What is colour grading?

Colour Grading is an important stage in the final steps of Post Production that is quite often overlooked and undervalued. 

Colour Grading happens after what we call “picture lock”. 

Picture Lock means that you have approved of the footage and ‘cut’ or flow of the video. You are happy with the vision you see and the story that is told. Please see the Post Production Process blog for more information about Picture Lock.

From this stage we then move down the pipeline of Post Production to Colour Grading. 

Colour Grading is where we focus on the look, colour, and brightness of the footage. It is basically like the makeup artist who comes in and makes your skin look better, your eyes look brighter and your features stand out. The makeup artist does not add or remove any features that are there, they just enhance and smooth the ones you have. Colour Grading is enhancing the image that is already there. 

At Anomaly we shoot in Raw. This is a file type. The footage captured in raw looks very milky and grey. It looks very washed out and “flat”. For example the interviewee looks like they are pressed against the background and everything is a similar shade. It’s not very bright or pretty. Nothing is very black, and nothing is very white. We do this so that when we bring the footage into Da Vinci (our colour grading program) we have much more ‘room to move’. We can make the blacks really black, or we can make them not as black. Same goes for the whites, like someone’s shirt or a window. We are able to make it look how we want it to look and not just let the camera do what it thinks we want. This gives us much more control. It also makes your video’s look much more polished and professional. It makes them stand out from others that might not be done by this process.

For a video example of the effects of colour grading please watch the video below. 

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