Avid’s Media Composer | First.
Part one of this three-part series explained why Media Composer | First, and some other NLEs cannot support round-tripping, the usual way of color grading with DaVinci Resolve in combination with an NLE (such as Media Composer or FCP X). Part 1 of this three-part also addressed the process of setting up Resolve for a grading project.
In Part 2, we will cover the import of two radically different types of media: one SD and the other 4K. A detailed introduction to color grading will be the focus of Part three. Links to all parts of the series will be included at the end of Part 3.
When you launch DaVinci Resolve 15, the Project Manager will open. (Figure 1.) Click the New Project button. After entering the project name, click Create.
Figure 1: Also open by clicking the Resolve Home icon or via File > Project Manager…
The new project will open in the Edit room, which is one of six work rooms in Resolve 15. Click the MEDIA icon to enter the Media room to begin the import process. Then, issue the File > Save AS… command to save the project.
The first type of media we will import is from the Canon C200 Cinema camera (Figure 2). The C200 has many of the shooting functions as the more expensive C300. (See, Field Report: Canon EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera.)
The ”I couldn’t live without it” feature for both the C300 and C200 is the Dual Pixel autofocus system.
The C200, however, has a capability the C300 lacks—the ability to capture 12-bit RAW at 4096x2160 with a data rate of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps). Up to 16 minutes of 24p footage can be captured to a 128GB CFast 2.0 card.
Part 1 of this series, Resolve: A Grading Front-End for Your NLE—Part 1, provides the necessary information for working with Canon’s Cinema RAW Light footage. I shot RAW at 23.976p. Don’t even think about bringing this format near Media Composer | First. Resolve, however, imports it like it was DV25.
To import media, in the upper-left portion of the Media room drill down to find the folder containing your media files. In this case, the folder is “REEL_001.” All source files should have previously been moved to the Resolve Source folder that is in the root of the system drive. (See Figure 3.)
You can preview a clip by selecting it and pressing the spacebar key (Figure 4).
Select and drag the clips you want to place in the Media Pool down to the pool or right-click on a clip(s) and select Add into Media Pool (Figure 5).
During the drag, if you get this message, you can set, or over-ride, the parameters set on Settings page: frame-resolution, media frame-rate, and playback frame-rate. See Figure 6.
The other type of media we will import couldn’t be more different as it is a single SD file holding a transfer of a 16mm film I shot in 1967. To obtain individual clips from the SD file, before dragging the file into the Media Pool, right-click on the file and select Scene Cut Detection. (See Figure 7.) The resulting clips will be placed in the Media Pool as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 9 shows the Source monitor which can be used for clip trimming when logging your footage. Use “I” and “O” keys to mark a clip and then issue the Mark > Create Subclip command. The subclip will be placed into the Media Pool.
To create a new Bin, right-click in the Media Pool and select Add Bin. (Figure 10.) Name the Bin as desired. Bins can be used, for example, to hold clips from a memory card or clips organized by scene.
Click the EDIT icon to enter the Edit room. Issue the File > New Timeline… command. Enter a Timeline name and click Create. (Figure 11.)
Figure 11: The new Timeline will be blank. A Timeline icon will be placed in the Media Pool. Click to enlarge.
Drag clips from the Media Pool into the Timeline, preferably in the order they will appear within a scene (Figure 12). This will make shot-to-shot matching easier.
You can use the spacebar to start and stop Timeline playback. Resolve uses a simple version of the JKL keyboard shortcut convention for controlling playback, where J plays in reverse, K stops playback, and L plays forward
Click the COLOR icon to enter the Color room (Figure 13).
One by one color grade the clips in the Timeline by clicking the clip (yellow circle) to correct. A “node” will appear (red circle). You can drag (blue circle) through a clip. (Figure 14.)
Figure 14: Grade each clip from the Timeline. Here, Color Wheels will be used for grading. Click to enlarge.
Click the DELIVER icon to enter the Deliver room and export the graded clips. See Figure 15.
In the Render Settings panel:
Browse to the RESOLVE CLIP EXPORTS folder.
Enter a master clip name and add a dash to the name.
Select Individual clips.
Click the Video button and check Export Video (Figure 16).
Under Format, select QuickTime
Under Codec, select DNxHR
Under Type, select DNxHR 444 16-bit
Set Resolution to 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD
Check Use Constant Bit Rate (≈1.43Gbps).
Click the Audio button and check Export Audio (Figure 17).
Under Codec, select Linear PCM
Under Channels, select 2
Under Bit Depth, select 16
Click the (yellow) Add Job to Render Queue button (Figure 18).
Click the (red) Start Render button.
When the render has finished, issue the File > Save Project command.
Figure 19 shows the four clips in the RESOLVE CLIP EXPORTS folder.
Launch Media Composer | First and Link input the exported clips. Because a Link input is used, the video will have a 3840x2160 resolution (Figure 20).
Part 3 of this series will present a rapid way of color grading clips.
Steve Mullen has a wealth of tutorials published at The Broadcast Bridge. To view a list, go to the home page link above and type, “Steve Mullen” into the search box.
Steve Mullen is a video consultant and writer with a wealth of experience in video editing, grading and camera technology.
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