White balance is the crucial element in your videos to make them look professional. You’ve seen those (maybe made some) videos that for some reason just looked off. Maybe the skin tone wasn’t right, or the background colors were weird. If you’ve never heard of it, then this will likely be the biggest help you’ll ever hear.
White balance is simply using something in your video that’s supposed to be white to color correct the rest of the visuals. It’s not hard, but it is important.
White Balance a Start
Let me just say this to start. White balance is best used on your camera just before shooting. Almost every camera has this setting. Even most smartphones do.
So, before we get into this whole iMovie thing, let me just tell you – do the white balance in your camera and you won’t need to try to figure this out when you’re editing. Got it? Good.
White Balance in Editing
If for some reason you weren’t able to white balance your video while shooting your video, you’ll be left with trying to fix it in the editing room. It’s not impossible, and sometimes not even hard, but it can be incredibly frustrating.
White balance is not what some people think. This isn’t a filter you put on your video to make it look cool. It’s not Instagram for video.
White balance is returning all the colors to their true state. It makes your videos look natural. There’s room for effects later, but most people want to start with everything looking normal.
White Balance in iMovie
iMovie is a great video editing tool to get started in. Its simple user interface makes it easy to learn and fast to get results. It’s not the best for color correction, though you can get some good results.
To fix everything the easy way, just click the magic wand and Presto! it’s done. Well… sometimes. Honestly, Apple gets it right a lot. But it might not always do the trick.
If that doesn’t work, you might have to select it from the menu and start trying to match colors. That’s not the end of the world, but it won’t make your life any easier either.
White Balance in iMovie Part 2
If Apple’s magic wand doesn’t fix your white balance, you’ll have to dig into the color menus and try to tweak it out. Here’s the real problem. iMovie has no Vectorscope or Histogram, which helps a lot in visualizing individual elements of color and exposure. But, we work with what we have.
What you’ll have to do, especially if you’re trying to match footage from different sources, is tweak the color temperature and saturation levels until you get something you like.
That’s really it.
Do yourself a favor from the beginning and white balance your camera before you start recording. If you don’t, upload your video and hope Apple’s magic wand makes a good call. Barring that, try to match colors in the menu or match it to a clip that is color corrected.