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Over the last few years, Blackmagic Design has been adding more and more nonlinear editing tools to its color grading software DaVinci Resolve. The company's most recent update offers all of its color grading goodness, plus collaborative workflows and Fairlight professional audio tools within the software.

A lot of pros have questions about DaVinci Resolve 14 and how they might be able to use it as a full-time NLE, in addition to its other offerings. So we reached out to Blackmagic’s Paul Saccone to learn more about Resolve’s path to an all-in-one post system.

While Resolve began as a color grading tool, Blackmagic has added a full NLE. Why was it important to add editing tools to this software?
Blackmagic Design was built by production and post pros, so we understand the needs of editors and colorists. Resolve was already a widely used color grading tool, so adding editorial features was a very logical path for us.

Paul Saccone Our latest version, DaVinci Resolve 14, is actually designed to make the post production process more efficient. One of the most frustrating parts of post is that it’s difficult to work together. Color correction had an application, editorial had a different program, sound had another one, and it created unnecessary headaches for everybody in the post workflow. Multiple people working on multiple systems that were not able to collaborate in realtime made everyone’s lives miserable. Resolve solves that by bringing together editing, color grading and audio into a single application.

The new Kingsman film, commercials for McDonald’s and Uber, and TV shows like Ghosted, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Last Man on Earth, and Ash vs the Evil Dead have already used Resolve 14 for both editing and grading. Footage for the 2016 Olympic Games opening sequence, which paid homage to the Olympic athletes from around the world, was graded and edited before the Olympic games by Brazil's O2 Filmes using Resolve 14 as well.

With Resolve 14’s new editing features, is there anything left keeping it from being a full NLE?
DaVinci Resolve 14 is currently a full-blown professional NLE. Full stop. We first introduced editing features into Resolve 10 back at NAB 2013, and we have continued to add more and more each year: We included 70 new editing features in Resolve 11 in 2014, multicam editing and dozens of others in Resolve 12 in 2015, and 250 new editing features in Resolve 12.5 in 2016.

Not only do editors get hundreds of additional features with 14, but they also get huge performance improvements thanks to an all-new high-speed playback engine. Optimizations under the hood make it up to 10 times faster than Resolve 12.5. There are multi-user collaboration tools that let multiple people edit, color and mix audio from multiple systems, all in the same project at the same time. We've also added a whole new Fairlight audio page.

With Resolve 14, post has really changed from a linear workflow to a parallel workflow, and we believe that editors will love the integration and efficiency.

Can you use it as an offline tool as well?
Yes. Resolve can automatically generate optimized proxy media for better playback performance and relink to the original media anytime. Editors and their assistants can customize the Edit page UI and use single- or dual-view mode to sync dailies and organize media in list or icon view. Bins can also be nested in other bins, opened as separate windows and even created as smart bins that automatically populate based on metadata.

The familiar look and feel of the Edit page really makes it easy for editors from other NLEs to migrate to Resolve too. They can perform the edits they need using the methods they’re used to — from basic drag and drop editing of select reels, to J K L dynamic trimming, asymmetric trimming, subframe audio trimming, multicam editing, and even editing timeline sequences into timelines as compound clips that can be decomposed with a single click.

Final Cut Pro 7 users who are looking for alternative editing software will find that switching to Resolve 14 is easy. For those looking to make the shift, we made a video to help show how simple it is to change from FCP 7 to Resolve.

Many other tools say they allow collaboration. How does Resolve 14 accomplish this?
Resolve 14 Studio doesn't just allow collaboration, it was designed for it. We built editing, color correction and audio into a single application, and then purposefully created a way to have multiple people working on a project simultaneously.

Our new multi-user collaboration also doesn’t require an IT department to get started. Assistant editors can prepare footage while editors cut the picture, colorists grade the shots, and sound editors mix and finish audio, all in the same project at the same time. Resolve 14 eliminates the need for importing, exporting, translating and conforming projects, and it offers simple project setup and management, open storage, bin locking, built-in chat and a timeline comparison tool. The list keeps going, so you might want to check out the video we made showing exactly how effective Resolve 14 Studio collaboration can be.

Can you talk about the new Fairlight audio tools within Resolve? Do you have to be an audio pro to take advantage of it?
You do not need to be an audio pro. We built Fairlight into Resolve so that video editors and colorists can jump in to audio at their own pace, but it’s still packed with the high-end features that any audio professional knows and needs.

Blackmagic has leveraged Fairlight’s history, and we’ve brought their audio tools, which are known for their sound quality and speed, into Resolve. So at its core, Resolve’s Fairlight page is a set of professional tools designed for film and television audio post.

We've really just started adding the high-end Fairlight digital audio workstation features. It’s a work in progress, but it’s going to be great. For now, folks can check out features like the built-in mixer with 2D or 3D panning, a six-band parametric equalizer and a full set of dynamics controls on every track. You can also create quick sub-mixes for your dialogue, effects and music, and you can edit audio at the frame, subframe or sample level.

We know we need to keep adding features — and we will. Our goal is to make it a complete high-end digital audio workstation so you don't need to finish audio in another application. In fact, we are excited about how quickly video editors are learning audio using Resolve 14, and we hope that a new generation of sound engineers will enter the industry learning Fairlight.

Can a dedicated audio post pro make use of the Fairlight offerings within Resolve?
Absolutely. We are very excited that both video and sound pros can work and collaborate on the same system. Just as editors need audio tools to complete their edit, sound professionals sometimes need video tools too. For example, they may want to composite a quick note on top of the video using a text tool before sending it back to the editor. This usually requires them moving their work to a video editing application. With Resolve 14, editors and audio pros can access the tools they need, when they need them, without ever leaving the project or application.

Click here to download the free version of DaVinci Resolve 14. DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio is available for purchase for $299.

Blackmagic Design

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