5 Ways to Control Bright Skies in Davinci Resolve

By November 3, 2016 January 19th, 2017 Tutorial, Video


Although this is a tutorial, it’s more me going through the methods I use to try and control highlights in footage. In this case, particularly retaining detail in clouds and skies while brightening up the rest of the image and making it look lush and vibrant. There may be other methods but hopefully these 5 tips will give you a great place to start.

Davinci Resolve is powerful software so it offers excellent ways to manipulate any footage with detail and control. Of course, the footage has to be exposed and shot well in the first place. This can help you get the look you want but it won’t make up information that isn’t there!

The video starts with a quick grade of the log footage and then includes demonstrations and explanations of each of the following methods…

  1. Highlights Adjustment
  2. Log / Secondary Wheels
  3. Qualifier / Key
  4. Soft Clipping
  5. Gradient

Visiting North Wales

The view in the main clip is of the Cefn Viaduct in North Wales and was shot from Tŷ Mawr Country Park on a very dull day in October 2016.

The day was a bit wasted from a filming point of view because I was unable to capture any of the beautiful autumn colours due to bad light and grey skies. I did use the techniques in this video to grade a few shots which you can see here. It looks much nicer than it did on the day…hence my slightly disappointed mood in the BTS shots.

Technical Info

I was using the Panasonic DVX200 camera (this is my main 4K camera) shooting in VLOG mode. This was sent from HDMI in 10-bit 4:2:2 to an external recorder.

Original Footage Downloads

The original ProRes footage (2 clips used in this video) is UHD 25fps (roughly 600-700 mbps) and can be downloaded below.

Cefn Viaduct Original (2.2GB)  River Dee Original (3.3GB)

Note: Both of these clips are stored on Google Drive so you will be given the Virus Scan warning when you download them.

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Cefn Viaduct

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