Nobe Color Remap GUIDE

Insanely easy hue, saturation and luminosity remapping right in DaVinci Resolve.

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Requirements

System requirements

The plugin works on Windows and macOS. The minimum versions are:

  • Windows 7 or later,
  • macOS El Capitan or later,
  • CUDA or OpenCL capable graphics card.

The plugin needs an active internet connection for the license activation. Offline activation is described in the License activation section.

Available platforms

Current version of the plugin is designed to work with DaVinci Resolve (version 14 and up) but we are going to make it compatible with other OFX hosts (Nuke, Vegas Pro, Scratch) as well as Edius, Adobe Premiere Pro and FCPX.

Interface

The plugin works in 2 different modes:

  • Overlay Mode (Pro version only),
  • Window Mode

Overlay Mode

Overlay Mode displays the plugin’s user interface directly in the viewer in Resolve. Keep in mind that the preview image in the viewer can be resized using scroll in your mouse and moved using middle click + drag. This way we are able to organise the workspace a little bit better so that the image is not obstructed by the plugin interface.

You can also use Shift+F shortcut to maximise the viewer when working with the plugin controls.

The plugin interface is rendered only when the OpenFX Overlay setting is enabled. It can be selected in the drop-down menu in the bottom-left corner of the image viewer:

Overlay Mode is available only in the Pro version of the plugin and has some advantages to using the Window Mode.

  • All the adjustments are immediately visible in the external monitor,
  • ODT and IDT are applied to the image in the preview,
  • You can drag the colors directly in the viewer to adjust the Hue, Saturation and Luminosity.
  • You can activate the Advanced Color Picker in the settings and see the before and after color directly in the viewer.

The disadvantage of the Overlay Mode is the limited real estate. In order to increase the size of the viewer you can use Shift-F keyboard shortcut to minimise some of the grading controls in Resolve.

Window Mode

To activate the Window Mode please use “Open Color Remap…” button in the OpenFX settings:

When we click the “Open Color Remap…” button a new modal window will show up with the grid controls and the image preview section:

The Window Mode offers the whole screen area for the controls and the preview. You can use the splitter in the middle to resize the grid and the preview.

The downsides of using the Window Mode:

  • Any adjustments are not visible to Resolve until you hit “Apply Changes” button and close the window.
  • Changes are not visible in the external monitor while the window is open.
  • Color Science settings from Resolve are not taken into account. When using Aces color science and IDT/ODT in Resolve, you won’t see them in the preview in the plugin in Window Mode. This only works in Overlay Mode (Pro version only).

Adjustments Window

  • Hue Bypass – bypass the Hue grid processing
  • Luma Bypass – bypass the Luma grid processing
  • Show ColorPicker – show the color picker indicator in the mouse cursor position
  • Color distribution – show the color distribution graph in the grid
  • Color distribution gain – increase the color distribution gain
  • Color space – pick the working color space (HSV, HSV log, HSV log2, HSP, HSP log, HSP log2)
  • Reset All – reset both grids to the original state

In the Overlay Mode the Adjustment Window controls are available in the OpenFX plugin settings section (right side of the viewer).

Hue Grid

Hue Grid is one of the two main controls in the plugin. It allows you to remap the Hue & Saturation of any given point found on the color wheel in the grid control.

The Hue Grid can be used in two different modes:

  • Circular,
  • Rectangular.

Each mode has it’s own advantages, depending on what result we want to achieve. More about this in the later sections. The grid consists of control points connected with the dashed lines. Every point in the grid can be moved to a different location. This operation results in remapping the original color in the point position to the new one.

Light grey points indicate the original positions of the control points. There are also a solid and dashed lines between the original and current control point positions to visually represent the remapping for every control point. Color remapping in every pixel position in the grid can be previewed using mouse cursor – black arrow starting with the red dot will be rendered.

Grid Operations

For a better control point management you can select multiple points by clicking and dragging in the grid control area. White selection rectangle will be rendered to indicate the selection area:

The selection can be further modified:

  • Holding a shift key will add the points to the current selection,
  • Holding alt + shift key will remove the points from the current selection.

Currently selected points are marked with a red color.

Pinned Points

Every control point that has been modified is called a Pinned Point. Its position is now locked and won’t be affected by the neighbouring control points. By default, the position of all the control points that are not pinned, is calculated based on the nearest Pinned Points. Pinned points are marked with a green color:

You can reset the pinned point using Alt+Click on the selected point or by selecting the point and then using “Reset selected point” action from the context menu.

Grid Modes

Grid mode can be changed using the icon highlighted below (the tooltip will be displayed on mouse over):

Once we click the button a new modal window will appear. We can keep the current changes or switch to a fresh default grid.
Changes can’t be transferred from one grid to the other one with 1:1 precision – the resulting grid will be the closes approximation based on the amount of the control points selected.

Grid Context Menu

Using the hamburger icon in the top-right corner a context menu with the grid actions can be accessed:

A selection of grid actions can be used to modify the grid control points:

  • Reset Grid – resets all the control points to the original position and state (pinned/not pinned)
  • Reset selected point – resets the selected point(s) only
  • Select All – selects all the point in the Hue grid
  • Select None – removes the selection
  • Invert Selection – inverts the selection
  • Pin All Points – pins all the points in the grid
  • Smooth – invokes the smooth operation window and allows for smoothing the control points remapping
  • Saturate – invokes the saturate operation window and allows for proportional saturation change in selected/pinned/all control points.
  • Rotate – invokes the rotate operation window and allows for the grid rotation (selected/pinned/all points)
  • Contrast – invokes the contrast operation window (available only in the Luma grid)

Luma Grid

Luma grid is the second main control of the plugin and allows for the Luminosity and Saturation remapping.

Grid Actions

In Luma Grid control two hamburger icons are available – each for every grid. This means that the actions can be applied to the grid separately.
For the operations there’s always an option to link the grids when performing operation such as Saturate or Smooth. Both grids will be then affected the same way.

Color Distribution

You can see the color distribution graph enabled in the picture below (left: on, right: off):

Color Spaces

HSV & HSP

The two main color spaces available in the plugin are HSV and HSP. The difference between the two is how the lightness is calculated. You easily can see the difference in the LUMA grid when switching between the two:

LOG & LOG2

Log color spaces are designed for less saturated images (flat or log formats). When the log or log2 color space is selected the saturation is stretched using non-linear transform (log2 is stronger than log, so when you have a very desaturated image log2 should work better):

You can see that the color distribution is stretched from the inside out in the Hue grid:

Log color spaces can also be used where the higher precision is needed in the center of the Hue grid (less saturated colors). Using the log color space the saturation resolution increases towards the center of the grid (where the saturation is the lowest).

Macbeth Chart

You can open a MacBeth Chart in the Options menu. It will display a grid with color chips that show the before and after. You can move the mouse cursor on top of the color chip to see the RGB value of any color.

The feature is only available in Pro version.

Settings

To open settings window use the Options menu in the top section of the viewer or window.
  • Custom UI scaling – set the custom scale factor for all the UI elements (useful for high-res monitors)
  • White point snap – magnetic snap of the neutral point(s) in the HUE & LUMA grids
  • Always reset points to original position – when using reset point context menu option, or an alt+click shortcut to reset the point, any point will be pinned and reset to the original position, no matter how the neighbouring points affect it
  • Enhanced picker – show the before & after in the color picker circle
  • Color picker area – the size of the window to be sampled by the color picker (the result is then averaged)
  • Color picker size – the size of the color picker circle
  • Color picker format – the color can be displayed in RGB or HSV format
  • Tone down saturation – reduce the saturation in the neutral colors
  • GPU mode for Window Mode – set the GPU processing for the Window Mode (dialog window)
  • Force CPU render in Window Mode – use only the CPU processing in the Window Mode
  • Reload config file – reloads the configuration from file on disk

Some of the options are described in more detail below.

Color Picker

Enhanced Color Picker enables the split view in the Color Picker circle showing the before and after color. The left half of the circle is filled with the before color, the right half with the after color. Here’s the comparison:

Color picker size setting defines the size of the Color Picker circle. Below you can see the minimum and the maximum size of the Color Picker circle:

Color Picker format allows you to display the picked color in on of the 2 available formats: RGB & HSV. RGB ranges are 0-255 for each channel, and for HSV it’s <0, 359> for Hue, <0, 100> for Saturation and Value/Lightness:

Tone Down Saturation

Tone Down Saturation option protects the neutral colors. When you drag the neutral point (central point in the HUE grid, and middle vertical line of points in the LUMA grid) the saturation will be applied with a lower factor which prevents the color from clipping.

If you want to adjust the color temperature or the color cast in the neutral area it’s a good idea to have this option enabled – this will allow you to have more precision in the saturation channel.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts that can be used in both modes (Overlay Mode and Window Mode):

  • A – switch to Hue Grid
  • S – switch to Luma Grid
  • D – show/hide Adjustment Window
  • Alt + Click / ⌥ + Click – reset selected point
  • C – show/hide color picker
  • Shift + drag – precision mode when dragging the color directly in the image

Window Mode shortcuts:

  • F – hold to see the preview fullscreen
  • Space – hold to see before

Overlay Mode shortcuts:

  • H – hold to hide the plugin’s UI

Use Cases

Hue-Saturation remapping

The most obvious remap that can be done with Nobe Color Remap plugin is a Hue remap. In the picture below the green color has been remapped to the yellow. Two points from the green zone were dragged towards yellow shifting the hue in the trees. See the before / after:

In the second example let’s try to shift the sky from blue towards cyan. To achieve that the pinned outer points were dragged to the bottom moving the blue area down. Additionally 2 middle points were moved to the outside of the circle increasing the saturation a little. See the before / after:

In the last example the red color has been changed. The hue has been dragged down into oranges as well as the saturation has been reduced by dragging the outer point towards the middle point of the grid. See the before / after:

Luma-Saturation remapping

Now let’s use the Luma grid to see what can be changed in the same image.

First let’s change the luminosity of the sky. In order to do that let’s drag the top right control point in the blue sub-grid (which represents the most saturated and the brightest color values for the given hue) and drag it down (reducing the luminosity). The result can be seen in the below before / after:

In the next example we will grab the middle greens and drag them down to affect the color contrast of the trees. By doing that the luminosity gets compressed into the lower values and stretches the higher range of the brightness down. See the before / after:

Now let’s see how the saturation can be changed in the Luma grid. While the luminosity changes top to bottom from the brightest to the darkest, the saturation changes horizontally, from the middle to the outside. The vertical line going through the centre of each grid is neutral. Then going left and right towards the given hues the saturation increases.

This means that dragging the control points towards the vertical line in the middle will lower the saturation and by dragging the points left and right away from that line will increase the saturation.

In the next example we will grab the top left control point in the second grid which represents the brightest and most saturated greens and move it to the right towards the neutral line. This way the green highlights have been desaturated. See the before / after:

In the last example let’s do a similar operation as above but instead of affecting greens let’s change reds, and instead of affecting the highlights let’s desaturate the shadows by dragging the bottom-left control point. See the before / after:

GPU Configuration & Troubleshooting

Nobe Color Remap plugin can work in CUDA and OpenCL GPU mode. It can also work in CPU mode but the plugin is designed to work on the GPU processor and in CPU mode will be simply slow.

There are a couple of settings that control the plugin processing pipeline.

  • DaVinci Resolve GPU settings (Auto/CUDA/OpenCL/Metal)
  • OpenFX plugin settings (CPU/GPU)
  • GPU mode setting in the plugin’s options (Auto/CUDA/OpenCL)

DaVinci Resolve GPU settings

The GPU mode option in DaVinci Resolve settings controls how the program works internally and will control the way the image is processed by the plugin within Resolve during playback and generally in the Overlay Mode.

The available options here are OpenCL, CUDA, Metal and Auto:

The only thing that we can change here is to force the CPU processing of the plugin in the OpenFX section using the drop-down setting:

The plugin will fallback to CPU processing also in the Metal mode because it’s not supported yet.

» Please note that in the latest versions of Resolve (15+) this is the default mode when the GPU mode in the settings is set to Auto. This means that Nobe Color Remap will be working in CPU mode (slow!). For the best results use OpenCL or CUDA mode in DaVinci Resolve settings.

GPU settings in the plugin options

The Settings window accessed through the Options menu shows GPU mode as well. This option controls how the plugin works in Window Mode only. When the plugin is used in this mode the processing is independent from Resolve and can be set differently (For example DaVinci Resolve can be working in OpenCL mode and the plugin in CUDA mode). Setting this option to Auto will use the same processing mode DaVinci Resolve uses (set DaVinci Resolve in GPU settings).

Advanced GPU settings

OpenCL device ID can be specified in the config file manually in case the wrong device is selected (multi GPU systems).

The config file can be located:

  • Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\Local\NobeColorRemap\config.json
  • macOS: /home/users/USERNAME/Library/Application Support/NobeColorRemap/config.json

The OpenCL device entry is called opencl_device and it should be added to the config file like this:

Troubleshooting

If you experience some image issues in the viewer or the Color Distribution graph in the overlay mode is off here are the steps that might help:

  • Disable Enhanced Color Picker in the plugin’s Options / Settings window,
  • Enable Fetch RGBA Texture option in the plugin’s Options / Settings window,
  • Disable Use optimized image transfers for viewers option in Resolve settings (see below).

License activation

To activate the license automatically you will need an internet access on the machine you would like to use the plugin on. In case there’s no internet access there you can use the offline activation option which requires sending us an email with a request file. Please see the details below.

The license can be activated on up to 3 machines at the same time. After 3 activations you can use Nobe Color Remap utility app to deactivate the license on the given machine to get your “slot” back and activate again on another machine.

Online activation

In order to activate the license you need to open Nobe Color Remap application. You can find it in the Applications folder on macOS and a desktop shortcut should be created on Windows (if not, it can be found in c:\Program Files (x86)\NobeColorRemap\).

Once the application is open please follow these steps to activate:
How To Activate Nobe Color Remap – Time in Pixels

If the internet access is not available please see the next section – offline activation.

Offline activation

There is a way to activate the license when no internet access is available on the destination machine.
In order to do that please open Nobe Color Remap app (see the previous section where to find it).
Use the Register button and fill in the E-mail and License key in the window that will pop up:

Once the details are filled in please click “Offline request” button. The program will generate the request file and ask to save it on the hard drive.

Please send us the request file via email: contact@timeinpixels.com

We will reply back with the response file that can be used to activate the license without the internet access.

Once the response file is received open the Nobe Color Remap app again and select Offline Response. The program will ask you to provide the response file and will activate the license on the machine.

License Upgrade

In order to upgrade the license from the Lite version to the Pro version please use the link below:

https://timeinpixels.com/product-category/ncr-upgrades/

Please make sure to select the appropriate package based on the license you already own. The license will not work as is without the Lite one.

To activate the upgrade license please fill in the email address, original Lite license code in the first field and the upgrade license code in the second License field.