RGB SPLIT TONE DCTL
ADJUST RGB IN HIGHLIGHTS,
SHADOWS & MID-TONES
The ‘RGB Split Tone Hi Lo’ and ‘RGB Split Tone Hi Mid Lo’ DCTLs offer targeted control over the RGB channels in your footage, allowing for film-like tonality in highlights, shadows, and even mid-tones. With a built-in slope function, these tools enable fine-tuned adjustments to the curve’s steepness, making it easier to emulate classic film characteristics. The Hi Mid Lo version adds an extra layer of control with a pivot slider for smooth transitions between tonal ranges. Overall, these tools streamline the process of achieving a cinematic look in digital video.
LOG WHEELS vs. DCTL
The Log Wheels are designed to provide quick, intuitive control over a specific tonal range without requiring you to manually shape the curve. This makes them very efficient for certain kinds of adjustments. While you can adjust the ‘range’ over which the Log Wheels apply their adjustments, you can’t directly control the shape or slope of the curve they use.
The DCTL provides precise control over the Red, Green, and Blue channels in both the highlight and shadow regions of your footage. The tool aims to emulate the film-like roll-off commonly seen in the highlights of traditional film stocks. It allows you to adjust each channel’s curve to achieve a rounded, filmic look for your highlights.
The left side shows the original footage where the woman’s face is illuminated by a strong red light, causing the red values to clip as indicated by the waveform monitor below the image.
The middle section represents the image after applying corrections using Log Wheels. While the details in the face are brought back to some extent, the waveform monitor indicates that the red channel is still quite peaked and the tonal transitions on the face appear flatter.
The right section demonstrates the result of using DCTL. The waveform monitor now shows a more rounded curve in the red channel, suggesting a smoother roll-off in the highlights. Visually, the woman’s face exhibits more natural-looking details and texture, with a more filmic quality to the highlights
The term “slope” refers to the steepness or incline of a curve used to map the input values to the output values for image tonality. A fundamental aspect of our tools like “RGB Split Tone Hi Lo” and “RGB Split Tone Hi Mid Lo” is the slope function. This function allows users to precisely control the shape of the curve for each RGB channel, affecting how quickly or gradually the highlights roll off into mid-tones or the shadows lift into mid-tones.
HANDLE WITH CARE
The problem with custom curves in DaVinci Resolve is that while they offer incredible flexibility in manipulating the color and luminance of a video, they can also introduce unintended changes to the image. When you place a point on the RGB spline to adjust a specific tonal range, the curve automatically ‘bends’ to accommodate that point. As a result, this adjustment not only affects the specific tonal range you’re targeting but also the tonal values surrounding that point, including the mid-tones. This can sometimes lead to undesirable shifts in color or brightness that were not initially intended.
Creating the perfect slope with custom curves in DaVinci Resolve can be a time-consuming endeavor, even when using features like ‘editable splines.’ Fine-tuning the curve often requires adjusting multiple points along the spline, each affecting the overall shape and, by extension, the image in complex ways. This makes it challenging to achieve precise color grading quickly. The ‘RGB Split Tone’ DCTL that I’ve created offers a more straightforward method. It ensures that when you adjust one portion of the curve, it doesn’t inadvertently move the RGB splines in the opposite direction, which can often happen when manipulating custom curves. The DCTL bends the curve in a film-like manner and includes a ‘Slope’ function, allowing you to easily adjust the steepness of the curve without affecting other tonal ranges. This simplifies the process considerably, making it faster and more intuitive.
HI / MID / LO
The ‘RGB Split Tone Hi Mid Lo’ DCTL offers additional control over mid-tones. The tool comes equipped with ‘mid’ sliders that allow users to split the RGB curves at specific points. You can also adjust the pivot to determine exactly where this split occurs
The ‘RGB Split Tone Hi Lo’ version is designed for those who want to focus on shaping the tonal extremes—the ‘Hi’ (shoulder) and ‘Lo’ (toe) regions of the image. With a streamlined interface featuring fewer sliders, you can quickly dial in adjustments to the high and low ends of the tonal range.
On the other hand, our ‘RGB Split Tone Hi Mid Lo’ version offers expanded control for those who seek to refine the mid-tones as well. This advanced tool features three additional sliders for individually splitting the Red, Green, and Blue channels in the mid-tone range. Plus, a pivot adjustment slider gives you precise control over tonal transitions, making it the go-to choice for those looking for granular control.
Hi / Lo
‘RGB Split Tone Hi Lo’: This version concentrates on the ‘Hi’ (shoulder) and ‘Lo’ (toe) regions of your image. With fewer sliders, the tool offers a streamlined approach that focuses specifically on the high and low ends of the tonal range.
Hi / Mid / Lo
‘RGB Split Tone Hi Mid Lo’: This advanced version takes it a step further by adding three additional sliders specifically for splitting the Red, Green, and Blue channels in the mid-tones. It also includes a pivot adjustment slider, allowing for even more refined control over the tonal transitions.
FOR ‘RGB Split Tone’ DCTL
I recommend placing the ‘RGB Split Tone’ DCTL further down your node tree, ideally after you’ve made your global adjustments for elements like contrast, pivot, and gamma. This positioning allows the DCTL to work more effectively, enhancing the color and tonality of your footage without conflicting with those fundamental adjustments. It serves as a fine-tuning step that can bring a cinematic, film-like quality to your video, complementing your earlier broad-stroke changes.
This demo version of the DCTL features a watermark, which is displayed as two large squares. It is ideal for users who wish to explore the software’s features and functionalities before deciding to make a purchase.