Skip to main content

Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 31 of 37

Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

Victor Ha

Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Victor Ha

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve
Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:09:31
2 Putting Ideas Into Motion Duration:05:51
3 Client Profiles Duration:25:45
4 Choosing Your Subject Duration:23:06
5 Scouting Locations Duration:28:28
6 Researching the Client Duration:11:44
7 Choosing Equipment Duration:22:21
8 Waveforms and Scopes Duration:12:38
9 Shooting Strategy Duration:14:53
11 Prepping for the Interview Duration:08:28
12 Capturing Audio Duration:18:20
13 Capturing Room Tone Duration:05:00
14 Audio Q&A Duration:23:35
15 B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio Duration:19:57
16 Planning for B-Roll Duration:09:38
17 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll Duration:08:51
18 Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit Duration:30:27
19 Introduction to Footage Review Duration:06:18
20 Asset Management Duration:10:40
21 Edit Setup Duration:29:28
22 Edit Audio in Adobe Audition Duration:21:56
23 Syncing Your Footage Duration:16:41
24 Conceptual Storyboarding Duration:19:23
25 Editing Choices Duration:10:33
26 Selecting a Soundtrack Duration:25:12
27 Building the Rough Cut Duration:31:13
28 Refining the Story Duration:30:16
29 Adding B-Roll Duration:09:07
30 Rough Cut to Final Cut Duration:18:50
36 Adding a Keyframe Duration:05:44

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


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video