There are numerous ways to make your footage look more cinematic in post, but the following technique showcased below by the seasoned colorist Alex Jordan is a real no-brainer. In essence, it shows you how by controlling the saturation of the blue colors in your footage, you can achieve a better-looking image in a matter of seconds regardless of the camera that you’re shooting with. The easiest way to get the best results is by utilizing DaVinci Resolve 12.5, but if you work with any other platform, you can still get the desired effect by following this simple, yet extremely efficient workflow.
The main concept of this technique is very simple indeed. You just need to reduce the blue colors in your highlights and pump them up in the shadow areas of the image by utilizing the slider-based Primaries Bars in Resolve 12.5. These settings let you adjust independently the red, green and blue lift, gamma and gain controls which make them the perfect fit for this particular situation. This is by far one of the simplest ways to modify the color tone of the shadows without affecting the brightest highlights of an image.
Keep in mind, though, that adding more blue color to your extreme shadows is something that typically you want to avoid when color grading. So, the easiest way to eliminate this shortcoming in DaVinci Resolve is by using Curves. After tweaking the blue channel and balancing the highlights and shadows, add a new Node, then head over to Luma vs Saturation tab and bring the saturation of the shadows down, just as shown in the example below. That way you’ll be able to limit the effect in this particular area and achieve the desired look quickly and effortlessly.
If you want to save even more time, you can download the provided free LUT by Alex Jordan that will help you to get the same result even faster by applying this look-up table in any other NLE. Of course, every footage should be approached differently, but by following this simple technique, you can make every video look more cinematic with ease.
Last but not least, make sure you also check out the available editing and color grading courses produced by Alex Jordan in the 4K Shooters Store, where you will also find some fantastic free resources to start with. We highly recommend DaVinci Resolve 12.5 – Simplified Course, which is by far the easiest and fastest way to learn color grading online.