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Davinci Resolve is a very powerful video editing tool with some of the most advanced colour grading tools available.

Today we are going to be looking at my process for colour correcting.

So how do you color correct in Resolve?

  1. If you head over to the colour tab in Davinci Resolve and select the video clip you want to work on, you can add your first node. This is done by right clicking in the node panel and selecting ‘Add Node’.
  2. You then want to rename this node by right clicking on it and selecting ‘Change Label’. For this node we will call it SAT
  3. Our SAT node is where we will edit our clips saturation. For this specific clip I want to increase the saturation and bring out more of the colours. To do this, head down to the bottom bar, and increase the saturation by clicking and dragging on the number until you are happy with the image.
  4. Next we need to create a new node and name this WB. In this node we will balance out the exposure and white balance for the clip.
  5. First, click on the black colour picker, and then click on the darkest point of the image.
  6. Next, click on the white colour picker, and then click on the whitest park of the image. Doing this will balance out the white balance for the clip as well as the exposure.
  7. You may need to make some adjustments, which you can do by looking at your scopes. My preference is to use the parade scopes. First I will pull up, or down the shadows using the slider under the ‘Lift’ wheel. I want to make sure that the darkest point - represented by 0 on the parade scope - is not being clipped. I do this by bringing the blacks just up above 0.
  8. Next, I want to do the same for the lightest point - represented by 1023 on the parade scope. To do this, pull up or down on the slider underneath the ‘Gain’ wheel, until the scopes are just beneath it.
  9. I’ll now do the same for the midtones using the slider underneath the Gamma wheel. Here I will adjust it until the skin tones look correctly exposed. Typically this is around the 512 mark on the parade scope, but I tend to do this by eye.
  10. If the white balance still looks slightly off, click on ‘2’ in the bottom bar and adjust the ‘Temp’ & ‘Tint’ until you are happy with it.
  11. Now that the image is correctly balanced, we need to add some contrast to the clip. To do this create a new Node and name it Contrast. We will now click on the ‘Curves’ panel, and create an s-curve, tweaking it until we are happy with the image.
  12. The final step is to create another node titles Sharpen. Here we will go to the ‘Blur/Sharpness’ panel and pull down on the radius until the image is sharpened to our tastes. Don’t go too overboard with this as the image could turn out horrible.

So that is a quick look at the basics for colour correcting footage in Davinci Resolve. You want to repeat this for all of the clips in your video, matching each of the shots.

You can then go on and colour grade the footage, adding a specific look or feel. This can be done manually or using a LUT.

If you want to learn how you can install LUTs and how to use LUTS in Davinci Resolve, please check out our other guides.

We also have our own LUT pack available on our store - It comes with 6 different creative LUTs that you can use in your videos.

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Izak Jackson

Specialising in documentary filmmaking, I have a passion for sharing real world stories.

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