Colour Grading Your Video

People often ask how we get that wonderful cinematic look to our videos.

One of the key tools we use is colour grading, which adjusts the colours until we have a really striking image.

There is also often confusion about colour grading and colour correction.

Colour correction is usually the process we go through before colour correction can begin.

We deliberately shoot with what is known as a “flat” colour profile, which reigns in the lightest and darkest areas of the image, more towards shades of grey. Cameras even today have a problem with dynamic range – the number of shades of lightness and darkness they can pick up. This results in the camera operator having to strike a balance between keeping the detail in the dark areas, but losing the detail in the lightest ones or vice versa. By shooting without capturing the extreme ends of the spectrum, we are able to bring out the details in both light and dark areas by colour correction. We are able to adjust the overall contrast as well as the shadows and highlights. We usually work in black and white in this stage before we add the colour back in.

Also regarding colour – We can also correct the colour itself if tricky lighting situations have resulted in the white balance being slightly off.

Once this is achieved colour grading is where the fun starts. We can alter the image to suit the mood of the whole film or just a scene, from warm oranges to cool blues and leafy greens, even shades of black and white or with just a single colour being brought out such as a red rose.

Sometimes in Hollywood this is taken to extremes, possibly overused in our opinion in films such as the Twilight saga, where the whole film seems to be shrouded in a murky green mist. The most recent Die Hard film overdosed on orange and teal shades. Whereas, trilogies such as The Lord of The Rings and the Matrix got the mix just right, complementing the mood on a scene by scene basis.

In essence computer technology now makes it possible to give any video production, (if shot properly of course!) a real, polished cinematic feel, just as we are used to seeing on adverts and expensive feature films. It can even make a dull grey day in Huddersfield look full of colour!

If you require any further information on this or any video production matters please contact us at:

Pixel Factory

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