Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema

Peachpit Press
Alexis Van Hurkman  
Peachpit Press
Total pages
November 2013


The colourist working in film and video is the individual responsible for breathing life into characters, bringing a mood into a scene, and making the final product polished and professional-looking. This craft is an art form that often takes years to perfect and many trial-and-error attempts at getting it right. Here to help both the beginning and advanced level student who needs to brush up on their skills is the first book to cover a wide variety of techniques that can be used by colourists, no matter what system they’re using. Whether you’re using a video editing package with a colour correction tool built in (Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro) of a dedicated application (DaVinci Resolve, SpeedGrade, or Assimilate Scratch), thisbook covers it all.  From the most basic methods for evaluating and correcting an overall image, to the most advanced targeted corrections and creative stylizations typically employed, you’ll find this highly organised book a solid reference that’s easy to navigate. 


This completely revised edition will include three new chapters: posproduction workflow around grading, stereoscopic grading, and on-set grading. Additional sections will include LOG media grading, LUTs, scene balancing with greenscreen, Log controls for contrast, and much more.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1 Color correction workflows
  • 2 Setting up a color correction
  • 3 Primary contrast adjustments
  • 4 Primary color adjustments
  • 5 HSL Qualification and hue curves
  • 6 Shapes
  • 7 Animating grades
  • 8 Memory colours: Skin tin, skiws and foliage
  • 9 Shot matching and scene balancing
  • 10 Quality control and broadcast safe
  • Preview: Color correction lookbook
  • Index


Alexis Van Hurkman is a writer, director, and colorist based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has written widely on the topic of color correction, including Adobe SpeedGrade Classroom in a Book, Autodesk Smoke Essentials, Apple Pro Training Series titles The Encyclopedia of Color Correction, Advanced Color Correction and Effects in Final Cut Pro, and Final Cut Pro X Advanced Editing, as well as the first edition of this book. Alexis has also written software documentation, including the DaVinci Resolve Manual and the Apple Color User Manual. As a working colorist, Alexis grades a wide variety of commercial and independent projects for broadcast, narrative and documentary features and shorts, spots, and experimental subjects. You can learn more about Alexis at or follow him on Twitter at @hurkman