This article is part of an extensive series of articles to walk creators through the process of making a 360-degree video, from start to finish.
Color grading 360 video is a real beast.
Since most 360 video looks quite dull without The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture., it is a vital step. However, the video often isn’t high quality enough for significant The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture.. So, most 360 The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture. just aims to balance things out. That’s what we’ll aim to achieve with this guide.
Other than its limitations, color grading 360 video is not really any different than color grading flat video.
The first step to color grading in VR is to shoot in RAW or flat mode, if possible. All three of our recommended 360 cameras (check those out here) offer some sort of RAW shooting mode. If you don’t plan to color grade your footage, don’t shoot in this mode. However, if you are planning to color grade, this will give you the most leeway to do more significant The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture..
For example, with the GoPro Fusion, you can connect the camera to your smartphone, select settings, and then under The number of pixels in an image, typically presented as a ratio of the total pixels on x axis to the total pixels on th... More, choose 5.2K and then turn on ProTune. Hugh, in this video, also recommends setting ISO as low as possible:
According to GoPro, you can recover twice as much information from the image with the flat shooting mode than you can using GoPro’s own color mode.
Color grading, step by step
There are a lot of different theories about the color grading process. And–be warned–I am not a professional colorist. However, I’ve developed my own step-by-step process that seems to work well for my own projects, and that’s what I’m going to outline here.
The first thing I do is adjust my blacks and highlights.
I will drop the blacks so the darkest item in the frame is true black, and I will drop the highlights to ensure (in this example) that my sun is more clearly defined.
Next, I try to recover my shadows if they are a bit too dark, which is often the case with 360 (though not in the clip I’ve used as an example).
You can also use the blacks and shadows adjustments to boost contrast in your shots without changing the lighter areas, which may often be okay already and not require additional processing.
The next thing I’ll do is bump up the overall saturation. I make sure to do this before I adjust my white balance or do more specific hue/saturation adjustments, as the overall saturation can often have a warming or cooling effect on the footage. Be sure to pay close attention to skin colors!
Then, I like to use the curves tool to fine tune my The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More/contrast.
From here, you can choose to use the orange/blue and green/purple sliders to adjust your white balance, or you can hop into your “color wheels” option for more control.
Once you have the color to your liking, you can copy and then paste the attributes to similar shots to save yourself time and increase consistency from shot to shot. Simply click Ctrl C and then Ctrl Alt V to paste attributes (or right click and select “paste attributes”). Be sure you are only pasting the attributes you want, not others, such as “rotate sphere”.
It’s also possible to use LUTs to color grade your 360 footage. However, this is a process I don’t do, myself, so I recommend this video tutorial by CreatorUp (skip to 10:15 to learn about color grading with LUTs).
If you prefer video tutorials, the one from Hugh, above, is a great place to start, as is this one by Immersive Shooter contributor Alex Pearce.
Selective The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture.
It’s also possible to selective color grade your 360 footage. Alex goes through this in detail in the video above (skip to 12:15).
Simple Alt, click and drag the clip you want to selectively color grade to the track above it to create a copy. Then, under “opacity” use the pen tool to draw a mask around the object you want to color correct.
Adjust as needed (or invert to apply changes to the rest of the frame), and then feather the edge so the difference isn’t as stark.
You can also use selective The adjustment of color in post-production to match different shots and enhance the picture. to fix The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More imbalance across the lenses, if you don’t have MistikaVR to do so.
One final tip? Remember to use a light touch with color correcting 360 video.