Color Correcting Video


Today’s Question: Is it possible to adjust the color for videos in Lightroom? When I go to the Develop module it says it isn’t supported for video.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, it most certainly is possible to apply limited color corrections to video clips within Lightroom. The adjustments can be applied via the Quick Develop controls in the Library module or via a present created in the Develop module. However, you must then export the video to create a new version with the corrections applied.

More Detail: For a simple approach to correcting color (or applying other general adjustments) to videos in Lightroom, you can use the controls found in the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module. Simply select the video you want to correct, and pause the video on a frame that is representative of the overall video. Then click the “single arrow” button for the desired adjustment to apply a small change, or the “double arrow” button to apply a larger change. For example, you can click the right arrow button for Temperature under the White Balance heading to shift the color toward yellow, or click the left arrow button to shift the color toward blue.

You can also use a preset from the Develop module to apply corrections to a video. First you’ll need to capture a still from the video. To do so, first go to the frame in the video that you would like to capture. Then click the “Frame” button (the rectangular icon) on the set of controls below the video and choose “Capture Frame” from the popup.

Next, go to the Develop module, and apply adjustments to the frame you captured. Note that only a subset of the adjustments is actually available for video clips, so you’ll want to restrict yourself to those adjustments. These include the Auto options, White Balance, Exposure, Contrast, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, Vibrance, the Tone Curve, Treatment (color versus black and white), Split Toning, Process Version, and Calibration. Once you’ve applied the desired adjustments, create a preset based on those adjustments.

With a Develop preset created, you can then apply that preset to one or more videos in the Library module. Select the desired videos, and then click the Saved Preset popup in the Quick Develop section of the right panel and choose that preset.

Again, to actually make use of the video with the adjustments applied you will need to export the videos from Lightroom. Just be sure you don’t use the “Original, unedited file” option from the Video Format popup in the Video section of the Export dialog, as doing so will cause the original video to be exported without any adjustments applied.