HDR Grading of 6K 50p BRAW Footage in Vegas Pro 20 (ENGLISH)

Wolfgang S. wrote on 12/14/2022, 1:24 PM

Dear all,

After a long time I have here a new tutorial for you. And on a topic that I really enjoy!

After I got myself an absolutely great HDR-capable OLED laptop, I thought that it would be of particular interest for many to get to know the workflow I use to grade 6K 50p BRAW footage to HDR here. And surprisingly, this now works quite well on this high-end laptop, and the device still inspires me, as it is deliberately intended for creative people. Unbelievable, but I hardly miss my desktop system at home in Vienna - which is also quite good, no question. The OLED display is absolutely essential for grading to HDR, and many people now understand that.

Discussion on the OLED laptop (in German): https://www.videotreffpunkt.com/videotreffpunkt/index.php?thread/23759-proart-studiobook-16-oled-h7600-erlebnisen-mit-hdr-grading/&pageNo=1

Although I have already reported s.anderer first experiences in some NLE, but of course that does not go into the details. Hence the very detailed workflow, including practical tips on how to actually grade the material.


Vegas Pro 20 has definitely come of age when it comes to grading in the Color Grading Portal. With all kinds of log material, and even with the 6K BRAW. The BRAW workflow is still a bit bumpy, but if you know the various problem areas and bugs, you can grade BRAW material quite well under Vegas Pro 20.

This is about knowledge and a publication that, to my knowledge, has only been insufficiently available on the Internet so far. And I actually did a pretty thorough search here. For capacity reasons, Magix has no longer even publishes a comprehensive manual for Vegas Pro 19 and Pro 20 - the changes are documented in their own supplementary letters. So I'm a little proud to be able to present it here.

The tutorial goes back to a suggestion from Vegas-VideoUser to publish it here in German. In addition to my form, the video meeting point of course.

The translation was possible by using Google translations - and I am impressed by the quality of the translation in the tutorial

So have fun with this HDR workflow!

BRAW HDR Grading in Vegas Pro 20 V2 Englisch.pdf


Wolfgang S. wrote on 12/14/2022, 1:25 PM

At least I add here a english summary, for all who do not speak German:


- Import your BRAW files.

- Enable HDR10 - so a typical ACES transformation to PQ 1000 nits.

- Adjust the resolution to the original size of the BRAW clips - so I adjust them to 6K. Happens automatically, if you drop the first clip in the timeline.

- Frame rate - for my 6K Pro 50p footage, I choose 25p on my laptop. Is also a good idea on the desktop ystem.

- Preview resolution: on my Laptop, it works fine with preview/quaterly. Brings a preview quality in terms of fps, that are high enough to edit the footage (here 15-25 fps)

- Before you go into the raw decoder windows, be sure that you have enabled HDR10 in the project settings. And I recommend you to use go to the color grading layout (so, Alt D and then additional C), since you need the waveform monitor in the next step (nit levels so ST.2048 HDR scopes enabled, set to luminance)

It is important to set the project settings to HDR10 - and have the waveform enabled. Because the luminanz level will be limited due to the transformation in many cases to a range of 10-100 nits (easy to check - have a look with and without the ACED transformation enabled!). But we do that, because we wish to have the transformation to PQ - even if the picture becomes more flat.

- bring also all clips in the timeline! Important, since you need to see the nit level in the waveform monitor!

- select the fist clip in the timeline in the timeline, make sure that you see the waveform montior for this clip that you wish to grade.

- go now to the project media and select the same clip, that you have choose in the timeline. Right mouse click on the event, and select the decoder settings (second settings from the bottom of the drop down menu)

(You could also select one then more clips in the project media, if you wish to adjust more then one clip - but will see only the waveform of the clip, that you have selected in the timeline with the cursor).

- set the Gamma to "Black magic Design Custom". Borring, you have to do that for evey clip. This could be done for a lot of clips, if you select may of them in the project media window, and change only the setting to "Custom" for all of the clips.

- now adjust the luminance in a way, that you increaese the contrast. You can do that with "contrast", "midpoint", maybe also exposure and changing the ISO. Important is, that you end up with a luminance range of 1 to 100 nits (but avoid that you kill the clip with extreme settings - you will not be able to go higher then 100 nits due to the transformation enabeld I think. Check the footage after grading in the decoder windows always in the HDR preview, because if you kill your footage you would see that - and have to correct that back then before you to to the CGP).

- now grade the clip in he CGP. Important: take the RL color wheels.

- typically, I use offset in the RL color wheels first - to bring up the top luminance to something higher then 100 nits. Without something higher then 100 nits you will not be able to adjust the highlights - or you adjust the limits. It is important to see that the luminance goes higher then the higher-limit - or you cannot adjust the highlights. Check the preview HDR picture always.

- Then I adjust the black point. Maybe you have to change the limits again. Check the picture in the preview windows, regardles if you use the internal HDR preview - if the GUI is on an HDR monitor - or if you use the external HDR preview). Be aware that here crashes may take place (here, Vegas is not really stable all the time, at least not with BRAW in the CGP in an HDR project up to now - at least not on my laptop. On my desctop it seems to be better).

Dave-Eckert wrote on 2/5/2023, 9:30 AM

Great writeup! Thanks for the help!