Color Matching Color Charts With RAW and Log in DaVinci Resolve

February 4, 2017
Patrick Inhofer C.S.I.

DaVinci Resolve's 'Color Match' is terrific for Color Charts recorded on-set. Learn the tricks to this feature if your Footage is RAW or Log.

Part 1: Understanding How To Use the Target and Source Pull Pulldowns with RAW

About a month ago this Tweet hit the Mixing Light Twitter account about Color Charts with RAW:

In other words, @gopalbalaji was asking us… is Color Match broken in ACES workflows?

(the short answer: No.)

In Part 1 we’re going to explore the proper Target and Source Pull-Downs with Color Charts in RAW

The explanation is easier if we separate the discussion of LOG or RAW recordings from the discussion of the ACES workflow using DaVinci Resolve’s Color Match feature. In full disclosure, I can answer @gopalbalaji’s tweet with a single screen shot, showing the proper settings for ACES—but instead let’s turn this excellent question into a ‘teachable moment‘.

The challenge with RAW footage is its chameleon-like nature

Using Resolve’s RAW Settings panel you can develop your footage into many different color spaces and gamma curves. Heck, you can develop RAW into a Log space, color grade into a Rec.709 profile and THEN do the Color Match! If you get your settings wrong, the Color Match utterly fails. If you get the settings right, Color Match works like a charm. And if you don’t understand the theory then this is a hit-or-miss game.

This Insight is hands-on, helping you become intentional about selecting your Color Match settings

The best way for me to help you is for you to follow along. I’m using footage from’s sample footage:

This two-part series on Color Matching Color Charts with RAW and LOG is being tagged to the end of that original series, since its a natural completion to those thoughts.

In Part 2 you will apply what you learn here to the ACES workflow

Part 2 is likely to be the shortest Insight I’ve ever recorded! Why? Because once you understand the concepts in this movie, mastering Color Match in ACES is a no-brainer!