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TOPIC: Color grading in Lightworks...

Color grading in Lightworks... 6 years ago #69883

  • wutwut
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 1
  • 6 years ago
Hey guys.

So I'm putting together my editing computer - running on Linux.

I wanted to know if the tools included with Lightworks covers both color correction and color grading. In my mind, and from all the convos I've had with more serious videographers color correction and color grading are definitely two separate processes.

I'm just wondering if that means I need two separate sets of tools, and whether or not it's all there in Lightworks or if I'd have to find/buy extra software to get it all done?


Re: Color grading in Lightworks... 6 years ago #69888

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 9610
  • 6 years ago
Welcome to the forum.

My take on colour correction is that you're adjusting the image to a correct colour balance. What "correct" might be will depend on what you're trying to do, but it's a basic process, commonly done in the camera. Usually it gives a neutral colour balance

Colour grading is matching the individual shots so that they match, so that there isn't a jar on each cut. It can involve changing the "look" of the images, so that a production has a particular visual style. This can involve a lot more adjustments to the images than is needed for colour correction.

EDIT However, a colour grade can consist of just colour correcting individual shots so that they match. It really depends on a production's requirements.

The Lightworks can do both, although if you want to get more complex, specialist software like Resolve will have a lot more tools. However, I suspect Lightworks may serve your purposes for a while, it has features like curves that allows you to make a range of adjustments during the grading process.
Last Edit: 6 years ago by briandrys.

Re: Color grading in Lightworks... 6 years ago #69892

  • brdloush
  • Pro User
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 995
  • 6 years ago
It really depends on how sophisticated color grading tools you require.

In my opinion LWKS supports fairly good amount of color correction / grading tools (for an editor!). You can use several CC effects (RGB, HSV, control shadows/midtones/highlights/saturation/gamma/contrast/gain..) Version 11.5 also introduced "color curves" which are also very nice.

Moreovee, you also have some custom (user) effects that might help such as JH Vignette, Khaver's Polygonal Masks etc.

Finally, LWKS contains quite powerful node-based (realtime) effect pipeline where masking&blending can be done. I guess that what many color grading users use are "ellipse masks". For example you want to darken&desaturate everything but the main actor in your clip. It's usually a matter of few mouse clicks in color grading software.. LWKS doesn't support such tools directly, but you can quite easily do the same yourself - but with a bit more work: You create a pipeline chain of white "2D shape Matte", then "big-blur" it (to nicely soften edges). Then you feed output of that into a "Masked blend" node. Finally you feed original video into masked blend's "Foreground" and a "Original video + darkring CC" as a background. And that's it. No rocket science actually. I can do it under a minute and save this as a effect template. Instead of 2D shape, you can use use Khaver's Polygonal mask, which would allow much greater control over the shape of mask (and offer better keyframing options).

I'm personally doing Color correction & grading directly in LWKS as I'm only using CC effects, CC Curves and Vignettes. It's very efficient (quick) for me to do that stuff in LWKS. If I needed to use those mentioned "ellipse masks" (non-moving ones), I'd probably do that in LWKS as well. But if I needed moving (roto-scoped) masks, had to use MANY masks, or had to apply some LUTs on my clipse, I'd switch into Color-grading software (Resolve) immediatelly.
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