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Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??

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Adam Claude Jones
Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:27:05 pm

I know you should manually white balance and should know how to do it. But sometimes you just don't need to. You probably wont use auto white balance in a Feature. But if you get something, corporate, documentary or whatever, shot with 4 different cameras at the same time and not properly white balanced, with a limited budget, auto white balance would go a long way in saving you time. Apple Color had it. FCP-X and Media Composer have it and they are not even dedicated color correction tools.

I remember this being requested here and also over at the Blackmagic forums by several people last year and remember Peter Chamberlain saying it would be added to the list. But here we are a full year later and with a new version of Davinci and it seems it is still not there. Or am I overlooking it? The auto color is not the same thing by the way.

It would be really a shame if it would be faster and more efficient to log all my footage in FCP-X and do a white balance first before going into Resolve as opposed to doing all in Resolve.

Any news on this Peter?

Thanks


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Nat Jencks
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 3:42:16 pm

+1. White balance using a color picker is not a trivial feature. It is not always better to do this by hand.

Typical adjustment for white balance is often different than simply adjusting the RGB balance on Gain, as most colorists would do to manually white balance.

When a shot has a significant hue cast for example a green cast do to overuse of ND filtration on an Alexa, it can be very difficult to accurately balance white using the traditional RGB Gain controls. One can try to use the channel mixer to acheive this, but my experience is that using the channel mixer via the GUI rather than the Davinci Panels is very clumsy and adjustments are much too coarse.

One example is that if you take a still with an extreme cast, it is often much easier to white balance out the cast within Lightroom than in resolve.

Resolve's color capabilities typically far exceed what is found in a tool like lightroom, but this is definitely an exception. White balance tools are really not for amatures, but a very needed pro feature where resolve is slightly behind the competition.

+1 vote for manual color picker based white balance (and black balance) in v11.

best-
Nat


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Adam Claude Jones
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 4:24:40 pm

I would hope we wouldn't have to wait till V11. We have waited all the way through V9 already.


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Tobias Heilmann-Schuricht
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 4:41:32 pm

I would second the call for that feature. It would be very handy on many occasions, especially when you need to quickly rough it on a first pass. I have never used the auto color feature but an auto white balance feature would make me very happy at times.

In Touch Media GmbH
Germany


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Adam Claude Jones
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 9:45:37 pm

Yes, with so many requests through the months and year, I wonder why BMD hasn't implemented it yet. Let's hope somebody at BMD will give this thread the time of the day.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 4:47:21 pm

[Nat Jencks] "White balance tools are really not for amatures," [sic]

I'd lean toward agreeing, but not completely.

Geez, what does that AWB button do that's provided on the camera? And why wouldn't a cinematographer use it?

(Maybe for the same reason a colorist wouldn't?)

Everyone is correct that it is a complex matter. IF a shot is overexposed, then at 110IRE (clipped) value R already= G, already =B, so no change. As far as a no-brainer-white-balance goes, its electronically already there.... And under fluorescent, like we find everywhere in those industrial low-budget shoots that would be where the OP thinks would find the auto button most useful... if there is a practical in the shot... as far as the camera is concerned, it already is white balanced... but everybody is green. Huh.

So picking an arbitrary value somewhere in the what-should-be-grey scale and making that R=G=B would solve everything, right? ... Maybe I haven't been doing this long enough, or else maybe I'm now "too old", but... not in my experience. Cross-light? Worse. (I mean balancing a shot with a mix of color temperatures... ie., a fluorescent-lit office with floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows admitting natural daylight.) Now that's what I call entertainment.
There is a discussion over on the Blackmagic Post forum about "color temperature" sliders, to deal with someone who would like this approach, or at least an implementation to deal with someone else who thinks this is how it should be done. There is a response involving "printer points", another approach to coarse RGB adjustments that emulates an approach that is pretty much now totally abandoned, since we don't really "print" film anymore, and for sure not attempting to adjust ("time") dye layer values with chemistry and filters, which was a black art if there ever was one. How about the time I was grading a session where the DP was holding up a Mired-shift filter from one of those Rosco sample-swatch fans and shouting out incomprehensible (or at least untranslate-able) numbers? Uh, when he really meant "warmer", or "cooler". As much as some people would love to obfuscate the discipline with mumbo-jumbo science (for their own reasons), yes, we need to be "calibrated", but the notion of just "making it look nice", even if it doesn't win every time, should.

Sure, a one-touch magic button would be great, but, and maybe this is being harsh?... even as far back as Delacroix, a pure, technical white is as boring as it gets, and is usually, or should be, your first clue that a blunt instrument was in use.
Check out his "Tiger" series of oils, sometime. I took a series of digital snapshots at the Louvre last fall to illustrate how effed-up the electronic version was re-presented. For some reason, the camera was trying to sell me on the idea that the cats' fur should be "white". Nope. Not really true so much.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Adam Claude Jones
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 13, 2013 at 9:42:13 pm

[Joseph Owens] "Geez, what does that AWB button do that's provided on the camera? And why wouldn't a cinematographer use it?"

Because if you use the on camera auto white balance, it will change on you as you move around, because auto in that case means self-adjusting in real time. A totally different tool than an auto white balance within a color grading software. Maybe we should refer to it as white balance reset inside Resolve to avoid confusion.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:01:22 am

[Adam Claude Jones] "Because if you use the on camera auto white balance, it will change on you as you move around,"

Whatever became of a "momentary" AWB that you set and lock?

If the situation is leading the camera around, then you are in trouble.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Nat Jencks
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:08:50 am

To be clear, I'm not suggesting a magic autowhite button. I'm also not suggesting that correcting white to D65 is a good idea creatively.

What I am suggesting is that a toolset which deals with white balance is very useful above and beyond what can be done with RGB gains. Can you acheive the same results that you would with a white balance toolset using RGB gains combined with the channel mixer, combined with good use of the HSV keyer? Of course. But using the channel mixer to this end is fairly painful.

Would a white balance tool set be useful… yes, very much so.

Best-
-Nat Jencks

p.s.
and yes, and "Color Temperature" adjustment would be extremely useful as well. Not always appropriate, but there are many times when it would be great to push white up and down in temp (along the plackian locus). Most colorists approximate this by pushing gain toward or away from orange, which of course works fine, but doesn't actually align with color temp.

However that feature request is a longshot in my opinion, since unlike white balance tools, I haven't seen a "color temp" adjustment that would push white point up and down the plackian locus in any pieces of software.


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Nat Jencks
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 14, 2013 at 12:28:00 am

Also of interest to folks interested in this thread and the difference between white balance vs pushing the gain control around:
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/277/11356

In Mike Most's post in the above thread he suggests adding and subtracting blue from the red and blue channels, for example adding blue to the red channel while subtracting it from the Blue. This is a good solution, but in practice I find that its tricky, for two reasons, 1) what you really want is for the controls to be ganged in reverse, so that as you subtract blur from blue you can add it to red simultaneously. 2) The controls here in resolve are WAY to coarse for this type of adjustment. Still helpful but it leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 14, 2013 at 5:00:31 pm

[Nat Jencks] " it would be great to push white up and down in temp (along the plackian locus). "
That would be the "Planckian" locus, for those wishing to go google-diving.

Here is where it gets interesting, of course. When we look at the xy CIE-chromaticity diagram, its 2-dimensional thinking. What is really going on though, in practical cinematographic terms, is that we are also running up and down a luminosity hill, which is also being distorted by the real-world toe and shoulder of a sensor's exposure range. Take a look at the MacAdams construction:
http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/File:ColSpFig11.jpg

and you will see how the Planckian locus also gets twisted as you depart from the Z/zero axis. Even in a mathematically perfect world. An attempt to unify this response, especially de-convoluting log transform characteristics seems to be built into the ACES workflow, tailored for camera types, but I would like to hear from others whether that interpretation is on the right track or not.

Something else that occurs to me is the real-world compensations that human-eye colorists do intuitively, when we are dealing with simultaneous dynamic contrast in both hue and luminosity. You know the old optical illusion of surrounding two identical grey patches with brighter/darker, and/or complementary hues -- the grey patch, even though it is mathematically identical in all comparison examples, looks different, relative to its surroundings. A machine would never pick that up, because it is something our brains do.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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sean ross
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 15, 2013 at 10:49:11 pm

I also would like that feature.


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Adam Claude Jones
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 16, 2013 at 1:58:18 am

It's clear that a whole lot of people want this. There's actually no reason not to. And it has been requested several times. First time I seen somebody requesting it was a year or two ago. But BMD seems not to be giving it much importance. :-(


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Nikolay Kerezov
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Nov 30, 2013 at 9:06:01 am

Or may be BMD keeping this option only for the people who have money for the DaVinci Resolve surface


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Adam Claude Jones
Re: Auto White Balance with a color picker still not in V10??
on Dec 1, 2013 at 10:20:57 pm

[Nikolay Kerezov] "Or may be BMD keeping this option only for the people who have money for the DaVinci Resolve surface"

So this is available with the Resolve Panels? As far as I understood, it isn't. There is something similar but not exactly like this.

Anyways, BMD's silence in this thread is pretty worrisome. If it was at least planned for the near future somebody would have posted here already after so many requests. But nada!

Pity that pretty much any NLE out there has this function but the so called industry standard for color correction does not and doesn't seem interested in adding it or talking to us about it.


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