Colour Space Management in Fusion
Whilst I have been using Resolve 15 for a little while now I have to admit that I haven’t really explored the Fusion tab that much, especially since most companies I work with have their VFX and graphics done in Nuke or After Effects; but recently I have been feeling the urge to explore the Fusion tab and at least learn to operate some primary settings like colour space management in Fusion. The truth is that with 5 years under my belt working as a DVR colourist (and many more working in production) I can happily say that I now have a solid intermediate colourist knowledge, and like most at this level I have made a conscious choice to utilise specific workflows that suit my kind of work, along with the companies and clients I work with.
So when it comes to Colour Management, to keep things streamlined, I will often work in an RCM workflow (as opposed to a Display-referred workflow), and I will have my DVR YRGB Colour Managed selected and will also select my Input, Timeline, Output colour space accordingly.
With a few variations here and there, it works for me, especially when working on fast turn-around broadcast and/or web commercial and branded content projects. So, after some digging* around I found out how to translate this to the Fusion tab; here we are… When you work in a scene referred colour space like RCM, Fusion will display your clip with a default LUT which can be confusing at first. To really see what is happening and manage this you can click on the drop down LUT menu in Fusion (next to the little grid) and click at the bottom of the list on the edit option.
A new window will open with a managed tab and a FusionViewLUT tab both switched on.
Just double click on either of them to view each one individually.
The ‘managed’ tab allows you to select Gamut preferences, it is designed to transform one colour space to another.
This is where you make sure that your Output Space matches your project Output Space. So if you are using an RCM workflow and working in Rec709 Gamma 2.4 the ITU-R BT.709 (display) option will be the most accurate.
Now the only issue here is that if you turn the LUT off it might be difficult to work with the selected clip as it will look rather different, so it is preferable to always leave the LUT button on when you are working in RCM. Alternatively you can chose to delete the LUT ...
...and if you are working in ACES then select the ITU-R BT.709 (scene) option for a better match between the Colour tab and the Fusion Tab.
I would suggest testing a few options yourself and see what works best for your particular project. Now the only issue here is that when closing Resolve, saving the project won’t allow you to save the LUT edit preferences and the LUT Output space so you would have to always make sure to select your output once more.
Alternatively, a work around would be to turn off your LUT and add a Colour Space Transform right within your tool network by selecting the Gamut option. In Fusion ‘Gamut’ allows your to transform a colour space to another as well.
You will get an identical widow to the managed LUT window and this way you can select you Output space once again (note: set the source space to ‘From Image’).
Again one very important point here is that to avoid a double transform, you must switch off your Gamut (colour transform) Tool once you have finished working within the Fusion tab, or your clip will look rather different when you move to your Edit or Colour Tab. I hope this helps, more to come as I carry on exploring the Fusion Tab...
A Plus! *( I'd like to add thanks to Mr Lanier for his great courses).