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Saturate with style

If you go crazy with the special effects, that can have immediate consequences, such as messing with color settings, brightness, and, worse still, the saturation level. Fortunately, color correction and saturation adjustment have become much easier through sophisticated video editor software. Discover a new level of mastery over the mood of your edits. Enhance your video saturation with Runway and easily achieve eye-catching color or film noir-style desaturation. Like all Runway tools, it’s lightning-fast, AI-powered, and built for artists with a vision.

Stand out with spectacular color

Put a bright pop of color into a cutting-edge commercial or lend a moody tone to a piece of serious cinema—edit saturation on video with Runway to achieve incredible effects in a fraction of the typical time. Runway’s saturation tool delivers beautiful results without the headache every time. Discover the power of Runway’s all-in-one editing software engine today.

How to Use

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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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Search for our “Hue, Saturation and Lightness” effect option in our growing effects library. Once the effect is applied, you’ll have the option to use the saturation slider to make your clips more or less colorful!
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Once you’re satisfied with the saturation of your video, you can continue editing or export your finished creation in a variety of resolution and formatting options.


Looking to use the massive creative effect saturation can have on your work? Dive into a world of color, or drain it out to discover complex visual emotions. Whether you’re playing with bright, bold hues or simple greys and blacks, Runway gives you power over the entire color spectrum—in just a click.

Mix it up

Combine saturation control with a whole host of other tools and filters to achieve a singular artistic look.

Nail it down

Create precisely the aesthetic you’re picturing in your head—from a washed-out, dreamy vibe to a vibrant, rousing vision—and enhance the impact of your story.

Experiment with ease

With efficient, intuitive saturation tools, play around with different color properties to find the perfect fit without expending precious time or effort.

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.

Stay hands-on from anywhere

Runway operates in the cloud, so you can work from anywhere without relying on your external hard drive or a cache of disparate software. Share your work across platforms with a simple link and invite collaborators to jump into your editing session live. Never get stuck without access to your art again—take your editing online with Runway.

Become your own muse

Use Runway’s saturation feature to build something colorful and unexpected. With a vast range of powerful, intuitive editing tools such as Green Screen or Inpaint, Runway is not only a pleasure to use, but it also packs a serious creative punch. Enjoy editing again—and pick up some extra inspiration along the way.

Edit quicker than ever

Respect your valuable time with software that can keep up with you. Stop worrying about slow processing times and frozen screens. Ditch constant crashes, fiddly tools, and rabbit-warren interfaces— Runway whittles down hours of editing into mere minutes so you can spend more time articulating your vision and less time troubleshooting your tools.
What is video saturation?
Color saturation is a quality that exists in all visual mediums, art forms, and formats. It describes the intensity of color and is one of the three properties of color, along with hue and value.
Increasing saturation isn’t possible with physical media—mixing pigments necessarily degrades the saturation of the original colors. With physical paint, markers, pencils, and more, artists must use pure pigment to achieve a highly saturated look.
Digital media, however, paints another picture entirely. Digital editing tools enable you to saturate and desaturate to your heart's content (and go back and forth to compare as often as you’d like). The saturation tool is an essential piece of equipment in any digital editing software, video software included.
Intentional use of color is a huge part of skilled filmmaking and video editing. Saturation levels can make or break the mood of a video. Runway’s powerful online saturation tool empowers to establish an instant tone with the click of a button.
What is video desaturation?
Desaturation is the opposite of saturation. When you desaturate a still image or entire video footage, you dampen the intensity of all the present colors.
Artists and filmmakers can use desaturation in video editing, digital art creation, and even in physical mediums. In fact, every time a visual artist working with physical tools mixes their paints or pigments, they’re desaturating the original colors.
Desaturation can be utilized for several purposes:
  • Crafting a vintage look – Create an artificial black and white look customized to your palette. From modern film noir detective films to parodies of vintage industrials, black and white are just as viable today as ever.
  • Conveying emotion – Enact changes in mood and tone by shifting from saturated colors to desaturated ones. A sudden drain of color can indicate an emotional shift for a character, whether in a pharmaceutical commercial or an art-house film.
  • Adding visual cohesion – Gently tone down overly bright or overwhelming raw footage to match surrounding shots.
What’s the difference between vibrance and saturation in video editing? How can both be utilized to their full effect?
Vibrance and saturation both affect the intensity of color in your raw footage. The difference between them is that vibrance only intensifies duller raw colors, while saturation intensifies everything—even colors that are already quite vibrant.
How you use these tools is entirely up to you. However, these generally accepted best practices may prove useful:
  • Use saturation when there aren’t any people in the shot. Saturation is a powerful tool that can add verve and style to your video. Still, in some applications, it may cause imbalance or even diminish some of the nuances of your fantastically shot footage. Skin tones, especially, can become distorted when they’re overly saturated. Highly saturated edits can be pretty unflattering for the people appearing on camera (not to mention difficult on the eyes of the viewer).
    While saturating scenes with subjects can be effective in experimental films to unsettle or shock audiences, it may be distracting in some instances. If you’re going for a more natural look, use saturation to remove color or to boost hues in landscapes or other person-free content.
  • Use vibrance for a subject-friendly color enhancement. Vibrance is best suited to footage of people. It accounts for the differences in intensity already present in the raw footage (and won’t give skin that radioactive-looking over-saturated edge).
What are some examples of saturation in video editing?
In order to truly grasp the importance of color saturation in film media, it’s helpful to see it in action. Pay close attention to the videos, television shows, movies, and music videos you watch, and notice how their saturation intensity correlates to their tone.
There are countless ways to tell a cohesive story with saturation. Take a look at the list below for inspiration.
  • My Fair Lady – Great filmmakers have known since the beginning that saturation is an extremely powerful tool. The production team of the 1964 film My Fair Lady, led by director George Cukor, utilized a desaturated, monochrome palette during the musical number “Ascot Gavotte.”
    The visual switch up from the cool greens and warm browns of the streets of London and Henry Higgins’ study to cold and calculating black and white demonstrated a serious shift in the social strata. With stiff, stylized choreography and spectacularly crafted monochrome costumes, this scene remains a clear example of the creative use of desaturation.
  • Wes Anderson’s repertoire – Wes Anderson is famous for his use of bright, saturated color to deliver drama and whimsy. Just think about the achingly red beanies in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to the subtly nostalgic sepia tones of Moonrise Kingdom.
    Anderson honors color properties (including saturation) in all of his films. His palettes have greatly contributed to his success as a filmmaker (just ask his seven academy awards).
  • Corpse Bride – From a bird’s eye view, the individual frames of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride come together to form a lush landscape of saturated blues and greens. Channeling the vibe of a dewy woodland lake, Burton’s typical emo palette gains a touch of extra romance and melancholy in this stop-motion classic.
    Never one to sacrifice fun, Burton also incorporates highly saturated purples, inky dark blacks, and sharp and spooky whites, proving his mastery of color.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Director George Miller encouraged his editing team to experiment with the color grading on Mad Max: Fury Road. He had only one requirement: the film was to stay ultra-saturated, achieving the opposite effect of the washed-out look that was trending at the time.
    Fury Road bagged Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Production design (along with six other wins and even more nominations). Audiences and critics alike appreciated the film’s bright and unusual color palette, which balanced the grim plot content and spoke to the resilience of the central characters.
Keep in mind as you work with color that editing with an intentional hand can set you apart from the rest. Don’t just settle on trendy palettes and intensities—consider the hues and the levels of saturation and desaturation that will help you convey the emotion of your story.
With Runway’s intuitive saturation tool and video templates, it’s easy to experiment with color saturation to create a meaningful, memorable aesthetic. Try the effect today and leave your viewers raving for years to come.
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