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Color Correction and Grading

Color correction refers to the process where every individual clip of a video footage is altered to match color temperature of multiple shots to a consistent technical standard of appearance.

It’s about balancing out your colors, making the whites actually appear white, and the blacks actually appear black, and that everything in between is nice and even.

The goal is to match the video footage to a standard that would be an accurate portrayal of how it would look if viewed from the human eye. With the human eye, under a warm light or cool light, a white object will always appear white. But with cameras, if you don’t set it to the proper white balance, it can appear either blueish white, yellowish white or actual white.

Also, if you’re shooting outside over the course of a day, the quality of the sun is going to change and your video will not look quite right, as certain shots of your video will not match up. That’s why color correction is so important, as it will make your shots seamless and make your video look like they were all shot at the same time. Color correction can be done using primary and secondary tools, as well as masks and mattes.

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Why use color grading?

Color conveys meaning. We use it to define our sensory experience, to describe objects, express emotion, and evoke a response. It is descriptive beyond what we see. It's no wonder that color plays a large role in video production and careful thought goes into crafting the color palettes on screen.

Color is a fundamental element of design and visual storytelling. Traditionally, artists use it to set the mood for their work, the tone of their voice, and to carry a theme in their craft. In the world of video, color grading is an art form all its own. In the not so distant past, the post-production process of color grading was reserved for expensive edit suites, requiring specific and finite tools.

Today, color grading is accessible to any editor and the tools to accomplish it are found in most video editing programs. Color grading can make a drastic change to footage, turning day into night or making a drab shot into a vivid landscape. It doesn’t need to be bold and loud, and can be a small tweak to footage. Even a subtle color grade can have a profound impact on an audience.

Different locations have different nuances, a varied color palette can bring that out. Color can help orient the audience to the location on screen, among the other things.

Color grading allows the video editor to control the image. A video clip conveys more than the content it contains. A varied and intentional color palette in video can inform the audience in a multitude of ways. The mood of a narrative is enhanced by the use of color grading.


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