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How to Colour Grade Canon C-Log Footage in DaVinci Resolve

Updated: Jun 2

Aerial view of Chicago skyline at sunrise with sunlight reflecting off the high-rise buildings and Lake Michigan, highlighting the city's architecture and the tranquil morning traffic along Lakeshore Drive
Golden hour over Chicago's iconic skyline: The Art of Colour Grading

Mastering the craft of colour grading in DaVinci Resolve is a journey that begins with learning how to colour grade LOG footage effectively. Establishing the right approach and workflow is crucial, and it's what we'll be exploring in our comprehensive guide, 'How to Colour Grade Canon C-LOG footage in DaVinci Resolve.

Here at Shootlab thought that we would share some of our experiences of Colour Grading through a series of step by step blog posts starting with 'How to Colour Grade Canon C LOG Footage in DaVinci Resolve' We hope that you find this blog useful! There is a lot of confusion surrounding working with camera log footage in DaVinci Resolve so we though that we would try and demystify the process and provide you with a working method that you can use for all of your colour grading projects. In this case the output is for broadcast.

Step 1 - Adjusting Timeline settings in DaVinci Resolve

After setting up a project file, importing your camera footage and creating a timeline you need to adjust 'colour management' in the timeline settings, so that you are working in the correct colour space. Below is an image showing the settings you need to apply to your project timeline. There are lots of different ways of approaching colour correction but we are just showing the way we like to work as colour grading professionals.

Davinci Resolve software timeline Settings dialog with options for color science, timeline color space, output color space, and Dolby Vision version.
Davinci Resolve software Timeline Settings

Step 2 - Creating nodes in DaVinci Resolve

The next step is to create some additional Nodes in your project. (If you are not sure what Nodes are, read about them in the quick questions further down in the blog)

How to create a Node in DaVinci. To create a Node in DaVinci Resolve select the first node, right-click the node and select "Add Node" > "Add Serial" do this 3 times so that you have 4 nodes in total. In a typical colour grading project you would have many more nodes than this, but we are just focusing on 'How to Colour Grade Canon C LOG Footage in DaVinci Resolve' and working with a basic Node tree.

DaVinci video editing software's node editor with a context menu open, showing options like Add Node, Save as Shared Node, and Delete Node, with 'Add Node' highlighted. The background shows a partial view of the node graph
DaVinci video editing software's node editor

Minimalistic view of a node-based workflow in DaVinci video editing software, with four sequential nodes labeled from '01' to '04' connected by directional arrows, indicating the flow of the process. The first node is highlighted with a red outline, suggesting it is currently selected. The background is a dark gray, typical of professional video editing interfaces, and the nodes contain miniature previews of visual content
Node-based workflow in DaVinci video editing software, with four sequential nodes labeled from '01' to '04'

Image showing 4 serial Nodes

Step 3 - Colour space Transform (CST)

Once you have created your 4 Nodes the next part of the process is to apply a 'Colour Space Transform' to your first Node and your end node. (If you don't know what a colour space Transform is, find out in our quick questions answer below.) Colour Space Transform can be found in your effects window at the top right corner of your screen. It is under the Resolve FX Color Tab. Drag this effect onto your first Node.

a video editing software's effects library with a focus on the 'Resolve FX Color' category, which is expanded to show options including 'ACES Transform', 'Chromatic Adaptation', and 'Color Compressor', with 'Color Space Transform' being highlighted by a circled selection
Davinci Color Space Transform selected in the effetcs library

Adjusting the settings in Colour Space Transform

Now you need to adjust the Colour Space Transform settings that you have applied to your first Node.

First Node:  Input the Colour Space Transform settings below.

  • Input color Space: Canon Cinema Gamut.

  • Input Gamma: select Canon Log 3

  • Output Color: Space DaVinci Wide Gamut

  • Output Gamma: DaVinci Intermediate

color grading software interface with Color Space Transform settings panel open, showing selections for 'Canon Cinema Gamut' as Input Color Space and 'Canon Log 3' as Input Gamma, with both Output Color Space and Output Gamma set to 'Use timeline
Davinci Colour Grading software interface with Colour Space Transform settings panel open, showing selections for Canon Cinema Gamut

After you have completed adding a Colour Space Transform to you first Node, do the same things and add a CST to your 4th Node.

Node 4 Colour Space Transform settings:

  • Input color Space should be set to DaVinci Wide Gamut

  • Input Gamma select DaVinci Intermediate

  • Output Color Space Rec. 709

  • Output Gamma Gamma 2.4

Color Space Transform settings in a DaVinci video editing software, showing options for input and output color space and gamma settings, with 'DaVinci Wide Gamut' and 'DaVinci Intermediate' selected for input, and Rec.709
Colour Space Transform settings in a DaVinci video editing software, showing options for input and output colour space

Now you have completed the process of colour transforming your C LOG Footage in DaVinci Resolve, you are ready to grade! We would recommend making your Node 2 an exposure Node and name this 'Exposure' and then Node 3 your colour and Saturation Node. As you become a more proficient colour grading expert, you will start adding more nodes to your colour grading window and

We hope that you have found this colour grading blog post helpful, please subscribe for more colour Grading and Content Creation Blog posts. Happy Grading!

A young man with glasses and cornrow braids smiling while wearing a camouflage jacket, seated in a design agency setting with a poster reading "JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR" in the background
Canon c70 Colour Graded Image from Chicago Documentary Film Project

Quick Questions:

What is a colour space transform in Davinci Resolve?

A Colour Space Transform in DaVinci Resolve is a feature that allows you to convert the colour space and gamma of your footage from one standard to another. This is particularly useful in post-production and colour grading, where footage from different cameras and sources might have been shot in various colour spaces and gamma settings. For instance, if you have footage shot in one colour space (like S-Log3) and you want to grade it in another (like Rec. 709), the Colour Space Transform tool can be used to accurately translate the colours and tones from the source space to the target space. This ensures that colours are represented correctly and consistently across different types of footage within the same project.

What is the purpose of adding nodes in Davinci Resolve?

Nodes in DaVinci Resolve serve as the foundational elements for colour correction and grading in DaVinci Resolve. Nodes provide a sequential order to your colour grading process, helping you to organise your colour correction workflow during grading. Once you have created a series of nodes you can then make specific changes to individual nodes such as colour balancing on one node, adjusting exposure on another and you can name these so it is easy to know what each node is and how each node is effecting the image. You can then go back and forth tweaking individual nodes throughout the grading process.

What is Canon C-LOG

Canon C-Log is a tone curve in a Canon camera that captures footage with a wide dynamic range and increased exposure latitude, this allows for greater colour grading in post-production.

Why is Canon Log 3 preferred for colour grading?

Canon Log 3 is preferred due to its forgiving nature, allowing more flexibility in pushing shadows and clipping highlights without degrading the image quality.

Colour grading Canon footage in DaVinci Resolve for free

DaVinci Resolve, a powerful and free video editing software, offers an extensive range of tools for colour grading. All these features come at no cost, making it an ideal choice for filmmakers and video editors on a budget. So download the software today and start your Colour Grading journey


Shootlab - what we do

SHOOTLAB are a Video Production Agency based in the UK. Specialising in Video Production, Post Production including Colour Grading & Video Editing. Photography, Videography, Social media Content Creation.

Video Production & Post-Production: Our video production team is equipped to handle every aspect of your project with expertise and creativity. From initial concept to final delivery, we offer a comprehensive suite of services, including full-service video production, advanced colour grading, and precise video editing. Whether you're looking to captivate audiences with a promotional video for your website, require the finesse of freelance cameraman services, or need expert video editing, SHOOTLAB has you covered.

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