Almost all video footage that you will find in cinemas, on TV or online has been processed to some extent. There are two main steps involved in making dull and boring footage look epic and cinematic: colour correction and colour grading.Colour correction is the process of correcting any problems with your footage relating to its colour. You want to make sure your clip is properly exposed and that the white balance is spot on so the colours are as authentic as possible.Colour grading is the process of creatively applying colour adjustments, filters and stylistic effects to your footage to achieve the final desired look. There are very few hard rules in this area, it is all about finding the look that works best for your project.
It is very important to correct the colour of your footage first before you move on to colour grading. Otherwise it's like putting on a fresh coat of paint without a proper undercoat. Therefore we will look at colour correction in this tutorial and I will discuss colour grading in a later one.
While I will use Adobe After Effects & Adobe Premiere Pro for this tutorial, you should be able to follow along with any other video editing or visual effects compositing software that you have available - as long as it allows you to alter the colour of your footage. Now let's get started!