1. Use the scopes. If you’ve read about color correcting or grading before, then you’ve definitely heard of this one. Due to differences in monitors and display settings, you simply can’t do any effective color work without the use of scopes. Most editing programs have these built in – Premiere Pro, Final Cut, & Da Vinci Resolve included. While your monitor may not display the color correctly, you can be 100% confident that your scopes are providing you with accurate information.
Check out a great explanation on scopes here.
2. Film flat. If possible, you’ll want to film in a log color profile. This allows your camera to capture as much data as possible. The more data you have to work with in post, the more effectively you can color the video. This step is particularly important if you are planning to color grade as well.
3. Set black to black. Find the areas of your video that are black, and adjust to make those areas sit at the very bottom of your parade scope. The bottom line on this scope represents black. This is a good baseline. From here, you can lift your shadows up and begin coloring the rest of the picture.
4. Adjust white balance. The easiest way to do this is to refer to the RGB parade scope and try to even out the tops of the red, green, and blue scopes. Keep in mind that this may change the emotional feeling of the shot, in which case you’ll want to dial it back.
5. Utilize the flesh line. If there’s visible people in your shot, the flesh line can be amazingly helpful. Regardless of ethnicity or skin tone, all human skin sits on this flesh line – the difference that our eyes perceive in varying skin tones is really only in the skin’s saturation.
The flesh line within the vector scope.
Good luck & happy color correcting!