Fini.tv Adopts DaVinci Resolve Workflow

In January of 2011 Fini.tv started the switch from Apple Color to DaVinci Resolve.

In July, with the release of DaVinci’s updated software, the transition has been completed and Fini.tv has adopted DaVinci Resolve as our grading solution of choice. And we couldn’t be more pleased.

When we started on this road it was a big decision. Apple Color hadn’t seen any significant software updates in many years and we were concerned about its future. Meanwhile, from a distance we watched as DaVinci was acquired by Blackmagic Design, the price was dropped significantly, and they seemed to target color grading companies such as Fini.tv. And they impressed us as they released important software updates on an accelerated schedule that signalled BlackMagic’s commitment to a storied color grading platform.

In January we bought a license and slowly started doing paid jobs with it.

Yet we couldn’t embrace it whole-heartedly -DaVinci Resolve Version 7 lacked the integration workflow that our clients were accustomed to with Apple Color, namely: XML roundtrips and multiple video track timelines.

Why XML Workflows Are Important

The XML workflow between Color and Final Cut Pro Legacy is big big feature. You see… XML is a modern EDL that allows a multi-video track timeline to be sent to Apple Color, which also displays multiple tracks – giving the colorist access to each layer, ready for ‘in-context’ color correction. Once rendered, Color exports an XML of that exact same timeline into Final Cut Pro – resulting in a timeline *identical* to the locked offline (and keeping any filters not recognized by Color).

But here’s the kicker: This new timeline links back to the newly rendered color graded footage!

Including handles for each individual shot.

It’s brilliant. And our clients love it.

This workflow allows our clients to make slight editorial tweaks after the color grade is completed. They get a project file that looks exactly like the project file they handed us. And rather than one long Quicktime movie – every shot is individually rendered (with the aforementioned handles). Perfect.

DaVinci Resolve 7

DaVinci Resolve 7 threw a bit of a wrench into this workflow. It only supported EDL workflows. Meaning: It could only see one video track at a time.

Clients accustomed to the simple Color round-trip – if they wanted to work in DaVinci Resolve – had to radically change the way they delivered projects to us (or pay us to make those changes). And from our perspective, EDLs are usually inadequate to carry across filters & transitions – which would have to be tediously placed back into the final FCP timeline. By hand. Shot by shot.

I can tell you – many hours were lost as we learned the unique quirks of antiquated EDL workflows.

But now – something amazing has happened… and its name is: DaVinci Resolve 8

DaVinci Resolve 8: Like Apple Color (on steroids)

Fini.tv was honored to have been invited into the Resolve 8 beta testing team. And we quickly realized everything we had read about the tremendous strides this software made proved to be true. Resolve 8 is the perfect inheritor to Apple Color (which has been now been End-Of-Life’d by Apple).

Resolve 8 supports:

  • Multiple track timelines
  • Import / Export of XMLs for Final Cut Pro workflows (including some big advancements for Resolve 7 colorists when importing the footage, making our lives sooo much easier – saving our clients time, money, and keeping the colorist from quickly falling into a sour mood).
  • Resolve 8 adds several new features that Apple Color colorists will love including: Fully controllable Noise Reduction, Image Stabalization, Masking tools that go far beyond anything Apple Color could do (with a tracker that is so good it induces little fits of the giggles), a grading pipeline that allows us to reorder our operations – all of which is changing the way we grade, giving us more power without taking more time.
  • It also adds the possibility for compositing shots (think: green- and blue- screens) directly inside Resolve with support for imported footage that has alpha channels (for instance, coming from After Effects or CGI)
  • Native Avid Workflows: Including multi-track roundtrips via AAF and ALE
  • Native Avid DNxHD codec support for playback and rendering – and – AMA support
  • Native HDRx support for the RED Epic, Arri Alexa v3 color science, and Cineform support

There are many more workflows, codecs, and features that were added to Resolve v8… but those listed above are the ones of most interest to our clients.

A Next Generation Color Correction Toolset

Apple Color was a great gateway for Fini.tv into high-end color grading. It changed our business. We’re sad to see it slowly lose its relevance. It holds a special place in our heart.

But as the saying goes: A door has closed, but a window has opened. And that window is BlackMagic’s DaVinci Resolve.

We are thrilled to offer DaVinci Resolve to our clients – a top-notch grading solution that’s under active development by a team of enthusiastic engineers and artists dedicated to providing a color grading toolset that takes us into the second decade of this century!

Come join us.

Ask A Question, Get An Answer

Do you have an upcoming project that might need our color correction services? Let us know!

Call Patrick: 347-878-3464

We’d love to introduce you to Resolve 8 and hope to see you in our (or your) grading suite.

Just like it ever was…

…Only better.

Related posts:

  1. NAB 2010 – Initial Thoughts
  2. Tapeless Workflow, anyone?
  3. About Fini
  4. Update: Fini on the Move
  5. How To Prep A FCP Sequence For Finishing @ Fini


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