5 Color Grading Techniques from Professionals 

Color grading is the process of adjusting color; accordingly, it is a film processing method used in film laboratories during the era when negatives were used for all shots. How cool is that?These days, color grading software is present in computers using robust editing programs like Descript, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro. A color palette is often used by filmmakers as a component of their overall production design. These palettes reflect creative decisions that give the movie a cohesive appearance. Digital color grading tools are used by directors and colorists to adjust the video colors when the film footage doesn’t match specific color palettes.Color grading plays a vital role in creating a vibe with your color palette. It makes your image look exactly like it is in real life, which makes it different from color correction.

3 Types of color grading in film

Like other post-production procedures, color grading requires you to establish your own unique style. Color grading has established a hallmark look for several directors. Consider films directed by Tim Burton or Wes Anderson, for instance.

However, there are three common forms of color grading used in movies and television:

Naturalistic color grading:
An excellent illustration of realistic color grading is seen in nature documentaries. In essence, it enhances the colors that are already there in the video. It differs from color correction in that it only intensifies the reds and greens, without attempting to fix any errors.
In addition to being shot using cutting-edge technology, Planet Earth II has naturalistic color grading to accentuate the majesty and beauty of the natural world.

Contrast and mood-based color grading

Contrast and mood-based color grading is used in the majority of contemporary movies to provide viewers with an engaging visual and emotional experience.
Romeo and Juliet’s suicide scene in Baz Luhrman’s 1996 film Romeo and Juliet features the gloomy atmosphere of a funeral or death, with neon accents that create an almost surreal illusion.

Genre-specific color grading

Consider various film genres and the colors or styles you might anticipate seeing in each. For instance, a romantic comedy may show brighter sceneries and lighter hues, while a science fiction film might do the same with futuristic technology with neons and artificial colors. That’s what color grading is all about.
Different genres have their own color grading palettes. For instance, the psychological horror movie Silence of the Lambs features dark and muted tones. There was a lot of white contrasted with crimson and black whenever Anthony Hopkins’ character Hannibal appeared on screen.

Why is Color Grading Important?

A considerable part of the post-production process is color grading. Color grading can set the tone, arouse feelings, and provide a unified aesthetic, all of which are essential elements for drawing viewers into your narrative. However, fantastic color grading effects require a specialist. It’s what customers come to Motion Grades for. Our proficiency in color grading is enhanced by the use of robust, industry-standard editing tools. It’s DaVinci Resolve that our specialists vouch for.
Having stated that, let’s explore the five excellent methods we employ to produce breathtaking outcomes for our color-grading assignments. 

Grading of image for atmosphere

Sometimes you may improve your image by using the colors and mood of another. When trying to convey a certain tone or ambiance, this method of photo color correcting comes in handy.

This is how you do it:

Look for a picture that evokes the mood and colors you want.
Select the picture and drag it into your Photoshop project.
To combine the image layer with the original photo, adjust its mistiness and blend mode.
To isolate and apply the new colors to particular regions, such as the backdrop or subject, use layer masks.
You may smoothly add the appropriate mood and color to your photograph with this technique for photo color repair.
Portrait retouching with presets and enhancements
Enhancements and presets may alter the game when it comes to editing portraits. Photoshop has a number of presets to improve the eyes, teeth, and skin tone of a picture.

Using presets and upgrades is explained here:

Choose the required Photoshop library preset or enhancement.
To get the desired result, change the enhancement’s intensity.
Change parameters such as skin texture, teeth whitening, and eye augmentation.
When doing photo color correction, using presets and improvements can help you rapidly reach the professional level of portrait retouching.
Advanced color grading with camera raw
One of the best tools for sophisticated color grading is Adobe Camera Raw. When doing photo color correction, it enables you to accurately adjust the colors in your image.

Here’s how to color grade using Camera Raw:

First, you Choose Filter, then Camera Raw Filter to open your image.
To change the hue, saturation, and luminance of a particular color, use the HSL/Grayscale panel.
Try a variety of settings until you achieve the desired color look.
Camera Raw is a valuable tool for sophisticated color grading and photo color correction since it offers fine-grained control over color alterations. 

Delicate tool colors with selective color adjustment

A method for adjusting colors in particular regions of a picture is called selective color correction. When doing photo color correction, it’s helpful to target and adapt specific color channels.

To utilize Selective Color adjustment, follow these steps:

Create an adjustment layer for selective color.
Select the color channel (yellow, blue, red, etc.) that you wish to change.
To fine-tune the color balance, adjust the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black parameters.
To get the color balance you want in your photos, selective color adjustment provides you with exact control over color adjustments. 

Gradient maps for precise color control

Gradient Maps are one of Photoshop’s primary color grading techniques. They let you precisely control the color grading and photo color correction process by allowing you to map specific colors to highlights and shadows.
To create a Gradient Map, click on the adjustment layer icon select Gradient Map, and then adjust the color stops on the gradient to set the colors for highlights and shadows. You can also add more color points for further customization. To make the color grading more artistic and random, change the gradient type from solid to noise, decrease roughness to smoothen the color transition between colors, and click on “Randomize” to explore an endless array of color options.

Wrapping Up

Color grading is a powerful tool that can elevate your videos from good to great. It can set the mood, create a specific atmosphere, and even subtly influence how viewers perceive your story. While professional color grading services like Motion Grades can achieve stunning results, there are also techniques you can try yourself using editing software like Photoshop.

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