Adding the Polishing Touch to Your Video
Let’s say you’re making a video. You made it through the pre-production phase with all the planning and logistics, ventured your way through production, knit the story together in edit, gave it some flavor with complementary graphics, and then you sit down to watch it and can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. You retrace your steps, trying to determine what exactly is causing the video to seem off, but everything appears to be in working order. So what’s the deal? Well, there could be a number of things that would cause the video to not be quite right, but one solution that could really enhance your video and set it apart from others is simple: color correction and color grading.
The terms 'color correction' and 'color grading' are pretty synonymous with one another due to both being used to describe the overall look of an image. You can think of it like painting a picture – color correction is when you use broad brush strokes to set the foundation of the picture, whereas color grading is using fine-tuned brush strokes to add specific details to enhance the image. Both techniques are considered 'painting' but there are differences between the two.
In general, color correction is when the footage is adjusted primarily through the 'shadows', 'midtones', and 'highlights' in such a way as to fix aberrations in the footage (i.e. incorrect color temperature, shifting of natural daylight during the shoot day, under or over-exposed subjects) as well as helping set the mood and drive the story by adding depth and life to the visuals.
Color grading, to put it simply, is the more specific adjustment done to enhance the footage in order to achieve a desired look.
Examples of this include (but are certainly not limited to):
Vignettes to draw the viewer’s eyes to a specific place in the composition. Notice how the vignette pulls your attention to focus on the subjects in the scene, keeping you from getting lost in the foreground on the right.
Isolating the color range of a certain object and changing it’s original color to a different one. In this case changing that green binder to a purple one.
Creating a shape around a precise area in the composition (called a 'power window') which allows you to manipulate the visuals within that shape. See how only the pants are brightened and the rest of the picture stays the same.
So that’s color correction and color grading in a huge, giant nutshell. The next time you’re in the thick of making an awesome video be sure to absolutely apply color correction and color grading to the mix. You’ll thank yourself profusely later that you did.
Let us know if we can help you with your color! And to get other helpful tools and techniques for video production be sure to download our free ebook, Your Ultimate Guide to Business Video here.
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