Is The Mini Control Surface ‘Breaking’ HDR Palette Operations?

March 27, 2023

Learn how the Blackmagic Mini control surface is giving you the 'wrong' results on the HDR Palette if your not paying VERY close attention.


Quick Tip: How HDR palette temp and tint controls mess with our muscle memory

One of my most satisfying aspects of being a professional colorist is using a colorist control surface to bring my client’s work to life. The control surface is a direct line from my brain to the software. By my definition, a good control surface:

  • Allows me to take my eyes off the surface and focus on the reference display
  • Offers instantaneous response between my hands and the reference display
  • Can be memorized so that, after an initial period of acclimation, actions – and their results – are predictable and repeatable

This Insight is about point #3: How the Blackmagic Mini (and I assume, the Micro) panel is NOT predictable under a very specific, very common (for me) circumstance.

This Quick Tip, showing how the Mini panel breaks my habits and gives me incorrect results when using the HDR palette, runs about 3:30. But if you don’t use the HDR palette very much, I spend the last 3 minutes of the Insight showing why this matters.

I suspect that most professionals who are members have figured this problem out for themselves by now. But for everyone else, it’s critical you understand the logical fallacy I’m pointing out if you hope to the get the results you’re trying to achieve by working within the HDR palette’s color science.

This is especially true if you purposely work in ACES or Resolve Color Management to enable the ‘color space aware’ functionality of DaVinci Resolve.

Question or tips?

Definitely use the comments to share your experience using the HDR palette with control surfaces. I’m also keen to hear from Micro panel users if they see the same thing with their panel?

– patrick

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Homepage Forums Is The Mini Control Surface ‘Breaking’ HDR Palette Operations?

  • Jon Coy

    Thanks for making this video, Patrick. I’ve often avoided using the HDR palette from my mini panel for this very reason–muscle memory. I do like that they at least mapped the HDR palette functions to the LCD knobs, but it would be great to use the wheels intuitively!

  • Thank you for drawing attention to this! There is a long-running feature request thread on the BMD forums with a handful of people begging BMD to change this behavior, but no one from BMD has ever replied or acknowledged the issue. Please, if you’re reading this and you are irritated by this bizzare oversight on BMD’s part, consider adding your voice to this thread in the hopes that someone at BMD finally listens 🙏

  • Yep, I’m like Jon… I just avoid the HDR palette because I know it does this weird change. Very big into control surfaces, and muscle memory is a huge part of that. And to answer your question, it also does this with the micro panel. It’s even more irritating there, since there isn’t even the buttons and menus one can navigate through to get to those controls… you have to jump back to the mouse if you’re on the HDR palette and wanting control of those temperature settings.

    Thanks for this. Good to know I’m not alone in this being a bother.

  • Thanks patrick,

    Really strange indeed!

    Another issue with the tint setting in the HDR palette that has been bugging me since last summer:

    If you put “-1” to the tint zone you are going to see the Vecterscope going to magenta but it should go to green.

    If you put “-2” it’s like it’s “0” on the Vecterscope, no movement.

    If you put “-3” it begins to go to the green.

    • Patrick Inhofer

      Saul, I see what you’re talking about. It’s almost as if when you first ‘touch’ that control it automatically pops in one direction but then as you continue moving the tool, then it moves in the proper direction.

  • We can always try mapping some knobs on Stream Deck Plus 😉

    • Patrick Inhofer

      Jamie, THAT’s exactly what I’ve done! I’ve put the HDR Global Temp/Tint controls on the StreamDeck Plus. Works great. But annoying that I have to do that. I had to retrain muscle memory, but after a week or so – I was set.

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