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Color Space Node

The Color Space node provides the ability to work on an image in a variety of alternate color space formats. By default, Fusion uses the RGB color space, and most nodes and displays interpret the primary channels of an image as Red, Green, and Blue.

Changing the color space from RGB causes most images to look odd, as Fusion’s viewers still interpret the primary channels as Red, Green, and Blue. For example, viewing an image converted to YUV in one of the viewers shows the Y channel as Red, the U channel as Green, and the V channel as Blue.

Several common elements of the Fusion interface refer to the RGB channels directly. The four buttons commonly found on the Inspector’s Settings tab to restrict the effect of the node to a single color channel are one example. When a conversion is applied to an image, the labels of these buttons remain R, G, and B, but the values they represent are from the current color space. (For example, Red is Hue, Green is Luminance, and Blue is Saturation for an RGB to HLS conversion. The Alpha value is never changed by the color space conversion.)

Color Space Node Inputs

The Color Space node includes two inputs: one for the main image and the other for an effect mask.

  • Input: This orange input is the only required connection. It connects a 2D image that is converted by the color space operation.
  • Effect Mask: The optional blue effect mask input accepts a mask shape created by polylines, basic primitive shapes, paint strokes, or bitmaps from other tools. Connecting a mask to this input limits the color space adjustment to only those pixels within the mask. An effect mask is applied to the tool after it is processed.

Color Space Node Setup

The Color Space node, like many 2D image-processing nodes, receives a 2D image like a Loader or the MediaIn1 shown below, processes the image, and then extends the node tree by connecting to another 2D image-processing node or a Merge node.

Color Space Node Controls Tab

The Controls tab in the Color Space node consists of two menus. The top Conversion menu determines whether you are converting an image to RGB or from RGB. The bottom menu selects the alternative color space you are either converting to or from.

  • Conversion
    This menu has three options. The None option has no effect on the image. When To Color is selected, the input image is converted to the color space selected in the Color Type control found below. When To RGB is selected, the input image is converted back to the RGB color space from the type selected in the Color Type menu (for example, YUV to RGB).
  • Color Type
    This menu is used to select the color space conversion applied when the To Color conversion is selected. When the To RGB option is selected in the Conversion menu, the Color Type option should reflect the input image’s current color space. There are eight color space options to choose from.
    • HSV (Hue, Saturation, and Value): Each pixel in the HSV color space is described in terms of its Hue, Saturation, and Value components. Value is defined as the quality by which we distinguish a light color from a dark one or brightness. Decreasing saturation roughly corresponds to adding white to a paint chip on a palette. Increasing Value is roughly similar to adding black.
    • YUV (Luma, Blue Chroma, and Red Chroma): The YUV color space is used in the analog broadcast of PAL video. Historically, this format was often used to color correct images because of its familiarity to a large percentage of video engineers. Each pixel is described in terms of its Luminance, Blue Chroma, and Red Chroma components.
    • YIQ (Luma, In Phase, and Quadrature): The YIQ color space is used in the analog broadcast of NTSC video. This format is much rarer than YUV and almost never seen in production. Each pixel is described in terms of its Luminance, Chroma (in-phase or red-cyan channel), and Quadrature (magenta-green) components.
    • CMY (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow): Although more common in print, the CMY format is often found in computer graphics from other software packages. Each pixel is described in terms of its Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow components. CMY is nonlinear.
    • HLS (Hue, Luminance, and Saturation): Each pixel in the HLS color space is described in terms of its Hue, Luminance, and Saturation components. The differences between HLS and HSV color spaces are minor.
    • XYZ (CIE Format): This mode is used to convert a CIE XYZ image to and from RGB color spaces. CIE XYZ is a weighted space, instead of a nonlinear one, unlike the other available color spaces. Nonlinear in this context means that equal changes in value at different positions in the color space may not necessarily produce the same magnitude of change visually to the eye. Expressed simply, the CIE color space is a perceptual color system, with weighted values obtained from experiments where subjects were asked to match an existing light source using three primary light sources. This color space is most often used to perform gamut conversion and color space matching between image display formats because it contains the entire gamut of perceivable colors.
    • Negative: The color channels are inverted. The color space remains RGBA.
    • BW: The image is converted to black and white. The contribution of each channel to the luminance of the image is adjustable via slider controls that appear when this option is selected. The default values of these sliders represent the usual perceptual contribution of each channel to an image’s luminance. The color space of the image remains RGBA.

Color Space Node Settings Tab

The Settings tab in the Inspector is also duplicated in other Color nodes. These common controls are described in detail HERE.


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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