Mastering Monochrome! A Lightworks Tutorial

By Chris Wells
Apr 23, 2024
2 minute read
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Today's tutorial focuses on achieving effective black-and-white visuals using Lightworks. Learn how to strip away colour to emphasise texture and mood, enhancing the narrative depth of your footage.



Hey there, Chris Wells here. This month's educational theme for tutorials at Lightworks is colour. And today's video is, ironically, about removing that colour to turn your videos into black and white.

Now, making your movie monochrome allows your visuals to focus on the physical subjects of your piece, as well as their texture. It's an effective way to evoke a bygone era, a narrative device to signpost your story structure as well as a powerful aesthetic in its own right.

So let's boot up Lightworks and get greyscaling!

And here we are. And for today's shot I've got happy children playing with some eggs, you know, keeping with our times here being at just past Easter. So here we go. We've got kids. Oh, look. They're playing. Oh, kids playing with eggs. How sweet.

So, to make it black and white, we go up here to effects, and we've got an effect called greyscale. I'm just going to drag that, put it onto the clip itself, and boom, we now have it in black and white. Done. Well, it is as far as it fulfils the brief. We've now made it black and white.

But there is so much more you can do in Lightworks with this. So we've got our channel weights and our channel contrast here and our FX settings. And this will allow us to kind of tweak the kind of image that we want from our black and white. We can play.

So if we adjust the red level, you see, if I put it all the way up, that's super blown out. Because if we go back, this is quite a warm image. So there's quite a lot of red in the image. So we can just go through and tweak each of these elements to bring the kind of look that we want.

And now, if we adjust the contrasts, just bring these down a bit. So there we go. I have literally sucked all the joy out of this image.

So I'll just put up on the screen now how it looks without the effect and how it looks with. You know, just suck all the fun out. Oh you know, this is like, oh, it's a sad flashback to a time, these were my kids back before the fires. You know, it works really well.

You can really play with the kind of mood of it. Definitely don't just plunk it on in black and white; have a play with those different channel weights and channel contrast, because you can get some really good effects out on that.

So thanks for watching. Head over to to start editing for free with Lightworks.

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