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Do you conform inside Resolve?

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MichaelMaier
Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:14:04 pm

I was not sure if I should post this in the basics forum or here. Something tells me this is not really a basic question.

Once you are done with your grade, what do you do? You export the files out to be re-imported in the NLE and finished/final exported to DCP, Blu-ray etc? Or do you finish it from Resolve? If so, how do you do with the soundtrack/audio mix?

I guess this is more of a workflow question. I wonder for example how big feature films do. If they export the final output straight from Resolve or not. It seems to me that it would be preferable to do it from Resolve to avoid re-compression. I know big budget features use uncompressed but at least to avoid another step?


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Pepijn Klijs
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:25:05 pm

It all depends on how you got in Resolve in the first place. I mean, if you came from fcp for example and you stripped the timeline from any fx, stills and titles, you kinda need to roundtrip to add that back in and have it complete.

On the other hand there could situations where you came in with just a quicktime and you can simply sync the audiomix with the timeline in resolve and export your desired flavor.

So there is no one way that's good, it all depends...

Editor/Colorist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
http://www.pepijnklijs.nl


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:37:52 pm

I normally come in via an AAF.



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Joseph Owens
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:45:05 pm

[MichaelMaier] "If they export the final output straight from Resolve or not. It seems to me that it would be preferable to do it from Resolve to avoid re-compression."

Sorry, you lost me there. Resolve creates new media as part of its export process. Any editing or mastering software will point to these new files the same way it would with the original source files, no recompression necessary, as long as the export codec is compatible with the application. Resolve is not necessarily intended to be used as a "finishing" package, as it isn't generally regarded to be either an editing or compositing tool, both of which would be necessary to integrate the titles, layback, captions/subtitles, versioning and so on and on of a general release.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:56:50 pm

I explain. For example you bring in an AAF with DNxHD clips, you grade your clips and export them out as DNxHD (1st render). Then they are re-imported in the NLE and rendered out as DPX, H.264 or whatever format is needed (2nd render).

In this process you would have rendered 2 times. From Resolve and from the NLE. If you had done it from Resolve, you would only render one time. Straight to your deliver format. Am I wrong?



Joseph Owens said:
"Resolve is not necessarily intended to be used as a "finishing" package, as it isn't generally regarded to be either an editing or compositing tool, both of which would be necessary to integrate the titles, layback, captions/subtitles, versioning and so on and on of a general release."

So you pretty much have to round trip back to the NLE?
Is there a better finishing package than a NLE?



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Juan Salvo
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:37:31 pm

[MichaelMaier] "I explain. For example you bring in an AAF with DNxHD clips, you grade your clips and export them out as DNxHD (1st render). Then they are re-imported in the NLE and rendered out as DPX, H.264 or whatever format is needed (2nd render)."

It depends on your workflow and what you are trying to accomplish. I generally decide these things on a case by case basis.

Colorist | Online Editor | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

http://JuanSalvo.com


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Joseph Owens
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 8:10:30 pm

[MichaelMaier] "
In this process you would have rendered 2 times. From Resolve and from the NLE. If you had done it from Resolve, you would only render one time. Straight to your deliver format. Am I wrong?"


As Juan put it, it would vary on a case-by-case basis. The vast majority of my workflow dictates a kind of "generic" donor timeline which could not be finalized in any way directly from Resolve. There will always be several versions of the final show; textless elements, seamless versions, different languages, widescreen, letterbox, pillarbox, widescreen with text protected for center extraction, and so on and on and on and on.... So maybe if the show is a very simple one-off with no variations, then sure, pump out the flat single file/project and that will be it... upload to wherever its going and whatever happens to it after that is somebody else's challenge. Just don't expect to be able to make any revisions without tearing it apart first, or doing it all over again. Maybe you can charge for that!

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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stig olsen
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:15:43 pm

Hi Michael,

You are correct, your corrected clips can not be accessed directly from any finishing tool.
But, you can avoid double compression by using an EDL / XML from your editing tool.

Big feature films?
They are often finished in an Autodesk product - Smoke or Flame.
The best way for you is to render back in MXF 185 (Avid) or Prores (Final Cut) for lining up with the audio and titles.

stig


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:39:02 pm

So Autodesk is pretty much the standard for finishing?
What are other finishing applications besides that? Avid DS maybe? Is Nucoda Film Master or Pablo any more of a finishing tool than Resolve?


Back to re-compression, can you really avoid double compression by using an EDL / XML or AAF?
I mean in the case I gave I was using AAF and it still had to be compressed twice. I think EDLs and the like avoid triple compression. But you would still need to compress at least twice till final output. Unless I'm missing something?



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stig olsen
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:53:59 pm

By using an EDL, Resolve will relink to your original footage.
It recreates your edited timeline.
Then there will be no need to export your footage from your editing software.
You dont need to worry to much about quality loss when rendering from Resolve as long as you choose a proper format.

There are a thousands of threads about different workflows on this forum and others. I will recommend you to use some time to browse the web and read manuals.

About finishing, yes Flame is pretty much the industrial standard. Avid DS is also a proper online tool. Davinci is for grading, only.


Stig


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 12:23:27 am

I have heard Mistika is pretty good and well used as well, and also that Pablo is considered a finishing application too as opposed to grading only. I never knew that.
I guess a poor mans finishing tool is After Effects or just your NLE, if you don't want to go Smoke on the Mac.

About the whole re-compressing thing, I think you are misunderstanding me.
An EDL will relink to your original footage and there will be no need to export your footage from your editing software. But, you need to export it from Resolve after grading, and then export it again from your NLE after finished. Two re-compressions.



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Timo Teravainen
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 6:03:17 am

If you want to finish without a second compression round, use an uncompressed rendering format, like DPX or QT 10-bit uncompressed. It will require a lot of diskspace and fast disk array.

I wouldn't worry about 2 rounds of compression with codecs like DNxHD 10-bit or Prores HQ, especially if rendering out to broadcast. For the big screen, an uncompressed codec out from Davinci might be a good idea.


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 11:11:15 am

This is what I'm talking about. I think rendering out of Resolve as DPX 16bit (at least) would be best. Maybe EXR is even better. But then there's the question of where to finish it. Not all NLE work well with DPX let alone EXR.



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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 2:11:52 pm

[stig olsen]"Davinci is for grading, only."


I have been thinking about this. I think this can be a bit subjective. Sure Resolve is mainly a grading suite. But finishing means for example do cosmetic touch ups, working on skin blemishes etc and making the image look as good as possible. This is something Resolve can do very well or? I think saying Resolve is not a finishing tool may be only half true. More accurate would be to say Resolve is not a mastering tool. I think you could do pretty much everything in Resolve but mastering. Roto, matchmoving and effects can be done before it gets to the grade in Resolve inside something like Nuke.



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stig olsen
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 2:26:07 pm

Hi,

In a professional environment you distinguish between grading and online. Resolve is a grading tool and Smoke / Flame is an online tool.
You have some basic editing- and onlining tools in Resolve as well, but this is primarily a grading tool.

If you are looking for a "all in one"-package - go with Mistika or similar that is built for that.

Stig


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:18:59 pm

I'm not looking for an all in one package. I'm just looking for a viable way to finish without spending a million dollars. Mistika is definitely nice but insanely priced. I'm just wondering if Smoke 2013 is the only affordable finishing solution out there at this point.



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stig olsen
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:39:08 pm

AE is also a budget friendly online tool if that fits your needs and mastering can be done in your editing tool as well as client screenings.

Stig


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Mike Most
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 4:10:09 pm

Define "affordable."

To do it yourselfers working on personal projects, these days it means "free." To small companies without a proven customer base but wanting to start out offering services, it can mean anything from "free" to "under 5 grand." To service companies that are already in business, have a customer base, a good reputation, and an ability to attract clients with "real", substantial projects, it means something completely different because they're more interested in performance and throughput to allow for more work to be put through the system. That changes the equation because the cost of anything in a business is always relative to the revenue it can generate. So if something that's $1000 doesn't pay for itself, it's actually worth less than something that costs $10,000 that does. A copy of Resolve Lite might be great for someone doing their personal short in their living room, but in an actual working facility catering to studio clients, a Baselight at $90,000 might be a better choice.

So, once again, define "affordable."


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 4:42:36 pm

[Mike Most]"A copy of Resolve Lite might be great for someone doing their personal short in their living room, but in an actual working facility catering to studio clients, a Baselight at $90,000 might be a better choice."

Sorry but I can't see that at all. Of course if you really only mean Resolve Lite then I see the point as it's limited. But by your tone I have the impression you mean Resolve at all, including the paid version. And then, I don't see your point at all. Unless it's just for bragging rights because it costs more.



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Mike Most
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:35:06 am

Well, I can see you completely missed my point, in part because you seem to be a bit unaware of what competing products offer, and also the notion that different artists choose different toolsets because they see things they like in them. I would point out that in many facilities and for many colorists a seat of Resolve isn't $1000. It's more like $40,000, because the DaVinci panels ($30K), more GPUs, scopes, and a professional monitoring setup are what they need to do their job with enough precision and efficiency to move more work through their facility and thus generate some profit, as well as meet the client's expectations when they walk into the room.

My point was not to say one should buy Baselight, although in many cases, the combination of color management, flexible user configuration, availability of separate render nodes, scalability, colorist preference, and other things might make it the right choice. The same can easily be said for Nucoda Film Master, Lustre, and even Scratch and Mistika. If that weren't the case, these products wouldn't exist and nobody would use them. The entire point of my post is that price alone is not always the sole determining factor in these things. The comfort of the artists, the expectations and preferences of the clients, and some very specific capabilities are all part of the equation. And in the end, it's about what can make a company money. The cost of the equipment is only relevant in relation to the revenues it can help generate. Thus the term "affordable" does not necessarily mean "ultra cheap." THAT was my point.


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:35:32 am

Ok Mike, I get what you mean now. Makes sense.

Since you mentioned do it yourselfers, what do you think would be an option for a finishing tool for indies? Besides the $3.5 Smoke which is Mac only.

So far the best option I can see is After Effects. I use Resolve for grading but it lack the tools as a finisher as discussed in this thread.



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Eric Johnson
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:27:13 pm

Is this for a tapeless only workflow?

Depending on what it is you are doing, it seems to me that you want to limit the rounds of compression (whether they are deteriorating your material or not)... So After Effects would not be the right place to go after Resolve (at least not for the entire project)... because if you needed to go to tape you would need to export everything then bring into your mastering tool... which, depending on the software could require a further compression after you render your project out of AE...

It seems to me, that you are hoping for a "one size fits all" solution, and at least in the "affordable" (for people, not facilities or seasoned established freelancers) there is no such solution, and even then there isn't. If there were you wouldn't have the options of FilmMaster, Baselight, Pablo, SGO, etc... There would just be "The Tool"...

It's also worth noting that as a whole, Adobe Production Premium likely has all the pieces you are looking for...


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:48:38 pm

Yes, it's for a tapeless only workflow.


Somebody suggested Blender actually. It has 3D that supposedly rivals Maya, Compositing, matchmoving, tracking, roto, color grading and basic video editing with EDL import. I never knew that. I was always a bit skeptical with the whole open source tools support thing.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 6:31:33 am

[MichaelMaier] "I was not sure if I should post this in the basics forum or here. Something tells me this is not really a basic question.

Once you are done with your grade, what do you do? You export the files out to be re-imported in the NLE and finished/final exported to DCP, Blu-ray etc? Or do you finish it from Resolve? If so, how do you do with the soundtrack/audio mix?

I guess this is more of a workflow question. I wonder for example how big feature films do. If they export the final output straight from Resolve or not. It seems to me that it would be preferable to do it from Resolve to avoid re-compression. I know big budget features use uncompressed but at least to avoid another step?"


[MichaelMaier] "This is what I'm talking about. I think rendering out of Resolve as DPX 16bit (at least) would be best. Maybe EXR is even better. But then there's the question of where to finish it. Not all NLE work well with DPX let alone EXR."

The budget DIY solution is to export ProRes 4444 and take it into FCP 7, FCP X (which actually has some pretty cool abilities with respect to routing multichannel audio and batch-generating multiple deliverables formats) or perhaps Premiere Pro.

Technically, yes, you are losing something with ProRes 4444 vs. DPX. As a practical matter, you will likely never be able to tell the difference. ProRes 4444 is widely used as a mastering codec in the indie film world. It's similar in quality to HDCAM SR, which has generally been considered an acceptable master format. In fact, the last time we delivered a product to have a DCP made, we had prepped a DPX sequence, and our contact at the other facility basically told us that yeah, they can handle DPX, but the vast majority of projects are delivering ProRes these days.

As for generational quality loss from compressing twice, that's not really a big deal. First, ProRes is specifically designed to minimize generational quality loss, for just these sorts of scenarios. Secondly, while I'm not sure how Premiere handles things, in FCP 7 and X, if you export a sequence containing ProRes footage to a ProRes file, re-compression only occurs where necessary — for instance, if you've layered titles on top of the video. If a segment of video is untouched, the ProRes data is simply copied from the input file to the output file, rather than being decoded and then re-encoded.

If you do want to master to DPX, though, Premiere Pro does support it, although I haven't tested this workflow. The next step up in terms of price would probably be Smoke.

Depending on the types of projects you work on, however, mastering in Resolve may indeed be viable. Note that Resolve supports alpha channels in ProRes 4444 files, which gives you a pretty easy way to get title over image, etc. You can bring in audio, sync it up, and embed it in your outputs. The main limitations with this approach are a) you're going to be rendering out a bunch of elements in other apps and bringing them into Resolve, where in a fully-fledged finishing tool you could do everything in one app, b) if you need fancy audio channel configurations, etc. in QuickTime outputs there's no way to set that up, and c) if your program is long enough to have been broken up into reels, you might need to splice them together in an external app. Although the last limitation goes away if you're rendering to an image sequence format; then if you setup your timecode correctly you can just render all your reels to one folder and get a continuous sequence. (Though note that for e.g. mastering a DCP the facility you deliver to may prefer reels.)

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:28:38 am

Hey Chris. This is a great reply! It's exactly the type of reply I was expecting to get when I started this thread. Extremely useful and insightful. Thanks for that!

Please see my replies bellow.

[Chris Kenny] "The budget DIY solution is to export ProRes 4444 and take it into FCP 7, FCP X (which actually has some pretty cool abilities with respect to routing multichannel audio and batch-generating multiple deliverables formats) or perhaps Premiere Pro."

I'm totally PC based now. So FCP is a no go. I don't use Premiere either.

[Chris Kenny] "Technically, yes, you are losing something with ProRes 4444 vs. DPX. As a practical matter, you will likely never be able to tell the difference. ProRes 4444 is widely used as a mastering codec in the indie film world. It's similar in quality to HDCAM SR, which has generally been considered an acceptable master format."

But in my experience when using Prores files in Resolve, at list in Windows, it seems to clip the highlights. The same for example doesn't happen to DNxHD. After importing it to the media pool, if you right click on the file> clip attributes> and choose data levels instead of auto, the clipped highlights in a DNxHD clip shows the full range and are brought back, showing highlight detail that seemed lost. The same doesn't happen to Prores clips. I'm talking about clips captured by a camera in either DNxHD or Prores. Not clips converted to Prores from another codec.
From talking to several other people who also experience the same problem, it seems to be a Prores problem. On top of that, Prores on windows can have gamma shift problems etc. I think it's a great codec, but only if you are on a Mac. Just my personal opinion. For that reason my whole workflow is DNxHD based, at least till it hits Resolve.

[Chris Kenny] "In fact, the last time we delivered a product to have a DCP made, we had prepped a DPX sequence, and our contact at the other facility basically told us that yeah, they can handle DPX, but the vast majority of projects are delivering ProRes these days."

Maybe their motivation would be that Prores is probably much easier for them to handle than a DPX sequence.

[Chris Kenny] "As for generational quality loss from compressing twice, that's not really a big deal. First, ProRes is specifically designed to minimize generational quality loss, for just these sorts of scenarios. Secondly, while I'm not sure how Premiere handles things, in FCP 7 and X, if you export a sequence containing ProRes footage to a ProRes file, re-compression only occurs where necessary — for instance, if you've layered titles on top of the video. If a segment of video is untouched, the ProRes data is simply copied from the input file to the output file, rather than being decoded and then re-encoded."

I don't know. I'm really paranoid with the compression thing. I guess it's trauma from the old DV/DVCAM/DVCPRO days. :)
To be safe I would rather go DPX or at least TIFF.

[Chris Kenny] "If you do want to master to DPX, though, Premiere Pro does support it, although I haven't tested this workflow. The next step up in terms of price would probably be Smoke."

But what about After Effects for example? I have heard of people finishing on it and if we can even start thinking of doing it on Resolve, After Effects could also do it, maybe even better since it has a better timeline and you can do any graphics and titling there. I would still grade in Resolve though. But instead of going back to the NLE, After Effects would maybe make more sense?

There's also Blender 3D, which is the closest thing we have to Smoke and even closer than AE since it has a proper timeline and video editing function, along with 3D CGI, powerful node based compositing, matchmoving, tracking, rotoscoping, color grading etc.


[Chris Kenny] "Depending on the types of projects you work on, however, mastering in Resolve may indeed be viable. Note that Resolve supports alpha channels in ProRes 4444 files, which gives you a pretty easy way to get title over image, etc. You can bring in audio, sync it up, and embed it in your outputs."

That's interesting.

About audio, would it really be enough, enough channels etc?


[Chris Kenny] "The main limitations with this approach are a) you're going to be rendering out a bunch of elements in other apps and bringing them into Resolve, where in a fully-fledged finishing tool you could do everything in one app,"

Yes, but if finishing on a NLE you would still need to be rendering out a bunch of elements in other apps. At least in Resolve you eliminate one more step and also one less compression.
I think that there's no discussion that using a fully-fledged finishing tool is much better than doing it on Resolve. But the point here is if one doesn't have such a tool as Smoke. What do after Resolve or in Resolve? I think this workflow you are talking may be very viable. The question is if it would be viable for long form, such as a feature film. But sounds interesting nonetheless. Good idea.

[Chris Kenny] "b) if you need fancy audio channel configurations, etc. in QuickTime outputs there's no way to set that up,"

Could you elaborate a bit on that? I'm not sure I get it.

[Chris Kenny] "c) if your program is long enough to have been broken up into reels, you might need to splice them together in an external app."

Does anybody break shows into reels anymore these days? I thought that was only important if you were going to transfer it to 35mm.

[Chris Kenny] "Although the last limitation goes away if you're rendering to an image sequence format; then if you setup your timecode correctly you can just render all your reels to one folder and get a continuous sequence. (Though note that for e.g. mastering a DCP the facility you deliver to may prefer reels.)"

Really? I wonder why since at the time of projection there's no need to change reels and it will be a straight through shot.

Chris, thanks again for taking the time to type that great reply. It already helped loads and is changing the way I was thinking of approaching my workflow. The thing is this is for a feature film for the festival circuit that I may get in, in a month or so. Since I have never done this before I need to re-access all my workflow, specially finishing.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:53:02 pm

[MichaelMaier] "From talking to several other people who also experience the same problem, it seems to be a Prores problem. On top of that, Prores on windows can have gamma shift problems etc. I think it's a great codec, but only if you are on a Mac. Just my personal opinion. For that reason my whole workflow is DNxHD based, at least till it hits Resolve."

Hmm. We grade Alexa-originated ProRes 4444 (on Windows) on a fairly regular basis, without apparent issue. In terms of outputs, we'll just move finished projects to a Mac if we need to render to ProRes — and we've found smaller gamma shifts (no visible difference, very slight change on scopes) with ProRes than with essentially any other QuickTime codec, including QuickTime-wrapped DNxHD and Blackmagic's 444 Uncompressed QT codec.

Although QT is infamous for gamma shifts in general; I certainly understand the temptation to avoid it. It just opens up the ability to use so many additional tools. For instance, if you want to encode a DVD, you severely restrict your options for doing that if you require an app that can do it directly from a DPX sequence.

[MichaelMaier] "I would still grade in Resolve though. But instead of going back to the NLE, After Effects would maybe make more sense?"

If you need its toolset After Effects may be a sensible option, but I think to some extent it leaves you with some of the same sort of limitations Resolve has in terms of configuring audio, etc. In fact, last time I checked I couldn't figure out how to even have After Effects play audio except with a RAM preview, which might make it a little hard to watch through your finished piece prior to export.

[MichaelMaier] "There's also Blender 3D, which is the closest thing we have to Smoke and even closer than AE since it has a proper timeline and video editing function, along with 3D CGI, powerful node based compositing, matchmoving, tracking, rotoscoping, color grading etc."

As far as I know Blender doesn't support video I/O hardware, so the question again is, how are you going to be able to watch the piece with 'real' monitoring as you're working on it?

[MichaelMaier] "I think this workflow you are talking may be very viable. The question is if it would be viable for long form, such as a feature film. But sounds interesting nonetheless. Good idea. "

We generally fully conform features in Resolve, even when we're outputting to ProRes and/or generating final deliverables in another app. Why? Because we never know when clients are done making changes. Sometimes they'll want to come back months after a 'final' output, with a slightly tweaked edit, or a desire to take the grade in a particular scene in a different direction. If your workflow involves rendering out of Resolve and then doing a bunch of additional conform work in another app, and then you later need to make changes in Resolve, you may have to painstakingly transfer over or redo that additional conform work with the new set of Resolve outputs. So we've found that while it might seem like more work up front to get every title, every VFX shot, etc. dropped into place in Resolve, it saves time in the end.

It also means the client can just watch the whole movie through like a movie (well, except for reel breaks; see below) while it's still easy to change everything.

[MichaelMaier] "Could you elaborate a bit on that? I'm not sure I get it."

A QuickTime file doesn't just contain a particular number of audio tracks; those tracks can be configured in specific ways. So, for instance, having six mono tracks in a QuickTime movie is not the same as having a 5.1 mix in it, or three stereo pairs, or whatever, despite the fact that all of those are six tracks. As far as I'm aware, while Resolve can export pretty much any number of audio tracks, there's no way to specify what they are like this.

Honestly I'm not sure e.g. Smoke actually addresses this either, though. By far the easiest way we've found to handle it is via roles in FCP X. Of course you might not actually need to care about this when delivering many projects.

[MichaelMaier] "Does anybody break shows into reels anymore these days? I thought that was only important if you were going to transfer it to 35mm."

Long-form projects tend to bog down a bit in Resolve if they're not split into reels, particularly with respect to the time it takes to save. We generally break features up into reels of 300-400 shots each.

[MichaelMaier] "Really? I wonder why since at the time of projection there's no need to change reels and it will be a straight through shot."

DCP itself actually has a concept of reels. That is to say, within the DCP package there are usually multiple reels. The media server strings them together seamlessly during playback. I don't believe this is actually a technical requirement of DCP (that is, I think you could deliver a single reel feature if you wanted to), but it's a widespread practice.

Breaking things down into more manageable chunks tends to make it easier to troubleshoot, and may mean having to redo less rendering/encoding if things go wrong somewhere.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Mike Most
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 4:07:26 pm

>DCP itself actually has a concept of reels. That is to say, within the DCP package there are usually >multiple reels. The media server strings them together seamlessly during playback. I don't believe this is >actually a technical requirement of DCP (that is, I think you could deliver a single reel feature if you >wanted to), but it's a widespread practice.

It's the standard way of doing things for the reasons you mention and others. In theatrical features, there are changes going on right up until release time. There are also multiple versions, some of which have different material. The DCP operates with the concept of a composition play list, which specifies which frames to play from which files in which order. This allows for packages to be created that have the same "essence" files, but different files for things like audio, subtitles, etc.. Not only that, but you can create "supplemental" packages that allow you to insert sequences or shots from different essence files in the proper place during play out. Having the picture finished by reels allows this kind of flexibility to be much simpler to implement and program. You can create a DCP with one full length essence track, but no studio level theatrical features are done that way.


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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 5:19:36 pm

[Mike Most] "It's the standard way of doing things for the reasons you mention and others. In theatrical features, there are changes going on right up until release time. There are also multiple versions, some of which have different material. The DCP operates with the concept of a composition play list, which specifies which frames to play from which files in which order. This allows for packages to be created that have the same "essence" files, but different files for things like audio, subtitles, etc.. Not only that, but you can create "supplemental" packages that allow you to insert sequences or shots from different essence files in the proper place during play out. Having the picture finished by reels allows this kind of flexibility to be much simpler to implement and program. You can create a DCP with one full length essence track, but no studio level theatrical features are done that way."


Ok. But so it also means that you no longer need to mind the reels during editing right? It can be arbitrarily split anywhere and using any criteria. Because back in the film projection days, unless you wanted the audience to know exactly when the projectionist would change the reel, you had to mind it during the editing and have the splits in places that would make sense.



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MichaelMaier
Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 5:19:07 pm

Another outstanding post Chris! Thanks.

[Chris Kenny] "Hmm. We grade Alexa-originated ProRes 4444 (on Windows) on a fairly regular basis, without apparent issue."

Maybe the Alexas are set to REC709? This highlight clipping I mention with Prores only happens with clips recorded in full swing. REC709 will already probably shrink that range to fit within video levels.

[Chris Kenny] "and we've found smaller gamma shifts (no visible difference, very slight change on scopes) with ProRes than with essentially any other QuickTime codec, including QuickTime-wrapped DNxHD"

I only use DNxHD wrapped in quicktime since many programs have a problem with MXF. Maybe I should do some more tests but I haven't found any significant gamma shifts with DNxHD QT.

[Chris Kenny] "As far as I know Blender doesn't support video I/O hardware, so the question again is, how are you going to be able to watch the piece with 'real' monitoring as you're working on it?"

I really have no idea. If it doesn't then yes, could be a problem. Although I would never grade in Blender. I'm in love with Resolve. :)

But they made a whole movie in Blender called Tears of Steel. It's the latest open movie from the Blender Foundation and it's live action+VFX. So somehow they managed it.

Besides the potential I/O problem, it seems to me like the best option apart from Smoke. You got all in there in one app and you can do real video editing.


[Chris Kenny] "We generally fully conform features in Resolve, even when we're outputting to ProRes and/or generating final deliverables in another app. Why? Because we never know when clients are done making changes...So we've found that while it might seem like more work up front to get every title, every VFX shot, etc. dropped into place in Resolve, it saves time in the end.
"


Sounds very interesting. If you have the time I would love to know the workflow you use for this. Finishing in Resolve seems to be the most appealing to me for some of the same reasons you mention.


[Chris Kenny] "A QuickTime file doesn't just contain a particular number of audio tracks; those tracks can be configured in specific ways. So, for instance, having six mono tracks in a QuickTime movie is not the same as having a 5.1 mix in it, or three stereo pairs, or whatever, despite the fact that all of those are six tracks. As far as I'm aware, while Resolve can export pretty much any number of audio tracks, there's no way to specify what they are like this.

Honestly I'm not sure e.g. Smoke actually addresses this either, though. By far the easiest way we've found to handle it is via roles in FCP X. Of course you might not actually need to care about this when delivering many projects."


So you are saying for example that you couldn't conform and output a show with a 5.1 track from Resolve?


Thanks again Chris. This has been a great chat and I'm learning a lot.



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