How do ‘Motivated Vignettes’ improve your color grading?

September 1, 2022

Colorist Cullen Kelly explores vignettes: What they do, when they’re appropriate, & how to deploy them in a motivated and photographic manner?


Series

Motivated Vignettes – What are they and how do you create them?

Vignettes are one of the first adjustments I was exposed to when I began color grading, and like many colorists, I became a bit addicted — they always seemed to add some extra depth and focus to the shot. As my craft matured, I often wondered: should I use vignettes all the time? And: When shouldn’t I use them?

As is usually the case in color grading, the answer requires more nuance than “always” or “never,” and we also need to think not only about when we use vignettes but how. This is our focus in today’s Insight. We are exploring what vignettes do for us, situations where they’re more or less appropriate, and how to deploy them in a motivated and photographic manner.

Key Takeaways

After watching this Insight, you should be able to understand:

  • How to think about vignettes as a complement to nailing our exposure — rather than a substitute for it
  • Where to apply  vignettes judiciously when we want to add more “weight” while keeping a healthy level on our subject
  • How to use vignettes more photographically, rather than always drawing the same shape regardless of lighting conditions

Related Insights

Questions or Comments?

Vignettes are a topic that colorists love to dig into. Use the discussion below to share with us how your use of vignettes have changed over time. If you’re new to the topic, let me know if I helped you alter your way of thinking (and how so)?

– Cullen

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