DaVinci Resolve 107 – Secondaries and Tracking

Secondaries and Tracking

Secondaries

This correction type isolates specific parts of an image with a key, window, or mask, all  started by adding another node in the editor. Starting with the Qualifier Key, we use the Color Picker Button in the viewer to click-drag a region we want to modify. We can add to this colour range or remove from it, and specify where the softness happens and in what density. There is also an Invert button to change the selection to the outside, or highlight to make the qualifier key visible with gray displaying what’s not selected. If you hold option while clicking this, it will view the key in a high contrast mode to make it more obvious where artifacting has occured. You can modify the blur of the edges, and the horizontal or vertical direction, this helps the falloff of a key, and can often remove unwanted jagged edges. Mixing this with the shrink/grow can help create amazing keys that perfectly isolate the desired region. There is also the potential to push this too far, especially with blur and create a halo or glow feel around keyed areas. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but it’s always most ideal to create secondaries that aren’t noticeable by the viewer. The qualifier can also be switched to RGB or LUMA modes to pull keys based on other colour components. If you wanted to alter the colour of a specific brightness range, then the LUMA qualifier would help you only isolate the key to that luminance range.  Here is a breakdown of the various controls for all the Qualifiers:

HSL

Hue Center: Defines the center of the range of Hue being isolated.

Hue Width: Defines the width of the range of hue being isolated. Widening or narrowing this parameter widens and narrows the range of hue about the current Hue Center.

Hue Soft: Widens or narrows the falloff at both sides of the currently selected range of hue.

Hue Symmetry: Selectively alter the angle of Hue Soft falloff at either the right or left side.

Sat Low/High: Define the upper and lower range of saturation being isolated.

Sat Low Soft/High Soft: Define the upper and lower softness falling off outside the current range of saturation.

RGB

Red Low/High: Define the upper and lower range of the Red channel being isolated.

Red Low Soft/High Soft: Define the upper and lower softness falling off outside the current range of red.

Blue Low/High: Define the upper and lower range of the Blue channel being isolated.

Blue Low Soft/High Soft: Define the upper and lower softness falling off outside the current range of blue.

Green Low/High: Define the upper and lower range of the green channel being isolated.

Green Low Soft/High Soft: Define the upper and lower softness falling off outside the current range of green.

LUMA

Lum Low/High: Define the upper and lower range of the luma component being isolated.

Lum Low Soft/High Soft: Define the upper and lower softness falling off outside the current range of luma.

Power Windows

Another type of secondary correction. These are done with shapes like ovals, rectangles, polygons, or custom curves to isolate regions of the image. To start specify the Window by selecting ‘On’ beside the desired type, and customize it’s region in the viewer or with the Transform and Softness options found in the Window Dialog. If you wanted to use the same shape, but subtract you can add other windows to the list using the buttons in the bottom left corner of the dialog, and select Invert to select outside the key or Mask to add it to existing keys from that Windows settings.

If you already had a secondary qualifier selection made, you could combine a window to ensure you narrow down the region to exactly what you want to alter. You can use the View Menu and under ‘Window Outline’ submenu, specify the outlines of the window to be off, on, or only UI so these won’t displayed on your client monitor. If you select the Power Curve option you can select the point by using the viewer, or enhanced viewer mode to make it easier in small spaces.

Now that we have our shape if this is a moving shot, we can select the Tracker icon, and begin to adjust our analyse the settings for a Window Tracker. Specify if you want to track horizontally, vertically, zooming, or rotation with the checkboxes. It’s best to have your playhead and shape positioned at the beginning or end of the clip, and analyse from there using the tracking forward, and tracking reverse buttons. This will analyze a cloud of tracking points in that shape, if you have multiple shapes you can select either one and track them individually. On our timeline we now will have a yellow tracking target. If the track is a bit off, you can go to the point it start’s to stray and track forward from there. It’s important for you to set the size based on the best tracking area, not necessarily the entire shape. You can resize the shape and change it after tracking has completed, and also copy and paste this shape tracking info with the Options dropdown. Currently we are tracking in the default Clip mode, where changes you make to the position of a window are globally applied for the entire track relative to the captured tracking point. Frame mode is where the position of a window is for the current frame, and is used when performing an interpolation functions like Key Frame mode and Interactive Mode. With Interactive mode you can make manual changes to the tracking point clouds that Resolve generates. Use Insert to add more tracking points, Resolve will determine the trackable pixels of that area. Set points allows you to drop individual points, and Delete removes points within a bounding box you’ve drawn in the viewer. You must place at least two tracking points at different pixel groups to track rotation, and at least three points to track zooming.

Image Stabilization

Uses the same features as tracking, but this applies to how the output transform will be affected by the tracker to smooth out motion and make it appear steady. Tracking is done in three steps starting with the analysis of motion. Then you modify the Stabilization settings like Zoom as to how much Resolve will crop into to maintain steadiness, Strong or Smooth. Lastly you click Stabilize to calculate the result.

Blur Palette

Useful in creating sharpened or blurred effects to the entire image, or a specific region with a secondary. You can blur all the channels or one individual for dramatic alterations. The Blur mode uses a high quality gaussian which is the easiest to control. The Radius is the main control for adding blur or sharpening, being set to .50 has no effect on the image. Raising the radius will blur the image, and lowering it will sharpen the image, you can even use multiple of nodes to have more advanced blurs. HV Ratio controls the direction of the blur, by raising the ratio we can increase the horizontal direction, and lowering will do the same for the vertical direction. The Sharpen mode is very similar, but has advanced features for sharpening. Scaling multiplies the scale being applied to the radius control for sharpening, this will have no effect if the radio is set .50 or above. Coring Softness limits how much of the image is being sharpened, this is based on the Level which is the threshold of which image detail is being omitted from the sharpening. Having this set to 0 will omit all the sharpest detailed areas, raising the level gradually omits areas of reduced complexity. Mist combines both the blur and sharpen function, that requires you to lower the radius with the mix slider adding a superimposed blur that mixes with the high-detail areas creating a Pro-Mist optical filter look.  

Key

Enables you to specify the visibility of your node, either with an external matte, or the gain for the entire node. This can be helpful when combining effects, and isolating the region this applies to.

Sizing

Will incorporate the information form an AAF or XML if you check ‘Use sizing information’ when importing a project. These will be displayed under the Edit Sizing Mode, to modify the scaling yourself use the Input Sizing with pan, tilt, zoom, and rotation that can all be keyframed. The Output Sizing is almost the same, except it applies this transform to the entire timeline all at once, and has a blanking function that will add ratio mattes so you can reference the final output. Node Sizing will only apply these transforms to the selected node from the tree, and can be used to create such effects as RGB splits. Start by adding a Splitter/Combiner Node,  and select one of the 3 correction nodes R,G, or B from top to bottom, this has added to your tree. Node sizing is also useful if you’re trying to cover something up, by adding a node, and moving this overtop of that area and softening the edges.

Curves

Six different modes for manipulating the colour and contrast for the entire image, or limited to a specific range with qualifiers, Window, or mattes. To add a control point you can select anywhere in the curve window, or hold shift before selecting, to add a point at the horizontal position of where you clicked and not alter the curve. You can right click control points to remove them, or reset an individual curve or the entire set. If I’m struggling to control an image with the Color Balance Controls, I will use Custom Curves to pinpoint the look, especially in the dark and highlight details. When all the channels are ganged together the adjustments to colour channels will affect the luminance, resulting in more image saturation. You can copy an unganged Custom Curve to another curve by holding option while clicking and dragging the desired Curve, onto the curve you want to paste to. The Curve Intensity Sliders controls the mix of the current curve on the clip’s original state. The YSFX slider to the left or a curve controls the inversion of any or all colour channels, and the amount to help creative unique effects.

Soft Clip

Help adjust shadow and highlight soft clipping for the entire image, or an individual channel. This is the alternative to a Soft Clip LUT that is applied to the entire sequence. You can apply a ‘knee’ to any clipping in the lower or upper spectrums of the image to ease off the harsh loss of detail that is a result of crushing or clipping the source materials. This effect won’t be as visible with a 3D Output LUT. There is a High Clip vertical slider, that if this is used in Node 1, and you try to expand that in any node down the tree, this information will be discarded creating a flat look. Hue vs. Hue lets you change any hue to another hue.  This would be helpful to change the sky of a scene to be more blue if it has an amber feel it it, or modify the hue of wardrobe if there are contrasting colours in the scene.  Hue vs. Sat lets you selectively modify the saturation of any hue within the image. For example you could desaturate an entire image except a specific range of hue, similar to that of Schindler’s list with the girl in the red coat.  Hue vs. Lum lets you increase or decrease the lightness of specific hues. This curve tends to introduce artifacting with a large amount of adjustment, so tread lightly with this one.  Lum vs. Sat is similar to a custom cuve since it manipulates the saturation of an image based on user-defined ranges of tone instead of hue. This can allow you to have desaturated black detail, and over saturated highlight detail.

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