How to use Tools - Case Study (Joystick)

USING TOOLS - CASE STUDY

Below we will walk through an example of using tools.

Let's make a new page into a 'focus + framing' page that we can flip to for composing our shot and nailing focus.  This will include a focus assist, a crosshair for accuracy performing pan/tilt and custom frame guides for a cinemascope aspect ratio.  We will also go over adding a LUT to a new page and show the benefit of using the page system.

Open the TOOL bar. From here press right or click the joystick to select, and navigate to (1) Focus > (2) Focus Assist and select the '+' to add Focus Assist to this page.

Focus Assist will paint a highlight around areas it determines to be in focus based on small/harsh changes in contrast.

The Peak Threshold is a bit high, meaning we are picking up extraneous edges on the back wall which are not quite in focus.

To fix this, edit Focus Assist by pressing to the right when it is highlighted in the tool bar, and navigate to Peak Threshold.

Bringing Peak Threshold up to around 30 does a better job of causing only in-focus areas to activate the filter but this is ultimately a balance that may need tweaking depending on the camera/shot.

To make the effect more visible we can boost up the Sensitivity and change the Color.

Next Add a Crosshair to the page by going through Add Tool > Frame > Crosshair

Finally we can add an Aspect Guide by going to Add Tool > Frame > Aspect.

This time when highlighting the '+', press down once and click to add Aspect Guides to all pages.

This will ensure you are able to view this tool on every page of the monitor, and any edits to it are made globally.  Any tool can be added to all pages, including scaling adjustments and Look (3D LUT) files.

By default the Aspect Guide is set up for a 4x3 aspect ratio for times when you're needing to preview the cutoff area of an old-school monitor.

Press right to edit the Aspect Guide.

Navigate to "Ratio", select it and change the aspect ratio to "2.39" for cinemascope viewing.

Next move down to 'Opacity' and increase its percentage to view the guide becoming more opaque for a more visible effect.

Now we have a page that lets us focus our shot and frame it up properly for the common 2.39 aspect ratio.

Adding a Look (3D LUT) file to a page

Look files (3D LUTs) are a great way to visualize color grades without 'baking' anything into the footage - great for testing out different looks on set.  Try our free 'Movie Looks' pack which can be placed on an SD card for use on your monitor or at any point in post production.

Let's add a Look to a new page - start by navigating back to the zoomed-out view, moving to the far right and selecting 'New Page' once more.

Notice how when you add a new page, the Aspect Guide that was set for 'all pages' shows up automatically.

Click to add a new tool and this time navigate to Overlay > Look and select the '+'.

You will immediately be presented with a file browser to select a 3D LUT file.

Selecting it will apply it to this page.

Adding several LUTs to several pages can be a great way to test out looks for a shoot while mobile, enabling creative decisions to be made early rather than in post production.

To learn how to create your own color grade in Davinci Resolve and save the result as a LUT to be used on your monitor, check out the tutorial video (19m).

Conclusion

As you can see Pages can take very different roles depending on your needs.  Don't be afraid to experiment to find the best setups!