An analytical investigation of professional post-production workflows and digital video file formatting

In this academic research paper, I undertake an analytic investigation of ‘colour correction and grading’. This specialised video post-production process is used to enhance the visual fidelity of digital video or analogue film and implement creative colour or exposure manipulation into the composition of a shot after it has been recorded.

Over the last decade, the process has had a rapid change in availability outside of the well-funded post-production studio setting. With remarkable advancements in computer technology, powerful and precise colour grading is now available on systems affordable by amateur filmmakers or video producers. This unprecedented shift in technology availability for colour correction and grading means that this process is now open to a new group of users without the required knowledge of colour perception, digital video fundamentals and film production processes to utilise it to its true potential.

This lack of professional knowledge is particularly damaging with the growing availability and popularity of RAW video formatting, a video format that brings new levels of opportunity to colour manipulation and image fidelity but is a file format that requires precise post-production work to be presentable  This paper, therefore, will be a deep investigation into research topics such as colour grading, human visual perception, video signal manipulation, digital video encoding, screen technology advancements, inter post-production work relationships and will explain how one can adapt this highly technical process into the time, space and budget constraints of amateur video production.

This research paper is guided by interviews with professional colourists and observations from a practical experiment comparing workflows, workload and image fidelity between the standard 4K video codec H.264 and 4K RAW video. The result is an analytical breakdown of the current colour grading industry, logarithmically encoded video files and amateur setting post-production capabilities, ending with innovative solutions to solve the challenges faced by amateur video producers in keeping up with the rapidly advancing standard of video post-production.  


I am a designer, artist, video editor and post-production technician who has both personal and professional experience in video and audio editing, graphic design, illustration, and visual design. My whole style revolves around contrast, dynamics and rhythm, both visually and audibly.  


Date Published:
Monday, 6 September 2021