and HDR dailies

HDR on enables end-to-end HDR workflows, starting with dailies

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Written by Brett
Updated over a week ago

Now that can support HDR files and HDR playback, that means you can now generate HDR dailies. Traditionally, creatives only get to see HDR during the final color process — usually many months after shooting has wrapped. With HDR dailies, creatives can now view what they shot in HDR while still in production. This saves time during the final DI process and gives creatives more technical confidence in what they are capturing to focus on being creative.

Using an HDR dailies workflow is not very different than using a traditional SDR dailies workflow. In fact, it’s nearly the same. The only differences are the color pipelines employed (including the delog LUT) and the deliverables that are made. Below, we’ll cover a couple of common dailies platforms and how they can be used in an HDR workflow.

For these examples, we will be making files in PQ. If your pipeline is based on HLG, please use the HLG transfer function settings in your tool instead of PQ.

NOTE: HDR assets uploaded previously to the release of HDR support will not playback in HDR. Please upload these assets again to see them play back in HDR.

DaVinci Resolve Studio

NOTE: HDR features are only available in DaVinci Resolve Studio, not in Resolve's free version.

Resolve is extremely flexible in terms of its Color Management settings and its output options. We will use both of these to adjust our workflow to an HDR dailies workflow.

1. First, we need to adjust the Color Management settings. To do this, open your Project Settings by clicking on the gear icon in the lower right-hand corner of Resolve and select Color Management from the sidebar on the left of the window.

2. Next, the Color Science dropdown at the top should be set to DaVinci YRGB Color Managed and Use Separate Color Space, and Gamma should be checked.

3. Below, that is where we will set up our color space and gamma curves. In Resolve, it’s best to work in what’s called a “scene-referred” workflow. This means that your color space and gamma are relative to the source material in your timeline. In this case, we are using ARRI Alexa footage, so we will set the Input Color Space and Timeline Color Space to reflect ARRI Log-C.

4. The next step is where we set up the project for HDR. To do this, we need to tell Resolve that our Output Color Space is Rec.2020 with a gamma of ST.2084. Limit the Output Gamut to the Output Color Space.

5. We also need to adjust our Output Tone Mapping and our Output Gamut Mapping to ensure our values translate correctly if our starting point is not Rec2020/ST2084. Under Timeline to Output Tone Mapping, Select Simple. This will ensure values between 5500 and 100 nits are mapped appropriately to the HDR Mastering value (see the next step). Next, we need to set the Timeline to Output Gamut Mapping to Saturation Mapping. The default values of 0.900 for the Saturation Knee and 1.000 for the Saturation Max should work in most workflows.

6. Finally, make sure HDR Mastering is set for the nit level of your workflow. Most HDR deliverable specs are designed for 1000 nit masters.

💡 Pro Tip

The Timeline to Output Tone Mapping setting helps Resolve tone map your values down to your mastering nit level. In Simple mode, Resolve maps values between 5500 and 100 nits to your mastering value. Anything above 5500 will be clipped. If you use the Luminance Mapping mode, you can change the upper limit. This is helpful if you have material with values well above 5500 that you would like to preserve. However, anything in the lower range may be mapped darker. This is a project-wide, creative decision that will affect the project's final look and should be made at the colorist’s discretion.

7. In the node tree, where you apply your LUT, make sure you apply a log to Rec.2020 LUT instead of an SDR log to Rec.709 LUT.

8. Now that our project is set up for HDR color management, we can set up our HDR dailies deliverables. There are many different file formats and codecs that support HDR, but we’ll want to use 1920x1080 10-bit H.265 (HEVC) MOV files for best results for viewing dailies. On the deliver page, select the H.265 preset.

9. Next, make sure the Format is Quicktime, and the Codec is H.265. Check Network Optimization and make sure your resolution is at least 1920x1080, and the Frame Rate matches your project settings (in this case, we are using 23.976).

10. Next, to make sure the file is 10-bit, set the Encoding Profile to Main10.

11. Finally, under the Advanced Settings section, make sure the Color Space Tag and Gamma Tag are set to Same as Project. This will ensure the output files will have Rec.2020 and ST.2084 tags embedded in the metadata, which will tell that the files should be treated as HDR.

12. The Audio and File settings can be set up as in a typical workflow.

Sometimes H.265 can render slower than other formats. supports HDR H.264 files, as well. In Resolve, you can set up your project and outputs the same way, select H.264 instead of H.265. While H.264 files will generally render faster, you may see more compression artifacts.

Colorfront Express Dailies

Colorfront has developed a powerful pipeline called Colorfront Engine that delivers versatility and flexibility for source inputs and deliverable formats. We’ll be using a project set up using Colorfront Engine to create HDR dailies in Express.

1. To enable HDR in Express, the project needs to be set up as a Colorfront Engine project instead of the default Native.

2. In the In tab, make sure your InCurve and your InColorSpace match the source material. In this example, we are using ARRI Alexa footage, so we are using LogC and ARRIWideGamut.

3. In Preferences, under the Grade tab, make sure your Colorfront Engine Colorspace is set to CFLog.

4. Finally, make sure Maximum Brightness in the QC tab of the Preferences is set for your workflow's nit level. Most HDR deliverable specs are designed for 1000 nit masters.

5. These settings will make sure you are working in an HDR-compatible color pipeline. Next, we’ll set up the deliverables for HDR dailies. Express lets you generate several different outputs simultaneously, and we can use this to make SDR edit dailies and HDR viewing dailies simultaneously.

  • In the Out tab, set OutColor to a Rec.709 delog LUT and set OutColor2 to a Rec.2020 delog LUT.

  • Next, set the Editor to the flavor of your choice (in this case, Avid DNxHD 36), and select Out1 with the text burn-in of your choice; then set the Web to HEVC and select Out2 with the text burn-in of your choice.

6. Alternatively, you can set up Express to generate HDR edit dailies and HDR viewing dailies as well, using a ProRes flavor as the Editor setting.

Filmlight Daylight

Filmlight’s color management in its Daylight software is extremely powerful, and it allows us to make HDR dailies. All we need to do is make sure our Mastering Colour Space is set to HDR and that our deliverables are set to use that color space.

1. Under the Format & Colour tab in Scene Settings, you’ll need to make sure your material is being interpreted correctly using a “scene-referred” workflow. In a “scene-referred” workflow, your Working Colour Space should match the native color space and gamma. In this case, we're using ARRI Alexa footage, so we'll be setting it to LogC/Wide Gamut. Next, your Mastering Colour Space should be ST 2084 PQ / Rec.2020 / 1000 nits.

2. You can see what Daylight is doing with the color transformations by looking at the Colour Space Journey window.

3. Finally, we’ll set up an H264 output with a Rec.2020 color space under the Render window. Under Render Colour Space, select the same color space as the mastering color space (ST 2084 PQ / Rec.2020 / 1000 nits). Next, under Colour Space Tagging, change the setting from Legacy to Automatic. You will want to make sure Daylight tags the file with Rec.2020 Primaries, an ST-2084-PQ EOTF, and Rec.2020 non-const Matrix. These will tell that the file should be treated as HDR. The same color space settings can be used for HDR ProRes files, as well.

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