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The Best Way To Color Grading & Color Correction in Filmora

Here is a step-by-step guide to color correct and color grade a video professionally with Wondershare Filmora. Let’s get going!
Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois Originally published Apr 23, 23, updated Jul 18, 24

As a post-production analysis of the filmed video, you might have noticed how the color contrast in a real VS reel. The colors do not appear bright and robust on a screen as in real life.

While there are numerous reasons for the dull, uninviting look- a basic edit could fix it quickly. One of the vital, if not the first, steps in the process is color grading and color correction. However, what exactly are color grading and color correction? And how can they help fix the color ratios and balance in a video?

This article covers everything you need to know about color grading and correction and a complete guide to adjusting cinematic colors with the best video editor, Wondershare Filmora. So, without much ado, let's dig into it!

In this article
  1. Part 1. Color Grading VS Color Correction
  2. Part 2. What Is Color Correction?
  3. Part 3. What Is Color Grading?
  4. Part 4. Things To Consider About the Editing Environment
  5. Part 5. How To Color Correct and Color Grade A Video With Wondershare Filmora?

Part 1. Color Grading VS Color Correction

These terms have often been used interchangeably; people consider them synonymous. However, they are two different artistic phenomena to adjust the color scheme.

Since we will discuss them in detail later, here is a brief description. Put simply, color correcting is a corrective procedure, while color grading is a cinematic adjustment.

Color correction diverts the colors to a relatively neutral baseline achieving a unified look for all captured shots. On the other hand, color grading is inclined more toward a creative look aimed at balancing colors that reflect the emotion of the sequence.

color correction vs color grading

These two work hand in hand to dramatically uplift the overall look of the sequence. Let's delve deeper into these techniques and see how to use them.

Part 2. What Is Color Correction?

We will start with color correction- the first step in color editing. Even with a slight glance at the raw shots, you can notice how much the tones are messed up. The crude product is oversaturated with colors.

Color correction is about making the shots look as natural as possible. It brings the sequences to the neutral baseline to achieve a unified look.

For now, we need to ignore our creative and aesthetic preferences and focus entirely on exposure and white balance. The actual end goal is to keep the colors true to life.

However, color-correcting a video is challenging if you are a beginner. There needs to be more than just understanding the fundamentals; it requires cinematic and technical skills.

Here is the basic process for a clean, color-corrected shot, irrespective of the software you use.

Essential Steps for Color Correcting a Shot

1. Set the color profile

Different video formats (HDR, LOG, RAW, HLG, etc.) have different exposure content. Therefore, select a color profile that matches your video format for the best results before starting.

2. Adjust the saturation

It is the primary step of color correction. Often the exposure of raw content is high. Next, equalize the saturation for a natural look.

3. Fix the contrast

Contrast is the difference between the light and dark areas of the image. Pictures with a higher contrast are sharper and more detailed.

However, adjust the contrast during color correcting so that the dark areas are not crushed, and you preserve the details maximally.

4. Set the white balance

It is time to adjust the white balance with the saturation and contrast fixed. The colors will shift to orange and blue hues if it is maladjusted.

Use the color curves to ensure pure whites so all colors fall correctly in place.

5. Double-check individual color tones

The final step is a secondary checking of the individual colors. Double-check the skin tones so they match in each shot.

Make sure the skin tones match their natural hues for an authentic, unfiltered look.

It is a basic walkthrough for color-correcting. More steps can vary according to the professional demands of the video. However, as a beginner, this is the best process to follow.

Once we've corrected the color, it is time to move to the next and primary step- color grading.

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Part 3. What Is Color Grading?

After you set all the tones to the baseline, you can start with the creative process of color grading. In this case, you do not change the colors anymore. Instead, you make artistic choices to change the moods and emotions of that particular sequence. Color grading is about manipulating the colors and contrasts that intensify the visual tone and explain your story to the world.

Color correction can be enough if you want to keep the video realistic. However, color grading is essential if you want to imply emotions and feelings in your content. Following is an essential step-by-step guide to color grading.

Basic Steps of Color Grading

If you are a beginner, the color grading process can be tricky without expertise. Hence here are the basic steps of color grading a video.

1. Color correcting

Correcting the colors and balance will always be the first step before you can color-grade footage. Next, the video must be normalized and should seem natural before you intensify the overall look.

2. Match the colors:

In the next step, we balance the contours between color-corrected footage and color grading. Then, you can use LUTs (Look Up Tables) to match the individual colors to the scheme.

3. Shot-to-shot matching

The next integral step is to match the colors between all the shots so we can achieve a unified look. The contrasting appearance of shots can make them look unprofessional and poorly cinematic.

4. Adjust the mood and emotions

A well-executed color grading can potentiate the emotions in a shot. Use your artistic choices and tools from editing software to imply the director's feelings in the video.

5. Make the final adjustments

As the final opportunity, tweak hues and chroma to ensure the colors match your palette in each scene. But, again, do not overdo anything, and play with colors to nudge the moods in the shot.

If your footage is the cake, color grading is the cherry on top that enhances the final look. You can instantly evoke connotations and bring the audience to a different page with some professional color grading.

However, while color correcting and grading, there are a few things that you should take care of. Here is a list of some To-do's and Not To-do's in the post-production edit.

Part 4. Things To Consider About the Editing Environment

Before you begin color-grading or color-correcting, here are some essential things to consider that can dramatically improve the results.

1. Neutral editing environment

Funky neon lights or fluorescent lights in the background can dominate your vision. As compensation, you will be over-saturating your footage with colors.

Make sure to use only white, neutral light with a CRI (color rendering Index) of at least 90. It will decrease inconsistencies as much as possible.

2. Using might shifts/orange screen

People often activate night shifts or orange screens to protect their eyes from excessive strain. Resultantly, the screen appears dull and orange-y.

Since this alters the actual colors of the video, the results are undermined. So make sure to turn off all technologies that can sabotage the grading.

3. Control the light

It is necessary to control the amount of light that enters your working space area. Excessive light alters your color perception and hence obstructs achieving a balanced contour.

Ensure that the light does not directly falls on the screen or your eyes. You must maintain an adequate distance from the screen to see nuances as you grade.

After completing all the fundamentals of color correcting and color grading, let's demonstrate how to do it in real-time.

Choosing good software can be chaos. There are plenty of options in the market with the best features, but we will be using Wondershare Filmora. Read on for a step-by-step guide on color correcting and grading.

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Part 5. How To Color Correct and Color Grade A Video With Wondershare Filmora?

To color-correct and color-grade a video, we recommend using Wondershare Filmora, one of the finest video editing apps on the market. Equipped with various tools, Filmora allows professional color correction with a few quick steps.

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With the super simple interface, the software is easy to use for beginners and professionals alike. In addition, Filmora offers extensive tools to manipulate colors and color grade your footage professionally. Here is how to color correct and color grade your video with Filmora post-production.

Step1Open Wondershare Filmora

Before we start, Install Wondersahare Filmora on your device. If you already have it downloaded, launch the software so we can begin.

video editing tools
Step2Color correcting the video

Drag and drop the video to the timeline from the Projects menu. Then, follow these steps to color-correct the video:

  • Double-click on the video to open the editing panel. Four options are available: Video, Audio, Color, and Speed. Open the color tab.
video editing tools
  • From the Basics menu, adjust the Exposure, Light Color, Contrast, White Balance, and Vibrance. Then, move the slider or add a LUT value to apply.
color correcting in filmora
  • Filmora offers a wide variety of 3D LUTs with mapped color spaces that project your preferences on the video with a single click. Select a pre-made LUT to apply to your video in the Preset tab. Or custom builds a Look Up Table and saves it for future use.
introducing a preset lut
  • Turn on the Color Match toggle and tap View Comparison to match your current video with a reference shot.
comparison view
Step3Color grading the video

In the color editing panel, use the other two tabs, HSL and Curves, to create the aesthetics of your video.

  • In the HSL panel, select a color from the seven colors of the rainbow. Then, set the hue, luminance, and saturation for each. Next, you can use the slider to nudge the colors or directly input a LUT value.
adjusting the hsl
  • The shadow areas are dark and crushed. To fix this, add the Curves effect to the video. Go to the Curves tab, choose a primary color, and move the curves to balance the color scheme.
altering the curves
Step4Save and export the file

Once you finish the final touches, save your footage to a local folder.

  • Click the Export button. A pop-up screen will open.
  • Select the File type. (MP4, WMV, GIF, etc.)
  • Choose a local destination for the file.
  • Click Export.
exporting the video


Hopefully, this post has given you a good understanding of the differences between color grading and color correction. But ultimately, it is all about your thought process and intuitions.

Filmora's extensive collection of color editing tools makes color correction and grading a five-finger thing. You can also follow our guide to create some unique and professional-looking masterpieces. Turn on the artistic side and start creating mystical shots!

Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois Jul 18, 24
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