It appears that Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve 12 is a full fledged NLE now. And the intriguing part is that the non-Studio version is completely free while at the same time still supporting up to UHD resolutions.
As a long time Premiere Pro user (since CS2), I felt abandoned when they went to a SaaS model and announced CS6 would be the last non-SaaS version. Also, since joining this site, I have become more independent versus needing Adobe to hold my hand every step of the way. For example, I no longer use the bundled MainConcept encoder in PP or AME. And I have never used an NLE for editing audio.
I will definitely be downloading Resolve and taking it for a spin. I thought I would share first and see if anyone has any impressions?
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Yeah, I mentioned it in another thread, the paid version even comes in a Linux flavor and has some really nice features.
Honestly I think it's a bit too much for the average hobbyist, same thing with Adobe's offering, maybe even for Vegas; you can accomplish much with (legally) free software.
It borrows a LOT from Premiere, so the transition shouldn't be too tough. It's pickier about the formats it accepts, rejecting mkv for example, thinking of itself as a pro tool. Not too great with spanned clips from consumer cams. I'm curious how it handles long form heavily edited projects. Of course, the Color Correction tools are superb.
Last edited by smrpix; 25th Jan 2016 at 06:43.
Can you edit a video coming from a dslr or do you have to switch to a "pro" or lossless format first?
A lot will depend on your system. I've used 720p/30 and 1080p/24 clips from a Nikon with no real problems. Since Resolve makes excellent use of GPU acceleration you can render out proxies relatively quickly if needed. One of Resolve's reputed strong points is matchback, but I've never given it a stress test.
Aren't most DSLRs AVCHD? In which case it is better to transcode to a frame accurate format like MPEG-2 Intra? Speaking of which, I assume Resolve can handle the following edit ready formats:
I am sure I am missing some but those are the ones I use most.
Bummer that the free version isn't ported to Linux, only the studio version is. I think I tried this a long time ago, but it required internet connection for it to work. Is that true? My editing system is not, nor will it ever be connected to web.Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........
I am back. After downloading and giving DaVinci Resolve 12 a spin plus watching a few tutorial videos, here are my initial impressions:
- For a Premiere Pro user, the transition is not hard. The editing workflow is very similar. I didn't push it real hard though e.g. multi-cam edits. And from what I have seen, many editors still use PPro as their NLE and round trip the timelines through DR12 to grade. I would like to think that DR12 is fully featured enough to ditch PPro. But more on that in a minute.
- The color correction is where DR12 truly shines. Now, unless you are experienced with color correction in Premiere Pro (or even better After Effects Color Finesse), it will definitely seem overwhelming. But as someone who has done enough color correction in AE that it is second nature now, moving to DR12 was eye opening. And here is a tip: shooting in a Cine or flat mode is now a must. It is so easy to bring the footage in and grade there really is no excuse not too shoot in a flat mode. DR12 has many LUTs for numerous cameras and applying/choosing among them is as easy as a mouse click. The tracking capability is stellar. So if you want to change that pea green shirt to blue, no problem.
- The color correction follows a nodal workflow similar to Nuke. This is quite a bit different from AE layers. I haven't used it enough to say confidently which is better. Here is what I can say. I just recently finished a multicam edit in PPro where the cameras desperately needed color correction. But I eventually gave up because the workflow was just too painful. I haven't tried redo'ing it in DR12 yet, but I am planning to soon because I am convinced it will be much much easier now.
- Exporting out of DR12 is frustrating. I couldn't find any lossless formats other than AJA and/or Blackmagic capture cards. Quicktime is supported but I want to avoid a lossy intermediate for x264 encoding. And frameserving is not supported currently.
- For some reason, DR12 won't recognize MPEG-2 Intra m2v files or m2ts files while oddly enough it reads mts files fine. This is serious problem as I need to be able to assemble footage from numerous cameras and unfortunately DR12 styles itself as a Pro only NLE turning its nose away from consumer cams.
- Maybe I have gotten a little spoiled at how flexible PPro is from being able to load just about any type of footage, to frameserving, to writing out lossless intermediates of just about any format (Lagarith, HuffYUV, UTvideo). And maybe this is why many editors still rely on PPro to assemble their timelines and round trip their timelines through DR12 for grading. There is no question that PPro can be molded to fit just about any editor's workflow.
With all that said, I am still impressed. I can only hope that Blackmagic continues to develop DR and that the knocks I have right now will be addressed in future updates.
BMD has released an update to DaVinci Resolve. From the BMD forum:
DaVinci Resolve 12.3 Update
This software update improves the performance of H.264, OpenEXR, Varicam, MPEG4 and AVC on both Mac and Windows. It also adds new options for smaller font sizes on burn-ins, ARRI RAW sharpness, RED SDK v6.1 and more.
I gave this a try and, wow! Truly awesome. From being able to sync up the clips quickly based on audio, to a realtime workflow building a timeline, to (and this is the best part) color grading quickly the clips to give the project a finished feel.
Here is a quick tutorial on the multicam workflow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T0hz5Upk7o
Now the Bad
DR does not support ASIO based sound cards. Therefore, if you are like me and have an external audio interface for your DAW, then you are out of luck getting it to work within DR. Boohoo.
EDIT: I also see DaVinci Resolve is listed in the Software on VH. Cool add!