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Beginner's Guide to DaVinci Resolve 9 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera RAW CinemaDNGs

With the Blackmagic Cinema Camera just on the horizon (sooner rather than later, hopefully), one of the big hurdles for many people is trying to understand the new RAW workflow with Cinema DNG files. Since the camera includes Blackmagic’s color grading suite, DaVinci Resolve 9, the RAW files can be brought into that program and then converted into something with a more manageable bitrate and color space for editing purposes. Colorist Dan Moran over at Philip Bloom’s blog takes a look at DaVinci, and gives a nice and simple tutorial to get you started working with and color grading RAW files.

Since I can’t actually work with Resolve yet (my computer refuses to run it), it’s great to get these really simple tutorials to learn the software. Some of the techniques are applicable to any color grading program, but it’s usually the interface that takes time to learn. I doubt the girl in Philip’s review ever though she would get this much exposure, but she is certainly an interesting test subject for trying to pull a color mask, especially since there are such definitive separations between the different layers in the image.

Comparing the before and after too frequently can end up with very saturated images, and it’s something that I’ve definitely done on more than one occasion. In the end it’s all subjective, so while the original image may seem washed out compared to the final image, it may not fit into the look of the entire piece. For those wondering, Dan also mentioned the computer he is using on Twitter, and it’s simply a PC with an Intel i7 processor, Nvidia 680 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM.

For those who haven’t used Resolve, was this tutorial from Dan Moran helpful? If you’ve never tried it, you can download the Lite version of Resolve right now by heading on over to the Blackmagic site.



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  • I watched the tutorial early today and it was a big help. I’ve played with Davinci lite on my 2011 iMac, which needs a ram upgrade (being only 8GB) but runs the lite version fine. The software is very intuitive. The video gave be a better sense of rendering out and doing multiple jobs. I really enjoyed the HSL qualifier and how to do a bleach by-pass which I didn’t know how to use before. It also gave a good sense of using multiple nodes and how to apply them. This color business is very interesting. Can’t wait to get my camera and software.

  • “and it’s simply a PC with an Intel i7 processor, Nvidia 680 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM.” Ha ha. Joe.

    • The funny thing is that IS ‘simple’ these days not to mention completely affordable. 32 gig ram will cost you all of $150, a top of the line i7 runs $350 and the best bang for buck graphics card is the Nvidia 660Ti as it still has 1344 cuda cores (vs 1536 on the 680)which is what resolve makes use of and is $200 cheaper at only $300.

      So for a little over a grand you have a powerhouse editing system. Of course if you have more money than sense you could pay double that and get an apple logo thrown in for ‘free’…but most artists are smarter than that… aren’t we? ;-)

  • At 9:34, Dan does a before/after of the shot. At the end of the video at 19:31 he does another before/after comparison, BUT the “before” version looks incredibly different between those two comparisons. Why is this? Both times he turned all the nodes off. Can anyone explain?

    • I think the first before is the color as it appeared in the Philip Bloom review, and the second before is how a DNG looks right out of the camera. I’m not positive, and someone should correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems like what is happening, even though as you say it looks like all nodes are off.

      • One has a rec 709 color space applied to it while the other would be the raw BMD cinema space by the look of it. He briefly talked about the camera raw settings so this is where you would set that.

      • Dan got back to me on the video page comments with why this occurred:
        “When you save stills it saves the camera raw settings also so when I loaded up the 4 different hair colors it would have loaded up my RAW tweeks also. So what you see at 9:34 is the true out of the camera RAW and what you see at 19:31 is my tweaked RAW.” Puzzle solved!

  • Linuxdanish on 10.2.12 @ 1:42PM

    I can’t seem to find links he suggest at the end of the video? does any one have the exact url? thanks :p

    • Linuxdanish,

      The second URL was, but the first one I couldn’t find either. Can anyone help?


  • Thanks for post
    Does somebody know about any bugs in light version for win ?
    some shortcuts doesn’t work sometimes ( like Alt f – Ctrl D)

  • Just found out something interesting re cuda performance – seems cuda cores arent the most important thing for max fps playback. Robster180 over on BMC user posted this link:

    They review lots of cards and the GTX580 with 3gig memory outperforms the GTX680 with 2gig – despite the 680 having more than double the cuda core count.

    So it seems graphics memory is more important than cuda core count.

  • Excellent tutorial

  • The thing I can not figure out is how the hell one would grade a feature on Resolve when all the Blackmagic cards required are running 601 / 709 color space? Confused.