What is Color Grading? Everything You Need to Know!

Color grading sometimes falls under the radar, but it’s an integral part of post-production – it brings the footage to life. In this article, we will look at color grading in much more detail and how you can color grade your footage to the highest quality.

There’s a multitude of video editing software that can assist you with color grading. From Premiere Pro to Da Vinci Resolve, these all have the functionality to help with your projects.

Let’s dig deeper into color grading, what it does and a few tips to help you master it.

What is colour grading?

What is color grading?

Color grading is a way the video editor or filmmaker styles the footage to suit the films style or look. It is a technical element but is more creative than the color correction stage.

The range of style depends on the type of film. Documentaries tend to be more natural and subtle, but in feature and short films, the style can be exaggerated and over the top to match the genre of the movie.

All the footage is rarely filmed in the same location simultaneously; this creates variations of light and different natural elements through the different shoot days. This is impossible to film the same set up naturally in a raw setting, as the variables are inconsistent – studios you can replicate it, as it’s human-made.

This is where color grading steps in and allows you to color grade the footage across your film. It’s a creative output where you can color grade to suit your film’s genre and craft a color grade to bring your film to life – it will show time, the mood of the scene, and help assemble your characters’ background.

What does color grading do?

What is Color Grading

It does a number of things to your film, one example is that the aim of your color grading is to pull the emotions from the viewer, you want your color grade to evoke emotion from the audience. Captivating and engaging them with your color grade.

It also stylises your color scheme across all of your footage, allowing your film to set the tone from the start. It really does define the final look of your film and can be the final piece to your creative jigsaw.

Finally, it’s the final step to transforming your video footage to the final film. It’s the last piece of the filmmaking puzzle and helps sculpt your video footage to give it an authentic, cinematic feel.

Color Correction vs Color Grading

What’s the difference between the two? Color grading and color correction can sometimes be mistaken as the same thing, granted it’s similar but there is a slight difference.

Color correction is a technical process that sorts out coloring issues and makes the footage look as natural as possible. The correction allows the colors to look natural and appear as we see them with our human eyes.

Whereas color grading is technical, but is far more creative than color correction. It pulls the emotion from the audience and creates an atmosphere to keep them engaged.

Our favourite color grading tools

Here’s a couple of tools to improve your color grading and help you improve your current video footage. These tools are easy to use and will help take your film to the next level.

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a high quality piece of video editing software and incredibly is free of charge. That’s one of the reasons we’ve included DaVinci Resolve here, as it’s an in-depth tool that will help you color grade your film to the highest spec.

DaVinci started off as a color grading tool and was extremely successful. It slowly was built out as a video editing platform with the tools to color grade inbuilt. We recommend this as the best option for color grading, and it’s free!

Check it out today on their site: DaVinci Resolve.

Adobe Premiere Pro – Lumetri Scopes

Lumetri Scopes is part of the Adobe Premiere Pro package, but is the ideal tool for color grading? These will help you to achieve naturalistic color graded footage, and get your video footage to look how you desire.

It has three tools to help you get the right color grade to ensure your footage is colored correctly. Here they are:

  • Histogram
  • Waveform
  • Vectorscope

For the full article, please click here. Our lumetri Scopes article will breakdown the process in detail, and allow you to understand the different features within Lumetri Scopes.

Here’s a quick tutorial with our in-house editor Philip on how you can color grade your footage in Lumetri Scopes in only a few simple steps.

We hope this article on color grading was helpful. Please let us know what you thought in the comments below, and if there’s anything else you want us to cover.

1 thought on “What is Color Grading? Everything You Need to Know!”

  1. Thanks for detailing what color grading is. I like that you said that it can make your film feel more authetic. I think that would really help audiences get more into the story.

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