Does your footage look a little dull? Or is your footage slightly overexposed in a way that spoils your video quality? Have you ever heard of Color Correction or Color Grading?
Well, say no more! Today, I will show you how you can make your dull footage look more appealing to the viewer’s eyes. So, let’s get rolling with the basics of Color grading vs. Color correction to make your footage look fantastic, professional, and cinematic.
The terms colour grading and colour correction are often used interchangeably, although they have different purposes. However, it’s imperative to know what these processes are, what they are used for, and how they are different, especially if you want to start a career in video editing or motion graphics.
So, before we jump into how to improve your video quality, let’s get a clear picture of Color grading vs. color correction.
Colour Correction vs. Colour Grading
Colour correction and colour grading are two separate processes for editing colour in a video. Both processes are equally essential to video making. While both the terms have their roles to play, they are intertwined, and to get that professional look in your video, you’ll need them both.
Now, the question is, what is the difference between colour correction and grading?
Colour correction is fixing problems, while colour grading balances colour and contrast to serve a visually appealing choice.
Remember that colour correcting or grading your footage varies from footage to footage. However, you’ll have to use both to get a picture-perfect, professional look. First, you must consider correcting your footage’s colour and then applying the colour grading to your footage.
Getting started with Colour Correction
Before we start talking about how to do it correctly, we need to ensure that we shoot the footage in the best settings possible so that it is not underexposed or overexposed.
To have complete control over the colours of the footage, we need to shoot the footage in some Picture Profiles – set of parameters that determine the characteristics of the footage.
These picture profiles vary from brand to brand. If you have a Canon camera, you need to use C-log; if you have a Sony camera, you need to use S-log and many others. Logs help us shoot a flat image to control it more flexibly. It helps us achieve the desired image and professional look and helps maintain consistency throughout the video.
You can use software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Davinci Resolve, etc., to colour-correct the footage. It all depends on your personal preference, as everyone works the same.
1. Colour-correcting the footage
Here, we are using Adobe Premiere Pro. You need to import your footage to the timeline and then select the footage, go to the Window tab, and search for Lumetri Color. Once it is selected, your Lumetri window will open.
You will find different categories here: Basic Correction, Creative, Curves, Color Wheels and match, HSL Secondary, and Vignette. The best and perhaps the easiest way of color-correcting your footage is to go step-by-step.
2. Basic Correction
So, once you click on Basic Correction in the Lumetri Color Window, a window will appear, showing you some settings like:
You can add points and drag them to make adjustments in shadows, mid-tones, and highlights with more accuracy. You can edit individual colour channels in curves, red, blue, green, and white.
These curves can perform overall hue, saturation, or luminance adjustments based on the values you select. If you are confused, hue is colour, saturation is the intensity of colour, and luminance is the brightness of your footage.
Each graph has two properties, horizontal and vertical, which are connected. You will find different curve tools under the same menu :
These are called selective grading tools because that’s exactly what they do. For example, I can select the red shade of a particular area and change it to green without affecting the entire footage.
Besides, I can isolate colours and make a whole lot of changes. I can use Hue Vs. Saturation to desaturate that area. There are various changes, including fine-tuning skin tones, lower saturation of shadows, & a handful of other creative results.
4. Colour wheel and matches
It allows you to compare two videos side-by-side by automatically selecting the colour and grey-scale data from a reference picture and applying it to the current shot. It also allows you to change shadow, highlight, and mid-tones.
5. HSL Secondary
It gives overall control over a specific colour in the footage. Control over a single colour is useful when the overall hue saturation curves hit their limits.
Curves are then lowered to meet broadcast safe limits. Another typical scenario includes enhancing a specific colour by making it stand out from the background or keying a particular luminance range, like a sky.
The organization of controls within the HSL section guides you through the workflow. This process requires setting a key, then refining your key, and applying a colour correction.
Vignette is the simplest way to drag attention towards a particular section of the footage. Adjust the Amount, Midpoint, Roundness, and Feather sliders until you achieve the desired result of your footage.
Getting started with Colour Grading
Colour Grading is a process you do once you have completed color-correcting your footage. It is the process of giving our footage the feel and emotion so the viewer feels more interested and convinced while watching it. It helps us stylize the colour scheme of the footage.
It is the most creative part, where you can make it look like what you want to show. It helps make the footage more professional. You may even apply an LUT that you can download from different sources or make a Custom LUT to have a specific look for your videos.
Watch this video, to see both color grading and color correction in action.
Got a clear understanding?
That’s it, folks! Now, you are all set to colour and edit your footage.
Remember, colour correction and colour grading are essential in giving your video a polished and professional look. Just pick the right colour to ensure it conveys the emotions and tone you want to obtain in your video.
Besides, colour grading and colour correction ensure your video will look professionally created. In fact, color correcting and grading, when done the right way, could determine whether your viewers will be engaged in your video.
Editor: Richa Sharma