Speed Up Your Color Workflow Using Scene Cut Detection

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DaVinci Resolve’s Scene Cut Detection function chops a single file into multiple shots. Here’s how to how to use this time-saving feature.

Colorists occasionally work on projects that only exist as a single file with no accompanying project or EDL. It may also be easier to grade a single file when working with a previously conformed spot, a reel, or in scenarios where the client is located remotely and it’s not practical to upload gigabytes of material.

DaVinci Resolve’s Scene Cut Detection function can analyze a single file and chop it into multiple shots based on where it believes there are cuts in the program. This important feature saves hours of time from finding edit points manually. Let’s look into how to use this feature.

Before importing the single movie file in question, locate it in the Media Storage and right-click it. Select Scene Cut Detection.

Once you find the file that needs to be chopped up, right-click it and select Scene Cut Detection.

Scene Cut Detection Select

A window appears with several options. Click Auto Scene Detect in the lower left. Resolve will try to locate all of the cuts within the piece, which may take a little while depending on the speed of your computer and the piece’s duration.

After analysis, a bunch of lines are created across the timeline. The length of the line corresponds to how confident Resolve is in determining a cut. The purple line that cuts across the interface is your tolerance bar, which will include any lines above this line and exclude those below it. You can drag this tolerance bar to include or exclude shots.

Once Resolve has analyzed the video file, the interface will resemble the image below. The green lines denote where Resolve thinks cuts occur. The purple line is the tolerance bar; all vertical lines above this bar will be included; those below will be greyed out and excluded. More on the image thumbnails below.

Scene Cut Detection Interface

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Blockbuster Looks in DaVinci Resolve: The Matrix

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

The green tint of the Matrix universe drips with dystopian atmosphere. Learn how to achieve this look in DaVinci Resolve.

Above image from The Matrix

In an previous article, I analyzed the orange-teal look, a style popularized by theTransformers series that’s now featured in numerous Hollywood films, regardless of genre. Before Transformers, there was The Matrix, which showcased its own distinct look.

The Matrix depicts a technological dystopia, so the filmmakers decided the overall green tint was a nod to the monochromatic green of command-line computing, one of the first images used in the movie.


The most interesting aspect of the film from a color perspective is that The Matrixruns contrary to traditional styles of rendering skin tones in healthier yellow, orange, or magenta registers. Skin is colored by the epidermis’s melanin as well as red-colored hemoglobin in the blood. Green skin, on the other hand, evokes decomposing or dead flesh.

Most skin complexions fall in a general range that is approximated by DaVinci Resolve’s Skin Tone Indicator, which can be activated in the Vectorscope preferences. The indicator line runs between red and yellow, the combination of our skin and blood.

DaVinci Resolve’s Skin Tone Indicator shows roughly where most healthy skin tones will fall, at least on typical jobs. Access this feature by clicking on the lower right preference button.

Blockbuster Looks in DaVinci Resolve: skin tone indicator

Certainly you wouldn’t see a Matrix grade on most fashion jobs, where healthy, vibrant skin tones are the name of the game. Many artists who use Photoshop’sCurves to manipulate a fashion image tend to steer away from the green slider, instead opting to utilize the red and blue to create distinct looks. The Matrix is the furthest thing from a fashion job though, so the Wachowskis went in a different direction by addressing the science fiction tone of the film.

When referencing The Matrix, consider your project’s material and how much healthy skin tones matter. It may seem an obvious choice if you’re grading a fantasy, noir, or science fiction movie, but why not experiment with other genres?

Bringing in one of the stills from the film shows a definite bias toward green, and the image deviates from the Skin Tone Indicator as we suspected.

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