Scopes can be intimidating, but investing a little time in learning how to use them will pay dividends. Our quick tutorial gets you started

Getting the right white balance with your video footage can be a difficult job. It happens to the best of us – getting ready to shoot without having your camera’s settings just right. Maybe you were in a challenging situation for your previous shoot, and now have no time to set things up before you need to start shooting again.

Whatever the reason, using scopes in post-production is a great way to rescue footage that’s got a few things wrong with it. It may look a little intimidating at first, but once you get to grips with scopes you’ll find them to be an invaluable tool and insurance policy.

In our latest tutorial video, John runs through how to white balance your video using some of the scopes – the waveform monitor and the RGB parade, using test footage he shot on his Canon C100.

>>> Watch: Seven things to consider when filming timelapses

What is the waveform monitor?

The waveform monitor shows the darkest and lightest points of your image, and is used to indicate the level of contrast in your footage. Shots with more contrast tend to look more dynamic and striking. Once you get to grips with the waveform monitor you’ll be able to give shots a punchy look or dial the contrast back for a flatter image, depending on the effect you’re trying to create.

>> Watch: Discover how to apply LUTs to your footage

What is the RGB parade?

The RGB parade is concerned with colour. It’s essentially three histograms, displaying the levels of the red, green and blue channels in a shot. If your shot is overly tinted with one colour, then you can use the RGB to pull it back and create a more balanced final image.

Getting your three channels to mirror each other is the key to creating a balanced shot. Of course, alternatively, you can punch up one colour to produce a highly stylised look. That’s the beauty of scopes – once you understand what you’re doing you can experiment and play to your heart’s content.


Let us know how you get on with scopes and white balance. Keep checking back to The Video Mode for more quick tutorials that will improve your filmmaking.