Video Production and White Balance

video production

There are many technical skills that are a crucial part of the video production process that ensure your video comes out with the look that you want. The Michael Group of Chicago provides video production consultations that will assist in combating potential problems, such as white balancing.


What is white balancing?

White balancing is the process of rendering the mix of colors present in both artificial and natural light neutral to allow the colors to remain vibrant in your videos. Because no light is truly white, the mix of colors will wreak havoc with your video recording, causing muddied and blurred colors in the footage that you thought was perfect. To make matters even more complicated, different light sources emit different mixtures of colors.

For example, household Bulbs or Tungsten bulbs have a strong presence of red light. Sunlight contains a lot of blue light and fluorescent light contains more green. While your eyes will correct for differences in light naturally, cameras do not. Temperature is the main factor of the dominate color in white light.

Without a white balance circuit, camcorders would show the color tints within the video, destroying even the most color conscious person’s careful plans. The white balance circuit attempts to equalize the color, but the shifts in color are less than perfect.

Here are some examples of the schemes that camcorders use:


Continuous Automatic

This scheme looks at the light coming in and determines the mix of white light hitting the object it is trying to capture. Overall, continuous automatic is successful, but tends to get tripped up when the camcorder attempts to capture large areas of solid color and areas with multiple and complex light sources. A tell-tale sign that you need more white balancing, is if you watch your video and you can see the colors shifting on the screen.

Preset White Balancing

This scheme works under the theory that it is easier to tell the camcorder the type of light it is working with manually, rather than letting the circuit process the light itself. This type of camera will have settings for daylight, fluorescent lights, etc.

Manual White Balance

If you use this scheme, you should find a white object like a sheet and place it in the same light as your subject. Your camcorder can then analyze the type of light you are working with based on how it sees the light hitting the sheet. For example, if the light comes in red, the camera will reduce the tint to make sure that the sheet appears white. This method is the most accurate of the color balancing methods because automatic sensing settings are only going on the average amount of color coming through different light sources, while this method can measure the light exactly.


You can also hire a company, such as the Michael Group, to shoot your video for you. If you are working with especially complex lighting, finding a professional may be best so that the color is balanced in the exact way that you desire.

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