Video Editing

How color correction creates the mood of a video

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Whether you’re capturing video on a professional camera, smartphone or webcam, using Clipchamp’s color correction tool can make your great video footage look even better.  

Color-correcting is an essential feature in your video editing tool kit. On Clipchamp, it's extremely user-friendly and free. The feature corrects basic video errors, but it can teleport your audience into the depths of your creative vision. How exactly might you be wondering? 

color correct - thumbnail

Color correction assists video editors to express a more impactful story through their video as color conveys tone, emotion, symbolism, character development and even more. 

Explore what color correction is, how color correction creates the mood of a video and how to use Clipchamp’s free color correction tool

  • What is color correction? 

  • How color correction creates the mood of a video 

  • How to use Clipchamp’s color correction tool 

  • 3 color correction examplesEnhance the mood of your video with stock audio

What is color correction?

Color correction is a technical process that fixes any color issues your footage may have. 

With 4 basic elements to explore, video editors can adjust white and black levels, exposure, contrast and white balance to make the color of a video more accurate. 

Video editors use the color correction feature to alter each clip to match a consistent standard of appearance. The purpose is to achieve visual consistency for your video clips. The main idea is to color correct footage to look crisp, clean and real, just as the human eye would see them in real life. 

How color correction creates the mood of a video

Ever wondered how big brand commercials, TV series or blockbuster movies all look so rich and vibrant in color? Besides the use of professional camera equipment, color correction is the answer. 

Colors can mean many different things and are used in many different ways. Sometimes filmmakers and video editors are trying to tap into viewers' raw emotions through the use of color correcting.

1. La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s use of color in the award-winning film La La Land drives the film’s narrative. He employs the color blue throughout the film symbolizing creativity, control and a classic Hollywood style. The color propels a storyline and creates the mood of the movie, blending fantasy and reality together. 

Color correcting blog - La La Land image

(Image via Fox Searchlight)

2. Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson took viewers into a whole new world with the use of colors to narrate his film Moonrise Kingdom. Even though colors don’t speak, they tell viewers what the mood is in every scene. Mustard yellow tones were the dominant color in the film, indicating warmth and security. Yellow claims to release serotonin, affecting viewers mood positively. Blue and darker hues were rarely used but indicated danger. 

Color correcting blog - moonrise kingdom

(Image via Fox Searchlight)

3. Hotel Chevalier

Yellow hues are extremely diverse. Some may say yellow can portray happiness, relaxation, jealousy and betrayal. Wes Anderson agrees. His use of yellow and red tones have proven to be designed to communicate tranquillity and peace in Hotel Chevalier. 

color correct - Hotel Chevalier

(Image via Fox Searchlight)

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Adding a pink motif over the pastry shop scene in The Grand Budapest Hotel isn’t just because Wes Anderson likes the color pink. The childlike romance between the two characters in the scene comes to fruition. Their innocent love blossoms and the use of pink compels that mood. 

color correcting - The Grand Budapest Hotel

(Image via Fox Searchlight)

5. Old school color correcting

Color correcting wasn’t always as simple and easy as it is today. The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and all-time classic Singing in the Rain, all have the use of color correction, but in the form of ‘Technicolor’. These films were ahead of their time using complicated dye-transfer techniques to superimpose the three primary colors to produce a final color. Essentially, color correction. 

color correcting blog - Old school color correcting

When creating videos the decision to color correct your footage is completely up to you. There isn’t a right or wrong way to convey a specific emotion, but color correction can enhance and trigger the emotion of the audience.  

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How to use Clipchamp’s color correction tool

Color correction is easy when editing your video with Clipchamp’s free online video editor. With a simple click of a button, you can alter the look and mood of your video clips in seconds. 

Step 1. Log in to Clipchamp or sign up for free

Start by logging into your Clipchamp account or sign up today for free. 

Color correct blog - Step 1. Log in to Clipchamp or sign up for free

Step 2. Create a new video 

To start color correcting your video, click on the purple Create a video button at the top right corner of your screen. Our free video editor will automatically open. Rename your new video by clicking on the Rename video window at the top of the video editor.

color correct - Step 2. Create a new video 

Step 3. Upload your video clip or choose stock footage

Personal video footage: To upload your own video footage to our free video editor, click on the + symbol on the left sidebar. Drag and drop your video files into the editor pop-up box, or click on browse files to search your files. 

You can also add video footage from your Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Zoom, Box and Google Photos using our integrations. Upload directly from your phone or use our online screen and camera recorder to shoot webcam video. 

color correct - step 3a Upload your video clip or choose stock footage

Stock footage: To use stock footage, click on the Stock video tab on the left sidebar. You can search through our stock footage library by typing in a keyword in the search box or browse stock video through our folders. 

Click on the green + button on the video preview to add the stock video to your timeline. You can also click on the video preview to maximize it, then click on Add to my media or Add to timeline. 

If you have clicked Add to my media, you will have to drag and drop your stock footage onto the timeline to begin editing. 

color correct - step 3b Upload your video clip or choose stock footage

Step 4. Start color correcting your video

It’s now time to start color correcting your new video. Once your video has been placed on the timeline, click it. Your clip should be highlighted with a green box and 6 editing options should appear above your video preview. For color correction, you should use the Filters tab and adjust colors tab. 

Adjust the color of your video clip using the Adjust color tab. Add or reduce the exposure, saturation, temperature and contrast by sliding the white curser left and right. Click on the Reset button if you make a mistake. 

You can also use filters to achieve color correction on your video. Click on the Filters tab, and select one of our video filters to apply to your video footage. 

color correct - Step 4. Start color correcting your video

Your video clip should look a little something like this:  

color correct - Step 4.  before and after

In this case, color correcting has enhanced the color of the doughnut to be more vibrant and appealing to the eye.

3 color correction examples to set the mood

We have created 3 different videos each using our free video editor’s color correction feature. Each video represents a different mood created with the help of color correction.

1. A leisurely bike ride through the park

A park is a happy place for most. Blue skies, smiling faces and freshly cut grass. Sometimes our camera fails to capture the beauty of the outdoors due to shadows or overcast skies. 

Using Clipchamp’s online video editor, the below clip has been transformed into a bright, positive and happy video. Both before and after videos are exactly the same, however, the color correction changes the vibe of the video dramatically. 

color correct - A leisurely bike ride through the park

2. Pride month

Colorful, rainbow and black and white flags are icons of the LGBTQIA+ community when celebrating their freedom and rights.

Both clips are exactly the same, but one is more vibrant by far. With a simple color correction, an ordinary clip can be transformed into a cheerful, uplifting and joyful video. 

color correct - 2. Pride month

3. Watching a scary movie

Color correcting isn’t just about making a dark video bright and vibrant. 

As you can see, the original clip is bright, exposed and full of color. The mood doesn’t reflect watching a horror movie at all.

We set the scary movie mood by turning down the contrast and exposure, changing the temperature from orange to blue, and increased the saturation to enhance the black colors within the video clip. 

color correct - 3. Watching a scary movie

Enhance the mood of your video using stock audio

Using our free video editor’s color correcting tool is the perfect way to alter the mood of your video clip. But what goes hand-in-hand with color correction? Stock audio

Why not enhance your video’s mood by adding a stock audio track. It’s a quick and easy editing technique that can really encourage viewers to feel a certain mood when watching a video. 

Try our online video editor today!

Alter your videos exposure, temperature, saturation and contrast in a few easy steps. If you have a video that doesn’t look quite right, start color correcting with our online video editor and share your work instantly. 

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Written by Christie Passaris on August 17, 2021
About the Author

Christie Passaris is a freelance writer by day, and fashion designer by night. While she enjoys creating iconic looks and teaching others about Clipchamp's latest features, her true love is for her dog, Billy the Beagle.

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