Thanks to the wonderful camera performance and a rugged body, the footage shot by GoPro is almost always appealing to the viewer. However, you need to sometimes color correct your GoPro footage if you want truly cinematic and professional-looking shots.
In this article, you’ll get full information regarding how to easily color correct GoPro footage in just about a minute!
What is Color Correction
Color correction is the process of balancing color in your footage. It includes adjustment of exposure, contrast and color levels to produce the most realistic representation of reality or, to make footages coming from different cameras look the same. On most professional editing apps, color correction is a fairly standard and readily accessible feature.
Watch this short video to learn what is color grading:
Here’s an example of a frame Before and After color correction:
To optimize the color correction process, it is essential to understand the primary tools and techniques involved. Color correction tools, such as color wheels, curves, and scopes, provide you with the ability to fine-tune specific aspects of your footage, including highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. By mastering these tools, you can achieve a well-balanced and visually appealing image.
When Do You Need Color Correction
Moreover, color correction plays a significant role in maintaining consistency across a project, particularly when combining footage from various sources or cameras. By matching colors, exposure, and contrast levels, you can create a cohesive and seamless visual experience for your audience. This process is particularly crucial in multi-camera productions, documentaries, and narrative films where maintaining visual continuity is vital.
In addition to improving the overall look of your footage, color correction can also help address specific issues related to different shooting environments, such as low-light conditions or underwater scenarios (find below tips on how to color correct underwater footage). By compensating for challenging lighting situations, color correction allows you to achieve a more accurate and true-to-life representation of your subject matter.
GoPro Protune: Flat vs GoPro Color
Before proceeding further, let’s first discuss what GoPro Protune means. Well, Protune is what GoPro calls its settings which control several aspects of its shots, like sharpness of the image, color, ISO etc. Although these settings are often misunderstood or ignored by many new GoPro users, they are extremely important to achieve high quality videos.
In this article you can learn more about Protune: GoPro Protune: Advanced Settings Explained + Best Settings For Photo & Video
In the newer GoPro models, there’s a choice between two color modes in the Protune color mode settings: GoPro Color and Flat. You should note that you’ll only see these settings if you turn Protune on. The GoPro color mode is the default setting, and you can manually change it to Flat if you wish to color grade or apply custom color LUT filters on your Videos.
Now, the question arises as to what’s the difference between the two. Here’s the answer. GoPro color mode adds a specific color style directly in-camera. It gives you an image that is visibly more vibrant and with a higher contrast. Flat color mode, on the other hand, gives a raw image without any editing. It results in a relatively faded image with colors looking washed-out.
Here are two examples of similar shots captured by GoPro in Flat and GoPro color mode.
As you can see, the most obvious difference is in the contrast. The images captured with GoPro color mode undoubtedly look much more appealing.
GoPro Color: For quick, vibrant results
GoPro Color mode is ideal for you if you don’t wish to devote much time for post processing, but still want visually appealing shots. It gives you really nice end results without the need to do a lot of editing or color grading.
The key difference between GoPro and Flat color modes is in the contrast. The footage with GoPro Color mode is anytime spunkier and more cinematic without editing. This mode ensures dynamic captures with a lively edge!
However, if you select GoPro color then you won’t be able to apply custom color presets on your videos, like our GoPro Cinematic LUTs Pack.
Flat Color: For more Freedom
Now that it’s clear that GoPro color mode has an edge over Flat, the question arises:
- “Why would you opt for the Flat mode when the end result with GoPro color mode clearly looks better?”
The section below has all your answers…
Whether you’re shooting still images or videos, Flat color mode lets you capture more detail in your shots, as it is a raw image with full editing potential. The word ‘raw’ has been used because the camera doesn’t apply any color filter on your photo or video in this setting, thus providing you a neutral looking shot. You’ll love how (in post-production) all shadows and highlights are fully captured in the resulting shots, thus giving you more freedom to unleash your creativity.
Ultimately, the flat mode is for anybody who wants to color grade or apply any custom color presets.
What are LUT Presets
LUT stands for Look Up Table. It’s used to color grade and transform the images captured by your camera into a desired color value output (as set by the LUT). In simple words, LUTs are the presets that let you easily apply professional color grading yourself. They give your desired look to your video instantly, so you can apply professional level color tones.
At ProjectGO, we have made our own GoPro color grading filters packs, specifically designed for GoPro footage style.
>> Click here to have a look at the GoPro Cinematic LUTs to discover over 106 Color Grading LUT Filters that will make your videos look more cinematic with just a click!
There’s something for everyone in this wide range (over 100) of color presets to cover most GoPro activities.
Here are some of them:
- CINEMA – Cine Automobile, Cine Cycling, Cine Drone, Cine Hiking, Cine Motorcycle, Cine Ski, Cine Sport, Cine Sunset, Cine Surf, Cine Travel, Cine Underwater, Cine Vlog
- ORANGE & TEAL – Orange Teal Colorful, Orange Teal Fantasy, Orange Teal Light, Orange Teal, Retro, Orange Teal Vivid
- WARM – Adventure, Desaturated, Landscape, Lover, Nature, Pastel Vibes, Pool Party, Retro, Sepia Tone, Sparta, Tropical, Vintage
- COLD – Aqua, Blue Lake, Cold Fade, Dreamy, Blue, Dreamy Green, Faded Ice, Green Nature, Light Punch.
Color Correcton or LUT Presets?
It’s definitely better to color correct Raw GoPro footage rather than the footage that’s been altered or edited in post production. This is because in the raw footage, the color levels are neutral. However, in many cases you can still do some light color correction on footage shot with “GoPro Color” and get good results.
Same with custom LUT filters… for better results it’s advisable to use them on footage shot with “GoPro Flat”.
Apps for Color Correction
Basic video color correction can be done with most video editors on mobile and computer. Here are some of the popular apps with this feature:
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Final Cut Pro X
- Adobe Premiere Rush
- Filmora Wondershare
- GoPro Studio
- DaVinci Resolve
How to Color Correct GoPro Videos Using GoPro Studio
Color Correction in GoPro Studio is simple and intuitive. You need to just follow the steps below:
Step 1: Import your footage from your GoPro camera to your computer and create a new project within GoPro Studio.
Step 2: Color Correction – Select the clip you’d like to color correct. On the right hand side of your window the color correction can be done just by hitting on the arrow beside the White Balance button and the Image button. Now you can see the options which needed to be changed in order to correct the colors of the clip. You will be able to view all the options like temperature, exposure, sharpness, contrast, tint and saturation. You can also choose to apply different preset overlays to give the footage your own desired mood and feel.
How Do You Color Correct Underwater GoPro Footage
Color correcting underwater GoPro footage is essential to achieve more vibrant, accurate colors and better overall image quality. Here’s a step-by-step process to color correct your underwater GoPro footage using a video editing software:
- Import your footage: First, import your underwater GoPro footage into your preferred video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or the app that you like from the list I’ve mentioned before.
- Adjust white balance: Underwater footage usually has a blue or green tint due to the water’s color absorption properties. To fix this, use the white balance tool in your video editing software. Click on a neutral gray or white spot in your footage. This should help bring back some of the lost colors.
- Apply color correction filters: Most video editing software will have some built-in color correction filters, such as Lumetri Color in Adobe Premiere Pro or Color Wheels in Final Cut Pro. Adjust the following parameters:a. Exposure: Increase or decrease the exposure to balance the overall brightness. b. Contrast: Boost the contrast to make the dark parts darker and the bright parts brighter. c. Highlights and Shadows: Adjust the highlights and shadows to recover details in the bright and dark areas of the footage. d. Saturation: Increase the saturation to make the colors more vibrant.
- Use color grading LUTs: Many my LUTs are specifically designed for underwater footage, which can help you achieve a more professional look. Apply a suitable LUT and adjust its intensity to taste. Find all the best underwater LUTs in the paragraph above.
- Manually fine-tune colors: Use color wheels or curves to fine-tune specific colors in the footage. For example, you can boost the reds to compensate for the loss of red light underwater or reduce the blues and greens to remove color casts.
- Sharpness and noise reduction: Underwater footage may appear soft or grainy. Apply some sharpening to increase the clarity of your footage and use noise reduction tools to remove any visible grain or noise.
- Compare before and after: As you make adjustments, it’s helpful to compare the corrected footage to the original. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of your color correction and make any necessary tweaks.
- Export your video: Once you are satisfied with the color correction, export your video using the appropriate settings for your intended platform or purpose.
Remember that each underwater environment is unique, so you might need to fine-tune these steps to suit your specific footage. Experiment with different settings and tools in your video editing software to achieve the best results.
Ready to Color Correct Your GoPro Footage?
Color correcting GoPro footage is a vital step to enhance the overall visual quality of your videos. By adjusting the white balance, applying filters, and fine-tuning the colors, you can effectively remove unwanted color casts and recover lost details. Incorporating color grading LUTs and sharpening tools can further improve your footage, resulting in a professional and polished final product.
As each underwater environment presents unique challenges, it’s essential to experiment with various settings and techniques to achieve the best results. By investing time and effort into the color correction process, you can transform your GoPro footage and create stunning, vibrant videos that captivate your audience.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you learn everything about how to color correct GoPro footage 🙂
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