Adobe Morphs Auto Tone into Auto Color in Premiere Pro 22.3

Posted on by Larry

With the release of Premiere Pro 22.3, Adobe updated Auto Tone to Auto Color. Now, in addition to adjusting grayscale, Auto Color adjusts colors.

After playing with it, here’s my take:

Auto Color works OK, but not well. Most of the time, automatic white balance is a better choice. Here are four examples to illustrate my point.

EXAMPLE 1: No people, blue color cast.

(Click to view larger image.)

Auto-Color didn’t see the green cast. Instead, it only enhanced it. The White Balance tool in the Lumetri Color panel corrects the color cast perfectly.

EXAMPLE 2: No people, blue/green color cast.

(Click to view larger image.)

None of the automatic tools got this blue/green color cast right. White Balance came closest, but the color is too red and over-saturated. Manual adjustment was required.

EXAMPLE 3: One person, severe yellow/green cast

(Click to view larger image.)

This is one of my favorite test images: low resolution with a several yellow/green cast. Lots of available skin to measure skin color values. Auto color didn’t fix this at all. White balancing on her T-shirt did.

EXAMPLE 4: One person, modest green cast

(Click to view larger image.)

This image is trickier with a subtle green cast. Auto-Color made the grayscale levels look better, but not great. White balance, on the whites of her eyes, improved the color but over-saturated the image. Manual adjustment was required.


Like all automatic color tools, results with Auto-Color are hit or miss. In this release, they mostly miss. However, just as it took Adobe a while to get automatic white balancing working properly, I suspect that Auto Color will continue to improve over time. For now, though, use it with caution.

Still, the best way to get good color results is to understand the principles of color correction and use the incredibly powerful manual color tools in the Lumetri Color panel. No automatic tool beats personal knowledge.

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2 Responses to Adobe Morphs Auto Tone into Auto Color in Premiere Pro 22.3

  1. Hi Larry,

    I always appreciate your insight and expertise! It turns out, this new feature is a “gotcha” for a lot of editors. A couple of weeks ago, I received a new batch of footage shot in SLOG3 for a short doc and was shocked that everything appeared far over-exposed. It was shot by shooters I’ve worked with for years, and they are excellent at what they do. I found out that Premiere is auto-correcting this footage, rather than presenting it as flat. So now I have to do color correction even on the rough cuts, because the way Premiere is reading it, it looks like a series of mistakes. There’s no way to turn this feature off to my knowledge. I was fortunate that my DP figured out what was going on by reading forums of angry filmmakers. It’s certainly a gotcha worth discussing with Adobe. We really need the ability to turn it off, as it’s entirely unhelpful. A simple LUT usually does the trick, and without too much fuss.

    Warm regards,
    Summer Simpson
    Documentary Writer/Editor
    Check out October 2022

    • Larry Jordan says:


      I forwarded your comments to the Premiere team at Adobe. They are aware of the problem with SLog3 footage. It isn’t a question of Auto Color, but color management.

      They are working on it but don’t have a fix yet.


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