Mastering Color Space Transform in DaVinci Resolve 18 for Perfect Footage

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Image Credit: BlackMagic Design

Color Space Transform is a powerful tool within DaVinci Resolve that can greatly enhance the look and handling of your footage in your project’s color space. By utilizing this tool, you can effortlessly achieve accurate colors, ideal contrast, and seamless integration of footage from different cameras. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of using the color space transform tool in DaVinci Resolve, allowing you to elevate the visual quality of your next project.

Mastering Color Space Transform in DaVinci Resolve 18 for Perfect FootageUnderstanding the Power of Color Space Transform

The color space transform tool is invaluable when working with log footage. It empowers you to bring your footage to life by transforming it into a visually appealing format with accurate colors and enhanced contrast even before you begin the grading process. With just a few adjustments, you can optimize your footage to align perfectly with your intended creative vision.

Nailing Contrast with Color Space Transform: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Follow along with the expert guidance of Alex Jordan from Learn Color Grading as he breaks down the process of effectively using the color space transform tool to achieve exceptional contrast in your projects.

1. Setting the Foundation

To begin, Jordan takes example footage shot in Canon Log 3 and navigates to the Color page in DaVinci Resolve. Here, he applies the Color Space Transform tool to the first node. By adjusting the Input Color Space to Canon Cinema Gamut and the Input Gamma to Canon Log 3, he seamlessly brings the footage into the Rec. 709 color space, which matches the timeline.

2. Expanding Possibilities: Transforming Footage to Match Another Camera

The color space transform tool is not limited to converting log footage to Rec. 709. Jordan demonstrates its versatility by showcasing how it can be used to make footage from one camera resemble that captured by another. In this case, he decides to transform the Canon Log 3 footage to match the characteristics of an ARRI ALEXA camera.

To achieve this, Jordan modifies the Output Color Space to ARRI Alexa and the Output Gamma to ARRI LogC. As a result, the footage now mirrors the aesthetics of an ARRI camera, enabling seamless integration between different footage sources.

Overcoming Challenges: Ensuring Consistency in the Node-Based Workflow

Mastering Color Space Transform in DaVinci Resolve 18 for Perfect Footage

While using a node-based workflow to add contrast to the transformed footage, Jordan encounters a challenge. The second node mistakenly assumes that it is receiving regular Rec. 709 footage, leading to undesirable results. To address this issue, he employs a simple yet effective solution.

By right-clicking on the second node, he sets the color space and gamma parameters to match the color space transform. This adjustment ensures that all subsequent adjustments, including contrast modifications, work accurately and harmoniously within the desired color space.

Optimizing LUTs and Overall Color Management

It is crucial to recognize that color space transform settings impact other aspects of color management, including Look-Up Tables (LUTs). Therefore, it is imperative to ensure the proper configuration of all relevant tools and settings. Meticulous attention to detail in color management will significantly simplify your workflow and eliminate potential obstacles that could hinder your creative process.


Mastering the color space transform tool in DaVinci Resolve empowers you to unlock the true potential of your footage. By utilizing this powerful tool, you can effortlessly enhance color accuracy, achieve ideal contrast, and seamlessly integrate footage from different cameras. With the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of the color space transform tool and elevate the visual quality of your projects. Embrace the power of color management, and let your creativity shine with less hindrance.

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