DaVinci Resolve 10 Grading Tutorials

DaVinci Resolve 10 Color Grading Tutorials

DaVinci Resolve Tutorials

DaVinci Resolve 10 is now out of beta and available to download. The latest release from Blackmagic Design is a huge leap forward – adding in features such as live grading, greater editorial functionality and a whole lot more. And of course there is an updated manual. If you didn’t see this previous post on the Resolve 10 beta, it will give you more info on what’s in the update. Also check out the post NAB Resolve 10 post.

What are the differences between DaVinci Resolve Lite/Full?

DaVinci Resolve Lite is now no longer restricted to 2K outputs (now UHD), nor does it come with any GPU limitations. The main differences then between the free Lite version and the $999/£780 full software version is basically the inability to do anything to do with Stereoscopic 3D, apply noise reduction or motion blur, fully support a DaVinci Resolve control surface nor customise it, or do remote grading. But pretty much everything else is free! Amazing.

Free DaVinci Resolve Tutorials

DaVinci Resolve 10 has the ability to support OpenFX plugins, one of which is Film Convert. In this tutorial Splicenpost demonstrates how to use it inside of Resolve. For more on Film Convert check out these two previous posts: Matching Film Stocks. More Tutorials for Colorists.

Track Opacity Composite more level in ResolveColorist Nikolai Waldman suggests that the best way to add film grain in real time inside of Resolve is not to use a plugin at all but rather simply to add it in as an overlay layer and adjust the opacity for the whole track, a new feature in Resolve 10.

In this tweet, and the whole conversation, Juan Salvo points out the easier to see tracking indicator in Resolve 10.

Matt Fez shares how to transfer looks from programs such as After Effects, Photoshop or Apple Color into Resolve.

Working with LUTS in Resolve

In this free Mixing Light taster Patrick Inhoffer talks through the basics of using a LUT in your grading workflow and how you really can’t apply it as a one-size fits all solution. There is a 7 minute embedded video tutorial that is definitely worth a watch, as Patrick explains why he creates a 3 node structure when working with LUTS. Check out more from Mixing Light here.
Click through for loads more free tutorials and Resolve grading tips

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Editing Craft Round Up

Learn about the craft of film editing

As an editor, learning more about the craft of film editing is one of my favourite things to do. Thanks to the great people who make up the online global post-production community there is plenty of talented professionals to learn from.

Captain Philips Post Production

Captain Philips was the last film I’ve seen at the cinema and it was a 2 hour heart pounding piece of cinema. Masterfully directed by Paul Greengrass and edited by Christopher Rouse, the pair now have a long standing collaboration with Rouse having cut both the Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum, as well as Green Zone and United 93.

There is a great Reddit As Me Anything with Paul Greengrass here.

Q: What was the most interesting thing that occurred on set when you were filming Captain Phillips?

PG: Well the focus puller throwing up on Tom Hanks’ leg on the first day we shot inside the lifeboat. It was very realistic!!! Needless to say, Tom didn’t bat an eyelid but was ready to shoot on. That’s commitment for you.

Editing: The Hollywood Reporter has a short interview with Rouse here, mostly on working with Greengrass and crafting the two captains performances.

“Paul brings me aboard months before shooting; I’m able to root myself in the piece long before I ever make a cut,” Rouse said. “Once I start editing, my process is similar to Paul’s: I make choices carefully — trying to be attentive to story, character and theme — but I also work very openly and intuitively, trying to get the most out of the material no matter where that takes me.”

Editing Captain Philips

Grading: Blackmagic Design posted a short press statement about the fact that Captain Philips was graded on Resolve by London based, Company 3 colorist Rob Pizzey. You can read a couple of interviews with Rob (about other films) online here and here.

“The camera is always moving because you’re at sea, so the tracking tool was perfect because I could hand draw shapes and then grade within that area. Resolve’s auto tracking would then map to the movement of the camera so we could get on with matching all of the footage. It was also really useful for lining up faces and pulling out eyes. With the auto tracking, you get the shape on there and it maps it all the way through. It really did save me a lot of time.”

Composing The Score: Fast Co Create have a fantastic interview, peppered with clips from the film and snippets from the soundtrack, with composer Henry Jackman. The interview goes on to cover a wide range of Jackman’s work.

“It would be false to think that, because a score like Captain Phillips isn’t in that category of sweeping symphonic and thematic scores, that somehow that makes it more restricting, or that the director’s aesthetic has caused any restriction–I look at it as defining creative parameters, and once you know where those lines are, it’s just a different kind of creativity.”

Anatomy of a Scene – Editing Breakdowns

This is a brilliant short video essay from Max Tohline, in which he deconstructs this climatic scene from Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. An insightful and fascinating watch.

Evan Richard’s has put together this great analysis of 5 editing techniques, theorised by Russian filmmaker Vsevolod Pudovkin. The five techniques Evan highlights are: Contrast, Parallelism, Symbolism, Simultaneity and Leit Motif. Well worth a watch.

Interviews with Film Editors

Vashi Nedomansky Film Editor InterviewFilm editor Vashi Nedomansky is interviewed in this edition of the Go Creative Show, created by Ben Consoli, on all this editorial covering a whole host of post production topics. Vashi’s interview beings 16.30 minutes into the show.

“You have to try, and make mistakes and that’s how you find out what kind of filmmaker you are.”

In this brilliant short clip, documentary editor Sam Pollard shares some of the inherent challenges of editing documentaries with students at the School For Visual Arts in New York, and how to draw the very best out of your material.

click through for even more interviews with film editors

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More Tutorials for Colorists

Colour Grading Tutorial Round Up

In this round up of tutorials for colorists of every calibre you can learn how to use scopes on your iPad, just how many ways you can colour grade in FCPX,  and get a deeper grasp of ACES.

DaVinci Resolve 10 is out! It’s now out of beta, so head over to Blackmagic Design to download it for free, including an updated manual.


As another DaVinci Resolve freebie, Adrien Le Falher is giving away some free LUTS, based on Juan Melara’s film stock emulation LUTS, and ‘manipulated quite a bit’…

My references however weren’t cinematic film stocks exactly, but rather photographic ones. I shoot a lot of a pictures, and my favorite film, especially for skin, is the Kodak Portra 400 UC (now discontinued), so my LUTs are a mix between a more usual “cinematic” look and the results I get from my 120 films.

Creating Film Looks inside Your NLE

In this detailed blog post over on Phillip Bloom.net you can learn how to use Film Convert LUTS inside Adobe Premiere Pro to give your footage a striking film look. You can also currently get a $30 discount by going through Phillip’s affiliate link when you buy Film Convert.

For Creative Cloud users these LUT’s can be found at: Adobe Photoshop CC/Presets/3DLUTs. They are loaded through Lumetri Looks in Premiere CC. Lumetri presets are again just LUT’s that can be loaded in.

LUTS inside Adobe Premiere

In this lengthy post Oliver Peter’s demonstrates just how many colour grading options there are available for FCPX right now, with many free and paid for plugins. If you like what you see it’s probably worth giving Oliver’s detailed post on grading inside FCPX with Hawaiki Color, a thorough read. In another post over on Revuptransmedia you can download a whole bunch of FCPX color-board presets created by Oliver.

Colour Grading In FCPX

In this short tutorial Kevin P McAuliffe walks through creating a ‘Michael Bay’ look inside Avid Symphony or Media Composer with Symphony options enabled.

Not to leave out FCP 7, check out this round up of 14 tutorials for grading in FCP7 over on PremiumBeat.com.

Colour Grading on a Laptop

Colorist James Tonkin, who demoed DaVinci Resolve 10 Beta at the Amsterdam Supermeet, recently tweeted this image of his laptop grading set up. A couple of interesting things to note: James is using an iPad with AirDisplay to hold his DaVinci Resolve software scopes on a separate display. The grading monitor James is using is a Sony PVM-2541 OLED monitor.

In a later tweet Robbie Carman mentioned that Airdisplay is probably 8-bit and compressed and Juan Salvo suggested using wireless HDMI as another, higher quality, alternative.

Understanding ACES

In this hour long talk from the Digital Cinema Society, the Academy Color Encoding Specification (ACES) is explained, and it’s development history and progress outlined by many of the top color scientists and manufacturers involved including Jim Houston the ACES Project Committee Chair.

In this free pdf, visual effects trainer Steve Wright, offers some thoughts on ACES, specifically in relation to workflow colour management.

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How To Make A DCP For Free

Creating Digital Cinema Packages for free

Create a DCP for Free

Digital Cinema Packages are the gateway to digital cinema projection and distribution and is a specifically designed set of video, audio and metadata files which have been agreed upon by the Digital Cinema Initiatives as a global standard. You can download a pdf of the standard here.

It used to be that creating a DCP was a very expensive process reserved for only those with large budgets and big audiences. Now, through open source generosity, anyone can make an DCP file and get their film on the big screen with ease and for free.

I’ve previously posted about DCP creation here and you can check out a great 40 minute podcast from the Coloristo’s on the topic. If you want a super quick overview, also including the use of KDM’s (encryption keys) to protect your DCP check out ARRI’s guide.

DCP filesFor a very quick summary: DCP is video (JPEG 2000 with XYZ colour space inside an MXF wrapper), audio (Wav files in MXF at 24bit 48khz) and XML files that hold it all together. For a deeper explanation check out colorist Nikolai Walman’s DCP explanation here.

How To Make A Digital Cinema Package For Free

Creating DCP files

So you’ve finished your film and you can’t wait to see it projected in all it’s glory on the silver screen, now how do you actually make a DCP?

The filmbakery has posted an excellent explanation and step by step guide to creating DCP files for free using open source OpenDCP. It’s a brilliant, simple and informative read so if you want click by click instructions jump over and get started.

Before you do here are a few things you should know before you get creating:

1. Creating the image sequence, from your digital masters, into TIFF, BMP or DPX will take up a lot of space.

2. Converting the image sequence to JPEG 2000 images will take a lot of processing power.

3. One of the great benefits of image sequences is that if you need to change a portion of your film, a shot or scene needs fixing, you only need to re-render that shot or scene and replace those images in your sequence without having to re-export the whole film.

4. The best format for your delivery drive (or USB stick) is Linux EXT.

5. One of the main benefits of DCP is the XYZ colour space, which has a much greater gamut:

Click through for more DCP tutorials and insights

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How To Be A DIT Part 7

How To Be A DIT Part 7 – Tips & Tech

What does a DIT do?

This series of How To Be A DIT posts is marching into it’s 7th instalment. Although you don’t have to be a DIT to benefit from the resources and technology shared here, as if you are an editor or colorist you should hopefully learn a useful thing or two, too.

Understanding bit rates, colour bit depth, frame rates and more

Understanding Aspect Ratios

In a quick fire round up of useful information for understanding everything that’s happening inside each frame of your digital footage.

Film editor Vashi Nedomansky has collected together a great catologue of the history of cinematic aspect ratios, starting with Thomas Edison and 1.33 and running all the way to 2.39 with theatrical and blu-ray formats. There is a great free download of 70 aspect ratio crops (psd files) as well as an After Effects template to morph your 16 x 9 footage into anamorphic.

Which GPU should you get for video?: This very useful article from ProMax runs you through all the reasons why you need more GPU’s in your system and what the specs really mean. Get to grips with CUDA cores, VRAM, clock speeds and floating point performance.

In the world of video production and 3D design, much of our data boils down to the color information in a single frame of video. We tweak it, play with the curves, bring detail out of the shadows, etc…but at the (simplified) base level what we’re really doing is taking numbers that represent color information in that frame and multiplying or adding to them to reach a new number. When you can process thousands of those calculations simultaneously instead of 8, things happen much, much faster, and for us that means adding a lot of effects to your timelines and keeping things real time.

Understanding Bit Rates: Larry Jordan recently shared a useful analogy for wrapping your noodle around understanding bit rates and compression. It’s a quick but useful read.

I always recommend exporting projects at the highest quality your project will support, then compressing from that large master file. It’s an extra step, but it always yields better results. And, now you know why.

Demystifying colour bit depth, dynamic range and linear/logarithmic scales: Rich Lackey, a Dubai based filmmaker, explains what happens when film is converted to digital with regards to those three factors.
Click through for tons more resources, plus the best three articles on being a DIT out there

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Ebook: How To Be A Successful Freelance Creative

Forthcoming Ebook For Freelance Creatives

How to be a successful freelance creative

So, I’m writing this book on how to be a successful freelance creative, essentially trying to pack in every useful piece of advice I’ve ever received, lesson I’ve ever learned, mistake I’ve ever made and technique that’s ever helped me in the past 8 years into one really practical, helpful, readable resource.

Basically everything I wish I’d known when I started.

Although I’ve got plenty of ideas and content for the 10 chapters I’ve scribbled out so far, I’ll only be able to write what I think a creative professional needs to know when starting out as a freelancer, so I really need your help to know what YOU think freelancers need to know.

If you’ve got one minute to spare, please fill out this 6 question survey, it really would be a huge help! If you’ve got even more thoughts to share, please do hit the comments section below and let me know what you think a book like this should cover…

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The Art and Craft of Sound Design

Understanding The Craft of Sound Design

Sound design is 60% of any film’s construction. In many ways good sound design is more important than good picture. You might be forgiven for shaky camera work, bad lighting etc but if your audience cannot hear your film you’re in big trouble. Check out these tutorials, insights and resources on creating great sound design.

Just for fun I’ve kicked off this post with a recent animation that I created the sound design for so I hope you enjoy it! Animation by my bro over on animationseven and helping to promote The Pioneers.

Pro Tools Sound Design Lecture

In this almost 2 hour lecture sound designer Brian Smith walks through using Pro Tools to add sound design to a simple single shot which makes for a fantastic beginners guide to both the technical and creative aspects of the craft.

Creating 5.1 Surround Sound Temp Mixes

In this fantastic step by step tutorial editor Evan Schiff shows you, in great detail, how he and the Bad Robot team used Avid Media Composer’s 5.1 surround sound mixing capabilities to create “the most complex temp soundtrack ever contained within 16 mono tracks.” for Star Trek Into Darkness. If you’re cutting on Avid it’s well worth a read.

5.1 Surround Sound Mixes in Avid

If you’re editing in FCPX Dan Allan shows your how to work with Surround sound mixes in this previous post.

Click through for interviews with professional sound designers and tons of more great resources

Posted in AVID, Craft, Creativity, Editing, FCP-X, Free download, Interview, Sound Design, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Making of A British Indie Movie – The Last Passenger

Making of The Last Passenger

It’s not often that a British indie film actually looks any good but low budget thriller The Last Passenger, from first time feature director Omid Nooshin, looks quite impressive for what it cost, only £1.5 million ($2.4 million).

I first heard about the film when I saw this article in the Evening Standard about how his £500 pitch trailer won the attention of financiers and allowed him to get the film off the ground. You can check it out for yourself below. (The official online trailer is at the top.)

Post production assistant Cristen Reading posted an insiders view of the film’s post production journey over on the Avid blogs site featuring a couple of pretty interesting behind the scenes EPK films covering the films editing and sound design.

One man VFX Team on The Last Passenger

From the vimeo description on the VFX compilation it sounds like VFX artist Tim Smit really had his work cut out for him:

2,100 man hours. 350 hours of render time. 45 comp layers per shot. 16 processing cores. 3 nights without sleep. 106 completed VFX shots. 1 VFX artist.

Click through for more BTS films from The Last Passenger

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Tips & Tutorials for Adobe Premiere Pro Editors

Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

If you’ve just made the transition to editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC then this round up tutorials and resources should help make that move a smooth one. There is a lot to like about Premiere Pro, not least the constant updates and bug fixes but the fact that Adobe want to make it easy for you to use their software.

New features in adobe premiere pro

If you’re coming from FCP7 and want to get to work straight away, simply change the keyboard settings to (mostly) match those of FCP7 and you’ll be cutting happily away in no time at all. Premiere Pro > Keyboard Shortcuts > Keyboard Layout Preset

To get started with the very latest features in the October 2013 Premiere Pro 7.1 update check out the video above from the ever helpful Retooled.net showcasing just some of the best new additions.

For a more skimmable tour Rev Up Transmedia has a great top ten list as well. A complete listing of all the new features for Adobe’s video software is available on the official adobe site.

If you’re looking for even more Premiere Pro resources check out the other most recent previous post or the entire tagged category. Also check out Oliver Peter’s bookmark worthy Digital Films blog as he has recently posted several articles on Adobe CC.

Oliver Peter’s on Premiere Pro CC,  on the Creative Cloud Part 1 and Part 2, Offline to Online with CC (& FCPX),

Editing Tips for Premiere Pro Editors

In this short tutorial Jesse Borkowski demonstrates how to copy and paste transitions. In this detailed article editing guru Larry Jordan demonstrates all the various ways to trim inside of Premiere and some of the preferences that you might want to activate to get the best results.

Trimming inside premiere pro

If you are coming from FCP7 then this other excellent video from Retooled.net is definitely worth a watch as it will quickly get you up to speed on some of the most significant differences and similarities between the two programs. Also check out Imagination Creations excellent article on switching from FCP7.

If you’re trying to figure out how to increase the level of Undo/Redo’s in Premiere, this tweet from @postblueTV shows you how…

This timesaving article from Clay Asbury over on Premium Beat will help you both fully understand and correctly set up your user preferences for maximum efficiency.

Setting up premiere pro preferences correctly

As a final note it’s well worth reading this post from Dennis Radeke over on the Adobe blog site, about where Premiere Pro fits in the world of render taxes. Everyone has to pay them so you may as well choose wisely!

Here’s why I think Premiere Pro is awesome at handling the ‘render taxes’ issue: It handles media natively so the huge render tax at the beginning is negated.  During the edit, Premiere Pro provides a unique CPU+GPU solution coupled with user definable playback controls so that you are never waiting for your timeline to render a preview.  Finally, when you’re exporting your finished edit, you do so in the background so that you’re never waiting for your computer so you can begin the creative process again.  In addition, Premiere Pro CC has embraced the idea of smart rendering so that whenever possible, we will minimize any rendering that’s necessary.

Click through for a complete CinemaDNG workflow, over 4 hours of free training and great insights into why professional TV and feature film editors are switching to Premiere Pro CC

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Mamba FX – Free Download & Tutorials

Mamba FX – Compositing Tutorials

Mamba FX Tutorials

Mamaba FX is a brand new, high end compositing tool from SGO, makers of Mistika – a colour grading solution. Mamba is a single shot compositing tool with a node based architecture. According to the website it comes with “a wide range of built in effects including high quality keyers, noise patterns, distortions, tracking, titling and painting tools as well as high speed, optical flow based timewarp, denoise and motion blur functions.

If you want to get a solid overview of what Mamba can do and to pick up some compositing tips and tricks check out the 24 minute overview video and 42 minute compositing tutorial on mambatutorials.com. You can even download a free trial too.

Mamba Tutorials

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