Nico Wieseneder

Broadcast Safe Finishing in DaVinci Resolve

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Hi everyone!
I'm unfortunately a bit confused atm. I hope someone here can clarify some things for me.

When I'm finishing in Resolve for broadcast safe work I always thought I just have to hit the checkbox "make broadcast safe" with 0-100 in the color page and that's all fine. Now I recently upgraded to ScopeBox and I also have the channel-plots up (GxB & GxR) to check for gamut excursions. When I'm grading some red shirts (or similar) which are pretty high saturated they get really "washed out" when rendering with "make broadcast safe". I always thought that's just because of the broadcast norm and that's all fine. But now when I'm checking on ScopeBox while grading I don't hit the marks of the box with the saturated reds. Also when applying the "Gamut Compression OFX" nothing changes. But when I'm rendering with the checkbox "on" they still get compressed/desaturated.

Does anyone know why that's happening? Should I still hit "broadcast safe" or is it also fine when ScopeBox isn't showing anything outside the marks. I hope someone understands my "problem" and can help me out!

How do you guys do the finishing for broadcast-safe work with DaVinci Resolve?

Thanks a lot already! All your help is very appreciated. (I know it would be easier with some screengrabs but unfortunately I'm not allowed to share these frames yet)

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i use scopes with real time error logging, and keep a close eye on those

never , ever, never use the "broadcast safe" lut on export, never....

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Are you delivering directly to the network or through a delivery service such as Adstream and Adtoox?

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Thx a lot for your help, Dermot! Do you know why the „Broadcast Safe Button“ does compress/desat too much even if it would be also broadcast safe with less compression/desat?

Amada, I deliver back to the production company most of the time. But some of them want to have it back broadcast safe already even if they do the online with graphics, audio, and so on 😊

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I have never inn ny entire life seen a colorist care a tad about broadcast safe. You can do whatever you want, clip chroma values and luma levels - full creativity, create what you want. 

When you render your sequence, render to e.g prores which will remap the full data signal to legal levels (16-235) Everything will fit perfectly in there.

Then, deliver this file to the broadcast service or third part delivery service which create the interlaced TV ready file.

I have delivered hundreds of TV commercials this way all over Europe and it works perfectly fine.

All networks that I know about have a EQ service that creates the interlaced file while checking the luma/chroma graphs, clock, audio, letterbox and black frame issues etc and they eat mezzanine files. 

Grade, and be happy. 

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(edited)

i have a  somewhat diffrent experience from Amada's

i deliver to distb's who run shows through QC process, and yes they care very much about chroma excursions etc.... local tv deliveries have variable standards to meet, but i treat them the same as going to  a top tier streaming service

if you have a chroma excursion in your master timeline, then you will have that in a delvierable of any sort, ProRez, DPX whatever...

if the broadcaster does not care, then happiness abounds

if the broadcaster runs the show through a error logging software, then you will have to care, and repair to meet deliverable spec, or the broadcaster will fix it and send the bill to the producer, but it will not run if it fails QC

should note i have a fair amount of buisness fixing other colorist's QC fails for a network, when the filmmaker and the colorist cannot deliver a master that passes QC

also note running QC costs the producer around 5k USD for a feature, you will not want to be responcable for a second fail.. the first one is allowed for, a second fail is usualy not budgeted for, not in terms of delvierables deadlines, or charges...

a second fail is a good way to lose a client, it costs the producer too much, and end game is it's cheaper to pay more up front to get a QC pass and deliver on time... bank charges on the money tied up in a film  near delivery are substaintial, the producer does not get their MG paid out until the QC report says "PASS"... like a new BMW's worth of bank charges every month....

so yea, i watch my error logging like a hawk looking for dinner.... and i pass QC on the first go usualy, the only fails i've had recently have been for doggy VFX, and that's out of my hands

i flag any area's of technical concern, and what i have done to  minimise them, and area's where a creative choice has been made that effects image quality,and send these notes to both the producer's and the QC facility, that helps getting the show through cleanly as well

this is an area where experience and a proven track record can really help when pitching your services to a producer, and possibaly allow you to account for a higher day rate when billing,and it's a hard train to get onto as typicaly you need to have the street cred to even get the gig, or charge so little that there's room in the post budget to fix the errors, and pay the bank charges when the show is not delviered .. a three day delay to get through a second round of QC and the calander flipping to a new month during that time means the producer just threw away the price of a new car for your errors... you really do not want to be that guy...

and there's some things that are not really obvious that will create fails.. the first frame of a  fade up from back cannot be 0% black, QC will fault the show for the content being too short... i typicaly put a bit of noise there so something shows up on a scope.... something i would not expect local TVC's to have an issue with for example

 

Edited by dermot.shane
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(edited)
4 hours ago, Nico Wieseneder said:

Thx a lot for your help, Dermot! Do you know why the „Broadcast Safe Button“ does compress/desat too much even if it would be also broadcast safe with less compression/desat?

i certainly will be passable with a more subtle approach

in Resolve i use the gamut OFX, and if it's touching other parts of the image without issues, put it inside a qualifier sometimes

less common is to use log highlights/shadows + softclip per channel + a node set to HSV with ch1&3 bypassed to control sat in shadows/highlights with the log wheels... those were the tools of choice a few years ago, when that was all that was avb, i find gamut mapping is faster and creates less collatrial damage

i  would love to have the good stuff in ScopeBox, but the drawback of no live error logging rules it out for my workflow

 

Edited by dermot.shane
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(edited)
3 minutes ago, dermot.shane said:

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane
duplicate

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(edited)
4 minutes ago, dermot.shane said:

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane
duplicate

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(edited)

For the black frames Dermot mentions, the delivery services usually have a check box which let you tell them to ignore the black wholes. Same goes with audio and letterbox which the QC often kick on.

In my experience the QC pass anything as long as your levels are between 16-235 and it's been years and hundreds of commercials since any trouble. 

What was a big problem back in the days was when delivering from Avid. The timeline in Avid is 16-235 (full range in Premiere/Resolve) and sometimes we had graphics with extended range because it wasn't imported properly (not remapped from data levels upon import). That would case illegal levels and make the render fail QC. I just learned to scroll through the timeline with the scopes open to scan for irregular luma levels.

But for what I got from the colorists was never any trouble. I simply imported it with the RGB mark checked, which remapped everything to 16-236 and it worked absolutely fine.

Edited by Amada Daro
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(edited)

i think there's a gulf between what makes for a pass in a TVC, and what makes for a pass from a "class A faclity".. ie: Technicolor, Deluxe, Photokem, and a pass from a "class A faclity" is what is in the delivery spec's i deal with typicaly

a delviery service checkbox does not apply to QC reports unfortuantly, either you have program content or you have a QC fail, full stop, no checkbox to check here

the most common QC fail is chroma excursions, even tho it's based on an out dated standard, it's written into the delivery spec's and the QC facility have to make sure the show meets that, no wiggle room, and no admiting current reality exists....

end game is to make sure to meet the delivery spec's and if "broadcast safe" is the spec, then you have to have content in every frame, and you have to control chroma excursions, and not live in the hope that the delivery partner has a checkbox to check, as not all do....

Edited by dermot.shane
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(edited)

The checkbox is there to let the network know that the 100% black frame is intentional. The same goes for if you have audio that looks like mono because the same sample plot is played both on A1 and A2. This is a feature in the most advanced tools used for uploading to the European networks through various delivery services such as Adstream, IMD Cloud and Adtoox. The same tools remaps extended luma levels from data range clips etc. Not telling you this because these tools one day will kill the business of the man manually checking and adjusting for QC. I'm telling you this because that's the way it works in Europe for Ad delivery to most of, if not all of the big networks. I totally trust you in how things works in US, not saying a word about that because I have no clue at all. 

Edited by Amada Daro
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I gotta say friday i delivered a commercial in Europe and the specs where HD 422 1080i I was suprised they didn't ask anything else. 

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I do also use Adstream for Ad traffic and their tolerance levels for incorrect values are rather high. Screenshot_20190505_090020_com.google.android_apps_docs.thumb.jpg.7797d4410ab293a835a515223d1a60af.jpg

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These are pretty standard requirements. I think broadcasters know that it can be quite difficult to suppress certain 'spikes' and make allowances for this.

The BBC specs (shown below) are very similar to Adstream.

777590250_BBCSpecs.thumb.jpg.55788fc6885d93bfdbe6a458b2d91e5e.jpg

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Thanks a lot everyone for the quick responses and detailed help & insights. Very, very appreciated and helpful!
When I get it right it's best to do everything manually. So for chroma/gamut safety I'm best of using the Gamut-Mapping OFX inside Resolve and for luminance issues I'm just using soft & hard-clipping. Is that right? 

@dermot.shane May I also ask which error-logging software/hardware you are using? Really curious.

Thanks a lot everyone! 

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(edited)

there's a few choices, this is the one i went with:

https://www.drastic.tv/productsmenu-56/test-and-measurement/4kscope

i used BMD's Ultrascope before the Drastic scope, they run on the same minimilist hardware / both have error logging

i do love the vector scope display in ScopeBox, but i love the confidence of sending clean masters even more....

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane
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