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The Importance of Colour Correction

As consumers, we are exposed to many online videos every day. As brands, this makes it even harder to stand out amongst competition. But what’s the “it” factor that sets apart show-stopping video content from basic mediocre video content? Two words, Colour Correction.

When it comes to producing a great video, there are many key elements that come into play including, storytelling, cinematography, production design, editing and colour correction. However, when it comes to the latter, a lot of creators tend to overlook this element. Why? Simply because they are unaware of its importance. But the concept of colour correction has been around since the early 1900s, way before we had access to unlimited digital video content.

During that era of black and white films, there was a director and filmmaker known as George Melies who felt that just using black and white films significantly limited his storytelling abilities. He hired an artist named Elisabeth Thuillier who specialized in water colour paintings to add colour to his films. She and over 200 of her employees hand painted each frame of George’s film. Thus, George Melies’ innovative methods gave him the title of the pioneer of modern colour correction and grading.

Nowadays, you don’t need a team of painters to be able to tell your story in a more compelling way. All it takes is a digital program or software that can be learned and applied easily.

So What Exactly is Colour Correction?

Colour correcting is the process of digitally altering the raw footage to match how the human eye perceives it. With colour correction, the goal is to create a uniformed look for your footage that evokes emotion whilst being aesthetically pleasing for viewers.

On a technical level, it is the process of adjusting white balance, ISO noise, the exposure and contrast of an image in order to fix any camera setting mistakes or enhance certain information from raw, flat profiles.

Making these adjustments results in your video looking clean with a more consistent style. This will ultimately set the tone and mood of your final video.

But Why Does it Matter So Much?

Since we live in an era of visually dependent platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Netflix and Snapchat, as consumers we are attracted to high-quality visuals and thus we expect it from any and all brands that we follow. For content creators, just simply hitting record on their phones or webcams isn't enough. Digital content creators, brands and even vloggers are stepping up their video content game in many different ways including colour correcting.

So How Can Colour Correcting Make Content More Dynamic, Engaging and Professional?

  1. Get the most out of your original footage

You can be exceptionally skilled and have the best camera money can buy but colour correcting is probably the best way to get the highest quality image. Most digital cameras give you the option of filming in a RAW format. Here, the image may seem dull while filming but it gives you more room to play around with the spectrum of colour during the post production process. When you consider how many variables there are when filming, including time of day and changes in weather, choosing to film in this RAW format gives you the ability to adjust the image later to suit your desired look and capture the attention of your audience better.

2. Increased Production Value

As digital content creators, we are all looking for ways to spruce up our content and increase our production value whilst keeping our budgets to a minimum, and colour correction is probably one of the most inexpensive ways to do this. At Viral Media, our favourite software to use for this is Davinci Resolve by Blackmagic Designs. Using colour correction will help you look more professional and stand out from the amateur content creators. This is because as consumers, our minds are trained to identify high quality professional content because we spend a lot of time seeing footage on television and in films. We are able to clearly tell the difference between professional and amateur content. This is the biggest reason why the videos on your cell phone don’t look like Avatar.

3. Storytelling

Being able to tell a story and engage with our audience through the content we create is something that almost all content creators strive for and colour grading is a tool that can help with this. Telling your brand story is one thing, but making sure it resonates with your audience on an emotional level is the ultimate goal. When you use colour to emphasize certain emotions and generate moods, your audience is better able to understand the story your brand is trying to convey. For example, bright colours have the ability to make something appear more fun and lively, whereas darker tones tend to make the footage look more bleak and eerie.

So What's the Conclusion?

Colour correcting may appear to be a lot more complicated than just adding a filter on Instagram or Snapchat but the bottom line is, the results that you get are immensely better. It maybe an extra step but it’s worth the investment. Using colour adds emotion and it’s a type of language that we as filmmakers use to tell stories. The entire purpose of creating content in the first place is to keep your audience engaged and the use of appropriate colours is the best way to do this. As a brand that uses videos content on a regular basis, you can develop a unique look through the colours you use across all your content. This content is as much a part of your brand identity as is the colour of your brand logo.

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