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Color Mix is a DCTL for mixing colors using additive RGB curves and subtractive CMY(K) vector manipulation for quickly creating looks in DaVinci Resolve.

The abbreviation CMYK stands for the three color components Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and the black component Key.

The DCTL Color Mix can be applied to any common log profile. It is suitable for Aces as well as for color grading in HDR. Color Mix is not a print film emulation, but density and black (K) of the colors can be changed.



In Color Mix, the vector can be changed by using the upper three sliders Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, which is normally done by means of the primary colors RGB in the RGB color model (additive). The upper sliders for CMY represent the "primary colors" in the Color Mix DCTL.

CMY Primaires Sliders


Subtractive saturation can be set below the primary colors. The "Sat" slider controls the saturation for all three channels (CMY). However, the saturation and color density for each channel (C,M,Y) can also be set individually using the sliders for C, M, and Y below. It is recommended to set the overall saturation first and then to adjust the subtractive saturation individually using the three sliders for cyan, magenta and yellow. Using these settings, it is very easy to create a teal and orange look or a filmic look.

Color Mix DCTL Saturation


The saturation increases the color density. This ca make the image darker. Normally, the offset is then increased in a preceding node to compensate, but this often cancels out the desired effect of deeper saturated colors to a large extent. This is a disadvantage. In the Color Mix DCTL, the "Black" slider can be used to reduce the black of the image in the CMYK color model and, if necessary, to increase it. This can be used to achieve a very condensed look, which is very close to the density of a film look. With the Black-Slider the K value in the CMYK color model is changed.   

Below the Black slider, the Gamut Compress slider can be used to compress to high saturated colors. If areas are a bit too saturated, while others are significantly less saturated, with the Gamut Compress, the overly saturated colors can be reduced in their saturation again. 


The RGB curves are located under the "Gamut Compress" slider. From here on, the DCTL works again in the additive RGB color model. For each channel (red, green, blue) there are two controls HL (Highlights) and SH (Shadows). This allows highlights and shadows to be set separately. 

Color Mix RGB Curves

For example, if the highlights for red are increased with the HL (Red) slider, you can use the SH (Red) slider to neutralize the range of shadows again or remove red in the shadows. 

The RGB curves are weighted. If the Δ (delta) of the values for HL and SH are the same amount, the pivot is not placed on the center of the curve, but on the range just a bit below of 40 IRE or 18% gray (depending on the respective LOG profile). For example, if you increase the default value of HL (Red) 0.5 by 0.1 to 0.6 and decrease the value of SH (Red) by the same amount from 0.1 to 0.4, the pivot will be in the range of 18% gray.

RGB Curves

With the checkbox "Show RGB Curves" you can display the RGB curves directly in the viewer in DaVinci Resolve.

Below the "Show RGB Curves" checkbox, you can hide the settings made with the curves by setting the "Bypass Curves / Presets" checkbox. This facilitates the development of looks. You can apply the settings of CMY(K) without the settings of the RGB curves at any time. 


Color Mix already contains some Look presets. At the bottom is the drop down menu for the presets. The presets were created almost exclusively with the RGB curves and are therefore called "Curve Presets".  

If the preset name ends with the abbreviation (C), the preset contains only settings for the RGB curves. If the name ends with (SC), the preset also contains saturation settings. 

Select Preset in Color Mix


To create a look, all you need is a color corrected and "exposed" image. Then the Color Mix DCTL can be used. A Look can be created with only one node and only a few settings in Color Mix. 

Just a few Nodes


Here you can see an example. The image was first only color corrected and exposed. Then the Subtractive Saturation was increased in Color Mix and then extra adjustments were made for Cyan and Yellow to increase the density of the colors. The black was reduced a bit (Black). In the third step, the preset "Teal & Orange Base Split (SC)" was applied. This preset already contains settings for the individual saturation channels Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, so the settings made will be "overwritten" with the preset. Here you can see the settings made.

The result in the comparison "before" / "after" you can see in the upper example of the samples.



On the left only CMY Correction and Black Adjustments, on the right an example with manual Color Mix curves and below two examples for Color Mix Presets.

3 Simple Steps
  1. CMY Balance
  2. Preset "Teal & Orange Soft Split" added
  3. Subtractive Saturation with Black adjusted

3 simple steps with Color Mix DCTL 

DEMO Version

A Color Mix DCTL Demo Version can be found here.

Important note!

The Color Mix DCTL contains no LUTs and no Color Management, the Color Mix DCTL can be used in almost every Color Space and Log Profiles and of course in Rec709G24. Color correction can also be done with Color Mix using the upper CMY sliders. Color Mix is primarily used to mix colors using the two complementary color models RGB and CMY(K).