Speed Up Your Session With DaVinci Resolve Power Grades

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Check out seven awesome Power Grades that can help you quickly apply killer looks in DaVinci Resolve. Download them now!

Top Image from Blackmagic Design

In DaVinci Resolve, the Power Grade folder stores common custom grades and is the portal for sharing grades between projects. Power Grades can serve as useful shortcuts in session to quickly apply looks that might take more than several minutes to execute. In fast sessions, any time gained is instrumental to focusing on the task of creative grading.

Creating a Power Grade

To create the most effective Power Grades for your color grading style, identify what actions you’re executing over and over again, especially the ones that take either a long time or involve multiple steps. Then strip the look or the function down to its most basic nodes and grab a still of that. Be sure to label it so you can refer back to it.

The fastest way to apply a Power Grade is to double-click it, rather than choosingDisplay Node Graph to select and apply individual nodes. Double-clicking will append the entire Power Grade to the end of the shot, on top of what’s already been performed. To minimize confusion it’s important to include only the nodes you want to repeatedly apply to the shots. Most of my Power Grades are not crazy looks. Rather, they’re usually executions of one specific action.

To strip down a shot for use as a Power Grade, create a second version of the shot you want to be a template for the Power Grade and remove the extraneous nodes, or save a still that you can revert back to while you destruct the node tree to create thePower Grade.

The case for keeping Power Grades simple is that many projects widely veer from each other in terms of how they were shot and the unique stylistic sensibilities that are needed for different projects. It’s best to proceed in small steps toward the grade you’re trying to achieve.

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Everything You Need to Know About DaVinci Resolve 12

This article was originally published at No Film School.

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The Blackmagic team must not sleep.
They just released the first Public Beta for Davinci Resolve 12, which you can download here. Resolve 12 brings over eighty new features to the popular color grading tool, with a host of editing, audio, workflow, and of course, color grading improvements.

Let’s get a little more in-depth with some of the more exciting improvements.

Editing

Resolve is one of the leading color grading platforms, especially among indie filmmakers who can’t afford a Baselight, Pablo, or Quantel system. Having primarily focused on color grading for over two decades, the DaVinci team is now switching gears to develop and push Resolve’s editing capabilities. Its aim is to position the software as a full-fledged editing platform that competes with Premiere, Avid, and Final Cut. Many of Resolve 12’s new features revolve around editing, perhaps because the color grading tools are already so sophisticated.

Several of the tools at the heart of all professional editing systems have been ported to or improved upon with this version, including the familiar overlay that displays options on whether a clip will be inserted, overwritten or fit-to-filled when placed into the timeline.

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Dragging a clip to the source monitor functions much the same way as popular NLEs.

Working in the timeline is much faster. Context-sensitive trim tools avoid the need to constantly change tools to make a precise edit. The trim tool transforms into a ripple, roll, slip or slide tool depending on where the cursor is positioned over the clip. Multiple clips can also be trimmed at the same time.

Asymmetric trimming allows changing multiple clips in opposite directions from each other simultaneously. This can be performed on multiple clips on the same track as well, which was previously not possible. A dynamic trimming option allows you to use the standard J, K, and L playback keys to scrub for an ideal edit point. Just like other NLEs, the audio can play back along with the video. Once you get how these controls function, editing clips in the timeline is a cinch.

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Adjusting multiple clips is a snap in Resolve 12.

The brand new multicam feature in Resolve 12 features a straightforward implementation of working with multiple angles in a project. Grouped angles are clustered together on the source monitor, and editing together a video is as simple as selecting the appropriate angle when it’s needed in the timeline. The timeline gets chopped up accordingly, leaving the editor to further refine edits from there. The multicam clips can also be expanded into their constituent video layers for working in a more traditional, layered approach. This mode also enables slipping of individual tracks in case they weren’t synced properly.

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The brand new multicam feature allows you to select from a handful of angles when editing.

One of the biggest additions in Resolve 12 is the completely new media management system which collects all assets with handles for archiving or exporting to another system. The interface should come familiar to anyone used to Avid or Final Cut, and copying, moving, transcoding, consolidating, and deleting unused media are all available options.

Read the full article at No Film School.

Documentary Film Editors Talk About Their Process

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Some of Hollywood’s top documentary editors got together at Sight, Sound and Story 2015 to discuss their process. Here are some highlights from their chat.

Documentary film editors Andy Grieve (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, The Armstrong Lie), Zac Stuart-Pontier (The Jinx, Catfish), and Pax Wassermann (Cartel Land, Knuckleball!) sat with Garret Savage (My PerestroikaReady, Set, Bag!) in conversation as part of Sight, Sound and Story’s annual New York City event, presented by Manhattan Edit Workshop on June 13th. Here’s some of what they talked about.

DOC PANEL
Image from Sight, Sound & Story

Garrett: What kind of thoughts or advice can you give on how to start a film and how not to start a film?

Andy: I think about it as compartmentalizing information. The worst situation is like when you’re on the subway listening to music and your headphones are tied in a knot. You don’t want to end up like that. Start small. Don’t think, “This is the first scene, this is the first clip, this is how I start or end the film,” just watch the footage and make small things and gradually connect things together. I never tie knots I don’t think I can untie. A lot of times I don’t even do much cutting, I just kind of watch and add locators, or cut selects before I really start to assemble scenes. For me a mistake would be cutting a bunch of stuff that becomes useless. It’s getting ahead of the process.

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Image from HBO

Garrett: You don’t like creating a ton of select sequences, you like creating fewer rather than more?

Andy: That’s evolved with technology because you can have longer sequences. I just don’t like to have tons of bins open which can be messy. You can find the process that works for you. I know editors that write out tons of note cards and put them all over the wall. Everyone has their own sort of process, but in a bigger sense it’s about not being overwhelmed and finding a way to keep things separate, and then once you’re ready, start putting it all together.

Pax: I have a discussion with the director about why they wanted to make the film and what moments they really want to pop in the film. A lot of times those moments aren’t reflected in the footage. Sometimes you do have to cut a scene to get the director’s confidence in order to have the room to play. With the younger directors that’s even more necessary because they’re more nervous and anxious.

But first do a very quick overview of watching everything, making a lot of notes, holding on the first impressions. I make all kinds of stickies with all sorts of musings and ideas. It gets kind of ridiculous, but I try to hold onto those thoughts because by the time you get the first rough cut those first impressions are gone and you can’t get those back.

Then you make a basic overview reviewing stuff, some of it watching very intently, definitely not going crazy with selects. Selects become a burden at a certain point. You can become beholden to the selects when what you really need to do is just look at the footage. Keep it all open for as long as possible, especially selects for an interview.

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.