Monster Guide: HDR10 in Resolve Studio 17 (Part II)

Part I: Project settings

Part II: Color correction

Part III: HDR Palette, project render settings

Part IV: HDR to SDR Conversion LUT for YouTube

Part V: RAW

Part VI: The Grade

Part VII: Addendum

Part VIII: The State of HDR Film Emulation LUTs & Plugins

Part IX: Why HDR Production Monitors Matter

In Part I of our HDR 10 workflow, we covered project settings. In Part II, we go over color correction using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Video – the fastest, most reliable, most consistent method we know of for achieving accurate color. Be sure to record both the white balance target and the pages with the white, gray and black bars and color chips on every shoot – and repeat each time the lighting changes.

The first step is dialing in the proper color temperature.

The next fundamental to grading photographically is to think in terms of objective color temperature. This is a far cry from our normal approach to warming or cooling an image, which tends to be very subjective. It involves us free-handing our RGB balls until we arrive at a pleasing result. So what’s the problem with that? First, it’s imprecise, often introducing subtle, unwanted pink or green shifts into our image. Second, it’s inefficient. Because we’re using a single image as the sole basis for our adjustment, whatever unique solution of red, green and blue we arrive at is unlikely to work on any other shot without requiring further manipulation. By contrast, if we can start with a foundation of dialing in our color temperature using non-subjective math we get quick, accurate and consistent results – the same ones we would have gotten if we’d rated our camera for a higher or lower color temperature on set. From here, there’s far less left for us to do by hand and more time for us to do it well.Cullen Kelly

Concerning an often asked question regarding the appearance of scopes in HDR10, one significant difference is that in SDR, the signal can ordinarily fill out the scopes, say, from 0-1023, while in HDR PQ, the bulk of the signal will usually be bunched up toward the bottom end of the waveform, from 0-100 nits or so, with only small excursions for specular highlights. So what ends up happening is that even if we set, say, 1000 nits as our peak brightness, we might actually only see occasional peaks at 400 or 600 nits and nothing greater than that, depending of course on the project and the subject matter.

The reason for this is that the average picture level (APL) of SDR and HDR should be similar (in fact, HDR not infrequently actually ends up being lower), and generally speaking, everything above 203 nits (diffuse white) is for specular highlights. So while our signal may very well appear identical when switching between 10-bit, 12-bit and HDR PQ in the waveform settings on the Color Page, if instead we were to switch the project settings themselves from HDR to SDR on the Color Management Page, we’d notice that our waveforms look quite different indeed – stretching out to fill the 10-bit scope while shrinking back down to below 100-200 nits in the HDR PQ one.

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