Exploring Different Saturation Controls in DaVinci Resolve

June 21, 2019

Learn how various Saturation controls in DaVinci Resolve are identical to each other. Plus, understanding saturation-related hue shifts.


Color Boost Part 3: Tying up loose ends

While working on the first two parts of this series, I took some time to see how others have attempted to explain the difference between Color Boost and Saturation. It was an eye-opening experience as I got a taste of various approaches, often claiming their off-the-beaten-path approach is superior to using the simple Saturation control. A few methods had me scratching my head. In the first half of this video Insight, we use our electronically generated (and keyframe animated) color patches to explore the most popular of these approaches. To me, our results are not surprising – and should keep your color grading life more straightforward. In the second half of this Insight, we revisit a topic from earlier in this series.

Revisiting the ‘mysterious’ saturation-related hue shifts

In comments from Part 2 of this series, Edi Walger embedded a video explaining why some of our patches show significant hue shifts when adding (or removing) saturation. These hue shifts affect both Saturation and Color Boost controls. About 30 seconds into his video I hit my head – the reason is simple… but you need to have the right tool displayed to see the problem (spoiler: RGB Parade).

If you haven’t watched Edi’s video yet, you may want to watch my explanation first. I talk about it in more ‘layman’ terms. When you watch his video, if you’re not a technically inclined colorist then you’ll follow along more easily. You’ll also get an interesting exploration into using an alternate color model to deal with Saturation. Try replicating his workflow on your computer. It’s an interesting exercise.



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Homepage Forums Exploring Different Saturation Controls in DaVinci Resolve

  • Greg Greenhaw

    So the color shift is only related to clipping? So if you did a sat vs sat and left the high sat alone and just raised the low sat there would be no color shift until there was clipping?

  • Pat Inhofer

    Essentially – yes and yes. With Low Sat you can also clip out color channels by pushing them too hard (since NTSC can’t accommodate highly saturated dark pixels). That clipping won’t be as apparent on a Vectorscope since they’ll seem quite a ways from being out of bounds, but will probably induce hue shifts (you can kind’a see that on the darkest patches on my test images as they animate).

  • R Neil Haugen

    This has been a fantastic set. Learned something useful each time, and this last one, showing the clipping changes again very informative. In fact, illuminating of a job I just handled. And why sometimes the skin tones were behaving so … oddly. Wish that job was ahead of me not behind me but oh well, live and learn.

    One take-away I have is that basically all the other Sat tools work similar to a Gain tool for Luma. Whereas Color Boost seems to be primarily a Lift operation (except in Chroma of course) with a smaller bit of Gain added in. Which is how it lifts everything but the lower values more significantly. Would you see that as a fair statement?

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