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Color Grading Deliverables

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Jimmy Gallagher
Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 2:40:10 pm

I'm working on my first commissioned short film and we have picture lock on our film along with graphics. I now have a colorist on board who works in Davinci resolve and as a complete noob I am confused about the workflow. If I send him an XML and the raw footage R3D, does he grade that footage and then send me back an xml to open it in Adobe Premiere pro or would the rest of the edit, including linking sound and graphics have to be done in DaVinci now. We have credits completed already in Adobe so would they have to be redone in Davinci?

Moreover he asked what deliverables I need? What does that mean within the context of colour grading? My previous colorist worked in Adobe so I was just going to get the project file sent back to me and relink with the raw footage on my computer. Since its Davinci does the footage have to be exported and rendered and sent to me? What is the way of doing that while keeping the full quality of the R3D footage?


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greg janza
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:06:31 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:15:21 pm

A normal Resolve workflow would have you create a prepped final timeline XML for color. That timeline would be one that has all video on layer 1, all multicam clips flattened, all effects removed and all motion effected clips noted so you can re-do the motion effects on the colored clips. Motion effects won't transfer in the XML to Resolve. All audio tracks can be removed from the timeline as well as any graphics layers.

In essence, you're delivering a timeline that has a clear indication of the colorwork to be done. You can media manage your project to collect all of the relevant files but Premiere's media management tool is flaky so I'd recommend that you simply create a mirrored drive of your entire project media and give that to your colorist.

In addition, colorists also appreciate a pro-res version of this clean timeline in case they run into issues with the XML. And lastly, export out a reference version of the finished timeline with source file timecode burn-in as well as master timeline burn-in. Colorists want to easily track every shot in the timeline in case there's a mismatched file on import.

The deliverables from the colorist to you would be your master color files along with an XML. If you're delivering to your colorist 4k RED files you'd be asking for 4k RED files (R3D) back from your colorist. You import back into Premiere the XML that you receive from your colorist and on import that XML timeline will be linked to the color files.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Jimmy Gallagher
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:15:43 pm

Right. So the deliverable would be the R3D coloured files and I would then have to add the effects I created and graphics within resolve rather than Premiere or is there a way I could return to Premiere and relink the project file so I can add effects and the final sound mix within Premiere? I probably sound really silly but completely new to this.


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greg janza
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:23:58 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:25:19 pm

In the normal Resolve workflow, Resolve is just used for the color work. Your colorist will give you an XML file along with the colored media and you import that XML into your already established Premiere project.

The timeline that you created to prep your XML for color isn't your real timeline. After importing and opening the timeline of your color files, you copy those files and paste into a duplicate copy of your real timeline that has your graphics layers and audio tracks. This timeline becomes your mastering timeline.

All finishing work will be done in Premiere in your original project.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:31:10 pm

Normally you should have the colorist render the source files with handles at source resolution. Usually a couple of seconds of handles on either end of the clip and in the codec that works for you. Either ProRes HQ or 4444 or a high-quality DNxHR.

Resolve has a Premiere XML output preset, so the colorist would include an XML that will match back into Premiere. There will often be mismatches with effects like speed ramps. Make sure that you prep a sequence for the colorist that flattens everything to V1, removes all effects and graphics, and has no audio or only a mixdown track for reference. Make sure to replace all nests with source video before sending. Typically all speed ramp effects are best to put at the end, in the full length that you need for the effect.

When you get the rendered clips and the XML back, bring the XML into Premiere and make sure it matches your "send to colorist" sequence. Then use this sequence to replace the video in your "hero" sequence, re-apply effects (not lumetri), resizing, and graphics as needed. Export your deliverables.

This may be more time-consuming, but it's the best way to make sure everything is correct. Note that this allows you to cut in 1080, but finish and deliver in 4K, for example.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jimmy Gallagher
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:23:11 pm

Thank you very much for your response. Ignore that message. I did not see the end of your message. So essentially I would get back the deliverables which would be the coloured r3d files and get the xml as well. That would link the coloured footage with the same cuts in Premiere and all I would have to do is redo any effects and import the final sound mix. does it make a difference if the R3D footage is 2k?


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greg janza
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:27:54 pm

[Jimmy Gallagher] "does it make a difference if the R3D footage is 2k?
"


I'd have your colorist export out the same size file as the source. If your source is 4K the colored files will be 4K. If the source files are 2K, then export out 2K colored files.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:35:01 pm

[Jimmy Gallagher] " coloured r3d files"

Remember, you are not getting back R3D files. You'll receive whatever codec you tell him to render in. Generally that tends to be ProResHQ or 4444 for Macs and DNxHR for PCs. But that's not a hard and fast rule and it can be other codecs. Just not R3D, since that's a camera raw codec.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:39:30 pm

Thanks Oliver for that clarification. Yes, the R3D exports from Resolve are usually a ProRes flavor.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Jimmy Gallagher
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:45:10 pm

Ok Thank you very much Peter and greg. So I would ask for the deliverable to be a ProRes 4444HQ which will keep the full quality of the footage? Another person told me a DPX is better? What is the most high quality deliverable?

Thank you very much again.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 16, 2019 at 3:56:45 pm

[Jimmy Gallagher] "So I would ask for the deliverable to be a ProRes 4444HQ which will keep the full quality of the footage? Another person told me a DPX is better? What is the most high quality deliverable?"

Ultimately it depends on how much free storage you have and how beefy your computer is. DPX is am uncompressed image sequence and technically the best quality. However, it will become a royal PITA for you to deal with once back in Premiere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_ProRes

ProRes 4444XQ will be lightly compressed, but very large. You will have an easier time dealing with it than DPX, but will still require a fast, powerful system. I would recommend 422HQ or 4444. I doubt you'll see much difference.

Of course, it depends on what you think the prospects are for your film. If this is a standard indie film that will go the festival circuit and then maybe some VOD service, you'll be fine with HQ, 4444 or DNx.

Remember, that you'll still need to render out an export. So if you go 4444 for the source and then HQ for your delivery master, it should be more than adequate.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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John Heiser
Re: Color Grading Deliverables
on Aug 19, 2019 at 4:07:42 pm

[Jimmy Gallagher] "ProRes 4444HQ which will keep the full quality of the footage? Another person told me a DPX is better?"

Any difference in quality between DPX and PR4444 will be visually negligible if visible at all, and the difficulty of working with DPX far outweighs that difference. Plus, the heavy lifting on the image has already happened in the grading, so unless you're using deprecated or obsolete 8-bit effects in your final timeline (which would thrash any image you throw at it), the ProRes will be pristine.

John Heiser
Senior Editor
o2 ideas - Birmingham, AL

iMac Retina 5k, 27-inch, 2017
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