DaVinci Resolve Tutorial Part 32: Color Correction – Working with the Color Wheels

By Kevin P. McAuliffe

In our previous lesson of our look at learning BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, we starting talking about color correction, and discussed the Waveform monitor, and how you can use to to see the lightness values of your Shadow, Midtones and Highlights (Lift, Gamma, Gain).  In this lesson, want to move on and discuss the Color Wheels, what they are for, and how you’ll use them in your color correction workflow.

One thing I want to point out, before we move forward, is the fact that in these lessons, we’re talking about Color Correction and not Color Grading.  Two very different concepts. Color Correction means evening out all the Lights and Darks, as well as Color, to make all your shots appear “even”, when compared to each other.  Color Grading is the process of giving your footage a specific look, like the look you see in Saving Private Ryan or Three Kings. With that said, let’s look at how the color wheels work.

Once in the Color module, if the Primary Wheels, are not visible, you can access them via the drop down menu, in the lower left area of the interface.

DaVinci Resolve Tutorial Part 31 - Primary Color Wheels

Much like when adjusting the luminance of an image, and dealing with the Lift, Gamma and Gain, you will be dealing with the same concept, but this time in the scope of the color of your image.  Meaning that when adjusting the Lift color, you’ll be dealing with the Shadow colors of your image, the Gamma deals with the Midtone colors of your image, and Gain deals with the Highlight colors of your image.  Keep in mind that there is also an Offset color wheel that deals with the overall color of your image.

DaVinci Resolve Tutorial Part 31 - Primary Color Wheels 2

So, the big question is now what do you do.  Most people think that taking the saturation and cranking it up is the right way to go.  Unfortunately not. All this is going to do is make your levels illegal, and cause your show to be rejected.  Well, in the next lesson two lessons, I want to show you how to properly color correct a shot, and get it looking as good as it can possibly look.

Meanwhile, check out our entire catalog of tutorials for DaVinci Resolve here.


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