Color Grading Breakdown Series – Shot 10

Time flies. The Color Grading Breakdown Series has reached the double digits! When I started this series about a year ago, my goal was to release a breakdown every week. I clearly failed at that, but at least the series is still alive and kicking! Check out this great shot captured by my talented friend Gab BT:

Color Grading Breakdown

Exterior shots can be tricky. But in this case, the source footage was great. It was shot at magic hour with nice flares, slick camera movements and decent focus.

Step 01
A custom contrast curve. Nice black levels and good contrast to get rid of the log look.

Step 02
Using printer lights (or color wheels) I removed yellow and added blue to get a somewhat neutral color look.

Step 03
Green was removed from the shadows to get a magenta look (and by removing a color it got darker, but I didn’t mind).

Step 04
The same previous process was applied to the midtones, but slightly bluer.

Step 05
Using a blurred highlight key, the sky was warmed up a notch to get that sunset mood.

Step 06
A diagonal oval vignette was added to emphasize the lighting direction created by the sun flare.

Step 07
Lastly, a power window was used on the guy to bring out some brightness and give the final kick.

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Missed the previous shots from the Color Grading Breakdown Series? Catch up right here!

Music: Arctic Monkeys – Snap Out of It


Charles-Etienne Pascal is a freelance digital colorist working in Montreal, Canada. His line of work mainly consist of advertising, but he also very much enjoys grading music videos, short films and documentaries. Chuck likes photography, motorcycles, travelling, bouldering, guitar and of course color grading.
  1. Jacken Reply

    great as always.
    do you use vectrascope I-line as a reference for the skin tones?

    • iseehue Reply

      Hey Jacken, I use it form time to time, but when you build a stylized look, the I-line stops being an ultimate reference in my opinion.

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