Reference Levels in Scopes?

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Dan Turmik

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Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 3:10 pm

Hi!

There is a thing i find confusing. I have read that the Video Range on the scopes is from 64-940

Now i work in a Rec709 Timeline (RCM) and monitor with Data Levels "Video" to an external Monitor.

Should i now set the scopes with the "reference levels" option to 64-940 and work within this range or does Resolve automatically map the scopes based on my timeline color space settings where if i set it to Rec709 then 64 would be 0 and 940 would be 1023?

Can someone help :)
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Hector Berrebi

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 3:34 pm

Dan Turmik wrote:Hi!

There is a thing i find confusing. I have read that the Video Range on the scopes is from 64-940

Now i work in a Rec709 Timeline (RCM) and monitor with Data Levels "Video" to an external Monitor.

Should i now set the scopes with the "reference levels" option to 64-940 and work within this range or does Resolve automatically map the scopes based on my timeline color space settings where if i set it to Rec709 then 64 would be 0 and 940 would be 1023?

Can someone help :)



Yes. you should set reference levels on your scope if you want to see them.. it doesn't change automatically your scopes show full range.
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Dan Turmik

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 3:39 pm

thanks for the answer!

so if i grade without the reference levels set to 64-940 and for example drop my blacks all the way to 0 on the scopes, everything that is below 64 is not visible on my external monitor?
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Hector Berrebi

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 4:03 pm

Dan Turmik wrote:thanks for the answer!

so if i grade without the reference levels set to 64-940 and for example drop my blacks all the way to 0 on the scopes, everything that is below 64 is not visible on my external monitor?


Depending on how your external monitor is set, and how accurate it is, then yes.
you can find black clipping calibration charts here
http://ethanfharris.homedns.org/articles/709Calibration.html
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Dan Turmik

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 4:19 pm

I have calibrated my monitor through DisplayCal with following settings:

D65
colorspace - Rec 709
tone curve - Rec 1886
input/output encoding - full range 0-255

I am using RCM in Resolve with Timeline and Output Color Space - Rec 709 Gamma 2.4

My external Monitor expects Video Levels so i set the Video Monitoring Data Range in Resolve to "Video".

So if i set the reference levels in the scopes to 64-940 i am safe?

thanks!



Hector Berrebi wrote:
Dan Turmik wrote:thanks for the answer!

so if i grade without the reference levels set to 64-940 and for example drop my blacks all the way to 0 on the scopes, everything that is below 64 is not visible on my external monitor?


Depending on how your external monitor is set, and how accurate it is, then yes.
you can find black clipping calibration charts here
http://ethanfharris.homedns.org/articles/709Calibration.html
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jussi rovanpera

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Just grade with full range, and set the levels in the deliver page.
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Cary Knoop

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 7:14 pm

0 to 1023 under normal circumstances should represent the minimum and maximum visible values on your reference monitor. Resolve maps both video and data levels clips onto this range.

The only exception I can think of is if you want to want to archive footage that is video levels in a full range container with BTB and WTW information included.

So normally there would not be any need for 64 and 940 reference levels.
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Mike C Bonner

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 10:23 pm

"Because you’re evaluating the internal state of the image data, the scales of the WFM and Parade scopes always reflect 10-bit full range data from 0-1023, regardless of the Video/Data Level setting you’ve selected in the Master Project Settings. This gives you a window into how the image is being processed by DaVinci Resolve prior to being output via your computer’s video I/O interface." -Davinci Resolve Manual
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 2:00 am

I'm glad SOMEBODY is reading the manual. ;)
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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 3:47 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:I'm glad SOMEBODY is reading the manual. ;)

AMEN! ( I go the Full Spectrum Church and pray at the alter of FSI.) ;)
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Dan Turmik

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 6:43 pm

ok. sorry for asking.
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 7:59 pm

Honestly, don't be sorry for asking. The manual's explanation is totally effing confusing and not intuitive. Every colorist suite I ever been in uses external scopes, and when pressed about how the *internal* scopes work in Resolve, I've never gotten a consistent answer.

Avid, for all of its color correction flaws, which are MANY, has very intuitive scope levels. 0 is always 0 and 255 is always 255. So if you are grading to video levels, black will be 16, not zero and white will be 235, not 255. And that's because Video levels are 16 to 235, not 0 to 255.

There is a good logic for why Resolve does what it does, it has to with the fact that it is internally an RGB processing program, while Media Composer defaults to being YUV (although you can have RGB projects in MC). Add to that that Resolve is 32-bit float and can have negative color values, while a program like MC is 16 bit integer and can't have negative color values. Add to that that source footage can be RGB, YUV in full or video levels. Add to that that your delivery can be RGB or YUV in full or video levels, or multiple combinations for different formats. Add to that input, display and output LUT's all of which make certain *undocumented* assumptions about color levels and gamma. Add to that source and delivery wrappers and codecs that may mislabel color levels and gamma. Add to that media players that may misread color level and gamma flags... and you see how much of a total effing nightmare such a seemingly simple questions like "Why do my scopes show such and such" opens up.

Yes *PLEASE DO READ* the manual. But you've asked an actually very difficult question, so please don't feel bad about it. ;)
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Howard Roll

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:15 pm

The scopes in Resolve are unnecessarily confusing for no good reason. If you are working in a video level timeline the scopes will still read 0-1023 even though you are actually seeing 64-940. 64 is mapped to 0 and 940 is mapped to 1023, what makes this painful is that data above 1023 (100-109 IRE super white) is still there but clipped by the scopes.

You can use a data level timeline and use the reference levels to set indicators at 64 and 940 for video level projects but be aware that there is a handful of tools that aren't going to work as expected; contrast, pivot, HL, shadows, curves, CSTs, and on and on.

It will be a glorious day when Resolve adds true IRE scopes.
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Cary Knoop

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:28 pm

Howard Roll wrote:It will be a glorious day when Resolve adds true IRE scopes.

They are!

0 = 0 IRE and 1023 = 100 IRE and they work consistently for both video and data level clips!

Howard Roll wrote:If you are working in a video level timeline the scopes will still read 0-1023 even though you are actually seeing 64-940. 64 is mapped to 0 and 940 is mapped to 1023, what makes this painful is that data above 1023 (100-109 IRE super white) is still there but clipped by the scopes.

There is no such thing as a video level timeline in Resolve. Both data and video level clips are mapped to 0-1024 (0-100 IRE).

Whether the output is video or data levels depends on the deliverables settings.
Last edited by Cary Knoop on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JPOwens

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:32 pm

Howard Roll wrote:The scopes in Resolve are unnecessarily confusing for no good reason.


Agreed, and why I only use them under protest when nothing else is available. I like monitoring the SDI output of the BMD card, where choices like a "real" hardware scope or Scopebox tell the truth you want to hear and understand. All this "255" stuff is Photoshop.

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Howard Roll

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 am

Cary Knoop wrote:They are!

0 = 0 IRE and 1023 = 100 IRE and they work consistently for both video and data level clips!



That's where I'm going with this. 1023 should not be 100IRE, 1023 should be 109IRE regardless if the clip is "video" or "data". Looking at a clipped readout that says 1023 one would logically conclude any data above that threshold is clipped when in reality it is not. Resolve has half a dozen babysit handles to make sure footage is broadcast safe, the scopes should not be one of them.
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Cary Knoop

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 1:38 am

Howard Roll wrote:Looking at a clipped readout that says 1023 one would logically conclude any data above that threshold is clipped when in reality it is not.

Why would you conclude it is clipped? The scopes show what should be visible on your monitor from black to white. Any good NLE should never clip data until it is encoded.

I think there is not much of a point in arguing, if you disagree with how Resolve works then Resolve may not be the right tool for you. By the way Premiere Pro works exactly the same way in displaying scopes.
Last edited by Cary Knoop on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 1:45 am

PeterMoretti wrote:Honestly, don't be sorry for asking. The manual's explanation is totally effing confusing and not intuitive. Every colorist suite I ever been in uses external scopes, and when pressed about how the *internal* scopes work in Resolve, I've never gotten a consistent answer.

I make sure the external scopes and the internal scopes match, just to be sure there's no "funny business" going on.

Here's part of my setup, with Resolve Scopes temporarily up on the left and the (permanent) Scopebox scopes on the right.

Image

The readings are identical. Scopebox gets the exact same feed as the monitor, so this is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get situation.

People get all freaked out about looking at internal 0-1023 data levels but delivering 64-960 Video levels, and the reality is that Resolve maps the range very well during renders... as is explained in the manual. MixingLight.com has some tutorials on this topic. This explains part of it (for free):

https://mixinglight.com/color-tutorial/ ... se-wisely/
Last edited by Marc Wielage on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 1:51 am

JPOwens wrote:Agreed, and why I only use them under protest when nothing else is available. I like monitoring the SDI output of the BMD card, where choices like a "real" hardware scope or Scopebox tell the truth you want to hear and understand.

I have been surprised and disappointed by the number of "professional" small and mid-sized post companies in LA that are limping by with just the internal Resolve scopes. I don't like 'em. And I know of one somewhat-famous company that doesn't seem to have any scopes at all (swear to god). I dunno how they get by. Me, I gots to have real scopes.
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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 am

I only usr the internal scopes if i need a somewhat measurement of the nits of the signal in hdr.
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Jeff Brass

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 3:45 am

Can I ask Marc what it is you dont like about the internal scopes? Is it accuracy or the info they display?
I swore we would never buy another Mac product but it looks like I may gave to for external scopes (scopebox) but keen to hear others thoughts.

Thanks
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Hector Berrebi

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 5:58 am

Jeff Brass wrote:Can I ask Marc what it is you dont like about the internal scopes? Is it accuracy or the info they display?
I swore we would never buy another Mac product but it looks like I may gave to for external scopes (scopebox) but keen to hear others thoughts.

Thanks


Hey Jeff,
I also work with ext scopes and prefer them.

Internal scopes are ok. But they:
Take graphic resources and slow you down a bit
Are only scaled in bits.
In a dual display layout they are stuck at the bottom in their tab and can't "float" or resize
Offer just the very basic in metering.

Alternatively, externals scopes
Are Always live,
Are right by my grading monitor so well positioned
Read my SDI output
Being a dedicated tool, they offer more options and functionality.

I own and use both ScopeBox and BMD Ultrascope (PCI).

Ultrascope is stable but hasn't been updated in years and feels a bit let down.

ScopeBox is wonderful, well kept and full of perks.
It has very useful additions like the HML balance tool or Channel Plot.
You can customize your pallet of scopes, save presets and more. Its well worth the 99$ (they often have deals and discounts)

I also tested 4KScope by Drastic (for PC). It has a very advanced feature set, and is the fullest software scope I seen (Chromaticity, Raw picture data, rec 2020, various HDR features and more) Its a bit expensive at 495$ but they often offer 25% off deals.
http://www.drastic.tv/productsmenu-56/videoiosoftwarelist/67-videosw/testandmeasurement/126-drastic4kscope
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Dan Turmik

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

Thanks for all the answers!

To sum it up: Resolve internally works always from 0-1023 no matter what you throw at it.
So if you import a clip that was shot at Video Levels, Resolve will expand 64-940 to 0-1023 on the scopes.
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Peter Chamberlain

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 11:07 am

Resolve processes in the 0-1023 range (well its more complicated than that but thats ok for now).
If you input video levels they are converted to data range if they are flagged automatically or manually as video levels. If they are imported as data, no input change occurs.
The scopes show internal data levels.
BMD make the SmartScope for a video levels scope which you can put on the SDI video out.
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infinitebuzz

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostFri Dec 07, 2018 3:23 am

Hector Berrebi wrote:
Jeff Brass wrote:Can I ask Marc what it is you dont like about the internal scopes? Is it accuracy or the info they display?
I swore we would never buy another Mac product but it looks like I may gave to for external scopes (scopebox) but keen to hear others thoughts.

Thanks


Hey Jeff,
I also work with ext scopes and prefer them.

Internal scopes are ok. But they:
Take graphic resources and slow you down a bit
Are only scaled in bits.
In a dual display layout they are stuck at the bottom in their tab and can't "float" or resize
Offer just the very basic in metering.

Alternatively, externals scopes
Are Always live,
Are right by my grading monitor so well positioned
Read my SDI output
Being a dedicated tool, they offer more options and functionality.

I own and use both ScopeBox and BMD Ultrascope (PCI).

Ultrascope is stable but hasn't been updated in years and feels a bit let down.

ScopeBox is wonderful, well kept and full of perks.
It has very useful additions like the HML balance tool or Channel Plot.
You can customize your pallet of scopes, save presets and more. Its well worth the 99$ (they often have deals and discounts)

I also tested 4KScope by Drastic (for PC). It has a very advanced feature set, and is the fullest software scope I seen (Chromaticity, Raw picture data, rec 2020, various HDR features and more) Its a bit expensive at 495$ but they often offer 25% off deals.
http://www.drastic.tv/productsmenu-56/videoiosoftwarelist/67-videosw/testandmeasurement/126-drastic4kscope


And there is now a lower cost option to 4kScope call sdiScope.com. It has most of the same scopes and works with most BlackMagic hardware, including Ultrascope, and runs on Windows, macOS or Linux.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Reference Levels in Scopes?

PostFri Dec 07, 2018 9:27 am

Jeff Brass wrote:Can I ask Marc what it is you dont like about the internal scopes? Is it accuracy or the info they display? I swore we would never buy another Mac product but it looks like I may gave to for external scopes (scopebox) but keen to hear others thoughts.

Three reasons: 1) The flexibility for positioning the scope readouts anywhere you want, in any order you want, in any size you want; 2) less overhead on the Resolve system CPU; 3) instant waveforms with zero delay.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood

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