When I started with Resolve (the first free version of Resolve light) I hated it. Doing my CC in NLEs for years, I was used to a completely different workflow and UI.
I tried it for 3 days, and than deleted it from my workstation.
Than – about a year ago – I got my first Blackmagic camera. Working with DNGs was pretty different than just dropping the files from the card on the timeline and start editing. Since Premiere was realtime with almost any file format since years, I stopped doing proxies like 10 years ago, and I had no appetite to go back. But Premiere didn’t play nice with DNGs – actually it didn’t play at all. There was an old half baked plugin from Adobe, that worked only at 8 bit. AE did the whole nine yards, but slow and cumbersome. My best bet was ether Cineform (which still doesn’t integrate audio) or Resolve. So I decided to give it an other try. Meanwhile Blackmagic had overhauled the UI and did some tweaking. It took me quite a while to get used to it. There are some good tutorials on YouTube that got me started and I figured out a workflow that worked for me. Now, after a year, I colored several of my documentaries, industrial films and commercials with it. I started experimenting with my own LUTs andwhatnot. So – yeah, I consider myself a very happy camper with Resolve now. Than Blackmagic asked me if I want to do some beta testing on version 10. Of course I want, and I have to say, this update is huge!
START YOUR ENGINES
When you open Resolve 10, you instantly feel at home. The interface is still the interface – no steep learning curve ahead, so you can start working right away and “glide into the new features” as you use them. Most of them are nicely integrated and tucked away in the panels, so that they don’t get in your way.
My first experiment was to recolor a 10 minute documentary I shot several weeks before. I already did the job in the older version, so I knew exactly how I wanted it.
First thing I noticed, even on my – not exactly bleeding edge – workstation, Resolve 10 feels more fluid and swift, than before. This is something you see very seldom. Usually newer versions are more demanding.
Conforming the XLM from Premiere was a breeze. Video, audio (with waveform), every layer from my – not so tidy – Permiere timeline and even opacity came over.
The editing tools are intuitive and actually I wish I would see some of that functionality in Premiere. The “force conform” works much better now – saving me many extra clicks and time.
Having a full blown and functional NLE timeline in Resolve now is more than awesome and will also save me a lot of roundtripping, when clients change their mind again.
OPEN YOUR WINDOWS
Having a ton of windows in just one node is great and there is also a new designed freehand curve that is much more organic than before.
Also the tracking and stabilization data can be copied and pasted to other windows.
The new gradient window is pretty convenient, but actually there is no big difference, from opening a square window and adjusting the softness – but an other nice-to-have-tool in the box.
This is one of the features I was really looking forward to.
I always hated working with Twixtor. Didn’t like the controls and the whole handling of motion vectors was really awkward. Now I can do Time Remapping in Resolve and it is as easy as in Premiere, but with much better results, because of pretty sophisticated optical flow algorithms. First it didn’t work well at all, and I was really disappointed. But than I found out, that there is an other panel where you can choose the quality and all was good (mind that we beta testers didn’t have a manual).
The new noise reduction with spatial and temporal features, which lets you reduce either the luma and chroma channels independently also saves some roundtripping to NeatVideo, at least for 90% of noisy shots. If you have some really problematic material, NeatVideo has some additional tools to take care of that. But for the bulk of my work, I can stay in Resolve now.
PLUG IT IN
I didn’t have much time to play with the new OFX-plug in architecture, but some of the Sapphire plug ins are really good (some of them, on the other hand – I just can’t imagine, ever working on a project, where I could use them. But the flares are great.
NEED FOR SPEED
Optical Flow slowmo, OFX-plugins and temporal noise reduction are demanding on your GPU. My 1.5 GB GPU card has to work superhard for those, so a 4 GB card is in order, to keep things fluid. I plan to upgrade my Workstation with a Nvidia Titan card, till I build a new one, just for Resolve at the end of the year. But Resolve 10 also comes with new half and quarter resolution debayer options for low GPU powered systems – it’s no substitute for a beefy GPU card, but it helps a lot.
I didn’t even had the chance too look into the Live Real Time features, where Live video input feed is displayed on the viewer, and with a second video card also to the grading monitor. You can also grade and capture a snapshot of the incoming video. – this alone opens so much more possibilities on the set.
There is also a ton of other new features, I just looked into, but haven’t the time to explore further yet.
- Paste Nodes with keyframes
- A new splitscreen option
- Overhauled PTZR where you can “clone” parts of your image like in Photoshop
- Static, lower third, scroll and crawl titles.
- Audio mixer
- Output of JPEG200 and DCP (when you have a EasyDCP license)
- Enhanced Lightbox view on SDI output
- Support for compound clips
- Stereoscopic 3D editing.
- Split viewer display of both clips when edit trimming.
- Support for four point fit-to-fill editing with optical flow retiming.
- Edit screen media pool clip scrubber.
- Motion Blur effects simulating aperture and shutter angle lens control.
- Splitter and Combiner nodes for single color channel effects.
- Display multiple grade versions in the viewer for quick comparison of grades.
- Automatic ACES Log10 and Log12 support, Sony Log2 and Canon C500 IDT
- Support for Sony F65, F55 and F5
VERDICT (so far)
This is huge! ..
did I mention huge?
No really, BM listened to us and improved Resolve in any aspect. It may not replace your NLE or After Effects or Nuke or other VFX and editing systems, but the evolution of this program – in such a short time – is amazing.
Of course everybody always has one more wish here and there, but keep in mind, this is a free update.
Other companies would charge you a big premium for an additional feature galore like this. And most of the features will also make it to the free version.
I have no idea how BM makes this possible, but it’s huge – at least to me.
UPDATE: Resolve10 is now downloadable as public beta from the Blackmagic site.