How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

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

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 23, 2021 3:04 am

From time to time, we get questions on how to monitor HDR using the viewer in Resolve, either on the built-in display of a MacBook or via an external monitor connected via HDMI or DisplayPort.

If you'd like to learn how to use the HDR capabilities of an Apple MacBook, iMac or external HDR capable displays such as the Apple Pro Display XDR in order to preview HDR content directly via the Resolve viewer, follow the link:

https://daejeonchronicles.com/2021/09/2 ... ve-viewer/

Sorry, I'm only able to upload 3 attachments, otherwise I'd have included the steps here!

1.-1-1.jpg
Screenshot of HDR PQ image on SDR gamma calibrated display. The image is gray and lifeless.
1.-1-1.jpg (673.87 KiB) Viewed 1077 times

5..jpg
PQ HDR image with “Display HDR on viewers if available” enabled.
5..jpg (761.28 KiB) Viewed 1077 times
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline
User avatar

Marc Wielage

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:46 am
  • Location: Hollywood, USA

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostSun Sep 26, 2021 7:41 pm

I don't believe it's possible. I think you'd be very wise to ignore the GUI image and concentrate solely on the color-managed image shown on your calibrated color monitor outside the operating system.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 12:25 am

Marc Wielage wrote:I don't believe it's possible. I think you'd be very wise to ignore the GUI image and concentrate solely on the color-managed image shown on your calibrated color monitor outside the operating system.
While no one should be using the Resolve viewer for color grading on their Mac, this feature does have a number of advantages.

(1) for making screenshots for tutorials on blogs and websites, (2) for those using QuickTime to record the screen of their Mac when making online instructional videos, (3) it’s a joy to see the colors of the viewer resemble what you're seeing on the monitor - just as those working in SDR do - rather than the flat and lifeless mess they used to be and (4) it makes it possible to show the client/friends/model what you’re working on when on location or when there’s no HDR display around.

The time can't come soon enough when we're able to see an actual HDR image in the viewer on Macs with miniLED displays.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline

Peter Chamberlain

Blackmagic Design

  • Posts: 10973
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:08 am

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 1:31 pm

Moved to Resolve forum
DaVinci Resolve Product Manager
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 2:15 pm

You would also match monitor's refresh rate to your project fps (on monitors which support multiple refresh rates). This makes way bigger difference if you use full screen clean preview though.
Offline

mpetech

  • Posts: 257
  • Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:52 pm
  • Real Name: Dom Silverio

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 2:34 pm

JonPais wrote:
Marc Wielage wrote:I don't believe it's possible. I think you'd be very wise to ignore the GUI image and concentrate solely on the color-managed image shown on your calibrated color monitor outside the operating system.
While no one should be using the Resolve viewer for color grading on their Mac, this feature does have a number of advantages.

(1) for making screenshots for tutorials on blogs and websites, (2) for those using QuickTime to record the screen of their Mac when making online instructional videos, (3) it’s a joy to see the colors of the viewer resemble what you're seeing on the monitor - just as those working in SDR do - rather than the flat and lifeless mess they used to be and (4) it makes it possible to show the client/friends/model what you’re working on when on location or when there’s no HDR display around.

The time can't come soon enough when we're able to see an actual HDR image in the viewer on Macs with miniLED displays.


But it would still look flat unless the viewer is watching in an HDR environment. Even with the correct Mac, that is unlikely.

4 - I agree (since you are aware and in control).
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 3:07 pm

You can work on HDR, have color space converter node connected to Nobe display preview to show SDR representation on non-HDR screen.

Also QTX now does HDR tone mapping (for properly flagged HDR files) into display profile. It even reads metadata with peak brightness etc. and takes it into calculation.
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 5:30 am

Another example. Cereal box highlight detail clearly discernible in the picture without “Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" enabled is blown out on the MacBook Pro's SDR display when enabled but is plainly visible on my LG OLED TV.

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 11.54.35 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 11.54.35 AM.jpg (694.79 KiB) Viewed 540 times

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 12.05.12 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 12.05.12 PM.jpg (831.37 KiB) Viewed 540 times


In Final Cut Pro, on systems with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, you can view HDR video in the viewer with tone mapping applied, which compresses bright image content and reduces the apparent dynamic range of the video to fit the viewable range of your display.

The original ProRes RAW clip (below) is tone mapped in the viewer of Final Cut Pro, yielding a less contrasty image with far more information in the highlights (much more than can be seen in this screenshot) and clips in the browser and on the timeline are tone mapped as well. Note the extra information in the curtain to the left.

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 1.41.41 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 1.41.41 PM.jpg (671.03 KiB) Viewed 519 times
Last edited by JonPais on Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline

mpetech

  • Posts: 257
  • Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:52 pm
  • Real Name: Dom Silverio

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 1:07 pm

You do know your screenshot are all being viewed in SDR?
The first screenshot just seems to be shot in log and just needs grading or a LUT. 99% of the production we grade is shot that way. During the offline edits, a simple LUT is used to give it contrast and vibrancy on the color.
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 1:15 pm

mpetech wrote:You do know your screenshot are all being viewed in SDR?
The first screenshot just seems to be shot in log and just needs grading or a LUT. 99% of the production we grade is shot that way. During the offline edits, a simple LUT is used to give it contrast and vibrancy on the color.
This is not about Log footage needing grading. Both the flat image and the colorful one are one and the same - it's already been graded and has heaps of contrast and color. It is about how clips in the viewer of Resolve appear on a Mac when color grading HDR footage using an external display. The second screenshot is with “Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers" enabled in Preferences.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostWed Sep 29, 2021 4:13 pm

Yes, because now OSX tone maps HDR to SDR (Resolve behaves same as QT X preview).
Not long time ago there was no HDR to SDR tone mapping in OSX.
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 6:36 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Yes, because now OSX tone maps HDR to SDR (Resolve behaves same as QT X preview).
Not long time ago there was no HDR to SDR tone mapping in OSX.
Not quite. Unlike Final Cut Pro, which applies tone mapping, compressing the dynamic range to fit the display, the viewer in Resolve is displaying ST2084 PQ, which explains why the picture is so contrasty and highlights are clipped. In other words, the Resolve viewer really is HDR. Final Cut Pro's solution is preferable for day-to-day playback and editing of HDR projects on a Mac. That is, until the new miniLED Macs are introduced!
Last edited by JonPais on Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline
User avatar

Marc Wielage

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:46 am
  • Location: Hollywood, USA

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 8:19 am

JonPais wrote:Final Cut Pro's solution is preferable for day-to-day playback and editing of HDR projects on a Mac.

I think trying to judge HDR images on a Mac screen is very, very iffy at best. I've done a half-dozen HDR & Dolby Vision projects, but I ignored what was on the GUI and just believed the calibrated Sony BVM-X300 screen with a color-managed connection. Everything went fine.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 8:23 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
JonPais wrote:Final Cut Pro's solution is preferable for day-to-day playback and editing of HDR projects on a Mac.

I think trying to judge HDR images on a Mac screen is very, very iffy at best. I've done a half-dozen HDR & Dolby Vision projects, but I ignored what was on the GUI and just believed the calibrated Sony BVM-X300 screen with a color-managed connection. Everything went fine.
This isn't about grading HDR footage, it's about being able to see an image with color and contrast for day-to-day playback and editing as well as for taking screenshots for tutorials and making instructional videos.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 8:53 am

JonPais wrote:
Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Yes, because now OSX tone maps HDR to SDR (Resolve behaves same as QT X preview).
Not long time ago there was no HDR to SDR tone mapping in OSX.
Not quite. Unlike Final Cut Pro, which applies tone mapping, compressing the dynamic range to fit the display, the viewer in Resolve is displaying ST2084 PQ, which explains why the picture is so contrasty and highlights are clipped. In other words, the Resolve viewer really is HDR. Final Cut Pro's solution is preferable for day-to-day playback and editing of HDR projects on a Mac. That is, until the new miniLED Macs are introduced!


Should be the same (unless FCP X has own engine for it which is more advanced).
Is Resolve same as exported file seen in QT X (files has to be seen as HDR which is shown in file info)?
Offline

JonPais

  • Posts: 332
  • Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 am
  • Warnings: 1

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 9:00 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:
JonPais wrote:
Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Yes, because now OSX tone maps HDR to SDR (Resolve behaves same as QT X preview).
Not long time ago there was no HDR to SDR tone mapping in OSX.
Not quite. Unlike Final Cut Pro, which applies tone mapping, compressing the dynamic range to fit the display, the viewer in Resolve is displaying ST2084 PQ, which explains why the picture is so contrasty and highlights are clipped. In other words, the Resolve viewer really is HDR. Final Cut Pro's solution is preferable for day-to-day playback and editing of HDR projects on a Mac. That is, until the new miniLED Macs are introduced!


Should be the same. Is Resolve same as exported file seen in QT X?
What should be the same? An image tone mapped to the gamma curve of the SDR display of a MacBook vs. one with a PQ ST 2084 transfer function for HDR? I'm afraid they're not at all alike: one is contrasty with blown out highlights, the other has normal contrast with information in both highlights and shadows.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 9:32 am

If you tick use Mac viewers option on Mac then whatever Resolve generates internally (eg final PQ data) is taken by OSX color manage system and mapped to display profile. Exactly the same as QT X or any other color managed OSX app does. This happens for SDR projects. Maybe HDR is different in Resolve.

I've asked you if Resolve preview is the same as QT X (once you export HDR file).
QT X should be the same as FCP X (and the same as Resolve). But Resolve use to have different preview to OSX apps, so this is not guarantee. There is also possibility that FCP X has internal engine which is different than OSX one for mapping HDR to SDR (but I think it doesn't). Compare QT X, FCP X and Resolve preview and it will be more clear.
Offline

Tim Cromar

  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:06 am

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 12:22 pm

On Mac Os 11.6, display P3 iMac 500nits(?), R17 my results are:

– Timeline and Output Rec2020/ST2084 1000 nits
– 'Use mac viewers' checked
– 'Use HDR on viewers if available' checked

Output viewed in QTX, Movist Pro, displays Apple's pseudo HDR mapping (watch the brightness climb in highlights momentarily during playback).

The Resolve viewer (poor-man's monitor) is not tone-mapping correctly (highlights completely blown) and doesn't match the QT player for luma values. I have to use an HDR simulation LUT on the last node to make it visually match the QT export.

Unchecking 'Use mac viewers' produces the 'flat' image in the viewer.

Watching the QT file on my Panny HDR screen matches and exceeds the QTX player.

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:If you tick use Mac viewers option on Mac then whatever Resolve generates internally (eg final PQ data) is taken by OSX color manage system and mapped to display profile. Exactly the same as QT X or any other color managed OSX app does.


I conclude that the Resolve viewer is not mapping the excess luma values in the same way as QTX is doing.

*PS If you don't have access to a declink card, or box to directly monitor HDR, but you do have a decent HDR TV handy, you can get a quick and dirty idea of final HDR output by using the Google Chromecast dongle on the TV, and using this App https://airflow.app/ (I'm not affiliated or paid) to quickly stream an output file to it in HDR. Very useful for a quick check.
Offline

Andrew Kolakowski

  • Posts: 7689
  • Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am
  • Location: Poland

Re: How to Monitor HDR in Viewer of Resolve

PostThu Sep 30, 2021 1:25 pm

Just quickly checked it and yes- Resolve preview is not following OSX color engine, so you don't have "nice" tone mapped SDR preview.

Return to DaVinci Resolve

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Peter McLennan and 82 guests