Blackmagic Design’s March 2017 Announcements

Blackmagic Design announces new products for the 2017 NAB Show including control panels for DaVinci Resolve and a new URSA Mini pro camera.

On Wednesday, March 1st, Blackmagic Design’s founder and CEO, Grant Petty, hosted a press Webinar to announce four new product introductions in advance of the 2017 NAB Show: the new URSA Mini Pro 4.6K camera that David Austerberry reported about here on March 3rd , new micro and mini control panels for DaVinci Resolve, and a new version of DaVinci Resolve 12.5 for Red Hat and CentOS Linux.

When he began talking about the developments for DaVinci resolve, Petty pointed out that when they acquired Resolve (from da Vinci Systems in September, 2009) “Originally it didn’t even have a menu bar,” he said, “so you couldn’t operate it any way a part from its advanced (control) panel.”

Since then Blackmagic Design has evolved DaVinci Resolve into so much more than an advanced color corrector that it has become a popular sophisticated craft editor.

“More people are now actually using DaVinci for editing than for color correcting,” Grant said., “or doing color correction and editing at the same time.”

So Blackmagic Design has designed new control panels to accommodate three new workflows. The first is for professional colorists in dedicated color correction suites, the second is for editors that switch between editing and color grading, and the third is for editors that need to edit and color at the same time.

The first of that group is already well served by the existing large DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel that has been a mainstay for years.

The new DaVinci Micro Panel is designed to sit side-by-side with an editing keyboard even on location.

The new DaVinci Micro Panel is designed to sit side-by-side with an editing keyboard even on location.

The new DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel that Petty introduced is USB-C powered and not much bigger than a computer keyboard so the editor or color specialist can easily move between the two, letting them simultaneously cut and color grade on the same console table in-house, or on a crowded remote set.

It includes 3 high resolution weighted trackballs, 12 control knobs for advanced primary color correction, and 18 dedicated navigation and transport keys. All of the DaVinci Resolve hardware control panels feature a consistent layout that makes it easy for professional colorists to move between the new panels and our traditional DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel. The trackballs are large and designed with a similar professional feel so any existing DaVinci Resolve colorist should feel completely at home on the new panels.

Its larger brother, the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, includes the same powerful features as the micro panel but also sports LCD screens with dozens of menus providing fast access to most of the advanced color grading features of DaVinci Resolve.

The new DaVinci Mini Panel can serve in dual use editing and grading bays.

The new DaVinci Mini Panel can serve in dual use editing and grading bays.

This makes it ideal for edit bays/color grading workstations that switch their functions between cutting shows and color correcting them in the same room. The mini panel has enough advanced features, and is small enough to be easily portable to be moved to whichever bay it is needed in while still performing the high end grading functions expected of a complete DaVinci system.

The 12 primary knobs on both panels can be used to control Y Lift, Y Gamma, Y Gain, Contrast, Pivot, Mid-tone Detail, Color Boost, Shadow, Highlight, Saturation, Hue Rotation and Luminance Mix.

In addition, both panels have a range of transport and grading control buttons on their right side that put the most important and commonly used commands at the colorist’s fingertips, letting them work more efficiently without having to search through menus or palettes to change a setting.

Their trackballs provide RGB balance adjustments for lift, gamma and gain, each with a master level control set via a movable outer trackball ring. The other control knobs are precision machined to provide super fine control over adjustments and can be pressed to quickly reset a parameter.

The DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel is fully powered over USB so it can be run directly from a laptop in the field. The DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel features an AC and broadcast industry compatible 4 pin XLR 12V DC power connections along with built-in Ethernet so users can connect it to their DaVinci Resolve workstation using either USB or their network.

Finally, Grant announced that DaVinci Resolve version 12.5 is now available on the Linux OS, specifically Red Hat and CentOS Linux. (It was previously only available on a special build of Linux and you had to have the high end DaVinci Resolve Advanced control panel to use it).

“With Linux you can have up to 8 GPU’s and lots of gaming cards and fast disks,” Grant told the press Webinar, “but at the moment it connects to the control panels only via USB while Mac or Windows can use Ethernet. We think Linux will really help provide fast performance when working with very high resolutions.”

Petty ended the Webinar by saluting the over 100 engineers who worked on these new products. Just think--the 2017 NAB Show is still over a month away!

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