Ideas For Using The Resolve 18.5 Relight Effect

May 9, 2023

Joey D'Anna shows how to integrate the Relight ResolveFX plugin into fixed node trees to maximize its usefulness, capability, and performance.

Integrating the new Relight ResolveFX into a fixed node tree

After demonstrating Resolve 18.5 on the show floor at NAB, I was very impressed with the new Relight ResolveFX. The plugin works by using machine learning to generate a normals map of an existing image and then, with that normals map, build a lighting matte for color grading.

This means that scenes and objects can be re-lit or adjusted in 3d, even if geometry data isn’t available – a huge feature for colorists. Like any machine learning-based automatic tool – the true test of usefulness, however, is:

  • Can you integrate the tool into a real-world color grading workflow?
  • Can you tweak its results?
  • Or is it a set-and-forget black box?
  • Can you use it to build additional tools and workflows?
  • How flexible is it?

Fortunately, in those questions’ context, Blackmagic nailed it with Relight. It’s extremely versatile and customizable. In this Insight, I’ll show you how I’ve modified my fixed node tree to make the best use of it – with the goal of minimizing set-up time during the color grade.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should understand:

  • What is Relight, and how does it work?
  • What is a surface map, and how to make one
  • Using Relight on a single node
  • Integrating Relight into a fixed node tree with compound nodes
  • Building out a Relight template for maximum flexibility and performance
  • Adjusting Relight mattes with conventional grading tools
  • Limiting Relight using power windows and Depth Map

External Links

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Questions or Comments? Leave a comment!

Is this Insight useful to you? Let us know! Mixing Light is all about community discussions, and we’re curious if you found this helpful, if you have something to add, or if you need more questions answered?

– Joey

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Homepage Forums Ideas For Using The Resolve 18.5 Relight Effect

  • Jim Robinson

    Wow, since the launch I have been waiting to see Joey’s ideas on usage of this new OFX.
    I feel like this is a bonus insight as well, because I was contemplating on where to fit it into my fixed node tree. I had considered a compound clip, but now it makes total sense to have compound clips that are for use at the clip level, and not worry about rippling them.
    Having some spare compounds is also something I hadn’t considered and are going to add.
    The depth mask inclusion is also great. Again, I was thinking about that inclusion as well.
    Absolutely a great insight Joey. Looking forward to seeing the follow up one that you talked about.
    Now we will have to see just how much we can get away, without rocking the boat too much.

    • Thanks Jim! Yea I’ve been loving having those blank compounds just ready to rock. It makes problem solving difficult shots much easier, while still staying organized.

  • Remco Hekker

    Amazing! <div>

    None of the pieces of information in this insight are particularly new to me. But somehow, when Joey combines them, he pushes all these ideas to a whole new level!!

    I agree with Jim, the part where we se how you integrate this into a fixed node structure is also very insightful. Thanks Joey.


  • Evan Anthony

    Well done Sir! Great info and workflows. I can not wait to get working on v18

  • John Lee

    This expands the usage of relight effects to another level for me. Thank you for the insights. And node cache idea was very helpful. System crashed whenever i made adjustment on it and playing it real time was not possible. Node cache just solved all that.

  • Marty Webb

    Ugh this really makes me wish I didn’t have to switch to baselight!

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