Look Development Part 2: Dialing In The Contrast Curve

January 18, 2021

In Part 2 of his series, Cullen Kelly takes a look at dialing in the contrast curve for a look with the new HDR Zone tool in Davinci Resolve 17.

Day 18: 24 Insights in 24 Days New Year Marathon

Now that we’ve built a solid foundation of color management — which represents our global technical manipulations — we’re ready to dive into building our look, which encompasses our global creative manipulations.

Having our pipeline properly established allows you to evaluate our image in a purely creative mode, starting today with our creative contrast curve. In this Insight I’ll show you:

  • The best place in your image pipeline to place look nodes
  • Resolve 17’s new HDR palette — and why it ISN’T just for HDR mastering
  • How to think about creative contrast in more detail than a simple “crunchy versus soft” dichotomy
  • How to use the HDR palette to create a nuanced and tunable global creative contrast curve

A well-implemented creative contrast curve plays a HUGE role in shaping our overall look, and sets us up perfectly for the next stage of look development: preferential color mapping, which we’ll be tackling in Part 3.

On another note, we only scratched the surface today on the HDR palette — if you’re looking to go deeper with this powerful new tool, I highly recommend Patrick Inhofer’s HDR Zones 101 in DaVinci Resolve┬áseries.

As always, if you have questions or thoughts on this Insight, I’d love to hear them in the comments!


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