How to edit video colors in VSDC: a quick tutorial

Working with colors in a video is a huge and exciting topic. Typically, you would think of color correction either for practical reasons or for a creative calling. Sometimes you need a quick fix because the footage has been recorded with issues - poor light, gloomy day, wrong camera setup. Other times you might want to get artsy and just play with the colors, achieve a certain style or an atmosphere in your video.

There are solutions for each case. It all depends on your level of experience and the time you’re willing to invest in the process. In the tutorial below, we’ll show you how to quickly edit colors of a video using Instagram-style filters, LUTs, and standard manual color adjustments in VSDC – a free video editor for Windows OS. We’ll also teach you to change the color of an object in a video or a photo.

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If you’re looking for more professional-level color correction techniques, check out our tutorials on working with RGB curves and Hue & Saturation color wheel.

How to edit video colors in one click: LUTs and Instagram-style filters

Let’s start with the easy part. If you have no particular color-related issues in the video and simply want to make it pop with a beautiful color combination, you’ll love quick filters available in VSDC.

Here is how to apply one-click Instagram-style filters to your video:

  1. Click on the video you want to correct.
  2. Open the Quick style menu at the top of the program interface.

  3. Click on any style to get real-time preview. Every applied style will be displayed in the menu in a light-gray frame confirming that the style has been selected.
  4. To deselect a chosen style, click on it once again. To remove all the applied styles, click on the corresponding button at the top left corner of the Quick style menu.

As you can see, there are 37 filters for you to play with including a selection of old movie styles and blurs. You can apply multiple styles to the same video and even create templates to apply the same combination to other files.

Next comes the set of LUTs. LUTs are one of those magic tools that make your poorly colored video look like a major motion picture. Technically, a LUT (look-up table) is a set of pre-selected color parameters the software will apply to your video or an image to make it look a particular way.

LUTs are widely used by videography professionals. There are 10 of them already configured and available in VSDC, plus you can find LUT packs online to download them to your computer and apply through the editor.

Here is how to find the corresponding menu:

  1. Click on the necessary video with the right mouse button.
  2. Select Video Effects --> Adjustments --> LUT.
  3. In the next tab on the timeline, you’ll find a LUT1 layer. Click on it with the right mouse button and select Properties.
  4. The Properties window will slide in from the right-hand side.
  5. Click on the LUT effect settings and select any of the available options while checking the result in the preview window.

How to change video colors by adjusting contrast, saturation, and other parameters

If you want to edit video colors manually by adjusting its brightness, temperature, contrast, and other parameters, you’re welcome to do so. Just go the Video Effects tab, scroll down to Adjustments and select the set of parameters you need to change.

Say, you want to change Hue and Saturation levels. Once you select this option from the menu, you’ll notice a new tab with an HSV 1 layer on the timeline. Click the layer with the right mouse button and select Properties from the menu. The Properties window will slide in from the right-hand side. Find “HSV effect settings” and manually change the levels as it’s demonstrated in the video above.

How to change the color of an object in a video or in an image

In the last part of this tutorial, we’ll teach you to change the color of an object in a video using a tool called Gradient. Gradient allows you to make a gradual blend between various colors. Naturally, you can apply the same effect to photos as demonstrated below. Below, there is a video guide and text instructions for you to follow.

Step 1. Add an image or a video to the editor.

Step 2. Create a shape using the left-hand side menu and place it over the area you’re planning to edit. In this case, we use the Ellipse, but there is also a Rectangle and a “Free shape” adjustable to any form. The shape will serve as a mask and define the area color correction will be applied to.

Step 3. When you add a shape to the scene, go to the upper menu and select an ellipse style #3 - a colored one without borders.

Step 4. Make a double click on the ellipse layer and add one more ellipse to separate the area you’ll apply gradient color correction to – just like illustrated below.

Step 5. Go to the Properties window on the right and choose to paint background color black. Note: it’s the intersection of these two ellipses that will be visible in the end.

Step 6. Now go to the Blending menu on the left-hand side of the timeline and select “Inverted mask” – you’ll instantly see which area you’ll be working with.

Step 7. Go to the main scene (Tab “Scene 0”), highlight the ellipse and go to the Properties window to select Gradient from the dropdown “Fill background” menu.

Step 8. Open “Gradient settings” and select the appropriate gradient type. Try applying different colors and changing the direction of the gradient vector.

Step 9. Check different blending modes to get the result you had in mind.

Please note that the “Inverted mask” tool is only available in VSDC Pro version that is $19.99 per year. The rest of the video color changing tools and filters described in this tutorial are available for free.

You can get more information about the program on Free Video Editor' description page.