DaVinci Resolve 17.4.5 – Custom YRGB Output Color Spaces

March 9, 2022

Colorist Joey D’Anna explains why the new Output color space setting in DaVinci YRGB projects is a great tool for node based color management.

A Great New Feature For Node-Based Color Management

Blackmagic recently released Resolve 17.4.5, and even though this is a point release with a lot of bug fixes and small improvements – one new feature is a Big Deal for those working in node-based color management workflows. But first, let’s setup the problem that being solved.

Limitations of node-based color management

One of the downsides of using node-based color management has always been having Resolve’s tools being ‘color space blind’. Resolve doesn’t know what colorspace to use for its tools or for tagging rendered exports. This gets more confusing if you use Dolby Vision’s internal CMU to tone map HDR projects with different color encodings.

Resolve has always had a “Timeline color space” setting for unmanaged/YRGB projects (the default). This setting governs a lot of default image processing across Resolve’s pages but is rarely actively managed by most users. But with color management workflows and features coming front-and-center with the Resolve 17 release cycle, this setting was ripe for an upgrade.

The limitation of the ‘Timeline color space’ setting is more obvious if you do node-based color management (as I do). If you set the “timeline color space” to the project’s scene-referred space, like LogC, DaVinci Wide Gamut, or ACEScct then this leaves you with oddball defaults for tagging render exports. Plus, for Dolby Vision projects, in recent versions ‘Timeline color space’ effects the iCMU tone mapping.

To the rescue: The Output Color Space For YRGB Projects

Resolve now lets you specify an output color space in an unmanaged YRGB project

Blackmagic has come up with a simple and elegant solution in Resolve 17.4.5. Instead of using the timeline color space setting to manage the tagging of your rendered exports – now, a new “Output color space” setting handles that job. In this release, the “Timeline color space” option is more refined, governing scene-referred features, such as:

  • Color space aware tool behavior
  • Default color space transform settings

The output color space setting governs display-referred items, such as:

  • Default NCLC tags on output
  • GUI viewer behavior (when ‘use mac display profiles for viewer’ is enabled)
  • Dolby Vision tone mapping

Remember – unlike color managed projects, no color space transform is actually being done with these settings. They just effect behavior and metadata in different parts of the software.

In this Insight – see these new behaviors in action, and how to leverage them with node-based color management, Dolby Vision QC, and file output tagging. I’ll also show you a cool new feature for exporting different Dolby Vision XML formats.

As always – leave me any comments or questions below


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Homepage Forums DaVinci Resolve 17.4.5 – Custom YRGB Output Color Spaces

  • Gino Amadori

    Thanks Joey!!! Just as I was about to ask about that new output color space tab I saw this video. I have one question. If I’ve been asked for a Rec-2020 1000 nit master, should I grade in P3 D65 1000 nits and then Use a CST to 2020 to limit it and send my master, or shoulr I grade in Rec2020 limited to p3 using the P3 ODT and CST to 2020 with my monitor set to Rec-2020? If I do it through Dolby Vision Analisis, will that Rec2020 be limited to P3?. Thanks again  Joey!! Great stuff

    • Thanks Gino!
      Honestly it depends on what the client wants. If they want a Rec2020 master limited to P3 – you should grade with a P3 ODT, then a CST set to 2020, and your Dolby mastering monitor also set to 2020.

      The interesting thing is that now a lot of clients are asking for P3 grades, with a P3 Dolby mastering target, but with the render made in Rec2020. In that case you would grade with the monitor, ODT, and mastering target set to P3. This is important because you need a P3 image for the Dolby analysis to be correct.

      Then – for the final render, add a CST to rec2020 at the end – and export with that to containerize your P3 grade into rec2020. And export your Dolby XML using the new option to export as rec2020. This will correctly specify the P3 mastering display, but rec2020 color encoding in the XML.

      • Gino Amadori

        Thanks for the reply Joey!! And sorry it took me so long to reply back, I lost the post I made this question and couldn’t find it in my email app.

        What if i already graded in P3 and then I just add the Rec-2020 CST at the very end? I did this and the result was looking good. Is this frowned upon? Or am I in the safe? I’m using CST like in your node tree, a bit after a couple of nodes, it has a Slog3Cine input and outputting to DWG and then at timeline level I’m outputting from DWG to P3. Then graded in p3 ad when i exported i added a CST to go from P3D65 1000 nit to Rec 2020 1000 nits. I exported like this and seemed to work even in Dolby vision análisis to REC2020. My monitor seems to be a bit off on the Rec2020 calibration but ok on the P3.

        Now i Re-read your explanation, this new way of grading in p3 is pretty muchch what i did then. That’s great to hear, please correct me if I’m wrong.


        Thanks again Joey have a great day

        • Hey – yea if you are CSTing to Rec2020, I would set the output space to Rec2020. Doing that is a great way to containerize a P3 grade in 2020 without exceeding P3 gamut.

          In that case – I would set the output space to Rec2020, as that is the final color encoding you are outputting.

          • Gino Amadori

            Hi Joey, Thanks for the lightning fast reply. It’s a relief to know I wasn’t in the wrong path.


  • It’s a good thing Joey only has to type a response here … his voice was shot by this final morning at NAB. But he was having a blast, sitting in the ONLY chair in the entire BM massive booth … and showin’ off the Big Guy … all them wunnerful knobs, dials, buttons, sliders …



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