HDR Troubleshooting Guide/Checklist

  1. Are you shooting RAW? If not, why?
  2. Are you recording as much data as necessary while neither clipping highlights nor crushing shadow detail? Are you using the appropriate scopes and tools for judging HDR exposure?
  3. If you’re shooting with a camera that uses EI (where ISO is just metadata), are you halving your ISO? Noise is much more visible in HDR than SDR.
  4. Are you using an HDR display for grading? (Asus ProArt PA32UCX, MacBook Pro (2021), LG OLED…)
  5. Is your display calibrated?
  6. Is there a Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Mini TB3 connected between your computer and monitor? An i/o box is a must in order to bypass the operating system’s color management.
  7. Are you using an appropriate NLE? Final Cut Pro tools are not optimized for HDR grading and Resolve ‘Lite’ cannot handle HDR. DaVinci Resolve Studio is optimized for HDR grading.
  8. Are extents enabled in your scopes? You need to be able to see under- and overshoots of the signal.
  9. Are you using tetrahedral interpolation (and 65 grid 3D LUTs whenever possible)? HDR requires larger LUTs than SDR.
  10. In Preferences, is ‘Use Mac Display Color Profiles for Viewers’ enabled?
  11. Is the input color space of clips in the timeline on the color page correct?
  12. If grading on a MacBook Pro (2021), have you selected the correct reference mode HDR Video (P3 ST2084)?
  13. If you are grading using an LG OLED, do your peak highlights exceed the capabilities of the display? (they shouldn’t)
  14. Is your workflow/color management correct for the project you are working on? RedCode RAW, ProRes, S-Log3/S-Gamut3.Cine, the RAW Convertor app, the Dehancer plugin – each requires very different color management.
  15. If delivering in HEVC, are you using 10-bit 4:2:2 and increasing the bit rate?

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