LUTs in Davinci Resolve: Get way better results. Tetrahedral Interpolation vs Trilinear Interpolation.

Hope you all are overflowing with ideas and beaming with imagination. This week we will guide you on how to apply a LUT appropriately using Da Vinci Resolve software so that you don’t lose your artistic expression for technical accuracy.  

Welcome to this week’s insightful exploration into the nuanced world of color grading and LUT application in DaVinci Resolve. Our focus is on overcoming the common hurdles of banding and distortion that can tarnish your footage, detracting from its cinematic quality. By leveraging DaVinci Resolve’s advanced LUT decoding algorithm and interpolation methods, we aim to enhance your creative expression without sacrificing technical accuracy.

Introduction to LUT Interpolation in DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve stands out in the realm of color grading with its sophisticated approach to LUT (Lookup Table) application. Specifically, its Trilinear and Tetrahedral LUT Interpolation features offer distinct methodologies for smoothing gradients and reducing banding. This guide will walk you through the steps to utilize these interpolation methods effectively, ensuring your footage retains its artistic integrity.

Step-by-Step Guide to Trilinear LUT Interpolation

1. **Import and Adjust Footage**: Begin by importing your footage into DaVinci Resolve. Navigate to the settings icon in the bottom right corner and select Color Management. Ensure the 3-D Lookup Table Interpolation is set to Trilinear. Next, use the curves tool to make significant adjustments to the blue color range in your footage, aiming to intentionally break it for demonstration purposes.

2. **Apply Invert Effect**: Right-click on the footage, add a serial node, and apply the Invert effect. This step is not mandatory for the interpolation process but is utilized here to illustrate the underlying mathematics of DaVinci Resolve’s programming.

3. **Export and Apply LUT**: Disable the Invert node, create, and export a 17-point LUT from the adjusted footage. Reset the adjustment node, then copy and paste the test LUT into DaVinci’s LUT folder. Refresh the LUT gallery in the software, apply the test LUT to the node with previous adjustments, and re-enable the Invert node for visibility. Capture a still and label it “Trilinear”.

Transitioning to Tetrahedral LUT Interpolation

1. **Switch Interpolation Method**: Reset the LUT node, disable the Invert node, and access the color management settings to switch from Trilinear to Tetrahedral interpolation. Update lists, save your changes, and apply the same LUT from the gallery. Re-enable the Invert node for a clearer comparison.

2. **Compare Results**: You will observe that Tetrahedral interpolation provides a smoother gradient and significantly less banding compared to the Trilinear approach, which often results in harsh color fringes and artifacts.

## Understanding the Superiority of Tetrahedral Interpolation

Tetrahedral interpolation is superior for several reasons, notably its efficiency and accuracy. According to “A survey on 3D-LUT performance in 10-bit and 12-bit HDR BT.2100 PQ” by Jd Vandenberg and Stefano Andriani, Tetrahedral interpolation outshines other methods in both SDR and HDR applications, achieving the same quality as Trilinear interpolation with a smaller 3D-LUT. Trilinear interpolation, despite its widespread use, generates larger errors among tested images.

This advanced method ensures more precise interpolating values between data points, leading to higher accuracy in 3-D LUT interpolation and a more aesthetically pleasing hue shift.

Conclusion: Elevating Your Color Grading Game

By understanding and applying the right interpolation method in DaVinci Resolve, you can significantly improve the quality of your footage, ensuring smoother gradients and reduced banding. Tetrahedral interpolation, in particular, offers a sophisticated solution to achieving cinematic color space without compromising picture quality.

We encourage you to explore these techniques further and integrate them into your color grading workflow. Stay inspired, and continue to contribute to the world’s beauty with your creative projects.

Don’t forget to subscribe to and follow Colorist Factory on YouTube and Instagram for more insights and inspiration in the realm of color grading and film making. Your journey towards mastering cinematic color grading is just beginning, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

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One Response

  1. Well done guys. I love your articles. No water, just important information that helps you get better. I read all your articles. Very informative. Thank you for your work. The only thing I would like to ask, if there is such an opportunity, to post at least one cinematic stylized LUT per month. Very stylish: in blue, green, yellow and muted colors.

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