Thinking Like A Colorist – Color Correcting A Forest Scene

December 3, 2016

Colorist Dan Moran shares a color correction breakdown on how he approaches a new shot, sight unseen. How to make it an alien planet or a shed in a garden?


In this insight, we take a look at a forest scene. I go through the look from beginning to end but also the options that are available to us

Footage Link

You can download the Red clip here to try grading yourself before watching my video insight below.

Before you watch my video please have a go at the clip yourself!

The one I’m using is the Red Raven clip from the above link

What are we trying to achieve with the look?

Grading almost comes down to one simple question.

What can the look at to the scene?

I always compare grading to music.

When Hans Zimmer is scoring a movie he can choose to use minor sad sounding chords and notes or major and happy sounding notes.

I always approach my grading in the same way.

For this scene, I thought there were two important directions:

  • Are we going bright, commercial and real?
  • Are we going dark moody and magical?

I show you every step of the way in my video below including options I’m not taking.

Jump to the video below to find out more!

If you’ve got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!


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