Color Grading 101:
Everything You Need to Know by Gabriel Kaunitz

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Post-production can be quite a task. But some parts of it are known to be more fun than others. Yes, I'm talking about color grading.

Whether it is a short commercial or a feature film, what differentiates your work from others is how you stylize your picture. Monochromatic palettes, deep shadows, or washed-out hues – it's up to you!

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Gabriel Kaunitz

Color Grading: All You Need to Know to Get You Started by Gabriel Kaunitz

A crucial part of the post-production process – grading is about using color values, hues, saturation, brightness, and contrast to add a specific effect to the footage. Learn more about that with Gabe!






Color grading vs. color correction


Color grading basics


What is a colorist


How to become a colorist


Color grading workflow


Color theory


Developing an eye for contrast


Color grading trends


Video colorist salary


Why is coloring important


How to be a good colorist


Biggest mistakes


Best color grading software


Skills needed


Tips and tricks




Wrap up


Meet Your Instructor


What you’ll learn

Color correction and color grading are different. Color grading is when you get into the localized color correction and changes for creative purposes.

The waveform monitor is your number one go-to tool in addition to the RGB parade. Waveform for overall contrast & RGB for color data.

The industry is very competitive, that is why workflow and speed can become your biggest advantage.

To become a colorist, you just have to do it – you have to gain experience and have a portfolio.

The holy grail of color grading is contrast, saturation, hue, and localization.

Learn color theory, your formats, and the colorist language, and follow trends.

Masterclass Chapters

A crucial part of the post-production process – grading is about using color values, hues, saturation, brightness, and contrast to add a specific effect to the footage. Making these adjustments will always greatly depend on the desired look. It depends on a genre, emotional framework, storyline, or filmmaker's style.

Color grading vs. color correction

It is crucial to understand the difference between color grading and color correction. Color correction is what you start with when editing a video. Adjust white balance and contrast. Only after that you go into color grading as a second grade, where you go into localized corrections.

Color grading basics

In this chapter, Gabriel will tell you about the basics of color grading as contrast, saturation, hue, and localization.

What is a colorist?

Anyone can be a colorist if you have these two things: a colorist has to understand the basics of color grading and learn the software. Gabriel will explain a colorist job in more detail in this chapter.

How to become a colorist?

Every colorist has a very different story of how they became one, but they have one thing in common: they all started out by learning the basics of color correction and color grading in post-production.

Gabriel Kaunitz

Color grading workflow

Workflow is an important aspect when working as a colorist. You have to know how your footage is getting from pre-production all the way to delivery. As Gabriel says: "As a colorist, workflow is one of your best friends."

Color theory

Gabriel says the color theory is the second most important after the workflow. Color theory is your tool to get the footage where it is supposed to go and how you want the footage to look.

Color contrast

When starting out as a colorist, learn to develop an eye for contrast. It is the basis of how your image feels to people who see it. Gabriel will tell you more about it in this chapter.

Keeping up with trends is necessary for all areas and jobs, and a video colorist is no exception. In this chapter, Gabriel will tell you which platforms and newsletters he uses to find new trends in color grading.

Video colorist salary

Every market is different, and a colorist's salary depends on where you work. In 2021, the average salary for a video colorist was 45.000$ a year, but you can always work as a video colorist in addition to other editing jobs. Gabriel will share his advice on how to make a living as a video colorist in this chapter.

Gabriel Kaunitz

How to be a good colorist?

You can be an okay colorist, or you can become a great one. In this chapter, Gabriel will tell you what it takes to achieve that.

Biggest mistakes

There are some common mistakes beginner colorists usually make, such as not using scopes or not calibrating your monitor. Gabriel will tell you more about these mistakes and how to avoid them.

Best color grading software

It's never easy to name the best software. Gabriel uses Davinci Resolve for most of his color grading projects because of its affordability and usability both for beginners and experts.

Skills needed

To be a good colorist, you should understand the hardware and software. Know what computer to buy that can handle full-resolution footage, learn about monitors, and more. Gabrel will tell you all the necessary skills in this chapter.

Tips and tricks

Gabriel will share some of his tips for color grading as learning about the color wheel and the different scopes you can use in Davinci Resolve.


Inspiration can come from many sources. One thing Gabriel does is watch ads. He focuses on how things and trends change over time and follows other people in the industry to see what they are doing.

About Your Instructor

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Gabriel Kaunitz

Filmmaker, colorist, editor, and animator

Columbus, Ohio

“Learn from your mistakes.”

Gabriel Kaunitz is a filmmaker, colorist, editor, and animator from Columbus, Ohio. With almost 10 years of experience, he has worked with brands like O.A.R, Nationwide, and Velvet. Also, in movies like Killer Raccoons 2 and How America Killed My Mother.

He's currently working from Columbus, Ohio, as an editor and colorist for Clum Creative at 🎞

If you enjoyed this masterclass, check out our article about uplifting your color grading skills in 5 steps!

If you're looking for more read about film editing or filmmaking.

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