So, you’ve been working on an edit, finished your colour grade and you’re ready to unleash your video upon the world. You upload it to YouTube, filled with excitement and certain that Steven Spielberg will recognise your exceptional eye for the perfect shot of your cat using a toilet just like a person. You wait impatiently as your film uploads to YouTube and then…tragedy. YouTube has decided to re-colour all of your footage, making Tiddles’ vibrant and glossy coat look dull, washed-out and lifeless. The delicate colour work that you spent hours perfecting in DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut has been about as worthwhile as waterproofing your swimming trunks, and Steve’s never going to be impressed by this crap! As a freelance video producer, this is a problem that I run into all the time while editing. Well, OK, parts of it.
The problem isn’t entirely with YouTube. The problem is that different pieces of software can interpret your video footage in different ways. Say, for example, that you edit your video in Adobe Premiere. You colour grade and export a file. You then watch this video using Quicktime Player and the colours look different to how they appeared in Premiere. You then open it in VLC Player and it might look about the same as Premiere but different to Quicktime. Then you upload it to YouTube. You check out your YouTube video using Google Chrome and the colours look different to Premiere again. You then watch the same YouTube video using Mozilla Firefox and the colours are different again, but not the same as Adobe Premiere or even the same as when you watched the same YouTube video using Google Chrome or Safari!
How do we save our grade so that viewers who watch our YouTube videos using different browsers all see something that’s close to what we intended for them to see?
In this video, I’ll explain what we can do to regain some consistency in our video colours. I’ve created a special look-up table (LUT) that’s completely free and compensates for the change in colour that can happen on the journey between your editing software and your YouTube audience. I’ll take you step-by step through a method of applying this LUT that allows for quick and easy adjustment, letting you perfect the colour treatment of your footage depending on where you plan to show it.
Before you get started you’re going to need to download the LUT itself. Hit the big, blue button at the top of this post and the download should start.
Happy grading, and send my regards to Mr. Spielberg.