Get a consistent look with a unified color space in Davinci Resolve 16

In collaboration with Youtuber AramK, we bring you a series of Davinci Resolve 16 tutorials to help you get your next video project off the ground.

Get a consistent look with a unified color space

If you’ve ever worked with print or graphic design, you will be familiar with RGB and CMYK color space. You may also have noticed that images viewed on a screen look different when printed. This is due to the difference in how color modeling works in RGB and CMYK. RGB color space tailored for monitors and screens. CMYK color space is for print.

Color spaces work the same way when it comes to video. Since video is most often viewed on a screen, the color space is usually  based on RGB. One of the most common color spaces for professional video is Rec 709. This is standard for broadcast television, but also very popular in digital cinema. 

Since there are so many different color spaces, video footage can be quite different. Due to the international nature of the film production, it’s vital that the footage is compatible.

To ensure that compatibility, we need a unified color space. This ensures a consistent look regardless of the cameras or monitors used. It is this unification that the ACES color space aims to achieve. By creating a unified color space for digital video, the the footage looks consistent for everyone.

In today’s first video, Youtuber AramK introduces us to the ACES color space. 

Looking for a particular topic?

  • What is ACES? (0:27)
  • Settings (2:45)
  • Video clips with the ACES setting (3:19)
  • Tweaking the look of the corrected footage (5:01)

There are additional color spaces in professional filmmaking beyond RGB, Rec709 and ACES. If you want to learn more about them, we have provided some links at the bottom of this post.

Correcting for overexposure in your videos

The scene in today’s main tutorial was filmed indoors in front of a large window. This kind of scene can be tricky. Windows will always be brighter than the rest of the room. Unless you use a camera with a wide dynamic range, this part of the video will easily become overexposed. 

With lower-end cameras, this results in clipped or blown-out (completely white) highlights. With a high-end camera it becomes much easier to improve this kind of footage in post.

In today’s tutorial, Youtuber AramK shows us how to improve footage that suffers from mild overexposure.

Looking for a particular topic?

  • Settings (1:51)
  • Adjusting the tint (2:45)
  • Correcting overexposed windows using luma and gain (3:19)
  • Tweaking the look of the corrected footage (5:01)

When shooting scenes in an environment with windows, the aesthetic can be very much a personal preference. Some prefer slight overexposure while others are quite adamant about balancing them. Ultimately, it will depend on the creative needs of your project. 

With that said, severely overexposed footage may be so far gone that the only option is to reshoot. Prevent exposure problems by planning your shot, using a good camera and controlling exposure in-camera. That way, you can reduce the time and effort needed in the post-production room.

The video in today’s tutorial was filmed with a RED cinema camera. The wide dynamic range makes it far easier to balance the exposure of your footage.

If you’re like most of us, you won’t have access to footage from a cinema camera. Don’t let that stop you! You can always experiment with stock footage filmed with a cinema camera.

RawFilm is a stock website that offers footage produced with RED cinema cameras. The videos are compatible with Davinci Resolve and are available with or without color grading. Members get access to free sample videos at 5K and 8K resolutions.

Sign up to RawFilm for cinematic stock footage you can use for your Davinci Resolve project!


Further reading 

ACES Central: https://acescentral.com/

Color space: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_space

Which color space do you use for your projects? Let us know in the comments below!

We’ll see you next week with another Davinci Resolve tutorial!