One essential set of tools that you are going to come to work with a lot of the time in DaVinci Resolve 14 is power windows. These are also known as masks or mattes in other software. How do you use power windows? In this video, instructor Patrick Inhofer demonstrates how to use power windows as part of the color grading process in Resolve 14.
- One essential set of tools that you're going to come to love in DaVinci Resolve, work with all the time, are power windows, that's kind of DaVinci Resolve's name for masks or mats that you might use in other programs where you create shapes and you either color correct inside the shape or you color correct outside the shape. Here in DaVinci Resolve we have several default shapes that you can then customize to do and isolate precisely what it is you want to isolate.
Let's take a look, and we're going to continue on 0509 Hue vs START and I'm going to close out the open effects from the previous movie. And, as I look at this image, one thing I notice is, the first thing I see, what grabs my attention is this upper left hand corner. It's very bright even if I turn off the glow that we created in the previous movie. That's kind of the brightest part of the image. Let's look at the wave form real quick. Switch it to Y only and, yeah, I mean the left hand side's pretty bright, the right hand side is pretty bright as well if you take a look at this window here.
So what can we do to maybe push back those two areas and we'll do it before the glow effect. So I've created a little room here by clicking and dragging and moving this node out of the way. And with node three selected, even though it's turned off, I have this orange border around it meaning it is the active node. I'm going to select Nodes Add Serial Before Current otherwise known as Shift + S. When I select that, it adds a serial node before the one that I just had selected.
It increments the number so this is node number four. And now what I'm going to do is isolate this area using power windows. Where do we find our power windows? Right down here under window. I'll click on this little circly thing and we've got several different default shapes. You've got a square, and you'll notice that you've got an outline of that shape and you've got control handles that you can pull and push and we've got these little red dots are our softness dots.
So on this particular shape you have four different softness controls for each edge of the shape. By the way, there's a nifty little option for these wire frames, if I go up into my user settings, which is in Preferences. User Color and I'm looking for this one right here, High Visibility Power Window Outlines. Watch what happens when I click save after selecting that on that power window outline. It goes, huh, that's high visibility. So now we can see it. So that's our square. I also have a circle and that allows us to modify the shape of it as well as softness controls.
And in the middle, rotation. I've got what looks like a square, but actually allows me to add additional control points. This is great if you've got a doorway you need to mask out or maybe a garage door or something that has very linear shapes but it's not exactly a square or a rectangle. I'll turn that off. Then we've got, this, which is a custom shape. So I can click and create my own shape and if I click and drag, now I can pull out a Bezier handle and create Bezier curves here.
And then I'll have to close it up and there we've got our shape. Softness controls right here on the right hand side of the UI. Sometimes it's not clear on some of these how soft these are because you don't see any softness handles. Right, what do you do then? Well you go into highlight mode and highlight mode is this little icon right up here. I'll click on that. Now it's just showing me what's happening with my shape and as I adjust the softness, you could see exactly what it is you're adjusting.
I'm going to take ourselves out of highlight mode. And, finally, we have the gradient wipe. And I always get confused, I can never remember which is the part that I'll be color correcting above the gradient line or below the gradient line. Once again, you can go into highlight mode. This time I'm going to do it by the keyboard, Shift + H, now I'm in highlight mode. Now I can tell, oh, okay, this is what gets color corrected. This section in here will not get color corrected. Let's do that for the upper left hand corner.
I'm going to use this gradient wipe for the upper left hand corner. And I'm going to use this to knock back that brightness. So when I Shift + H, and I actually am going to pull this out just a touch more as I look at it and now I'm going to drop the gain, not too much, remember we've had some clipping going on in this shot. And as I do that, I want to make sure that that clipped elements don't fall into gray but that's looking okay as I look at this wave form monitor here. So I'm dropping the gain down a little bit. I'm also going to drop the gamma down a little bit.
I find that when I do this kind of darkening it's best to spread the duties across two different controls than to have one control do the majority of the work. Ends up looking a little bit more natural. And maybe something like that. I'm going to soften this out quite a bit too. And we'll bring it back. And now on this, I can go ahead and do the exact same move but I'll do a different shape. So let's go ahead and also activate the circle. I'll take the circle, push it down here, that was a pretty big move we did, wasn't it? Maybe I'll lessen that up a little bit.
Soften that up majorly. It's a huge soft move. I'll give it more of an oval shape, it makes it a little less computer generated. There we go. Just kind knocking that back a little bit. Now it's tough to judge what your correction actually looks like when you've got these windows turned on so can you hide this wire frame so you can what is actually happening in the shot? The answer is yeah. First of all, just switch to another tool down here. So if I switch to curves, the wire frames disappear. Now I can toggle node four on and off and see what I've done there.
And that's not bad. That's actually pretty good. Now I can add one more power window here just to pull them up a little bit. They still feel a little dark so I'm going to spread and make some more room here between nodes four and three. I'm going to Option + S on a Mac or Alt + S on the PC, add a new node, you're going to add one more power window here. This one's just going to be on them. I'm going to make it ovally and we're going to make believe, where's the main light source coming from? Probably this window.
So I like pointing off my ovals in the direction of a light source. Kind of do that. And then, let's hide that window, by selecting a different tool and brightening up the midtones a little bit, dropping down our lift a bit, we want to keep some of those shadows, but pull them up little bit. And they're feeling a little yellow, so I'm just going to take those midtones and pull it away from yellow and that's feeling okay to me. So now here's what the shot originally looked like.
Here's what it looks like now. And here's what it looks like with node five turned on and off. So we definitely pulled them out of that darkness. And node four, we've just pushed it down a little bit. Those highlights on the left hand and right hand side of the image and we're going to do one more. I'm going to do one more while I'm at it because this is bothering me. I'm going to Option or Alt + S. And we're going to add one more power window. It's going to be a gradient. It's going to be on the bottom. Shift + H, flip it around.
Something like this. 'Cause this foreground is also super bright. I just want to do something really soft here. Shift + H. Hide my wire frame and now I'm just going to do a little bit of a midtone pull down maybe a little bit of a highlight pull down. Just kind of like that. Lift up the lift a little bit so it doesn't get too crushy into black. There we go. Let's turn that on and off. And so you see, we've kind of built up the color correction we're performing.
I've got different sets of power windows focusing on different sets of the image but I've separated them out into separate serial nodes giving me this very granular control and allowing me to make very specific adjustments.
- Setting up a project and key preferences
- Organizing your media
- Editing to the timeline
- Color correcting to fix problems and add effects
- Copying color corrections across clips
- Making targeted fixes
- Mixing audio
- Using audio busses
- Rendering to nonlinear editors