Tips For Avoiding (and Solving) Gamma Shifts On MacOS Renders

September 27, 2023

Avoid the Mac Gamma Shift problem on your exports with this step-by-step guide to consistent color management in DaVinci Resolve on a Mac.


Ensure your DaVinci Resolve Exports Look Correct when Delivering to YouTube

In this Insight, we will discuss the difficulties of delivering a consistent-looking image from DaVinci Resolve when working on a Mac. Then, you’ll learn how to solve those difficulties.

By looking at an exhaustive variety of solutions that take into account Apple’s internal color management, your display’s color profile, and the project’s output color space, you’ll be able to set up and deliver projects that look identical in Quicktime and YouTube as they do in DaVinci Resolve’s viewers, plus make sensible color pipeline choices to future-proof your work.

Defeating the Mac Gamma Shift

As a post-production workflow developer and color management adviser, one of the most common questions I receive is about the ‘gamma shift’ Mac users experience when rendering projects out of DaVinci Resolve. This shift is primarily due to two factors: Apple’s internal color management system (‘Colorsync’) and Apple’s interpretation of the BT.709 Gamma.

In this Insight, we will set up a project in DaVinci Resolve and regulate its color management to deliver to YouTube without any chroma or gamma shifts.

The first half of the solution will focus on solving the first two factors using DaVinci Resolve’s internal settings.

In the second half, we will also factor in the Display P3 color profile, allowing us to future-proof consistent-looking projects for deliverables beyond YouTube.

Key takeaways from this Insight

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

  • Define the Gamma Shift problem
  • Use your Mac display’s color profile in DaVinci Resolve’s viewers.
  • Correctly tag your edit on a render, timeline, and project basis to remove the gamma shift.
  • Choose between simply tagging or using different color space outputs.
  • Work accurately on a Display P3 monitor to future-proof your projects.
  • Review the remaining causes of chroma and gamma shifting of the image.

External Links

Related Mixing Light Insights

Questions or Comments? Leave a comment!

If you found this Insight helpful, let us know! Mixing Light is all about community discussions, so if you have something to add or have more questions, hit the comments.

– Daria

Member Content

Sorry... the rest of this content is for members only. You'll need to login or Join Now to continue (we hope you do!).

Need more information about our memberships? Click to learn more.

Membership options
Member Login

Are you using our app? For the best experience, please login using the app's launch screen

1,200+ Tutorials, Articles, and Webinars To Explore

Get 7-day access to our library of over 1,200+ tutorials - for $5!
Do you like what you see? Maintain access for less than $5 per month.

Start Your Test Drive!