Color change ON IMPORT
Guys, I'm desperate...was trying to solve this problem without success and I'm stuck. I know there are many threads like this, but bear with me - read them all and couldn't figure out anything.
* I know you will advice to buy rec 709 monitor and connect to declink, but until now everything worked fine, so would be great to have it the old way without breaking the bank investing to something I don't really *need*
I'm not sure if it happened after upgrading to Resolve 15 or after moving my computer from one location to another, but the problem is:
1 - I record a footage on Sony A7rIII - XAVCS - Picture profile Cine 2 - Color Profile Cinema (but tried all other color/gamuts and the problem is the same)
2 - Copy the files on my PC (Windows 10, GTX 1050Ti, prosumer Dell monitor - I think Dell U2412m connected through DVI to the GTX 1050TI)
3 - when I open the footage with whatever player - VLC, Windows Media Player etc. it looks the same
4 - After importing the footage to Davinci Resolve (without changing factory color settings settings / clip data levels: video, ) there is increased saturation and contrast in preview (I know I shouldn't use this, but until now it worked fine) compared to the original footage out of camera opened by VLC
5 - After exporting H.264 mp4 levels: video - and opening again with VLC the clip looks the same as the original footage out of camera opened by VLC
This way it's absolutely impossible to grade/color correct the footage as in Davinci it looks almost as good as if it would be graded. My (terrible) workaround was to create a node with adjustment that makes the preview in Davinci look the same as the footage looks in VLC, then grade on another node and before export delete the nodes which make the footage look like VLC. This was more or less successful, but is really pain in the ....
I have seen lot of threads discussing that after export the clip changes color/contrast/gamma, which is basically even my case and it isn't, because my colors/contrast change drastically even after import.
I tried to play with all possible settings in Davinci Color Management to change Input/Timeline/Output color space and also tried to use separate color space and gamma. But nothing helped...
When I changed the Color Space/Gamma I was able to get the "look" quite close in preview of how the original clip looked like in VLC, but then after delivery the colors where off compared to the original clip. Basically after every export the colors are more faded and contrast is decreased compared to what I see in Davinci Resolve preview.
I have seen all the threads, but wasn't able to find the right answer. This happened to me once previously - then it was caused by me using Win 7 and H 264 coded. After upgrading to Win 10 my problem was solved. It was just few month ago. I was happy to use Resolve until again this problem just few month. The worst thing - I really don't feel the need to invest Declink + GUI monitor when all other programs - Premiere (which I used before)/Final Cut can interpret to footage correctly. Just feel like Blackmagic wants their users to buy Declink, so they don't really bother to make things better. In my case probably after upgrading to Resolve 14 things actually got worse... As I'm not a pro color grader I really don't want to invest as much in having another monitor. For the work I do a basic setup is really more than enough.
So what to do? Really open to all suggestions.
edit: I think, but not sure that when I upgraded to Win 10 few month ago I was already using Resolve 15 and not Resolve 14, so that makes things even more mysterious. But really not sure about the version...
All I can say is if you want to finesse your node idea to change the look in Resolve to match a media player on your particular monitor, graphics card, GPU driver and OS then just put that node on the timeline not per clip as a node inside other grades which is then a pain to toggle off to output your final.
The reason the rest of us use a Decklink card with an external monitor is that creating a reliable reference is at the heart of grading. You are trying to work around a problem that will chase you every time you change something like the GPU driver or a WIN update or....
My Decklink card & external monitor have survived numerous OS and Resolve version upgrades without needing to be tweaked or compensated for for many years. The cost of doing it properly against wasting of my time is absolutely an easy one to calculate.
You need to read this to get a basic understanding of how Color Management works:
You're going to chase your tail forever if you don't think about how the operating system and different players affect the signal, and -- even worse -- how uncalibrated monitors affect the signal. Unless you can control and manage the color coming out of Resolve, and unless the display is at least somewhat calibrated, you'll go right off a cliff.
Have given up - ordered Decklink. Also X-Rite i1 Pro for calibration.
My monitor is pretty "low end" compared to professional video editing monitors. Not capable of displaying rec 709, only 95.8% sRGB. As my delivery is 90% for web I can live with it.
The question is (which I don't know even how to ask):
Will this be a problem for Decklink that the display is not capable of rec 709 only sRGB?
So it will be basically that my GTX 1050Ti will be connected to the monitor where I can make all the adjustments in Davinci and on the other monitor which will be directly connected to Decklink I will see full screen what I'm doing in Davinci. Right? But what if I would prefer to have only one huge monitor? Then I would connect the same monitor to GTX1050TI and also Decklink and in that case the colors in Davinci Preview would be accurate?