While the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a great value for the hardware contained within, there is another huge benefit to buying the camera: it comes free with Blackmagic's powerful color correction/grading program DaVinci Resolve. While the newest version, DaVinci Resolve 9, was set to be released in July, it has been slightly delayed (along with the camera). Blackmagic has, however, released a beta version of the program which is free to download from their site. Alexis Van Hurkman, a writer/director/colorist who we've covered here in the past with his post-NAB Resolve 9 demo, takes a look at some of his favorite features that are new to version 9.

If you haven't seen his video, here it is again (he has also written books -- as well as the manual to the new Version 9 -- like Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema):

Here is his list of some major new features he is excited about:

  1. Mixed Frame Rate Support
  2. Lightbox View - view thumbnails of all of your clips and apply flags
  3. Clip Attributes - change multiple attributes all at once
  4. Metadata Editor - edit a seemingly infinite amount of metadata attributes
  5. Large Custom Curves
  6. Updated Video Scopes

I think two of the most interesting and powerful updates are the mixed frame rate support and the lightbox view. If Apple had continued development of its Color program, these are some of the improvements we would likely have seen (along with a new interface). This is what Alexis had to say about mixed frame rate support:

Prior versions of Resolve were constrained by only supporting a single frame rate in a particular project, but no more. Resolve 9 lets you mix and match whatever frame rates are necessary within a single project, so long as you turn on the “Handle mixed frame rate material” checkbox in the Master Project Settings panel of the new Project Settings window (available by clicking the gear icon in the lower left-hand corner). You have to turn this checkbox on before you import an AAF or XML mixed frame rate project (to learn why, check the manual). After you import your AAF or XML file with mixed frame rate media, you’ll want to make sure that your “Playback framerate” is identical to the “Calculate timecode at” setting for optimal performance.

When you are finished with your color correction or grading, you have the choice of rendering out as Source or Target mode. Source mode will leave each clip's frame rate as it was, and Target mode will change the frame rate depending on the "calculate timecode at" setting. In addition to the unlimited frame rate support, the lightbox view is a welcome addition, and it will be extremely helpful for when you have tons of clips but you want to quickly find a specific one. You also have the ability to select multiple clips and create groups, as well as flag certain clips with information about what needs to be done to them.

Here is a photo of the new Lightbox tool (thanks to Alexis):


If I had a computer that could deal with Resolve 9 right now, I'd be downloading it immediately, but since I don't, I'll be looking for the reactions from you guys. What do you like about the new Resolve 9? Do you think it will improve your speed? If you haven't used it before, do any of these options make you want to try it?

If you already have the full version of DaVinci Resolve 8, you'll be able to get the full beta. If you just want to play around with the software, anyone is able to download the Resolve Lite 9 Beta, which will remain free but has a few limitations as compared to the full version. You can find the download links below. For the rest of the reactions from Alexis, head on over to his site.


[via Notes On Video & Alexis Van Hurkman – Thinking Aloud]