Author Topic: Highlight Recovery much better in ACR than Davinci  (Read 4810 times)


  • New to the forum
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Highlight Recovery much better in ACR than Davinci
« on: April 14, 2014, 04:29:50 PM »

I deliberately overexposed a clip to see my post processing possibilities in Davinci Resolve and I can't nail the highlight recovery I get in Adobe Camera RAW.

I've tried different LUTs without success

Here is what I mean


  • New to the forum
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Highlight Recovery much better in ACR than Davinci
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 06:35:14 PM »
These LUTs aren't designed to recover all the highlights, they're designed to create a more natural roll off. In your example there is still a lot of room to fine tune in ACR, your overall exposure is too high. But ACR is also not recovering the highlights well in your example, the rolloff to white over exposure is very harsh.

To get more recovery in Resolve, try also playing with the lift, gain and gamma controls after you play with your camera RAW settings. The new version of Resolve that's coming out will have easier and quicker recovery controls for people who are use to ACR.
5D Mark III, 7D


  • Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 338
Re: Highlight Recovery much better in ACR than Davinci
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 07:57:01 PM »
It also matters how you import your footage. BMD film setting ? Highlights recovery checked?


  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1863
  • Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Re: Highlight Recovery much better in ACR than Davinci
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 07:59:30 PM »
Excuse me if this sounds a bit like a sales pitch for Cinelog. It's not. It applies to all log footage.

Hunter's LUTs are based on Film Print Emulation LUTS for log footage and log footage should be handled differently than Rec.709/sRGB footage in Resolve. That's what the Log controls are for.

Grading log footage is much easier than it sounds using just 3 controls. Contrast to expand the image, Pivot which alters the mid-contrast point and Offset to move gamma up and down in a linear fashion. You should aim for a good contrast but use the scopes. When you get to a good overall look you can then use the shadow offset wheel as a 'black stretch' to achieve a true black level without affecting the rest of the image. You should be able to achieve a good, balanced look using just the contrast and pivot controls.

The highlight recovery you refer to is not so much highlights as upper-mids. You can pull this back with a curve but only alter it from just above mid to just below maximum (set some control points on the curve to limit its range). For general highlight recovery, set your 'upper range' in the log control panel to .333 (same as the low range) and pull down the highlight wheel a little. If you pull it too far it will start crossing the mid point and you will lose detail and contrast.

Resolve can only recover what is there. ACR will attempt to reconstruct clipped highlight information in RGB channels and adds localized highlight contrast resulting in 'highlight detail'.... and flicker ;)

Colorist working with Davinci Resolve, Baselight, Nuke, After Effects & Premier Pro. Occasional Sunday afternoon DOP. Developer of Cinelog-C Colorspace Management and LUTs -