Color Grading

Color Grading is an important part taking any cinematic piece to the next level. Color can soften, harden, or intensify a feeling that you want to evoke throughout a scene. For this assessment I have chosen a few scenes from my Lenny to practice color grade.

I have chosen to take the original photo and add a cool grade, a warm grade, and then one where I focused on a different color. I did this to try and add some variation to the scene and push myself to try new things. The references I used were from the movies O Brother Where Art Thou, The Revenant, and The Matrix. All of these movies have different grades for different scenes but the overall films carry a similar scheme throughout.

images (1)O Brother Where Art Thou
images (2)The Revenant
images (3)The Matrix

I found that the best outcome for practicing the color grading was the scene in Lenny where we were able to get the best lighting on the actor from a window as well as the room light. Without having any extra lighting I found that some of the other scenes fell a bit flat. Lenny was the most complete project to work with that had a variety of shots.

The first Image is where Sharron comes in to meet Lenny. In this shot we had really good lighting making it easier to push the boundaries of the color grading. Like I said I tried to do both a warm and cool version as well as a more intense dramatic colorization. I think all of these color grades really work with this scene and give a new feel to it. Any one of these could be used to help enhance the look of the short Lenny based what look I want it to have in the end.


I repeated this process with two other scenes from Lenny. In my opinion they were not as successful as this first scene. Due to the setting and lack of extra lighting, the color grading didn’t seem to have as much of an effect. That also could have been due to the fact that this is my first time color grading on videos in this program. The colors of the setting itself had an affect on the outcome of the look. We were in a place with a lot of grays and orange tones so it became more of a challenge to push the intensity with color grading.

Original in the top left*

I am looking forward to continue working to push the boundaries with color grading in future projects. It is important to start with good footage but that alone will not boost your film to another level. You can enhance the mood and feeling you want to convey to your audience helping to get your message across.

– Bec

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