In the first in our new series “Why I May Have to Switch to DaVinci Resolve 12,” I share my first glint of recognition when Blackmagic guys go on and on about their “workflow features:” all it takes is a single click to render a timeline as individual clips, something impossible in FCP X.
“I don’t want to color grade, and I am NOT going to learn Resolve.”
Blasphemy? Tell-tale sign of an amateur, or someone who doesn’t do CGI or compositing?
But I bet there are a whole bunch of one-man bands and small production companies that simply can’t afford a dedicated colorist and are scared crapless — legitimately — at the thought of the learning curved involved in switching from Adobe Premiere Pro or (in my case) Final Cut Pro X to…anything else, actually.
Who has the time?
And since most – oh, face it, ALL – of our stuff will be seen via the internet and increasingly on mobile devices where just awful compression is employed and the screens are small, what difference can it make to have all that color grading and workflow (let alone 4K or RAW) stuff as long as I don’t totally screw the pooch with my in-camera exposure?
After all, isn’t “burning it in” in camera the mark of someone who knows what he’s doing – at least with the camera? And isn’t one of the first roles of a DP to reduce the dynamic range of a scene with lighting so that you don't HAVE to go through heroics to recover details in the highlights or shadows?
But there I was with a 100 clip timeline, having already graded every clip in it (easy in FCP X, at least as far as I was taking it), when suddenly I hit the wall: I couldn’t get them out as the individual clips the client needed by using a batch process.
I didn’t know that.
I couldn’t believe that.
Do you mean I have to switch to the range tool, select one clip at a time, and export one at a time?
Mortified at the thought of how much time it was going to take that I could not — in good conscience — bill my client, I sent an email to Jason Druss, DaVinci Resolve 12 product specialist I'd met at their New York City event two weeks earlier. I asked him if Resolve 12 could handle this. [bctt tweet=”Is Resolve 12 good enough to make me leave FCPX?”]
I got a voice mail message from Jason a couple of days later (the deadline had passed over the weekend and I’d knocked ‘em out manually): “This is definitely doable, Hugh. But instead of me writing up a whole email, why don’t you just give me a call and I’ll walk you through it.”
There’s no way they’ll be able to provide this kind of service level once the crush starts on Resolve 12 downloads.
Not only is Resolve 12 incredibly featured — this sucker is FREE.
But if they could, wouldn’t that be amazing?
Anyway, long story, short: all it takes in Resolve 12 (and, for all I know, Resolve 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1) is a single click in the upper left corner of the “Deliver” screen where it says, plain as day, “Render timeline as individual source clips [or] Single clip.”
I guess that would be because Resolve users have had to grapple with issues like this – workflow issues – for years.
To quote Robin Williams as Genie, “Baa, well I feel sheepish.”
But at least now I have a first appreciation of what giving good workflow really means.
Time to do some more exploring.
If you’ve switched from Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid, or any other NLE and have an example of why you made the switch, please share in the comments section below. And if you think it makes NO sense to switch, or it makes sense to switch to something else, we're happy to read that, too.
(cover photo credit: snap from Apple & Blackmagic Design)