What’s the difference between Color Correction & Color Grading? Lot’s of information online about both topics. Some refer color grading as color correction and others vise versa. What’s the real difference between those two? For those who is just starting in the world of film and photography, this may be a little confusing. I am going to clear the murky waters a little bit for you and explain everything you need to know about those two.

Color Correction

Color Correction is the process refereed to correcting colors and exposure in the image or film. Either from the LOG “flat profile” source or pre-colored “aka rec709” source which in photography known as sRGB. Point of color correction is to make sure colors look accurate, there is no weird tinting or other contamination going on. Everything look as close to real life as possible.

Color Grading

Color Grading is the creative process that follows color correction but not required. In color grading, the colorist or film editor creates alternative “look” of the film or image, by giving it stylized look and feel. Think of a movie The Matrix. Everything has green tint to it, and certain colors are specifically selected and prioritized. Color Grading is much more expensive than color correction, and required much advanced skills to accomplish correctly.

Software

Typically color correction can be accomplished in any editing software. Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Media Composer and others.

For Color Grading, software must be designed specifically for the task and even though one can still grade in editing programs, quality usually will not be too good because lack of tools will limit the artist. Color Grading usually done in Davinci Resolve, Assimilate Scratch, Baselight and others.