Correct your color temperature with a white balance filter

One of the rookie mistakes amateur filmmakers do is trying all sorts of filters. As a result, it can distort the color of the video. The color correction process can take a while to get an accurate color. Create the perfect shot regardless of the conditions of the day. Use Runway’s white balance tool to adjust the color temperature of your footage and enjoy complete control over your warm and cool tones, and how you use them to tell your story or set a mood. As a browser-based, lightning-fast, AI-driven editing suite with worldwide accessibility, Runway takes video production to totally new heights.

Strike the right balance

Correct overwhelming oranges and blinding blues, or lend a distinct tone to standard footage. Whether you’re making a creative statement or rescuing that tricky golden hour clip, Runway’s white balance filter can help you color correct to perfection. That way, you don't have to worry about shooting in difficult lighting or find tools to produce ambient light. When you edit with Runway, you’ll gain access to filters and tools that put the power in your hands.
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How to Use

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Browser UI
Import
Upload your video files directly to the cloud and remove the worry about running out of computer storage! From MP4 to ProRes, we've got you covered.
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Browser UI
Apply White Balance
Search for “White Balance” in our “Effects and Filters” panel on the right-hand side of the editor. Once you’ve applied this effect, you’ll be able to adjust temperature and tint to create the perfect look for your video.
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Browser UI
Export
Once you’re happy with the white balance of your video, you can continue editing or export your finished creation in a variety of resolution and formatting options.

Benefits

Edit video with Runway’s adept and intuitive tools to produce seamless finished projects in half the time. You’ll have every kind of tool at your fingertips, including powerful white balance and color balance correction.

Color correct after the fact

Easily address any unforeseen white balance issues in post, so you don’t have to derail your editing schedule or plan for costly reshoots

Change the mood

Experiment with different undertones to alter the emotional energy of a video and create distinct visual aesthetics—old-timey warms, too-cool-for-school blues, you name it.

Seek a second opinion

Collaborate seamlessly on the same session, even from halfway around the world, and easily check how your white balance looks on different devices and with different settings.

Why Runway?

Whether you’re looking to adjust your white balance preset by just a few Kelvins or set out on a full-blown editing adventure, Runway’s online editing platform can help you achieve your version of perfection. Upload, edit, collaborate, gather feedback, and share your work, all in one place. Simplify your efforts and empower your edits with Runway.

Unleash creativity

Seek inspiration from Runway’s near-endless suite of video templates, tools, filters, and more. With so many easy-to-implement options, Runway can keep up with even the most innovative creators. Try, test, compare, and create your vision exactly how you imagined it, without the hassle of multiple programs or CPU-guzzling software.

Do it live

Forget about limits on cloud storage sharing services and sifting through emails with versions 1.1, 1.2A, 1.5[FINAL], finalFINAL, and on and on. Editing with Runway allows you to collaborate remotely in real-time. Give everyone on your team access to your project, and build something beautiful—together.

Start from scratch

Runway is empowering everyone to edit with ease, whether you’re looking for a simplified platform or an intuitive place to learn. Anyone can jump into video editing with easy-to-apply filters and effects, easy Green Screen integration, seamless video cutting, and pre-made templates. As you build your skillset and broaden your vision, there will always be more to explore on Runway.
FAQs
What is white balance?
Put simply, white balance is the overall coolness or warmth of an image or video, measured by how closely the rendered colors match the hues of said objects in real life. Does the white t-shirt on the screen look identical to the white t-shirt the actor’s wearing as they watch their own playback? If so, you’ve achieved true white balance.
Getting the white balance is more than just getting an accurate color balance. But if we want to dive a little deeper than that, white balance is a subtle and sometimes tricky aspect of photography and film. Here are some basic facts to sum it up:
  • Color temperature (measured in Kelvins) is a way to quantify visible light and its associated color. Different lighting conditions have different color temperatures, from warm candlelight (around 1500 K) to bright daylight (around 6000 K).
  • The human eye is extremely adept at discerning and adjusting to different color temperatures. This evolutionary marvel helps us easily distinguish white tones regardless of the lighting conditions. Camera sensors are more specialized and sometimes need human help reading and accounting for light.
  • White balance (or WB) is the film/photo technology to solve color temperature problems. It’s a setting that allows you to automatically or manually scan a sample image for the average white tone and then base a color temperature adjustment off the reading.
If you’ve ever taken a video you thought was fantastic and then looked at it later and thought, “Why on Earth is it so orange?”, or have found your end footage was an unnatural blue that cast the character in a sickly light, you’re most likely facing a misadjusted white balance.
How do you fix the white balance?
There are a few different ways to address white balance issues, both on the front end and the back end of video production.
Most modern cameras have Auto White Balance modes, as well as preset settings for fluorescent lighting, shade, outdoors, and so on. These settings work in some situations, but the camera can easily be fooled by simple roadblocks (like an image without any white in it). More complex shots typically require a custom white balance adjustment.
One of the most reliable ways to produce balanced raw footage is to use an analog white balance filter. It’s a translucent disc that you attach to your camera’s lens, which helps your camera determine the average color temperature of the subject you’re shooting.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to use a white balance filter:
  • Adjust your other settings (exposure, flash, frame rate, etc.) to suit the scene you’re looking to capture.
  • Attach your white balance filter to your lens.
  • Orient your camera towards your subject and take a picture.
  • Open the custom white balance setting on your camera if your device has one. Use this picture (an image of the translucent filter) to adjust the balance.
  • Remove the physical white balance filter and start shooting, but remember to repeat this process regularly to keep up with changing conditions.
However, this requires foresight and equipment that you may not have on a particular project. You can always “filter” your footage using a digital white balance tool. With reliable and powerful editing software like Runway, this can very closely match the effectiveness of an analog filter.
What is the difference between white balance and color temperature?
White balance and color temperature are interrelated concepts.
Color temperature, by definition, is the amount of radiation emitted by a black body (a conceptual material that absorbs all light), measured in Kelvins. The concept of color temperature is frequently used in the study of radiation. It also informs the worlds of film and photography.
Standard lighting conditions have associated color temperatures. In fact, lightbulbs are categorized and sold based on their color temperature (fluorescent bulbs have a much higher Kelvin rating than incandescent, “gentle” or “warm” light bulbs, for example).
White balance is a way of measuring color temperature on film and video. The human eye is an extremely sophisticated optical tool that can automatically adjust to account for color temperature, therefore always able to identify true white. Cameras need to rely on sensors (and sometimes human input or correction) to read color temperature and account for it with white balance settings.
How can white balance be used creatively?
Adjusting white balance is more than just a way to fix lighting to reflect real-life conditions. It can also be used creatively to achieve several effects:
  • Shifting seasons and time – The blues and oranges accessible through a white balance tool can totally transform the “story” of an image. Turn day footage into a moody nighttime scene, or transform the heat of summer into cold winter with white balance.
  • Making water blissfully blue – Whether you’re advertising swimsuits or editing a travel vlog, everyone loves to see beautifully blue water. A white balance tool helps you accentuate blue hues in shots of placid lakes, rushing rivers, and sunny seashores.
  • Creating visual contrast – You can select portions of a clip to edit with a white balance tool to direct the eye and highlight juxtaposition. Imagine a wide shot of an opening door in the moonlight—the warm light emanating from inside is naturally at odds with the cool night sky. When you selectively edit just one of these light sources (or edit them both separately), you gain a new level of control over your footage.
  • Building up brilliant blacks and whites – Color temperature can drastically impact an image, even when you’ve eliminated color from the equation. Black and white shots can become incredibly nuanced and powerful when you manipulate contrast through white balance.
  • Shaping sensational skies – Few images can rival an expansive horizon shot. Accentuate oranges and pinks in sunsets or bring out the silhouette of the milky way in the night sky. Changing the white balance can lend a truly majestic quality to your footage.
Your average, everyday editing software might not be able to offer you all the tools you need to truly master post-production white balance. Runway, however, can handle even the most complex tasks, combining white balance correction with saturation, brightness, contrast, and more essential filters for the perfect visuals every time.
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