Over the years, DaVinci Resolve has become the industry-standard color-grading application and has been used on more feature films, television shows, commercials and music videos than any other program. DaVinci has a long history in postproduction dating back to the tape days of the ’80s, and in 2004, they released Resolve, a professional application that targeted the digital intermediate marketplace and was run on DaVinci’s proprietary PC-based cards and hardware. But with a price tag of nearly $30,000 for the professional control surface suite, it was out of reach for indie filmmakers.
In 2009, Blackmagic Design shocked the industry by purchasing DaVinci and then released both a full version of Resolve for $995 and a free version, DaVinci Resolve Lite. With a slew of professional, yet low-cost cameras in their portfolio, Blackmagic had a master plan to bring cinematographers, editors, colorists and even photographers into their ecosystem.
With 2013’s Resolve 10, Blackmagic added their own bare-bones editing system since many colorists—or editors also doing the color grade—wanted the ability to make minor editing changes to a project without having to send it back and forth between Resolve and the original NLE program. With new editing features and the ability to grade live on set, Resolve 11 isn’t just a color grading application, but now a full one-stop workflow shop.
I recently got a chance to play with Resolve 11 and tested it out on my 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Resolve 11 is divided into four sections—Media, Edit, Color and Deliver. If you’ve never touched Resolve before, the Media section will probably be the most intuitive. Importing your media is done just like any other program (Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, etc.). Once your clips are ingested into the Media Pool, you can create bins and quickly move your clips in and out of these folders. In the Media Pool, you can scrub through a clip to get a general idea of what you’ve shot, but unlike Final Cut Pro X, you can’t see the scrubbed footage in your Source viewer, but only a small thumbnail view in the Pool.
For organization, Resolve takes metadata from your cameras and digital slates and marries them to your files. You can also add additional metadata templates, so your editor can have even more information within the files. This metadata can also be exported as an ALE (Avid Log Exchange) file that’s compatible with other NLE systems.