Part I: Project settings
Part II: Color correction
Part III: HDR Palette, project render settings
Part V: RAW
Part VI: The Grade
Part VII: Addendum
Part IX: Why HDR Production Monitors Matter
Of the 300-odd new items introduced with the release of DaVinci Resolve 17, perhaps the single most groundbreaking feature is the HDR palette – so much so that we thought it worthwhile to devote a separate section of our workflow to familiarize readers with a few of its functions. Whereas the primary color wheels consist of Lift/Gamma/Gain, the HDR palette includes individual controls for black, dark, shadow, light, highlight and specular, as well as a global control, permitting extraordinarily precise manipulation of targeted tonal regions – and as if that weren’t enough, the user can create new custom color wheels; toggle individual wheels on and off; rearrange the position of each of the zones; increase or decrease the falloff; and instantly preview the effect each of these changes has on the image in the viewer. Working within the zone system of the HDR palette dispenses with the tiresome burden of fussing around with curves and qualifiers. Not having to use as many windows or keyers is huge. It’s worth remarking that with the release of Resolve 17, it is no longer necessary to enable HDR settings on nodes for controls to work intuitively when working in a wide gamut timeline space or when delivering HDR – the HDR palette takes care of this automatically. It is also notable that, unlike the Lift/Gamma/Gain wheels, the HDR palette allows you to increase contrast without raising saturation; decrease contrast without reducing saturation; and boost highlights without incurring extreme levels of saturation in those highlights. Being color space aware, when used in conjunction with RCM, the controls of the HDR palette adapt themselves to the limits of the clip’s image data as mapped from the input color space you’ve assigned to the timeline color space of your project: consequently, the behavior of the controls should feel virtually identical regardless of the type of source clip or timeline color space. After playing around with the new HDR wheels for just a few hours, returning to the lift, gamma and gain controls of old felt coarse – and we would be surprised if other NLEs did not follow suit in the coming years. Incidentally, the Color Warper’s pretty insane, too!
Here are the settings for rendering your project. We’ve chosen ProRes 4444 XQ, but a lighter codec might be preferable for uploading to YouTube!
And lastly, this PVC podcast about DaVinci Resolve 17 with guest Alexis Van Hurkman is pretty much required listening.