How to Color Grade in After Effects

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This has been a question I’ve asked my self for years. I’ve asked some of my professional color grading friends how to color grade in After Effects and most of them say its too long to explain and you learn by practicing. Both answers are true but still I was left with the

Today I went on a search to find some tutorials. Most of them are basic, adjusting curves and levels but what I really want is to have my colors separated like you would see in Photoshop or Lightroom. I found three that will put you in the right direction.

(Pastor Richard & Pastor Michelle, Youth Pastors at The Rock, aren’t they lovely?)

Original Source’s Tutorial
I came across a color correction tutorial on It’s using a plug-in that comes with your After Effects called Color Fitness. I really liked this method but I went crazy trying to figure out how I can get the serial number.

Color Finesse Controls
Final Grade’s Tutorial
This is a great free way to do color grading in After Effects. Nick sets up his color correction effects to adjusted manually but it is time-consuming so when your finished setting up your effects, save it by selecting all of layers in your effect controls and save it as a preset.

Video Copilot Tutorial
Oh, how we editors love Andrew Kramer. This method is fast and easy but you can’t really play with the colors as much as the other methods.

It all depends what style you want for your footage. There is also Magic Bullet that is a plug-in that cost a million dollars..

Let me know if you’ve come across some good tutorials or have some tips. As an editor and a person, I will be in the learning process for the rest of my life.

I ended up going with Nick’s method because he is my editing and life hero!

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    1. Really! Wow I’m totally going to get it. Thanks. I recently started to put some effort in to color correcting my videos and people who aren’t in to video are noticing the differences.

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