February 5, 2015 at 7:10AM

You voted '+1'.

Best way to learn color correcting/color grading?

So I've been trying to practice and practice this craft and just film making as a whole. Little by little getting better at everything from writing, editing, shooting, lighting, and color correcting. I edit on Premiere and I color correct/grade ( I don't know if there is a difference) on my own and I don't know 'EXACTLY' what I'm doing but I somehow get the job done. I just mess around with the settings and levels until I get a color scheme I like/want.

Of course I'm reading stuff online and I was really inspired by the video posted on here not to long ago (http://vimeo.com/116019668) about color grading and I would LOVE to be able to do that. I would like to know how everyone else does this or how else people have learned? I'm know there is an actual technique to doing this and I would like to learn. Thanks!


It's a bit unorthodox today, but I learned how to color correct back in the 1980's by using a Koday Print Viewing Kit, which was a set of 6 primary color filters ( Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow ) in different CC values ( color-correction values ) from 05cc to 40cc of each of the primary colors.

Kodak doesn't make this kit any more, but LEE Filter does. They're not cheap ( about $60 ), but they are a very good way to learn to recognise the 6 primary colors and how much correction you need to fix a color cast. From this training I can color correct just about any image in about 15 seconds, because you automatically recognise the color cast, how strong it is, and what you need to do to get rid of it.

LEE Filters Viewing Filter Kit : $60

...As for grading, that's really an artform that takes tons of practice to get good at it. I am still a beginner when it comes to grading footage.

February 5, 2015 at 7:28PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Well done for persevering with these skills Franklin. Nothing beats practice! On that point, it might be worth seeing if you can shadow someone more experienced or get involved in a project that would allow you to simply repeat all these skills over and over with some guidance.

As far as I'm concerned, 'correcting' is the process of addressing any issues (eg. different lighting between scenes or under-exposure) and giving each shot a good neutral appearance. 'Grading' is the process of creating a particular look which might bring out the mood of the scene, make skin tones stand out, etc.

Have you got a library of stills to refer to? I'm not sure how easy it is in Premiere, but it's useful to reference a shot you like. I also find it useful to plan some breaks before finishing stuff - I often come back to the screen and realise I've over-done it!

One other reflection, which is a bit hard for us multi-taskers to swallow... We're taking on several different roles that used to be (and, on larger projects, still are) separate specialisms. We might not be very good at all of them! Then it's time to link with other people and make the most of different skill sets.

September 23, 2015 at 9:19AM, Edited September 23, 9:22AM


You should denoise material before grading or as a first thing in grading. On the other hand if you want to add noise to your film (form more cinematic, analog look), you should always do it after grading is done.

November 6, 2019 at 9:07AM


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