Master White Balance for Video | Dennis Schrader | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      INTRODUCTION: Master White Balance for Video!


    • 2.

      What is White Balance?


    • 3.

      Color Temperatures under different White Balance settings


    • 4.

      How to use White Balance creatively


    • 5.

      Create Color Contrast


    • 6.

      How to achieve perfect White Balance


    • 7.

      How to correct White Balance in Post-Production


    • 8.

      How wrong can we be and still fix it in post?


    • 9.

      A few important notes


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About This Class


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Master White Balance for Video

White Balance is one of the essential settings in video production and something you don't wanna get wrong. I have been making videos professionally for over 4 years now and I remember very well my beginnings and how terrible some of my earliest work looked - often because I didn't know a thing about white balance.

So in this class you will learn:

  • What exactly is white balance?
  • Accurate colors vs. pleasing colors
  • How white balance works with different light color temperatures
  • How to achieve perfect white balance on set (3 ways!)
  • How to correct white balance in post-production when things got messy

In short, you just learn all you really need to make good looking videos and know a little bit about WHY it works and looks good.

As always, If any questions remain open, I am available for all my students in the comment section and if you want to stay in touch with what I do, make sure to subscribe to the Newsletter over and

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Instructor Dennis Schrader

I am a fulltime filmmaker based out of Hamburg, Germany and I work with clients to produce real estate videos, documentaries, commercials and event videos.

For the last 2 years I have been teaching my video production knowledge to students all over the world. My goal is to teach my students the skills and mindset they need to fullfill their creative goals.

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Dennis Schrader

Freelance Videographer and Creator


Hey guys! My name is Dennis - I am a one-man video production company based out of Hamburg, Germany. I love sharing my experiences with others so they can do the same!

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Level: Beginner

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1. INTRODUCTION: Master White Balance for Video!: What's up? My name is Dennis. I'm a freelance videographer based out of Hamburg, Germany and I really don't want to waste any of your time. In this class, you're going to learn how to deal with white balance for video. I know white balance is a complicated topic for any beginner, I know how much I struggled. In this class, you're going to learn not only what white balance actually is or why you even want something such as color accuracy. I'm also going to cover a bunch of ways: how to get good-looking and accurate white balance from very beginners way to the very elaborate professional way, everything is covered. Then also, in case you might have messed something up on a shoot or you deal with someone else's footage where they might have messed up a little bit, I'm also going to cover how to correct the white balance after defect, and we can even see how far we can actually go, how wrong can it actually be so that we can still fix it. You will be able to fix your images after defect in case you mess something up. Without further ado, if that sounds good to you, I would love to see you in my class. 2. What is White Balance?: White balance is one of the key settings for shooting videos. You all know that. But it's also one that many, many people struggle with and that was certainly true for me. In fact, I think it took me about three months into making videos already for clients until I even paid any attention to white balance. Today, I know how fundamental a good understanding of white balance really is and how important it is to get the image to look the way I wanted to look. So let's first ask the obvious question. What is white balance? The simple answer and all you really need to know is white balance is a setting in your camera that tells the camera what white actually is. Let me explain. Think of something that you know for sure is white, like a white piece of paper. Now if I take this white piece of paper and shine an orange light on it, it looks orange. I still know that it is a white piece of paper, but it looks orange. Now the same thing could happen in the other direction as well. If I were to put a blue light on it, it will look blue and so on. The camera doesn't know that the paper's actually white and that's why there's a setting called white balance. We can use it to help the camera understand what actually is white, so that the camera can show it in its accurate color, despite the color of the light that is shining onto the object. In fact, based on what the camera perceives as white, it also decides on how colors should look like. So white balance doesn't only mean accurate whites, it also means accurate colors. Now maybe you've noticed before that most typical lamps that people have in their homes, those indoor lamps, usually have very warm feel to it. They're not white. Conversely, our average hospital or science lab or something like this, has a colder light that almost feels blue. The difference between warm light and cold light very appropriately is measured in color temperature. Orange light is also called warm light and the warmer the light, the more orangey it is, and a blue light is a cold light, and the colder it is, the more blue it is. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin and the relevant range for us filmmakers is probably somewhere between 1000-10,000 Kelvin. The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the light and the good thing is, there's some reference points that we all know that we can place on the scale of color temperature. Let's take a candle, for example. Candles are visually and even emotionally connected to warmth. That also is true in terms of Kelvin. A candlelight is usually around 1,800 to maybe 2,000 Kelvin. So the fact that candles or fires in general feel warm and comforting is exactly also what the color temperature tells us. Then let's make it a tiny bit less warm, we have our typical indoor lighting, usually around 2,700-3,200 Kelvin. Those still feel warm to our human eyes but it's not as warm as a candle. This specific color temperature range, by the way, is often referred to as tungsten light, especially in the context of photography or cinematography. Now, daylight at midday with no cloud coverage is usually somewhere around 5,600 Kelvin. Now this can change based on cloud coverage, the position of the sun, and a few other things. But for now, let's just remember neutral daylight is 5,600 Kelvin. If we go up even higher, we find overcast day light can be up to 7,000 Kelvin and a deep blue sky, even up to 10,000 Kelvin. The reason for that, by the way, is more in the blue of the sky rather than the actual sunlight. Another aspect of white balance is also the tint. Sometimes certain lights might have a tint in their color that shifts the image away from neutral whites. This is usually the case with cheaper LED lights and needs to be corrected either in the white balance setting in camera or in post-production if you want to have clean and accurate colors. But for now, let's put some color temperatures next to each other with a reference object in the middle. What you see here in the frame is called a color checker. We will go into more detail later in the class on how you can use those. But those color checkers, and especially the left part of it, are really, really useful because they can help us correct white balance not only onset before the recording begins, but also in post-production. So here we have a couple of lights at 3,200 Kelvin, 5,600 Kelvin, and 6,500 kelvin. What a difference, just a little reminder that this is the exact same gray card under the same exact lighting intensity. The only thing that is different with all those lights is the color temperature of the light. We can see that our 5,600 Kelvin light is the one that really looks white. It is the most neutral in some sense and the colors in the image are looking vibrant and natural and basically just the way they should look. The reason 5,600 Kelvin looks neutral in this is because our camera is set to white balance at 5,600 Kelvin. In other words, I taught my camera that 5,600 Kelvin is going to be the light that I use and that is the way it should interpret white. All the other color temperatures behave relative to the white that we set in camera. Everything cooler than 5,600 Kelvin will appear increasingly more blue and more cold, and everything warmer will appear increasingly warm and orangey. Understanding this opens up a whole new layer of control. I always used to think that I can only control the lighting with the actual lights. But in fact, the combination of lights and white balance gives me many, many more options for creative possibilities. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. 3. Color Temperatures under different White Balance settings: How different color temperatures react to white balance settings. In the last video, we learned that white balance is the setting in our camera that helps it to interpret whites and colors accurately based on the light that we use. We found out that the light that we match with our white balance setting will appear with accurate whites and accurate colors just the way it should be. We have started off with a white balance of 5600 Kelvin. The reason is that 5600 Kelvin or daylight balance is probably the most used white balance, at least in my day-to-day work. But more importantly, it's also the one that our eyes seem to operate on, at least more or less. They do adjust to lights much better than any camera could. Honestly, I'm not 100 percent sure on how this exactly works, but daylight usually appears neutral to us. It doesn't have a blue tint, it doesn't have a orange tint, it just looks normal, just white. But now let's have a look at what happens if we leave all the lights just as they are and the only change we make is the white balance from 5600 Kelvin to 3200 Kelvin. In other words, tungsten, which is another very common color temperature and white balance. Now, what do we see here? We see that our 3200 Kelvin tungsten light no longer appears warm. It appears clean white like the 5600 Kelvin before did. Everything to the right of it, to the colder side, just became more blue. The daylight no longer looks white. It also looks blue. That again shows that the color temperature always behaves relative to the white balance setting. With white balance, we can set a new neutral from which the scale starts. Now, just to confirm, let's set the white balance to 6500 Kelvin and see what happens. As expected, the 65000 Kelvin light now appears neutral, and all the other ones to the left are increasingly warm. Remember the lights themselves stayed at the exact same setting. Now with that knowledge, we know that we can use the combination of white balance and the color temperature of our lights to create basically all kinds of looks. In the next video, let's look at some creative ways that we can use it to our advantage, other than just merely having accurate white balance. 4. How to use White Balance creatively: How to use white balance creatively and influence the mood of the scene. In this video, I want to quickly touch on something that honestly had me a little bit confused for a while because I hadn't found much online about it as I research myself for this class. That is regarding the limits of correct white balance. Let's remember together one more time what white balance actually is. White balance is a setting in our camera that tells it how to correctly show whites as white. In most cases, that is exactly what we want because that is how we see the world as well. If we go outside at daytime, something white will not suddenly appear orange, it will be white. But if you just think for a moment, you will notice that in fact, there are lots of situations where things that you know are white, don't actually look white. If we white balance to such a lighting situation, what we create might be accurate colors, but not at all an accurate representation of what we see as humans. Then the question might come up, if our final goal is to create realistic and natural colors than accurate is no longer the be-all, end-all. I think most of the confusion in my head comes from the fact that the videos I produce are educational content, YouTube content, corporate image films, event videos, interviews, weddings, in other words, videos that are usually not very strongly stylized and follow a more or less clean look that too a bit degree, relies on at least somewhat accurate colors. I want to give you an example of what I mean. Let's imagine a scene where the character is reading a book in the light of a candle. It's a very cozy and warm scene. The filmmaker intended to convey exactly that calm warmth. Now without being too biased, I think this shot looks pretty nice. It looks good. It looks real and it looks the way it should look. There's just one problem. I just broke all the rules of white balance we just learned. Because what we've learned is that a candlelight should be somewhere around 2,000 kelvin. But this scene was shot with a white balance of 5,600 Kelvin. The reason is very simple. I wanted the scene to look the way it felt in reality and also how I wanted the result to feel. Sometimes those can be different. For example, you can make in reality cold situation feel warmer and vice versa. But this was a warm light and I wanted it to feel warm. Here in comparison, is the very same shot but with an accurate white balance off around 2,000 kelvin, and it does not at all have the same quality of mood and it just doesn't work as well in my opinion. That ultimately teaches us that while correct white balance is extremely important to learn, there are moments where we need to use this knowledge to break the rules, and achieve the image we were actually going for. The desired end result dictates the setting, not the other way around. Sometimes we do want accurate colors, sometimes we want realistic colors, and sometimes those are the same, and sometimes they're not. Sometimes you want to exaggerate things or force in mood onto an image. Honestly, in the end, there are a lot of things we can do merely by the power of white balance. In the next lesson, let's go through a couple of cool moods and scenarios you can create with the help of white balance. 5. Create Color Contrast: Create color contrast. Let's start out easy. I want to show you how to use white balance to create a nice and easy talking head scene, with amazing color contrast, without having any access to RGB lighting or something like that, just with the power of white balance. Now, knowing the theory behind white balance, we know that color temperature is a relative scale that is always based off of the white balance setting that we work with. In other words, we can basically change the perceived temperature of light, by changing the white balance. Let's say you have a typical indoor lighting bulb at around 3,200 kelvin, or 2,700 kelvin, or something like that, and you have one video light that is daylight balanced, so 5,600 kelvin. How can we use this to create an interesting look? Option number 1 would be, to use our daylight balance light as the key light and have a warm accent light in the background. That looks pretty decent, it's all right. But what if you want to have a bit more of a modern look and a bit more of a color contrast, because the warm light in the background is nice, but it also matches relatively closely with our skin tones, so it does not create a great contrast. If the background looks the same as the subject and the foreground, then it doesn't give you the kind of contrast that you could have. But what if we could use color theory, and use a complimentary color for the background, something more bluish would be great. Any idea how we could do it? I actually would love to sit in a big studio right now, and see a bunch of raising hands right now. But since that's not possible, I'm going to answer for you. There was something super easy that we can do. Let's just switch out those lights and see what happens. Now we have our warm 3,200 kelvin light as the key light, and the daylight balanced light is in the background. Now with the simple change, we can make our key light an accurate white and magically turn our background into a blue light. All we did was set the white balance to the new key light, the tungsten light that we use, and by doing that, we automatically made our daylight balanced light appear blue, because remember we moved the scale. Originally, 5,600 kelvin was neutral, but since now 3,200 kelvin is neutral, 56,000 kelvin suddenly appears blue. No need for colored [inaudible] , no need for RGB lighting, just simple white balance. 6. How to achieve perfect White Balance: Now let's talk about how to achieve perfect white balance, exactly how we like it. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools available to us and I want to start with the one that is the easiest, the least useful and also the one that you probably already know and that is auto white balance. On auto white balance, your camera interprets the frame and makes a guess about what the white balance should be like. Usually, the results get pretty close to what you actually want, but there are a couple of things that make auto white balance pretty much the wrong choice for 99 percent of the time, number 1, auto white balance is not reliably accurate because if it was, everybody obviously would use it all the time because why worry about it, if you can just get it right without worrying about it. But let's just quickly demonstrate the limits of auto white balance. My key light here is at 5,600 Kelvin, and for reference, I have my color checker in the frame, I will record this shot once in custom manual white balance at 5,600 Kelvin, and once at auto white balance. Let's look at the difference. Alright guys. Here we can see on the left side the one that is actually 5,600 Kelvin custom manual white balance, and on the right side we see the automatic white balance. On first glance actually it's not that much difference in the right. The reason for that is that, this is a very easy basic frame with not a lot of color going on so the internal auto white balance has a relatively easy job to have a good result, but still we can see if we take this cool little tool intervention resolve, which shows us the colored channels, red, green, and blue, and here we can see on the gray card, they are pretty much on spot on the exact same level, and then we go to the right image, we can see consistently that there's little bit too much blue, so now let's look at the next clip. Number 2, auto white balance easily gets confused by colors in the frame. To show you what I mean, let's just use a bunch of colorful objects and put them under the same lighting conditions. We have our key light here again at 5,600 Kelvin daylight balance, and so correct white balance should make clean whites on our color checker. Let's record one reference frame with a white background, and see how well it works. Here we have the reference frame, and you know the only thing that we really want to mention here is that when we check the middle gray, there we see that there's not enough green in the shot consistently and we can see that here too. If we pay close attention there we can see that the green is not exactly on the same level. You can also see that here, which is actually great way of seeing it too, is that in this case, because the background is gray, all the things right here, this part and this part where you see some purple here and some green down here, this all should be relatively white. You can see here that the green is coming down in the shadows right here and right here, that's the indication as well that there's not enough green, the greens need to be lifted a little bit, which then will balance out the complete image. But let's look at the next options and see what happens. Now let's see what happens if I change the color of my shirt. Here we go. On the right side we see the reference frame, on the left side we see a different image where in fact I did not change my shirt, but I just thought I might as well put on a very colorful jacket. We can already see the setting is exactly the same, the lighting is exactly the same. If we take a comparison from left to right, we see that my skin tones are definitely more red than they should be, if we pay attention, if you compare this to this, there's a very strong difference in how this looks healthy and normal, and this looks reddish, like if you can see there is some red tint in there. That's the first proof that there is actually serious change happening just from the color of a jacket in the frame, which actually it's still a very relatively easy frame, the background is white, there's no inconsistent lighting or anything. Let's move on to the next one. Now let's bring down the yellow backdrop and see what happens. Alright guys and here we can see finally the damage of auto white balance. On the right side again the reference frame and on the left side, we put down the yellow backdrop. Guys, what the heck, what's going on here? Look at the blue tint in my skin. That's already, in this case, I mean obviously we can still fix it, especially if we have color checker in the frame, but that just goes to show you the wild inconsistency of auto white balance when the subject is still the same, lighting is still the same, the backdrop change which is something that can definitely happen, you can obviously always have a scene that has a totally different background, when you just move around with the camera, which is again, shows that auto white balance, you just do not want to use that, take off your fingers out of auto white balance and you will be much more happy for it. As you can see, auto white balance has a problem with color changing in the frame because in reality the white balance should stay exactly the same because the light did not change. The third and in my opinion, KO argument against auto white balance is the fact that it continues to adjust white balance as the camera's recording. In other words, the supposed benefit makes it completely useless for me. I would prefer consistently slightly wrong white balance over a mostly perfect auto white balance that keeps changing in between all day long. The reason is obviously consistency. If we have one clip that is continuously recorded at the very same slightly wrong white balance, chances are we can easily correct it and post and we're done with a few clicks, but if we have a clip that basically changes white balance all the time continuously within one clip, it's pretty much impossible to make the clip look uniformly correct as there will be constant changes in color temperature, that we cannot correct after the fact. That makes the footage completely useless for any serious results, so my clear recommendation, do not use auto white balance. Now as I was researching, I actually found out that there are a bunch of cameras that have a setting that is basically auto white balance but it stops changing after you start recording, so that actually would probably be not such a terrible idea in comparison to traditional auto white balance because the main problem doesn't exist anymore. But I probably still wouldn't recommend auto white balance, and you will find out why within the next points that I'm going to make. Now if you paid attention, I said 99 percent of the time, auto white balance is wrong and there's only one exception that comes to my mind, and that is if you need to get a shot where you go from one color temperature into another color temperature, and you need it to be a one take. Because then, while still obviously not being a perfect result, auto white balance is pretty much the only easy way to manage this shot at all, two different white balances in very different environments. Let's continue with the next option, and that is using the internal white balance presets that most cameras have available. Here's how it works. Depending on your camera model, there are a couple of presets ready to use that represents situation with specific color temperatures. For example, we have daylight, shade, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent warm white, fluorescent cold white, fluorescent day white, fluorescent day light, and all of these options set the white balance to a value that represents the typical white balance for all those scenarios. By the way, those were the ones that I have available on my Sony A73 for example, yours might differ a little bit, but generally it's the same thing in every modern camera. Those presets are pretty handy because without thinking much, you will be probably able to find the correct setting for many situations and compared to auto white balance, they also have the huge benefit of not changing any longer as soon as you have it said once, they don't change automatically in any way. In comparison is going to be much easier to correct any mistakes and post as long as it's not too far off the right setting. Now all that being said, there are some limitations that come with using those presets. The first one is, in my opinion, a lack of flexibility. Now using those presets and getting used to them, could keep you from learning the necessary basics of white balance yourself to make the right decisions on your own and at the end of the day, if you think about it, all the camera does here with those presets is it remembers the values of typical situations. You might as well do that same thing yourself. Daylight is 5,600 Kelvin, golden hour is around 4,000 kelvin, tungsten is 3,200 Kelvin and so forth. You can, and should learn those rough values yourself. Because honestly getting close enough within a couple of 100 kelvin, to the correct white balance, is something that you can correct in post without any problem. The main reason why I would not recommend using those presets, is that it keeps you from learning those easy but valuable bits of knowledge to have those presets saved in your brain instead of your camera, so that you can create the image you'd like, even if you change cameras or you don't have those usual presets anymore. Now let's move to the next and probably most accurate option, and that is to set custom white balance by using a reference object. How does that work? One more time, let's remember what white balance actually does. We know that it is a setting that helps the camera interpret what white is, and there's a function in most cameras that enables you to literally show the camera something wide or in other words, something neutral that is without any color cast is just neutral, it's without any color and in that way, help it set the white balance based off of that object. Now, you might think that any white or gray object might work well with this, piece of paper, a gray shoe lace, your white sneakers, and no offense without taking into account any further knowledge about the cleanliness of your sneakers, it would probably work relatively fine. But the problem is that although something might appear neutral to us, most certainly there's still color casts in the material, that can contaminate the reading of the camera, and give out a slightly inaccurate white balance setting. I would say that it is probably easily fixable in post, but the issue then will be less one of not having enough of a correctable range, but more than you don't know exactly what is actually the accurate setting because there's nothing truly neutral in the frame. For that problem, we have something called a white balance card. White balance cards are absolutely neutral in every lighting situation and therefore, the perfect tool to set menu white balance in camera. Another really common solution is the 18 percent gray card. Hold on, here we go. This one in the middle is 18 percent gray. Those are usually used to determine exposure, but they also work fairly well for setting white balance in my experience, and I think they're actually more common. More people buy those in order to set white balance instead of actual white balance card and I think many people don't even know the difference, and here's how it goes. Take your white balance or gray card and position them where your subject is going to be, and in the same lighting situation, that's important. Now come as close as you need with a camera until the circle in the middle is filled by the balanced card and set the white balance. That's it. I also recommend shooting just a second of footage or something so that you have your reference point in post-production as well, in frame so you can make any adjustments in post-production. Now as long as the lighting situation stays the same, you will have accurate white balance all day long. Another big benefit of this options also let it automatically addresses not only the color temperature, but also the tint that might exist in the existing lighting, which otherwise will be another menu setting that you have to take care of, either onset or in post-production. Now, if you have the time, this is probably the best and most accurate way to get on point white balance, onset and leave only a minimum amount of work for post-production, but before that, let's continue with the last option that I probably use most of the time at work, and that is custom menu white balance, based off of the lighting situation. Here's how it works. In your camera settings, there's an option where you can manually set the Kelvin temperature that you want to white balance to. This setting offers you the maximum amount of manual control over white balance, and it comes in actually really handy as long as you know what lights you're working with, or in other words, which color temperature you're working with. Now you might have noticed that the most accurate and the most used option are not the same for me. The reason is simple. I don't always have a gray card with me, and often I don't have the time to redo the white balance every single clip in a new lighting. For those scenarios, it's really helpful to know your lights and to know color temperatures in general. Like we said in the beginning, it's really helpful to know what daylight is, is really helpful to know what overcast sky is, what typical indoor lighting looks like, and the settings with which those lights create accurate colors. Honestly most of the time, that is fairly simple. My key light for 90 percent of the time will be a daylight balanced LED panel at 5,600 Kelvin, just like right now, and whenever I'm outside, I start with 5,600 Kelvin, and I actually adjust by eye to the correct direction until it works for me, just based on what I see on the monitor. When I'm inside, I do the same thing, but I start with 3,200 Kelvin, and then go from there and adjust as well. This gives me a fast workflow and results that I can always and pretty much reliably bring to accurate colors in post-production, if they are not already where they should be. In addition to that, whenever I have the time, I try to have a gray card or the color checker in the frame at least once, so I have a reference to correct towards in post-production. Talking about the color checker, this is actually a recent purchase that I made, that I'm really, really excited about because not only has a white balance card, but those colorful rectangles here, let me reach complete color accuracy beyond mere white balance settings, but more on than that in a different colors. Those are basically the most common ways to get white balance onset. Honestly, I strongly recommend that you get off of the auto or preset options and I guess that's the reason for this whole class in general in the first place, and start getting comfortable with judging white balance and getting a feel for it. In reality here's what's important. It is to reliably be close enough to the perfect setting, that you can make the less adjustments in post without risking image quality. If you do want to go the extra mile, make use of white balance cards, or even in color checker, for overall perfect colors and exposure. 7. How to correct White Balance in Post-Production: How to fix white balance in post. Very well, so far we have talked about what white balance is, how it influences our image, and also how to set correct white balance in camera. In this video, we'll go through the process of correcting white balance in post, because correcting white balance is actually a standard step in even the most basic color correction workflows. It's really important because pretty much no camera gets it perfectly right every single time, even if you have the perfect settings and even if something look good in camera and was shot with the help of a white balance card, chances are there will be some room for a correction. This becomes even more important when you try to match two or more different camera models within one video, because different cameras will interpret color differently. Even the exact same white balance in the same lighting will lead to different color temperatures in the final image when it comes from different cameras. Being able to fix the final image uniformly will help you balance out different images from different cameras. Let's go through a couple of ways to fix white balance in a few different scenarios with increasing difficulty. All right guys, so we have three examples right here and in the first one, I will teach you how to do basically the easiest and most probably accurate thing to do if you want to fix up white balance, and that works if you have a ColorChecker just like this somewhere in the frame, and just remember guys for that it's definitely enough to have it in one frame in the beginning as long as the lighting situation is the same, obviously, you could just apply the same basic color correction to the next clip as well. Here's how it works. This works in DaVinci Resolve. It also works in Premiere Pro. Here in Resolve, it goes like this. You go to this tab here, which is the Color Match tab. Here you can already see the representation of a ColorChecker similar to this one, but not the same and that's because right here, we have to select the correct one, X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Video and then the next thing is to choose the source gamma. That's the picture profile that you were recording in. In this case, it was Blackmagic Design 4.6K film. That's it, and target gamma, we leave at Rec.709 target color space as well. Color temperature, I also would recommend leaving it just as it is. Then we go here and click "Color Chart", and that's a representation of the ColorChecker. Now we have to align the corners with the actual ColorChecker in the frame so that those little squares match up exactly with the ColorChecker, just like this. Then all we have to do is match and we have a perfectly balanced picture. The good thing is that this is not only fixing the white balance, this is fixing all the colors. This is fixing all the contrast settings and stuff like that. That's a really nice thing to do. If you want a fast fixed and you have the time to use this ColorChecker, I definitely recommend doing it. Now, but this is still a fairly automatic feature. Sometimes for some reason, and please don't ask me why. I'm not sure. But sometimes it just doesn't work out exactly the way you want because somehow the colors are still off in some way. But there's actually also a totally manual way of fixing exactly the same thing, which is with curves. Right here, we have green, cyan, blue, magenta, red, and yellow. Those are exactly the same colors that we have right here. If we look closely on our color chart right here, we can see that those points here are visible in the image. What I will do is I would start with the ColorChecker. Now we have nice spaces, and we can see that it's not that bad actually. But for example, the green channel is somehow totally off. What I'd like to do is then I go into the curves and right now I'm under hue versus hue. Now let me just take that off and take a look at the colors right here. Let's start actually with the green and see how it changes. You can see how it changes. It's actually funny how much we can change it. We can literally go to purple and stuff. But anyway, right there, down here you can see this is suppose to be where the green is, but it's right here. We have to take it down and remember to stay on the green line here. This is actually what the green should be. Now let's quickly adjust all of the colors. First with the hue, which is basically where it is on the clock, turning around. Let's adjust all the colors. This looks good. Looking good, looking good, looking good as well, and yellow. Now you can see still some of them don't line up within the square that they should be in, and that's because we have to change the saturation. We do the same thing. Mark, mark, mark, mark, and then we start with the red, a little bit higher, yellow, a little bit less, green a little bit higher and we might have to adjust the hue again, little bit higher, magenta, quite a bit higher. That's it. Go back to hue, change to green again. There we go. Those are even better colors compared to before. Just look at the difference from before and after. Fantastic change. This is how we get perfect colors. Look at the skin tones, how they look so natural, so clean. That's always the best indicator because at the end of the day, the best way we recognize as humans when something is wrong, when something is off, are the skin tone. That's by far the most important thing at all times, to have the skin tones on the right path. Let's go to the next shot. Here we want to fix the white balance without the help of a ColorChecker. We can see just by looking at it, that basically first of all, it's too warm. We might as well try a little bit and balance it out just like this. I want to change back to parade, to get a better image and we can see that it's easy just even by feel to find a good spot. Maybe something like that. The important thing is always to look at the skin tones. Right now I feel like there's a tiny little bit of green in there. That's it. You see that's the easiest way to fix white balance super-fast if you just get a feeling for what's correct. Another way of doing this would be reset it. Go here with white balance tool right here down below. This one here, and click on a white surface. That looks good too. Their skin tones look nice. The colors are neutral as they should be, and that's the second way of doing it. Now the third way is really, let's imagine we do not have the chance to click somewhere because there is nothing gray or white and the frame. Let's do it completely just by feel. We take the temperature slider here and which is moved. First of all, we can see it's too cold. We want to move it, move it, move it until it looks good. Something like this, and then we have to obviously fix other things too here like contrast and stuff. But the white balance is good. That's how we fix white balance. It's actually not that complicated. There's accurate scientific proven ways to always get it right. There are different ways of getting it right when you have limitations in the image and you can also just at the end of the day have to develop some feel for what is correct and work with that. That's it. Those scenarios should give you a good overview of the different situations that can occur during normal conditions. As you can see, the amount of work you put in onset can influence quite a bit how much work you have to put in afterwards. One really important point that can make your life a lot easier, again, is continuity. Obviously, it's best to always be perfect on point with your settings. But the next best thing to that is to be continuously and consistently just slightly off because that is definitely better than sometimes being off and sometimes being perfect because then you have this inconsistency problem and you have to check really on a clip by clip basis and sometimes even during the clips, and that really gets super tedious and takes forever. If you, for example, in the middle of a shoot, notice that you have a tiny slight color twist in it, I would literally continue recording, knowing that I could right now create a better image because you save a lot of time in post-production, because your image can probably take this little changing color correction and you save yourself potentially hours of color correction if you just leave it that way. As I said in the last video, my personal goal with white balance onset is to get as close as possible to perfect white balance within the limited time that I have for this specific shoot. Consequently then in the next step, let's find out how close we should be to still be able to maintain not only accurate, but also good-looking colors, good-looking results, and an image that doesn't suffer too much in image quality. 8. How wrong can we be and still fix it in post?: How wrong can I be and still fix it in post? Let's take a look at how wrong we can be onset and still be able to fix it in post-production. For that, I just created a really simple setup for us to test. This is going to be our reference frame. The light is a 5,600 Kelvin LED panel, and I custom set the white balance with my white balance card on my color checker passport. This is the baseline; this is how the image should look if you're interested in truly accurate colors. Now, let's look at the same image shot in different white balances and see if we can correct it and compare it to the perfect reference frame that we had in the beginning. Like I said, here on the right side, we have our reference frame. Like it says, you're at 5,600 Kelvin. Let's start at the beginning with 6,000 Kelvin. This is like 400 degrees Kelvin off. We already know that this is probably going to be fairly easy to grade. That's not a big range, so we'll just try it out. Take the white balance tool, click onto the white, and this looks actually fairly good. It's a little bit more blue than the image that we have here, so let's try again maybe on the gray. But at the end of the day, the point of this is to see that it's definitely way within the range to correct it. This might even be a little bit more and actually, something like this would be fine. That's 400 degrees off, no problem. Now, this would be 6,500 Kelvin, which is 900 above what it should be. Let's take a stab again. White balance tool, click on the white, and still, it looks fairly okay. Not a problem. We can see the change was obviously bigger but it still matches and it's fine. Now we have 7,000 Kelvin. This is quite a bit off already. Usually, if you pay attention to what you're doing, that stuff shouldn't happen; it rarely happens. It only happens if you have to be really, really fast from shot to shot on an event shoot or something and you mess it up because it's too quick. Then, this might happen but even now, let's check it out. Let's go ahead and take a step. Take the white balance tool again, click on the white and vuala, again, pretty much okay. I don't see big problems still. The range becomes bigger and bigger of how much it corrects. But that's definitely still well within the range of correction; 7,000, that's fine. Let's go down the different direction. Let's go cooler. This is 4,500 Kelvin. That's already 900 off in the different direction. I'm pretty sure that's going to work fine. Let's just check it out again on the white. We can see it could be a little warmer, something like that. This looks fine. No problem. The image doesn't break apart. This is still fine. Now, this is 3,200 Kelvin, and I don't know about you but to me, this looks way more off than the 7,000, partly because it is way more off because it's 2,400 Kelvin off. Let's take a look if that works. That's a pretty big difference. Click on the white. Now, we can see that the image starts falling apart a bit. It's probably possible to make it look okay because at the end of the day, nobody is going to compare the blue of the shirt to the correct blue because there won't be a shirt with the correct blue, probably. Even if you could probably fix that with U versus U corrections like those ones here, that just goes to show that at this point, it starts falling apart and get out already. Now, let's give it the rest. This is 2,700 Kelvin. We just take the color, the white balance tool, again, apply it. This is just a mess. Let's try again on the white, maybe that goes better. No. Just look at the skin tones, how they look nuclear and they're about to blow up. I wouldn't use that on a commercial shoot anymore, and even for myself, this looks just awful, this green. If you spend like super much time in posts and you have a stronger codec than this eight-bit footage from Sony, you might be able to pull it off but at the end of the day, a shot like this should not happen. This is 2,700 Kelvin, this is wildly off of what the actual white balance is. Any camera monitor will show you that this is not accurate even if you don't have a accurate representation in the same screen. No problem, just look at the difference. Everybody knows what skin tones look like, and they don't look like nuclear like this. Just make sure guys that proves what I thought from the beginning, which is close enough is good enough. Obviously, you should always have it perfect as much as you can, but you can be rest assured that even if it's 1,000 Kelvin off, that will be fine to correct the image if you have a strong enough codec for sure. That's it for this one. 9. A few important notes: All right, guys. Thank you so much for watching. I hope I delivered on my promise that you now, actually understand white balance. I also hope you now feel confident to capture images with accurate white balance. Even if something might have gone wrong, that you feel confident to change those things after the fact to correct your image, so that you can deliver a good looking video to your client, to yourself, to whoever is watching. Again, thanks so much for watching. I really appreciate it. If you like the way I'm teaching, you can check out some of my other classes. Also check out my YouTube channel. I post additional content there several times a week. I also have a little newsletter, so in case you want to keep in touch, make sure to subscribe. That's it. Thanks again for watching. I would love to see you again sometime. Take care. By the way, and I really would appreciate if you take a minute and give me an honest review for this class so more people in Skillshare can see it. That's it. Bye, bye.