Welcome back for DaVinci Resolve 11 – tutorial #2.
We learned a number of basics as part of lesson 1. If you haven’t see lesson 1 you can check it out here and the cheat sheet is here. The main point to take away is that primary colour correction is one of the most, if not the most, important skills you can learn.
What you want is for your clips to all have similar colours to them so that when you have finished primary colour correction your work all fits together – colour-wise. Its a a balance of all your clips.
If your clips don’t all have the same primary colour balance applied to them then secondary will be much harder.
Secondary, if you recall, is where you will apply particular looks to your clips and give them the sort of aesthetic they require. We’ll get to secondary colour correction in future lessons.
I don’t have a 4K monitor and I’m not going to buy one any time soon. Apple just released a 5K iMac but I don’t need an iMac so I’m not going to get that either.
I use my Mac Pro with Thunderbolt display and its resolution is 2560 by 1440 pixels. Thats not 4k.
I do, however, edit quite a bit of 5K+ footage so what should my settings be in Resolve?
Most output is for 1080p and so thats the Master I want to make – and it saves a heap of time with the processing of large files. WIth that in mind, that’s what we’ll be doing here.
Lets start this lesson by creating a new project. As we know, you can do this by double-clicking the untitled project on startup.
We’ll use the same media that we have been using previously but at this point we won’t add it to our media pool.
Lets look at our project settings first. You can do this by clicking the the gear icon at the bottom left of your screen:
This brings up our friend Mr Project settings:
This is where we can change some settings and ensure we are working at our optimum whilst in Resolve.
Its rare that I work on anything other than 1080 – no matter whether is being broadcast in 720 or otherwise.
So my first setting is to change the timeline resolution to 1080. This, in the dropdown, is listed as HD 1920×1080.
You then also need to choose your timeline frame rate and playback frame rate.
Next we’ll take a look under the Image scaling area. We want to make sure that Scale entire image to fit is the selected option so that all of our clips fill our frame properly.
Other preferences that can be used in order to make things a bit easier are under the General Options tab.
You can select Always highlight current clip in the media pool, Sync the Master Timeline to the current frame and Use grey background in viewers.
Apply your settings by pressing the Apply button and then close your window. Your settings for the project are now saved.
I use FCPX for most of my projects at the moment – so thats where I do a lot of my editing. I don’t think, at this stage, that ill be using Resolve as my NLE. So, how do we make these work together?
What I’ve done is make a quick edit of the sample footage with have with zero correction, added a backing track and a title to the start.
From my FCPX project (and its very similar with other NLE apps) I go to File > Export XML and give my file a name and store it into a working directory.
Now you have your .XML file, its contents will appear like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?> <!DOCTYPE fcpxml>
<fcpxml version="1.4"> <resources> <format id="r1" name="FFVideoFormat1080p2398" frameDuration="1001/24000s" width="1920" height="1080"/> <asset id="r2" name="1C3C5093" uid="4992D2724487952FF102A7A59AF8DACB" src="file:///Volumes/Primary/Google%20Drive/Tutorials/DaVinci%20Resolve%20Tutorials/RAW%20footage/1C3C5093.MOV" start="418967549/24000s" duration="348348/24000s" hasVideo="1" format="r1" hasAudio="1" audioSources="1" audioChannels="2" audioRate=
You can download my xml sample here: DaVinci Resolve Lesson 2.fcpxml
Your XML refers to all the files and settings Resolve will need in order to bring up your project in the timeline.
We haven’t added anything to our media pool, but for this we won’t need to.
Skip across to the Edit tab and right-click on the timelines tab and select import EDF / EDL / XML..
Select the XML file you created with your NLE and the load XML screen will appear.
You should notice that all your information is within that window – and unfortunately for me it shows I didn’t bother to give my quick project a name!
We want to make sure that Automatically set project settings, Automatically import source clips into media pool and Use sizing information are all checked. The resolution at 1080 is correct the the bottom drop-down for FCP X frame rate format is also correct.
Press the OK button once you’ve ensured your entries are correct.
You should see a screen similar to the below now:
You can have issues with your import and get a message about your clips not being found. You will then get a prompt in order to find the clips on your HD somewhere (hopefully!)
If you go to your media tab and view the contents on list view, you can see what your project is using as far as clips, frames etc and its a good reference point.
Play back your clip in the edit screen and see how it looks. Does it look as you expected?
Is this ready for grading now? Well, there is a bit of a problem. How do we know without playing these 2 clips back to back and checking them for inconsistencies?
Well, there is an easy way and that is create a reference file from your NLE. In my case, FCPX.
You can download the Reference file here.
Once you have your reference file created, its an easy step in Resolve to utilise it.
From within Resolve, navigate to where you reference file is and right-click on it. You will see the below:
Ensure you then select Add as Offline Reference clip.
Your reference clip will then appear in your media pool and will have an icon next to it as below:
Next, flick across to the edit tab and inside the timelines tab, right-click on to your timeline and select link offline reference clip and then move it from the default No offline Reference Clip to your newly linked clip (in my case reference file.mov:
Then from inside your edit tab, press the icon that looks like a checker board and your reference file is set up.
Now if you play back your clip you will have the reference file playing side-by-side with your edit to grade to your hearts content.
…. oh, and don’t forget to save your project!
There’s a video version of this tutorial below. Enjoy.