Color Grading In DaVinci Resolve: The Ultimate Walkthrough
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Color Grading In DaVinci Resolve: The Ultimate Walkthrough

DaVinci Resolve offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help you achieve professional-grade color grading results. In this guide, we’ll walk you through color grading your footage step-by-step.

Avais Gilani
Avais Gilani

Photo by Irham Setyaki on Unsplash

Color grading is an essential step in the post-production process that can drastically enhance the visual impact of your videos. DaVinci Resolve offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help you achieve professional-grade color grading results. This is one of the advantages it has over Premiere Pro. In this guide, we’ll walk you through color grading your footage step-by-step.

Enhancing a Landscape Shot:

1) Import Footage:

  • Launch DaVinci Resolve.
  • Create a new project and import the footage you want to color grade.
  • Drag and drop the clip into the timeline.

2) Navigate to the Color Page:

  • Click on the “Color” tab at the bottom of the interface to enter the Color page.

3) Basic Corrections:

  • In the “Color” page, locate the “Primary Color” section.
  • Adjust the “Temperature” and “Tint” sliders to achieve a balanced starting point for your image.

4) Color Wheels:

  • In the “Primary Color” section, find the “Color Wheels” controls.
  • Use the “Lift,” “Gamma,” and “Gain” controls to fine-tune the shadows, midtones, and highlights. To add warmth, push the Gain wheel slightly towards orange.

5) Curves:

  • Scroll down to the “Curves” section.
  • Click on the “RGB Mixer” drop-down and select “Curves.”
  • In the curves interface, adjust the curve to create an S-curve, enhancing contrast. Lift the midtones slightly for added vibrancy.

6) Power Windows:

  • To create a Power Window, go to the “Power Window” section.
  • Choose the desired shape (e.g., circle) and draw it around the sky area.
  • Adjust the “Offset” and “Softness” parameters to refine the window’s placement and feathering.
  • In the “HSL Qualifiers” section, use the color picker to select the blue hues of the sky.
  • Adjust the “Hue,” “Saturation,” and “Luminance” sliders to deepen the blues within the window.

7) Node for Saturation:

  • In the “Node” section, click on the “Add Serial Node” button to add a new node.
  • In the new node’s “Color Wheels” section, reduce the “Master Saturation” slightly to achieve a natural look.

8) Final Touches:

  • Scroll to the “Sharpening” section.
  • Increase the “Amount” slider slightly to enhance details.
  • In the “Sizing” section, adjust the “Zoom” slider to crop or scale the image as desired.
  • Go to the “Post Clip” section and apply a subtle vignette by reducing the “Roundness” and increasing the “Size.”

9) Export Your Graded Footage:

  • Once you’re satisfied with the color grading, navigate to the “Deliver” tab.
  • Configure the export settings, such as format, resolution, and quality.
  • Click “Add to Render Queue” and then “Start Render” to export your graded footage.

Using LUTs for Quick Styling:

Color grading with DaVinci Resolve is a powerful tool for achieving cinematic visuals, but sometimes you might want to apply a specific look quickly. Look-Up Tables (LUTs) offer a fantastic shortcut for achieving distinct styles. Here’s how to use LUTs in DaVinci Resolve, where to find them, and how to integrate them seamlessly into your workflow.

1) Finding LUTs:

  • Numerous websites and marketplaces offer both free and paid LUTs. Some popular options include sites like, RocketStock, and FilmConvert.
  • When selecting LUTs, keep in mind your project’s theme and desired mood. LUTs come in different styles like Cinematic, Vintage, and Creative, so choose one that aligns with your vision.

2) Importing LUTs into DaVinci Resolve:

  • Launch DaVinci Resolve and open your project.
  • Navigate to the “Color” page.
  • In the “Gallery” panel on the right, click on the “LUTs” tab.
  • Right-click within the “LUTs” tab and choose “Import LUTs.”
  • Locate the LUT file on your computer and select it.

3) Applying LUTs:

  • In the “LUTs” tab, you’ll see the imported LUTs.
  • Drag and drop the desired LUT onto your clip or node graph.
  • You can toggle the effect of the LUT on and off by clicking the checkmark next to the LUT in the node graph.

4) Adjusting LUT Intensity:

  • After applying a LUT, you can control its intensity by adjusting the “Opacity” slider within the LUT node.
  • Lower the opacity for a more subtle effect or increase it for a more pronounced look.

5) Customizing LUTs:

  • LUTs might not always produce the perfect result due to variations in footage. To fine-tune, place color correction nodes before or after the LUT to make adjustments.
  • For instance, if a LUT makes your image too saturated, add a node after the LUT and adjust the saturation to balance it out.

6) Creating Your Own LUTs:

  • If you have a consistent style you apply across projects, consider creating your custom LUTs.
  • Build your desired look using nodes and adjustments in DaVinci Resolve, then export it as a LUT to use in future projects.

Creating Collections, Organizing Files, and More:

I can’t let you go without mentioning the biggest problem in the creative space right now. Naming files and indexing folders takes time away from editing and filming, and searching for files is a whole journey on its own.

If you’re suffering from clicking-folders-to-infinity syndrome, Shade is for you.

Whether you’re on Mac or Windows, Shade goes beyond just a search and understands your content so you can finally replace your file explorer and get your footage (RAW and BRAW), audio samples, photo collections, and 3D assets organized. – Download the free P

10x your workflow with features like:

  • Auto-tagging and descriptions
  • AI visual neural search
  • Video Previews
  • 3D asset previews and integration (.fbx, .blend, .obj, .stl, .usdz, .mb, etc)
  • Integration across all your apps – Full List
  • Stock search (SFX, Footage, Textures, Materials)
  • AI image Generation
  • and more…

TaggedContent CreationSoftwareToolsWorkflow

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