Articles, Blog

Premiere Pro Color Grading Crash Course

September 9, 2019

Hey this is Denver Riddle with
Color Grading Central this is a 15 minute color grading
crash course for Adobe Premiere, you’ll learn how to grade
in this tutorial you’ll learn the Lumetri color tools
and together we’ll create this really amazing look
on footage you can download and follow along with. Also, I want to let you know about a free online training event I’ll be doing We’ll go into even more depth, you can ask me questions and
it’s free to attend. Details are below this video
in the description. Alright, let’s do this thing! Here inside of Premiere
if you download the clips provided in the description
you’ll find a few pre trimmed clips from cinematographer and
good buddy Chris McKechnie. I’ve also included an XML
and some instructions for you on how to bring this footage
into Premiere as as edited sequence. I thought you’d think
that was pretty awesome! Now the focus of this tutorial
is on color grading so we’re gonna work mainly
in the Color workspace and that will bring up
the Lumetri color tools. In the top section we have the scopes, We have the program panel where we
see the clip we’re currently working on. And the Lumetri color panel where
we can perform our color grading. It’s also worth pointing out
the Effects control panel, where we can do some
other things including adding and tracking color masks,
but more on that in just a bit. Now before we jump in
and start grading this thing Let’s discuss basic terminology
for how we define color. The three basic terms that
we use to define color are Hue, Saturation, and Luma. Hue is the name we call colors. Saturation is the intensity
or vividness of a hue. And Luma is the brightness
or shade of hue. It’s also important to know
how to read the video scopes, which can be super beneficial. If you’re in the color workspace the
scopes should appear But if not just click on
the Lumetri scopes tab. The three scopes I always
use are the waveform, the RGB parade
and the vectorscope. The waveform lets us
correct for exposure. If I overlay an image on
top of the waveform, you can see that the trace,
the stuff you see here, actually corresponds with the
image of the two people as they move toward each other. The RGB parde scope is helpful
for correcting white balance issues, and it reads similar to the waveform,
other than it’s broken out into the individual colors channels
of red, green and blue. With this scope it makes it
easier to spot imbalances if either the image is
too cool or too warm. The Vectorscope corresponds
directly with the color wheel, and I’ve overlaid it here for
convenience. It shows us what colors are in the
image as well as their saturation. The further the trace extends
from the center of the scope, the more saturated or
vivid the colors are. Here’s a simple but powerful
workflow for doing color correction: We first correct the exposure
or the brightness of the image, second, the white balance or color
temperature if there are any issues and lastly, the saturation by
either increasing or reducing it. This will make more sense
as we actually do it! Let’s first make a correction
to the exposure of the image using the
basic correction panel. Now if you look at the controls
in the Basic corrections panel You’ll see controls for Highlights
and Shadows, but also for Whites and Blacks. Lumetri uses a different
terminology that’s slightly different than
other grading applications but here’s how the controls work. The Blacks control adjusts
the darkest parts or the very bottom darkest point, and the Whites control adjusts
the brightest or the very top of the image. The Shadows control affects
the tonal range between the shadows and the midtones if say you want to recover or
darken details there and the Highlights control
affects the tonal range between the highlights and the midtones or the upper part of the
image if say again you want to recover or brighten
those details in the higher areas. We’ll adjust the shadows
first with Blacks control while watching the waveform. We want to bring the trace
in the shadows down until the darkest parts of the image
sits right above 0. Then we’ll bring up the highlights with
the Whites control so the brightest parts of the trace
sits right about here near the top. Then let’s darken the undertones
or the area between the shadows and the midtones by pulling the
Shadows slider to the left. this will help us remove that washed
out look on the talents face. And then I’ll just adjust
this a little more until we have good
contrast and exposure. Next we’ll fix the color temperature
since the image is looking cool. Our goal here is to “neutralize” or
white balance the whites and we’ll want to find something
in the image that is white. In this case, we’re going to use this part
of the image as a reference, and its corresponding trace in the
RGB parade scope where we can see that the blue trace is elevated above the
red and green. Our goal here is to get these color
channels to align evenly and when they do we’ll get white. Now we can do this manually with
the temperature and tint sliders or we can save some time using
Premiere’s auto white balance selector. To do that we just need to select and
click on the white part of the image… And voila! The temperature
and tint sliders automatically move to white
balance the shot and the traces are aligned
in the RGB parade scope. Now if for whatever reason we’re
not happy with the result we can still manually adjust those
sliders to our liking. Lastly let’s boost the
color a little bit by increasing the saturation. And here’s what the clip
looks like before and after the correction. Pretty amazing right? On the next shot we’ll
repeat the same procedure going for a nice balance
of exposure with the Blacks, Whites, Shadows
and Highlights controls. the color temperature in the shot
looks good so we can just add some
saturation. Moving to the next shot, we’ll want to match it to the
first shot, for obvious reasons since they are different angles
from the same scene. To give us a good starting point let’s copy the correction from the
first clip to the second one. We’ll go to the first shot select it and use the keyboard
shortcut command C, or control C if you’re on Windows Then we’ll go back to this clip, right-click on it and choose paste attributes from the dropdown menu Make sure that the Lumetri color effect
is checked and click OK. This copies the correction and
gives us a good starting point, but you’ll see that we still
have some matching issues. The image is way too cool, and it can use some
additional contrast too… And definitely our talent’s
face is too dark. To help with matching we can go to the Color Wheels
and Match Panel And activate the ‘Comparison View’ Now we can see a side-by-side
comparison of our clip and any other clip in the timeline. There are also vertical and horizonal
split options but we’ll stick to the side-by-side
option. Now here’s the really cool thing. In the side-by-side view, we can compare them visually AND in the scopes as well so
this makes matching a breeze. To match the traces better we’ll drop the shadows with Blacks
control… increase the highlights… and then decrease the shadows
to compensate. We can see in the Waveform that both traces look like
they’re at the same level. To improve the color match, I’ll drag the temperature to
the right to warm it up… and the tint slightly to the left. We’ll then just decrease the saturation. Alright that’s a nice looking match. Ok, now let’s disable the comparison
view option. The face is looking a
little dark so to brighten the talent’s
face for this shot, we can do that with a mask, where we’re effectively
relighting the scene, something really cool we can do. Now in order to do this using Lumetri we’ll need to add a second instance. To do that we’ll need to open
the Effects panel Then if we go to the project panel
we’ll see a double arrow located at the upper right side. Go ahead and click on that and choose
Effects from the dropdown menu. Once we find the Lumetri color effect we’ll drag it to the Effect’s
control panel And this adds a second instance
of Lumetri where we can use a mask. I’ll go ahead and add a mask. And resize and position like
so over the face… and rotate it a little to match
the angle of his face. Now to brighten his face
we’ll increase the Shadows. And Highlights… Playing it back you can see that
the talent’s face moves. So we’ll want to address that, Going to the Effects control panel We can easily and effortlessly
track this mask by clicking on the track
forward button. And badda bing, bada bang! The shape moves perfectly
with the movement of our talent. Really amazing stuff that
we can do here inside of Adobe Premiere. In the interest of time, I’ve already gone ahead and finished
performing the base corrections to these remaining clips,
but let’s say in this next shot, for whatever reason the
director decided he didn’t like that the
woman’s purple hair and would prefer it to be black
with red highlights. Well the cool things is is that we can do that with a
qualifer tool in Lumetri. So we’ll need to add another
Lumetri color effect… Open up the HSL Secondary panl and then with the eyedropper
let’s click and drag through the talent’s hair
to qualify it. To see what we’ve selected let’s
turn on the highlight feature by clicking here. Now clearly our selection
isn’t enough uh we need to get those
extra bits of hair So to refind the key let’s
increase the hue, saturation and luma width. Then to remove the other unwanted
elements we’re pickin up here we’ll use a mask. Okay now let’s turn the
highlight feature off. And drag the color wheels
control until the hair is a bright orange color. we’ll then reduce the
saturation significantly… and drop the brightness. Here’s what is looks like
when we play it back. Worked like a charm!
Fixed it in post! Okay now we’re to the really fun part and that’s creating an awesome
look for these clips, I’m gonna show you a quick way to apply the SAME look on
top of all of these clips and this will save us time and ensure we have a consistent
look across the board. To do that we’ll go to the
project panl… Right-click and select from
the dropdown menu. We’ll choose New Item then adjustment layer. A prompt will appear and we’ll
just click Ok. We’ll drag the adjustment layer
to the second video layer over top of our video clips And now any adjustments or color
treatments we apply here will be applied to all the clips
underneath the adjustment layer. Pretty sweet huh? Alright now let’s create the look, Make sure that the adjustment
layer is selected and we’re going to skip and go straight
past the Basic correction panel to the curves where we’ll
have more creative control. And a quick crash course
on the way this works in case you haven’t already used these
in say a program like Photoshop, is the bottom point adjusts
the shadows, the top point adjusts the highlights and we can add as many points
as we want on the curve in between to shape the tonal range. To give the contrast a
soft muted look, we’ll reduce the contrast by
dragging the top point down… and then the bottom point up. I’ll then make a point here and
drag up to brighten the midtones, and then another point here and here and then drag down to
adjust the density in the shadows. Now for color, to give this a
warm sunny California look we’ll go to the blue channel and drag the top point down
subtracting blue to warm it up. Then with the bottom point
we’ll drag to the right subtracting even more blue
from the shadows. Going to the red channel,
we’ll drag the bottom point up adding more red or warmth
to the shadows. And then another point
here and drag down to balance the midtones so
the skin isn’t too red… Lastly another point
here and drag down to create color contrast by
pushing teal colors into the shadows. Finally we’ll add some saturation
by going to the hue saturation curves, clicking anywhere on the circle and dragging it out to increase the overall saturation
to make it “pop” more. To take this look even further, let’s make some secondary
or isolated adjustments to make elements in the scene
fit better with our look. Namely we want green to
appear more yellow and blues to appear more
aqua or cyan. We’ll need to add another instance
of Lumetri. And under the HSL Secondary tab We can make green grass
appear more yellow, by clicking on the set color picker…
and selecting the grass. I’ll activate the highlights feature
so we can see our selection and I’ll refine the color mask
like so with the HSL sliders. Once we’re happy with the selection
we can refine it a little bit more. with the denoise and blur sliders. Then deactivate the highlights feature. Now we can change the green to
appear more yellow with the temperature
and tin sliders. Finally I’ll reduce the saturation
a little bit. Now to make the blues
to appear more aqua, we’ll need to add another instance
of Lumetri color and then isolate the blues with the HSL secondary tool
like we did with the greens. Give me just a moment
while I do that… Now with the color wheels we’ll push a
little bit of that aqua color into each. And darken the blues a little bit
by dragging the midtones slider down. And finally let’s increase the
saturation of the aqua colors. Alright finally, we want to reduce the
contrast in the highlights to add even more of that
soft muted look So we’ll add one more
instance of Lumetri Go to the Curves panel And with the luma curve selected
we’ll drag the top point down. Then make a point here and
drap up to brighten the midtones. What an awesome look! If you really like this look and want to save some steps
by applying this as a look-up-table You can download that
LUT when you sign-up for the live workshop event. Now I know we covered a lot and I skipped over a lot of details but what I wanted to do for you
is give you the big picture. And if you liked this tutorial
and you want to see more, then sign up for my free
workshop event We’ll go into more depth. We’ll cover more color theory,
you can ask me questions. and we’ll give you slides and
RAW footage from the workshop that you can download and
practice along with. So to save your spot just follow
the links in the description below this video and I promise you it will be well worth your time and
you’ll get a lot better from one simple training. So I hope you enjoyed this crash course
as much as I enjoyed creating for you. And I look forward to
seeing you at the training. Have a great day!


  • Reply Meredith Isom May 30, 2019 at 2:54 am

    i've watched like 15 different videos on color grading and this is the only one that made sense. thank you.

  • Reply Sharon Georgy Prasad June 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    You are awesome πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ€—

  • Reply hillbilly truckin June 10, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Great tutorial. Def interested. Thanks for the video.

  • Reply Justin Kennedy June 13, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    This helped me so much, excellent crash course on color grading!

  • Reply Dinesh Neupane June 14, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Awesome!! Thanks for such a detailed tutorial. πŸ‘πŸ‘

  • Reply η‡ŽεŽŸη« June 14, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks From Taiwan.

  • Reply Lubna Jahan June 21, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Excellent work, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Sarkar Productions June 21, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    very help ful thank you

  • Reply Crickster June 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Nice tips and tricks and a great 15 minute crash course!

  • Reply Sandi Boi June 23, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Yeah its for sure a good described video. i loved the way its been described.

  • Reply Anil Shrestha June 26, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Nice Video. I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply MJ Johnson June 27, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    There are so many different ways to adjust color; are there specific tools that work best for certain workflows or techniques? I'm just starting into Color and it looks like you can get yourself into trouble real quick with so many different tools.

    How do you keep your color workflow organized?

  • Reply Madison bey June 30, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Great video! ooooowwwwwsum

  • Reply Madison bey June 30, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I love this video editor, great effects, and also it can be user friendly

  • Reply Random Guy July 2, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Very Helpful

  • Reply Abyss-Walker750 July 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    This is the best Color Correction video I have ever found. You have helped me immensely. Thank you so much.

  • Reply James Cornish July 3, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    This is incredible color correction. I will be using this again and again. Thanks.

  • Reply Richard Hawley July 5, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Thanks. I've done a lot of colour correcting in Premiere and still managed to learn some useful techniques with this.

  • Reply shahjadha shuvo July 7, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Excellent video. It's very helpful. I learned a lot from this video. Thanks for sharing this video.

  • Reply mc sha July 7, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    awesome video..thanks for this great course Really easy to follow

  • Reply 1 July 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    As a beginner, I have found this tutorial to be very useful. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us how to properly use the Lumetri color grading panel.

  • Reply Abdulla Akram July 11, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you for a clear tutorial. very easy to understand.

  • Reply Pitter Quenallata July 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Muy buen vΓ­deo… sigan adelante.

  • Reply restu and brothers July 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Wow very a big thanks πŸ‘πŸ‘

  • Reply viknesh Kandasamy July 21, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    fucking good tutorial i finally understood it

  • Reply Chinasky Films July 24, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Wow, Thanks. The best tutorial we saw of color grading with Lumetri. Thanks. We suscribe Now. Amazing Job!

  • Reply Gary Catlin July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Excellent tutorial

  • Reply karen beach July 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm


  • Reply Linda Tobin August 2, 2019 at 6:50 am

    great video .i love it

  • Reply Yazeed Alessa August 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks, the best color grading crash course on premiere ✨

  • Reply Lynn Sabier August 3, 2019 at 3:54 am

    Really nice and thorough explanation of how to use the color correction tools on Premiere. Thanks~

  • Reply Samuel B. Burnett August 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial. I'll definitely be re-watching this several times to fully absorbed all the information being presented. This is a insightful video. Thanks again!

  • Reply CarsonJamesArgenna August 7, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    By far the best tut out there for color grading

  • Reply beata August 8, 2019 at 3:21 am

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I love that very informative and easy to follow tutorial on how to use color gradingΒ tools. Thanks again for that great video.

  • Reply Leah ;Lea August 9, 2019 at 7:02 am

    thanks i got lot of knowledge

  • Reply xxmichasankiety August 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Great tutorial. Really helpful. thank you

  • Reply Jose Mayol August 11, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Very good video and the explication is amazing

  • Reply Aiyana Templeton August 14, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    At 9:12 when you changed her hair color… very impressive although I did like her purple hair lol

  • Reply The Baby 3000 August 15, 2019 at 3:15 am

    great tutorial!

  • Reply dheeraj Dman August 16, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Well thank u very much sir. Today i was trying my hands on colors and was finding it hard to do so, them I decided to look at some video related to colors in Adobe PPro cc and boom(u came up to help)😊… Looking forward to learn more from you

  • Reply dheeraj Dman August 16, 2019 at 8:33 am

    You such a legend Sir..

  • Reply TUCH ZONE TECHNOLOGY August 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm


  • Reply Karanlyd August 17, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Oh, finally some made a color grading video that makes sense. Thanks a lot!

  • Reply Portia E. Smith August 18, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Within the first few minutes of this video, I learned something new about color terms. I had no idea what luma was before watching. This is great for beginners who are interested in learning more.

  • Reply Mert Abay August 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Good video

  • Reply De_matos August 23, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Can you make a color grading video using resolve

  • Reply Alexandru Malai August 26, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Great video, easy to understand and to use! Very useful!

  • Reply Martin Burnlem August 26, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks best turtorial i've seen so far

  • Reply aaron marko August 27, 2019 at 6:09 am

    I've been working with color grading for a while now, but I haven't seemed to be able to get it quite right. I think that after watching this I'm much more confident in my abilities to produce something pro-level. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Kunu's Toys August 29, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    The best color grading crash course which is simple and understandable by anyone. you did awesome job with this, Thanks for the video..

  • Reply R.S.B Computers August 30, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    thank you this video Great crash course, davinci is a great piece of software

  • Reply Isabelle & Alice August 30, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Awesome course, thank you so much for informations

  • Reply jada moore August 30, 2019 at 9:35 pm


  • Reply The Whiskey Dic August 31, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I've watched several videos on color grading. This was by far the best and has actually made me WANT to color grade. Thank you for the help πŸ™‚

  • Reply Arjun Singh August 31, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    This is awesome introduction of the color grading and really enjoying this tutorial video.
    thanks for making for us.

  • Reply Sabin Shafiq September 1, 2019 at 3:39 am

    good tutorial for using the software

  • Reply Zia Media September 1, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Great and easy to follow tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Zia Media September 1, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Great and easy to follow tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Zom Boy September 1, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Thanks mate for amazing video

  • Reply Shenanigans with the Garcia's September 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Very helpful.. Thank you so much for sharing. Very simple to understand..

  • Reply Janet Marin September 2, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    my life goal is to be a teacher in edition like you <3

  • Reply Kimberly HAnn September 3, 2019 at 1:46 am

    very good video, the explanation is very clear, now to practice to improve

  • Reply Hippie Dom September 4, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    wow! Thank you for this! you made it super easy to follow.

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