Color Grading for Videos: Photoshop Does It Too

Color grading your videos can be tricky, so it's best to have an arsenal of options when one doesn't work out right. In this tutorial from YouTuber photoshopCAFE, you'll learn how to use Photoshop to digitally enhance and correct your video works.

Color Grading Versus Color Correction

If you come solely from the world of still photography, you might find the term "color grading" a bit confusing; surely, that's same as fixing white balance, right? Not exactly. Color correction is the process of matching the color temperature of the clips in a given project. This can be often streamlined by pasting bulk settings to clips once the base color of the first clip is chosen. Color grading refers to the involved process of making aesthetic changes to your video clips, whether it be filters or basic effects that give a video its unique feel.

By converting your video clip to a Smart Object, the Camera Raw sliders can be used in the same manner as a raw photo. Smart Object conversion is essential when working on video clips in Photoshop, because without this option, you are only editing a single frame at a time. Split toning is another useful application within the Adobe Camera Raw popup menu when you're going for an adjustable color filter that creates a cinematic feel (think the hazy green look of "The Matrix").

What's your favorite program for color grading videos, and what makes it the best? Please share your comments below.

Lead image by i love simple beyond via Pexels.

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13 Comments

Photoshop is really a great video effects application.

Regarding color grading of videos, I guess using Gradients Maps is also valid.
Then NBP ColormapX could do wonders to videos!

Scott Mason's picture

Thanks for your input, Royi!

Now if I could save as a lut that would be cool.

user-165452's picture

You can, just read the manual.

Scott Mason's picture

Can you be more specific, Chris? Which manual?

user-165452's picture

I use DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagicdesign which has a free version and a studio version. It’s used for many Hollywood films. It has a professional LUT workflow using proper Colour management.

user-165452's picture

If you want to do colour grading then use a program designed for colour grading, not photoshop. Please don’t post articles which confuse novices.

Scott Mason's picture

Offering a simple alternative shouldn't be confusing to anyone.

user-165452's picture

What I was trying to say is that photoshop is not a good candidate for grading. Writing an article about it suggests that it is a viable alternative, however I disagree with that and should not be used for colour grading.

Scott Mason's picture

I think the video proves that it's suitable, but feel free to share why it's not a good candidate.

Besides, many people are looking for simple editing solutions and others complain that they can't afford additional software. That's who this is geared towards.

Great tips for those of us that can't afford loads of software programs. Thanks for posting!

user-165452's picture

DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagicdesign is Free. It’s used for many Hollywood films. The only major differences between the studio version are 4K export (I think) multi collaboration and Noise reduction (and a few of their inbuilt features) other than that it’s a fully usable free software.