Dolby Vision for content creators

Master once to create a superior image experience

HDR has quickly become the new standard for TV with streaming services and studios adopting Dolby Vision as the master deliverable and key workflow for content creation. There are now over 20,000 TV episodes or movies available in Dolby Vision and over 1.5 billion consumer devices in the market – with 99% of people worldwide having access to a service. 

The Dolby Vision® post-production tools and workflow give you everything you need to efficiently create HDR and SDR content that looks amazing and helps ensure that what you create in the color suite is more consistent when experienced across TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile devices.

Scott Schofield – Post Producer, “Lost In Space” (Netflix)

Greg Floyd - Post Producer, “Blown Away” (Netflix)

George Rizkallah, Owner, Product Factory - Burbank CA

Steve Emerson, Head of Visual FX – Laika Studios

Dean Devlin – Director/Producer – Electric Entertainment

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Consistent across all devices

Viewers consume content across a multitude of devices — TVs, tablets, PCs, and mobile phones as well as cinema projectors — all with different brightness capabilities and color performance. To overcome the impossible challenge of mastering for all of these variables, Dolby Vision helps preserve and deliver the artist's intent, as set in the HDR reference master, through dynamic metadata and tone mapping. With Dolby Vision, the colorist is empowered to control how the content maps to the end devices by adjusting the mapping with artistic trims. This gives content creators confidence that their images are represented on all screens with ultimate consistency.

 
Future-proof your content

When you master content in Dolby Vision, you maintain the full dynamic range of your HDR images and map it to the capabilities of today's TVs, devices and cinema screens. When future generations of devices surpass the imaging capabilities of today, your Dolby Vision content will still maintain your master look and never stretch your content. What’s more, the Dolby Vision tools and algorithm deliver a fantastic experience for legacy SDR TVs with more detail in the highlights and shadows when trimmed and tone mapped to SDR BT. 709 from the HDR master.

 
Premium color-mastering 

Using the Dolby Vision workflow inside your preferred color correction or mastering system, you can efficiently master once to create streamlined deliverables in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and SDR for home as well as standard DCI for the cinema. You simply start by creating the HDR master image, which has the most dynamic range and widest color gamut, and then perform the automatic Dolby Vision shot-by-shot analysis. Then, the Dolby Vision workflow and tools allow you to view the automatic mapping to a lesser target, typically down to SDR (maintaining the artistic intent from the HDR grade) and if desired, adjust or ‘trim’ the mapping for each shot. This process is very efficient  compared to having to create 2 or 3 separate grades and far less constricting than mapping with static LUTs or other color science.

 

Get hands-on with Dolby Vision

Use your tools to create a Dolby Vision master

Dolby Vision® is supported and integrated into the top color-grading and mastering tools.

Color-grading workflow for TVs and other devices

 Creating the Dolby Vision master begins with creating your master HDR grade first, using a color-grading or mastering system with your output color space using the PQ EOTF (SMPTE ST. 2084) transfer function  and  P3 or Rec 2020 color primaries.  In order to see the proper peak brightness levels, deep blacks, and wide color gamut to create an incredible-looking HDR image, Dolby has recommended guidelines which closely follow the EBU Tech 3320 specification for a grade 1 HDR mastering monitor. It should be:

  • At least 1,000 nits of peak brightness
  • At least a 200,000:1 contrast ratio
  • A minimum black level performance of 0.005 nits
  • At least 99% of the P3 Color Gamut

Note: Other aspects of the content creation pipeline like VFX creation, packaging, and QC may have less stringent guidelines. For more info about monitors, read this article on our content support web portal.

Once the master HDR grade is complete, you simply perform the automatic Dolby Vision analysis to automatically generate the core Dolby Vision metadata: three values for each shot that represent the minimum, average, and maximum luminance levels. This function is integrated into the most popular video color-grading and mastering tools. You then can see and confirm the Dolby Vision shot-by-shot metadata tone-mapping to SDR Rec. 709 100 nits in real time, through a Content Mapping Unit (CMU for short). This can be either an internal process integrated in the application you’re using (or iCMU), or via an external unit (or eCMU).

When viewing the mapped version through the CMU process, many content creators will want to make adjustments to the metadata on a shot-by-shot basis using (optional) additional "artistic trim controls." This creates an additional level of metadata in a fast and easy way. The combined automatic and artistic trim metadata travels with the HDR image to Dolby Vision TV’s and devices to help best deliver the creative intent of the HDR master by mapping each shot to the capabilities of the consumer device. Analysis metadata creation is included in many professional video tools at no charge. The artistic trims are available in color-grading systems but require a one-time license purchase from Dolby to activate.

Dolby Vision workflow and tools now also include additional Cinema targets and trims, allowing you to take your HDR master grade for ‘home’ and create great looking versions for standard DCI (SDR) cinema projectors and the Dolby Vision (HDR) laser projection system at the Dolby Cinema.

 

US and Canadian Customers – click here to purchase a license in our new online store.

‘Rest of World’ Customers – click here to to purchase a license in our new online store.

Dolby Vision Training and Tutorials for Creators - Dolby Professional

This 12-part series will guide you through the essentials of Dolby Vision® post-production and delivery workflows. Learn why Dolby Vision is the perfect match for any HDR project, and how productions of all types can leverage the power of Dolby®.
Learn More

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Mastering and QC workflow for TVs and other devices

Once color grading is complete, you can create all your high-quality deliverables using the HDR master grade and Dolby Vision metadata. You can then export the final grade in the highest image quality – typically a 16-bit TIFF sequence, 12-bit JPEG2000, Pro Res 4444XQ or other uncompressed or lossless image container, and the accompanying Dolby Vision dynamic metadata as an XML file for the deep archive master – and/or export the final grade directly as an IMF package or J2K Mezzanine with interleaved metadata (as a service master).  

Archive masters, and/or mezzanines, can then be imported into a Dolby Vision mastering tool to create a mezzanine file (or service master), any deliverables and, if needed, perform any additional editorial functions. This file can also be used to create and deliver all other rendered versions like generic HDR10 and SDR Rec 709.

These tools are also used for QC purposes by decoding the image and metadata to a target display, like a 600-nit HDR monitor. You can also QC the Dolby Vision XML using the Dolby Metafier tool, included with the Dolby Vision Professional Tools - which is a free download on the Dolby Customer portal.

Some partner tools allow for Dolby Vision encoding which generates a Dolby Vision HEVC bitstream for remote review and approval or independent distribution. Broadcast quality encoding is usually accomplished by the studio, streaming service, or there are on-premises and or cloud encoding solutions that support Dolby Vision.

Bring Dolby Vision to your projects

Whether you choose the integrated, (no additional license needed*), automatic version, which is integrated into the color correction/mastering systems or the enhanced "artistic trims” paid license option, Dolby Vision can improve your workflow and help you create and deliver the best-looking content.

What are my options?

Dolby Vision integrated solution (No Dolby license required)

The top modern color correction and mastering systems listed below offer integrated Dolby Vision capabilities at no additional charge from Dolby. What can you do with this integrated “no license needed” version?*

  • Add shot-by-shot or frame by frame* Dolby Vision metadata automatically to your HDR projects. These three analysis values define how your content should be tone-mapped based on the device capabilities or target output.
  • Internal Content Mapping (iCMU) support for real-time, tone-mapped playback of the Dolby Vision dynamic metadata to a specific ‘home’ target like SDR Rec. 709 100 nits or HDR PQ P3/Rec 2020 600 nits. This process emulates mapping on the consumer TV or device.
  • Internal Content Mapping (iCMU) support with the iCMU for real-time, HDR tone-mapped playback of the Dolby Vision dynamic metadata to a specific ‘cinema’ target like SDR Gamma P3 48 nits or Dolby Cinema HDR PQ P3 108 nits.*
  • Export (or import and apply) a Dolby Vision XML
  • Export a Dolby Vision mezzanine or IMF package
  • Import a Dolby Vision mezzanine or IMF package and map to a target and playback for QC
  • Render out specific deliverables from a Dolby Vision master – like an SDR Rec. 709 file derived from the process
  • Render a Dolby Vision encoded file for client review or sharing on Dolby Vision-enabled devices.*

*Support may vary per partner tool. Consult with each partner as to the specific features supported and any potential additional costs that may occur. "No license needed" indicates there is no additional charge from Dolby.

The Dolby Vision Professional Tools (No license required)

The Dolby Vision Professional Tools are a suite of free command line software tools for various important processing and QC functionality and is free to download on Dolby Customer portal. They include:

  • Metafier: a software tool for managing, editing and verifying XML metadata

  • CM Offline: a software tool for rendering Rec. 709 and other deliverables

  • Mezzinator: a software tool for creating Dolby Vision mezzanines

  • CM Analyze: a software tool that can create Dolby Vision shot or frame-based (aka "long play") analysis metadata from an HDR10 file. Also can create MaxFLL and MaxCLL values for a Dolby Vision XML

The Dolby Vision Trims License

Most commonly used by colorists to create shows and movies for top studios and streaming services, this paid license unlocks the full Dolby Vision artistic trim controls to create an additional layer of metadata unleashing the most powerful, comprehensive HDR mastering tools in your professional color-grading system and better customize and shape your artistic intent to the wide range of consumer devices. Now lowered to a $1,000 (USD) one-time purchase, the perpetual license works on multiple machines in your facility, and it activates the full shot-by-shot artistic trim controls to adjust the mapping for both ‘home’ and ‘cinema’ targets. There are 21 primary and (six-vector color) secondary trim controls.

 

Resolve Trims.jpg

Are you a Studio or Production Company interested in creating and delivering your owned content in Dolby Vision to Netflix and other streaming services? Contact us here for special pricing and more information.

The Dolby Vision eCMU License

This ($500 per unit) perpetual paid license is  for customers with  existing external (hardware) Content Mapping Unit (or eCMU). One license purchase is required per hardware unit. The eCMU is optional because most color grading and mastering systems include ‘internal’ built-in content mapping (or iCMU). The eCMU supports additional workflows like HDMI Tunneling for real-time review on a Dolby Vision consumer TV. (Check with your specific partner tool for support status of eCMU). Login to the Dolby Customer portal to download the latest eCMU software.

Click here for ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about purchasing the Dolby Vision Trims License and eCMU license on the Dolby Store.

US and Canadian Customers – click here to purchase a license in our new online store.

‘Rest of World’ Customers – click here to to purchase a license in our new online store.

Note:

  • Please allow for 7 business days for order processing
  • The Dolby Store accepts credit card purchases only.

 

Content Mapping Unit (eCMU) hardware

The mapping process is either internally integrated into Dolby Vision compatible third-party tools (iCMU) or is software that runs on specified external (eCMU) hardware. The eCMU hardware is a specific configuration that is no longer available to purchase new. Currently most partner systems only support eCMU CM version 2.9. For more information on CM version 2.9, read this article on our content support hub.  

 

Authorized eCMU system integrators (for existing Hardware support):
 
Other tools (not from Dolby)

Dolby Vision compatible color-grading systems:

  • Autodesk Lustre
  • Autodesk Flame 2021
  • Blackmagic Design
    Davinci Resolve
  • Digital Vision Nucoda
  • Filmlight Baselight
  • Grass Valley RIO
  • SGO Mistika

Dolby Vision compatible mastering & QC systems:

  • Colorfront Transkoder
  • Fraunhofer EasyDCP Creator+
  • Greymeta IRIS
  • Interra Baton
  • Marquise Technologies MIST
  • MTI Film Cortex
  • Rhode & Schwarz Clipster
  • Venera Pulsar

To learn more about what these tools support, read this article on our content support web portal.

Dolby Vision training and certification

With the growing demand for Dolby Vision content worldwide, gaining a deep understanding of the Dolby Vision tools and workflow has never been more important. There are several options and resources for you to learn how to create your content in Dolby Vision.

Dolby Institute self-guided online training (free)

With our self-guided free educational resource from the Dolby Institute, you can work at your own pace and save your progress. You can focus on (and revisit) the modules that are most relevant to you. The content is the same as the full live instructor-based curriculum, but using videos, graphics, and text pages with built-in logical breaks as well as testing, to make sure that you’ve understood the key concepts. Best of all – it’s now available in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean and (Mandarin) Chinese!

Start your free training now!

Live online training with a Dolby Instructor

Previously only available to top post facilities as part of the Dolby Vision facility certification program, you can now, as an individual, get the nearly eight-hour, in-depth, and interactive Dolby Vision training with a Dolby instructor. The online training sessions are carried out in a small group (in English or Spanish) for only $400 per person. Group discounts may be available. The program includes:

            Module 1: Dolby Vision and HDR Theory/Overview/Workflow – 3 Hours

            Module 2: Color Grading (with DaVinci Resolve) – 2.5 Hours

            Module 3: Mastering, Deliverables, and QC – 2 Hours

Note: This course is targeted at professional colorists, engineers, etc creating content for streaming services, networks, and movie studios. It assumes a basic level of color correction and color science knowledge.

Click here for more details

 

Dolby Vision individual certification

Whether you are a colorist or engineer, finish off your Dolby Vision training experience by becoming a Dolby Vision certified individual for $250. This involves passing both an online multiple-choice test and a practical test where you download a color-graded HDR file/EDL, add titles, dissolves/fades and create the Dolby Vision metadata, as well as create a Dolby Vision IMF package to submit to a Dolby instructor (much like the QC process for a streaming show). Once passing both portions, certified individuals will be allowed to use a Dolby Vision Certified logo on their website or email signature and be listed below on Professional.Dolby.com.

Note: Certification is designed for professional colorists, engineers, etc creating content for streaming services, networks, and movie studios. It requires a standard level of color correction and color science experience to deliver those shows in SDR. The test requires a clear understanding of the detailed process, and it is therefore strongly recommended to take the training first with only two attempts to pass before a repurchase is required.

Click here for more details

 

Dolby Vision Certified Professionals

The Dolby Vision Facility Certification program has closed for new applications in most countries as we have transitioned to the new individual training and certification.

See all Dolby Vision Certified Professionals here.