Tips for Better Looking HDR Videos

You’ve balanced your clips and corrected skin tones, now what? Go from the HDR camcorder look to the film look in four easy steps. Additional strategies not mentioned in the video include (1) pinning black levels above zero with the HDR wheels to prevent footage from looking too ‘crunchy’; (2) you can and should selectively boost the brightness of highlights like we did with the space between the curtains to the right of the frame; (3) maintaining the average picture level (APL) below 100 nits to allow headroom for impactful specular highlights; (4) halving ISO when shooting indoors to reduce noise (we shot this clip at ISO 400, exposed to the right and reduced it to ISO 250 in post) and (5) limiting output gamut to P3-D65. In their production guide, Netflix cautions against excessive noise in HDR projects around a half dozen times.

2 thoughts on “Tips for Better Looking HDR Videos

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  1. Cullen recommends to set timeline working luminance to Custom = 10000nits and Input DRT – None for HDR. His logic seems sounds, why clamp or compress the full luminance prior to the Output DRT.

    1. Dolby Vision, in their DaVinci Resolve Quick setup guide, does him one better – zero DRTs, no input, no output. I had a go at it with my Komodo workflow, creating an output transform LUT with no output tone mapping or highlight roll-off. The clips looked like super flat log images, but once I applied an S-curve, the pictures came to life. So I’ve added it as on option to the Komodo workflow. I’ll have a look at the Sony workflow tomorrow.

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