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Clip attributes for logC material: Video or data level?

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Ole Slyngstad
Clip attributes for logC material: Video or data level?
on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:12:27 pm
Last Edited By Ole Slyngstad on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:19:45 pm

I’m grading footage from Arri Alexa in Davinci Resolve 10. The file format is 2K ProRes 4444 in logC.

But I’m a little confused with the level input intepretation for these files. For the “Levels” setting in the “Clip Attributes” in the Media/Edit tab I can choose between Auto, Data and Video for the clips. What setting is optimal for logC material?

ProRes 4444 is considered a data container and Resolve therefore automatically interpret these files as data when I set it to Auto.

But I wanna understand how these files should be interpreted correctly, and therefore I don’t wanna just set clip attributes to “Auto” levels and let Resolve do the choice for me. I grade on a 709 monitor with video levels out to my monitor while Resolve works full range internally.

When I use Resolves built in Arri Alexa LogC to Rec709 LUT with the “Data” setting on the clips, lowest black is more like dark grey and is placed somewhere close to level 32 on Resolves internal waveform monitor (10 bit).

When I choose “video levels” in clip attributes, Resolve does the video to data scale, and the LUTs black level looks better and are much closer to 0. But now the highlights appear to be more clipped. I guess I could recover highlight information by reducing the gain in the highlights or by a roll off. I always use the LUT as the final node in the chain and sometimes as an output LUT if all the clips are of the same file type/format.

So what’s considered to be the best method in Resolve for working with logC files? Selecting data levels probably gives me more latitude but I manually have to push the blacks from 32 down to 0 internally (64 on my monitor). Maybe it’s a good thing? Video levels gives me instant blacks and I don’t have to manually adjust the shadows but then there’s the risk of losing info.

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