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color wheels


Saturation is the intensity of a color. Colors can be light or dark, and they can be saturated or unsaturated. Saturation is how pure the color is. The higher the saturation, the more intense the color will be.


Luminance is the brightness of a color, typically measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Luminance is used by colorists to determine how bright a particular color should be. For example, if you want a text to be brightly colored, you would increase the luminance of that color.


Hue is one of the three properties of color that are defined by wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Hue is what we perceive as the “color” of an object, and can be described by words like red, green, blue, yellow, etc.


Gamma is the measure of the brightness of a color. It is used to calculate how much light should be added to a color in order to achieve the desired brightness. Gamma is important for colorists because it allows them to create accurate reproductions of colors.

Color Space

Color space is the layout of colors that are available to be used in an image. There are a variety of color spaces that can be used, depending on the desired results. For example, sRGB is a common color space that is used for displaying images on the web.

White Level

White Level for a colorist usually refers to the level of brightness of white in an image. This is often determined by how much light is reflected off of a surface. The higher the level, the brighter the white will be.

White Balance

White balance is the process of adjusting a digital image so that the colors look natural. This is done by adjusting the color temperature of the image so that it matches the light source that was used to take the picture.


Contrast allows for the manipulation of tonal values in an image. This can be used to create more contrast between different parts of the image, or to adjust the overall brightness and darkness of the video.


Color “temp” is a measure of the color of light. It is expressed in degrees Kelvin, and is determined by the temperature of the light source. Higher temperatures produce light with a blue hue, while lower temperatures produce light with a warmer hue. Color temp. is important in photography and video because it can be used to adjust the color balance of an image.

Color Boost

Lets you naturalistically raise the saturation of regions of low saturation, sometimes referred to as a vibrance operation. Can be used also to lower the saturation of regions of low saturation.


About the Author

Justin Robinson is a Certified DaVinci Resolve, Fusion & Fairlight instructor who is known for simplifying concepts and techniques for anyone looking to learn any aspect of the video post-production workflow. Justin is the founder of JayAreTV, a training and premade asset website offering affordable and accessible video post-production education. You can follow Justin on Twitter at @JayAreTV YouTube at JayAreTV or Facebook at MrJayAreTV

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