Production & Post Global Viewpoint – January 2019

Resolve: A Grading Front-End for Your NLE - Part 2

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.

Project Manager… ">

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.

Media Import

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.

Figure 2: Canon C200 Cinema camera.

Figure 2: Canon C200 Cinema camera.

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.

Figure 3: Clips within a folder are displayed, but are not yet in the Media Pool.

Figure 3: Clips within a folder are displayed, but are not yet in the Media Pool.

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).

Figure 4: All controls in the Media room are self-explanatory. Click to enlarge.

Figure 4: All controls in the Media room are self-explanatory. Click to enlarge.

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).

Figure 5: Select desired clips and drag down into Resolve’s Media Pool.

Figure 5: Select desired clips and drag down into Resolve’s Media Pool.

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.

Figure 6: Click Change to define your project without using the Settings Page. Click to enlarge.

Figure 6: Click Change to define your project without using the Settings Page. Click to enlarge.

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 7: Split long file into clips using Scene Cut Detection. Click to Enlarge.

Figure 7: Split long file into clips using Scene Cut Detection. Click to Enlarge.

Figure 8: Clips in Media Pool after Scene Cut Detection process. Click to enlarge.

Figure 8: Clips in Media Pool after Scene Cut Detection process. Click to enlarge.

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.

Figure 9: Mark-in and Mark-out buttons are the icons in the red box. Click to enlarge.

Figure 9: Mark-in and Mark-out buttons are the icons in the red box. Click to enlarge.

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.

Figure 10: To rename a Bin, select it and type the desired name. Click to enlarge.

Figure 10: To rename a Bin, select it and type the desired name. Click to enlarge.

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.

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.

Figure 12: Drag clips from the Media Pool into the Timeline. Click to enlarge.

Figure 12: Drag clips from the Media Pool into the Timeline. Click to enlarge.

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).

Figure 13: Each clip in the Timeline will have a frame in the Color room. Click to enlarge.

Figure 13: Each clip in the Timeline will have a frame in the Color room. Click to enlarge.

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.

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.

Figure 15: The clips in the Edit room will be passed to the Deliver room. Click to enlarge.

Figure 15: The clips in the Edit room will be passed to the Deliver room. Click to enlarge.

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).

Figure 16: Define the video export parameters. Click to enlarge.

Figure 16: Define the video export parameters. Click to enlarge.

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).

Figure 17: Define the audio export parameters. Click to enlarge.

Figure 17: Define the audio export parameters. Click to enlarge.

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.

Figure 18: Jobs to be render are listed within the green box. Click to enlarge.

Figure 18: Jobs to be render are listed within the green box. Click to enlarge.

When the render has finished, issue the File > Save Project command.

Quit Resolve.

Figure 19 shows the four clips in the RESOLVE CLIP EXPORTS folder.

Figure 19: Exported clips from the Timeline. Click to enlarge.

Figure 19: Exported clips from the Timeline. Click to enlarge.

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).

Figure 20: Link input exported clips into Media Composer | First. Click to enlarge.

Figure 20: Link input exported clips into Media Composer | First. Click to enlarge.

Part 3 of this series will present a rapid way of color grading clips.

Editor note: 

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.

Steve Mullen is a video consultant and writer with a wealth of experience in video editing, grading and camera technology.

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