Tutorial

Color correction for streaming

A step-by-step guide on how to do color correction in OBS.

This post is quite a bit different from my usual topics of programming. But proper color correction is a cheap and easy way to make a stream or video look more professional. Unfortunately, I keep having to re-figure out how to do it, so I figured I would write it down, and perhaps it can help somebody else too if I make it public.

The tools I use are:

Part 1: Getting the reference color map and image

Color correction in OBS is done through something called a LUT filter that uses a color map. Therefore, the first step is to get the reference color map. We also need to take a reference photo with the color board.

  1. Launch OBS
  2. Create a scene with no filters and add the webcam with no filters.
  3. While holding up the color board, take a screenshot and save it to the desktop. Note: if the light is skewed towards one color, that may mess up the result.

4. Right-click the scene, then “Filters.”

5. Right-click in the left panel, then “Apply LUT.” Give it a name if you’d like.

6. Hit the “Browse” button and copy the “original.png” file. Paste it to the desktop.

Part 2: Correcting the colors

Having gathered the raw materials, it is time to do the color correction. We will be using DaVinci Resolve to do the actual color correction, so:

  1. Launch DaVinci Resolve and create a new project. Go to the “Cut” mode at the bottom:

2. Drag and drop the two images from part 1 into the media pool.

3. Drag and drop the two files from the media pool into the timeline.

4. Switch over to the “Color” mode at the bottom.

5. Making sure you have your image selected, add the “Color Chart” overlay.

6. Adjust it, so it fits with the color board.

7. Go into the color matcher. Make sure the preview has the same colors as your color chart; otherwise, you can change it. Finally, hit “Match.”

8. (Optional) This can make the colors a little flat, so to make it pop a bit, you can go into the “Color Wheels,” goto the second tab, and turn up the “Col Boost.”

9. Now, we need to transfer those settings to the color map. To do this, select the color map, and then middle-click on the selfie. The colors on the screen should change slightly.

10. We now have to export this corrected color map, so we first need to change the settings to match that image's size. Hit the settings-cog in the bottom right corner, then set the resolution to 512x512 and hit “save.”

11. Right-click inside the player and hit “Grab Still.”

12. Change over to the “Gallary,” right-click the still, and hit “Export.”

13. Give it some name, and make sure to save it as “PNG Files (*.png).”

Part 3: Adding the LUT filter in OBS

Now that we have the corrected color map, we are finished with Resolve and can put it into OBS.

  1. Open up the “Apply LUT” filter we added to the scene in part 1.
  2. Hit browse again and locate the file we made in part 2.

Voilà. That’s it. I now have some more color in my cheeks instead of looking extremely pale.

Before color correction (left) and after

I hope this was helpful. If you have questions or want to watch some programming, then come by my stream Tuesdays or Thursdays at 7:30 pm CEST: https://www.twitch.tv/thedrlambda

I live by my mentor’s words: “The key to being consistently brilliant is: hard work, every day.”