Most businesses preparing promotional videos and photos seem to miss the thin line between Color grading vs. Color Correction. Luckily, with lots of practice and patience, they too can edit image color with precision. Color grading and color correction are part of the post-production processes: correction comes first, and grading follows, as we shall see down the road.
But why do so much during post-production after going through all that hassle during shooting?
Over the years, lots of editing goes into the finest internet videos and TV commercials you see around! This commitment is because clarity and color matter to most platforms and media houses that they’ll reject your clip if it isn’t up to scratch. Therefore, your video must match market standards to achieve its purpose.
Color does a lot to a video. Beyond improving aesthetics and maintaining video detail (despite the projector), editors use it to set the mood and reinforce the message. These simple aspects can impact buying decisions even without the buyer’s knowledge.
Such far-reaching benefits explain why digital video coloring is a big deal in post-production and marketing.
An Intro to Digital Video Color
To give a video that near-perfect tone, patience is a must during digital video coloring. Moreover, as with most professional processes, you must follow the correct order to get a desirable result. These can include:
- Determining the picture profile
- Correcting footage color
- Grading video color
Each step has tasks that must be executed in specific orders.
With that in mind, let’s expound more on color grading vs. color correction to understand what each entails, shall we?
Color Grading Vs. Color Correction
When it comes to post-production, both of these techniques are applied to improve video color. So it’s not always about “one versus the other.” In essence, each plays a specific role, and both matter to the video process.
However, you must understand the difference between the two.
What is Color Correction?
Color correction involves fixing the color issues in a video to make it look as natural as possible. Its goal is to make the colors look lifelike as you see them in everyday life.
During this process, experts use video editing tools to:
- Fine-tune the color, exposure, and contrast of a clip for a natural, lifelike look
- Correct color irregularities, e.g., by balancing or increasing the lighting on scenes shot in poorly lit environments
- Optimize your video so that any visual effects (VFX) used fits in as harmoniously as possible
Please do not rush this process as it requires attention to detail and a keen eye for irregularities.
After correcting a video, you can proceed to grade it as discussed below.
What is Color Grading?
Unlike correction, color grading focuses on a video’s aesthetics and leverages creativity.
It also pays attention to a clip’s atmosphere and mood in artistic, often in unlifelike ways. In other words, it is more like painting over the already corrected video.
During this process, experts use video editing tools to add style and make the footage more cinematic, as in Hollywood films.
7 Steps to Correct Video Color using Color Grading Vs. Color Correction
To master the art of correcting footage color, you must:
- Do lots of practice,
- Have a keen eye for color
- Exercise patience
With that in mind, follow these basic steps to do an outstanding color correction in your photos and videos:
1. Select a picture profile
All digital cameras have pre-set picture profiles. This feature gives you the starting point or basis to begin modifying an image.
A picture profile is a menu that allows one to change and adjust parameters that establish the traits of your video to ensure consistent aesthetics. These traits may include:
For this process, most video makers tend to use a neutral picture profile. The neutrality helps one achieve a low-contrast clip that editors can optimize better during correction and grading.
2. Correct the footage’s white light
Fixing white light is a crucial part of the correction process. It helps present colors as they should be in real life.
Remember, the Color temperature may have an overall effect on how all other shades look, so it’s crucial to fine-tune your white light to neutral.
3. Balance color tone
A balanced tone is vital in boosting video quality.
Optimizing your dark tones, mid-tones, and highlights can improve the exposure or amount of light the image needs to look just fine.
4. Leverage color scopes
Editing scopes help you keep track of the most delicate details in color information. For instance, you can use a vectorscope to gauge for elements like saturation and hue, i.e., the levels of red, green, and blue (RGB) in your image.
Monitoring RGB is particularly beneficial when balancing the color in lifelike skin tones because this scope is more accurate in measuring hue than your eye.
5. Match colors
During editing, you can leverage lookup tables to add default settings to your footage. This table serves the same purpose as a picture profile.
Lookup tables can reduce editing work down the road. For example, they help in adjusting the coloring to harmonize with your default shooting.
In essence, it enables users to add a consistent color theme to a video even after shooting.
6. Do Phase II color correction
Phase I correction focuses on the entire footage. However, the second phase zeroes in on specific sections.
Phase II color correction opens your eye to any errors or unnatural coloring that can compromise footage clarity. Editing these finer details can have a significant impact on the entire image.
7. Finalize the corrections
After fixing all the irregularities in your video, apply additional colors to fine-tune it and make the final tweaks. These additions may vary depending on the type of impression you’d like to create.
With so much to achieve from both processes, you can’t ignore the vital role of color grading vs. color correction.
For optimal results, apply both before sharing a video or image with your audience.
Color Correction Photoshop
Apart from videos, you can also color correct your photographs using photoshop. Photos go way back when it comes to capturing moments and rekindling cherished experiences.
Though many factors can compromise photo quality, you can fix these irregularities through photo correction. Some factors that affect image clarity include:
- Varying lighting across the image
- Poor camera handling
- Bad picture profile
Today, color plays a central role. Photo Editors use it to add design, fine-tune promotional photos and accomplish visual storytelling. Beyond sending clear messages, well-corrected images help businesses trigger positive responses from audiences.
For all promotional images, it’s crucial to balance coloring for a more attractive look. Luckily, the correction steps in photoshop are not any different from the technical process applied to videos. As a result, you’ll find yourself focusing on the same aspects, e.g.:
- Eliminating red-eye effects
- Adding shadows
- Fine-tuning color tone
- Adding highlights etc.
In this digital era, photo quality is king. With troves of editing tools and techniques in play, it is almost criminal to share crappy images.
Sectors that Can benefit from Photo correction
Though all businesses rely on photos at one point or another, others depend on quality images to attract clients and run their daily endeavors.
Some of those industries include:
Home sellers need quality pictures to market listed properties to would-be buyers. Therefore, your portfolio must flaunt clear and colorful images to trigger the appropriate response from target markets.
To achieve this, you must focus on the most delicate details and share only quality color-rich pictures.
Color-corrected photos of natural scenery like mountains, ancient buildings, waterfalls, forests, wild animals, etc., are central to tourism services.
Here, it isn’t a question of color grading vs. color correction; you want to apply both to achieve a natural yet crystal clear environment. With all the details popping, it’s almost impossible to ignore such destinations.
Maybe you work wonders every time you hold a camera; each scene captured tells a story on its own.
Well, kudos! But how can you take your photography a notch higher? By correcting these images and grading them to perfection.
Unfortunately, you may not have the skills for this technical process. So what do you do?
Just hire a photo specialist from platforms like Bunny Studio. These professionals have the tools and techniques to optimize your raw photos to market-ready content.
Hotel & Accommodation
Nearly all travelers looking for new places to enjoy bed and breakfast services rely on internet searches and images.
Whether they come to your hotel or not depends on the first impression (which they pick from your pictures). Even though the price can influence decision-making, you’ll still find clients attracted to photos that impact their emotions.
Hire a Graphic Designer if you still Can’t Understand Color Grading Vs. Color Correction
In all honesty, you can’t go far with your post-production project if you don’t have professional knowledge and expertise on the subject. These projects pay attention to the finest color elements.
To ensure quality promotional images, it’s best to outsource this job to an expert. Remember, hiring a photo/video editing expert offers multiple benefits because they:
- Have mastered the art of digital video coloring
- Have a keen eye for color
- Understand how to use complicated editing software
- Have the right tools for post-production projects
- Spend quality fixing all color irregularities
- Have what it takes to accomplish photo-editing work in good time
Furthermore, video editors offer valuable suggestions and insights to improve image color and reinforce your message.
The Bottom Line on Color Grading Vs. Color Correction
For businesses struggling to stay afloat in a competitive market, it’s counterproductive to share poor-quality images.
Color can influence decision-making in clients; it would be wise to pay more attention to the images and videos you share with prospects.
As we’ve learned, both correction and color grading are vital to the post-production process. So if everything still seems blurry, outsource the task to an expert.