How to make color grading better?

I made this film for my YouTube channel and I was wondering if you had any tips for improving the color grading.


  • ElliotBrowne
    ElliotBrowne Website User Posts: 7

    Sorry here is the video I forgot to add it.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Enthusiast
    edited December 2016

    Welcome to HitFilm! =)

    (please excuse my English)

    Try to improve the lighting in your shots. Try to get the exposure right when shooting. Dark not too dark and the bright not too bright, you want to capture as much information as possible.

    If you take a look at your close up at 0:44, it looks very dark. That's because you didn't light your shot properly, and you didn't color correct that shot either, some shots are a lot brighter, so it is not consistent. Had you added even a LED strip (super cheap nowadays), to really make that close up pop, it would have looked a lot better!

    It's much more important to get the exposure right when shooting, because recovering information in your shots is going to bring back the nasty artifacts you don't want to see in your shots as well. If you want to make something look darker than it really is, then you want to do that in post production!

    You then want to color correct. The idea here is to correct the exposure of all your shots in post production. You want to do this before grading, for best results.

    Then finally, you want to color grade. The idea here is to emotionally affect your audience, and the second best way to do that, is applying a grade to your shot.

    Here's a good read on how to color grade:

    And remember, if you're using a Phone, a DSLR and not a prosumer or pro camera, then remember that when grading, less is more!

    That's because there's a lot of compression going on, a higher end camera is a lot better at grading, because it can capture a lot more information in the shot than a consumer camera can.

    Less is more, is especially important when the display (your computer monitor) you're working on have not been calibrated. Color correction is absolutely do able when working with a non calibrated monitor, but color grading is going to be a bit harder.

    Don't hesitate to ask the community if you run into any problems, we're all happy to help where we can,

    Practise makes perfect!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,990 Ambassador

    @CNK gives really good advice here, so I'll I will add is at the color correct stage, you want to match exposure and color. This isn't making it pretty, this is making exposure values match (so brightness doesn't jump from shot to shot) and chroma values match (so colors of skin or foliage aren't changing from shot to shot).

    Correction is far more important than grading--you can have a super cool stylized look, but exposure and color changes from shot to shot will pull viewers right out of the film. I'm thinking of a very elaborate Star Wars fanfilm I saw recently: elaborate CGI--hundreds of motion captured clone troopers with detailed armor with scratches and dirt, reflections and cast shadows. There were spaceships and walkers, blasters, lightsabers and explosions, and some pretty good acting going on. The animation, matchmove and compositing was all solid, but it took place in a forest and the fact that leaves and grass changed color and brightness in every shot basically ruined all that elaborate VFX work--the whole film looked really amateur as a result. 

    So, to sum up, getting images properly exposed in camera is 50% the work. Properly matching (correcting) in post is 40% of the work. Stylish grading is only 10% of the work. 

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