Resolve 12 & Editors

(I write this on a flight from Los Angeles to San Jose for the second annual Premiere Pro World put on by Adobe as part of the larger Adobe Video World. I'm very much looking forward to this week and I'll be writing here daily-ish as to what's going on at the conference.)

I had the luck this weekend of being able to attend an event at Universal put on by Blackmagic Design where DaVinci Resolve 12 and Fusion 8 were demoed along with some practical presentations. The event was targeted at the upper crust of union editors, mostly working on features and TV and cutting in Media Composer. Blackmagic really wants them to know that Resolve 12 is ready to cut with. I'll save whether or not the software can compete with the likes of Premiere Pro and Media Composer for another post, but here are a few of the takeaways I had from the event.

  • I was surprised at just how unfamiliar with Resolve the audience was. The demo from Blackmagic walked us through the very first steps in the media pool before even showing the Edit page. As a daily user of Resolve of course it make sense that I felt more familiar with the software, but I had assumed that most editors out there had at some point played with the software given that it has had a freely available version for years now and has been the biggest booth at NAB for the last two.
  • The way Resolve 12 handles multicam is more or less as a special instance of a nested sequence, much like how it works in Premiere. It was with a smile on my face that I heard all the Avid editors in the room gasp at seeing multicam angles being slipped on the fly after the multicam clip has been created. This has been one of my favorite features in Premiere for a long time after being an assistant doing grouping in Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid.
  • Another wow moment for the Avid crowd that had me rolling my eyes was when the Blackmagic person demoed automatic syncing based on waveform. Not only has this been a feature in Premiere Pro and other software for a while, but I thought PluralEyes was a very widely used product.
  • My favorite part of the event was a demo given by Alan Bell showing how he jumps from Media Composer into Fusion to do "performance enhancing VFX" while he's editing so he doesn't have to waste time bubbling it up through the VFX pipeline. Being able to do jaw-dropping temp work in his timeline means he can more quickly fix continuity issues as they inevitably come up. What he showed us with a face replacement in Fusion was impressive, and I had no idea such an easy plugin existed to get clips round tripped from an Avid timeline to Fusion and back. Very cool. Count me in as part of the #AlanBellFanClub.
  • The demo for Fusion 8 was interesting but ultimately not particularly useful to myself (and I'd imagine most of the editors in the room) as it showed what is possible but skipped over the basics like what was given in the Resolve demo. As someone moderately comfortable in AfterEffects already I'm not sure I'll be able to devote the time to get all the way into Fusion. That said, Alan Bell definitely makes a strong point for giving it a try.

As I've gotten more into finishing and color grading work, Resolve 12 has become my go to tool. If you haven't given it a try yet, grab the free version from Blackmagic and jump in. I also highly recommend the included manual as it walks you through all the basics and even up into more advanced grading techniques.

I already can't wait for Resolve 13.