While the extended color volume of HDR results in perceptibly more vibrant colors able to retain saturation and brightness without compromise, it pays to be cautious with saturation. Glowing skin and radioactive foliage are indications that saturation is cranked up too high. To assess saturation, use the vectorscope. In order to see the highlight and shadow excursions, enable the “extents” option of your scopes.
Extents create an outline highlighting all graph excursions to show you the true level of all overshoots and undershoots in the video signal. Show 2X Zoom zooms the vectorscope graph by 200%, making it easier to see fine detail and use the vectorscope with charts. Click on the images below to enlarge.
When mastering in PQ (ST 2084), much of the signal range is devoted to shadow detail. Noise in darker image regions is visually masked by highlights in the image. You can witness this for yourself by covering the highlights with one hand in front of you while looking at the shadow areas of your video displayed on the monitor. YouTube’s processing removes some noise to achieve streaming bitrates. In order to exercise more control over the final image, you’ll want to denoise your video prior to rendering it for upload. Many YouTube tutorials improperly recommend enlarging the image 999%, indiscriminately blasting luma and chroma noise with heavy amounts of noise reduction, followed by tossing in hideous amounts of sharpening, destroying true detail and making the picture look like cheap camcorder footage. We suggest instead using noise reduction sparingly, sharpening not at all, then examining the uploaded video at a normal viewing distance from a 55″ or larger television.
To check noise reduction in the viewer of DaVinci Resolve Studio, use the highlighter in A/B mode. It may take a few moments to kick in, depending on your machine. If you start to see lots of outlines of the subject, actual detail in the image is being affected, and noise reduction should be decreased.