Ultimate Day to Night color grade trick for the Modern Filmmaker (& free Download)

When it comes to creating captivating visuals in film and video production, color grading plays a vital role in setting the mood and atmosphere of a scene. One technique that has gained significant popularity among filmmakers is "Day-for-Night" color grading. In this blog, we'll explore the art of Day-for-Night color grading and how it can transform your footage into a cinematic masterpiece.

What is Day-for-Night Color Grading?

Day-for-Night color grading is a post-production technique used to give the illusion that a scene was shot at night, even though it was actually filmed during the day. This technique involves manipulating the colors, contrast, and overall look of the footage to create a nighttime ambiance. By employing Day-for-Night color grading, filmmakers can enhance the drama and intensity of their scenes, as well as maintain creative control over the lighting conditions.

Creating a Realistic Nighttime Atmosphere:

Welcome to our comprehensive tutorial on mastering day-to-night color grading in DaVinci Resolve. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through seamlessly transitioning your footage from day to night using the powerful tools and features available in DaVinci Resolve. By employing the free Day-to-Night PowerGrade, you can achieve professional-looking results without needing external plugins. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this tutorial will provide you with the knowledge necessary to enhance your footage and create stunning day-to-night transformations. Let’s dive in and unlock the technique of day-to-night color grading in DaVinci Resolve!


Nope (2022), Universal Studios

Creating Realistic Day-to-Night Transformations:

With the Day-to-Night PowerGrade, DaVinci Resolve offers a powerful solution for transforming your daytime footage into captivating nighttime scenes. By following these steps, you can achieve realistic day-to-night color grading:

Importing and Applying the PowerGrade:

Import the Day-to-Night PowerGrade into your DaVinci Resolve project and apply it to your footage. Ensure that the color space and color gamut settings match your footage by enabling the “CST in” node and providing the necessary information. This initial setup will lay the foundation for accurate color grading.

Manipulating the Sky and Contrast:

The PowerGrade allows you to manipulate the sky and contrast, key elements in creating a convincing day-to-night effect. Adjust the sky exposure and saturation within the compound node dedicated to the sky. Decreasing the sky exposure and saturation will help replicate the darker hues of a nighttime setting. To enhance contrast, use the “Curve” node to fill more light into the darker regions of your clip, giving it depth and visual interest.

Customizing Adjustments:

Tailor the adjustments to each shot based on your specific requirements. At the beginning of the PowerGrade, the adjustment node allows you to make white balance corrections, subject exposure adjustments, tracking, or even relighting using DaVinci Resolve’s new relighting OFX. Customizing these adjustments ensures that each shot seamlessly integrates into the overall day-to-night color grading.

Applying the PowerGrade to Different Shots:

Each shot may require additional adjustments to achieve the desired day-to-night look. Enable the “CST in” node and set it according to the profile of each shot’s footage. Further enhance the visuals by applying a Rec709 style LUT, choosing from a range of powerful looks available in DaVinci Resolve. Consistent grading can be achieved across your timeline, even when using different cameras and color gamuts, ensuring a cohesive visual experience.


Mastering day-to-night color grading in DaVinci Resolve unlocks a world of creative possibilities for filmmakers and video enthusiasts. By utilizing the free Day-to-Night PowerGrade, you can effortlessly transform your daytime footage into captivating nighttime scenes. Follow the steps outlined in this tutorial to create realistic day-to-night transformations, manipulate the sky and contrast, and customize adjustments to suit each shot. Remember to explore additional resources, such as the Film Emulation PowerGrade, to infuse your footage with the timeless charm of classic cinema. Stay updated with our channel by subscribing and following us on Instagram at “colorist.factory.” With DaVinci Resolve’s powerful color grading capabilities, you can elevate your projects and create visually stunning day-to-night effects.

Note: For a visual demonstration of the techniques discussed in this blog, refer to the original YouTube video associated with this script. Embrace the magic of day-to-night color grading in DaVinci Resolve and let your creativity shine through the darkened skies of the silver screen.

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