Upgrade Your Toolkit: Create Custom Highlight & Shadow Controls

October 10, 2023

Learn how to create a custom highlight roller tools tailored to your creative needs inside DaVinci Resolve.


Part 1 – Build reusable nodes for shaping your highlights and shadows

In this new series, we look at a technique for creating a custom highlight and shadow roller tool that is tailored to your exact creative needs and taste. This is a strong alternative to finessing the high and low end of your image using tools such as Shadows/Highlights, Log Wheels, or even the HDR Zones.

Careful Curve Control

I absolutely love curves as a way of manipulating my image (AND as a way of understanding the manipulations I’m making). One of the many things I enjoy about working with curves is the ability to exert fine control and get the exact tonality I’m after. I was inspired to develop the technique I’m showing you today because I wanted a fast, repeatable way of making that kind of nuanced curve adjustment tailored to my taste rather than being stuck with a set of stock tools that never feel quite right.

This is our first entry in a new series: Upgrading Your Toolkit, where we deep dive into the fundamental operators inside Resolve and demonstrate some new ways to get creative with your workflow.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should understand how to:

  • Create anchor points within Resolve’s custom curves (and how to truly “lock” curve segments on either side of them).
  • Make tonal adjustments that are simultaneously targeted as well as broad
  • Build an album of preset “rollers” you can re-use as a fast, custom alternative to Resolve’s stock tools for manipulating highlights and shadows

Resources Mentioned in this Insight

  • Premium Members: Scroll down to Additional Downloads for this DCTL.

Questions or Comments? Join the discussion!

What sort of things would you like to upgrade in your kit? Is this Insight useful to you? Let us know! Mixing Light is all about community discussions and we’re curious if you found this helpful, if you have something to add, or if you have more questions you need answered.

– Cullen

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