Using Custom Curves To Emulate ‘Fill Light’ Adjustments

October 19, 2022

Sometimes you want to 'open up' the shadows as if you added a bounce card or fill light to the scene. Custom curves make this easy.

Using a custom DCTL to find middle gray – and adjusting accordingly

Resolve offers MANY tools for manipulating contrast, but I’ve realized in the last year or so that there’s no ready-made knob for adding or photographically removing fill light. In this Insight, we’ll explore a technique I’ve recently developed for tackling this need.

Along the way, I give a quick shout of joy for the return of the Gigantor Curves – allowing us to fine-tune control of the points we place in the Custom Curves interface.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should be able to:

  • Think about contrast manipulation more photographically — evaluating the ratio between the key light and the fill light
  • Use an exposure chart to find an objective middle exposure point for your working color space
  • Understand the benefits of operating within sensible constraints — i.e., a curve that has no effect at or past middle gray

Resources Mentioned in this Insight

  • Premium Members: Scroll down to Additional Downloads for this DCTL.
  • Everyone else: Kodak Film Exposure Chart DCTL – If you’re not a Premium member, the DCTL I developed (and demonstrated in this Insight) can be downloaded on my website – for the low, low cost of your email address.

Questions or Comments? Scroll down and say so.

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 we can address.

– Cullen

Additional Downloads

Sorry... downloads are available for Premium Members only.

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