Tag Archives: workflow

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Compound clips are a great way to group multiple clips together in DaVinci Resolve. Here’s how to use them.

Similar to grouped clips and compound nodes used during the grading process, compound clips allow users to cluster clips together in the Edit and Color pages. DaVinci Resolve’s compound clip functionality is essentially a grouping feature that works much like those in other nonlinear editing programs. Here’s how to make the most of compound clips in DaVinci Resolve.

Lasso or command-click the shots to be grouped together and right-click on them. At the top of the menu, choose New Compound Clip. Compound clips don’t necessarily need to be in sequence with one another.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip

You’ll get a dialogue box that enables you to give a specific name to the compound clip. After clicking Create, the compound clip will show up in your Media Pool as a project element. After executing the New Compound Clip command, a dialogue box pops up, allowing you to name the compound clip and process the audio in one of two ways (see below).

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip: compound clip properties

You can also choose whether to group the audio as Single Adaptive, which will cluster them together as its own group, or as Multiple Mono, which retains the audio stems for further editing, but it will make a sort of mixdown of them (see image below).

You may choose to employ this method as an easier way to send stems, but it can be cumbersome when editing further. Here’s an example of choosing the Single Adaptive audio mode. All audio is “mixed” down to one channel:

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: single adaptive option

Here’s an example of choosing the Multiple Mono audio mode. All audio is kept as discrete channels that are the length of the compound clip, regardless of the original audio durations.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: multiple mono option

Frankly, you may find that both audio modes disturb the integrity of your audio edits, as frequently one performs different functions on audio than video. To retain your audio edits as they were before creating the compound clip, make sure your video clips are unlinked by selecting them, right-clicking, and deselect Clip Link.

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Convert Power Windows to Bezier Curves in DaVinci Resolve 12

This article was originally published  on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Power windows can now be converted to Bezier curves in DaVinci Resolve 12. Learn how to use this timesaving feature.

Colorists use tons of power windows in typical sessions. However, using a standard circle or polygon shape can sometimes “give away” especially extreme corrections.Bezier curves provide finer control by having the ability to add additional pointswithout the jagged edges of the polygonal shape. Bezier softness around each point can be controlled as well, and with their amorphous shapes, they run less risk of being found out by the audience.

In a brand new feature in DaVinci Resolve 12, power windows can now be converted to Bezier curves with the click of a button. This can help you to work faster in session. Let’s take the image below. Perhaps we want to treat the window differently than we want to treat the subject, a normal usage of power windows.

The client has called out the window as being a bit too blue. Normally, the colorist would create a power window to address this concern.

Convert Power Windows to Bezier Curves in DaVinci Resolve 12: starting shot - no correction

Our workflow will be to generate a power window using one of the standard shapes, and then convert it to a Bezier curve for further modification. I’ve found the simpler shapes to be faster to control, and after getting the window into a place we generally want, we can then add nuance by converting the circle to a Bezier shape. Let’s start with a circular power window.

Circles can be faster because the softening affects the entire shape, unlike the polygonal window where each of the four corners has its own softening. Circles are also great to use for ovoid human faces. Draw the general shape, but don’t increase the softening, as converting to a Bezier object will reset any softening information.

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Speed Up Your Color Workflow Using Scene Cut Detection

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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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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.

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DaVinci Resolve Workflow: How to Prep for a Color Session

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Be prepared! When you’ve got a color session looming, do yourself a favor and take these steps to set yourself up for success!

All images from Blackmagic Design

Prepping for any color session entails optimizing elements from one piece of software and translating them over to another platform for further work in the post pipeline. For most jobs, once the offline edit has been locked, the editor must prep the timeline for the colorist. How files are prepped for color can make a huge difference in how much work the colorist must perform before he can actually begin grading the project. If the prep has technical issues, it can add time to debugging, extending the session time, or leaving less time for the creative aspects of the job. Let’s discuss the elements that make a good color prep.


1. Before anything else, it’s necessary to duplicate your timeline. Since you’ll be simplifying the sequence, which means destructing it, you’ll need a way to get back to the original edit in case there are revisions or you need to create other outputs and preps. The original timeline can also be used to create a reference movie for the colorist.

2. Remove any unused clips that won’t be graded. Often, editors work loosely and have lots of extraneous clips scattered across the timeline. Many editors also toss extra clips at the end of the timeline. Delete all of them.

3. Remove the audio tracks. Most of the time, audio will not be an aspect of a color session, unless I play a rough cut for a client for their reference. Having audio tracks come in with the XML is a distraction to the colorist and they are most often removed right away.

DaVinci Resolve: Prepping for a Color Session

4. Simplify the timeline by moving all of the video clips down to the base video layer as much as possible. Sometimes you’ll need multiple video layers, but the XML format can support this.

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The Middle Ground: Ideal Shooting Conditions for Post Production

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

It’s important for production personnel to know how footage should best be readied for video editing and color grading. In this post, we share actionable tips for optimizing your shoots for post.

When your crew is aware of the following production fundamentals it will lead to less headaches down the line. It will also optimizes other stops in the pipeline including, but not limited to, the color grading stage.

Most of my best grading work has resulted from being handed a great starting point from production, where I can work freely with the image, not correct shooting errors. Let’s discuss the elements that produce an optimal canvas from which to accomplish beautiful grades.

A Neutral Look

Unless you’re going for an extreme look, the best place to position the image is in a place I call “the middle ground.” Colorists prefer for the image to sit in a neutral space so the image can be swung wherever the client desires. Placing an extreme look on the footage while in production can tie everyone’s hands, especially the colorist. For instance, if you shoot everything with a blue wash, there will be limits to how warm the image can become. Depending on the shooting medium, the footage may only be able to withstand a certain amount of tweaking before artifacts become noticeable.

Log Mode, If Possible

The RED, Alexa, and other camera models have the ability to shoot or later convert to a logarithmic (‘log’ for short) mode. Low-contrast log images may look ugly because they’re so flat, but they’re actually the best place for a colorist to start. In log mode, the largest range of data has been captured by the camera, allowing the colorist to grade with the most freedom.

Log images can be treated with a Look Up Table (LUT) to recreate the look everyone saw on set with the ability to utilize the raw data underneath. Many LUTs are preinstalled in Resolve for use in these workflows.

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mus.iD is an AMA Plugin that Simplifies Working with Licensed Music

This article was originally published in NoFilmSchool here.


Avid editors and assistants working in long-format television or feature films know dealing with music can be cumbersome. Pulling large volumes of music tracks and tracking them through the licensing process can involve a lot of backtracking and headaches. Assistants need to scour the timeline to gather song titles, their start and endpoints, and how many times they were used, a manual process. It’s also limiting and inefficient for editors to sift through tracks without additional song details besides just their filenames. An AMA plugin called mus.iD that carries across the metadata embedded in the ID3 tag offers a solution.

All the metadata tabs found in your iTunes library, such as composer, beats per minute, comments, album name, and track name, to name a few, carry over through the mus.iD plugin into Avid. mus.iD works with both .mp3 and .m4a files, making converting files unnecessary.

Justin Kwan, the founder and owner of Super 16 Solutions that develops mus.iD, and Michael Phillips, the solution and workflow designer, are behind the plugin. In addition to facilitating the creation of cue sheets, according to Phillips says this about the metadata:

[It acts as] creative information the editor may use when looking for a particular song. A tag including beats per minute, genre, or the key of a song becomes useful for the editor to narrow down going through hundreds of songs. So there are both creative and technical elements to the plugin.”

When the assistant needs to hand off the tracks used in the sequence to the producers for licensing, nothing needs to be broken down. Exporting an AAF of the sequence as the editor cut it and dropping it into an included AAF parser application automatically generates a tab or comma delimited .csv text file that can be used to generate a cue sheet. All of the metadata including the start, end, and duration in the sequence is preserved.

The plugin was released several weeks ago for both Windows and Mac, retailing at $19.95 for the AMA plugin and $9.95 for the reporting application, or at a bundle price of $24.95 for both. Demo versions of both applications will be available soon. For immediate news you can sign up at mus.iD’s Facebook page.

Phillips will also be doing an event at Moviola on May 6th where the plugin will be demonstrated. Be sure to sign up.

What do you think of the plugin? Would you want to see this plugin implemented for other NLEs?