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Davinci Resolve 11 Lite


mercer
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Hi, I have a couple questions pertaining to Davinci Resolve 11 Lite, but first I'd like to give you a little background info. I am relatively new to this forum, so I figure I would properly introduce myself so you guys will understand where I am at. I'm an amateur screenwriter with a desire to direct a feature. I have worked on a few low budget indie films that are in various stages of production... My on set roles have included, but not limited to... acting, camera operator, audio, and lighting. By no means am I an expert in any of them but I have learned a lot over the years. I filmed a short film about a decade ago on mini dv and have recently started working on a couple scripts that may lead to my first feature. Before I delve into the production, I want to do a lot of visual tests so I will know how to obtain the look I am after.

So, yesterday I tried my hand at Resolve. Having never done any form of color correction or grading, my knowledge is limited to theory at best, and even that is rudimentary. What I am really trying to grasp, with the program, is a basic color correction. I have googled tutorials, but there are so many... I'm not even sure where to begin. After messing with the program, I can see it's benefits over the other two editing programs I have... iMovie and Premiere Elements 12... both are fine for basic edits but I know I need more.

So, I took a simple shot that had mixed lighting... daylight through the windows, and florescent light. I have read that scopes is a good starting point for a color correction, so I watched a tutorial and attempted using the histogram scope to balance my video. But due to my macbook size, it was very difficult to fit everything on the screen and utilize the workflow.

While in Primaries, I then tried the basic "A" function... which I assume means auto? That seemed to work, not perfectly but way better than I was getting on my own. Do any of you guys use the auto function as a starting point for you color correction? If not, can you help me with a quick and easy workflow? Or suggest a good tutorial series. I am not a colorist. I try to get as close as I can in camera but obviously that is not always possible. Any guidance would be much appreciated... in return I can answer any questions anyone may have on screenwriting... or I'll give your comment a "like" they may be of equal value. Ha. 

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Hi mercer, I am using resolve 11 lite too, on a 2009 macbook:). So i know the trouble with the small screen. Basic color grading is possible, but masking becomes really too difficult with such a small screen. As it is a grading program, i think you should not actually use an auto color mode here;) ...that could be done in a program like imovie 11 just as easy.

-First you should make yourself familiar with the nodes in the upper right corner. Just create a new serial node....and in that one you can go crazy with all the sliders and learn what will happen when you push what slider. ⌘-D will disable your note and you can check back and forth with your original footage.

-Histogram scope is you best friend, never work without it if you dont have a perfectly calibrated screen.

-And last you should get some LUTs. There are free ones online. They can be really useful to achieve certain looks.

 

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For now, you should read the manual to understand the basics. Leave out what is obviously not your business. For chapters 10&11 (COLOR!), you should reserve 90 minutes a day.  Read about it, see an online tutorial dealing with the specific subject and try it with your own stuff.

You can be much faster if you use keyboard shortcuts. Print out those 'cheat sheets' (google) or buy removable stickers.

Leave out the 'EDIT'-chapters for now. Resolve 12 (announced for June) will probably be a full grown NLE (multicam, audio synchronization, nesting, audio mixer), it can then substitute your beginner's NLEs.

BTW: Never grade in iMovie (don't know for PE, but could be the same). It computes in 8-bit (that's why it feels so fast). That means you can only make one change without quickly losing quality ...

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Hi mercer, I am using resolve 11 lite too, on a 2009 macbook:). So i know the trouble with the small screen. Basic color grading is possible, but masking becomes really too difficult with such a small screen. As it is a grading program, i think you should not actually use an auto color mode here;) ...that could be done in a program like imovie 11 just as easy.

-First you should make yourself familiar with the nodes in the upper right corner. Just create a new serial node....and in that one you can go crazy with all the sliders and learn what will happen when you push what slider. ⌘-D will disable your note and you can check back and forth with your original footage.

-Histogram scope is you best friend, never work without it if you dont have a perfectly calibrated screen.

-And last you should get some LUTs. There are free ones online. They can be really useful to achieve certain looks.

 

Hey Celli, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I am your typical male, so I try to figure stuff out without directions... So I thought to myself... What the eff is a node? But that makes sense... Use nodes for different versions. My other issue, which I have googled the shit out of is... The top right panel of the program, where the nodes are, is cut off. I am using a new 11" MacBook Air, so I assume that's why, but most programs I have dealt with lets you reposition windows. The strange part is that I can see the entire bottom panels. But my real question is, how do you get different shots to match? I guess that's where LUTS come in? In the tutorial I watched about scopes, the guy used the histogram and primaries to balance and adjust blacks and whites and his rgb, but in my version of Resolve, the scope looks different and you can't see much of any blacks or whites on either end of the histogram. I do shoot dark footage, so I would assume there would be a good portion of blacks... Idk, maybe I'm not reading the histogram correctly. Back to google. Anyway, thanks for your help. 

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For now, you should read the manual to understand the basics. Leave out what is obviously not your business. For chapters 10&11 (COLOR!), you should reserve 90 minutes a day.  Read about it, see an online tutorial dealing with the specific subject and try it with your own stuff.

You can be much faster if you use keyboard shortcuts. Print out those 'cheat sheets' (google) or buy removable stickers.

Leave out the 'EDIT'-chapters for now. Resolve 12 (announced for June) will probably be a full grown NLE (multicam, audio synchronization, nesting, audio mixer), it can then substitute your beginner's NLEs.

BTW: Never grade in iMovie (don't know for PE, but could be the same). It computes in 8-bit (that's why it feels so fast). That means you can only make one change without quickly losing quality ...

Thanks Axel, I really appreciate your input. Yeah, I have to read the manual... I am usually a jump right in and tinker kind of person, but this is just too complicated for that. I am at a stage where I am trying to figure out my entire filmmaking workflow. I am not a colorist, never will be, don't want to be one, but this filmmaking racket requires us to wear a lot of hats. I would like to keep everything together... Editing, color correction and titles. Being familiar with the new iMovie I should probably just jump to FCX but... Money is tight right now. I see the potential of Resolve... it's just a little, or a lot, beyond my depth. I wish there was a quality program that just matches the look of all your shots, to me that seems to be the hardest part. Anyway, thanks for the tips...it gives me a good starting point.

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