Colour grading is a critical step in the post-production process. It helps bring your visuals to life, sets the mood, and enhances storytelling. Like all processes in post-production, it is time-consuming, complex, and requires specialist skills and equipment. That’s why having this software could change the process for the better!
AI development is incredible at the moment and is progressing faster than ever before. While the idea of AI can be scary, you should remember that it can be a great tool that you can utilise to improve your own processes and give you more time to do the parts you enjoy more. AI will not be replacing colourists anytime soon as colour grading requires a human touch to convey emotion, and it’s better to have the mindset that AI is just a tool that can help you.
Keeping that in mind these AI software are very versatile in the sense you can use them for different purposes, such as shot matching and checking references, and it can even speed up the grading process.
An example of how it can speed up the grading process is how fast the base grade can be made for the whole edit. Typically you would first either apply a LUT or perform colour correction to give yourself a good base for the secondary grade, but this process is time-consuming as you’ll need to do it for every clip and make tweaks, but through this software you’ll be able to let it do the changes for you and it will give you a more consistent base.
With the shot matching capabilities in mind, it does allow the process of shot matching to happen faster. While you can already copy the grade to the next shot it still needs to be altered to match - with this software it does the alteration for you.. This function helps when you’ve created a look for a scene and want it replicated across the other shots - the AI software will do the process for you giving you more time to make detailed changes to each shot.
A great way that this software can help is when you have a multi-cam edit and you need all the shots to match - while you could do it manually, using the AI software makes it much faster and helps keep it consistent across the board.
This software would also be very helpful when you have a project that has mixed footage from different cameras and you want them to have the same look and feel. This is always a bit tricky as there is sometimes an issue with different white balances and different looks, using this software would help the footage match and not look too different from one another.
Now onto the part of the software that creates a grade from a reference! Just like how you would take the grade you created and apply it to the rest of the footage, this software can take a reference image and replicate the grade from that on to the footage you have. While this may feel a little like cheating (no judgement here!), it is actually a great way to create a mock-up from the references that a director/client may provide to get inspiration on what parts of that look you would want, and is also a great way to experiment with other looks that can help inspire other ideas for the grade.
So to round this off! AI may seem a little scary at the moment but remember the positives of this software. AI colour grading is a massive development that you don’t want to miss out on, it’s a great tool that shouldn't be ignored.
With that said, here is some software that you can try for yourself!