MAGIX: Understanding White balance
The concept of white balance (also known as "WB") describes different options that help to compensate the color temperature of a picture or recording.
Different lighting situations have different influences on photo or film recordings. For instance, warm light from a sunset will cause a picture to take on a yellow/red aspect, and cold light, from neon tubes causes a slightly blue coloring. The white balance function of (movie) cameras enables the device to recognize the white in the image. If the white has a blue tint applied to it, then this be corrected automatically. This takes place: fully automatically, semi-automatically, or manually.
Since automatic white balance functions often create errors in the recording (especially if artificial and natural light sources are present), manual white balance is available as an alternative. In this case, the camera is set by hand: A white (or neutral gray) surface at the filming location is recorded with the camera (a normal sheet of paper often does the trick). Settings are made by hand and the sheet of paper is defined as white. Based on this information, the camera is adjusted to lighting conditions so that white is able to be distinguished as such in the recording. Besides white balance affected directly with the hardware, the option also exists during video editing to balance color errors in the film material retroactively. This kind of software-based white balance is offered by MAGIX Movie Edit Pro. The process runs similarly to the manual white balance with the camera itself: The user selects a white area on the screen by hand and the software corrects colors in the selected material automatically.
Manual and software-based white balance
For owners of cameras from the lower to mid- price segment, this variation of white balance is a function that most users have more or less done without, since similar recordings in HD video are mostly reserved for more expensive cameras. For this reason, software-based white balance is a good option for enriching the image quality of less expensive cameras.