilloscopes and your interface
Before the actual color correction, set up your work area, depending on the software used, so that it does justice to the color workflow.
If you’re using Premiere Pro, you can add the following to your workspace:
- A reference monitor for shot adjustment
- 8-bit full color display (but check your footage first to confirm)
- An extended timeline that covers audio levels (not needed here anyway)
- In the panel, use Lumetri Scopes Parade (RGB), Vectorscope YUV, and Waveform (but you can also try other oscilloscopes and decide which works best for you
Use the parade (RGB) with three different graphics (red, green, and blue) to correct for white balance and exposure.
Use the waveform (luma) to correct the exposure in the range of 0-100 IRE. (0 absolute black, 100 absolute white)
Both areas (parade and waveform) correspond from left to right.
Also note that screen calibration, room lighting and even wall colors change the perception of colors on the monitor. If you feel like the footage isn’t looking great, trust the scopes, they are never wrong.
Tip: work on a neutral gray room so as not to throw off the paint.
Basically LUTs (Lookup Tables) are preset. It makes work faster, especially when recording in “Log”, since a lot of color information is retained.
It is a good starting point for additional corrections. You don’t have to keep shifting the colors in the frame, it will apply basic color grading for you.
As mentioned earlier, even illustration videos benefit from color grading. This was illustrated by an introductory video from GloriaFood, a Website builder for restaurants.
Adjusting the white balance changes the footage temperature of the white in the clip to make it naturally white.
If the white balance is switched off, so are other colors.
Find an object in the clip that is closest to true white. It can be a piece of paper or a dress. Use it as a reference point.
Some colorists use a white card or slate at the beginning of each clip as a reference point for color corrections. Choose what works best for you.
Take a look at the cover picture of TimeCamp Employee presence tracker Blog as well Keywestaloes Cover picture of the homepage, the white elements were perfectly balanced.
Temperature and color regulators
After correcting the white balance, use the Hue sliders to adjust other colors of the footage.
If the clip looks bluish, move the slide to the orange area and vice versa.
If the clip looks greenish, move the slider towards magenta and vice versa.
Then take a look at the oscilloscopes to get a good feel for how balanced the clip is after the correction.
Matching the tones and gamma values of the footage can be a little tricky. Patiently adjusting the sliders to notice the effect until you become familiar with different shadows and highlights.
Use the waveform as a guide. Adjust the exposure until the reading is between 0-110 IRE. You can then use the parameters listed above to change other tones:
- Black at around 0-20 IRE
- Shade at around 20-50 IRE
- Highlights in round 50-80 IRE
- White at around 80-100 IRE
Start with the dark tone and gradually move on to the lighter ones. When done right, it looks so natural:
Source: Premiere Pro
Ideally, saturation is the last adjustment you should make. When everything is in balance, use the Saturation slider to enhance the natural look.
Increasing the saturation results in an underexposed appearance and decreasing the saturation results in an overexposed appearance.
The saturation just adds vibrancy, it adds some pop without affecting the exposure.
A good example of this are Everything Homepage and rokettos SaaS marketing to blog.
If an image looks too smooth, it lacks the realistic factor. By adding sharpness, the footage looks cleaner, clearer, and more competent, making it more natural as opposed to what the eye sees Winpures Instructional videos.
See the screenshots on the page as an example Startup Marketing Agencies GrowthRocks blog. If they have worked on making the images sharper it will add a lot more competency to the content, something that is close Predictive dialer Blog could.
While we’re talking about color grading in film, we’ve included image samples from other industries that highlight the importance of color grading not only in filmmaking but in other areas as well.
Now that you know the tricks, it’s time to try it out!
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors novumhq.com. His articles feature some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics he has learned from his own successes and failures.