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Video Color Correction – Part 1

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Professional Color Correction

This is part one of a series looking into the post production process.

The first thing to understand is the difference between color correction and color grading.

Color correction and color grading are both processes used in post-production to adjust and enhance the colors of a video, but they serve different purposes:

  1. Color Correction: Color correction is the process of adjusting the colors in a video to ensure they are accurate and consistent. This involves correcting issues such as white balance, exposure, and color balance to make the footage look as natural and true to life as possible. Color correction is typically done after the edit or selects have been made and is more about technical adjustments.
  2. Color Grading: Color grading, on the other hand, is the process of creatively manipulating the colors in a video to achieve a specific aesthetic or mood. Think of films like The Matrix or Dune, with very specific tones. This can involve adjusting the contrast, saturation, and hue of individual colors to create a unique look for the video. Color grading is more about artistic expression and is often used to give a video a particular style or feel.

In this post we are specifically looking into color correcting and the importance of this post production mastering step.

  1. Consistency: Color correction ensures that all shots in a scene or sequence have a consistent look, which is crucial for maintaining the visual continuity of the video.
  2. Enhancement: Correcting colors can enhance the overall look of the footage, making it more visually appealing and engaging for the audience.
  3. Mood and Tone: Color correction can be used to create or enhance a specific mood or tone in the video. For example, warm tones might be used to create a cozy or nostalgic feel, while cool tones might be used to create a sense of calm or detachment.
  4. Correction of Imperfections: This is the big one. Color correction can help correct any color imperfections in the footage, such as white balance issues, color casts, or exposure problems.
  5. Visual Storytelling: Colors can be used to help tell a story or convey emotions. Color correction allows filmmakers to manipulate colors to support the narrative and enhance the emotional impact of the video.

Take a look at our color correction demo reel showcasing some before and after video clips and how they can look vastly different.

It’s important to remember, what is possible in this step involves being mindful of what data levels exist in the original footage. The more data, the more the color can be altered. The less data, the more the process becomes adjusting to get the picture to look as best as it possibly can with the data given.

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In short, color correction is an essential part of the post-production process that can greatly impact the final look and feel of a video. In the next part of this series we will delve into color grading and how to enhance footage that is already color corrected.


Pedestrian Collective has been specializing in creative storytelling for over 15 years.