Legalizing with DaVinci Resolve Part 1

Legalizing Video with DaVinci Resolve

March 21, 2014

Legalizing Video with DaVinci Resolve can be done in several ways. In this video we show you how to do it Shot-by-Shot.


Part 4: Legalizing Video with DaVinci Resolve, Shot-by-Shot

DaVinci Resolve gives us a great opportunity to discuss how to legalize your video without using any filters since, unlike SpeedGrade CC or Premiere Pro CC, Resolve doesn’t have a ‘Legalize’ filter or button!

DIY Video Legalization: The Pyramid

Even if you have access to an expensive piece of hardware like the Harris DL-860, it’s still a good idea to manage your Luma and Chroma levels during the color correction process. I like to think of this DIY Video Legalization as a multi-layered pyramid:

The Video Legalizer Pyramid

The good news is, even if you don’t have outboard hardware – a very careful, eagle-eyed DIY approach to video legalization (using just Tiers 1 and 2) may be all you need to pass network QC (though I wouldn’t bet my career on it).

Legalizing Video with DaVinci Resolve: Shot-by-Shot

In this Insight I’ll show you my typical approach to legalizing an individual shot. Sometimes I’ll follow this workflow during the initial color grade. Sometimes I leave it as the last thing I do, after the client has left the room, and watch the entire job focused solely on my Vectorscope and Waveform monitor… stopping to solve every ‘legal’ problem that might cause a network to reject the final product.

Since DaVinci Resolve doesn’t have an automatic way of doing this, my two main Resolve tools are the HSL Qualifiers and the Soft Clip interface—each of which solves a different problem.

In the Insight on this topic, I’ll show you what I do for my Tier 2 Legalization… which is very similar to applying an Adjustment Layer to the entire timeline as we did in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

Question? Comments!

Do you handle legalization differently? Was something in this Insight confusing? Let us know and start the discussion below in the comments!

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Homepage Forums Legalizing Video with DaVinci Resolve

  • Hi Patrick,
    Nice insight and helpfull but I was wondering about the
    highlights. Do you just let them clip or do you work on them the same
    way as the shadows?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Part 5 will be out this week and that talks about the highlights! But on the shot level, I never worry about the highlights clipping out. I only make sure that if I let them clip I’m doing so with an ‘active’ mindset. I never let them clip ‘by mistake’.

    Especially on Resolve, legalizing Luma values are the easiest thing to deal with – and I deal with them at the timeline level… which is Part 5. Am I making sense?

  • nicolas horne

    isn’t 64 – 940 the broadcast legal part of the 10bit signal?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    If you’re talking about ‘legally scaled’ encoding – that only has to do when 0-1023 bit values gets scaled (or re-mapped) to ‘Video Levels’ and speaks ONLY to where the bit values for black / white get placed. That scaling happens when writing the video file to disk and it gets ‘unscaled’ when that file is played back, you never see those black / white values at the 64-940 bit values unless you’re reading back those files incorrectly. In your scopes, if everything is working properly, you’ll always read 0-1023 for black-white, regardless if your video file is recorded as: ‘legally scaled’ / ‘video levels’ / ‘data levels’ / ‘RGB levels’.

    Does that make sense?

  • diego yhama

    what about gammut problems? how i can see them?

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