Tonal Range and Contrast

 

TUTORIAL

 

DaVinci Resolve 16 | Step 1 - Tonal Range and Contrast

In this tutorial, we'll adjust the depth of the shadows and the height of the highlights with the master wheels. We'll also enable the waveform scope to monitor our adjustments for unwanted clipping. Let's get our nerd on homedawgs. ( I'm using a clip from a commercial I shot. You can practice along with whatever clips you have available)

Download .r3d file and follow along

 

Creating a “Look”

 
Grading-Workflow-Node-Editor.png

Before we can actually create a look we have to make sure our footage is balanced and matched. It’s best to think of it in a linear process. Below is the traditional grading workflow in the context of the node editor.

Take this graph or leave this graph. You don’t have to follow it and is only a suggestive guideline. I encourage you to break rules!

 

Luminance

 
THE WAVEFORM SCOPE - In this example you can see clipping in the shadows as the traces near the bottom hit “0”. You’ll want to avoid this during the “Normalizing Balancing” phase to leave room for tweaking and pushing the shadows further in the “Creative Grade” phase.

THE WAVEFORM SCOPE - In this example you can see clipping in the shadows as the traces near the bottom hit “0”. You’ll want to avoid this during the “Normalizing Balancing” phase to leave room for tweaking and pushing the shadows further in the “Creative Grade” phase.

The first step is to establish the luminance of the image. We can do this by adjusting the master wheels and custom curves while learning about the waveform monitor. By enabling the waveform scope to monitor your adjustments for any clipping in the shadows or highlights. You’ll find the wave form scope in the Scopes panel in the lower-right corner of the Resolve Interface. This Scope reflects the luminance and color channel values of the image at the exact timeline position where the playhead is. The vertical axis of the scope tells us the entire luminance range of our video.

During this phase of adjusting luminance you’ll want to make sure that the shadows are swimming around 5-10% above the black point (0) on the waveform scope, while the pure white highlights stop under the white point (90%) so super bright elements like highlights on vehicles from the sun or headlights are what extend beyond the white point.