Step-by-Step Guide to Basic Color Correction

Color Correction

How can you do video color correction flawlessly

Color correction is an important step in post-production. Here is a guide to show the steps of the process & how you can color-correct videos flawlessly.

 Color correction might be the last step in video editing, but it is the first thing that is noticed by the audience. The tone and color of the movie set the mood for viewers, and they can lose themselves in a visual fantasy.

Color correction is an integral part of the post-production stage, and if the color appears dull or lifeless, the whole video takes a hit. Professional colorists spend a lot of their time understanding different color palettes and well-versing themselves with software tools that can help them in this process.

The process entails adjusting the exposure, balancing white and black components, and tweaking the contrast and saturation, to name a few. This step is needed because numerous challenges exist when a video is shot, including lighting and weather that may not boost the scene, and color correction is required.

Table of Content

1)     Steps for Color Correction on your Video   

a.      Modifying Brightness

b.      Regularizing the Whites

c.      Treating Contrast and Color Curves

d.      Steadying the Tone and Colors

e.      Enhancing additional effects

f.       Matching the entire video color

2)     Best Color Correction Video Editors

3)     Conclusion

Steps for Color Correction on your Video

 You may have noticed that every blockbuster has its own unique color tone. From Titanic to John Wick, the colors in a movie are constant. The color correction workflow can vary on preferences, but specific steps are consistent.

Even if you don’t want to, a video always needs a little brightening or contrast to make it seem better. Following are some color-correction steps that can guide you toward creating a better video:

  •   Modifying Brightness: Adjusting the brightness is always the first step, whether for videos or our own images. To rectify brightness which may fluctuate owing to different shot settings, you can utilize the exposure and contrast level in your video editor to dull or lighten the tone of the complete video.

While brightness often relies on the person editing, you should always check the status of the brightness of your video on various machines and ask your team’s opinion.

  •  Regularizing the Whites: A video’s equal distribution of black and white is essential. Black can accentuate the mood and differences, white can add calm and life to the screen, and this can be contrasted against the actors’ clothing also to enhance the color palette.

It is crucial to remember that white plays an essential part in highlighting an actor’s face. So, every colorist must be well-versed in different shades of white and adjust the black and white levels accordingly.

  •  Treating Contrast and Color Curves: The contrast and color curves permit you to incorporate a certain amount of depth in your image by creating a difference in brightness across the video or shot. The color curves (RGB) let you add bold shades to the shot. This tool may come across as complicated and challenging, but it can create a style that is like no other.
  •  Steadying the Tone and Colors: Different tones determine the colors captured by the camera; however, sometimes they appear bland or lack intensity. To make your images vibrant, you have to play with the levels of saturation, hue, and different color keys.

Saturation makes the colors intense without making them look ghastly. Vibrancy adds a specific personality, and when you adjust the shades, voila! You get the perfect shot.

  •   Enhancing Additional Effects: This is the step where you adjust the image’s texture, sharpness, and clarity. Remember, adding texture highlights the face and its details; sharpness removes the flatness and adds brightness to your actor or object.
  •  Matching the Entire Video Color: The unique or odd thing about video editing is that you can only edit one scene at a time; hence to maintain consistency, you must apply the same style in the entire video. This can be done by color-matching features such as Adobe Premiere or Lightworks, which can offer a consistent look throughout the whole video!

Best Color Correction Video Editors

The tools being used for color correction are very important and the right one can help you save time while doing the perfect job. Here are a few tested and tried tools that can give you great results:

  1.     Adobe Premiere Pro – Industry standard + FREE LUTs
  2.     DaVinci Resolve – Heaps of color grading classes online
  3.       Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite – Standalone color grading plug-ins
  4.       Lightworks – For editing Hollywood movies
  5.     Final Cut Pro X – Great color wheels
  6.       Color Finale – Extends professional-grade tools
  7.   HitFilm Express – Beginner-friendly
  8.     Shotcut – With preview window
  9.     Filmora – Rich format provision


Today, there are numerous tools and creative opportunities in video color correction and grading; you only need a little creativity. The more you drown yourself in the HSL qualifiers, curves, and color wheels, the more innovative color correction you will be able to do.

Just remember to keep your grading modest, balanced, uniform, and, more importantly, in equilibrium with the entire video and the world will be your muse!

Comments are closed.