Many filmmakers — for nostalgic, aesthetic, or other reasons — aim for their work to look like film. There are various options like creative LUTs, manual grading, grain overlays, and plugins to achieve a film look. In this video review, we take a look at Dehancer Pro — a Resolve Plugin that puts all the flaws of chemical film back in your digital video.
Most of us grew up with movies shot on film. Our brains are used to them, so we associate the production value and gravitas of big-budget features with the special look of film.
It’s ironic that all of the characteristics that make film look like film are really flaws in the technology. Defects that film manufacturers have been trying to get rid of for years.
The different approaches yield widely different results. Dehancer Pro is — hands down — the most feature-rich film emulation plugin I have used so far. In the above video, I walk you through most of the settings and “tools” of the plugin to give you an idea of what it can do and to decide if it’s for you.
Dehancer Pro is a powerful film emulation plugin with tons of options but with a bit of a learning curve. It’s not a one-button plugin that instantly shows you the desired results. However, if you put in the work and carefully balance all the effects the outcomes are stunning. Granted, some of the effects can be achieved with Resolve’s on-board-tools. But having all tools needed for a convincing film look in one node is worth the investment. Especially if you are using film emulation regularly.
There are lots of built-in stills and cine film stock profiles that are a great starting place for building a look. The grain simulation is second to none and the best I have seen in a plugin to date.
The plugin currently only supports a very small number of cameras. That is not a serious problem with DaVinci Resolve’s powerful features for de-logging. I expect that the Final Cut version of the plugin will support more cameras because color management is more limited in that NLE.
The quality of the simulation comes at a price though.
On my iMacPro (18 Core, 64GB Ram, Radeon Vega Pro 64 16GB), a Dehancer Node with all the tools switched on in an otherwise clean 1080p 25 timeline renders at 11 fps. In UHD I’m down to 8 fps. A powerful computer is needed for real-time performance. Because Dehancer is likely not the only node in the flow.
Pricing and availability
Dehancer Pro is available for purchase for $399 on their website. Windows and macOS are currently supported. A Final Cut Pro version is in the works.
Tip: If you need a plugin that works in Final Cut Pro right away, take a look at the also excellent FilmConvert plugin.
The Dehancer team also offers a “lite” version simply called Dehancer lite and separate plugins for Grain, Bloom, Halation, Breath, a Photo Edition, and a free trial of Dehancer Pro plugin.
Their website also has tons of videos and blog articles to learn more in-depth information about the plug-in, its use, best practice, and inner workings.
Let us know if you like this type of content. Do you want us to do more reviews like this? Please discuss in the comments, and thanks for watching!