Color grading is just one step to the whole post-production process, but the way we do so heavily determines whether our films will come out as masterpieces or messy pieces. Essentially, colors are what makes up an image and the way we manipulate them affects the quality of the entire output.
Color grading is the process of manipulating the exposure, colors and composition of individual clips to enhance the quality of the whole edited film. The way we color correct individual clips will make or break the whole output. Here are five considerations for video editors to take note of when working on colors on your clips.
Shoot with a flat profile
Shooting flat is pretty much like allowing a painter to paint on a plain canvass- it allows for a clean and fresh start. Flat footage usually catches more information and allows for more colors to pop once enhanced. Flat profiles are usually bland in color and have minimal sharpness and contrast.
Tints affect moods
The way that you work with your tints will greatly affect the mood of the clip. Tints in blue or dark green hues allow for more cool, cinematic and somewhat even melancholic moods that bring a sense of melancholy to your shots. Red and yellow hues on the other hand give a warm, vibrant and fun feel. Remember to not be too loud when it comes to using tints.
When working on color grading, the consistency of the look and feel of every individual clip makes a difference. Coloring two clips that are side by side in different hues, contrast and compositions are not always a great idea. It’s best to keep things consistent all throughout especially if you’re working on short videos.
Adjust sharpness before contrast
I know how easy it is to be tempted to always bump up the contrast of an image, but sometimes maybe what your clip lacks is sharper edges and not more contrasted ones. When color grading and editing, less is more and subtle speaks volumes so try to go for the quiet and impactful before going loud.
Bring down the whites and put up the blacks
If you’ve ever gone to art class, you’ll probably remember your art instructor telling you that black and white are the two enemies to a proper art piece. White and black represent a lack of color and are not always the best options when creating a piece of art- especially on video. Try to keep your white and black points a shade of either really dark or really light grey.