Understanding the Future of Color Grading – Color Gamut

September 9, 2019

The film and television production and distribution pipeline is quickly evolving to support wide color gamuts. What's pushing this change?


Part 4: The Evolution of Color Gamuts in Digital Video

If you’ve missed the first three parts of this Series then I strongly encourage you to start watching this Series from the beginning. This video builds on those previous Insights and assumes you’re familiar with those topics.

What is Wide Color Gamut and why is it evolving?

That’s the main question we explore in the final installment of this series. Similar to frame rates, color gamut is a slow evolving standard – often taking decades to change. Yet, today, we are in the middle of the biggest transformation of color gamuts in a lifetime. The entire film chain, from acquisition through display and distribution, is confronted with an evolutionary change that makes promises about tomorrow it can’t keep today.

Why is this happening? What’s pushing this forward? That’s what we’re talking about in this Insight.


– pi

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Homepage Forums Understanding the Future of Color Grading – Color Gamut

  • R Neil Haugen

    Excellent series, and this last one really spoke to me. It’s about bit-depth for moving forward with gear, yea, now I can see that. Great observation!

    As to the vastly increased saturation in shadows and highlight with HDR/wide gamut combinations. One of the biggest “feel” things for
    “looking cinematic” has been to decrease sat in deep shadows and highlights because, well, film did. High sat content in shadows especially gets often called “looking digital”.

    So … it sounds like the tech is going to just go so far beyond what film could do, that perhaps we’ll stop being so restricted as to what is quality cinema in look? Because you’re absolutely right, film was way more limited than human vision. As the gear gets able to push things clear to the limits of vision … won’t we want that?

  • Pat Inhofer

    If the pursuit of more life-like images also increases the audience’s sense of ‘presence’ using wide color gamut images then yes, that’s where we’ll move. But as we talked about in the movie on frame rates, greater ‘realism’ may decrease an audience’s sense of presence. At least for a time. We may need to wait for culture to catch up before really pushing things.

    RE: saturated shadows – I’m going to start a series on the fundamentals of color grading and there will be a section on controlling the colors in your shadows. For very good reasons, black should have no tint unless you are purposefully creating a sense of the unreal. This won’t change in a Wide Color Gamut world.

  • Balaji G

    When can we expect in Mixing Light HDR Color grading Setup,color timing and deliverables using Resolve?

  • Denis V

    And especially SDR trims and delivery!

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