Better Black and White in Davinci Resolve

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

There’s more to monochrome than dragging the saturation down to zero. Learn the nuances of rendering black and white in DaVinci Resolve.

The Traditional Way

While losing all the saturation in a color image is the intended effect, setting saturation to zero at the beginning of the workflow ties our hands since we’re unable to use the color information for later processing. We want to remove the color in a way that still gives us full control of the image.

Better Ways to Work

Using DaVinci Resolve, there are two better ways to work. The first is to create a node at the end of our tree with the saturation set to zero, and then create additional corrections that occur before this node. In this way, we can still pull keys on parts of the image (like the skin) that we would be paying attention to during a session using color images.

In the node tree below, the process containing the move to desaturate is last, allowing me to pull keys on the girl’s skin and dress with ease.

Black and White in DaVinci Resolve: Node Tree 

The second way to work is to use Resolve’s Monochrome mode, which emulates the Black and White adjustment layer used in Photoshop. This preserves the color information underneath and allows us to perform fast moves that give us interesting creative effects.

Monochrome mode can be accessed by clicking in the RGB Mixer tab while in the Color Page. There’s a little drop-down menu where Monochrome can be selected. This gives us single sliders for the red, green and blue channels.

Black and White in DaVinci Resolve: monochrome location

Make sure Preserve Luminance is selected, as you won’t get as favorable results otherwise. Without this checked, you’ll have to make sure the three sliders add up toa value of 1.00 to keep the image at the same luminance before you processed it in monochrome.

Note that the remixing of the color channels doesn’t work in this mode, and any corrections you’ve made to the color image before using Monochrome mode won’t be applied. If you’re using a control panel, any color adjustments will still be applied to the saturated image. Deselecting Monochrome will show you these results.

 

 

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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