Initial Colour Grading Role

Liz approached me a little while to get me on board with her documentary as a colour grader. She has been focusing on the production with the crew and now I have been pulled more into the project to help determine and create a visual style. Liz is after a treatment for this by next Friday (7th November), however I am awaiting on a premise and inspiration list from her before going forward, this way I can keep on track to her directorial vision, the potential in grading is endless.

My immediate thought due to the subject matter is the ‘teal’ grade. This has become popular recently in British television, the purpose of this is to add a teal wash to the background whilst maintaining real skin tones so the subjects can pop out of the frame. The teal hue itself comes across very medical and hospitalised, this association is likely due to programs the grade features in (i.e. Embarrassing Bodies, Channel 4).

   [Image Source:]

To quickly create this look in DaVinci Resolve use the following techniques:

  1. Add serial node
  2. Add layer node
  3. Vectors button
  4. Use pen to select the skin tones (highlight button allows you to see selection)
  5. Hue centre/width dials to select tolerance of selected tones
  6. Double click on the serial node under the layer node
  7. Adjust the colours, it will change everything other than the layer node selection

I will try and find time to grade some stock footage and demonstrate this idea to Liz, until I get a copy of the premise and inspirations I can’t really start pinpointing grades and visual styles.


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