Wondering if it’s worth the effort to adjust the colours of a video? Well, here’s a question for you:

What do Wes Anderson, Vincent van Gogh, and Cadbury’s branding department all have in common? Answer: They understand that colour is powerful!

Whether you’re creating a mood, evoking an emotion, or making a sale, getting the colour right is a huge help. That’s why brands fight to gain control over particular colour combinations. And it’s why directors devote so much time and attention to distinctive colour schemes and unique palettes.

It’s all about balance, saturation, and contrast

It’s not enough to film something colourful, though, because a lot of colour work happens in post-production. Movie studios employ professional colourists to tweak the balance, saturation, and contrast in films so that they look amazing – and more effectively manipulate an audience’s emotions!

Chances are you can’t afford a professional colourist or expensive video colour correction software. But Clipchamp provides an effective video colour editor for free!

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Sign up to Clipchamp

You’ll need a Clipchamp account to get started. You can sign up using Facebook or Google, or with your email. Clipchamp is free to use, or you can upgrade for extra features.

Sign up to Clipchamp

 

Step 2: Set up your project

Starting your video project in Clipchamp is easy. Just click ‘Start a new project’:

Create new project

 

Now name your project, and choose the appropriate aspect ratio for your video:

Name your Clipchamp project

 

Step 3: Choose the video files you want to work on

You can import video and audio files from your computer, or explore Clipchamp’s library of more than 40,000 video and audio files!

Click ‘Add media’ to add assets to your projects:

Add media to video project

 

Then either browse your computer:

Browse video files on your computer

 

Or check out the media library:

Browse media library

 

Step 4: Access the video colour editor

You can start adjusting the balance, saturation, and contrast of your video with just a few clicks. First, drag the video to the timeline at the bottom of the editor:

Add your video to the timeline to start adjusting the colours

 

Then select the video on the timeline. This will highlight it and bring up all available editing tools:

 

Editor window in Clipchamp

 

Under the ‘Colour’ tab, you’ll find sliders to change exposure, saturation, temperature, and contrast:

 

Sliders to adjust exposure, saturation, temperature, and contrast in your video

 

There are also pre-set filters, which you can apply to your video:

 

Filters to adjust the colour of a video

 

Step 5: Time to adjust the colours of a video

There’s no one right way to do colour correction. A simple filter could be enough, but you might need to play around with the sliders as well. It depends on what you want to achieve by adjusting the colours of your video.

Try different approaches until you get the right look. It helps to use a reference image showing the look you want to achieve, so you can tell when you’ve got it just right. Also keep in mind that colours might look slightly different depending on the computer screen you’re using.

For examples, here is a still from some raw footage in natural light:

Video before colours have been adjusted

 

Just raise the temperature, lower the saturation, boost the contrast, and you can create a nostalgic, sepia-tone look:

 

 

Once you’re happy with the colours of the video and the changes you made, click ‘Export’ as the final step to download the result:

export the finished video