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How to Use Log Grading in DaVinci Resolve 12.5?

Aug 31, 2020• Proven solutions

There are three unique operation modes in Color Wheels palette of DaVinci Resolve: Log Mode, Primaries Bars Mode and Primaries Wheels Mode. Here, the Log Mode offers offset, Highlight, Midtone and Shadow controls that help users to enjoy customizable adjustments for log encoded image data.

The Log Mode controls can be accessed with two different ways: You can avail finer and filmic adjustment control over log encoded media files where manual adjustments can be applied after pipelined processing of images. Or, you can use the highlight, midtone and shadow features to normalize clips with tinting specific portions.

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How to use Log Grading?

First of all you need to go to the Color Page and then navigate to the Log Mode indicated by third little dot type button in the Color Wheels window.

log mode

Section 1: How to use the Log Mode Controls to Grade the Log Encoded Media:

Step 1: Set black point using the Offset master wheel and then using Pivot and Contrast parameters to adjust the tonal range as per need.

Step 2: Adjust the overall balance for color on image with offset color balance option.

Step 3: Use the shadow/highlight/midtone controls to make specific or customized settings for contrast and color as per tonal range of log encoded image.

Once you are done with all above settings, you can further apply few additional nodes or access the Primaries Mode of Color Wheels palette. It will help you to remove all issues and soon you will get a finer image of your interest.

Section 2: How to use the Log Mode Controls to Stylize Normalized Media:

It is also possible to access Log Mode controls over normalized images. The results will be quite unique with this setting, but professionals take its advantage to avail awesome stylization abilities. You can easily get finer overlapping of Gamma, Lift and Gain color balance over normalized images.

In this case, shadows will work only upon the darkest shadows and it will stay in the bottom third portion of image tonality graph. Midtones are now going to work just for middle third grays whereas the highlights shows effects over top third part of image values. However, you can make manual adjustments for these ranges to get results as per need.

low high range

Low Range: The low range helps to move the border to position where shadows and midtones meet. If you brings values of this parameter to lower side then it will simply widen the midtone range whereas range of shadows will get narrower. On other side, if you increase value for this parameter then shadows get widen and midtones become narrower.

High Range: It moves the border to the location where modtones and highlights meet each other. If you lower down the high range parameters then midtones range gets automatically narrowed down whereas highlights have widening affect. Raising high range means you will get wider midtones with narrower highlights.

You can also use the shared adjustment controls such as Contrast, Saturation, Hue, Highlight, Color boost etc. in Page 1 and Page 2.

color wheels page 1

Nomatter which mode you are in, the parameters in Page 1 are identical. The Contrast and Pivot parameters can be used to narrow or widen image contrast about a user-definable pivot point.

color wheels page 2

The Page 2 section in the Color Wheels palette has the same kind of highlight and shadow recovery, color boost, and midtone details controls found on the Camera Raw palette, while the identically named controls in the Color Wheels palette can be used for any media format.

Let's watch the video below to check how to use log grading in DaVinci Resolve 12.5 in more details.

Whether or not to Use Legacy Log Grading:

DVR 12.5 recently introduced one more feature to the Log Grading controls for generating smoother results. If you want to maintain a good backward compatibility with the older projects, then you can access the legacy log grading range and curve feature from checkbox that is available under color panel of project settings. You can easily switch between newer and older behavior of log control using this facility. The older projects will automatically possess default turned off settings for this feature whereas it stays on in newer projects.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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