The Isolated Color Look in Resolve

The isolated color look is a unique color grade used to great effect in movies like Pleasantville and Sin City. It involves keeping one or several colors intact while completely or partially desaturating the rest of the image. Let’s jump into the grade in DaVinci Resolve.

Achieving an isolated color look is pretty simple in Resolve and involves separating ranges of colors with keys. It works best when there’s an object that’s already naturally separated from the other elements in the scene in hue or saturation amount.

Approaching the Grade in DaVinci Resolve

For this example I chose this vibrant muscle car photo from Shutterstock. The same technique can easily be applied to any photo or video footage: original Perform your base correction just like you would with any other shot, then add a Serial Node to your tree. Select your Qualifier and click and drag to eyedropper across the object.Tight keys are necessary to pull off this effect. To make sure you have all of the object’s values, adjust the Hue Width, Saturation High Clip and Saturation Low Clip to control exactly what you need. Don’t forget to blur your key. Once you’ve pulled a sufficient key, dial in the saturation to your liking and create an Outside Node by pressing Option-O or by right-clicking the qualified node and selecting Add Outside Node. In the new node desaturate the image completely or partially to your desired effect. The keyed element will be the only thing that remains saturated. Success!

Here’s a quick pass of the image. Note that some of the stuff in the back would have to be taken care of since the qualifier is grabbing the same shades of red. You can use a polygonal vignette to cut out the car, and use the tracker for a moving shot.

Read the rest of the article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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