When we talked about Andrea Issich and the Digital Imaging Technician job we discovered that the Da Vinci Resolve software has turned to be the standard de facto for the color correction. The platform is released by Blackmagic Design, a company that is rising over and over in the stairway of the video production heaven.
The Blackmagic catalog is wide and suits all the needs of this market. The target ranges from video blogging (live if needed) to the professional movie production.
One of the most interesting features of Da Vinci Resolve is that the free version, instead of being an introductory one, it is full of professional and advanced tools for video post production good for professionals as well as beginners looking for a powerful program. Few advanced tools are reserved for the Studio version which is still not so expensive if compared to competition.
The program is available for Windows, iOS and Linux and has arrived to the release 17. This is available for free download and is supported by a huge amount of manuals and video tutorials to learn how to master the features and functions and, eventually, get certified.
Table of Contents
La Cut Page
The project setup functions are available in the Cut Page. Here the user can find (and manage) all the project media. The media pool (on the left) is used to distribute the media onto the timeline. On the right side, the viewer allows to display both the clips in the media pool and the result of the assembled timeline. ——-
Editing in Da Vinci Resolve 17
Once the project has been drafted is it possible, in the Edit Page, to make the required modifications to get the final result. Drag & Drop editing is supported as well as the three point editing. The trim cursor automatically adapts itself based on the specific point in the timeline. Tenths of transitions, effects and titles are available in the Edit Page to create professional media.
Da Vinci Resolve and the Color Correction
As stated before, the winning point for Da Vinci Resolve is the full and effective support to Color Correction. The program supports both Primary and Secondary correction and several tools to make different clips homogeneous after rendering.
With the Primary Weels the user can control lift, gamma, gain and offset. With the secondary tools the focus is addressed on shadows, lights and mid-tones. The secondary weels are meant to cinema color grading and are useful to modify a given tonal area without impact on the others.
Complex processing is achieved thanks to the possibility of working with nodes. Those represent correction steps in Da Vinci Resolve. The first node is usually for color balance while the other for more creative processing. The Node Editor is based on the flow diagram layout where each block is a processing function on the clip. The processing flow is indicated by the connection lines (archs) which indicates also the inputs and output of each block from one node to the next one.
The processing results can be monitored in real time with the Viewer or via graphic instrumental analysis. These are possible thanks to the several visual analyzers available Da Vinci Resolve
The Fusion Page
Da Vinci Resolve includes also a page dedicated to VFX: Fusion. Visual effects and cinema quality motion graphics are fully supported. The nodes/arch principles is used also in this part of the program. Hundreds of 2D and 3D tools are available and any kind of processing is possible. Masking, replacement, cancellation, retouch are possible and the node processing capability allows for complex modifications. Titles can be generated in 2D or 3D and, for those who can afford it (in terms of skill), a scripting function is available for automation.
Da Vinci Resolve and audio processing
Audio management is quite advanced. The audio clips are processed in real time. Multitrack recording is possible (you will need an audio card to track) just like any other Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). The actual version is limited to 2000 audio tracks. Stereo or surround mix (several formats) are supported. Native effects and processors are included and extensions are supported via VST and AU standards. Audio editing software can be integrated in Da Vinci Resolve to allow clip editing without leaving the platform.
Automation is supported as well as ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement) to reduce time and effort required to get the final product.
A free effect library is also made available by Blackmagic Design to use for your own productions.
All export formats are supported and specific tools allows for the publication on YouTube or Vimeo.
At the end, Da Vinci Resolve seems to be a wonderful tool for video making at every level. Collaboration tools and High Dynamic Range (HDR) capability are reserved for the Studio (paid) version. The price is competitive with the free version being suitable for a lot of needs. In the next posts we shall come back to Da Vinci Resolve again to see how the program helps us in the real life. Check back soon!!
PS the figures in this article are taken from the Da Vinci Resolve 17 manual or the Blackmagic Design website