9 Best Color Grading Software

By Eva Williams 16 days ago, Software reviews

Color grading software are designed for people interested in video editing, who are trying to give their footage a professional look in order to display them on different devices.

Different parameters of a video, namely, saturation, white point, contrast, black level, detail, color can be changed and improved with the help of such programs.

Top 9 Color Grading Software

  1. Adobe Premiere Pro - Industry standard + FREE LUTs
  2. DaVinci Resolve - Ton of color grading tutorials online
  3. Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite - Standalone color grading plug-ins
  4. Final Cut Pro X - Great color wheels
  5. Color Finale - Offers professional-grade tools
  6. Lightworks - For editing Hollywood movies
  7. HitFilm Express - Beginner-friendly
  8. Filmora - Rich format support
  9. Shotcut - With preview window

In addition to the key task, these programs are also helpful if you need to perform basic video editing such as trimming, regulating the playback speed, applying green screen filters, etc.

If you are worried they you lack experience to use these color grading programs, calm down because they are absolutely intuitive to use.

In case you are pressed for time and need professional assistance with your video editing routine, opt for FixThePhoto video editing services. We accept different types of videos and can give them a required look in a quick way.

1. Adobe Premiere Pro – Our Choice

Industry standard + FREE LUTs
  • Cloud services support
  • You can use LUTs
  • Highest video quality
  • Broad format support
  • Required high-end Intel or AMD processor

Verdict: Adobe Premiere Pro boasts state-of-the-art color grading tools allowing you to perform the most complicated manipulations with little effort on your part. All the changes are made on the video editing timeline.

This professional color grading software supports many different formats such as MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, etc.

If you are interested in altering the coloring of your footage, you primarily need to go to the Lumetri Color space containing all the purpose-made tools. Here you can improve colors, contrast and lighting in a more convenient way. If you perform video editing and color grading simultaneously, there are 2 separates tabs, and switching between them is a breeze.

  • adobe premiere pro color grading software interface

    2. DaVinci Resolve

    Numerous color grading tutorials online
    • Convenient work on a multiple-monitor setup
    • Lots of online tutorials
    • LUTs support
    • Allows outputting videos on Instagram, Vimeo
    • Requires registration

    Verdict: DaVinci Resolve is one of the best video editing software no watermark with the initial focus on top-notch color grading.

    There are numerous tools specifically for this task – RBG Mixer, Color Match, Curves, Color Wheels, Windows, etc. The most frequently-used tool is the Color Match. It analyzes the color charts in order to match the environment where the footage was recorded. The process takes several seconds, but the outcome is always accurate.

    Another handy feature of this video color grading software is called face-tracking (“face-refinement”). It allows locking on people’s faces in order to edit eyes, smooth out some areas, make some elements darker or brighter.

    • davinci resolve color grading software interface

      3. Final Cut Pro X

      Great color wheels
      • Many edits are done automatically
      • Amazing color wheels
      • Agile operation
      • Lightweight output files
      • For Mac users only

      Verdict: Final Cut Pro X is the best color grading software for those favoring macOS. In general, it is included on the list of the best video editing software for Mac, so you can bring your footage to perfection using this program.

      Final Cut Pro X comes with 4 wheels for controlling tint, brightness and saturation. You can also make changes only to midtones, glares, and shadows. Looking through the toolset, you will find instruments for changing the general temperature, hue, and tint.

      Each wheel has 2 sliders. That located in the left is responsible for saturation, the one on the right – affects brightness. The central wheel helps select the necessary tone.

      • final cut pro x color grading software interface

        4. Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite

        Standalone color grading plug-ins
        • Allows using Looks
        • Can function as a plugin
        • Seamless integration with Adobe Suite
        • Helpful RGB curves
        • Expensive
        red giant magic bullet suite color grading software logo
        Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite

        Verdict: This isn’t full-featured color correction software, but a pack of plug-ins for such programs as After Effects and Premiere Pro. Once you add the Colorista IV effects to the NLE timeline, you will see a 3-wheel color corrector, LUTs, RGB curves, skin overlays, and a hue control. This makes the color grading process less stressful. Besides, you can get access to Adobe’s tracking and masking features.

        Since the pack allows working with Looks, you can immediately give your video the desired atmosphere. Examine the set of cinematic, sports, and fashion variants.

        • red giant magic bullet suite color grading software interface

          5. Color Finale

          Offers professional-grade tools
          • Smooth works as a plug-in for Final Cut Pro X
          • Top-tier color grading tools
          • Three-way color wheels
          • All edits are done on the timeline
          • Mac-compatible only
          color finale color grading software logo
          Color Finale

          Verdict: If you have opted for the program described above and just want to slightly extend its functionality, you can try Color Finale, which is designed as a color grading plug-in.

          It can be easily imported to Final Cut Pro and complement the program with 3-way color wheels, RGB curves, and more. Color Finale is a product by Color Grading Central, which means you get access to a huge community crammed with cool instruments for color grading.

          After you have added this plug-in to FCPX color grading software Mac, there will appear Color Wheels, Auto WB settings, Color Sliders, and the Secondaries Vector tool. You can add all these elements as layers in the graphics editor.

          The finished project can be saved in a convenient resolution or converted to the best video format, compatible with a mobile device.

          • color finale color grading software interface

            6. Lightworks

            For editing Hollywood movies
            • Convenient backup
            • Numerous color effects
            • 3D-video editing
            • Multichannel
            • Requires registration
            • Resource-demanding

            Verdict: Lightworks is another free color grading and video editing software for Windows. Any video post-production is performed in real time in the background mode.

            This color grading software for Windows offers intuitive tools to change shadows, highlights, mid-tones, gamma, contrast, saturation, etc. Besides, you get access to a huge base of color effects that allow modifying the color profile of a clip and bring sepia, night time and many other color tones.

            The software is equally popular among newbies impressed with its simple and straightforward UI, and professional users fond of advanced features and tools, which were used while editing many world-known movies. You can use this program if you create videos for Facebook, YouTube or big 4K projects.

            • lightworks color grading software interface

              7. HitFilm

              • Simultaneous editing and exporting
              • Mesmerizing LUTs & visual effects
              • Beginner-friendly
              • Well-developed timeline functionality
              • Special effects may be removed during playback
              • Slow exporting

              Verdict: HitFilm Express is a popular free video editing software that can also be used for color correction needs. It has all the necessary instruments for editing movies, short videos, vlogs, etc.

              The instruments in this free color grading software are divided into 2 groups – color grading and color correction. They can be used in conjunction to achieve the most spectacular results. They allow improving color balance, hue, color temperature, and more. In addition to these categories, you should have a closer look at a separate collection of effects such as warp, blur, distort, sharpen, and more.

              In addition to a very decent set of tools, this program also surpassed analogs for color grading with its rich format support, making it possible to work with such formats as AVI, WMV, MP4, MOV, etc. However, while exporting the result, you can choose either MP4 or AVI.

              • hitfilm express color grading software interface

                8. Filmora

                Supports many formats
                • Rich format support
                • Convenient UI
                • Works with 4K
                • Great built-in color grading tool
                • Watermarks in a free version
                • Free edition with limitations

                Verdict: Filmora is an easy-to-use video editor that has both beginner and professional modes. You can select the desired mode right on the start screen, where you also need to decide on the aspect ratio of the future video.

                The integrated color grading instrument helps improve contrast, saturation, hue and other video parameters. You can also take advantage of such features as Color Cycle, Hue Colorize, Invert, Three Color Strip, Day for Night, which are all aimed at improving the colors in your clip so that they look eye-pleasing and balanced.

                • filmora color grading software interface

                  9. Shotcut

                  With preview window
                  • Non-linear video editing
                  • Supports a lot of formats
                  • Many handy functions
                  • Comes with a powerful graphics processor
                  • For beginners

                  Verdict: If you have previously searched for ShotCut Review, you know that this is free open source video editing software and color grading program for Windows. It is a reputable product, valued for its efficient features and tools for color correction.

                  The color grading feature here is realized in the form of filters, which you can find in the dedicated menu. Using the available features, you can adjust such color parameters as Shadows (lift), Midtones (gamma), and Highlights (gain). Each parameter is tied to a separate color wheel and color slider tools for fine-tuning. In addition to the color grading instruments, you gain access to many artistic filters.

                  • shotcut color grading software interface

                    Freebies for Color Grading Software

                    color grading software freebies

                    Download this bundle of Color Grading LUTs in a .CUBE format and upload them to the color correction software you’ve chosen from this overview. They are well-designed by professionals and will simplify your color grading workflow.

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