7 Reasons to Start Working in Davinci Resolve
Last year I decided I was going to fully transition from an editor to a colorist. As my main set of tools were Final Cut Studio, it seemed simple enough as Color was already installed in my editing suite. I knew the interface and was already using it to add creative looks to my client’s projects. To become a more efficient colorist, I started to compare the tools on the market. Was there a reason to move away from Apple’s Color and invest in an application like Davinci Resolve? The answer I found was a conclusive yes, here’s why..
1. I’ll start with the elephant in the room: Apple hasn’t changed, our industry has. Apple is a consumer electronics company. Their goal is to make technology more accessible, then have the most people buy it. Final Cut Studio simplified investments in hardware, software, and training into a more affordable one stop shop. It remained competitive/in-line with the other professional NLEs on the market in helping to produce quality results. Adding Color to the package was a logical step to appease professionals who needed affordable tools. However, Internet connectivity started to redefined our market. The consumption of niche content has lead to a demand of quantity over quality. To maintain a video brand on the internet, one needs to increase the amount of production or perception there of.
Cue, the rise of the smash up between producer and editor called a preditor. A person that manages the video creation and then edits the content themselves. Saving time/money, but usually sacrifices in visual integrity follow. Apple has done the cost-benefit and they are making their technology more assessable to meet the new demands. Now, to be a preditor you need a basic knowledge of iMovie, $299 and any Mac. My previous article tested FCPX on an Macbook Air with amazing results. This opens up Apple’s professional software virtually for any other industry to train employees in creating basic internet videos. The subsequent backlash of the FCPX release, in my opinion, is the change from supporting professionals in the field to undercutting them with the mass consumerism of an entire profession. However, a new hole is now in the market for other companies to create affordable professional solutions. Blackmagic Design’s approach to Davinci Resolve fills the need for a great color correction tool. This leads right into my next point.
2. Apple Color’s writing has been on the wall since the release of Color 1.5. The focus of the update was basic stability/interface fixes. No major improvements. I differ to Patrick Inhofer, who has written an amazing blog post about this on his site. As Inhofer states, Color still works, but will likely remain unsupported. As technology changes, it very well could stop functioning. Too much uncertainty for me. The sneak preview of FCPX and lack of information on the studio apps is what personally lead me to finally pull the trigger on Davinci Resolve.
3. Resolve’s intuitive user interface stood out immediately. First step is to set up a user profile. Having this right up front forces better management of projects/settings by all that use the workstation. Other business partners will be able to clearly track their own work making it easier for all of us to set up our own client sessions. Conforming seemed like it could be overwhelming at first, but you soon realize that you have more control over your media. The Red workflow feels more streamlined to me. Simple tools help easily match offline edits and reconnect to the original r3d files. Support for last minute edit changes in the app and through EDL’s are great. It just works. The main workflow change is from Color’s multi-room structure to Resolve’s node based correction. The advantage was clear, one unified interface for all corrections. Your creativity is unchained from the interface and you have the freedom to determine your own personal ‘best practices.’
4. I picked up the Tangent Wave panel as Resolve is built for use with a control surface. Learning how to correct using a mouse was functional and easy enough. At least I made that assumption without ever testing a control surface. Once you are comfortable with the panel, the sheer speed of correcting footage is outstanding. The investment in the Tangent Wave control panel was worth it alone, even if I decided to stick with Apple’s color. The combination of the new control interface and streamlined software though make for a pretty efficient workflow. More high quality images will be enhanced with this powerful combo.
5. Optimized for FCP7. It is almost as if Blackmagic Design read my mind that I would continue using Final Cut Studio despite the upcoming FCPX release. Resolve 8 adds xml support, multitrack support, added curves, and other features that will just strengthen the workflow I plan on continuing to use for my editing needs. The software was just made available Wednesday as I was writing this. I delayed publish in order to test out the changes. I can confirm the new features make an immediate positive impact. Apple’s Color no longer has anything that Resolve doesn’t support. The only question remains is if there are any plans for a windows release or more affordable Linux option? I might be looking for a new hardware/OS provider when I go to renew my equipment a few years from now.
6. Being open to new training only increases one’s understanding of a chosen craft. My research started with a focus on color grading tools and lead me to follow some very interesting professionals focused on executing the craft to the highest ability. Mentorship without direct contact is an interesting new innovation that internet connectivity has provided. Being apart of a community that strives for similar goals is a universal desire.
7.The last reason is to increase the post-production services that I can offer. One of our main focuses at Brooklyn Media House is to maintain the highest level of visual quality possible while tackling the demands created by internet/mobile distribution. Companies are going to need to add production value to their rapidly expanding video libraries in order to stand out in a saturated market. My decision to switch to Davinci Resolve will give greater flexibility to meet a wider range of client needs that consumer tools just can’t match.
Patrick W. Huber
Brooklyn Media House