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Setting the Mood: How to Tell Stories With Color (Grade Your Videos)

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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words—but whicxh words? How easy it is to forget that photos and videos are powerful storytelling tools, but only if you know how to use them. A big part of telling stories with images is to give your videos a unique and distinctive visual “look.”

While the use of natural color is a good start, sometimes it’s helpful to use stronger touches to make a video really stand out. Think back to your favorite television shows or movies. Many are memorable because they employ distinctive coloration. How much of a look depend on the genre—zombie films, for example, tend towards a gritty, colorless landscape—and the nature of your project. Whatever the situation, coloration is a visual queue to the viewer, suggesting what they are seeing and perhaps what to expect.

This course introduces stylized color grading, a technique you can use to bring a re-imagined look to your videos. Stylized color grading tweaks elements such as saturation, contrast, and highlights to bring a unique color “mood” to your production. Be careful, though: these adjustments are a fine line between emphasis and distraction. It’s easy to go too far and risk losing an audience’s attention from over-editing.

In the video above, you’ll see how to quickly transform very different clips by creating a unified stylized color grade. You’ll see how diverse elements can work together to build a brand-new look that will keep your viewers coming back for more.

Take the Full Course

Take the entire course on color grading as part of a subscription to Envato Elements. Elements is a low-cost, all-you-can-download resource for all kinds of digital assets. As a member, you’ll have stock images, video and photo templates, courses, and so much more available at your fingertips. 

More Color Grading Tutorials

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