Simple Trick for Accurate Contrast with Color Space Transform in Resolve 17

Color space transform is a very useful tool in DaVinci Resolve. It’ll help you get your footage looking and handling properly in your project’s color space. A good example of this is taking log footage and having it transformed to look “right” with proper color and contrast before you get working on a grade.

It can also be used to take footage from one camera and transform it into looking like footage from another camera. Coming from Alex Jordan of Learn Color Grading is a nice tutorial that breaks down how to use the color space transform tool to nail contrast in your next project.

Using some example footage shot in Canon Log 3, Jordan heads over to Color page and tosses on the Color Space Transform in the first node.

All he does is to change up the Input Color Space and Input Gamma to Canon Cinema Gamut and Canon Log 3, respectively. Quickly you’ll see it brought into a Rec. 709 space since that is the timeline space.

This works but it isn’t the only possible use of the tool.

Next up he decides to convert this to match an ARRI ALEXA.  To do that he can change the Output Color Space and Output Gamma to ARRI Alexa and ARRI LogC. The footage should now mimic that of an ARRI camera.

Image Credit: Blackmagic Design

With all that done he goes to add some contrast in the normal way, by adding a serial node and adjusting contrast, but it doesn’t look quite right. The problem is that in the node-based workflow while the first node is sending ARRI LogC footage to the second node the second node thinks it is receiving regular Rec. 709 and operates accordingly.

To fix this you can do something simple – set the node to the proper color space and gamma. If you right-click the second node you can select the color space and gamma to match the transform. Now, all your other controls should work as you would expect them to work.

LUTs are also impacted by these settings. This goes to show how all aspects of color management are incredibly important. Making sure all your tools are working properly will make the rest of your job much easier. You don’t want to be fighting yourself as you work.

Have you ever used the Color Space Transform tool?

[source: Learn Color Grading]

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