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January 03, 2020 3 min read

Basic Colour Correction & Grading

Colour Correction & Colour Grading play a huge role within video post-production. During this stage we are able to bring out the colours and definition of our footage. We will delve into the basics of Colour Correction & Grading this will give you an insight into our workflow during post-production process. I am by no means an expect in this area, as there is so much to learn and with the ever-developing technological advances within colour grading software. Learning it all would be an impressive feat.

Using a Flat Picture Profile

As you can see from the image below the right side looks very flat, not much contrast and desaturated. This is because we are using a "Flat Picture Profile" in this instance we have opted for the Cine4 picture profile. (Sony A7iii Cine4 picture profile) By Using a flatter picture profile we have a lot more creative freedom, allowing for a higher amount of dynamic range. Giving us more details within the shadows and highlights. Therefore allowing for greater freedom when colour correcting/grading. Looking at the below image we can see the raw footage alongside three very different types of styles. Being able to manipulate the colours in the footage is a great advantage of using a flat picture profile.

Basic Colour Correction Tools - Premier Pro

Adobe Premier Pro is a very powerful video editor. Built into the software you have the ability to control various tools that will guide you through the colour correction process. We use the Lumetri Colour tool to correct & grade our footage. If you are familiar with such programmes as Adobe Lightroom this tool will look very familiar. Typical tools such as exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows are present within lumetri colour. More advance tools are available once you become more comfortable.
The below image shows before any corrections have been made.
Lumetri Colour - No Corrections Lumetri Colour - No Corrections
As you can see below with only a few slight adjustments we are able to really bring out the details and colour within this footage. This is very basic colour correction. I would suggest testing each value to see how far you can push your footage and if it doesn't work out reset and go again.
Lumetri Colour - Colour Corrected Lumetri Colour - Colour Corrected

Top Tip When Colour Correcting – Using Lumetri Scopes

This can be a lifesaver especially at the start of the colour correction process. When colour correcting, I use the Lumetri Scopes. As seen below we have wave forms which will visually change in real-time as we adjust the values. Now when colour correcting, it can be quite easy to overdo it. Many times have I overexposed the image blowing out the highlights or crushing the blacks. leading to lost information/details. This is where the waveforms come in. As you can see from both examples below we have a range from 0-100 (0 being the blackest point of the image and 100 being the whitest). The rule you want to follow is to never go below 0 or above 100, by following this rule you will not lose crucial information. By going over 100 we lose detail in the highlights and vice versa going below 0 we lose detail in the shadows. So always try to keep within this range refer to the second image for a good example.
Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes (Lost Details) Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes (Lost Details)
Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes
Finally, try not to get overwhelmed when colour correcting. Don't forget you can always reset and try again. shooting with a flat profile only makes this process easier.

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