Hope you all are overflowing with ideas and beaming with imagination. In this blog, we will tell you what is white balance and guide you on how to fix it in DaVinci Resolve using a minimalistic technique.
So firstly, what is white balance? The technique of removing or neutralizing color casts from your shots is known as ‘white balance’. As you can see from the image below, most sources of light have a color cast. While a camera captures a shot as it appears in real life—sometimes in neutral but other times with a warm, cool, magenta, or greenish color cast. Our eyes are quite adept at compensating for this in real time. But in the case of camera-captured data, white balance is required to produce a neutral image.
Many digital video creators fail to properly set the white balance, resulting in unflattering color shifts. Therefore, it is critical to use a proper white balance shot before taking it to the color grading process. In this blog, you’ll find out how to achieve a seamless white balance in DaVinci Resolve and why it matters if you want your shots to have true-to-life colors.
So, let’s begin then
Firstly, let us first take a commonly known approach, where creators will go to the parade scope and try to match the highlights by using the Gain wheel.
So, if we go ahead and try to match our RGB values just on the basis of adjusting highlights on the gain wheel, you will see we are getting a pretty good match in the parade scope and our image look better than earlier, but what is happening is that you have only fixed the highlights and not the ‘Midtones’ and the ‘Shadows’ of the shot where the color cast is still predominant.
To fix this issue, we will use our minimalistic technique by resetting the white balance node and clicking on the ‘Vectorscope’. Here we are going to try a unique approach to white balance the shot and instead of using Lift, Gamma, or Gain wheel, we will just use ‘OFFSET WHEEL’ to try and fix the white balance.
In the vectorscope, you will notice that the shot’s white balance signal has shifted significantly to the red, yellow, and green spectrums and is no longer in the center of our vector scope. So, we’ll just bring the white balance signal to the center portion of our vector scope by using the offset wheel.
As soon as you do this, you will notice that our image looks way better as compared to our previous approach. To witness a better understanding of the application, we will compare our white balanced shot obtained through the Offset tool with the shot that was obtained through the Gain tool.
As you can see there was a huge cast of green in our midtones especially the whites around the doors of the train and the skin tone also looked a bit desaturated when we tried to set the White balance using only the Gain approach. This is the perfect example of how you should always start with the offset wheel to achieve a perfect white balance on your shot rather than using the Lift, Gamma, and Gain wheel.
Let us apply this technique to the other shots and see the results. As you can see in this shot, the signal in the vectorscope is heavily shifted towards blue and cyan, and to balance it out, we are just going to shift it to yellow and red in our offset wheel.
Now you can see a perfectly balanced shot. Taking another shot at the timeline, you will notice that there is a huge blue and magenta cast on it.
To fix this we simply will go ahead and pull the white balance signal a little towards the yellow and that’s it, there you have it! a perfectly white-balanced shot.
This is a far superior method for balancing your whites in the shot and achieving more accurate colors. Note that balancing your whites is critical, and one of the reasons to balance your shots before proceeding to the color grading process is that if upstream of your grading process you try to make a skin selection or any other type of selection, you need well-balanced footage to pick those colors so that the selection is smooth and you can do advanced color grading on the shot.
We hope our blog helps you to discover your creative inspiration. So, until the next blog, find inspiration, make something great, contribute to the world’s beauty, and don’t forget to subscribe to and follow Colorist factory’s YouTube and Instagram pages.