Printer Points – An Introduction To The Offset Control

April 13, 2014

Dan takes a look at the offset controls. The oldest and most overlooked primary controls in Resolve. Great for shot balancing.

Manipulating the Offset controls using ‘Printer Points’

The offset controls are probably the oldest and most established controls in the world of color correction. They are also known as ‘printer lights’ and have descended from the world of photochemical film processing and printing. They may be old but I love them! They give me a very precise way of balancing my image in Resolve.

I always use the offset controls in its own node because they work like a per-color channel exposure control. In other words, I won’t accidentally introduce an additional color balance issues to the scene that may happen when using the color wheels. Imagine: You are trying to reduce the amount of green in the image but you accidentally drag the wheel a little bit towards blue or yellow? Working with per channel offsets is extremely useful to avoid that problem.

It’s also useful understanding the ‘printer light’ workflow while communicating with DOPs. It may not be as popular as it used to be but with certain DOPs, they like asking for a ‘point greener’ or a ‘point less red’ which are referring to one step more or less using the printer light controls.

I would never use the offsets to generate my primary look but mostly for setting my initial balance. Watch the video below for a step by step walkthrough of how I like to use the offsets!


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Homepage Forums Printer Points – An Introduction To The Offset Control

  • Robert Due

    Great tutorial! I just started using this feature on my WAVE panel. It was buried under a few menus, but it is great for balancing. I also appreciate the tip with the keyboard shortcuts. Thanks Dan!

  • Steve Sebban

    Indeed, the keyboard shortcuts are a killer!

  • Irfan Hakim

    nice tips… for the fastest balancing with shortcut. Thanks Dan…

  • James B

    great tutorial!. For a great digital simulation of colour timing also check out Dale Grahn’s iPad app

  • Can you adjust offset if a wave panel?

    Also to note in resolve 11 at least the printer hot keys do not work in full screen mode.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Yes, but not with the balls and rings. You need to jump to the Offset menu and an there you have access to the Master Offset and each of the RGB offsets.

  • Luke Ross

    So good! Thanks Dan 😀

  • Whats your opinion on use luminance masks to define the lift gamma gain overlaps and then just always use offsets via printer lights to make your adjustments. Like if you had 3 luma masks as memories that recreated the primaries overlaps. Seems like you could really move fast via the keyboard and have the option for must more granular control. Could you create the same effect and the primaries? That would be an interesting test for Patrick as in insight

  • Patrick Inhofer

    I’m always up for new and interesting techniques. And this would classify. On first blush, it seems like a lot of work to adjust the three tonal ranges. But it might create an interesting look – and would be useful for that purpose. I’ll take a look. If it’s something I have think I can talk about – I will. In the meantime, if you give it a shot come on back and let us know how it goes.

  • Malcolm B

    Wow this really helped to clear up some confusion for me. I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m missing in my primary corrections/balancing.

    Still going through your tutorials but I don’t think this offset manipulation is possible in lumetri ? (ppro)

  • Pat Inhofer

    I’ve never been able to find an equivalent control in Lumetri. You could go with a 3rd party plug-in. Most of those do have an equivalent Offset control (and even call them that). But I don’t think any of those allows for keyboard ‘steps’ to emulate printer points.

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