Color Management questions

Get answers to your questions about color grading, editing and finishing with DaVinci Resolve.
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birkir

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Color Management questions

PostSat Aug 13, 2022 9:37 pm

I'm a bit new to DaVinci Resolve and also shooting 10-bit videos. I have been using my old Panasonic GH4 for many years in 8-bit, but I recently upgraded to Panasonic GH6. Now I'm shooting 10-bit 4:2:2 in V-Log, and I want to make sure that I am handling the colors the right way with Color Management.

What is the benefit of using ACES rather than DaVinci YRGB? I know that with ACES, you can select the Input Transform and get your image to look colorful and contrasty rather than a flat V-Log, but why is that better or maybe not better?

As I said, I'm using Panasonic GH6, 10-bit 4:2:2 in V-Log, and the only option that I see from the ACES Input Transform is Panasonic Varicam VLog Gamut - CSC. I'm definitely using Panasonic, but it's not the Varicam. Anything else that I should rather be selecting?

As you can probably tell, I'm new to this Color Management, and I'm sure there is not one right answer to my questions, but I hope this makes sense.

Im using DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0.1 on a Mac
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Jim Simon

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 2:28 pm

Start by watching this video. It's about 15 minutes and a great resource for new folks.




The way I approach this for SDR is by using:

V-Log.png
V-Log.png (24.41 KiB) Viewed 794 times



In the bins, select the media, right click>Input Color Space>Panasonic V-Gamut/V-Log

Now, if you want an HDR output, use this:

HDR Setup.png
HDR Setup.png (34.15 KiB) Viewed 789 times
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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 3:04 pm

birkir wrote:
What is the benefit of using ACES rather than DaVinci YRGB? I know that with ACES, you can select the Input Transform and get your image to look colorful and contrasty rather than a flat V-Log, but why is that better or maybe not better?


I would recommend checking out Cullen Kelly's YouTube channel where he addresses your specific question about Aces v Resolve Color Management (RCM). He has a whole series on related issues as well.



I think his basic conclusion is that RCM is best unless you are grading professionally and need to use ACES which is more widely used as a standard in the industry. From what you say, you are shooting and grading for yourself so RCM would seem to be the way to go.

There is also a great video on the BMD training pages by Cullen on color management (V17). If you follow this video you will soon have a nice automatic normalisation of your log videos. I don't know if much has changed in V18 as I am still on V17. The manual is well worth a read as well.

If you want to understand what is happening and what settings to use, I don't think auto is the way to go. It looks complex initially as there are so many choices but it is not as difficult as it looks.
Last edited by mickspixels on Sun Aug 14, 2022 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Paines

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 3:09 pm

I think you want to avoid the settings proposed above, by Mr. Simon. They will not provide a reliable viewing "environment" on typical setups.

Stick with the defaults of standard dynamic range ("SD"), until your equipment and understanding can accommodate further adventures.
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 3:52 pm

John Paines wrote:I think you want to avoid the settings proposed above, by Mr. Simon. They will not provide a reliable viewing "environment" on typical setups.

Stick with the defaults of standard dynamic range ("SD"), until your equipment and understanding can accommodate further adventures.

This is what Jim is doing and showing. SDR ouput. Second image with HDR PQ comes with ”if you want HDR…”

mickspixels wrote:I think his basic conclusion is that RCM is best unless you are grading professionally and need to use ACES which is more widely used as a standard in the industry.

ACES is the only standard from the two, RCM is proprietary.
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rNeil H

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 4:37 pm

As noted here and elsewhere, *in general* in Resolve, DaVinci color managed is easier than ACES, and is very good for most projects. Even those well up into professional production.

ACES is primarily useful when working a project that will span other aspects such as separate staff/facilities handling dailies, editing, color, vfx/compositing, graphics, and finishing.

As ACES can be used to keep the underlying color mathematics close (if perhaps not identicall) as the media and project move between machines and facilities.

Some colorists like ACES and use it in general. Many use DCM unless the project needs to use ACES.





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John Paines

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 4:53 pm

Hendrik Proosa wrote:This is what Jim is doing and showing. SDR ouput. Second image with HDR PQ comes with ”if you want HDR…”


HDR monitoring, as proposed there, is not going to be reliable on amateur setups, It might be more accurate to say "if you want HDR and don't mind that the material won't look like it does on your system anywhere else...."

As for the SDR setting, I'm not clear why the color processing mode selected is HDR for SDR output, and what that might require in the way of accurate monitoring probably not available to the OP.
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 6:14 pm

Amateurs don’t have anything reliable, what’s the point? HDR processing mode has nothing to do with output signal.
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John Paines

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 7:07 pm

Exactly, amateurs. Neither the OP, a confessed beginner, nor the party offering the advice is going to achieve reliable HDR monitoring by plugging in the [arbitrarily?] chosen numbers ("use this"!?), without a whole lot of missing expertise (and facilities). Those dialogue selections are a fantasy in this case. They won't produce material which satisfies HDR standards. Fine for home, if it never leaves the system, but nowhere else.

For the rest, I'm still unclear why HDR color mode processing is being suggested for SDR material. If there's a rationale for it, I'd be happy to know.
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Jim Simon

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:08 pm

John Paines wrote:HDR monitoring, as proposed there
I said nothing about monitoring. That's a separate issue.
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Jim Simon

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:11 pm

John Paines wrote:I'm still unclear why HDR color mode processing is being suggested for SDR material.
It's actually Log footage.

I found I prefer grading with the HDR preset, and offers a better path to HDR output if desired.

And yes, this is low-end production. I don't work in broadcast or cinema. Folks here who do can offer their perspective as well.
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John Paines

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:18 pm

Log or no log, you're now evidently suggesting an HDR post-production workflow ("use this"?), but not HDR monitoring..... Or an SDR workflow with HDR color mode processing for reasons unspecified.

I'm not a colorist, and I don't believe you are either. Maybe the likes of us should stick to recommending the defaults, to which the developers gave some thought, instead of making it up as we go along?
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Jim Simon

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:24 pm

I find the results are a bit better when using HDR mode, that's all. Even for SDR delivery. This is based on my own testing.

If I had purely 709 footage, I would indeed use the SDR preset as HDR doesn't seem to make any difference there.

(And you're right, I'm nowhere near Walter or Marc's skill level.)
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John Paines

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:37 pm

Okay, so you're nowhere near Marc or Walter, but let's make it even simpler. Is your testing well controlled and does it satisfy professional standards? Are your skills sufficiently advanced to even test meaningfully? If the answer is no, maybe the best thing is to restrict advice to recommending the defaults. Or offering none at all.
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rNeil H

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:44 pm

I know a number of colorists who prefer the HDR tools when grading SDR media.

Why John has has an objection to that is beyond me. It's a tool. Works a bit differently and some prefer it.

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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 9:03 pm

The OP is in all likelihood going to be very confused reading this thread when in reality it is not difficult to use color management effectively in Resolve. The HDR versus SDR workflow argument is a totally unnecessary and irrelevant diversion here given that the OP has not mentioned anything about his monitor. Assuming it is SDR then the color management should use an SDR setting.

In my opinion it is not sensible to use an automatic SDR color management workflow as this will miss out on the need to take one very important action for best results. That action is to set the Input Color Space to Panasonic V-Gamut/V-Log in the OP's case. Using auto SDR color management gives no control over nor any idea of what is happening. It will use a Rec709 (Scene) Input Color Space as the default which will not get him near where he needs to go with the normalisation. It will also not allow the auto user to understand what they are doing and what changes to make to get things right.

If he follows the BMD color management training video that I suggested above (as well as the other excellent training material on the BMD website), then he will definitely be on the right track. You don't have to be a professional colorist or color scientist to give good advice and you don't have to spend years on the job to do color management accurately but you do need to spend time reading and watching the right stuff, understanding it intelligently and then practising with equipment suitable for the task.
Last edited by mickspixels on Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 9:05 pm

rNeil H wrote:I know a number of colorists who prefer the HDR tools when grading SDR media.

Why John has has an objection to that is beyond me. It's a tool. Works a bit differently and some prefer it.

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Jim is not talking about the HDR tools - he is talking about using the HDR preset in the RCM Project Settings - Color Management.
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Joe Shapiro

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 9:53 pm

I agree with mickspixels.
Setting the input transform is key. Would be nice if there were something besides external training that guides a new user to set the input transform appropriately.

Since there isn’t, a small guide like the video he mentioned is likely the best way to go.


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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 10:15 pm

Joe Shapiro wrote:I agree with mickspixels.
Setting the input transform is key. Would be nice if there were something besides external training that guides a new user to set the input transform appropriately.


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Actually there are sections on how to set up RCM practically in the BMD PDF tutorial guides - Colorist Guide and Beginner's Guide as well as the BMD training video and the manual. All of this is great material and pretty much what I have been using to learn over the last few months which is why I am familiar with it. The other resource I have used is a Ripple Training tutorial by Alexis Van Hurkman on RCM which goes into great depth -I think he wrote the official manual as well.
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Joe Shapiro

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 10:17 pm

Yes, all this external training exists.
Having to use it adds friction to using Resolve.
It would be nice if, for as many things as possible, the software made it easy to find the thing you need to do to make things work like you'd hope. Kind of a key notion in UI design.
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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 10:40 pm

OK I get you. I thought you meant third party training. I think the number of permutations within RCM might make that very difficult indeed. I was using FCPX before I decided to tackle Resolve and that is so much easier as there are far fewer choices for color spaces and it all works out of the box without having to think too much - SDR, HDR, normalisation etc. But the complexity of Resolve brings some great benefits for color grading.
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shebbe

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Re: Color Management questions

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 11:58 pm

birkir wrote:What is the benefit of using ACES rather than DaVinci YRGB? I know that with ACES, you can select the Input Transform and get your image to look colorful and contrasty rather than a flat V-Log, but why is that better or maybe not better?
Some good resources are already suggested for the "quick fix" getting started in Resolve. But if you really want to understand what managing color means for digital film post production there is this great talk.


It will make you understand the journey from scene capture all the way to display and give a much clearer insight on why we shoot camera native gamut/log or raw and preferably work color managed in post. Be it via LUTs, RCM, RCM via nodes, ACES, IPP2 or many other pipelines.

Personally I think the best way to manage in Resolve is with Color Space Transforms (CST) because if you shoot in log it is much better to also grade scene-referred because it gives much more control, similar to grading directly on camera-log underneath a LUT. Working with RCM in log/'scene-referred' has problems when you want to use Fusion elements for display referred data like text. You don't suffer from this if you manually set things up.

The way I set it up is:
- Set project to DaVinci YRGB (Not Managed)
- Set timeline color space to preferred working colorspace.
Usually I pick ARRI LogC3 or ACEScct, you can also choose DaVinci Intermediate. The key is to pick something reasonably consistent across your projects that is not your camera's log space, so you can get familiar grading in it but also transfer saved grades much easier and having lots of projects each with different working color spaces depending on camera used can get unreliable and messy. ACEScct and DaVinci Intermediate are by design intermediate working spaces so a solid choice for color grading workflows.
- Set output color space to Rec.709 Gamma 2.4
To get the tags on export correct.
- Group all clips on the Color Page.
- Apply the input colorspace transform on 'group-pre-clip' node tree.
Here you use a Color Space Transform node to go from your camera to chosen timeline working color space.
- Grade on the clip node tree
- Apply output color space transform on 'group-post-clip'
Here you go from the timeline color space to display, i.e. Rec.709 Gamma 2.4

This practically mimics what happens with RCM 'under the hood' if setup there.
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ZRGARDNE

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Re: Color Management questions

PostMon Aug 15, 2022 1:40 am

I didn't see it mentioned yet, so I will here, the automatic color management system added in V17 and being recommended above is great. It is however incompatible with fusion and most of the effects on the edit tab.

So if you plan to use these tools, you will need a different workflow.

Some further explanations



viewtopic.php?f=22&t=137485&p=745551&hilit=wide+Gamut#p745551

Black magic refuse to acknowledge this problem, have not provided any recommended work around and they didn't fix in V18 update. So I would not bet on it being fixed any time soon.
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birkir

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Re: Color Management questions

PostMon Aug 15, 2022 5:47 am

Yeah there’s a lot to learn I guess and yes, many of these replies have been a bit confusing but also many of them very helpful. I’m going to watch the videos that was posted here above. If you have any others, please drop them here. Thanks everybody.


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Steve Alexander

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Re: Color Management questions

PostMon Aug 15, 2022 11:58 am

birkir wrote:Yeah there’s a lot to learn I guess and yes, many of these replies have been a bit confusing but also many of them very helpful. I’m going to watch the videos that was posted here above. If you have any others, please drop them here. Thanks everybody.


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BMD also has some good training videos on their website where Resolve Color Management is concerned. Might be worth watching those as well.
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Martin Rodriguez

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Re: Color Management questions

PostThu Aug 18, 2022 6:53 pm

Hi everybode. I'm new to this forum.
I just started to follow DaVinci 17 Color tutorials and almost everything works out well when using the different dras that you can download for following along with the excellent video tutorials.
But now I'm having problems with the Proyect file for the Advanced Color tutorial. Once I have restored the proyect archive (right click and restore project archive) related to this tutorial and open the ColorPage_Video_Part2, the Color Page opens but I don't see the video for the clips. The clips appear with their names in the timeline, but I don't see the videos.
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birkir

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Re: Color Management questions

PostFri Aug 19, 2022 6:17 pm

I also have a question about my output color space. I'm using the iMac Pro 27. These are all the options that I have for Color Profile. Should I be using something other than the default iMac color Profile for more accurate colors?

iMac Pro Color Profiles.
https://ibb.co/MRSWNWf
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mickspixels

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Re: Color Management questions

PostFri Aug 19, 2022 8:47 pm

birkir wrote:I also have a question about my output color space. I'm using the iMac Pro 27. These are all the options that I have for Color Profile. Should I be using something other than the default iMac color Profile for more accurate colors?

iMac Pro Color Profiles.
https://ibb.co/MRSWNWf


This question suggests that you are very confused which is perhaps not surprising given the range of answers you got to your original question. Your output color space is entirely separate from your monitor profile. I would strongly suggest you check out the BMD training video on color management in Resolve YouTube link below) for starters as it will show you how to practically set up Resolve Color Management.


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