Color Warper 101 Part 3: Creating Looks (Plus A Grading Challenge)

February 17, 2021

In the finale of the series, colorist Peder Morgenthaler puts what we've learned into action creative 3 looks with the Color Warper.


Color Warper 101 Part 3: Bringing It All Together to Create Looks

In the first two parts of this series, we took an in-depth look at all the tools in the Color Warper panel new to Resolve 17.

Now, in our final installment, we’re going to put it all together to create some great looks!

The Color Warper is incredibly powerful for this kind of work, providing an intuitive interface to place scene colors at specific hue, saturation and luminance values.  It’s built to create smooth transitions between these color manipulations, so it’s great for creating both extreme and nuanced looks.

It’s my hope you’ll walk away with a solid understanding from this Insight, and from the entire series about how to use and get creative with this powerful tool. The Color Warper has scratched a creative itch for me and I’m hoping it will in you too! And at the end of the video below, I’ve got a grading challenge for everyone!  I can’t wait to see all your looks in the comments section!

Simple Teal & Orange, Gritty Yellow-Green & Subtle Golden Hour Looks

To show off the versatility of the Color Warper, we’re going to create three different looks: a take on the classic Teal & Orange split-tone look, a gritty Yellow-Green look, and a more subtle golden hour look.

The goal is to create a compelling feel for each of these shots while maintaining good skin tones & other key colors.  Thankfully, the Color Warper makes this easy!

My Approach to Color Warper Look Creation

Along the way you’ll learn my basic approach & order of operations in the CW that help us refine the look-creation process:

  • Place & pin your target colors in the Hue & Sat panel
  • Shift your neutrals towards the overall color tonality you’re looking for
  • Make small adjustments to any out-of-place colors or hue-vectors
  • Switch to the Chroma-Luma panel to dial in the look with specific luma adjustments in certain hue ranges or hue shifts at specific luminance ranges

A Grading Challenge!

Now that you know what the Color Warper is all about, we want to see your looks created with this amazing tool!  Download the clips that I used (links below) and get to work!

Create as many looks as you want.  You can use other tools to set your exposure, contrast & overall tonality, but limit your ‘color’ manipulations to the Color Warper toolset.  As your ‘client’ I’m open to any and all interesting or creative looks, with only one word of guidance: ‘refinement’.  It’s easy to push colors around in the Color Warper, but can you make the image sing?

Post stills to the comments section, and we can discuss them. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

BRAW Media

The clips below are available for free from Blackmagic Design:

Girl In Milk Bath

The Fighter – Punching in the Ring

Girl In Green Chair

Comments & Questions

As always, leave your comments & questions in the discussion below!



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Homepage Forums Color Warper 101 Part 3: Creating Looks (Plus A Grading Challenge)

  • Viktor K

    I really like these longer episodes and multiple part series. Feels like it gives more of an deeper understanding compared to the shorter episodes, and especially for someone who’s newer to color grading like me. Thanks for these great episodes Peder!

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    Thanks Viktor! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this series. The Color Warper is such a complex tool, we though it was worth the extra detail. It’s already become a go-to part of my grading arsenal. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all do with it!

  • R Neil Haugen

    Peder, thanks … this series has been very informative & useful. Love that new tool!

  • Scott Stacy

    Hey Peder … A very nice series. These tutorials will be very helpful in getting me started in on working with this new cool tool. Really excited to dive in armed with all this informative information.

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    Thanks Neil!

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    Thanks Scott. It’s a fun tool to work with. Glad you found it informative!

  • Yoel U

    Hey, thank you for an amazing tutorial. This tool is very powerful for look designing.

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    Hey Yoel! I love these looks! Each one has its own look and feel, but you’ve maintained the separation in the skin tones nicely. The steel-blue look is great, and the purple look works unexpectedly well! The color warper really is great for this kind of work.

    Nice job with these. Glad you liked the Insight!

  • Kunal T

    Awesome job with these looks! Love each one of them!

  • James G

    Great job explaining this tool. Really thorough.

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    Thanks James! It’s a fun tool, with a lot of little nuances buried in there.

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