Color correction in real estate videos – necessary?

Find out if you should devote your time in mastering and applying color corrections to your real estate videos.

What is color correction?

Color correction is the process of correcting the colors of the original footage from your video camera. Usually, that implies correcting three video settings: color, saturation and exposure.

  • Tint: A color shade added to an image, usually to create an effect. For example, adding an orange tint to an image creates warmer ambiance.
  • Saturation: The intensity of color in the video. It ranges from low (black and white) to high (colors are oversaturated and aren’t natural)
  • Exposure: The brightness of your video. The lower the exposure, the darker the image is and vice versa.

Oftentimes, the images that comes out of your video camera are not perfect.

The goal of color correction is in the name itself: it’s a process to correct the colors of your images so they are more natural, just like you own eyes would see them.

Should I use color correction in a real estate video?

If you have the time, yes. If you’re shooting with a drone, the video footage is usually oversaturated (see example below). Simply playing with the contrast helps a lot and it only requires a couple of seconds per clip.

A visual representation of the original drone footage vs color correction
Taking the time to correct the colors will not only make your video look more professional, it will set it apart.

What advantages does color correction add to real estate videos?

  • Makes your footage look more professional (less home video feel)
  • Creates a comfortable ambiance by adjusting to warmer colors (orange, red)
  • Creates a cinematic look
  • A better contrast between lights and shadow creates a depth of field
  • Minimize surprises from potential buyers visiting the property: “the house seemed greener in the video…”
  • Can help you stand out in the sea of real estate videos

In short, all of these will help your video to stand out. Oftentimes, viewers can’t really pinpoint that color correction is responsible for creating a professional look. But when viewers watch another real estate video that doesn’t have color correction, they’ll immediately see a difference.

How much should I charge for color correction?

Usually I include color correction as part of my “post-production fee”. Customers love knowing you’ll make sure to correct the colors so they are more authentic, free of charge.

It does require a bit of time (especially at first) but after you’ve done a couple of projects, you can complete the entire color correction process in a couple of minutes.

What software should I use?

You video editing software should already have some type of color correction available. I personally use Final Cut Pro and I’m very satisfied with its offering.

Tint, exposure and saturation in Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro’s color correction board

If you’re on a Mac, iMovie does have rudimentary color correction, perfect to play with the contrast and colors.

Color correction options in iMovie for Mac
iMovie (free) offers enough options to properly calibrate your original footage.

Available for both Mac and PCs, Da Vinci Resolve does have a pretty impressive color correction tools, especially for a free software.

Color correction inside the free video editing software Da Vinci Resolve
Blackmagicdesign’s Da Vinci Resolve (free) is by far the most complete color correction software for video available for free.

Premiere Pro, (available as part of a paid monthly plan), will give you even more freedom with professional tools just like in Final Cut Pro.

 

Just keep in mind it doesn’t matter which software you use as long as you’re able to adequately modify your original footage into a more authentic and professional look.

Take the few minutes needed for color correction and add emotion to your video. Your clients will remember.

RP Plourde

Husband and father of two, likes movies, videogames and flying drones. Cofounder of Superficie Media, a drone video company. Favorite movie: The Matrix (the first one, of course)