Adobe Premiere Pro can feel a bit intimidating if you are new to the program and video editing. However, if you are at least comfortable with Photoshop or Lightroom, you can grasp the basics of Premiere Pro, since there is some overlap in the tools. If you’ve just gotten started with creating videos, you can improve their quality and appearance dramatically with some simple color correction and color grading, very similarly to what you would do in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Below in a simple 10-minute tutorial, I will walk you through using the Lumetri Color Panel in Adobe Premiere Pro to Color Correct your video footage with better white balance, and then apply a stylish look that can improve the overall video.
If you’re new to Premiere Pro I have a separate tutorial on just getting started with it. Below I also have some basic guidelines for approaching Color Correction when video editing.
Using an Adjustment Layer For Changes and Effects
Non-destructive editing is something you may be familiar with working in other Adobe applications like Photoshop. You can apply the same principle in video editing using an Adjustment Layer above your main video track. This works almost exactly as it does in Photoshop, allowing you to achieve a consistent look across multiple clips of footage.
Simple Trick for Adjusting White Balance
While you will want to get White Balance almost perfect in the camera when you’re shooting your footage, it is possible to adjust it in your post-production editing. A simple trick for adjusting White Balance is to use the White Balance Eyedropper Tool and select the whites in a subject’s eyes.
Using Look Presets in Lumetri Color
There are some Presets in Lumetri Color you can use to Color Grade your footage. If you feel uncomfortable manually adjusting the colors and tones of your video footage, you can use these Presets. However, they will not always perfectly match your footage or create a flattering look, so you will need to adjust them slightly. This is a great way to learn and setup a baseline for understanding how each slider impacts an image.
Increase Dynamic Range with RGB Curves
One of the great things about the Lumetri Color Panel is that it gives you all the options you need to do quality Color Grading in one convenient tool. One of the best tools for controlling the look of your video footage is RGB Curves. If you are familiar with editing photos using Adobe Photoshop, you are already familiar with how RGB Curves can dramatically change the look of an image, usually for the better.
Save Your Own Presets for Later Use
If you find yourself shooting footage continuously, then having presets of your own can save you time. If you frequently shoot in the same environment or in a place with similar conditions, you don’t want to have to do repetitive work to adjust the look of your footage. You can save your own presets in the Effect Controls Panel and it will show up as an option in Effects presets when you search for it, or under the Custom tab. This can also help if you want to send your footage to someone else and want them to match the look you’ve created when editing.
Try to Keep It Natural
Ideally, the goal is to bring out the best in your video footage, just like you would with your photography. You don’t want to create a completely unnatural look in most cases. Try to be conservative in your usage of the tools and not do anything over the top or that would look unflattering if it were a still image.