Enhance and enrich the color palette of your clips in a moment with Clipify!
Top 7 Video Editors for Color Grading & Correction
By: Adam Robbins, videographer, blogger, and teacher of editing courses
Votes: 2(Rated: )
Last updated: 01.06.2023
Video Color Correction & Color Grading Video Editors
Color is one of the cornerstones of a good video. The mood, the atmosphere, the meaning – anything can be conveyed better by the means of color. You may pick suits and props of proper hue during filming, but with modern color grading software you’ll have absolute control over the final presentation, even if you have no experience in video editing. To help you find a program that fits your bill, we've compiled a list of the best software for color grading and correction.
Make your video more colorful and vibrant
Keep reading to learn more about the tools for color editing videos. You’ll also know the important differences between color correction and grading, as well as see one of the said tools in action.
Clipify takes the top seat in our rating thanks to its accessibility. Even regular users can enhance the looks of any video with a couple of sliders. Those looking for more thorough processing can use curve controls and other in-depth settings. And if you edit videos on a day-to-day basis, you may streamline the process with 180+ customizable effects and filters. To top it all off, Clipify is free to download!
Adobe Premiere is one of the biggest names in the industry. This software is designed for more seasoned users, but it allows you to take your editing to the level of professional bloggers and moviemakers. It also integrates with other Adobe software programs via Creative Cloud. The greatest Premiere’s drawbacks are its expensive subscription and steep learning curve.
Apple users in need of an app that’s more feature-packed than iMovie can look no further than Final Cut Pro. It may take some time to wrap your head around its unconventional UI, but Final Cut can satisfy any editing need you may have, from making a social media story to putting together a movie. It’s rather pricey as well, but at least it is a one-off purchase with no subscription involved.
Color Grading vs. Color Correction
Before picking a program, there’s one crucial bit of film theory that you have to learn – the difference between color correction and color grading. Being able to distinguish these concepts will help you set more clear goals and choose better means to achieve them. So, in order to draw a clear line between the two, let’s go over the basics.
Color correction is usually quite subtle. It is a way of adjusting the color palette to compensate for the “perception” of your camera and some not quite obvious changes in lighting during the lengthy filming process. Proper video color correction provides a more natural and cohesive look and is more technical rather than artistic. Best case scenario – no one will know it is applied unless they see the source images.
Color correction makes the video look more natural
What is color grading in video, then? Color grading refers to the shift of the entire color palette towards a certain tone to achieve a specific mood or feel. It is much more recognizable than color correction, and purposefully so. For example, orange grading can make the scene more warm and cozy, blue – more cold and mysterious, and green – more eerie and unsettling. Back in the day, video color grading was done during filming, but with modern software you can easily do it in post.
Color grading turns the spectacle up a notch
Choosing color grading vs color correction depends on the situation, and this is entirely your choice to make. The bottom line is that in both cases you have to meddle with a more or less the same set of parameters, but to different ends.
Best Color Grading & Correction Video Editors: Comparison Chart
Clipify is lightweight and has very lenient requirements both for your PC and skills. It allows you to use curves to separately fine-tune the presentation of three primary colors – red, green, and blue, otherwise known as the RGB color model (or just RGB). The curve controls also include tools to draw a free curve to adjust even the slightest tints and then smooth it in one click. Clipify helps you make any video look as you want – vibrant and expressive, subdued and natural, or even invert colors for some artistic weirdness!
Adobe Premiere Pro is a pro-tier software that includes audio, video, text, and color editing tools. It has some of the most advanced color grading features to adjust dark, mid, and bright tones. If you find Premiere Pro's toolkit lacking something – expand it with external plugins. However, as powerful as it is, Adobe Premiere Pro is also one of the most expensive and hard to master programs on the market.
Value for money: ................................9
Final verdict: ..................................8.3
Final Cut Pro is an all-encompassing video editor for Mac users. To adjust the colors in your footage with it, you can use a color board and hue/saturation curves, edit your video in either standard or HLG color spaces, utilize advanced tools such as keying and masking. If you're familiar with more advanced color editing, these tools will help you take your coloring to the next level.
Lightworks Pro is a post-production video editor used in Hollywood films. It includes basic and advanced color tools, such as easily adjustable HSL color wheels, RGB graphs, contrast, gamma, brightness, and gain sliders. There are filters and LUT templates available. Lightworks has a learning curve, but its greatest issue is lack of built-in help, meaning you’ll have to figure this program out on your own.
DaVinci Resolve is yet another industry giant. Its free tool set alone can rival most of the paid software on the market. And the paid version is nigh omnipotent in terms of color correction, visual effects, and audio post-production tools. Additionally, the program includes tools for balancing and matching colors across multiple video sources. However, to have all that greatness at your fingertips, you’ll have to invest some time and effort into learning.
Magic Bullet Colorista 2 is a video color editing plugin for Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro. Colorista implements an industry-grade color correction toolkit that will help you achieve a perfect color balance for your footage in a few steps. However, despite providing great results, Magic Bullet has a significant drawback – the necessity to have third-party software at your disposal.
Fylm.ai is a web-based video color changer for grading and correction. Fylm.AI offers a decent toolkit for all-round color processing, as well as an easy automatic mode that casual users will appreciate. However, since this tool is designed primarily for processing color, it is best to have the montage completed beforehand.
Accessible from any browser
Real-time teamwork support
Automatic color adjustment
LUT profiles library
Limited free version
Offers little beyond color correction
How to Color Correct and Color Grade a Video with Clipify
Now let us show you how to edit the video color the easiest way. We will guide you through the workflow of Clipify – our tool of choice. It is uncomplicated enough for beginners and effective enough for more experienced users. Plus, it is based on quite ubiquitous design principles, meaning that if you can handle color collection with Clipify – you’ll have a clear idea of how to use any other video editor for color correction.
Step 1. Install and Run Clipify
Click the button below to get the Clipify installer. Then launch it and follow the installation wizard's prompts. Run Clipify from the desktop icon once it is ready.
Choose Blank Project, then click the Add Videos and Photos button and navigate to your footage in the file browser. Alternatively, just drag and drop the required clip into the program window.
Let’s open a chilly clip to warm up with color
Step 3. Pick the Curves Tool
Select your clip on the Timeline. Then click the Edit button, open the Enhancement tab, and select Correct Colors Using Curves. In the new window, select the color channel you need from the drop-down menu.
Open the Curves tool and choose the Red channel
Step 4. Perform the Color Correction
Control the brightness and saturation of the selected color channel by bending or drawing the curve.
Save your video for everyone to see
The basic principle is as follows. The horizontal axis shows the tone range, and the more to the right you go, the brighter tones you’ll be altering. The vertical axis shows the amount of selected color in a certain tone range. The closer the point of the curve to the top-right corner, the more red tint the bright tones have. Thus, to add some red to the mid-tones and warm things up, try bending the central part of the curve upwards.
Step 5. Save the Result
Click the Create Video button and select the HD video option. Then adjust the resolution and bitrate as needed, and then click the Export button. Done!
Export your work with flying colors
So, now you are armed with a selection of trusty tools and basic knowledge of how to color correct a video. If you still require a little nudge to make a pick, let’s do a quick recap. If you are not turned off by complexity, give Adobe Premiere or Final Cut a shot. If you are looking for fast color correction and nothing else, try Fylm.AI. And if you require an easy-to-use yet versatile toolkit, Clipify is the way to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you color correct a video?
It is preferable to color correct videos after the basic editing is complete. This way allows you to take transitions from clip to clip into account and have more consistency overall.
How can I color correct my video online?
You just need to find a web-based video color editor. We recommend trying Fylm.AI for its comprehensive workflow and high quality results provided with its automatic features.
How can I color correct my video for free?
There are plenty of free mobile apps that let you change video color. Here’s a few we can recommend:
For this, you require software that includes enough features for color grading. Clipify is one great option. Color grading videos with it is as easy as this:
1. Install and run the program.
2. Add your footage to the timeline.
3. Select your clip and click the Edit button.
4. From the Image tab, adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue.
5. From the Enhancement tab, use automatic tools or do manual fine-tuning with curves.
Want to make your footage more vibrant with color grading? Do it in a few clicks with a powerful video editor!