Why Colour Grading for Video is Important

Best laid plans often go awry. What is Color Correction or ‘Grading’? Wikipedia: “Color grading or colour painting, is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally.”

Before and after example tells all; below is a frame from a video I was the shooter and colour timer on from a few years back.

colour_correction_example

The before and after comparison is quite drastic. The first image is flat, and exposed well all over which is good for the footage and retaining as much information for post production. However, this look is exactly that – flat and without contrast – which would look poor on television if left untreated.

This lower image looks great – colour corrected in native 1920×1080 on a calibrated CRT HDTV powered through a Decklink HD Extreme professional card. All the right tools for the job.

Now the image looks sharp and the colours are strong. A signature trait of mine is I often shoot as flat as I can so that I can pull as much detail out of the image as possible. Overall, the production takes more time because it requires post-production, but gives me a lot latitude over the image, making it look it’s absolute best!

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