Join Robbie Carman for an in-depth discussion in this video How video scopes help you, part of DaVinci Resolve Guru: Mastering Scopes.
- I'm gonna make the assumption, you've at least heard of video scopes and have some idea that they help you analyze the video signal. But what do scopes really help you do? Let me put it this way. Would you get on a plan with no navigation instruments in the cockpit for the pilot to use? Yeah, probably not. While not a matter of life and death, video scopes allow you to properly guide your images and get sort of a analytical snapshot of what your footage is really doing.
I know what you might be thinking. Can't my eyes do that? Sure, your eyes are an extremely valuable tool in image evaluation, and even though this course is about using scopes, by no means am I suggesting grading by using scopes only. However, it's important to understand something about human physiology. Your eyes, in partnership with your brain, lie to you all the time. Factors like your monitor calibration, environment, lighting, wall color, even how much sleep you have the night before a grading session, and how long you've been looking at a shot, and a myriad of other factors all contribute to how you see and interpret footage.
No doubt, you've had the experiences of something looking great as you're grading it, and then when you look at the shot a few minutes later, you scratch your head wondering, what was I doing? Or no matter how hard you try, you can't just get two or more shots to match. Don't feel bad, these are just two examples of how visual adaptation, and your brain and eyes are lying to you, and yes, they're lying to you all the time. Video scopes on the other hand, aren't influenced by anything other than what the video signal is really doing.
Because of this, scopes can be used for technical purposes. Like matching shots, adhering to broadcast legality and of course, fixing issues with contrast, exposure and color. But video scopes can also be used for much more creative purposes. Helping you guide the grade on a shot, like determining the time of day, whether a shot is warm or cold, or is high or low contrast, and things like that. As a creative, videos scopes may seem very technical or something that is only used by engineer types.
Or, you may think that scopes are only needed if you're doing broadcast work. Over the course of this title, we'll explore technical approaches to using scopes but also discuss creative and aesthetic choices that can be made by informed use of the video scopes. In other words, scopes are a technical tool but no matter what type of grading you do, or genre you work on, or what type of distribution you have on a project, scopes are a tool that help you evaluate what's really going on with your shots.
- Opening and configuring scopes
- Evaluating color, contrast, and balance with a waveform
- Evaluating skin tone and saturation with a vectorscope
- Using RGB Parade or the Histogram
- Matching shots using scopes
- Guiding look development with scopes