Troubleshooting 101 – Cleaning Up An Annoying Background (In Resolve’s Color Page)

March 7, 2019

Dan shares his thoughts behind his solution to removing a reflection using Resolve's Color Page - on a 16mm shot with moving grain structure.

A Simple (then tricky) Color Page Fix To Save The Day

How to logically find the solution (without going through Fusion)

In this video Insight, we look at a shot that needed cleanup during a recent color grade. On my 55″ LG OLED we noticed that, in the reflection of a picture on the wall, we can spot the Director and Assistant Director moving around behind the camera.


Blurring the offending area is normally my go-to trick. But that wasn’t going to work this time due to the heavy grain on the 500t film stock. The solution I came up with for this fix was simple. And then it got a little tricky. But I was happy that I could solve it right then and there – without sending my client off to a VFX artist. Or forcing me to struggle in Fusion.

This Insight is about my thought process as I was circling in on my solution. But this Insight is not a how-to. I don’t give you every number to set or which precise knobs to push. My solution is way too specific to this exact shot for it to be useful for you in that manner. It’s HOW I got to my solution – identifying the problem, coming up with several workarounds, until I had all the challenges conquered… that’s what this Insight is about.

Summary: The Cleanup

This is a locked-off shot which immediately makes the fix 300 times easier to achieve in Resolve. I don’t usually offer to clean up on shots with crazy camera moves as I just don’t have the proper toolset on the Color page of Resolve. But his shot? It was definitely in my wheelhouse.

My main head-scratching issue was how to remove the moving people without doing something incredibly obvious? I tried painting out the picture (with node resizing as a paint tool) but it made the frame feel empty. When I decided to use a normal compositor trick of building a clean frame that was my Ah-Ha moment. In the Insight below we look at:

Let’s jump over to my video below to see how I achieved the result, and additional thoughts I had while finding the solution that worked for me.

(Note: Above I’ve linked to other Insights on Mixing Light that covers each of these topics in more depth. If you’re not familiar and want to know more after watching this video, come back and click through. This Insight assumes you have a basic understanding of these topics.)


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