Three Color Correction Basics To Add To Every 3D Render

June 21, 2016

Color correction can often be the difference between making a GOOD render and a GREAT render. Add these three basic color correction tools to your workflow and get much better results on almost every project you do.

In this video, I will show you how to add basic color correction to many different 3D renders to help give your work a more polished look.

Post your before and after in the comments below. I would love to see this stuff in action.


Tutorial Focus:  , ,

  • how make the distortion effects in this video minute 3:10

  • Great! Thank you!

  • thanks for sharing – some great tips there.

    Being new to AE though i got lots at the beginning on importing the animation into AE. What’s the best way to do this? can i open as a C4D in AE – although i saw your file was a tiff?

    • Thanks for watching.

      To import these videos, I first rendered a TIFF sequence out of C4D and I imported those videos into AE as an image sequence.

      Hope that helps.

  • hey there – ignore my last comment. having a blonde moment… just figured it out.

    thanks again!

  • I love these types of tutorials…I feel like they are the building blocks to help people shine just alit more then before. Great work. Thanks for sharing would love to see more like these. Love learning how to make my work make people feel a certain way great work again..later Nick!

  • Great tutorial Nick! I love compositing and I totally agree about the fact that really makes the difference on the final art. Regarding that, you mentioned books about compositing at the end. Do you have any good suggestions about that? I would love to here it and definitely I would like to see more tutorial about this argument, keep going! πŸ™‚

    • Good question, Alecs.

      As I looked at my book collection, I realized I learned a lot of this stuff from Photography. I would recommend getting a photography book all about color correction, framing, and composition and learn how to lead someones eye through a photograph. Those lessons can easily translate into C4D renders.

      • Thanks for this tutorial, Nick! I’m also looking to improve my shot composition skills, but the world of books about photography seems endless! Any suggestions from your own collection or authors you like?

  • Amazing tutorial! This is really going to help me get my work stand out. Thx!

  • Great tutorial. I have always struggled to get that final polish on my work. Thanks for giving a little insight on how you ad that last 5% that really makes your work great.

  • great tutorial, thanks for sharing your knowledge is great and gives the final touch to the renderings, a greeting from Guatemala am always aware of this great product congratulations.

  • Great video…and usefull…
    Thanks a lot

  • good tut but what did you mean by saying “levels are more destructive” than curves? never heard that before. i like curves too but curves are really just a different interface approach to doing the same thing as levels, neither is destructive. you can also control the levels of individual RGB channels independently with levels. seems like the real advantage of curves over levels is the ability to have more than 3 points on the curve which is what levels functionally gives you.

  • Wicked tutorial, loved the screen glow tip too! Adds so much to the renders, especially to the jeep and x-particles grass.

    Tip for vignettes: Double click the ellipse tool to get a quick mask around the comp!

  • Hi Nick!
    In latest version of AE they added a useful CC Vignette effect, it’s quick and gets the job done.
    I agree you have more control with gradient ramp (I use rampYY+ which is a free script with more controls) but you can skip some steps with ccvignette.

  • I lost it at “Pleasant to…uh…eyeballs.”

    This tutorial is super informative! Thanks, Nick.

  • A good overview and reality check as to how much some subtle tweaks can improve our 3D scenes, thanks so much – dw

  • Thank you for the tut.
    I have a question regarding a diff issue that I’ve been struggling and trying to find an answer to,

    I have a cube inside a cloner set as a grid 3x3x3 and animation happening.
    I want the front of the grid be with a certain texture with a black BG and the rest of the sides with black. once the grid is open, the inside is in different color.

    How do I do that?

    I would appreciate a reply!

  • Hi Nick,

    Here you can see the difference in my video footage. πŸ˜€ :Without color correction :With color correction

    Nick, Thank you for this great tutorial!
    It is really fun to play with these adjustments layers.

    Warm regards,

  • peter schermers July 6, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks again for your tutorials! In this one you mentioned the blooming flower, and how you probably created it in an earlier tutorial or AskGSG. Could you post a link to this tutorial, as I am really curious how to create such a beautiful object!

    Thanks in advance!


  • Tristan Summers July 10, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Industry standard intro to compositing is Ron Brinkmann Art and Science of Digital Compositing. But dry and text book like and more aimed at grown up node based commodities like nuke and fusion. I would try to do as much as you can in the lumetri effect, as if you use individual effects you throw away colour data at each step. You only get the result of one effect to use in the following effect. After effects doesn’t combine all the maths together like you can in nuke. So if you stay in one effect, color finesse or lumetri you get better results. Not that most people notice either way! Alex van Hurkmanns color grading books are excellent as well, more Resolve/ grading biased. It REALLY helps to understand the maths. Three grey channels for red green and blue made of digital on and offs!

  • Hey Nick. Have you ever noticed that there is a Swap Colours button on the Gradient Ramp? Nice little time saver.

  • Hey Nick.. really nice tutorial.. the curves & Vignete I was doing already but the screen glow is a revelation for sure!

    thought I’d add that one thing I have really found useful is once I have adjustment layers for 3-4 different finishing effects, it’s useful to mix them together using the opacity of the adjustment layers, you can just mix between no effect & full effect on each layer & its nice & easy to access the opacity sliders of each layer without having to keep messing with the effects themselves. Its amazing how much better these things look once they are backed off a bit & work in harmony together. Made a difference for my workflow once I realized this.

    cheers & thanks for the ongoing sharing of knowledge. Inspiring daily.

  • A pretty neat tip if you can’t remember the keyboard shortcut for an adjustment layer, just create a solid using cmd/ctrl+y and just hit the adjustment layer button.

  • Must watch tutorial for beginners. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Nick, What color mode should I use? Srgb, adobergb or imac?..

    • I use an sRGB profile that shipped with my monitor, but that doesn’t mean you should. It depends on where your work ends up (tv, web, film).

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.