How To Color Grade With Lumetri

By Kevin Graham

Arguably the most user-friendly color correction suite on the market is Premiere Pro’s Lumetri.

It’s simple enough to be used by beginners, but has enough advanced and powerful features to be a legitimate tool used by experienced editors.

So today, we’ll provide a quick overview of its main features, and how they can be used.

Basic Correction

All of your essential color controls are here. You can import a LUT, adjust white balance and color temperature, control contrast and brightness, and increase or decrease saturation.

There are lots of scenarios where you wouldn’t even need to leave this panel.

Creative

In this tab, you can apply presets at various intensities. You can also add sharpening, vibrance, saturation, and a “faded film” look. You’re also able to independently change the tint of shadows and highlights. 

I don’t personally use this section much, but you can definitely achieve fast results here. 

Curves

This is my preferred contrast adjustment tool in Lumetri. You can adjust the brightness values of the entire image, or just certain color channels, if you want to do color work here.

And perhaps most importantly, there are some advanced tools here such as the hue vs. saturation curve adjustment, which allows you to make saturation adjustments to a specific color in your image.

Color Wheels

This might be the most familiar part of Lumetri for those coming from different color programs. With these wheels, you can adjust hue, brightness, and saturation for shadows, midtones, and highlights independently.

There is also a new color match feature, which allows you to reference other images or scenes to ensure consistency.

I typically use color wheels more in the color grading process than in correction, but they can be useful in any setting.

HSL Secondary

This tool is my go-to for adjusting skin tones. You can select a color in your image using a dropper, adjust the sensitivity, and then make detailed adjustments to only that color. You can also use the blur slider to smooth out any hard edges in your selection.

When my subject’s skin tones are looking a bit too red, or not saturated enough, this is the perfect tool to warm up those colors and make everything look natural.

Vignette

I don’t use this tab much either, but it’s great if you just need a quick, basic vignette around the center of your image.

You can change the opacity, falloff, and roundness with sliders as well.

When it became available in 2015, Lumetri was arguably the biggest new feature from Premiere Pro in several years. It has since held up, seen numerous upgrades, and remains a vital part of editing workflows all around the globe.

Kevin is the Music Director and Lead Composer at Filmpac.

FILMPAC Filmpac is a premium stock footage + music membership library.