The Difference Between Colour Correcting and Colour Grading…
Let’s start with the basics: Colour correction is the process of making footage look exactly the way the human eye sees something. Colour grading is the process of stylising the corrected footage to convey a specific visual tone or mood. The two work hand in hand in creating lovely looking imagery.
The approach we use in colouring an image depends on how we capture the footage. Being able to shoot digitally affords us some options.
Colour Correcting Flat Footage
A majority of the time our footage is captured with a flat look. When looking at raw flat video, the image appears very desaturated with low contrast. All that information is still there even though it’s not immediately visible. The flat capture offers our editors more creative leeway in pulling the full potential of contrast and colours out of that image and crafting a lovely look.
One way our editors do this is with the help of a LUT, which stands for Look Up Table. It’s a file preset that, when applied to a video clip, creates a baseline colour correction. The LUT literally makes the colours jump out of that flat image. Each camera manufacturer has their own set of LUTs that are designed to maximise the colour potential of an image. From there, the editor performs additional adjustments as needed.
Oftentimes we will use a colour checker on a shoot. It’s a rectangular board that contains a number of square colour swatches ranging from primary colours to skin tones. We capture an image of the colour checker at the start of filming. Because the colour checker is designed with very specific colour formulas, that image allows us to generate a custom LUT that is a representation of what the colours looked like on set and minimises the need for additional fine-tuning.
Colour Correcting Baked In Footage
In certain instances, shooting flat is not a practical option and we have to film with a baked-in look. What that means is that the footage is captured with a ‘what you see is what you get’ look. When watching baked in footage, the colours are saturated and the contrast is visible. It’s still high-quality footage. It just means we have narrower parameters to work within terms of correction and grading but the editor can still do quite a bit in correcting the footage. There’s no LUT needed with this approach.
Once correction is done, grading begins. Grading is all about creating a nuanced aesthetic to the footage. Think of this as the more artistic component of the colour process.
For example, a client may want a warm and happy look to their video. In this instance our editor may choose to add hints of yellow/orange to give it a feel of sunlight washing the footage. Or if a client wanted a sleek and edgy look. Our editor may add more contrast between whites and blacks and accentuate specific colours by adding more saturation.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to grading. This stage of the colour process is a lot of fun because it really is as if you’re hand painting a picture.
Why Choose ANGRYchair?
Life is too short and you’re too busy to waste your time making bad videos.
Your brand deserves awesome videos.
When it comes to selecting a video production company, we think you should ask: Is the end product excellent? Is the process easy and hopefully fun? And, most importantly, is the process and the output exactly what your brand needs?
We love making content that is perfect for your brand, and above all else, we love making it FOR YOU! It’s all about you and your brand.
We know lots about video production. We’ve developed a production method in-house that we think marries the best in production techniques, and ‘hacks’ to make it as easy and efficient for you and your team as possible. We call it the Q4 Production Method. It’s simply a way of making refreshingly authentic video content that makes your people and your brand look authentically sensational.
We look after the whole process so you can focus on what you’re good at.
We’d love to chat and see if we can help you get started.