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Workflow HLG HDR to YouTube
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  • Because there is still so little information out there about shooting HLG and delivering it as HDR to YouTube, I was a little apprehensive about trying it myself. Many of the tutorials out there make HDR seem very complicated and expensive when it doesn’t have to be. If you just want to make HDR videos for YT, the procedure is quite simple and straightforward. I realize many are holding out, thinking they’ll wait until it’s widespread, but if you are shooting video for your own personal enjoyment, there’s never been a better time than now to jump into HDR. At the moment, I’m aware that few own an HDR tv, so I intend to make one SDR and one HDR deliverable of my videos from here on out. I’d appreciate your feedback. Jon

  • This is very useful for producing (one flavor of) HDR video. And HDR is really a step up, and worth doing.

    However, it turns out that the problem is at the viewing end and less now at the producing end (for HLG). Many people do not understand whether or not their TV can show via YouTube HLG video in HLG. They do not know the difference between the flavors of HDR (HDR10, HLG, DolbyVision). So, they play the HLG video in YouTube and they may or may not see the HLG or HDR video in HDR. Moreover, they do not know whether they are seeing it in HDR or not. Some think they are seeing the video in HDR when they are not, and then dismiss HDR as not looking good or not making any difference.

    Just go into a BestBuy and look at the boxes with 4K TV's. Almost all say they do HDR or are HDR-ready. In some cases this does not mean they can actually display an HDR video in HDR, only that the TV can play it. And, of course, there is no information on the box on the type of HDR. Salespersons are often clueless, or worse (just going for a sale at all costs). And many older HDR 4K TV's will not be upgraded to play HLG.

    Both jonpais and I have experienced exactly this confusion, in the same thread, when we uploaded HDR videos (his HLG, mine HDR10) from viewers, all of whom are sophisticated and well-intentioned and interested videographers.

    Finally, converting HLG-shot video to SDR (REC709) so that most people can view the video properly is not that simple.

  • The HLG workflow that jonpais provided above was for Final Cut Pro.

    The workflow for DaVinci Resolve (free!) is just as easy. Import your HLG clips as you would any clips.

    In Project Settings, choose the "Color Management" pane and select DaVinci Resolve YRGB Color Managed as the Color Science. Choose Rec. 2100 HLG as the Input Color Space if you shot in HLG, and Rec. 2100 HLG as the Timeline Color Space. Choose Rec.2100 HLG as the Output Color Space.

    Place the HLG clips on the timeline and edit (and grade if you want).

    Export using the QuickTime container with a Google-supported codec. I use DNxHR HQX 10bit.

    Upon rendering DaVinci automatically includes the metadata needed by YouTube for it to know that your video is HLG. I think this is also true for the free version.

    That's it (the rest, the important things like editing, are normal). For the paid version, there is HDR mode for editing which provides tools (like scopes) especially for HDR editing.

  • An example: HLG HDR, 4K DCI 60P

    This was actually shot in Slog2/SGamut. So in Resolve that was the Input Color Space. Just as easy to make an HLG finished video from this as shooting in HLG.

    To see the video in HDR, if you have an HDR viewing device, you must view this in a YouTube app.

  • The extra headroom for highlights from HLG is useful for nighttime shooting, where there are bright lights and dark spaces.