5 Reasons to Use Resolve 08/22/12
This guest post is from Apple / Adobe certified trainer Clay Asbury. Clay’s been working in the industry since 1990 and teaching classes since 1994. You can read his other posts over on the Premiumbeat Blog.
These days employers/clients expect more much from us than just editing.
We are often asked to create titles/animation, cleanup audio, and make footage “look good.” The “look good” part is generally referred to as color correction or color grading.
All of these tasks can be performed inside your editing app of choice, but using a separate app gives you more control and power. For titles/animation, I use Adobe After Effects; for audio, Adobe Audition (Pro Tools, Logic, Soundtrack Pro are also popular); and for color grading, DaVinci Resolve 9 Lite.
The journey to the current version of Resolve has been a winding one.
The first DaVinci system appeared in 1982, and since the mid 80s has been the standard for color correction. It was a very expensive system and only affordable by high-end post houses.
In 2009, Blackmagic Design acquired the assets of DaVinci Systems and radically lowered the pricing. Apple did a similar thing when it bought the high-end FinalTouch and added it to FCP Studio.
So what are the 5 reasons editors should consider using Resolve?
- The Lite version, while limited to 1080 resolution output or less, is free! And despite this output limitation, you can still grade “high-resolution RAW 2K, 4K and even 6K camera files,” according to founder and CEO Grant Petty.
- Resolve is editing app agnostic. This means you can edit in your app of choice (Media Composer, Premiere Pro, FCP 7 or FCP X), and then do your color correction in Resolve. It does this by supporting XML export from Premiere Pro / FCP 7 / FCP X and AAF from Media Composer. For those using FCP X I suggest reading this article from Olive Peters. And of course, check out the Resolve 9 Manual.
- It’s great for secondary color correction. You have qualifiers, windows, and keys to effect just part of the image. You can use a key to select an actor’s face, allowing you to retain his natural color while making the surrounding regions a different color. Keys are also great for selecting sky or grass and changing the color. Windows are handy for creating vignettes.
- The powerful motion tracking tool takes the secondary color tools to the next level. It gives you the ability to have an applied color correction follow an object. A perfect use case would be from the above example of the facial vignette that is able to be tracked with the actor’s movement.
- Resolve 9 has “look” presets built in. They are similar to the popular third-party plugins for FCP, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Composer. These presets give a stylized look “out-of-the-box,” and are helpful for new users who might feel overwhelmed.
Where to Learn Resolve
There is a learning curve to Resolve. I would check out the following resources to get up to speed: