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3 Tips To Create A Successful Color Grading Studio

Modern film enthusiasts have come to expect a certain level of quality when it comes to the imagery displayed on the big screen. Meeting these high standards requires that any film project goes through an intensive post-production editing process.

Color grading is one of the most critical parts of that process.

Color grading is essentially the use of software, like Cinema Grade, to manipulate the colors in a film to create a stylistic effect. The right studio space is a must for anyone hoping to achieve high-value color grading.

1. Control Over Ambient Light

Colors are nothing more than mere bits of visible light. This means that any stray light that makes its way into your studio could have a dramatic impact on the way colors are perceived.

A good color grading studio will be devoid of both natural and ambient light. This can be achieved by moving your studio into a windowless space, or by installing blackout curtains or shutters over existing windows to eliminate all ambient light sources.

Starting out with a completely dark studio allows you to accurately enhance the color of a film without any outside light contamination.

2. Create Proper Lighting

Your eyes are constantly adjusting to any light source that they encounter. You will need to control this reaction within your color grading studio in order to accurately enhance any film.

You want all of your light sources to correspond with the D65 light standard that exists across all visual industries. To achieve this light, you want bulbs with a color temperature of 6500k (which is the color temperature associated with D65) in all studio fixtures.

Ensure that all bulbs are the same model and from the same manufacturer to eliminate any light inconsistencies that could affect the color grading process.

3. Paint the Walls Gray

Wall color is a critical part of any successful color grading studio. You should paint all of the walls in your studio gray. More specifically, the gray should be roughly halfway between absolute black and pure white on the color scale.

Middle gray reflects about 18% of the light that hits is, which allows your perception of color to remain constant. Your color grading will not be influenced by tones within the wall paint in your studio when you opt to cover the walls with a middle gray.

The right studio conditions allow you to maximize the use of your color grading software. This will help you to give your clients the enhanced, balanced, and stylistic film imagery they are looking for.