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How to Use Color Correction in Premiere Pro

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Sep 01, 2022• Proven solutions

So, you’ve shot an amazing video that is rich in colorful scenes but are not much satisfied with the lighting or color output of the video. Well, in such a case you can use Premiere Pro to achieve cutting edge color correction.

Not familiar with how to make use of Premiere? Fret not pal! We also have discussed below the step by step tutorial on how to perform color correction on Premiere Pro.

Keep reading further and explore yourself how easy is to perform color correction in Premiere Pro. In the end, we will also give you an alternative to Premiere to make color correction.

You may also like: Best Color Grading/Correction Tools

Part 1: The Difference between Color Correction and Color Grading

Before we get hands on experience of both Premiere Pro and Filmora, it is vital to understand the key difference between color correction and color grading. Often, both terms are confused with each other. So here’s the exact piece of information for your convenience.

1. Color Correction

Color Correction is nothing but the process of customizing the exposure, shadows and contrast to redefine the overall look of the scene /image to give it a real like look. This balancing of light plays a huge role in setting the right look of the image/scene to make it more appealing and real life like.

2. Color Grading

Ideally, Color Grading is carried out after color correction is done. It is performed to alter the visual tone of a scene/image. For instance, the green tint obtained in the movie “The Matrix” is a result of color grading. Not just in “The Matrix”, there are several other blockbuster movies in Hollywood that make use of an orange and teal grade. Color grading is more of an artistic skill with technical aptness.

Part 2: How to Correct Color in Premiere Pro

To get started with color correction in Premiere Pro, first you need to have a workspace. Set it up and ensure, by any chance, you can connect calibrated NTSC or PAL monitor to your PC. Then simply move along with the instructions mentioned below to achieve color correction in Premiere Pro.

    1. Go to color correction effect: Begin with applying any of your desired “Color Correction” effects to your video clip available in the “Timeline” panel. Alternatively, if your video clip is already selected, you can simply drag drop the preferred effect to the Video Effects section available in the Effects Control Panel. Head towards the Color Correction effect available in the Effects panel.

go to color correction

    1. Change color in frames: Then, you need to adjust the current-time indicator exactly to that particular frame offers exposure of the colors which are required to be color corrected. While performing color correction in Premiere Pro or any other software, it is vital to have preview panel as well. So, in order to set it up: You need to opt for the “Show Split View” version to bring up the “Before & After” view of your Video clip within a single monitor screen.

 use color correction by show split

Note: Just in case, you wish to change the orientation of the split view from “Horizontal to Vertical” or vice versa, head to the “Layout” menu and then make due changes in the relative proportions, as per your preference, of the split views.

    1. Ajust midtone, highlight and shadow areas: You can make use of the control labeled as Tonal Range Definition to adjust the midtone, highlight and shadow areas. Make use of either Eyedropper tool or Secondary Color Correction controls. For your information, every Color Correction effects also have the “Secondary Color Correction” controls panel in order to rectify the exposure of any particular color or range of colors.

Note: Secondary Color Correction controls aren’t available for the Video Limiter and Fast Color Corrector effects.

adjust color correction

Part 3: How to Use Fast Color Correction in Premiere Pro

Moving on to the “Fast Color Correction in Premiere Pro”, let’s now understand a step by step tutorial on how to make use of it to set the white balance. This method is widely recommended over the “Auto Color” effect as it lets you to have more control over the effect.

    1. Make use of Fast Color Corrector effect: Head to the “Effects/Preset” section in the Premiere Pro and then, simply drag drop the Fast Color Corrector effect over your footage/image in order to apply it.

Fast Color Corrector effect

    1. Opt for the White Portion in your footage: Select the “Eyedropper” tool and then opt for any white area over your footage. Usually, a white sky or white clothing is the best selection for the sample.

Note: Please bear in mind that if, in case, the white areas over your footage are too blown out, there ain’t going to be much color detail available to utilize the Fast Color Corrector effect.

Eyedropper premiere pro

  1. Perform the desired customizations: Once you’re done with customizing white balance area of your footage, it should be pretty close to balanced. However, depending upon your requirement, you may need to make some slight adjustments to set it just right.

Part 4: Basic Color Correction Tool in Premiere Pro

Well, to help you understand the in and outs of the basic color correction in Premiere Pro, carefully read through the entire section discussed below.

Pro Tip: In case you wish to reset any value in the Lumetri Color Panel to its default value, simply double tap on the slider and you’re done.

1. Input LUT

The very first control which is more like that of Instagram filters is Input LUT. If you’re learning basics or a novice, it isn’t really required to make use of LUTs. Making use of this will add more trouble than be of any help.

Input LUT premiere

2. White Balance

Right after Input LUT, you’ll get to see White Balance with which you can customize the temperature and tint. Drag the “Temperature” slider towards left and it will add more blue color to the scene/image which will levy a “Cooler” appearance of the things. And if you drag it towards the right, adds more orange color and imposes a “Warmer” appearance of the things.

When you make use of the WB selector, you’re enabled to select any point in your footage that is white. Once you do that, Premiere Pro will fetch the appropriate white balance settings from it.

White Balance premiere

3. Tone

Next, we have tone section that helps you to control various effects like exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and HDR Specular. If you’re not well-versed with all the effects, you can always look forward to the “Auto” button available at the bottom right of the “Basic Correction” panel. Thought, this doesn’t always perform an outstanding makeover but yes, it can certainly be of great help if you’re a novice.

With the launch of new Premiere Pro, the “Exposure” and “Whites” sliders were improved much. While on the other hand, to all the other sliders, there are some minor reductions.

  • Exposure: you can either brighten or darken the scene/image.
  • Contrast: increase or decrease the contrast.
  • Highlights: makes increment or decrement in the highlights.
  • Shadows: to add or remove the shadows only.
  • Whites: controls the extremity of white pixels by increasing or decreasing its intensity.
  • Blacks: controls the extremity of black pixels by increasing or decreasing its intensity.
  • HDR Specular: you won’t be able to make use of this until you’re working with a high dynamic range (HDR) footage.

Note: For all the aforementioned sliders, when you drag it towards the right, it will amplify or increase the intensity of the effect. While, dragging it towards the left will diminish or decrease the intensity of the respective effect.

Tone premiere

4. Saturation

Lastly, the saturation control helps you to customize the extremity of the colors in your scene or image. Drag it all the way towards left, your image or scene will turn black and white. If you drag it all the way towards right, your scene or image will turn saturated. In other words, colors will give more of an unrealistic and fake outlook.

Final Words

So, that was all about performing color correction in Premiere Pro. With such classified information for both the software, it is now pretty evident they both are efficient and productive tools. But on one hand, Premiere Pro requires high technical skills and sound knowledge about the tools. On the other, Filmora is turned out to be a savior as it can be utilized by users of all skill levels, be it a novice or a pro.

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Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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