Resolve 15: DeHaze With Color Grading

Hello again! It's been a while since our last Blog post, but we're back and ready to talk more about the wonderful world of Color Grading! 

In the last few months we've seen a lot of talk about hazy shots. In this new age of drones, it's something a lot of people are starting to deal with: a clip from way up in the sky might get a certain amount of haze that makes that perfect shot look a bit muddy. So we thought we should take a stab at a fix for those pesky 'hazies' with a quick pass in Davinci Resolve 15!

(QUICK SIDE NOTE: this fix is more knowledge-based, and is for anyone using an app with curves. Davinci Resolve does has a built-in dehaze plugin which is included in the paid version.)

The main thing you'll want to focus on for the initial de-hazing is your curves tab.

The first thing you'll want to do is open up the Curves tab on your clip. 

Make a simple 'S' curve in the main channel. Just click on the upper end of the curves line to make a key-frame and raise it up a smidgen. Do the opposite with the lower end of the curve, moving the key-frame down. It should look something like this:


This is what we call a basic contrast curve. It's a good baseline curve to get started with most projects that have been shot with a flat profile. Now here's where things get personal. 

Each shot is going to be different, so you'll want to play around with each key to get a feel for what's happening. Move them around slightly and watch for the changes in the highs, mids, and darks. There is no 'perfect fix' for this, but you can get some pretty great results from a little trial and error. 

So for this shot we went ahead and gave it a bit more on the low end, and added another key-frame in the mids to help boost some areas.

We also added a LUT node to the end of our shot to make things really shine.

However, this has the added effect of making some parts of the shot look over-saturated.

To fix this, we'll make another node between the de-haze and the LUT.  First thing to do is select the area, in this case the kayak, with a circle window. Then track the shot (If you need help tracking, check out THIS TUTORIAL).

Next step is to use the Qualifier tool to take a sample of the color. Open up the Highlight mode window. Here you'll want to make some adjustments to capture as much of the area as you can without letting it bleed into the other colors. In our case it looks a little like this:

Once you leave the Highlight window you'll be working on the main image, so a slight dip of the saturation will bring down the kayak's color a bit and give us a nice even feel with the rest of the image.


One last thing you can do to add another little punch to the scene is to make a gradient. Add another node to the shot, between the curves and the LUT. Take the gradient tool and set it to rise from the bottom. Once set, just bring the Gamma down a little bit:


This will add a slight amount of darker tone to the front of the scene.  Any time you have a landscape shot that goes off into the distance, this can be a really nice addition, helping you enhance the sense of depth.

And there you have it! What was once a muddy, haze-induced mess...

...Is now a pretty sweet shot of some people having a great time! 

To see all this in action, visit Casey over on Youtube.

If you've enjoyed this tutorial please check out some of our other blog posts, and make sure to check out Ground Control for more LUTs, tips, and tricks!



Karen R Rymer

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Karen R Rymer
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Manuel Lopez


Manuel Lopez

That’s great. What is the equivalent of the PrPro “levels effect” tool (example: the black input level) in Davinci Resolve? I guess it’s the white curve to be adjusted accordingly, but is there a alternative way in DR.?


Very good, I like the gradient idea.


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