Tips for handling colour correction

 Handling colour correction

Post-production, one of the biggest headaches for any filmmaker is colour correction. Requiring  precision and eye for what looks good, it is the cause of much stress and head scratching when you’re in Adobe Premiere Pro, but don’t worry, we are here to give you a few tips on how to handle colour correction.

We spoke in a previous post about how to edit in Premiere Pro, highlighting the versatility of the software: “The basic principle of Premiere Pro is that it’s a timeline-based application. So, a clip, or your entire film (however it’s been executed) will be laid out neatly in front of you. Another thing is that you can apply different edits, and if you make a mistake can easily go back and correct them.” So, when it comes to colour correction, it isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Adobe Premiere Pro 2015/CC

If you’re working on editing your movie in Premiere Pro, we highly suggest using the 2015 update or Creative Cloud, as the addition of the Lumetri colour panel is great. Giving you a far broader range of options and an increase in power. As Robert Hardy notes in No Film School:

“The Lumetri Color panel comes in a completely revamped color correction workspace. While the workspace itself features new scopes (courtesy of SpeedGrade) and a few other nifty features for editors who find themselves correcting and grading footage, the Lumetri Color panel provides perhaps the biggest boost in grading capability and ease of use that has ever been seen in Premiere.”

The Basics

To begin your colour correction journey, let’s start with the basics, there are three things you’ll need to work on first, which are:

  • Checking the white balance of the film. Of course, this is something you’ll have done whilst filming, but a couple of adjustments are usually necessary.

  • Adjusting brightness and contrasts levels. Be warned - these must be done with the greatest of care, as rushing may alter something good into something bad.

  • Increasing your saturation levels to make the colours pop, but beware of adding too much, as this will make them look far too harsh.

Colour pencils.jpg

Colour Correction and Grading

It’s worth mentioning colour grading as well, which, although not the same, falls into the same vanguard as colour correction. As we’ve mentioned above, with the addition of Lumetri by Adobe, the process is a lot simpler than in previous versions.

  • First thing to do, is set up a color workspace, which will open up the Lumetri color panel.

  • It’s a good idea to simply use the basic correction section as a guide, when you’re applying the Lookup Table or LUT.

  • If you want to apply a different range of looks, then adjust sliders in the creative section.

  • If you want, a great little finishing touch is to add a vignette at the end.

Further Tips

If you’re looking for further help with colour correction and grading, here is our top pick of YouTubers who can help you ease the stress. The first video is from Chinfat and he gives a thorough walkthrough of working with Lumetri, the second is from Tara Arts  - who has produced a fab video on the how to of colour grading.