An Experiment in Colour Grading

This is a quick experiment where I tried something I’ve seen on instagram.


I took a screenshot of the movie Now You See Me – 2013 (1:53:34) and, using adobe Premiere Pro CC 2105.3, I tested my skills at colour grading. Following a few colourist and LUT instagram accounts I more than regularly see these types of images where some takes a grab from a film, reverses the colour grade and subsequently applies different looks to it.


  • Quite warm tones
  • Mostly balanced exposure
  • Reds most apparent, this highlights the skin tones
  • Has a bit of a faded film vibe

Reverse Grade

  • I brought down the colour temperature and lowered the contrast
  • Also balanced the saturation by firstly bringing all colours up and then taking the reds back a bit

Grade 1

  • Using the Lumetri Color panel in Premiere Pro I tried applying some of the new included creative looks eventually settling on SL CLEAN FUJI A HDR
  • I think this look, of the three, is the most similar to the movie but I think the colours look a little more natural as well as the tones being noticeably cooler

Grade 2

  • I went for the ‘Michael Bay’, using the creative look SL BIG and tinting the highlights orange and the shows blue gave the kind of grade synonymous with big action films
  • This look also includes a good bit of increased contrast to give lots of foot room for those tints to achieve the look

Grade 3

  • For this grade I went for the look SL MATRIX MARS which throws up the contrast and tints everything green
  • I also uped the faded film setting in the creative section of the Lumetri panel
  • Crushing the shadows and tinting them a tiny bit blue was the final step to this grade
using adjustment layers in Premiere Pro CC

The reason I chose to use Premiere for this experiment is that with the addition and now expansion of the built-in Lumetri Color I’ve found an interest in colour work. Premiere is my editing software of choice and getting experienced in using Lumetri was one of my aims for this. Before I would have allied separate Lumetri adjustments to each clip (or in this case image), whereas having recently learned about adjustment layers I tried using these over the same image duplicated.
I think the looks I created turned out well and things could be taken a bit further next time with regard to the variation in looks.

More to come, meanwhile… some other colour stuff??

6 thoughts on “An Experiment in Colour Grading”

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