Last time, I talked about editing software that is subscription-based, namely, Adobe Premiere Pro. As I mentioned, although I was concerned about the subscription aspect of the product, even more important is having the tools I need.
I haven’t found the miracle package that works for all my projects, so sometimes I step into other applications. With a few exceptions, a timeline is a timeline, so switching gears isn’t the end of the world.
One of my alternative applications is Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to move from Premiere Pro to DaVinci Resolve. And although I’m not a colorist, I have to do color correction at times, and I like the toolset Resolve gives me.
As an editor who likes to keep my sequences flexible until the very last moment, I like that I can step into a full-featured color grading toolset, but then step back into my timeline. I don’t have to start up another application or export an XML and render out graded clips.
The same is true for the Fusion tab in Resolve. Rather than stepping out to a separate application, the node-based Effects tool is accessed right from the timeline. Being node-based, it’s focused on a single clip and is a different animal than Adobe’s After Effects.
Since DaVinci Resolve has its beginnings as a color grading tool, it excels at relinking clips. When I do finishing work, it really shines when I switch from proxies to full resolution footage, rather than starting from scratch.
However, there are a few things that give me pause. For example, I’m not crazy about the initial setup of projects ranging across multiple preference pages and places to go. Although, yes, I have the ability to have different timelines with different resolutions or frame rates, that also makes it difficult to create different versions—UHD, HD etc.—with the same footage. Also, there’s no adjustment clip effect, which can be frustrating.
Fortunately, those issues have been addressed with the release of a beta version of DaVinci Resolve 16, announced at NAB this year. Although I don’t run beta software on my production machine, I run it on a spare laptop to see what the changes will bring. I’ll have to wait until the upgrades are actually released before I can fully take advantage of them in my day-to-day work. But until then, I have been testing out the new Cut Page. More on that as I get through it all.
Next time, two other edit tools to consider.