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 really 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!

Trailer

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Intro

0

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Color grading vs. color correction

35

Color grading basics

92

What is a colorist

259

How to become a colorist

338

Color grading workflow

604

Color theory

821

Developing an eye for contrast

896

Color grading trends

1066

Video colorist salary

1131

Why is coloring important

1248

How to be a good colorist

1326

Biggest mistakes

1629

Best color grading software

1699

Skills needed

1860

Tips and tricks

2039

Inspiration

2275

Wrap up

2365

Meet Your Instructor

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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 can depend on the genre, emotional framework, storyline, or individual style of a filmmaker.

Color grading vs. color correction

It is important 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 and only after 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 very basics of color grading such as contrast, saturation and hue in addition to 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.

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 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 it's also the way you want the footage to look.

Color contrast

When starting out as a colorist it is important to 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 either. In this chapter, Gabriel will tell you which platforms and newsletters he is using for finding new trends in color grading.

Video colorist salary

Every market is different and a colorist salary very much depends on where are you working. 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.

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, but Gabriel uses Davinci Resolve for most of his color grading projects because of its affordability and usability both for beginners and experts.

Skills needed

There are a number of skills needed to be a good colorist such as understanding the hardware and the software, knowing what computer to buy that can handle full-resolution footage, knowledge about monitors and more. Gabrel will tell you all the necessary skills in this chapter.

Tips and tricks

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

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from many sources. One thing Gabriel is doing is watching TV focusing on the advertisements, see how things and trends change over time, but you can also follow other people in the industry and see what they are doing.

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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 out of Columbus, Ohio. With almost 10 years of experience, he has worked with brands like O.A.R, Nationwide, and Velvet, in addition to 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 https://clumcreative.com/ 🎞

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