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DaVinci Resolve Lite is the Free Version of a $29,995 Color Grading Suite

07.26.11 @ 10:53AM Tags : , , ,

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is a high-end color correction suite replete with an elaborate control surface designed for professional colorists. It costs $30,000. There’s also a $1,000 software-only version that runs on Mac and Linux. And now there’s a free Mac version that retains many of the key features of its paid brethren. Here’s a demo of the color correction and impressive tracking features of Resolve in action:

So, how much of this is available in the free version? Here’s the rundown:


The free DaVinci Resolve Lite includes the same high quality processing as the full DaVinci Resolve, however it limits projects to SD and HD resolutions, two color correction nodes, a single processing GPU and a single RED rocket card. Stereoscopic 3D features, 2K, noise reduction, power mastering, remote grading and sharing projects with an external database server are features only offered in the full DaVinci Resolve and are not included in this free DaVinci Resolve Lite edition.

On the official Resolve page, it still says “Shipping in July,” but if you go to the support page and choose Mac OS X, you’ll see the Lite version available for download. Hit the second link below for the correct page.

Links: DaVinci Resolve, Download page

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  • Anyone know of any tutorials on how to get started using DaVinci Resolve?

  • Tao Of Color.com will have training up in August. He gives you a 15 min short film to work on along with instructional video. I bought in for the last round and it’s stellar.

    icolorist.com all be having a series of 2-3 day courses on Resolve in LA, Singapore, London, and starting this weekend, New York. They are sit-down with an instructor and are upwards of $1000

    They will also have an online course in conjuction with FXPHD with will be $300 ish I believe. I don’t think it’s a replacement for the 101-201 type course that FXPHD already offer.

  • Trevor Roach on 07.26.11 @ 9:05PM

    I tried to download, however, I quickly found out that you need OS 10.6 to use the program; and possibly a newer Mac than what I have (late 2008 MBP).

  • Brett Pierce on 07.27.11 @ 12:11AM

    Including this I will now have 4 color-grading programs on my computer. Maybe it’s time for a comparison review?

    • Just out of curiosity, besides Apple Color, what are the other two?

      • Magic Bullet Looks or Colorista, and Color Finesse. There are also some other amazing color programs out there, like Autodesk Lustre. I have used it a few times, and it’s not that bad. Also you can color “grade” right inside of After Effects.

  • This won’t work with a 13” Macbook Pro, right? I need atleast a 15” or an iMac?

    • It will work with a 13 in iMac by opening up your Terminal, and pasting this in it: “defaults write com.blackmagic-design.davinci.Resolve AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.65″ Do not include the exclamations points! This will resize Davinci Resolve Lite to work on a 13 inch screen. The letters and text will become small… but it will still allow you to use it. If you decide to revert back to the original User Interface size then open up Terminal and type this: “defaults write com.blackmagic-design.davinci.Resolve AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1″ Do not include exclamation points!

  • Lawrence thanks for the info

  • That was a great watch!! definitely craving davinci now. Thanks for the post nfs

  • I think you need to correct the article – you cant get a Linux version for $1k – you can ONLY get a Linux licence after you have bought the $30k control surface and the price for the Linux license is an additional $20k. So to fully unlock the power of Resolve the investment is upwards of $50k.

    Of course when you look at the competition and what they charge thats still a bargain for what it offers and would only be needed for heavy grading of 4k in real time.

    I just wish they made Resolve for windows…maybe in v8.5? ;-)

    • With the uncertainty about the future of the Apple Mac pro, I really hope they do a PC version. They clearly intent resolve to be the photoshop of the video world, in color correction at least. So they should cater for the PC.

  • Chris Hubbard on 07.28.11 @ 12:52PM

    Hey, thought i would drop my two cents.
    Resolve doesnt work nice with DSLR footage AT ALL due to the lack of timecode.

    After several tries i cant even get a project [edl] to open in ResolveLite.
    apparently you need to download third party plug ins and etc etc.

    after about an hour of trying im just giving up =\
    maybe i’ll try again in august when the tutorials are released.

    • paul herrin on 07.28.11 @ 4:23PM

      try an xml… or send them an email and tell them you’re having problems.

      or ask some of the guys here: http://reduser.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?62-DaVinci

      also, i don’t believe the $995 software version runs on linux… only for osx

      • Hahaha, ask on reduser, they will decapitate him if he tells them he has problem using WHAT… hey man up to true camera with timecode. I think you can also go to the creativecow forum with a very active davinci forum.

  • Do you need a control surface to use it? I thought you needed one with Resolve.

    • No you don’t, not with the software version at least, and I would assume the same is true for lite. Of course Blackmagic Highly suggests it, and the true power is unleashed with a surface, but I have used the software version on my mac without my avid MC Color surface many time while on the road or away from my suite, and can work all the features I normally use just with my mouse.

  • I’ve seen a live demo of Resolve (using 7D footage) and it was great. It looked like Color, but much newer and better. Amazing tracker.

    So. Is the Lite version usable as is, or merely a demo? The limitations sound perfectly fine except “two color correction nodes” which is unclear. What’s a correction node? An FX node? Secondary correction?

    Does anyone know, or do I have to register and download and then go, “oh. ok.” and trash it. I reckon that could waste up to an hour. Oh, WTF. I’ll download it and let you know.

  • I chickened out. It’s got one of those ‘mystery’ installers – not drag and drop. it also wants a restart, which suggests it’s installing low level stuff. Restarts require trust and I can’t be assed. I’m sure it’s just a demo. I’ll research it more instead.

    Best answer:
    “Nodes are kind of like Color’s tabs. Having 2 nodes is like having a primary, and 1 secondary tab available to you and that’s it. You can do a lot with that, but then again there’s even more you can’t do.”
    http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/277/5247

  • Does anyone knows if the HACKINTOSH can handle RESOLVE? The software recomendations suggest the use of a Nvidia Quadro GPU, but this card is meant for mac computers, so is there when i get confused…

  • For a Limited Time. Free Access “Getting Started with DaVinci Resolve Lite” training (a $75 value!) FREE. http://www.classondemand.net/o​nline/bmd/getting-started-davi​nci-resolve-lite-training.aspx You’ll automatically receive a Class on Demand token for 1 year of access to this incredible course By Bob Sliga! The token is redeemed in your “My Account” screen. Full instructions will be emailed to you after you create or login to your account.

  • Thanks bradbell.tv on 07.30.11 @ 8:00PM for explaining color correction nodes. I guess it could be regarded as either a demo, or as something to use instead of FCPx’s color tools. As for me, I don’t like FCPx’s color tools so this is a welcome addition, although I think I would pay the $US995 for the non-restrictive software.

  • hi
    just a question….. has any one …tried davinci resolve lite on macbook air 2012 13″

  • Realy nice, i will try the lite version.

  • Does anybody have a solution for the Lite version of version 9. It does not seem to be working on my 13inch macbook pro and tried the solution above

  • Resolve is available for Windows now.