The Importance of Color Grading

The Importance of Color Grading

Posted by Ayo Olasupo on 20th Apr 2022

Color grading can be a confusing term. Many conflate color grading with color correction, but they are actually separate steps in the editing process. The ability to color grade is a powerful skill to have. Color grading is how you communicate mood to your audience and is an important part of creating your style. It’s a crucial factor in how your audience reacts to your work.

Understanding how colors affect emotion is the first step in learning to color grade. How you manipulate colors to create mood and evoke emotion will determine how your audience reacts to your work. The power of color grading is such that it can’t be ignored. Evoking emotion is the most powerful tool you have as a videographer. To grade colors is to make your vision a reality and elevate your work to higher levels.

Color grading is the manipulation of the intensity and color of light. That sounds simple, but it’s slightly more complicated. Manipulating light means varying several aspects of your exposure and can even require planning before your shoot. That’s right, planning your grading (or what your goal is) before you even shoot can be an important step in getting your color grading just right. Having a vision of what you want to accomplish never hurts with any element in the process of filming.

One could argue that color grading is just another tool to help create emotion. You use color as a means of evoking emotions in the audience. It might seem tedious and trivial, but any tool used to create emotion in the audience is an invaluable tool. A strong reaction and lasting feelings can be achieved with good color grading. Fortunately, there is hardly a barometer for what good color grading is. It is up to you what emotion you’d like to evoke, so any color grading that achieves your goal is good color grading.

Colors engage your audience’s senses, creating spontaneous sensations and the connection to them. An engaged audience and involved audience are how you build a fanbase of repeat viewers. Color grading can help you develop and create your own unique style. It can make your work recognizable and memorable. The better your color grading, the more powerful the audience’s reaction will be to your videos, and the more they’ll seek out your work.

To learn more about video editing, check out out our Video Editing 101 class.