Review: DaVinci Resolve 10


Toby Tomkins TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Toby Tomkins
Issue 85 - January 2014
Colour grading for me is about the final sculpting of the image, in terms of colour, tone, texture and composition. My goal as a colourist is to push the colour, tone and texture to reflect the desired emotion and story of the image. I choose DaVinci Resolve to be my metaphorical chisel because it has a toolset that lets me concentrate on the creative side of the craft rather than the technical. So whats new in Resolve 10?

One of the biggest updates to DaVinci Resolve 10 is the expansion of its online editing toolset. The expanded range of XML support for effects from offline editors, such as support for keyframes, title support, speed ramps and audio now saves you time in the conform rebuilding the edit.

Checking the conform is also as easy as ever, with the ability to add an offline reference to our timeline and crop it for review on a reference monitor.

Primary and Secondary Colour Correction

In a similar fashion to editors being concerned with continuity, colourists need to be aware of the image continuity. Matching shots forms important groundwork for creating a fluid transition of colour and emotion throughout our shots. Resolve 10s gallery and reference features are incredibly useful for this, letting us reference other shots from the timeline, offline reference or even imported stills. These references can be placed side-by-side, wiped and even mixed with the shot youre currently working on.

After matching has been done, usually with primary corrections such as global lift, gamma, gain, offset and channel mixing adjustments to balance the shadows and highlights, its time to start building a look.

I believe a good global primary correction is key here, and Resolve lets you do this quickly and easily with its wide range of primary correctors. A control surface really helps here, letting you adjust multiple controls at the same time, such as gamma and gain, all with fine detail. Resolves internal YRGB colour space also lets you separate adjustments between luminance and colour, which is great for creating strong commercial looks.

After the base look has been achieved with primary correctors, its time to add any secondaries required to enhance or subdue certain colours and shape the image and colour once more. This is where Resolve 10 really stands apart from colour correcting plugins and correctors found in editing packages, with advanced qualification, windowing and tracking tools.
Powerful Power Windows

The toolset has expanded once more in version 10 and includes tools that let you do more secondary grading work, in less time, including unlimited windows within a node, Bezier windows, gradient windows, window shape presets and improved keyframe copy and paste. DaVinci has become a very refined colour corrector and I dont believe any plugins or NLE based colour correctors come close to the new Resolve in terms of flexibility, creative options and real-time performance.

Resolves new Beziercurve power windows let you precisely shape any secondary correction in seconds, and the everreliable tracker will keep it locked on the subject. Better yet, we now have unlimited windows within the same node, so if you need to window and track three obscure shapes and apply the same corrector to all of them, you can now do that in a single node without using a key mixer node. This can save you a lot of time!

One of my favourite things about Resolve is the node based correction structure. Node based compositing was once only accessible in VFX software and its great to have that level of flexibility in grading software. Having the ability to carry out parallel corrections and blend corrections with another correction really opens up a lot of options. With all the Photoshop blending modes available in each node the possibilities are endless. I find this much more powerful than layer based alternatives.

Paint and Repair

Another plus is the ability to apply Pan, Tilt, Zoom and Rotate (PTZR) changes to nodes. This opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to VFX, allowing you to do basic compositing and paint, saving the amount of work done by the VFX team and letting you do more in the grade. Not only will this will save your clients time and money, but it will also make you, the colourist, more valuable.

The introduction OpenFX plugin support is another new feature of Resolve 10, with plugins for adding various effects such as flares, texture (grain) and temporal effects. Gen Arts Sapphire for Resolve 10 alone has over 250 effects. Coupled with the ability to treat these effects like any other node i.e. using windows and blending, this really opens up possibilities that were once only available in dedicated hardware VFX systems.
On Set Grading

As more and more productions are shooting RAW material, it is becoming increasingly more important to set looks on the material for the offline. On-set grading has taken off in the last couple years and although Resolve 9 was a fully featured DIT tool, Resolve 10 now also has Live Grade. This means that a video feed from the camera can be graded in real-time and displayed on a monitor on set.

This is incredibly liberating for the DoP and director, letting them see their intended vision come together on screen, eliminating the constant interplay between DIT, post and set. This real-time feedback lets DoPs and directors work with both lighting and the grade simultaneously, a dream come true for some. These on-set looks can be saved and added to a gallery for late use in dailies creation and also as a starting point in the final DI.

Resolves DIT features are phenomenal, however features would mean nothing without performance and version 10 packs a punch. It performs the quickest transcoding Ive ever seen, regardless of whether its Red, Alexa, Sony or Canon RAW footage. Ive seen Resolve systems hit 100FPS transcoding Alexa ProRes4444 files to graded ProRes422 QuickTime files.

Noise Reduction

It also features new noise reduction features, with temporal (up to 4 frames blended) noise reduction being added to the existing spatial (single frame) noise reduction toolset that was available in version 9. This temporal noise reduction can protect detail while reducing the noise and doesnt introduce softening like spatial noise reduction can.

As with any other node the noise reduction can also be applied to colour and luma channels independently. This is a big addition as it allows us to refine the noise reduction to keep maximum sharpness in our image. Further more, it we can also use it with qualifiers and windows, so you have maximum control.

The Render

When it comes to output, Resolve 10 has you covered and outputs to every standard format available. Multiple formats and resolutions can be added to the render queue and you can batch render all of your deliverables at the end of the day. There is now no reason not to finish out of Resolve. With the EasyDCP plugin you can even render out a Digital Cinema Package from Resolve 10.


Tags: iss085 | davinci resolve 10 | blackmagic | design | colour grading | review | how to | Toby Tomkins
Contributing Author Toby Tomkins

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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    TMD at IBC 2014

  • Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

    Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at IBC 2014

    Facilis at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

    Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

    Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

  • Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

    Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

  • Autoscript at IBC2011

    Autoscript at IBC2011

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Ianiro on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • The tv-bay BroadcastShow Tour 2013

    The tv-bay BroadcastShow Tour 2013

  • October TOUR 2013 Roundup

    October TOUR 2013 Roundup

  • Pinewood TOUR!

    Pinewood TOUR!

  • Leeds TOUR

    Leeds TOUR

  • Belfast TOUR

    Belfast TOUR

  • Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

    Philip Bloom on Tour in Belfast

  • Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

    Gearhouse Broadcast on Tour May 2013

  • Glasgow TOUR!

    Glasgow TOUR!

  • London TOUR!

    London TOUR!


Related Shows
  • NAB 2014 Summary Show

    NAB 2014 Summary Show


Articles
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
What content providers need to know about OTT
Hiren Hindocha As OTT (Over-The-Top) technology has gotten more mature and established robust standards over the years, the concept of OTT monitoring is gaining popularity. With customer expectations soaring, it’s vital for OTT providers to deliver superior quality content. To deliver Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with linear TV broadcast, the entire system, starting from ingest to multi-bitrate encoding to delivery to CDN must be monitored continuously.
Tags: iss134 | ott monitoring | qos | logging | compliance | dash | atsc | cloud | Hiren Hindocha
Contributing Author Hiren Hindocha Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - November 2018
Dick Hobbs - new There is an interesting seminar called Size Matters at the KitPlus Show – organised by the publishers of this fine magazine – at MediaCityUK in Salford on 6 November. It’s a talk by cinematographer Alistair Chapman on the way that camera technology is changing, and in particular the size of the electronic device which creates the image is growing.
Tags: iss134 | cmos | 35mm | AJA | Arri | Blackmagic | Canon | Datavideo | GoPro | Grass Valley | Hitachi | Ikegami | JVC | Kinefinity | Nikon | Panasonic | Red | Sony | jpeg2000 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF