1. Video
  2. Post-Production
  3. Color Grading

The Ultimate Guide to Color Grading in Premiere Pro

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Read Time: 8 min

Everything you could possibly need to know about color correcting and grading in Premiere Pro!

What You'll Learn: Color Grading in Premiere Pro

  • The theory behind color correcting and color grading
  • How to color correct and grade both from scratch and with LUTs
  • How to use Scopes
  • How to correct skin tone

1. Introduction

1.1 Learn Powerful Color Grading Skills

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

In this course, we'll look at absolutely everything you need to know when it comes to color grading your footage using the Lumetri color effect in Adobe Premiere Pro. We'll look at the theory behind correcting and grading, and then jump into Premiere Pro to learn how to correct our footage from scratch, and with LUTs.

"It's time to take your footage from dull to dramatic by learning how to color grade in Premiere Pro!"

2. Color Correction and Grading

2.1 Color Correction

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

What's the difference between color correction and color grading? I'll explain it to you in this quick lesson. You'll get to grips with what LOG footage is and why it can help you get the most out of your video editing.

color correction 101color correction 101color correction 101

2.2 Color Grading

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

Unlike correction, grading involves adding a particular look or style to your footage, through coloring. We're looking at similar parameters to correction, but more specifically at manipulating the colors to achieve certain results. These outcomes could be things like:

  • Location
  • Dynamic of the scene
  • Emotion of the characters
color gradingcolor gradingcolor grading
3.8 Hours

Advanced Premiere Pro for Everyone

When you've mastered the basics, get ready to pick up some advanced Premiere Pro skills with this free three-hour course with Dave Bode. You'll learn:

  • Source patching
  • Four-point edits
  • Speed ramps
  • Advanced audio editing

3. Scopes

3.1 Scopes: Why to Use Them

Watch video lesson (1 min) ↗

Scopes can seem a little intimidating, but don't worry. In this short video I'll explain how they represent your visual data in a consistent way that your monitor can't do as reliably.

3.2 Scopes: How to Use Them

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

In the last lesson we looked at what scopes are and why you need them, and in this lesson I'll go into more depth and show you how to interpret that data so that it becomes meaningful to you when you're making coloring decisions.

scopes in premierescopes in premierescopes in premiere

3.3 Skin Tone

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

Skin tone is often overlooked but it's really important to get it right. The vectorscope has a skin tone indicator and you'll want your skin tone to fall within a particular range on this graph. I'll explain where that should be in this quick video lesson.

skin toneskin toneskin tone

Scopes in Premiere Pro



Displays saturation levels in footage in a polar coordinate format. You can measure and adjust the color balance and saturation in your footage.



Similar to Waveform, but it seperates the red, green, and blue channels and displays them in separate graphs.



A graphic representation of the tonal rage of your image.



A tool that displays luminance levels of your footage in a graph format to help ensure the image is properly exposed.

4. Premiere Pro Set Up

4.1 Setting Up Your Workspace

Watch video lesson (4 mins) ↗

This lesson is a good walk around the color tab, so that you'll be really familiar with the windows and tools you'll need to do color correction and color grading. I'll show you my preferred layout too in case you want a good starting point if you don't have your own workspace yet.


4.2 Overview Of The Lumetri Color Effect

Watch video lesson (5 mins) ↗

I'll give you a roadmap of what you're looking at when it comes to Lumetri Color Effect. By the end of this lesson you'll understand where to find tools for basic corrections, color grading for more creative styles, where your color wheels are, and so on.

color toolscolor toolscolor tools

"It pays to know where the footage you're working with, came from and how it was captured."

5. Color Correction

5.1 Color Correcting With LUTs

Watch video lesson (5 mins) ↗

This lesson is where we'll get started with practical color correcting, using LUTs. A LUT is a Look Up Table with set values designed to change the color of your footage. Some of these are camera-specific, so you can get a very precise correction for your imagery, to get it looking right.

color correcting with lutscolor correcting with lutscolor correcting with luts

5.2 Color Correcting From Scratch

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

If you don't want to use LUTs, how do you color correct? I'll go through some essential steps in Premiere Pro with you. 

9 Minutes

4 Easy Tips for Color Correction in Premiere Pro

  • Use the right tools
  • Learn Lumetri
  • Sort exposure and white balance
  • Master the Vectorscope

6. Color Grading

6.1 Color Grading With LUTs

Watch video lesson (9 mins) ↗

You've learned how to color correct your footage, so next we'll move on to color grading in Premiere Pro, starting with LUTs again. You need to have corrected your footage before you move on to grading it. I'll show you how to use your scopes to interpret what you're seeing in the preview, when you apply your LUT.

You can find LUTs for Premiere Pro over at Envato Elements, where everything is included in a monthly subscription.

6.2 Color Grading From Scratch

Watch video lesson (9 mins) ↗

Now we're going to look at how to color grade your footage from scratch. In the previous lesson you'll have learned what the LUTs do and how to customize them, and this knowledge is going to put you in a great position to better understand how to achieve this effect yourself, without the help of a LUT. We'll do a lot of work in the color wheels here and I'll take you through everything step by step.

color grading from scratchcolor grading from scratchcolor grading from scratch

Cinematic Color Grading in Premiere Pro! | 3 Simple Methods

Learn three simple methods for amazing color grading in Premiere Pro! In this video, Cristi Kerekes breaks each method down for you.

7. Adjusting and Matching

7.1 Skin Tone Adjustment

Watch video lesson (2 mins) ↗

Starting with the eyedropper tool, I'll show you how to pick out the skin color from your footage and then isolate that out in order to correct it and preserve those natural tones.

skin tone adjustmentskin tone adjustmentskin tone adjustment

7.2 Matching Multiple Clips

Watch video lesson (7 mins) ↗

You'll need consistency across your various clips so that they don't jar when put together. There are a few ways to do this and I'll talk you through some of them, including how to export your grade as a LUT that you can then reuse.

matching clipsmatching clipsmatching clips

7.3 Adjustment Layer Grades

Watch video lesson (1 mins) ↗

An adjustment layer means you can make changes without directly affecting your footage. You can apply a LUT to an adjustment layer above multiple pieces of footage and it will apply to them all. You can then turn off and on the adjustment layer to see its effect. I'll show you how in this lesson.

8. Finishing Effects

8.1 Creating Cinematic Black Bars

Watch video lesson (5 mins) ↗

You'll have noticed the traditional 'cinematic widescreen' black bars when you've watched films. I'll show you how to add your own here in our last lesson of this course, and if you'd like to learn more about aspect ratios and their fascinating history, I've made a little video for you on that too.

You can do more than just color grade in Premiere Pro! Why not try a range of Premiere Pro templates available from Envato Elements. They're all included in a monthly subscription, so you can try and use as many as you like.

Learn More Premiere Pro Skills

If you'd like to improve your filmmaking skills check out some of our best free Premiere Pro video tutorials and courses!

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