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Re: Do you conform inside Resolve?

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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.

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