Color Correction vs Color Grading: Find The Difference!

Color Correction vs Color Grading Find The Difference!

For a professional editor or even the photo editing services agency, altering the colors during editing or known as color grading is an important step during the editing process. This step is significant since the color implied will affect the whole storyline presented by the video or the image. However, there are times when the process used is not color grading, but color correction.

Even though the two processes occur during post-production, there are differences that you should know. Let’s check out on the below.

What is Color Grading?

Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the colors in a video or film to give it a certain mood, tone or look. It is related to artistic space which is assisted by the ambience and its elements as well as detailing. For example, setting the skin tone.

When an editor learns color grading skill, they should have in-depth knowledge about exposure, speed, balance, white balance, and pretty much all the basic photo editing aspects.
Once the footage has been corrected, the editor can begin to color grade the footage where they adjust the color tones to create a specific mood or atmosphere. Some of the color grading processes are:

  • Adjusting the overall color balance,
  • Adding color tints, or
  • Creating a black and white image.

What is Color Correction?

Color correction is the process where the editor balances the basic colors, such as black and highlights, including the color composition, such as saturation and temperature.
The first step in color correction is evaluating the image or video and identifying any issues with the colors. In this part, the editor should be able to define the problems such as color casts, under or over-saturation, and lack of contrast.

One of the most common methods of color correction is color balance controls. It allows the editor to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of specific colors. For example, if an image has a yellow color cast, the colorist can use the color wheel to reduce the amount of yellow and add more blue to neutralize the cast.

Advanced color correction techniques include using LUTs (Lookup Tables) and color keys. LUTs are pre-designed sets of color adjustments that can be applied to an image or video to achieve a specific look. LUTs can be used to emulate the look of different film stocks, or to create a specific mood or atmosphere.

The Difference Between Color Grading and Color Correction

Do you know that both are important steps during a photo or a video shoot post-production? However, they refer to different aspects of color adjustments.

Color correction is the process of adjusting the colors in an image or video to achieve a neutral or accurate representation of the original scene. The goal of color correction is to correct any color issues such as color casts, under or over-saturation, and lack of contrast. The color grading step is adjusting the hue, saturation, luminance, and overall color temperature.

Color grading, on the other hand, is the process of adjusting the color tones to create a specific mood or atmosphere in the image or video. This can include adjusting the overall color balance, adding color tints, or even creating a black and white image.

This step can be used to create a warm and nostalgic feeling, a cool and modern look, or anything in between. Color grading is used for more artistic and stylistic reasons.

5 Steps of Color Grading

Generally, the process includes the following steps:

1. Preparing the footage

Creating the raw files synced with the audio, rough cut, and color management settings are important.

2. Initial Color Correction

In this step, the editor can correct any color issues such as color casts, over-saturation, and lack of contrast.

3. Color Grading

During this step, the editor begins to color grade the footage, making sure the color tones are adjusted in order to generate a certain atmosphere for the image or video.

4. Fine-Tuning

This step includes making further adjustments to specific color ranges, adding special effects, and so on.

5. Export the final product and review the result

Lastly, do not forget to export the files into desired output and review the final project result.

Recommended Tools for Color Correction and Color Grading

Here are several recommended softwares that can be used as tools for color correction and grading:

  • DaVinci Resolve

This is a professional-grade color and editing software developed by Blackmagic Design. It’s widely used in the film, television, and video production industry.

  • Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects

Both of them are professional-grade video editing software from Adobe which offer advanced color correction, grading tools, editing and special effects capabilities.

  • Lightroom and Photoshop

Presented by Adobe, Lightroom and Photoshop offer basic color grading and editing features for the users.

  • Avid Media Composer

Avid Media offers advanced color correction and grading tools, as well as editing and audio post-production capabilities.

  • Final Cut Pro X

It is a professional-grade video editing software developed by Apple. The features include advanced color correction, grading tools, and editing.

Steal The Skills of Creating Desired Mood on the Scene!

Upon reading the full article, it has come to terms that the main difference between color correction and color grading stems from its purpose. One is to “correct” the color flaws and the other is to set a certain mood. Even though they serve different purposes, both are crucial steps in the process of transforming photos and videos from their natural beauty into vibrant, magnificent result.

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