Colour-grading can sometimes look like a daunting task but it really doesn't need to be at all. You can get a great looking shot in a matter of minutes even if you've never really graded anything before.
Check out the bottom of the post for Freebies.
The film look can be described in a number of ways and there isn't really a right or wrong way to define it. The film look may mean a moody high contrasty look or warm and dreamy with vivid colours. In our day and age however, the "Film Look" has become synonymous with the classic cross processed cool shadows and warm highlights blockbuster like aesthetic that has become so popular with hollywood colourists.
See what I mean?
Lets get to it!
Grading with Curves
Notice I haven't made a curve at all and instead just raised the blues right along the edge of the curves panel. Just because its called curves doesn't mean you need to make any and it can sometimes get tricky when you do so pace yourself and experiment with this a bit more.
Note that the opposite of blue is Yellow and I have just added yellow in the highlights.
I know what you're thinking, looks great already why not stop right here and move on? Indeed you can but stick with me a bit longer so that we can make a few subtle tweaks to the look to get it looking even better.
Note that orange is the opposite of teal and a complimentary colour. Add as much red as you want there are no rules to getting this looks, do what suits your tastes and your footage.
Though you can I wouldn't recommend that you bump up just the highlights since you are likely to do more harm to your look than good. Get used to using curves to keep you contrast as you'd like it. Its a far better way to do so than simply using the basic contrast slider.
Here's how to do the same with Levels
Like the curves I have just added blues in the shadows and yellows in the highlights.
Oh before I forget, we have one thing left to do PUNCH IT!
Keep in mind that dragging the left little curser on the histogram to the right will darken the shadows and the opposite is true for the one on the right. The centre curser controls the mids and a drag to the left brightens it up and a drag to the right darkens it.
Under the histogram you will notice another bar, this controls the intensity of the shadows and the highlights. Experiment with this tool.
Using Colorista Free
Getting the look is quite simple and as you can see from the image above it all happens in one little interface. Like with the Levels and curves we have added blues in the shadows and oranges in the mids and highs. The great thing about the colorista tool is you can control the highs and mids independently and while the changes are relative (adding blue in the highs still adds blue to a lesser degree in the mids and so on) you can make more accurate changes to your look.
I also boosted the punch by darkening the shadows and brightening the mids from within colorista free.
If you want to see more in depth tutorials on colorista free or the full fledged colorista tool comment below or send me a message and I'll make some tutorials.
Follow this link to get colorista free.