Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve


Creating a Video From Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

So now I'm gonna move over to DaVinci. Now, DaVinci Resolve is slightly different. Okay, quick question. It's a question on the XML. It's not actually exporting any of the files, the movie files themselves, it's just kind of tags pointing to where they are in that project directory? Exactly. Absolutely. Okay, thanks. So XML is just a set of instructions that another editing software can pick up to understand, okay, here's where things are, gotcha. Essentially it's a translation device between two different editing tools. So let's pretend you edit in Final Cut Pro, you edit in DaVinci, and I edit in Premiere, and we're all working on the same project. We can work on the same project in three different editors so long as we're pushing out XMLs to each other. The downside of this is sometimes there's translation errors meaning the more stuff you do to the edit that isn't just cutting, the more likelihood that effect or that thing you do will not translate. XML is very, very unreli...

able past a certain point. You gotta keep it simple, okay? So here we are. You can see here I set myself up so I can breeze through, breeze through this a little bit. But what I'm gonna do here is when you open, let me close out DaVinci real quick, when you open up DaVinci Resolve, it's gonna open up, it's gonna give you this nice little graphic. You're gonna get this, it's your Project Manager window. Presumably we won't have anything in here. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna go to New Project. We're gonna call it, I'm gonna call it, Ivan Gym import from Premiere. And then I'm gonna open it. So the way that DaVinci Resolve's laid out, there's a media section, there's an edit section, there's a color section, there's a delivery section. When you import, typically we're gonna live in these two places, color and delivery. So how do we get this in? We're in a completely new software, I know you're thinking, oh great, I gotta learn something else, I have to learn another piece of software, so I'm just gonna give you steps. Open DaVinci Resolve, create a project, open that project, that's step one. Step two, come over here to import. What did we export from Premiere? We exported an XML. It tells you here, hey, I can import an XML. So, import XML. Just go ahead and click that. Now when you click that it's gonna bring up a dialog box and hey, there it is, clean XML, that's what I want. Open it up. It's gonna give you a window, it's gonna give you all the stuff. Pretty much I won't touch it. Not gonna touch it. Nine times out of ten you won't be touching it. Click okay. What's gonna happen here? Boom, there's the edit. So I've got all my media here, I've got the tracks here, hey, it's actually an editing software, so if you don't own Premiere you could potentially just edit in DaVinci. I choose not to do it because I don't know it well enough. I edit in Premiere because I know it really well. But you could have, I could have edited in DaVinci Resolve if I'd known it, if I didn't own Premiere. It's a very powerful editing tool. There's a lot of stuff in here. But I use Premiere because I know Premiere, and I can teach Premiere. I can explain Premiere a lot more easily. When you import, it's gonna drop you to here, the edit module. We're gonna go here, went to the color. So I laid myself, I set myself up for a little bit of success here already. I'm gonna jump over into this other project. So inside of our media, I've set up sequences. Here's the actual project here. What I did was I created a second bin, where I put all of my calibration stuff into. And what I ended up getting to was I ended up getting to the point of, give me a minute, let me open up media. Sorry, just opened it the wrong way. Okay. What I got myself to, guys, is I got myself, and I created a quick little reference sequence that allows me to grab what I call stills. And we're not talking, like, stills from, stills from a camera. We're not talking about putting still pictures on a timeline we're talking about grabbing a still frame from the video file and lifting the color profile from it. That's a terminology that a lot of us get hung up on when we talk about DaVinci. DaVinci allows us to lift the color profile that we apply to one image, and then apply it to another. So let me just get to my little thing here. Sorry, I keep clicking the wrong project. Okay. Let me just show you how to do this real quickly. Here's Ivan's thing. We just go here and view timeline. Great. So I'm gonna go ahead and drag this clip that I've got here of Ivan holding a target. I'm gonna scrub through until I see Ivan right there. If I do this inside of the color module, what I'm gonna get a chance to do is place something here that gives me the ability to pull the profile from this target and apply it to this image. The way I do that is two ways. I'm gonna come here, I'm gonna change in my window here, from that little eyedropper tool down to color chart. Then I'm gonna come over here and click that color chart. Little icon there. Now, I'm using an X-Rite ColorChecker for video. What I'm gonna do here is just lay this in. I'm gonna see here, gonna go ahead and drag this over here, drag that over there. Once I've lined that target up, now, you gotta make sure when you use these targets that they're straight up and down. Okay? Straight up and down. Otherwise if it's flipped, it's gonna get the wrong color profile. Gotta make sure that black is on the bottom, when you put them up for camera. Now once I do that I'm just gonna click match. Watch the red. Keep your eye on the red. Okay, one more time. Keep your eye on the red. All I need to do now is do what's called grab a still. What it's done is it's lifted, see, this little chips, these little chips have a certain value, a numerical value that's been applied to them. Those numerical values have been provided to DaVinci Resolve by X-Rite. X-Rite has said, hey, here are those numbers. Here are those numbers. And then DaVinci says, why thank you for those numbers. Anytime someone uses these targets, if that number is two on the reading, and it should be four, we will change it to four. If that number is seven and it should be five, we will change it to five. And then as a result, the person will have correct color. That's the power here. So I clicked that. I'm gonna right click, I'm gonna click grab still. So I've grabbed that still. Now comes the fun stuff. So I've grabbed that still, I'm gonna come back and open up a different timeline. So let's get back to the media, let's go back to my master, let's get back into my real timeline, which is here. Cool. Alright. So when I get here, what I'm gonna do is just real quickly take this still, find the footage that came from that camera, let me just get rid of this grade real quick, and just click and drag onto that node. So now I have like a real, a real, real, I'm good. I've worked through the edit. I've got it. I've got through the edit, I've got my color. So now let's take, so I've already, in this segment here, I've already done all that. I've applied all the charts, I've done all of my color grading, but I'm gonna teach you a little bit about how to use this software to get that color kind of the way you need it to get. So DaVinci Resolve, the way it works in color is kinda like how Photoshop works in layers. Instead of a layer in DaVinci, you have a node, and you never apply more than one adjustment to a node, because then you never know what adjustment that node has done. So typically what you're gonna want to do is apply a color correction to the first node, and then you're gonna add a second node to apply any other adjustment outside of your basic color correction. Does that make sense? It's like adding a contrast layer, adjustment layer, and then a saturation adjustment layer, because then you can control those adjustment layers independently of each other. Same concept here, it's just not in layer format. It's in node format. You have a question? So how did you apply then this color correction to all the clips? You gotta click them and draw it. So I clicked in each one, and then dragged the still over to it. So you have to do every single clip separately? Yeah. There probably is a way to do it en masse, but you're at the point now where you're doing a color grade don't cut corners, because even though these two guys are from the same camera, what changed between these two clips was the ambient light outside of the window. So there may be a slight color differential. I'm positive there's a way to do a batch correction from a still inside of DaVinci. That would make sense to me. But I choose not to do it because I need to look at every clip. I just need to look at every clip so that I can guarantee myself that I've done it properly.

Class Description

"A tumultuous amount of technique and process info given by Victor in this class. Just wonderful. Well done." - Michael UK

Creating a film or video is a decision-making process from beginning to end. From what type of story you want to create, where to film, how to capture audio, editing your story together - the entire process can be overwhelming and confusing. Victor Ha will make this process attainable by laying out the foundation to set yourself up for success in the planning and pre-production phases. Victor will show you how effective planning can make your shoot and edit faster and easier. Understanding this workflow and adding video to your portfolio can increase your business and expand your creative offerings. In this class, Victor will cover:

  • Pre-production techniques like creating shot lists and shoot schedules 
  • How to use your DSLR to capture video 
  • Capturing the right footage for the edit 
  • How to piece together a rough cut in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 
  • Producing multiple pieces from one shoot 
This class will take you step by step from concept to completion so that you can begin creating films with your clients and friends within 48 hours.

"Love this class! Victor really knows how to break things to simple language so you understand and retain. He also teaches you all the fundamentals before you ever fire up your camera. Victor is Ha-mazing!" - Jerry Suhrstedt


Beatriz Stollnitz

Victor is an incredible instructor, clearly passionate about teaching videography to photographers. His teaching style is engaging and energetic, and the content is interesting and useful. I was very fortunate to be part of the audience for this course.

Lynne Harty

Victor is a wonderful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher - I learned so much. Thank you.