Triad Color Looks

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Triad Color Looks

So, here’s something I’ve been playing with on a few small projects and having fun with: Triad color schemes used as a basis for color grading.

Triad Colors

Triad color schemes are basically formed by picking 3 colors on a hue wheel that split the wheel into perfect thirds (for a more in-depth explanation, check here). Red, green, and blue form a triad, as do cyan, magenta, and yellow.

The triad color selector from Adobe Kuler

The triad color selector from Adobe Kuler

A great tool for coming up with triad color schemes is Adobe’s Kuler web app. It makes it pretty stupid-easy. Triad color schemes for a great color harmony for design, but they are actually pretty fun to play with for color grading as well!

Using Triad Color Schemes for Color Grading Looks

The concept is pretty simple, so rather than boring you with further explanation, here are several examples of it in action:

Here's the base image we'll start with.

Here’s the base image we’ll start with.

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Look 1

Look 1

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 2

Look 2

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 3

Look 3

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 4

Look 4

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 5

Look 5

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 6

Look 6

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 7

Look 7

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 8

Look 8

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

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Look 9

Look 9

Settings for the look above.

Settings for the look above.

These are just basic variations on the triad color idea, so they’re not necessarily useful in every circumstance, but they’re still fun to play around with, and some aren’t half bad. The whole idea of basing color grades off of graphic design color palettes has me intrigued. It’s almost a reverse of the Movies in Color Tumblr – picking the palette then grading.

4 Comments

  • Jesse Koepke

    09.07.2013 at 10:35 Reply

    Huh, that’s a cool idea. And you’re right—some of them aren’t that bad, actually look pretty cool.

  • pconigsconigs

    09.07.2013 at 13:05 Reply

    What if you think about this in a slightly different way? Don’t push the wheels in a triad, but instead play with Saturation/Lightness in a triad. Then just use your primary to get a good base. Of course, this relies much more on the colors in the original footage.

    • Aaron Williams

      09.07.2013 at 20:48 Reply

      That’s an interesting idea. Do you mean using using Hue vs. Luma and Hue vs. Sat curves?

      • pconigs

        10.07.2013 at 09:11

        Yeah. Like I said, though, it would be much more dependent on the source footage.

Chime in!