Color has a huge effect on your video’s mood. Learn how to use color to set the right atmosphere, evoke emotion or add a cinematic feel to your footage.
We’ll cover: why color is so important in video, how to color grade using log and raw files, how to use LUTs to color grade your footage, practical tips on how to get started in your editing software.
It’s time to show your true colors.
In this class, you’ll learn the basics of color correction and color grading and how to use these two different processes to create stunning-looking videos that deliver the emotion you want to convey.
So first of all, what’s the difference between color correction and color grading? Well, color correction is the process of adjusting your footage to look natural and unprocessed, as well as creating a cohesive look across all your clips. Color grading is the creative process of altering the look and the feel of your image to support the video’s tone and deliver your emotional theme. You can think of color correction as a technical process that fixes color and exposure issues, while color grading is a creative process that lets you apply an artistic and stylistic vision. Let’s see an example of color correction.
Let’s say you’re working on a video. You have a bunch of clips you shot with a Blackmagic Pocket, a bunch of clips you shot with the Sony A7S III, and a few shots from Artgrid you want to put in there as well. All those shots will look a bit different, according to the camera profile, the lighting and the day, etc. That’s the point where you’ll want to apply a color correction to align all the footage with the same consistent look. In addition to that, you can also use a color correction to fix problems in your footage. Let’s take, for example, this shot from Artgrid. You can see that it has a bit of a green tint on it and that it’s a bit underexposed. By adjusting the brightness and shifting the color hues, you can make it look more natural. You’ve basically corrected the footage. We don’t dive deep into how to color correct right now, but there is a class about it later on in this course, so make sure you check it out.
OK, so you got the hang of what’s color correcting. So, what’s color grading? Usually, color grading comes after the color correction process. Once you have all your shots looking natural and have a cohesive look to them, that’s when you can use color grading to bring your vision to life by shifting and manipulating the tone, color palette, and style of your shot. It’s best understood by looking at an example, so let’s see some color correction and grading in action.
I took this footage from Artgrid and downloaded it in LOG format so we can all go through the steps together. We’ll do it really quick, just so you can see the difference. For detailed tutorials for color correction and grading, check the rest of the classes in this course and if you’re not sure what LOG means, don’t worry, you can learn all about it in our LOG, RAW, and LUTs video. For now, all you need to know is that LOG files have more dynamic range and data to work with and they usually have this grayish tint to them. As for the grade tint, what you’ll want to do is first color correct this footage and bring it to the point where it looks most natural.
You know that this footage was shot on a RED Epic Dragon camera because this information appears on Artgrid, so you can quickly color correct it by applying this camera LUT and then doing these further adjustments if needed. As you can see, the footage now looks natural and less processed. It’s color corrected. Now let’s color grade to give it a specific feel. Let’s go for a really dramatic, dark tone. So that’s it.
To learn more about emotion and color and video, check out the other classes we have on this course. Thanks guys so much for watching.
In this class, you learn all about RAW and LOG file format and about LUTs, from what exactly they are to how you can apply them to bring your creative vision to life and level up the look of your videos.
So first of all, what is RAW anyway, and what is LOG? And are they the same thing? Well, both RAW and LOG are file formats that your camera can record in, and both of them give you more leeway in the editing room. But the way they collect and record data is quite different. RAW files are, as the name suggests, simply files that keep all the original data captured in your camera with no processing done at all. It literally stores the raw data on your SD card exactly as the sensor detected it.
With the unprocessed data in your hands provided by the RAW file format, you get tremendous flexibility in your post-production. With RAW files, you can alter the entire look of your footage – ISO, white balance, shadow, and highlight data, as well as your picture profile. More on that later. The obvious downside of RAW files is that they take up a lot of space. They’re massive and can fill up your SD card in no time. That’s when LOG comes in. LOG files are somewhere between RAW and a final processed image. They were created based on the understanding that creators want and need a file that will provide them with the flexibility in the edit room, but that RAW files can sometimes just be overkill, both in the amount of control given and also their sheer size.
Earlier, when we mentioned the words picture profile, LOG files are just that type, a type of profile that your camera applies to the captured footage. It processes the data from the sensor in a way that saves more dynamic range. That allows you to keep more highlight and shadow data. Note that both RAW and LOG files will produce flat-looking image with a gray overcast to it, meaning you will have to do some kind of post-production to make it look the way you want.
OK, so when should you use RAW? When should you use LOG? And how do you create great-looking videos with them? It seems both RAW and LOG give you a gray flat file that you can control in editing. So if RAW files weigh so much, why just not shoot in LOG? That’s a great question.
The answer is that it all depends on your needs and requirements. RAW gives you truly uncompressed files with zero data loss. If you want total control over all aspects of your footage, then RAW will give you that. However, you should take into consideration that RAW files will require a lot of storage space and a bit more handling. For example, if you’re on a shoot and you want to watch the footage on a monitor, you’ll have to use software that translates RAW data into a video. For comparison, LOG files will give you some control over your footage, but less than RAW. On the other hand, LOG will be easier to work with and will take up less space. So at the end of the day, which format is best really depends on what you need.
Now, how do we work with these gray, flat-looking RAW or LOG files? By now, you probably understand that when you’re working with RAW and LOG files, you’ll need to do some sort of post-production work. That means you’ll probably want to do some color correction and color grading to give your footage the unique look you’re looking for. We have a class about color grading and color correction as well, and we highly suggest watching it to better understand those techniques. But for now, let’s assume you’re familiar with it. Whether you’re doing this process manually yourself or want to speed things up by working with pre-made templates and settings, LUTs are something that you’ll find very handy.
A LUT, short for a lookup table, is a way of storing the visual changes you apply to your footage, in a way most video editing and post-production software can read. To put it simply, a lookup table is like a translator that software can read. It tells the software to take some value and change it to another. For example, let’s say you have your footage laid out on your timeline, and you want to quickly transform all of it from its flat LOG look to a more natural one. You can simply apply a LUT to it, and it will apply to your entire sequence. You can make these LUTs yourself or work with ready-made ones. Most software have LUTs built into them that quickly change different RAW or LOG profiles into a standard Rec. 709.
You simply need to choose the correct one based on your camera model and picture profile. Take another example. Let’s say you’re working with a team on a video for a client. You’re doing the main editing on your favorite software, but your colorist does the final color grading and they’re using something else. While you’re editing, you can do the basic color correction and save these settings as a LUT. Then the colorist can apply your LUT and continue on from there without any issue. Even before the editing phase some cameras can apply a LUT to your image while filming, so you can shoot in LOG, but view a color-graded image on a monitor, which helps a lot in understanding your exposure and overall look. Not only that, but you can also work with LUTs created by other creators from around the world.
This is a great way to speed up your process or create unique styles, especially if you’re just starting out. However, do remember that in nine out of ten cases, even after applying a LUT, you’ll still want to tweak the image yourself to make sure you get a consistent look you’re happy with.
OK, we covered a lot today, but while all this jargon might seem intimidating, once you start working hands-on with RAW and LOG footage and LUTs, you see how your workflow improves tremendously and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. We also have a bunch of other classes that dive deeper into the work process itself, so make sure to check those out as well. Thank you so much for watching.
Hi everyone. In this lesson, you’ll acquire some essential tools that will help you in crafting the perfect-looking video according to your creative vision. You’ll learn all about the color wheel and how to use it to tailor the look of your scenes, as well as all the mysterious, wavy things called the histogram, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the histogram.
The histogram is maybe one of the most confusing things your camera thinks you should care about. You can see it on the camera monitor itself. Then it shows up on your editing software. It looks all sciencey and stuff. And overall, it’s quite understandable if you’re intimidated by it and just prefer to get it over with. At the end of the day, knowing how to read a histogram can greatly help you in getting your exposure right, as well as knowing what kind of editing you have to apply to your footage.
Basically, a histogram is simply a graph of luminance values versus pixel counts, meaning it shows you visually how much of your image is occupied by dark pixels, bright pixels, and everything in between. The most left part of the histogram is your blacks, and the most right is white. The left area contains the shadows, the mid part contains the mid-tones, and the right area shows the highlights. By working with the histogram while you shoot, you can get an objective reading of your exposure, independent of stuff like the characteristics of your LCD screen, outside of lighting, distractions, your eyes, etc. Think of it like driving in your car and estimating your speed versus looking at the speedometer. The rule of thumb is that a properly exposed image will create a mountain-like histogram, spread nicely between the highlights to the shadows with a peak at the mid-tones. And that’s true when capturing an image dominated by mid-tones and if you want to create a natural-looking scene.
But once you get the hang of the histogram, you can use it to create more unique looks based on your creative vision. The high contrast dramatic look, for example, can have the histogram look like this. You can see how the scene is dominated by shadows and highlights with just a bit of mid-tones. Another example can be if you want to create a dreamy, blown-out scene, then your histogram can look something like this. So I guess a better rule of thumb will be that your histogram should look either like a mountain or a mountain range based on the look you’re going for. But the most important thing is you don’t want any cliffs, anything that goes beyond the most right or most left part of the histogram is clipped and becomes either pure black or pure white.
The data in those areas is lost. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back in post-production. So when shooting, you can use the histogram to make sure your image is properly exposed based on the look you want. So it’s OK if it’s dark or bright or somewhere in the middle, then you can complete the look in post by applying color correction and color grading. We have a lesson dedicated to that, so be sure to check it out.
Most modern cameras or on-camera monitors have a function called zebras, which can actually show you if any of the areas in your scenes are overexposed to the point of getting clipped to pure white. This can really help in identifying those tricky areas. Note that digital cameras are really good at keeping shadow detail, but overexposed highlights are pretty much impossible to save in post.
The color wheel: your basic, most useful tool in color theory. Now that we got over-exposure right, let’s talk about color. More specifically, a simple tool that can help you think about the colors of your scene, from the pre-production stage all the way to color grading. We have another episode about the emotional effects of color, so you should definitely check that out when you finish the specific course. The color wheel is simply an illustrative tool that organizes different hues of colors in a circle based on their respective relationships. Created by none other than Sir Isaac Newton, the color wheel organizes the primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. When you mix those colors together, you get the secondary colors, which is orange, purple, and green. When mixing those, you get the tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green blue-violet, and red-violet.
But no matter the variation of your color wheel, you can use it to build a proper color scheme for your needs. A color scheme or color harmony is basically a color palette that works well together. You can apply this palette in pre-production by choosing the outfits of your characters and look of your set, and you can choose this in post-production as well by applying color correction and grading.
So how do you use the color wheel to build your color scheme? The color has a very nifty UI, which you can easily use to create a color harmony, i.e. your color scheme. The most basic one is the monochromatic color. With the monochromatic palette, you simply take a single hue from the wheel and then take the other shades and tones of the same hue. A monochromatic color scheme looks simple, organized, and it’s great for creating a very specific tone in your footage. You can learn more about why to choose different color harmonies in our episode about emotions in color.
Another way to create a good color harmony is using complementary colors. Complementary colors are colors opposite to each other on the color wheel. So, for example, blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple. Complementary colors are great if you want to create a high-contrast image. Take, for example, the teal and orange look in many popular action movies. You can expand on this by using triadic color harmonies. Triadic colors are evenly spread around the color wheel, creating a sort of triangle. This results in a bold and vibrant palette like purple, orange, and green, like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.
You can level up and go for tetradic color harmonies, which are comprised of two sets of complementary colors, for example, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Using tetradic colors is great if you’re looking for a look with one dominant color and using the other ones as contrasting accents. Another way to easily create a pleasing palette is with analogous colors. These are simply colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. At this point, it might seem like a lot to take in, but in fact, it’s pretty much kindergarten play activities. Just take the color wheel and mess around with it. Try matching opposite colors or dive into specific hues. By getting yourself familiar with the color wheel, you can start thinking in color and build your story around it.
From there, you can use things like brightness and saturation to accent your color scheme and give it a new meaning. Check out our video about emotions and color to learn more about that.
Today’s class is a bit different, moving between technical realms and psychological ones. Most of what you’ll learn here today is largely subjective and up to you. But it does have some general rules and methods. Today, we’ll talk about using color in your videos and delivering emotion, tone, and theme. This is the why behind all the other classes on this subject. This is why you’ll want to consider shooting on RAW or LOG, and this will dictate the way you go about your color correction and your color grading. Not to mention your pre-production, set design, lighting choices, and more.
Color is everything.
Why is color so important, right? First, color has tremendous significance just due to the fact that we’re all human beings. Seeing and interpreting color has always been a major part of our daily lives. More than that actually – of our survival. Because of that, we have a disposition to interpret certain colors in certain ways. And by understanding the psychology behind our perception of colors, you can make conscious choices in your own work and use color to enhance and deepen your story. Let’s talk about the basics of color theory in film.
Color theory and color science are deep, deep subjects that entire books were written about and we’ll definitely not go too far into them at the moment, but we’ll try to understand that basic relationship between colors and emotion. Then you’ll be able to use and manipulate all of these to orchestrate your own storytelling. At this point, I highly suggest that you watch our class about color wheel and histograms since there are more fundamental tools for working with color. If you’re already familiar with the color wheel, you can go ahead and continue with this class.
Rule of thumb, colors, and meanings. Blue is the coolest color, not that kind of cool. But like you know what I’m saying – cold. Blue can be associated with sadness and depression. You know, the blues, but it can also build trust, strength, and messages of faith, spirituality, or loyalty. It also has a very strong connection with themes of technology and business on one hand and the tranquility and calmness on the other.
Blood red. Red is perhaps the most visceral color, which you can really interpret it to be angry, dangerous, alarming. We can associate it with blood or rage, you know when someone says they’re seeing red, but it can also make us think of race cars, fire, passion, and love. Pink is usually associated with love, childhood, innocence, and femininity. Orange can be humorous and energetic. It can be outrageous and exuberant, but it can also be rusty. It can shift bright yellows into dark, almost red-brown mud.
Green is associated with life and vibrance. Dark greens can hint at wealth, achievement, and success, but shades of green can also make us think of hospitals, you know, sickness and deep depression.
Yellow could be a bright, lovely sun, a joyous day outside. It could be a sign of individuality as it stands out from the rest. A sign of optimism and idealism. But it could also be jealous. It can mean that we have a biohazard situation. It can be danger.
Violet is noble, precious, ceremonious. It is wise and erotic, but it can also be arrogant and detached from the rest of us.
Brown is often earthy. It grounds us in reality, shows us the great outdoors. It can be comfortable, but it can also be dirty or gritty when mixed with other colors, it can cause a sickening effect.
Black – the absence of color, the deepest darkness. It can symbolize power or the complete lack of it. It’s the infinite unknown that engulfs our astronauts on their journey, but it’s also stylish, even sexy sometimes. Black is interesting. Black is unconscious. Black is death.
White – what you get when you combine all the colors. It’s pure and serene, simple and clean. That did not rhyme on purpose. But its sterility can be overwhelming. It’s birth, it’s marriage. It’s also death. So as you can see, while colors do have strong meanings attached to them, sometimes a certain color can trigger completely different associations, even contradictory ones.
So how can we make sense of all of it? How can you, as a storyteller, send a message you want by using color? How to control color or the power of hue, saturation, and brightness? Oh, and context. When working on your video, you should be thinking about color throughout the entire process, from the early stages of pre-production. Like, what’s the color palette of your story and the character’s clothing, all the way to the color grading in the post-production stage. When you do think of color, don’t just think about the color itself. To convey the emotion you want, there are a few tools that you can use. A few are technical and a few are more philosophical.
Let’s start with the philosophical. Context. Colors communicate with each other, and they communicate with other elements of your story as well. Let’s examine some examples. You have a character that always wears black. If that character’s dialog is to do with sadness, if the rest of their world is gloomy and dark, this black can be associated with depression and sadness. But if the character is confident, the same black can communicate strength. If the character’s flirtatious, it can be perceived as sexy.
Now let’s do red. If you have a war scene, red can easily be associated with blood. But if a soldier is daydreaming about his love interest, her red dress can symbolize something else entirely. The context of your story can dictate the way your audience perceives color, and the use of the color within the context can emphasize certain aspects of your story. You can use the context to also subvert the audience’s expectations or to add a deeper meaning to your characters and story. If we use black again, think about our business guy wearing black suits. We associate this black with strength, confidence, and even technology. But as our story progresses, maybe we find that our character has a drinking problem. He can’t sustain a relationship, and they have violent tendencies. That black is now dark, all-engulfing, as your character spirals down more and more. The black that once symbolized strength, is now a dark abyss. It’s death.
But there’s more to context than just story parts. There’s the technical part of it as well: hue, saturation, brightness. Hue is basically just the shade of color you choose. It’s a specific value that represents a specific color. Saturation is the intensity of your colors, meaning how far away the hue is from gray. So saturating a color means moving the hue far away from gray, while to desaturate means bringing it closer to gray. A desaturated look, i.e. taking the intensity out of your colors can ground your scene in reality or give it more of a bleak feeling. While a saturated look can be vibrant or even over the top. Brightness is the overall lightness or darkness of your color, how close or how far your hue is from white, not to be confused with saturation or hue, as you can have a palette of desaturated hues, but push the brightness up to create a flat pastel-looking shot or pull the brightness down to create a very dark, muted scene.
When working on your video, you could combine hue, saturation, and brightness, or HSP for short, to choose the specific shades of color that suit your vision. Let’s see an example using the color green. A dark and desaturated green might work out well if you’re deciding on the color of the character’s walls in your main character’s office, but a bright and saturated one work best if you want to create a really vibrant, natural scene.
Working with HSP is not just about individual colors within a scene, you can use it to define your entire color palette. Choosing a narrow slice of the color wheel, i.e. taking hue with all the brightness values, and you’ve got yourself a monochromatic palette, which is great when you want to assert a specific tone or motif in your story. Think like The Matrix or Dune. On the other hand, working with complementary hues can help you create a vibrant color palette, à la Wes Anderson. Contacts will come into play here as well. Let’s say you’ve chosen a monochromatic palette for your scene with different shades of blue. Then a pop of yellow can go a really long way. Or you’re working on an action scene.
Working with monochromatic hues and desaturating the colors in post-production can help you create a more realistic vibe. But if you want it to be an over-the-top crazy fight scene, maybe work with contrasting hues and push the saturation up a bit.
In conclusion, this might all be a bit confusing at the moment, but once you start thinking in color, this will become a second nature and you’ll have a new and powerful tool that you can actually deepen your storytelling. In the end, video is, of course, a visual medium. So understanding color then harnessing its power is a vital role of any video creator out there. When working on your next project, try to think about the hues of colors you want to use right from the beginning, while you’re working on your idea and building up your storyboard, and writing a script.
Take some previously shot footage and play with it with your editing. See how changing its saturation and brightness affects your mood. When watching movies or even YouTube videos, try to see if the colors have any meaning. Are the colors there on purpose? Do they have some kind of unconscious effect? Maybe the colors in your YouTube setup can help relax your audience and make them listen more closely and feel more attuned to your subject. Maybe you can guess the arc of the character based on what they wear, or maybe the director is just playing tricks on you.
Color is everything.
What is up, guys, it’s Yuval here and in this video, I have the perfect color grading crash course for you in Premiere Pro in Lumetri Color. If you’re just starting out, this is going to be absolutely perfect for you. We’re going to cover everything A to Z, so you want to make sure you watch the entire thing. Let’s jump right in.
So we’re in Premiere Pro and let’s get this tutorial going. So I’m in the Color tab here in Premiere. And the first thing I want to do, the very first thing that you need to do when you start color grading is transforming your footage from LOG format into Rec. 709. And if you don’t know what that means, let me briefly explain. So essentially, LOG is a profile picture that lets you capture higher dynamic range images. Most of the cameras these days shoot LOG and most people shoot LOG. A LOG image is usually more flat. It’s more gray. It has less colors, and the contrast is very low, as you can see in this example over here. And every camera brand has different LOG types, even in the same camera. You sometimes have a few LOG options, so Blackmagic LOG is going to look different than Sony, than Panasonic, than Red, and so on.
But we’re going to get into that in a second. So we want to take that LOG footage and convert it into Rec. 709. Rec. 709 is the standard color space. Most of the stuff you’re seeing online is Rec. 709. And for now, we could just relate to Rec. 709 as just the normal base, I guess, like the normal colors, the normal contrast, what you would expect to see. Now a lot of people shoot on LOG and then they just try to mess with the contrast and like, add some saturation and do the conversion to Rec. 709 in that way. And while that can sometimes work, it’s probably not the best way to go about it.
What you actually want to do is get the conversion LUT from the official brand that you were using. So if I’m using Blackmagic, you can get official Black Magic LOG to Rec. 709 LUTs, and the same goes for Sony or whichever camera you’re shooting with. Usually, they’re available for free from the brand’s website, so make sure you get the official ones.
So in my case, now I’m working with a Blackmagic Pocket file. It was shot on the Pocket 6K, was shot on Blackmagic film, which is the LOG profile for Blackmagic. So I’m going to, in my basic corrections, first thing I’m going to do is choose the correct LUT and right away you can see we’re back into normal colors and contrast. If we do a quick “before” you can see that this is pretty flat. And now we have the contrast back, the colors back. Here, we could probably see it a little bit better. And some LOG profiles are more flat, some are less flat. It really depends on your camera’s brand, but the process is going to be similar.
So now that we’re in the right color space what we want to do is correct any white balance issues that we might have. So that’s why we have the temperature and tint sliders over here. I just want to warm up a little bit. Maybe somewhere around there. Looks fine to me.
Sometimes you might not even need to do this if you got the white balance right on the shoot, which is what you probably want to do anyways. But in case you didn’t, then you have these sliders over here to help you fix that. Then we have the exposure slider, which is just the overall exposure of the image, and we have contrast which controls the contrast. Usually, I don’t push this around too much. Then we have highlights which can be very effective. Look at the sky. It’s quite blown out just the way it is. But if I turn the highlights back down, suddenly we’re getting some details in the sky. We’re getting that blue color back. We’re getting some details in the clouds and also on the face. So that’s looking pretty good and all we’re doing now in this whole section is just color correction. So we’re not doing any creative color work, which would be called color grading.
So at this stage, we’re just focusing on fixing the image, fixing any color issues, fixing the exposure, and all of that. Then we have shadows if you want to open the shadows up or close them down a little bit. And we also have whites and blacks, which I’m not going to mess with too much. Just the blacks, maybe a little bit.
So let’s have a quick look again. This is the image we started with, it’s the LOG image. We converted it to Rec. 709, did a few basic adjustments, and now we’re in a good place to start color grading if we want to. So really, the whole point of these basic corrections, the color correction, is just to get us to a base point where we could work off if we wanted to create more creative looks. And a lot of times you could just stop here. It really depends on the kind of project that you’re doing and the kind of look you’re looking for.
So right here in the creative section, this is where we’re going to get creative, as the name suggests. Here, we can apply LUTs that actually give us some kind of a look to the image. So I have some LUTs that I got from Motion Array. Let’s check them out. I’m going to do… Let’s go for like 14 and immediately you can see we’re getting a pretty crazy look over here. We can control the intensity with the slider over here. So if I wanted it more subtle maybe then I would do something like that, let’s say. So LUTs are a very powerful way to instantly add a look to your footage, save time, or maybe if you just can’t get the look right, then LUTs can be very helpful in that.
Now, most of these creative LUTs are made to use on Rec. 709, which means it doesn’t matter which camera you’re shooting on because you need to get the basic correction that we did. Basically, getting your footage from LOG into Rec. 709 and then you apply the LUT. So essentially, any camera should be at the same starting point before applying the LUT. So this is what a lot of people miss. They tend to go right into the LUT, they try to apply it and it doesn’t look right because they haven’t made the first step of getting their footage into that base start. So you definitely want to avoid that mistake and just do everything correctly and you’re going to get beautiful images.
Now on here, you also have faded film, which I’m not a big fan of. Yeah, you can see what it’s doing. I don’t really like it. It looks a little bit amateurish, but if that’s your thing, then by all means go for it. Then we also have sharpen if you need to sharpen the image. We don’t need to in this case. We also have vibrance. And then also, of course, saturation. And then also, if we wanted to, this is where we could add some color tint to the highlights or the shadows.
So a common one would be obviously yellow highlights, like warm highlights. And then cool shadows. So the Creative tab is a great way to immediately get an effect on the image if you’re short on time or if you just want to get a beautiful look easily. So this is our Rec. 709 and oh wow, that’s quite a big difference. This is with the Creative tab on. And that’s without it. So you can see how much we’ve pushed the image and it was really fast. So yeah, that’s the Creative tab. And let’s cancel that for now and get back into the starting point. And I’m going to show you guys the other sections that we have.
So, curves. This is a really, really important and powerful section. Of course, we have just the normal curve that you guys probably know by now. So we could control individual channels or all of the channels together and basically manipulate the shadows and highlights, which is really powerful in and of itself. But what I really like more is these other curves over here, and we’re going to get into them. I’m going to show you guys. So all of these things over here are basically tools to control individual colors, which is why they’re so powerful because they give you that pinpoint accuracy where you can change, specifically the hues, saturation, and luminance of a certain color. So you can see we have Hue vs Sat, which means we can choose a color and affect its saturation. Then Hue vs Hue, which means we just change the color. Then we have Hue vs Luma, which means we change the luminosity or basically the brightness of a certain color.
And then we could also make a selection based on luminosity and change the saturation. Or we could choose a color based on saturation and control the saturation. So let’s say I don’t really like the green color over here. I want to make it more yellow. What I can do is take the color picker here and I’m going to go for Hue vs Hue. And let’s choose this green color. And then you can see it makes a point for me where this color is on this graph. So all I need to do is move it around and you can see we’re getting more yellow or we could go the other way and make it more blue. So that is really cool, and of course, we can do the same thing if we wanted to control the saturation or luminosity, so let’s go for luminosity for a second. Hue vs Luma.
Let’s say I want to get this sky more deep. It’s a bit too bright for me and I want to get more depth in there. I’m going to choose the color over here, which is, of course, blue, and then I’m going to pull this down. And you can see what’s happening to the sky. And if I go really extreme, you can see that our image is really starting to fall apart. You can see all these weird artifacts. So that’s something to be aware of and be careful of when manipulating specific colors, ’cause that can happen pretty quickly, depending on what… depending on the quality of the footage that you have. So that’s obviously too much. So we’re going to back it up. So that was curves.
And next up, we have the color wheels. With the color wheels, we can basically push color into the shadows, into the mid-tone, and into the highlights. Be gentle with this tool because it can get pretty crazy, pretty fast. So let’s make a quick demonstration. So I think like before we’re going to push the highlights towards these warm tones and then we’ll push some blues into the shadows and maybe get mid-tones towards those warm colors also. So obviously, I’m just playing around, but just see how much of a difference that made very quickly. So that is how to use the color wheels. Take the time to experiment with it and see which color combinations work. Obviously, it really depends on your footage as well, but it’s a very powerful tool to create strong looks.
So next up, we have HSL Secondary, which is an amazing feature that Premiere didn’t always have. I think a few years back they didn’t have it on here and it’s very, very important because it lets you make selections based on hue, saturation, and luminance all together, which gives you a lot of control and is great, especially for controlling things like skin tones or maybe like other specific parts of an image. So let’s make a quick example.
Let’s say we wanted to separate his skin and control only that, we could go into the eyedropper and choose a point somewhere there, and then to actually see what we were selecting, we can check this box over there, and I usually like to go for white and black, and then we’re going to start manipulating things. So I’m just messing around with hue, saturation, and luminance to try and make the best selection that I can, and this is going to be easier or harder depending on the footage you’re working with.
So in this case, it’s not the easiest. So I’m just going to try my best. But if you are doing it for yourself, then obviously take the time to mess around with it and find the perfect selection. So you can see my selection here is not the cleanest. We’re getting some of his clothes and some stuff in the background, so definitely spend more time on this. Again, I’m just doing it for the sake of the tutorial, just showing you guys the principles. But yeah, let’s say that this is a good selection and we’re happy with it. So we can de-noise and that could clean up things a little bit more. Maybe add some blur even. Then, let’s uncheck this so we can get back into the normal view. So now we could either move around colors over here or we could move them in shadow, mid-tones, highlights, and we could also control the temperature, tint, contrast, sharpen, and saturation.
So let’s say the skin is maybe like too saturated for me and we could bring it down just like that. Super easy once we have this selection. You can see this is working pretty well, even though my selection wasn’t the best. So we could also move around the colors over there. So basically, you can see we’re controlling only this selected area, which is the face. So if I zoom in here just so you guys can see better, this is before and this is after. Let’s even make something more extreme so you can see a little better.
OK. So before and after, you can see we’re really only affecting the selected area and not affecting the sky or any of the background. So this is really a great, great tool to make very specific adjustments.
So now for the last section, we have a vignette which if you guys don’t know, you’re going to quickly understand. If I push this to the left, you can see we’re getting these darker edges around the frame, and that just kind of helps focus our attention on the center of the frame. I don’t… like I never use this thing, which is like brightening the corners. So just adding a little bit of a vignette is usually a good idea, and you can also control the softness with the feather over here. Just to make it more subtle, less noticeable, and then you have even more control over the midpoint and the roundness basically, giving you control of the actual shape.
So vignette is pretty simple and self-explanatory. You don’t always need it. I don’t always use it. But sometimes it’s nice. So that is all for today’s video. Hopefully, you guys found it helpful. And until the next time, stay creative.
For this video, I just want to show you guys how to color grade in Davinci Resolve and how to bring your entire timeline from Premiere Pro into Davinci so you can keep editing in Premiere like you’re used to, but do the color grading itself in Davinci. Now let’s jump in.
OK, so we’re in Premiere Pro and now what I want to do is take this timeline and bring it into Resolve color grade it there, and then bring it back into Premiere. So what we need to do is simplify our timeline. So we are going to delete any graphics and we’re just going to put all of our footage on one video track. Always duplicate your original timeline. So you always have a backup. And on the duplicate timeline, this is where I’m going to delete everything. So I’m going to start doing that, just delete everything that I don’t need. And actually, we’re going to bring everything into the V1 video track, so the first video track.
So after deleting all the unnecessary layers, you should end up with something that looks like this. You can see I have all of my footage here on one track. On the first video track. And if I scroll through, you can see it’s only the footage there are no graphics and no additional layers that I don’t really need. You can even go ahead and delete the audio if you want, but I’m just going to keep it that way. So the thing about working in Premiere and then coloring in Resolve is that a lot of the effects in Premiere Pro actually won’t translate well into resolve and they can cause some problems. So if you have a lot of effects on your footage, one thing you can do is just render the clip with the effects and then replace it in the timeline. So essentially, the effects are baked in on the footage, Another solution you can do is just render out your entire timeline as one really high-quality video file. And then you can bring that into Resolve and just make all of the cuts there. But for this tutorial, I’m just going to show you the simple way which is exporting an XML.
So what I’m going to do now is go into file and you’re going to go into export and export Final Cut Pro XML. I know it says it’s Final Cut, but it will work in Resolve don’t worry. So I’m going to click on that. It’s going to load and I’m going to tell you where to save. So I’ve opened the new folder called Color and a new folder called Form Premiere, just to keep everything organized because we’re going to have the same thing from Resolve going back into Premiere. So just to keep things organized and nice.
So I’m going to hit save and it’s going to render out our XML file and click, OK, and now we’re going to open Davinci Resolve and open up our timeline over there. So I’m in Davinci Resolve, and what I’m going to do is go into file, I’m going to go into import timeline, import XML, and I’m going to navigate to where I saved the XML file. It’s going to open up this dialog box. I’m pretty much going to keep it the same. So we’re going to click OK. And now you can see we have our exact timeline from Premiere in Davinci, which is pretty amazing. We have all of our cuts and we even have the audio here, so it’s pretty great. And by the way, you can download Davinci Resolve for free. It’s not the full version, but it can pretty much do like 80% of what you need. So especially when you’re starting out, this is perfectly fine. You can download it just from the official Blackmagic site. So everything I’m going to do here today works perfectly with the free version.
So we’re currently on the edit panel. You can see it down here and we want to go into color and start doing some color grading. So you can see we have all of our clips down here, and I’m going to start with this clip. So the way you color grade in Davinci Resolve is by using nodes, and you can see here we have this node, and the way it works is it’s kind of similar to layers in Photoshop only it’s going horizontal and not vertical. So if I create a new node by pressing alt s on windows, then essentially this node would kind of be like a layer above our first layer. So on the first node, usually what you would do is some noise reduction. Now on the free version of Resolve. There is no noise selection option. That’s only in the studio version. So I’m just going to pretend we did some noise reduction and I’m going to keep that as the first node because that’s what you would usually do. And now I’m going to create a new node, and that node I’m going to keep for white balance and exposure.
You always want to do that quite in the beginning. That’s when you have the most control. So what I want to do now is take my LOG footage and transform it into a Rec. 709 color space. Now you can see everything is pretty flat on here. There’s not a lot of color and not a lot of contrast, and that’s because it’s shot on a LOG profile picture. So a lot of the time people would just think you can just take the curves and, you know, start bringing things down, bring the highlights up, you know, bump in some saturation and that would be their Rec. 709 transformation. And sometimes that maybe could work. But that’s not a really accurate way of doing things. It might create some problems for you, like artifacts. And when you create a few more nodes you’ll see it starts piling up and the image starts breaking down. So it all starts here with the transformation into Rec. 709, you want to do it right.
So I’m going to show you two methods in which you can transform into Rec. 709 and do it the right way. So the first one is just by using Rec. 709 LUT. Now every camera shoots a different type of LOG, and some cameras even have a few LOG options. There’s S-Log2 and S-Log3 if you’re shooting on Sony, there is Blackmagic Film on Blackmagic, there’s C-log for Canon. So essentially we have a bunch of different LOG profile pictures and they’re not all the same. So you want to make sure you’re using the right LUT for your camera. So there’s luckily a lot of LUTs built into Resolve.
So if you go up here into the LUTs panel, you can see we have a bunch of options. We have our Arri, DJI, Blackmagic Design. So our footage was shot on the Arri Alexa. So I’m going to go into Arri and you can see we have Arri Alexa to Rec 709. So I’m going to just drag that. I’m going to put it over a node or just double-click it. And straightaway, you can see this looks pretty good. So that’s the first way of doing things.
So now let’s take a look at the second method you can do this. So I’m going to delete this node and I’m going to create a new node and I’m going to call it CST, which is color space transform. So we want to go into our effects, open effects over here, and we’re going to search for color space transform. I’m going to take that onto my node and now you can see we have a bunch of options over here.
So for the input color space, I’m going to choose Arri Alexa. For the input gamma, I’m going to go for Arri LogC. And of course, you need to make the same for whichever camera you’re using. So if it’s Canon, you’re going to go Canon and then C-log. So it depends on your camera and for the output color space, I’m going to go into Rec. 709 and also Rec. 709 for output gamma. And now in the tone mapping, I’m going to go into Luminance Mapping, and that’s essentially it transformed our color space from our LogC into Rec. 709, which is pretty much exactly what we did with the LUT. So it’s essentially the same thing. These are just the two methods to do it.
So that right there is a really good start and a lot of people get this wrong when they’re just starting out. So this is really important to get right. And if you do this, then the rest is going to be so much easier and you’re already off to a great start.
So let’s go back to the white balance node for just a second and the white balance here looks pretty good, but let’s say, and by the way, this is where you change the temperature in the white balance. You go into here and you go into the two over here and then you get Temp and Tint. So let’s say our footage was for some reason shot really bad and it looked like this and we really had to fix the white balance. So a quick way to fix it would be to click on this icon down here on the left, and then you would want to look for something you know should be white. So let’s say this air conditioning unit over there in the background, I’m going to click on that and then you can see it just automatically fixed our white balance. And you can go ahead and just change it a little bit if you want it to look maybe even warm or whatever. But essentially, this is just a really quick way of fixing your white balance. So just wanted to show you guys that, you know, we don’t really need it here for this footage because it was already shot really well and the white balance was on point. So I’m not going to use that. So just make sure you fix it if you didn’t get it right on camera.
So let’s move on to the next shot and I’m going to show you a few other things we can do here. So I’m going to go and select this clip. And basically, we already did the transformation into Rec. 709, and it’s going to be the same for this footage. So instead of doing it all over again, we’re just going to go and search for that initial grade we did. So I’m going to click on this clip by pressing on the scroll button, and it’s just going to paste the exact same node tree over to our new clip. So now we already have our Rec. 709 footage, and now we’re going to start playing around with the colors a little bit. So I’m going to create a new node and I’m going to call it Primaries.
And you can see we have these color wheels over here, and I’m just going to push the gain, which is essentially the highlights a little bit into the yellow kind of wall. So maybe something like that and I’m going to push the lift, which is the shadows, into the opposite direction. So I’m going to add some blues into the shadows and balance it out and we get something like this. So it just gives the image a little bit more of a look. And I think it’s a little bit too warm, so I’m actually going to go into the mid-tones and kind of offset that. So maybe something about there that looks pretty good to me. And on this grade, I’m going to keep things pretty simple and clean. I’m not going to go too crazy but the primary wheels are really powerful tools, so if you wanted to, you could really go crazy and push this a lot. But again, I’m just going to keep it pretty nice and simple for this grade.
So now what we can also do is control individual colors, so I’m going to create a new node and I’m going to go into my curves. And here we have a few options, which is you versus you. You versus saturation. You versus luminance. So I’m just going to go into you versus you, and I’m going to pick the yellow over here. And if I drag up and down, you can see how it really changes all of the yellow tones. So I just want to go for something like this maybe. And then I’ll go into you versus saturation. I’m going to pick the yellows again. And this would change the you that we selected, which is yellows, and we’re going to control this saturation for that color. So if I pull this up, you can see the yellow is really starting to become more dominant. And if I pull it down, we’re taking yellow out. So because the yellow is the Artlist brand color and this is an Artlist commercial, I really want to give that yellow pop. So, I’m going to bring it up quite a bit. Maybe somewhere around here, it looks pretty good. So if I do before and after, you can see we really pushed it and we also affected the skin a lot, which in this instance I pretty much like.
But let’s say we wanted to change it. What we could do is create a new parallel node using alt L. And now what we want to do is actually just separate the skin. So we’re going to go into qualifier over here and over here, and we’re just going to start clicking around on his skin and also make sure you click on this icon so we can see what we’re selecting.
So I’m just going to see what works best. And then we’re going to have to start messing around with all of the settings down here. So I’m just trying to get only his skin, and for some shots, this could take quite a while. So I’m just going to do this really quick now. And the more time you spend on this, obviously, the more accurate the result will be. And you could also mess around with the noise and give it some blur that always helps. So this is not the most perfect selection, but just for the sake of this tutorial, and the sake of time, I’m going to say that this is going to be our selection.
And another thing we can do is you can see we selected the skin. We’re also getting a lot of background and I don’t want to mess with background. So what we could do is just go into the power windows over here and we’re going to select that and just center it on his face and body, feather it out. And what we could do is actually also track this window. So Davinci Resolve has a pretty amazing tracker, so I’m going to go into the tracker over here and I’m going to press track forward and you can see it will pretty much perfectly tag our face within seconds.
So that’s pretty amazing. And now we have a selection of our skin. You can see it here on the node. And what that means is we can now actually affect his skin separately from all of the other colors in the image. So whatever we do on this node is only going to affect his skin tones. So I’m going to go into the log wheels this time and the log wheels are more gentle, if you will when you push things. It’s not going to push it as much as the primaries. So I’m going to push some LEDs into the mid tones because that will make the skin really pop and bring it to life and maybe give it some teal highlights. Now, if you’re not sure you have the right color on the skin tones, what we could do is just pull up the scopes over here and I’m going to go into vector scope and I’m just going to click here so we can see our selection and let’s just open up the menu and we’re going to enable show skin tone indicator.
So this line that you see right here is essentially where the skin tone should be. So you can see we have some color over here and it’s right on the skin tone line. So that way we know we’re pretty much good in that sense. So if I just for a second mess around with the colors you can see how now we move the color away from the skin tone line. And of course, we can also just see with our eyes that this is not the right color for skin, but this skin tone line can really help you out sometimes if you’re unsure. So just a quick tip. So this is also a very powerful technique you can do, which is just separating the skin, and you could also do this for anything else you would want to separate. So that could be really useful in tons of other situations. So I’m just going to label it skin. And this one was you versus.
So again, before and after. So there’s a lot more that we could do with this image. But I want to keep things pretty simple with this story, so we’re just going to end things up with a vignette. So create a new node. I’m going to call it vignette and I’m going to go ahead and create a window. Again, I’m going to feather this out. And I’m going to click here to basically reverse my selection. So now I’m only affecting what’s outside the circle, so I’m going to go into my curves, into the custom curves and I’m going to bring my shadows down. Not too much. Maybe something like that.
And if I do it before and after, you can see we now have a vignette on our actor and it’s really drawing our eyes to him and it’s looking really great. And while we can also do is just create the reverse of that and brighten it up. So I’m going to create a new node, so I’m just going to drag This little blue square from the previous node and take it to this node. And it’s basically just going to copy the same mask. And now what I want to do is go into the key and I’m just going to press on this thing. It’s going to reverse our selection.
So now I’m going to go into the curves and I’m just going to raise it up, just a touch. And now you can see it just brightened up the center. So that’s before and this is after. And if I take the two vignettes together you can see how it’s really powerfully centering our eyes on our actor, which is exactly what we wanted to do. So this is our final look. Let’s do it again before and after. This is the before and this is the after. So we did quite a lot, but we still kept it looking pretty natural. We didn’t go too crazy, but we did use some of the most powerful tools on Resolve. So you could basically take those tools and really push it far. Just experiment and see where it gets you with your footage. But that’s it for the grading part.
And now let’s see how we can take our graded clips back into Premiere. So now that we have all of our clips graded, what we need to do is go into the delivery page over here and we’re going to scroll through and go into Premiere XML and we’re going to choose the location. So I’m navigating into my Color folder again, and I’m going to call it From Resolve, and I’m going to click select, and over here, I’m going to go for DNxHD. I’m going to go into audio and I don’t need any audio, so I’m going to uncheck this, and then we’re pretty much good to go. So I’m going to go into add to render queue. It’s going to pop up right here on the render queue and I’m going to click on Start Render. So I’m in Premiere Pro again, and I’ve opened a folder called Color, and I’m just going to go into file import, so I’m going to choose the XML file and click open. And now what happened is that all of the graded clips have imported into this folder. And now what we need to do is find the sequence file. So I’m going to go for sequence, and once we open this sequence, it should have all of our graded footage right here.
So some of the time you might run into some problems when exporting the XML back into Premiere. So if you can’t figure it out, you can always just export one file from Davinci and then cut it up yourself. It’s not the most ideal workflow going from Premiere into Resolve, but if you’re like me and you already used to Premiere Pro and maybe you’re working with After Effects, then you’re just going to have to find a way to make this work. Just try it out for yourself and see which method works best for you. It’s definitely not ideal, but that’s currently the options.
So that is all for this video. I really hope it helps you guys out until the next time. Stay creative.
In today’s video, I want to talk about three major color grading mistakes that beginners always make, and I’m also going to show you how to fix them.
So the first mistake I see a lot of people make is that they don’t prep their footage correctly. And what I mean by that is mainly two things. First one is not balancing the image correctly. And the second one is not doing the right color space conversion for your footage or doing it the wrong way. So I’m going to show you the right way to do these two things and also what you should avoid.
So we have here a LOG footage, which is probably what most of you will be working with. Most of the time. And the classic beginner mistake would be to just jump right in and start working on this image. You know, maybe try to lift up the gain, bring back the shadows, you know, just try to maybe like stretch the image. Maybe make something like that and then go on, make another node, start giving it some kind of a look, and so on. And, you know, just basically jumping right in without doing any prep work. And that is not the right way to go because you’re setting yourself up for failure, essentially because you didn’t balance the image correctly before you actually started grading.
So before we go in and create a loop, you have to make sure that our image is balanced in terms of the white balance and tint. And then also convert it to Rec. 709 in a clean conversion. And that way you have a good starting point so you can go on and create whatever look you’re trying to create, but you have to get that base start. So I’m going to show you how to do it the right way. I’m going to delete this node and we’re going to start from the beginning. And by the way, for this footage, I kind of messed with the colors a little bit just to get the white balance off so I can show you how to correct it. But let’s assume that this is how the footage was actually shot.
So for this first node, I’m going to call it White Balance and then I’m going to create a new node. And this one is where I’m going to do my conversion to Rec. 709 and to make it a good Rec. 709 conversion, you have to know the camera that was used to capture the footage.
So in this instance, I know that this was shot on red. So there’s two ways to do this conversion. One is using technicolor conversion LUT that you can find over here in DaVinci for free. You can see we have this LUT from red. And that’s one way to do it. But I’m going to do it with the Color Space Transform, which I feel usually works better for me. So I’m going to grab that onto there and then I’m going to follow Input Color Space. I know this was shot on RED, so I’m going to go for RedWideGamutRGB and in the input gamma I’m going to go for RED Log3G10 and then go for Rec. 709. And then in the Tone Mapping, I usually like to go for Luminance Mapping and this is looking very off, and that’s because the image is not balanced.
So let’s just quickly call this Rec. 709 And then on the first node, I’m going to go with my tint and bring it back. It’s already looking much better. Now, the image is still very warm, so let’s cool it off and that’s looking pretty balanced. You can see the image is now clean. It just looks right, and we have a great starting point to go on and create whatever look we want from now on. But you have to make that first conversion, that balance, just to get the image into the baseline. The base point where you can work off.
And here’s another quick tip for white balance. Maybe if you can’t really get it right, try to go with this eyedropper tool here and it’s going to auto-balance. And what you need to do is choose a point in the image that should be white. So I’m going to go for these things here. And there you go. One click and you have a great white-balanced image.
So now let’s move on to the second mistake that I see a lot of beginners make, and that is not really giving enough attention to the skin. If your skin is not looking right, then the whole look just throws you off. It looks amateurish. It looks bad. So let’s look at a quick example of what I mean. So let’s say you’ve done your conversion and white balance correctly, and then you go on to create a new node and you want to start applying a look to the image. So let’s quickly do that. Let’s say you want to go for maybe something like that. So let’s just say that that’s the look I was trying to create here. So it looks nice, but it looks pretty amateurish, and that’s mainly because the skin is looking bad. It’s not the right tone. So now I’m going to show you how to fix that.
So what we can do is go up to our Vectorscope over here and you can see we have this skin tone line indicator. And if you can’t see that, then you have to go into here and then enable Show Skin Tone Indicator. And this line basically indicates where the skin tone should be. Now that’s not a, you know, must follow 100% of the time kind of thing. But most of the time, probably you should follow this line. Usually, it’ll get you good results. So that’s what we’re going to do now. And we’re going to create a new parallel node. So I just want this correction for the skin to be on a separate node so I can control it. I can turn it on and off and see what I’ve done and I can, later on, tweak it. So I don’t want to do it on the same node as I did the look adjustment. So that’s also a mistake to avoid, trying to do all your corrections in one node and also doing too many nodes is also not the best. Try to think about what you might want to change later, what you might need more control with. So that’s an example here with the skin tone, I definitely want to do it on a separate node.
So there’s two ways to go about this. The first one can be just qualifying and keying out the skin, and the second which might not always work, but it can work in some cases is using the Hue Vs Hue curves here. So I’m going to go with that first. Let’s try it out and we have Hue Vs Hue. And now I’m going to just click on a point here on our skin and you can see it created the point for us on the curve. And that means this is where the skin tone lies. So let’s start moving that around and see what we get. So you can see as I move this around, obviously, you can see it with your eyes, but then also when we look at the Vectorscope, we can see this thing moving along the line. And as it gets farther from the line, you can see it obviously doesn’t look very good. So I’m going to try and park it on a place that looks good. Maybe, something like that.
And let’s do a quick before and after. So you can see how that looks way better and it really helps sell the look. It now looks more natural and it doesn’t look as bad as it did before. And this method with the Hue Vs Hue is sometimes nice because it’s really quick and it’s easier. The thing is, you have less control over this because if I wanted to add specific colors only to the skin, I can’t really do it with the Hue Vs Hue because I can only shift around that hue I cannot add new things. So let’s just look at the other way to do this. So I’m going to delete this node. And now I’m just going to create a layer mixer node and the shortcut for that would be Alt L if you’re on windows. And sometimes I do this on a parallel node, but let’s try it with the mixer node and how this layer mixer node works without getting too deep into this subject on this video, but essentially it’s just taking information from this node over here.
So you can see if I turn this off, we have the look and I want to affect the skin that’s like the way it was over here on the Rec. 709 conversion. So that’s what happens with the layer node. If you create a parallel node then it’s going to kind of do some kind of a blend, some kind of a mix between these two nodes. So sometimes I do this with the parallel node, but for this time, I’m going to go with the layer mixer. You can just try these out for yourself and kind of see what you like best. It also depends on the project. Let’s move on with this. So now, obviously, this is just pretty much targeting everything that we did with the look. That’s because we have to actually select just a skin so that we only have that. So I’m going to go into the qualifier over here and I’m going to select skin. And then just so I can see what I’m doing, I’m going to press here on this highlight feature and now I can see what we’re grabbing. Let’s denoise it a little bit, give it some blur, and usually, I would spend obviously more time getting the perfect key. And you should definitely do that.
But just for the sake of this story, let’s assume that this is my final clean key. So I’m going to take off the highlights. You can see that basically, we masked out the skin from this Look node. So this is the same skin as we had in the Rec. 709 node that we have here. So if I turn all of these off, turn them back on, you can see the look is pretty much only done on the background now.
And now my skin looks better. But there’s just something weird because it’s not blending right. Because we did a lot of things with the look adjustment, but then we’re just reverting the skin back to the Rec. 709 which doesn’t really blend well. So what I usually do is I go to my key and then I just bring down this gain, and you can see how that starts to kind of blend things in. If it’s sitting at 0, basically, it means it’s not showing at all. So let’s try to kind of get it right where we want it to be. Mm-hmm. Maybe something like that looks kind of nice. So let’s do a quick before and after. This doesn’t look good. The skin looks green and blue, it just looks off. And then we’re bringing the skin back, and that’s looking way better. And now that we have the skin selected, we could actually even go into the log wheels, maybe. And, you know, we could maybe add some reds in there.
So basically, with this technique of separating the skin compared to the first way that I showed you, we have way more control with this one. So the next big mistake that I see a lot of beginners make and this is the one that I’ve been making for the longest time when I was just starting out with grading. And this is one of the bigger ones, I would say, and that is not having clean blacks.
So what I mean by that is if we look at the black areas on the image, on the shadows, you can see they have a very strong tint in this image. They look green, kind of like bluish, and they’re also very lifted. We can see this by looking at the scopes over here on the right side. You can see that the shadows are pretty lifted. And then also the red is quite down, which means we have a lot of blues in there and then the blues are kind of down. It’s just not looking right. Not on the scope and not with our eyes. And having clean shadows that sit on the right point on the scopes is really critical to having beautiful and clean and professional and looking grade.
So the way to fix that is I’m going to create a parallel node using Alt P and then first off, using my log wheels, I’m going to go into the shadows and just start bringing things down until it kind of hits that zero point. So somewhere around there and then we’re going to get rid of that green tint, and there’s a few ways to do this, but that’s just the easiest way and the one that I find myself using the most. And that’s by going to our shadows wheel over here and then pushing in the opposite direction of our tint. So we have kind of like a greenish bluish tint. So I’m going to pull the opposite direction, which is red or like magenta. I’m just going to look at the image while I play with this to get just the right color and the right amount.
So maybe something like that looks kind of cool. So that’s before and this is after, and you can see how that really, really helps the grade look a lot cleaner. And then if you think we went too far, we can always bring the entire key kind of down, or we could also just go back here and raise the shadows or do whatever. But this is looking way better now. And you could have some tint in the shadows like, that’s fine. That’s something that you can choose to do with your grade. But just the darkest blacks should usually be clean, as a general rule of thumb. And with this adjustment, we’re affecting a lot of the shadows.
So if we wanted to only affect the dark stocks of the image, then what we could do is go into the low range over here and then just kind of control that, and you can see if I pull this all the way down to zero then we’re not affecting any of the shadows. And as I start pulling this up, we’re affecting more and more of the shadows. So if we have this quite low, then it’s affecting only the darkest parts of the image. And as they go up, it’s affecting more of the shadows. So this is an important slider over here, this range feature, it really helps you control just the exact tones that we want to be affecting. So that’s looking much better if I go like zooming into his gloves even, you can see how before this looks kind of dull, it’s kind of washed out. The details are kind of gone in a lot of these areas, and when I bring this back on, it just gives it a lot more detail. It looks much crisper. It’s not washed out, and that’s really something that a lot of beginners overlook.
So these are the top calibrating mistakes to avoid. I hope you enjoyed this video. That’s all for today and until next time, stay creative.
In this video, I’m going to show you guys how to create a cool cinematic look in Divinci Resolve. It’s going to be very simple, very easy to follow along. But at the same time, I’m going to show you some very powerful techniques that you can apply on almost any grade that you’re working on. And hopefully, you learn a lot from it. And it can really help you step up your color grading game and create stunning, beautiful grades that will make your clients happy. That will make you happy. Yeah. So let’s get going.
OK, so we’re in Divinci Resolve, and this is the footage that we’re going to work on. And keep in mind, it’s always very important to have some kind of a reference when you’re working on something. Personally, I feel that it really helps me shape the direction that I want to take footage in. And it just helps give inspiration and just gives you more clarity into what you actually want to achieve. So for this one, I have some references from a hockey commercial. It’s a really beautiful one.
So I’m going to name this first layer Base, then I’m going to create a new node, and for this one, I’m going to call FPE, which stands for film print emulation. And this is how I want to start the workflow on this footage. I’m going to go into my LUTs and I’m going to go into Film Looks and let’s choose one of these film emulation LUTs, they come free in Divinci so you should have them as well. And I’m just going to go for 60. We can maybe change it later. But I think this one would work. So I’ll double-click it. Then it’s applied. And you can see right off the bat it looks cool, but something’s off. It’s a little bit dark. It’s desaturated. So we have some work to do.
So going back to the base layer, we’re just going to maybe raise up our overall exposure a little bit. I’m just looking at the scopes over here, can bring down the blacks. And then I want to go back into the film print emulation node and just crank up the saturation. That’s looking pretty nice. But now there are some colors that have too much saturation. And also, I just want to take everything into this more dark blue cinematic look. So going back to the base node again, I’m just going to mess with the temperature. I’m going to cool things off quite a bit. And then maybe even give it like a little bit of a green tint. All right. Then I’m going to create a new node and this one is going to be – let’s call it Primaries.
And now let’s take down the exposure and a lot of the gain. And then I want to go on into controlling individual use. So I’m going to use the HSL functions. We’re going to start with you versus you. And you can see we don’t have too many colors now and we have mostly blues, and there’s also this red on his outfit. So I’m going to start with that. I’m going to select it using the qualifier, and you can see it’s automatically creating a point for me on this curve. And let’s play with that. You want it somewhere around here and then going into luminance. I just want to take it down. So that looks pretty good. I think maybe we went a little bit too far. And I want to bring back some of the exposure, and I also want to bring in some contrasts.
So I’m going to go into my curves. I’m just going to create this S-curve. So that looks pretty nice. And what I also really want to do is concentrate the light and I’ll focus on the character, on this guy, so I’m going to create a new node and then I’m going to go into the windows and I’m going to create a power window feather it out. Then I’m going to in the curves kind of pull it down. You can see that it’s darkening our guy instead of the background. So we just need to go back into the window section and just invert. And then I want to track the window, so it stays with our guy as the clip kind of goes on. So I’m going to go into the tracker. Press play. And now we have the window tracked. Let’s call this one vignette, and let’s see a quick before and after into everything we’ve done so far. That was the LOG version. And this is the grade, and we’ve come a long way in just a few minutes. So sometimes you don’t need a lot to get in the ballpark. And of course, you can really massage everything and work on these for hours, essentially. I’m just tweaking little things, but you can get results pretty quickly, as you can see.
So I think maybe this is looking a bit too saturated and I want to change some of the blue colors as well. So going back into the primaries, I’m going to go into you versus you again. I’m going to select the blue tones and let’s see where we want to take them.
Something like that maybe not a huge difference, but just it’s the little details and then going into you versus saturation, I think I’m going to take all of these blues down, maybe somewhere around there. And then on a new node, we can just add some grain just to give the footage a little bit more texture and some more life and details. So let’s go into film grain. I’m going to go for 16 millimeter 500t and I’m not going to go too overboard with the grain. I’m not sure if you can see this on YouTube, so I’m just going to exaggerate this just a bit. So that’s without the grain. There we go, the grain just freestyle, but just adds a little bit of details. It gives some texture and a little bit more of a character to the image, essentially. So I pretty much almost always add grain. Sometimes it’s very little, and sometimes I go more extreme if I want a stronger look.
What we could also do now is try to separate the skin and maybe subvert our character just a bit. So on my primaries node, I’m going to create a parallel node and I’m going to try and select skin. So let’s go for qualifier and also select this highlight feature and let’s select the skin. That looks pretty good. Let’s try and play with the sliders. So you can see now that we’ve selected the skin, but we also have some things in the background that are also selected, and that’s fine. We’re just going to create a window face. And then we’re going to quickly track it. And now we have the face selected. This is not a perfect selection. But if you spend some more time, depending on your situation, you could get this more accurate. But this is fine for this story. Also, I’m just going to move on. So let’s have a look at what we can do here.
So first of all, let’s see what we get if we just add a little bit of red tint. That kind of brings him alive, but it’s a little bit too much. They do want to keep the skin quite desaturated, that’s a little bit better. We got rid of all of this blue looking tint. But then this is maybe a little bit saturated for me. So let’s see what happens if we kind of bring it down. So I do like it, but it’s maybe a bit much like it’s not blending too well. So what I’m going to do is go into my key and I’m just going to get the key output down and kind of see where I want this to sit. So that’s like too pale. He’s looking very bluish, I don’t really like that. Then full power? It’s a bit much. It’s not blending well, so I’m going to bring this down. Until it looks good. Let’s call this layer skin and this technique you can do on pretty much any footage essentially. In this case, we didn’t need much because it already looked quite OK, but this can be applied to almost any other footage that you have, and it can really make a big difference in some other scenarios.
And just as a last touch, this is something that could really separate your grades from looking like an amateur made them into more of a professional look. And that is basically keeping the blacks clean. And on this grade, I do want to have some blue tint in the shadows because it works here quite well, but I just want to get the darkest darks clean. That’s the key point here. So let’s create a new pile and node here using alt P and let’s called Blacks.
And we can see it with our eyes, but also, of course, when you look at the scopes, you can see that the reds are really down here is in the shadows. And that means we have a lot of blues in the… So let’s zoom in. It’s mostly in here on his outfit. So I’m going to go into the log wheels and I’m going to push in the opposite direction. So I’m going to go into the orange, red magenta kind of place. So you could see how that really cleaned up the shadows, but it’s affecting them too much. I don’t want it to be applied on the whole spectrum of the shadows I just want it to be on the darkest darks.
So the way I’m going to do that is I’m going to go essentially into my low range and you can see if it’s down to zero. It’s not affecting any of the shadows. And when I pull it back up, it’s slowly starting to affect the darkest shadows. And as I pull this up, as the numbers go bigger, it’s affecting more of the shadows. So I just want it to be on the very, very darkest of shadows. And I also can see that my shadows are a bit lifted, and you just want them to sit right on that zero point on the vector scope. So I’m going to bring that down. Maybe something like that, so and after you can see how that really made the blacks deeper, and now they also look cleaner. They don’t have that blue tint and they’re a little bit crushed now. So I think I’m going to take all of this back using the key. Yeah, maybe something like that. And you can really see if you look at the shell here. Look how it brought back all of this detail over here. That’s looking much better.
And this is a step that is very crucial. Again, it can really separate your grade them from looking amateurish to looking great. It’s just a small step, but just always make sure that your blacks are clean and that they’re sitting on the right spot on the vector scope. And that can really transform your grade and really take it to that next step, that next level. But that is all for this grade I think. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.
And we could make a quick recap. So we started essentially with this LOG version. Then we applied the film print emulation, and that instantly gave us some kind of a look to the image. And then with the base layer, we kind of balanced things out, and we also injected a lot of blues into the shot just to give it that ice cinematic look. Then we used some primaries, so that made quite a difference. Then we separated the skin. And we added some grain and the vignette. And then we also controlled the blacks. So all in all, not a very complicated grade. We don’t have that many nodes. It’s pretty simple. It didn’t take us that long. And I think that’s a sign of a good grade – if it looks good and it was simple to make – that’s really the best. And yeah, I think it’s looking great and we are pretty much done.
So that is all for this video. I really hope you guys enjoyed it and learned some new techniques that could hopefully help you improve your color grading and really take it to the next level and until the next time. Stay creative and have a wonderful week.
About this course
What is color correction? Color correction and grading are essential steps in post-production, enabling you to define the color scheme of your footage. The right color grade can set a certain atmosphere, evoke emotion or add a cinematic feel to your footage. Learn how to achieve perfect color grades and take your first steps in Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.
What you’ll learn
- Why color is important in video
- How to color grade using LOG and RAW files
- How to use LUTs to color grade your footage
- Practical tips on how to get started in your editing software