Color Grading with Blender 2.5


Yeahh Matt Ebb just commit my patch (SVN r27733) for the “Color Balance” node in Blender 2.5 Compositing node !!! Now it should be much easier to work with.

You can get a version of blender at (any version above revision 27733)

There is still some precision issue on the color wheels, I guess some day it will be possible to move the color picker slower.

How to use it ?

First I would recommend you to un-check the “color management” setting in Blender 2.5 or it will make the blacks really hard to control.

If you are not so familiar with color grading, and push-pull techniques, I would really recommend you to watch Stu Maschwitz’s (Prolost) video tutorial using Magic Bullet Colorista. The settings won’t be exactly the same, but the approach quite the same though !

Red Giant TV Episode 22: Creating a Summer Blockbuster Film Look from Stu Maschwitz on Vimeo.

How does it works ?

I described the Lift/Gamma/Gain in a previous post, and mostly this node is based on the formulas specified there. We just slightly modified it so the 3 defaults values parameters are equal to 1.0 just like in Colorista. Which makes it much easier to control the blacks.
Actually the “Color Balance” node before this revision was the same formula but with lift default value equal to 0.0

Some presets !

While making some comparison test between Colorista in After Fx and the “color balance” node in blender, I tried to mimic some of Colorista’s presets.
You can download the “Blender Color Grading Presets” here :

There is the following presets :

Bleach preset w/ Color Balance node
Cold preset w/ Color Balance node
Cool to Warm preset w/ Color Balance node
Day to Night preset w/ Color Balance node
Punchy preset w/ Color Balance node

vignetting using Mike Pan's approach

16 thoughts on “Color Grading with Blender 2.5”

    1. the formula ? sure !

      the code as it is, probably note since it's C code made in 2.5. So you can't expect to take the patch in 2.49 and compile it. but if you find someone who can do it, then yeah should be fine.

      oh and you won't have the color wheels as well :s

  1. The presets are great, thank you! I also like the Mike's approach for the vignettes, although I'd really like to have an easy way to setup masks in the compositor.

    There are ways to create them, of course, but a more direct and convenient way to create and animate masks is something that I really miss in Blender.

  2. Be my guest my friend ! so many things you can do with those 3 little wheels šŸ™‚

  3. We could make a collection of Popular Movie presets, like Matrix (greenish), Harry Potter (blue), 300 and so on…

  4. you can leave it on, but the blacks will clamp much faster. To be honest I don't really know, maybe the formula needs to be tweak a bit in that manner. but if you try to switch your comp into linear workflow in AE, the same thing will happen with Colorista. So I believe it is supposed to behave this way. The gain & gamma will still smooth to control, just the blacks though. And since it is hard to slightly move the color wheel, you might get in the clamping zone really fast šŸ™‚

    And somehow it does make since, if you look at the graph here :… . You can see the formula pushes the black.

  5. Hi François, I was wondering what exactly was the issue if you don't un-check the “color management” setting. "It will make the blacks really hard to control"? What's happening with color management that prevents the Color Balance node to behave "correctly"?

    Keep up the good work!

  6. yeah I know ^^

    it's such a poor vignette :p, I'm just waiting for you to implement mask node šŸ˜€ ?!? huh ? huh ?

    actually I just seen Mike's approach which is so much better, I'll replace it by his one.

  7. oh please, do some more, there is so much you can do I havn't done, you can even enhanced those one.

    I'm not too much of a preset guy, I prefer to reproduce or tweak & mix presets.

    But it's good to have example and some time it could save times. But in this case it was more to give a ground starter for people not familiar with this approach rather than doing a presets lib.

    I'll think about a way to integrate it in Blender directly, maybe a operator ?

  8. Great post. Sometime ago, I did want to reproduce some color grading presets from After Effects in Blender and make them downloadable, but you beat me on it.

    Thanks to Matt too!

  9. thanks !

    Stu's the king šŸ™‚

    And big mega huge thx to Matt for creating this node !!

  10. Excellent post! Thanks for this, the Stu Maschwitz video was really educational and your examples provide a great jumping off point for trying this out in Blender.

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