Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve


Creating a Video From Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

Let's look over here. This is what this footage looked like prior to adding the color chart. When you add the color chart, that's what happens. So here's before, here's the after. Look at the green on the mat. And I can guarantee you, having been in that space, that is the green that that mat is. I've adjusted my color to be correct here. Now, what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna add an adjustment on top of that to get it to be pleasing to me. So I added what we call a three-way color corrector. Three-way color corrector is essentially RGB channels on crack. That's the best way I can explain it. It's a robust way of editing RGB values in a really finite, slow and steady sort of way. So let's take a look at a piece of footage that actually needs some help in the way of color correcting. Here's what the footage looked like. This is what this guy looked like before the chart got applied. Nice and green, right? He's a Martian, nice and green. So I applied that still, and I already showed you ho...

w to apply that still. So now what I'm gonna do here, is now I'm gonna walk you through color correcting, just a touch. And I do this in a very rudimentary, very basic sort of way. And I teach it this way because I want you to just learn what to look for, and I want you to learn what adjustments to try to make first. When I got taught Photoshop, it was just in chunks. I remember, before we had RAW, there was JPEG. And then before I was taught curves, there was levels. Before I was taught levels, there was brightness. And we learned these tools and we learned when to use these tools, but essentially, when you got RAW, you learned all these other things and what they meant that informed your decisions in RAW. So in a sense here, we're trying to do the same thing. I'm trying to give you the basics so that you can slowly build your competency inside of the software. The first thing that I end up doing in this case, let's go ahead and delete these nodes. Option S will give you a new node, Option S. So I just added a new node, now anything that I do, I know that I'm doing to this node because it's now highlighted in red. So the first thing I'm gonna do here is pull up something that should be really familiar to you guys right now, my scopes. And as I scrub through this, I'm gonna get a chance to see here where I sit on my values. And if I don't wanna see all this, I can go two up and take a look at it here. Just remember, just to review. Black, mid-tone, highlight. That's the three of them together, here's the three of them separately. So just looking at this, where am I? I have a little green, I'm really under, it looks like. There's a lot of black because of here. 'Member, left to right, this is the frame. This is the left side of your frame, this is the right side of your frame. What's the left side here? Black. Where should that part of the frame be? Black, done. So now I'm gonna take a look here. What can we do to improve this image? So what I feel like, I know I need to get my mid-tone from here, right here, to that 512 line, which is 40 IRE. So I'm gonna go here. "Oh, my god, Victor, you're telling me new terms. "Lift, Gamma, Gain. "What the heck is Lift, Gamma, Gain?" If I wasn't in the room, and if I wasn't here to teach you, I have a really, really good suspicion that all of you would be able to figure this out. Because I've already taught you about waveforms. I'm not gonna say anything, and you're gonna tell me what Lift is right now. What does Lift do? Dark. You said it. It darkens. Yeah, but in what area? Shadow, mid-tone, highlight? Shadow. Mm-hmm, shadows, good call, good job. What's Gamma? Mid-tones, you guys know this, come on. (students laugh) You guys know this. What's highlight? Lift, okay? The reason this is powerful is because it allows us to increase the luminosity of specific areas of the image based upon shadow, mid-tone, highlight. Lift is shadow, Gamma is mid-tone, Gain is highlight. So let's back this off a little bit. I haven't done any adjustments at this point. I need to get this up, which wheel do I spin? Do I spin the Lift wheel, the Gamma wheel, or the Gain wheel? I need to get the mid-point up, my mid-tones up. Gamma. Gamma. More often than not, you're gonna find that moving Gamma is gonna be the choice you need to make. 'Cause that moves the mid-tone. So there's a little wheel right here. There's a color wheel up here, and a little spinny thing right here. I'm gonna click on that, but before I click on it, I'm gonna hold my Option key. If I hold my Option key and I dial that to the right, it's gonna increase the luminosity of my mid-tone values without lifting the color as well. Why is that important? I only want the brightness to go up. I don't want it to affect my colors. So if I hold that Option key, and then I spin that dial, it's gonna bring up the luminosity, but leave my colors alone. So now, hey, because I lifted the mid-tones, what ended up happening? My shadows, I don't have any shadows anymore. So, hold that Option key, what's shadows? Lift. So go to Lift, pull that to the right. Ooh, that's too much. Okay, cool, watch that meter, watch that waveform. Now I've got my blacks. Here's your before, here's your after. Before, here's your after. And you can keep looking, you keep trying. "Okay, maybe I'm still too high, "maybe I'm still too high." So I'll come back down and I'm just gonna start to work this image in a little bit. And then now, let's play it. And that, I believe, is- Okay, so let's look at it before, let's look at it before. And that, I believe, is passion. So now, we're gonna go back, and here's your before. Oops, here's your before, here's your after. Here's your before. Here's your after. So now, I'm still a little bit dead, right? I gotta add some other contrasts. I need to do some other stuff. So what I can do here is, let's move this image back over to something here. Let me grab this node and let me just actually do some more adjustment here really quickly. Now I gotta work on that skin tone. I gotta deal with something like that. So what I'm gonna do is Option S, gives me another node. So I've just added another layer in Photoshop, right? Just added another layer. So target, brightness, now I'm gonna work on saturation. Now I'm gonna work on color. So here, looks like I don't have a lot of red. Respective to the other two, I've got some green, some blue, but my red level's slightly lower than my green and blue. So how do I fix that? What do I do? So, I have a couple choices here. In my three wheel color corrector, I can choose to use this little dial and either increase or decrease the amount of red or green that I see, just by moving the center of that little wheel. You see that, see what I'm doing there? The way that I think about it is this, I do it this way. Give me a second. The way I think about it's this way. What color do I see? I see green. Do you see green? I see green. Where's green here? So my first choice I'm gonna make is I'm gonna go to the side opposite green. I'm gonna go away from green. So I'm gonna click that, and I'm gonna away from green. And then, I'm gonna look and I'm gonna slightly divert and add a touch more red to get that skin tone back. Can you see, if you move too far, how it affects the black? It's really, really sensitive, guys, so you gotta be careful how much you move it. But, if you move it just the right amount, you're gonna get a much better color than where you started. Here's your before, it's green. Here's your after. So this little edit, this little thing here, we do each clip, to each clip. And again, this is where we do the work. Now, caveat, had I not shot CineStyle, I would not have needed to do all of this because I would have had a profile baked in. And it would have been the profile. There's no moving after that. I would say in the way of color grading, this is next level. If you haven't ever color graded, you can shoot in camera, neutral, zero sharpness, negative two saturation, negative two contrast, still get a beautiful image. All your footage is gonna look great. You can make some slight tweaks inside of Premiere. The reason I'm showing this to you is because I wanted to make sure that I give you guys room to grow. Need to give you room to grow, need to give you room to go, "Hey, I'm not so scared of this software." And I really wanted to show you how that target would be able to help you balance your footage. Did I use Da Vinci on my first projects? No, no. When did I start using Da Vinci? I think I started using Da Vinci two or three years ago. Someone sat down with me and taught me how to use it. So therefore, I started using it. And I still don't know it nearly as well as I should. But I know it well enough to get in and out. So let's pretend we're here, and we just finished our edit and we're good to go with the color, and we've checked here, all the things look good. Everything looks great. I'm gonna go for it and hit, oops, not US utility, but I wanna hit deliver. Did you shoot the color chart for the B-roll, or did you just shoot that at the top of day with Ivan? I shot the B-roll, too. So there was one time I didn't shoot it for the B-roll, and it was with the 5D, at one point. So in the beginning of the B-roll, I didn't shoot it. And then for some reason, the color values changed in the room, 'cause as the sun went down, the lights in the room picked up a different color tone. So typically, you should shoot it every time your lighting situation changes. So you shoot the color target before the B-roll, midway through the B-roll, as the sun comes down, another target. And then you use that to balance this footage. So for this clip right here, I didn't have a target. So I had to go in and hand balance it. And so you're doing that for each camera, every time your lighting situation changes? Exactly, exactly. Great, thank you. That extra step of just taking a photograph of the target, I mean capturing footage of the target, is gonna be so helpful. Can you talk a little bit about monitor calibration and do you do that before each- Glad you asked, yeah, yeah. It was like it was scripted, and I even have the tool. (students laugh) Thank you. So before you guys jump into colorating, color grading, it's best to calibrate your monitor. So this is the tool I use, it's called an i1Display Pro. It's from X-Rite. It's basically designed to be able to read the colors that are coming off of your screen, and through software, adjust the colors that it's showing you so that it's accurate with what should be shown. So that's why I can look at my screen and do the color movements necessary and be confident that what I'm doing to the image, both in brightness and in color, is going to be accurate and responsive with what I think it's going to be. The way it works is, you open up a piece of software that they provide you, you plug this in, and then what you end up doing, is you lay it on your monitor and it just flashes color. And it reads it and then reads it and gives you a profile, an ICC profile, inside of the machine that it can then reference as to what your actual color balance of the monitor is. I know I probably really minced up a lot of that explanation, but I think I got it mostly right. When we talk about delivery, there is one thing here I need to stress. When you get to the deliver module, this little button here, everything you've done now will be baked into a separate file. You're never touching your old footage, you're not touching that stuff. But everything you touch here will be exported out into its own file. And you'll get an XML with it. So here is where you make that toast. Once you make the toast here, you can't unbrown it and make it more or less dark. Here is where you have to make that decision if you're done. Because if you make it here, 'cause right now, this is gonna take 20 minutes to export. I'm not gonna do it now, you'd be bored to tears. But the minute you hit export here, if you decide you wanna make another change, you've gotta go back into Da Vinci, make the change, hit the export, and then when you open your project back up in Premiere, then you'll see the change. So it could be very tedious here. So make sure you get it right. Now, if I went and I hit export, what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna click, hey, Premiere XML, it's right here. Premiere XML. And typically, all this stuff is just easy. Export video, you wanna render at source resolution, guys. Do not render at 1920x1080 here, don't do it. Don't do it, render at source resolution. Which means render these files at the 4K resolution that they were shot at. Render these files at the resolution that they were shot at. Not at the resolution of the sequence. See the difference? And because I want you guys to be able to do things, make sure that it's individual clips and not single clip. So you queue it, you go, "Okay, add to render queue." You start to render it, and then, slowly but surely, you will get a folder of images that you dictate with all of the images and all of the XML. And you can see here, I did it four times. To get my grade right. You follow me? There is something cool, though. So, let's talk about getting this into Premiere first once you've exported. So to make sure that we talk about the same thing, once you get here, you hit start render. If I hit now, it's gonna lock up machine, so I don't wanna do it, but you hit this button right here, start render. Dialog box is gonna pop up right here. It says you've got 35 minutes. So if you hit that, a dialog box will pop up. The minute it's done, you can close Da Vinci. You're out of it, you're done. So I can close it now. Now, I'm gonna go back into Premiere. Quick question? Sorry, when you're rendering, and you know the likelihood is that you're probably gonna come back and do a few more iterations, wouldn't it make sense to do maybe a lower resolution, just to speed up the process? Yeah, you could, you could. But for me, it's just, I know that it's better for me to look at it in full res, and then just make a decision if I need to keep going. I was running against the clock on this shoot. And I could have kept grading, kept grading. And then I decided, "You know what? "I could totally do that, I could render "at a lower resolution, watch it." But, at the end of the day, if I ended up liking what I liked, what I did, I'd just have to do it again anyway. So, for me, it was a time thing. But that's actually a great idea.

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.