Welcome to our blog where we dive deep into the world of color grading in Premiere Pro! If you’re a filmmaker, video editor, or aspiring content creator, then you know the importance of enhancing your footage through color correction and grading. In this article, we’ll explore two popular tools that can help you achieve professional-looking results: Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade. Both of these Premiere Pro plugins offer a range of features and options for manipulating colors, but they also have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. So join us as we compare and contrast Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade, helping you choose the best tool for your next project.
How To Color Grade In Premiere Pro: Lumetri Color vs Cinema Grade
What is up people done it here! Today we’re gonna do something that you guys have been asking me to do for such a long time. I’m gonna show you guys how I color correct and color grade my video footage, but I wanted to make this a little bit more special. So, I’m actually gonna be doing it in two different ways. The first way is the way that I normally do it using Lumetri Color, the built-in plugin inside Adobe Premiere Pro. And the second way is using a third-party plugin called Cinema Grade that’s supposed to make the whole process easier for you. Cinema Grade reached out to me a little while ago and hooked me up with the license so that I could try it out and share it with you guys. So, you guys get the chance to see the normal way that I would do it just using Premiere Pro and Lumetri, as well as the Cinema Grade way. You can decide what works best for you if you want to take any of these techniques and use them on your own footage.
Setting Up Lumetri Color in Premiere Pro
What we’re looking at on the screen here is my custom kind of set up. I’ve got the Lumetri Color panel on the right-hand side and I’ve got my Lumetri scopes over on the left-hand side. If you can’t see either of these on your screen, you just go up to window, you’re gonna go down to Lumetri Color and Lumetri scopes, and if you click those, they’ll appear on the screen and then you can customize it however you want.
The first layer that we’re gonna do on this is just correcting, so basically what that means is we’re gonna try and make the footage look as kind of normal as possible. We’re not trying to add any kind of special flavor or anything yet. We’ll do that after. What we’re trying to do now is get it from what it looks like, which is this kind of soft yellow look, back to what I look like in real life.
Both of these are the same shot. I shot this using picture profile 6 on the a6400, so it’s cine 2. So, it’s a little bit more flat than your standard picture would be, just gives me a little bit of extra dynamic range.
The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go up to my basic correction and I’m gonna go to input LUT, and I’m gonna choose the Leeming LUT 1 cine tube. Now, you may not have seen anything, you’ve got to look really close for it. It only changes the color a slight amount, it doesn’t actually fix any of the contrast or exposure or anything that we’re going to do in a second. That Leeming LUT comes from a pack that you can purchase. Definitely kind of cool, I’ve been playing with it for a little while and I really like it.
So, we throw on that technical LUT and then I hop straight down to my curves. Now, watching this graph over here, I’m gonna watch this bottom line, this is where the blacks are in my shirt. I’m gonna take this bottom point and I’m gonna pull it down until it’s just snuggling up against that zero line there. And then I’m gonna take this high part and I can see that there are some pretty bright brights on the edge of this window, and that’s probably this here. So, I’m gonna drag that to the left a little bit and make it brighter. I don’t mind if these guys are clipping just a little bit. And then I’m gonna make a couple of points, one for shadows, one for mid-tones, and one for highlights. And I’m just gonna start giving it a little bit of contrast, mostly by bringing up my mid-tones and highlights.
So, kind of before, this is just the plain cine2 look. And this is after, with some of that corrected. Although I’m doing a little too much to my shadows and my blacks, I’m gonna bring those up a little bit still, okay? So, so far, we’ve basically corrected for light. And I always want to do light first.
I’m gonna go to my creative and I’m gonna crank up the saturation, 130. Now, you can see that my color, I obviously didn’t nail my white balance.
So, we’re gonna go back to basic correction, I’m gonna choose my white balance selector. Sometimes I use my gray card, but I find it doesn’t work all the time. These walls are kind of an off-white, so they don’t work very well. But my ceiling is supposed to be perfectly white, so I’m going to click up here and it corrects my white balance. And now things are getting pretty close to looking realistic.
There’s one other thing that I like to do. I’m gonna go back into my curves, I’m gonna go down to the hue versus hue, and I’m gonna grab one point and just drag it up ever so slightly. For whatever reason, I find that this really helps with my Sony footage. I have a whole video on that that I’ll link up here if you want to check it out. It just kind of fixes this weird greenish-yellow tint that happens to so many footage for some reason. I’m shifting the entire hue of all the colors and it’s just pleasing to my eye.
So, that’s the first layer that we’re gonna do. It’s the color correction. And then on top of that, we’re going to apply a color grade, and likely the color grade would go across all the clips on your timeline so that they have kind of one congruent look to them. So, you go through and make sure all the clips are looking natural like this one does. And then you can apply a grade on top of them.
Applying a Color Grade with Lumetri Color
Now, there are two ways that you can apply a grade. You can either add another Lumetri Color effect here, and it’ll add another effect in your actual effects panel. Or the more typical way would be to add an adjustment layer on top and apply the effect to that.
We’re gonna click this little new item button down here. I’m gonna add a new adjustment layer. Make sure it’s the same as my sequence. I’m gonna drag it in on top. And then, making sure that you’re selected on the adjustment layer, we can now start to apply a grade.
Like a lot of people, I like to use LUTs for my grade. It makes the process really snappy. I’ve purchased some LUT packs, and there are some that are built into Premiere that are really awesome. I’ll try and use one that’s built into Premiere so that if you’re using this and following this method, you should have this.
We’re gonna dig down, I’m pretty sure these Fuji ones are all built into Adobe. Let’s try a couple of these. And you can preview them on the right-hand side here by clicking the right arrow. Like the Fuji, it turns on, and then you can adjust the intensity of that LUT down here. Basically, you’re saying like 100% of the effect and then dialing it back to 0% of the effect.
Now it’s added a little bit too much contrast, so I’m gonna go back into my basic correction, still on my color grade on my adjustment layer, I’m gonna dial that back a little bit. We can test it. So, before the color grade, after. It’s starting to look good, just bring up the shadows a little bit. Lay into that a little bit more, now there we go!
Now, something that I want to note when you’re doing a color grade is that you really need to make sure that you’re not clipping any of your channels. Basically, what that means is that if you pull up your waveform or your RGB parade, you don’t want to see any of the channels peaking and creating a flat line there. You want to make sure that you have kind of a smooth wave going. And the same goes for your waveform on your scopes.
Additionally, you can also use the color wheels in Lumetri Color to fine-tune your grade further. Experiment with the settings and see what looks best for your footage. Remember, color grading is an art and it’s all about finding the right look for your specific project.
Cinema Grade: An Alternative Solution
Now that we’ve gone through the process using Lumetri Color, let’s take a look at how Cinema Grade can simplify the color grading process.
Cinema Grade is a third-party plugin for Premiere Pro that offers a wide range of professional-grade color grading tools and features. It is designed to make the color grading process more intuitive and efficient, allowing users to achieve the desired look for their footage with ease.
To use Cinema Grade, you would need to install the plugin and navigate to the Effects panel. From there, you can locate Cinema Grade and apply it to your footage or adjustment layer. Once applied, the Cinema Grade panel will appear, providing you with a variety of tools and options to manipulate the colors and tones in your footage.
With Cinema Grade, you can easily adjust the exposure, contrast, saturation, and other parameters to create the desired look. You can also use the built-in LUTs and presets to enhance the visual aesthetics of your footage. The plugin offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and experiment with different settings.
The advantage of using Cinema Grade is its ability to streamline the color grading process. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and features that are specifically designed for professional-grade color grading. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced colorist, Cinema Grade offers a wide range of options to suit your needs.
By comparing the results achieved with Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade, you can see that both options have their strengths and limitations. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of your project. Some users may find Lumetri Color sufficient for their needs, while others may prefer the advanced features and capabilities offered by Cinema Grade.
In conclusion, color grading is an essential part of the post-production process, allowing you to enhance the visual quality and overall aesthetics of your footage. Whether you choose to use Lumetri Color or Cinema Grade, the key is to experiment, practice, and find the right balance that suits your vision and creative style.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and the best approach is to explore different techniques and tools to achieve the desired look for your footage. So, go out there, have fun, and let your creativity be your guide in the exciting world of color grading!
FAQ: How To Color Grade In Premiere Pro – Lumetri Color vs Cinema Grade
Q: What is color grading?
A: Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the colors of a video or image to achieve a desired visual style or mood.
Q: What are the different color grading tools available in Premiere Pro?
A: Premiere Pro offers various color grading tools, but two popular options are Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade.
Q: What is Lumetri Color?
A: Lumetri Color is a built-in color grading panel within Premiere Pro that provides a wide range of tools, including color wheels, curves, and sliders, to adjust the color and overall look of your footage.
Q: What is Cinema Grade?
A: Cinema Grade is a third-party color grading plugin for Premiere Pro that offers advanced color grading tools and a user-friendly interface designed to streamline the color grading process.
Q: Which one should I choose, Lumetri Color or Cinema Grade?
A: The choice between Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade depends on your specific needs and preferences. Lumetri Color is included with Premiere Pro, making it convenient and accessible. On the other hand, Cinema Grade offers more advanced features and a simpler workflow, but it comes at an additional cost.
Q: Can Lumetri Color achieve professional-grade results?
A: Yes, Lumetri Color can certainly achieve professional-grade results. It offers a comprehensive set of tools that can be used to achieve a wide range of color grading styles and looks.
Q: What advantages does Cinema Grade offer over Lumetri Color?
A: Cinema Grade offers a more intuitive and streamlined user interface, advanced features like a color grading workspace tailored for specific camera profiles, and a more efficient workflow. It is designed to cater to the needs of professional colorists or those who require more control over their color grading process.
Q: How do I use Lumetri Color or Cinema Grade in Premiere Pro?
A: To use Lumetri Color, simply navigate to the Color workspace in Premiere Pro, locate the Lumetri Color panel, and start adjusting the various parameters to achieve your desired color grading. For Cinema Grade, you’ll need to install the plugin, which will add its own dedicated panel and tools to Premiere Pro.
Q: Can I use both Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade together?
A: Yes, you can use both Lumetri Color and Cinema Grade together in Premiere Pro. By utilizing both, you can combine the strengths of each tool to achieve your desired results.
Note: It’s important to have a good understanding of color grading principles and techniques regardless of the tool you choose to use, as this will help you achieve the best results in post-production.
I hope you find useful my article How To Color Grade In Premiere Pro \ Lumetri Color vs Cinema Grade, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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