Color Page | Contextual Panels

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Mark Grgurev

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Color Page | Contextual Panels

PostThu Aug 08, 2019 8:29 pm

This is a re-post of an old thread I posted.

I've been using the Resolve's Color tab for 2 years now and I've loved it. It's UI is way better suited to complex grades then Lumetri panel for example, but it does have some confusing behavior. It's not exactly the greatest at exposing features and inferring how and when they work.

When I first started using Resolve, I made the assumption that the palette area represented all the tools for the currently selected node. Over time, I realized that wasn't the case and even today I'm finding examples features I didn't know where available to me or features that work differently than I expected.

The Problems

ResolveFX/OFX Nodes

When one of these is selected, you can make adjustments to the color wheels, curves, qualifiers, etc. but none of them do anything. The only palette that's really applicable is the FX Tracker which is effectively hidden under a tab and at the bottom of a dropdown menu. The actual settings for the effect are in the settings tab in the OFX menu.

This can lead to two issues.
1. Anytime someone uses a mix of FX nodes and Corrector nodes, there's inevitably a time when they start making curves adjustments assuming a Corrector node is selected only to see that no changes are happening. That's when they'll notice they have an FX node selected.

2. When an effect is added to a Corrector Node, the only indicator is on the node itself and it isn't specific to the type of effect. If the effect makes changes to colors, someone could look to get rid of that color change without necessarily realizing that it's being done by the effect unless they have the OFX panel open.

Highlighted is all of the palette area that is useless when you have an FX node selected.

Image

Camera RAW, Input Sizing, Edit Sizing, Stabilizer, Output Sizing

All these palettes allow you to change things that don't apply per node yet they're among all of the node-specific settings. The first four palettes only applies before the nodes and the last applies after all the nodes.

The interface doesn't inform you of this. It's only upon seeing this diagram in the manual that you get a good sense of how things work and you kind of just have to keep it in mind.

Image

The Solution

By making the the palette area contextual based on the currently selected node , it will solve a lot of the aforementioned problems and open up the interface up to some new features.

Let's look at what settings would be available per node type.

Source Node
Code: Select all
   Clip Settings
      Camera Raw
      Info
      Input LUT
   Scaling
      Input Sizing
      Edit Sizing
   Tracking
      Stabilizer


Here we have all of the settings that apply to the Input media now with the ability to change the Input LUT. Since this is a required node, being able to set an Input LUT here saves someone from having to make a corrector node just to do this.

If you really look at palettes the palettes available in this node and compare it to the clip settings on the Edit page, you can see that they're more or less the same. That connection between the two pages signals to the user that those settings are connected. You could even make the case that the Camera Raw settings and the Input LUT could be exposed in the Edit page since it's not really adjusting the "grade" of the clip but the metadata associated with the Clip.

Image

Layer & Parallel Mixer
Code: Select all
   Input List
      Add/ Remove / Composiite Mode

The idea of combining these into general Color Mixer node may be controversial because of the difference in how they handle layer order but I would imagine that the functionality of a Parallel Mixer could be achieved with Parallel Composite mode.

Regardless of whether they're combined, the additional screen real estate available to features of this/these nodes can allow for some interesting functionality. For example, a Layer Mixer can be made to have different Compositing modes per layer which would allow it serve the job of multiple Layer Mixers connected together.

Key Mixer
Code: Select all
   Input List
      Add/ Remove / Invert
   Reference
      Key/Alpha Channel

In writing this post, I only just realized that Key palette already shows an Input list complete with the ability to invert masks and change gain and offset values so this wouldn't be adding anything. It would still save a few clicks though since the Key palette would already be visible once you select the Key Mixer.

Image

Splitter
Code: Select all
   Channels List
      Invert

This isn't that complicated of a node. It would just show you representations of each channel but it would now give you the ability to Invert a channel. It's a small feature but if all you intend to do is invert two of the channels then this will allow you to do that and pipe it into a Combiner without a Corrector node between.

Combiner
Code: Select all
   Channels List
      Invert
      RGB Mixer

Same as before except it would add the Color Mixer palette. This a required node if a Splitter node was used so inclusion of the RGB Mixer is something that could conceivable save somebody from having to create another Corrector node afterwards to do the same thing.

Output Node
Code: Select all
   Info
      System info
      Clip Info
      Color Space
   Output Monitor
      Output LUT
      Scope Mode

Here we have the other required Node. In this case, it's adds the ability to add an Output LUT and select an output color space. The idea hear is that by creating additional Output nodes, someone can have these routed to different monitors.

The idea to include a Color Space option was actually requested by Cary Knoop in the Davinci Resolve 17 Feature Request Thread. He suggested using different output nodes as a way to do different grades for HDR and SDR.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=88857&start=250#p510046

Jim Simon brought up the idea of having the scopes more easily togglable between HDR and SDR.

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=105390

Combined with Cary's idea, the scope mode could be paired with a specific output and would switch depending on which output is active.

ResolveFX/OFX
Code: Select all
   FX Settings
      FX settings
   Tracker
      FX Tracker

This would actually replace the Settings tab in the OFX panel altogether and put all of the FX settings in one spot.

Image

Plug-ins like NeatVideo could theoretically integrate their whole interface into the palette area.

Image

Corrector
Code: Select all
   Basic Correction
      Color Match
      Color Wheels
         Primary Wheels
         Primary Bars
         Log
      RGB Mixer
      Curves
         Custom
         Hue vs Hue
         Hue vs Sat
         Hue vs Lum
         Lum vs Sat
         Sat vs Sat
      Noise Reduction
   Keying, Sharpness, and Sizing
      Qualifiers
         HSL
         RGB
         Lum
      Window
         Window
      Blur
         Blur
         Sharpen
         Mist
      Sizing
         Node
         Reference
      Tracker
         Window Tracker
   Reference, 3D, and Keyframing
         3D
         Scopes
         Key
         Keyframes

And finally, the corrector node. The Corrector node just gets some clean up and re-orginization.

The non-node specific palette's would be removed. Which, for reference, are Camera RAW, Info, Stabilizer, FX Tracker, Input Sizing, Edit Sizing, and Output Sizing.

The remaining palettes are just regrouped. The mindset behind the new grouping is more or less straightforward with the exception of the third group.

The idea behind grouping 3D and Key with Scopes and Keyframes is that you may want to see your key while creating power windows and qualifiers. And the 3D is there.... because I don't know whats in it and I just imagine you wouldn't need to see your scopes while messing with it. I could be wrong though.

Image

One last thing you might notice is the lack of FX Tracker in the Corrector Node. That's because I'm suggesting that the ability to associate an effect with a node be removed. If people really want to keep that feature, the FX settings could be added somewhere in list of 27 palettes already in the Corrector. But by removing that feature and requiring that they be their own nodes, it allows the implementation of the Shift+Space behavior that's present in Fusion which prevents the need to open up the Effects list at all.


Closing Thoughts

I really believe that this change would do a lot to remove clutter from the interface and improve usability of smaller monitors and overall. It's both a big and small change. It's big in that it would really help new users wrap their head around the software but small in that it's a straight forward enough change that experience Resolve users would be able to adjust quickly.

I'm curious to hear what the community thinks of this and if anybody had suggests to improve on this.

Update:

Did a quick mockup of how NeatVideo could take advantage of having the whole palette area.
Last edited by Mark Grgurev on Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:45 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Color Page | Contextual Panels

PostMon Aug 12, 2019 11:15 pm

The response you will get from a lot of experienced colorists is: "we're used to the way it is. Don't change it."

I can roll with the punches to a point, but my observation is you can get very fast in changing modes with a control surface. One button brings up the specific pallet you need without too much clutter. Are you using a control surface?

There's also the element of a "node philosophy," particularly when you're able to use a Fixed Node Layout where each node just does one single thing, and it's labeled accordingly. Do that, and the confusion level goes down dramatically (particularly for products done over time or taken over by different people).
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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Mark Grgurev

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Re: Color Page | Contextual Panels

PostTue Aug 13, 2019 1:48 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:The response you will get from a lot of experienced colorists is: "we're used to the way it is. Don't change it."


They'll get used to it quickly though. It doesn't really change anything about Resolves pipeline, just reduces clutter.

Marc Wielage wrote:I can roll with the punches to a point, but my observation is you can get very fast in changing modes with a control surface. One button brings up the specific pallet you need without too much clutter. Are you using a control surface?


Nope. They range from $1000-$30,000, I don't think a majority of their user base has them. One could argue that you'd need the palette area less and less as you go up the product range.

Marc Wielage wrote:There's also the element of a "node philosophy," particularly when you're able to use a Fixed Node Layout where each node just does one single thing, and it's labeled accordingly. Do that, and the confusion level goes down dramatically (particularly for products done over time or taken over by different people).


That's doesn't clear up the layout to only show available tools though. No matter what node philosophy people have, it doesn't change that Resolve has a particular pipeline and this idea would allow the user interface to better reflect it.

It's not uncommon that I see somebody say something like "you should make Camera Raw adjustments in the first node before you apply a LUT in a second node." Of course, we both know this is non-sense because Camera Raw adjustments don't happen per-node, they happen before any node processing begins. The reason for this confusion is that they see the Camera Raw adjustments among all the other palettes and make the assumption that all those controls happen per-node just like the color wheels. As a result, I've actually seen a Resolve color grading tutorial that showed a guy constantly switching to the first node, which has no adjustments added to it, to make changes to Camera Raw.
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Mark Grgurev

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Re: Color Page | Contextual Panels

PostFri Dec 20, 2019 1:38 pm

Decided to bump this thread with a few more details and a quick mockup of how a popular plug-in NeatVideo, could possible take advantage of Contextual Panels.

Image

NeatVideo interface currently opens in a new window and consists of a tabbed interface with a dock and main viewer so giving it access to the whole panel area would allow it more screen real estate to integrate itself into the Resolve and to use Resolve's viewer.

Effects/LUTs List

Currently Color Page has a separate list of LUTs and Effects. The fact that the Effects settings are a tab within the Effects list kind of necessitates this.

On the Fusion page, the Effects list and LUTs are in the same panel and its clear that Effects list in the Fusion shares code with the LUTs list in the color page.

By moving the Effects settings to the palette area, this would allow LUTs and Effects to be in the same panel on the Color page as well.

That would change the panel toggles at the top from this:

Gallery | LUTS | Media Pool | Timeline Clips | Nodes | OpenFX | Lightbox

to this

Gallery | Media Pool | Timeline Clips | Nodes | Effects | Lightbox

Tool Dropdown in Viewer

If you look to the right of the playback controls you'll see a dropdown list with the items:

Off
Qualifier
Power Window
Image Wipe
Dust Removal
OpenFX Overlay
Color Chart

These will usually change contextually anyway and some of these items are only there because OFX plugins can be placed onto correction nodes. Overall, I don't see a point for this dropdown especially if OFX nodes have to be separate and this area could better be used to include the functionality of of the Viewer Options.

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