How to: color grading for FPV

Color grading is the act of changing the appearance of an image to create a particular look or style. A good color grading makes your video more valuable and professional looking.

Using ready to use LUTs can be faster but in reality, they don’t always deliver on what they promise. GoPro video format is easy to use and with it, you can create stunning looks just in your video editing app.

Color Grading is a very deep topic. In this article, I’m going to focus on the basics you need to know to make better Cinematic FPV videos.

Enable ProTune

ProTune enable all the manual settings you need to shoot professional footage:

  • White balance
  • Flat color profile
  • ISO
  • Sharpness
  • Exposure

Check out this article Best GoPro settings for FPV to learn more.

Color Correction

Getting perfect footage with GoPro is not an easy task. Despite the manual settings, you don’t have any tools in the camera to check the correct exposure. Don’t fret because the color correction helps with this. The goal of the Color Correction is to achieve a clean and natural color representation. It fixes exposure, white balance, and saturation of the image. In this article, I’m using Premiere Pro but you can still apply the same concepts to any other software. The color correction process needs three tools:

Exposure
The Waveform (YC) for measuring the intensity of light.

White Balance
The RGB Scope (Parade RGB) for measuring the red, green and blue intensity.

Saturation
The Vectorscope (YUV) for measuring the color information.

You can active the Lumetri Scopes window in Premiere Pro by clicking Window -> Lumetri Scopes from the top menu.

Now, you can color correct with three steps:

Step 1: Exposure.

The Waveform has a scale from 0 (black tones) to 100 (white tones). Your flat GoPro footage is something between the two. The first step is to set the black tones to reach 0 and the white 100.

You can think about the waveform as a composition of different zones. Each zone represent the correct exposure for specific elements.

Step 2: White Balance.

The RBG scope is like the Waveform but it’s divided into three main colors: red, blue and green.

If you have some white point in your image you can use the automatic adjustment feature. Otherwise, you should adjust the temperature to reach the same level on all three waves.

Step 3. Saturation.

The final step is to adjust the saturation of the color using the Vectorscope. The extremes (white lines) are the greatest saturation possible.

Flat GoPro colors

Color Correction

Color Grading

Color Grading is a creative process that adds atmosphere and emotion to your picture. Creating unique tones requires skill and technique. In this article, I’m going to give you some tips to get a more crisp and cinematic look.

Three Color Wheels

The Three Color Wheels are easy to use and you can create stunning looks with it. Every wheel refers to a specific tone: shadow, mid-tones, and highlight. For each tone, you can change the intensity and color.

Changing the color of a specific tone is what creates the look. You can try to combine the opposite colors in shadow and mid-tones to create a more interesting look.

Curves

Curves are extremely powerful when it comes to creating a unique look. With Curves, you can target a single range of colors and modify saturation, intensity, and color.
Here the main three Curves you need to consider:

  • Hue vs Sat to change the saturation of a specific color area
  • Hue vs Hue to alter specific color area
  • Hue vs Luma to modify the brightness of specific color area

Color correction

Color Grading

LUTs

When it comes to LUTs the best way is to use them instead of the Color Grading. LUTs first need a good Color Correction anyhow.

The best way to apply LUTs is to use them as an overlay layer and adjust the opacity to blend with the footage.

The clip used for this article is by Alberto Perez AKA BlackWolf FPV.
Check out his amazing Instagram!

One thought on “How to: color grading for FPV

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *