The evolution of colour correction and looks grading software suite DaVinci Resolve since its acquisition by Blackmagic Design has been an impressive one marked by rapid changes and unexpected new features.
Even more impressive given that Resolve is forked into three different but very closely related versions, DaVinci Resolve 12.5, DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio and DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Advanced Panel.
The last one, a combination of hardware with software designed for use by professional colourists, does not concern us here but the first two versions, this first completely free to download and use and the second available for purchase at US$995.00, do.
DaVinci Resolve 12.5 sees both these versions established as industrial-strength non-linear editors aka NLEs and colour grading suites, all-in-one. In either iteration, DaVinci Resolve is the one integrated software solution that can take moviemaking students all the way from raw beginner through to seasoned industry professional.
From what I have seen , though that memo has yet to filter down throughout all the ranks. This book, Paul Saccone’s The Definitive Guide to Editing with DaVinci Resolve 12.5, will help to change all that.
The Definitive Guide‘s 13 lesson-based chapters guide new editors and graders, as well as seasoned users of other NLEs and colour grading software, all the way from setting up a new project, importing the downloadable lesson media, working with bins, the timeline and editing tools, adding and mixing audio, applying transitions and titles, working with clip speed and multi-camera editing, and, DaVinci resolve’s historical strength, colour correcting.
In contrast with colour correction tools in popular NLEs, DaVinci Resolve’s are node-based. Think of nodes as layers on steroids that are arrayed from left to right, not top to bottom. Nodes can be used in sequence, adding grade on top of grade, or in parallel to make things more complicated.
‘Lesson 11: Color Correction’ introduces Resolve learners to two of its legendary color grading tools, Power Windows and the 3D Perspective Tracker. The tracking lesson introduces us to Resolve FX, DaVinci resolve’s built-in effects filters that adhere to the OFX plug-in standard.
Both editions of DaVinci Resolve ship with enough Resolve FX to suit most production needs though you may wish to look into industry-standard noise reduction plug-in Neat Video if using the free version.
The penultimate chapter, ‘Lesson 12: Using the Deliver Page’, shows how to export movie files for streaming on the Web, send a timeline to audio editors who use Avid Pro Tools and output your final edit as a master file.
‘Lesson 13: Managing Projects and Media’ covers those administrative essentials so important to get right, correctly copying projects to other drives as backs and for transportation, then transcoding and consolidating your media.
The Definitive Guide to Editing with DaVinci Resolve 12.5 is the book all of us new to this amazing software should buy the moment we decide to learn it. Its well illustrated, easy-to-follow lessons are an excellent introduction to Resolve’s editing and colour correction tools and will equip you for working on smaller movie productions.
DaVinci Resolve itself is deep and broad with capabilities well beyond those presented in this Definitive Guide, but after completing all its lesson you’ll be able to to take on the more complex stuff taught so well by online teachers like Alexis van Hurkman at Ripple Training, Denver Riddle at Color Grading Central, Patrick Inhofer at Mixing Light and more.
DaVinci Resolve itself is more than worth adding to your movie production toolkit even if you mostly edit in other NLEs like Adobe‘s Premiere Pro or Apple‘s Final Cut Pro X. Like the former, Resolve relies on bins and traditional timelines. Like the latter, Resolve has a contemporary look, feel and work speed.
Unlike either, Resolve comes with a big set of top-end colour grading tools so it can complement both NLEs with features they lack altogether or that otherwise might be added via third-party plug-ins.
As a standalone colour correction suite, an NLE-only or for its unique combination of both feature sets, DaVinci Resolve 12.5 is well worth taking the time to learn and to use whether in its own right or to better understand other movie production software.
Many industry veterans recommend adding two or more NLEs and colour grading suites to your toolset to improve your employability. The Definitive Guide to Editing with DaVinci Resolve 12.5 will give you a great headstart on understanding Resolve.
- Blackmagic Design: DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Reference Manual