I use Photoshop / ACR a lot and I'm well used to they way they handle conversion from black and white. I have control over reds, greens, blues, yellows, cyan and magentas, which allows a huge flexibility in conversion.

I'm trying to transfer this knowledge to Resolve, but I'm struggling to find a comparable workflow. The Saturation setting in the Primary settings doesn't give any such control, so I'm assuming I need to break the footage in it's RGB components and work on each separately, however I can't find a way to split and recombine them so that I end up with a monochrome image.

I can find almost nothing relating to grading colour footage to black and white in resolve, so what is the most flexible approach?

2 Answers 2


There is actually a specific option for this in Resolve.

  1. In your primaries pane (bottom left of the color tab) navigate to the "rgb mixer" tab.
  2. In the top right of the tab, click the options menu (3 dots)
  3. Check the 'make monochrome' command.

Now you'll see 6 from the 9 rgb mixer bars turn gray and you'll be able to use the other 3 to mix you black and white the way you want to.

Good luck!

  • No actually , this has been there ever since I started working in version 8. But it's well hidden. Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 20:44

Assuming I'm reading your suggestion correctly, I would recommend making a node for color management, then adding a node after that which changes your footage to black and white. You'll be able to edit the node before the black and white in full color and then re-enable the black and white node to finish the effect.

EDIT: As I've said, I'm not entirely sure I understand what you want. One thing you can do is make three separate nodes for the R, G, and B channels. They can either be sequential or parallel, assuming you do it correctly it shouldn't matter. You can use each node with a color picker to separate the color channels. This probably won't work exactly how you expect because the color picker will only select objects that have an output of solid color, not separate the colors. You can also use the standard color tools which will give you full color control. The idea is that you have a node with color that you can edit before the desaturating node.

  • It's easy to desaturate the image by setting saturation to 0, but this doesn't give control over the rgb components of this process. The channel mixer can also be set to monochrome, allowing control over each channel, but this doesn't allow me to split each component into a separate (parallel) node and work on them separately before recombining them. Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 9:48
  • You can use the color picker and separate nodes to separate the different components. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 13:08
  • Please could you elaborate on this in your answer. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 13:46

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