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Cine Plus Delivers HDR Grade on ARD Thriller with DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Design announced that Berlin post house Cine Plus has completed its first high dynamic range (HDR) grade in DaVinci Resolve Studio for German national broadcaster ARD’s feature length thriller, “Sanft Schläft der Tod.”

The senior colorist on the thriller produced by ndF Berlin GmbH was Walter Just, who used ACES color management and a LUT for the feature’s HDR conversion, including an HDR1000 to 2,4 Gamma and Rec. 2020 to Rec. 709 transformation.

From the start, DaVinci Resolve Studio was critical to Cine Plus’ workflow according to Just. “It has excellent support for new HDR delivery profiles. Resolve also allowed for cache free handling of the 4K rushes. This meant that on a high performance Linux system, we could play back fully debayered RAW complete with a denoise filter applied, all in real time.”

He continues: “It brought the speed of our grading and delivery process to a whole new level, which was crucial when working with the tight deadlines that TV broadcast demands. It also truly helped to highlight the raw power of HDR, as even without any help from production, the results were astounding.”

As well as dealing with the richer shadows and highlights involved in delivering in HDR, Just reveals he also had the additional challenge of working with rushes that hadn’t been shot with HDR in mind, as the decision to deliver in both SDR and HDR was only made after principle photography had already wrapped up.

“This presented some issues, including how to handle frames with significant white clipping as well as any areas that reflected the sun,” Just explains. “Fortunately, we had access to some excellent tools to deal with this that are unique to DaVinci Resolve, such as the Midtone Detail parameter, which helped increase the perception of sharpness in the frame, or the Color Boost functionality, which increases the saturation in areas of low saturation.”

“For areas where the sun caused significant white clipping to occur in a frame, I would use Resolve’s High Soft slider to achieve more delicate glowing highlights. However, in HDR, things are very different,” he reveals.

“However, Resolve’s powerful highlight mechanics, including the Log grading and Luma key functions, really saved the day here. From dailies to the final grade and delivery in HDR, we couldn’t have completed ‘Sanft Schläft der Tod’ without it,” concludes Just. “We were able to edit highlights in a very smooth way, fine tuning any issues to result in the perfect final look for both the SDR and HDR deliverables.”

About Sanft Schläft der Tod

The white cliffs, the dazzling sun, a family holiday sailing on the Baltic Sea … Anja and Frank are enjoying a perfect vacation until Anja leaves the children alone on the boat for just a moment. When she returns, their 6-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl are nowhere to be found. Every parent’s nightmare has come true. Why us, they wonder, a normal middle-class family; and why is there no demand for ransom money? As the local police squabble, Anja learns a thing or two about Frank and his background: namely, that Frank never told her the truth about his father, an alcoholic who spied for the GDR many years ago and is now the only one who can read the signs of the past. 

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Creative Credits

Senior Colorist: Walter Just



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