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In DaVinci Resolve there are three different sets of color wheels that we have access to the primary color wheels, log wheels, and the HDR wheels. We’ll explore the differences between the three sets of wheels.

Primaries Color Wheels

color wheels

This is the set of color wheels that are shown by default and are labeled lift, gamma, gain, and offset. Quickly breaking down the names of these wheels, Lift is going to be the shadow area, Gamma will be the mid-tones and Gained is the highlights area.  The offset will adjust the whole image equally. The unique part about the Primaries color wheels is the lift, gamma, and gain overlap at their furthest points of influence.

primaries color wheels zones

One thing that you’ll notice is that gamma affects the whole image but affects a bit more on the darker end of the image and that is primarily to result in a more natural and favorable adjustment.

Primaries Log Wheels

log color wheels

The main difference between the normal color wheels and log Wheels is the log Wheels have zero overlap. So the shadows will only affects the lower end of the image mid-tones is the middle bit and then the Highlight is just the higher end if we want to adjust the area of influence for these wheels we would move the range controls either the low range or the high range this will not add any type of overlap just changes the area of effect for that particular wheel.

log wheels high and low range

High Dynamic Range Wheels

HDR color wheels

A lot of people think the high-dynamic-range wheels are only for high dynamic range images and that is far from the truth. You can use the HDR wheels for a SDR image. Think of the HDR Wheels like the color wheels we talked about earlier with the advantage of adding more wheels to affect more areas. With the HDR Wheels we can make as many wheels as we want targeting any specific range of the image also additionally we can change the amount of fall off for each wheel. The HDR wheels are super customizable and open up a ton of possibilities.

As you can see below the zone graph allows us to create new zones set the area of effect for that zone as well as the fall off for that zone

HDR zones graph

About the Author

Justin Robinson is a Certified DaVinci Resolve, Fusion & Fairlight instructor who is known for simplifying concepts and techniques for anyone looking to learn any aspect of the video post-production workflow. Justin is the founder of JayAreTV, a training and premade asset website offering affordable and accessible video post-production education. You can follow Justin on Twitter at @JayAreTV YouTube at JayAreTV or Facebook at MrJayAreTV

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