… for Visual Effects
Tip #101: What’s the Difference Between Color Grading and Color Correction?
Both involve color, but in different ways.
The short answer is that color correction fixes problems, while color grading gives images a “look.”
Typical color correction involves:
- Removing color casts
- Setting proper highlight and shadow levels
- Controlling any excessive highlights (speculars)
For example, the top image was color corrected to boost highlights and increase saturation.
Color grading, on the other hand, takes what we have done in color correction and tweaks the color and grayscale levels to match the story. For example:
- Boosting saturation for a romantic comedy
- Decreasing saturation for dystopian scifi
- Removing color for a film noir
And so on.
Generally, you fix problems first, then create looks second.