Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

Get answers to your questions about color grading, editing and finishing with DaVinci Resolve.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostWed Feb 20, 2019 8:03 pm

Here is a newbie question.

I'm grading in Resolve Studio 15 on an iMac 5k Retina with its default color profile chosen in System Preferences. Unfortunately, I don't yet own an external reference monitor. I enable the "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" option. What am I now seeing in the Resolve viewers?

Is Resolve a) now compensating for the iMac's P3 color profile, so that the Resolve viewers look Rec 709?
Or is Resolve b) now making its own viewers look P3?

Thank you for any help.
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostWed Feb 20, 2019 10:36 pm

Whatever you have set in project setting is converted to screen profile. It's not Resolve but more Apple color engine doing conversion.
In theory this should be fine, so if you have Rec.709 set project then your preview should be correct (not oversaturated), but in practice this is not so ideal as screen is not calibrated and there are "other" issues.
Another issue is that QT X uses wrong gamma for Rec.709 tagged files, so it won't match Resolve <15.2.3 version. 15.2.3 compensates for this, so 2.4 gamma based projects will match QT X, but this doesn't mean preview is correct. It's actually very wrong. All messed up :D Depending what you grade for: Mac screens/preview or TVs/PCs etc you may be better of using Resolve 15.2.2.
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostWed Feb 20, 2019 10:51 pm

Thanks so much for your reply, Andrew. Good to know about Resolve 15.2.3.

But I'm still not sure I understand 100%.

My Project Settings are set up for Rec 709 2.4. The iMac display is using its default P3 profile. I am enabling "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers." Does that mean that, within Resolve, the Viewer windows now show Rec 709?

And I can definitely see that when I export something and open it up in Quicktime Player on the same monitor, it's washed out — I can adjust for that in my workflow, but just wanted to make sure I get what "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" is actually doing.
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:01 pm

citizenmike wrote:Thanks so much for your reply, Andrew. Good to know about Resolve 15.2.3.

But I'm still not sure I understand 100%.

My Project Settings are set up for Rec 709 2.4. The iMac display is using its default P3 profile. I am enabling "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers." Does that mean that, within Resolve, the Viewer windows now show Rec 709?

And I can definitely see that when I export something and open it up in Quicktime Player on the same monitor, it's washed out — I can adjust for that in my workflow, but just wanted to make sure I get what "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" is actually doing.


Yes, it should be Rec.709 equivalent preview on P3 screen (so not badly oversaturated one).
With 15.2.3 and 2.4 gamma setting your exported eg. ProRes should perfectly match between QT X preview and Resolve viewer (only for 2.4 gamma though!). Problem is that it's not correct preview, eg. won't match proper reference screen over BM card. BM in 15.2.3 is compensating for the fact that QT X uses 1.96 gamma for Rec.709 tagged files, so this is quite far from your specified 2.4 (and what Resolve 15.2.2 will show in its viewer).
Maybe 1 day I will compare Resolve GUI viewer with BM preview to the same monitor. It doesn't matter if monitor is accurate or not, but if both previews are the same (with correct project/monitor settings).
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:11 pm

Thanks so much, Andrew. I wasn't sure whether "Use Mac Display Color Profile for Viewers" meant that Resolve was "compensating" for the Mac color profile or "implementing" the Mac color profile in the Viewers. Sounds like it's compensating for the Mac color profile in order to show Rec 709.

I appreciate the wisdom!
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostThu Feb 21, 2019 12:13 am

No, it's including Resolve viewer into OSX color management pipe.

Resolve 15.2.3 does something additional on its side for 2.4 based gamma projects in order to provide same preview result as QT X, but this is a poor hack.
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostThu Feb 21, 2019 12:20 am

Uh oh, now I'm confused again. I'm not really worried about how things look inside QT Player right now — just trying to get a bead on what I'm seeing in Resolve.

You said "Yes, it should be Rec.709 equivalent preview on P3 screen (so not badly oversaturated one)."

I took that to mean that: despite the fact that my iMac has a P3 color profile, if I enable the "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" option while in a Rec 709 2.4 Resolve project, that Resolve will show me images within its viewers as if I'm looking at a Rec 709 2.4 monitor.

Am I right or wrong?

Thank you.
Offline

Vit Reiter

  • Posts: 551
  • Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:36 pm

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostFri Feb 22, 2019 10:37 am

citizenmike wrote:Uh oh, now I'm confused again. I'm not really worried about how things look inside QT Player right now — just trying to get a bead on what I'm seeing in Resolve.

You said "Yes, it should be Rec.709 equivalent preview on P3 screen (so not badly oversaturated one)."

I took that to mean that: despite the fact that my iMac has a P3 color profile, if I enable the "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" option while in a Rec 709 2.4 Resolve project, that Resolve will show me images within its viewers as if I'm looking at a Rec 709 2.4 monitor.

Am I right or wrong?

Thank you.
You can explore this thread: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=69373
I think you will not find a simple answer but it's interesting and you can see how difficult it is.
DaVinci Resolve 16.2.3 Studio
Mac Pro 2013, AMD FirePro D700, 64GB RAM, macOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017, Radeon Pro 575, 24GB RAM, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6

Film Editor, Colorist, DIT, Encoding technician
linkedin.com/in/vít-reiter-film-editor
Offline
User avatar

Marc Wielage

  • Posts: 6750
  • Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:46 am
  • Location: Hollywood, USA

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostFri Feb 22, 2019 11:12 am

And this is right about the part of the thread where I jump in and remind people to page 1885 of the Resolve 15 manual: "Limitations When Grading With the Viewer on a Computer Display." This goes into some detail why you cannot accurately monitor directly from the computer and operating system. You have to have a color-managed output, like one from a Blackmagic display card, preferably on a calibrated external Rec709 display.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Feb 25, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like I had exactly the wrong understanding of what "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" does.
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Feb 25, 2019 9:03 pm

It does what it says. You are not wrong, but unfortunately BM (after initial fix) changed it in 15.2.3 into some "need to look like QT X" feature, not a proper reference look.
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Feb 25, 2019 9:06 pm

citizenmike wrote:Uh oh, now I'm confused again. I'm not really worried about how things look inside QT Player right now — just trying to get a bead on what I'm seeing in Resolve.

You said "Yes, it should be Rec.709 equivalent preview on P3 screen (so not badly oversaturated one)."

I took that to mean that: despite the fact that my iMac has a P3 color profile, if I enable the "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" option while in a Rec 709 2.4 Resolve project, that Resolve will show me images within its viewers as if I'm looking at a Rec 709 2.4 monitor.

Am I right or wrong?

Thank you.


Unfortunately in Resolve 15.2.3+ it won't as for 2.4 gamma based projects BM does special correction which is designed to give same preview as QT X, not correct one.
If you go back to 15.2.2 then in theory it should give you correct preview (regardless how accurate screen is). It should match BM card preview on the same monitor. What we want to achieve is same preview over GPU and BM card on the same monitor (with same settings). Once this is achieved you just need to calibrate monitor and then it will be accurate.

Imagine we have P3 screen with 2.4 gamma and its profile describes it 100% accurately. Profile info is used by OSX color engine for any processing, so it has to be accurate. Lets just assume everything is 100% perfect. In such a case Resolve viewer should be fairly accurately able to show you any smaller gamut based format, eg Rec.709 with 2.2 gamma. At this point we have 100% accurate P3 preview, so rest is just "pure math". Of course it can't be wider gamut as then screen can't display it by its "physical" limitation. Anything below its physical limitations can be achieved by pure math (either on GPU, as LUT or on external box, etc). This is exactly what good monitors do when you switch between their presets P3 vs REc.709 or different gammas. In order to make it even more accurate we calibrate screen on regular basis, so then you are certain that your preview is accurate (fact that it left factory even well calibrated doesn't really guarantee it's accurate months later).

When you read Resolve manual remember it's all related to Resolve, not every tool. There is absolutely nothing to stop you to achieve 100% color accurate preview (actually more accurate than any SDI card there of you want to be pedantic) over GPU monitoring.
Offline

Milk and Coffee

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:18 am
  • Real Name: Devon Stanczyk

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Jun 29, 2020 12:29 am

I read through this thread and also the manual. I too, am still a little confused on what "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" is, and how it works. I grade exclusively on my Macbook Pro, using it's built-in monitor. Sometimes I grade on an LG monitor connected to my mac via HDMI.

So with my exclusive Mac setup, should I have that option checked or unchecked?

In Davinci YRGB, I changed my timeline color space to "ACEScct." Display looked fine.

I turned on "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers." Then the viewer gets insanely contrasty. But when I export to H.264, it looks as it did before I turned on "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers."

It sounds like, with a Mac only setup (although not ideal, I understand) my best bet would be to leave "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" unchecked?

Thanks all for your patience!
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 6561
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Jun 29, 2020 6:17 pm

You can, but depending if you have wide gamut display or not you may end up with saturation issue. You would need to compensate this with preview LUT.
Offline

Jason Conrad

  • Posts: 227
  • Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Jun 29, 2020 7:13 pm

Milk and Coffee wrote:I read through this thread and also the manual. I too, am still a little confused on what "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" is, and how it works.


You're not alone. Bear in mind though, that this is an old thread, and Resolve 16.2.3 has changed a lot from Resolve 15. BMD have added Rec.709-A, which addresses the Quicktime gamma shift discussed above. There's a sticky thread about it at the top of the forum.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that until you're using a calibrated reference monitor, you can't expect accuracy. So, to me, the "Use Mac Color Profiles" checkbox is a moot point; it doesn't affect reference monitors. I know that might come across sounding a little elitist, but don't take it that way. I don't have one at the moment, either.
-MacBook Pro (14,3) i7 2.9 GHz 16 GB, Intel 630, AMD 560 x1
-[DR 16.1.2
Offline

Milk and Coffee

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:18 am
  • Real Name: Devon Stanczyk

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostMon Jun 29, 2020 10:45 pm

Totally understand! From what I can tell, setting the timeline color space to something with a wider gamut than my macbook display, shows highly contrasty and saturated images. And when still using that setting, and exporting to H.264, the rendered video looks as it did when I had "Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" unchecked.

Seems to me that maybe those of us using our computer monitors should maybe leave it UNCHECKED for the most accurate representation?
Offline

citizenmike

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:53 pm
  • Real Name: Mike Shen

Re: Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 10:31 pm

In case it's helpful, after I posted in this thread last year, I also posted in this thread on the Adobe Forum on the subject of color management between Premiere and Resolve.

https://community.adobe.com/t5/premiere ... 869?page=1

Return to DaVinci Resolve

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: David Gonzalez Lozano, panos_mts and 64 guests