The iPad Pro is basically a default on film sets and throughout the entire post-production workflow in the modern era. Between using Scriptation for managing revisions on your script or Shot Designer for planning your shots, or for client review and interaction, the iPad is everywhere.

Blackmagic has made it more powerful by adding native support for DaVinci Resolve, which is something we frankly never really thought we would write. It's not even something that seemed likely to ever happen, but here we are.

Cut and Color Isn't Just for Hair

With the new Resolve for iPad, users can both cut and color grade footage while working on a mobile device. One noticeable thing that is absent there is "deliver"; right now at launch, it appears that this is really meant to be one step as part of an overall workflow, not an all-in-one solution.

DaVinci Resolve has a very robust project-sharing toolset built around Blackmagic Cloud, and this appears designed to be part of that. You can have a project set up elsewhere (maybe on the DIT cart or in the post house), and you can continue to make changes to that project with the iPad.

Apple-ipad-pro-davinci-resolve-221018_0Credit: Apple

One interesting thing to note is that right now Resolve is only supporting two "pages" of functionality—the "cut" page and the "color" page. The full features of the traditional "edit" page aren't going to work on the iPad. This makes a tremendous amount of sense, actually, since to do everything you want to do in "edit" you really need a mouse.

But the "cut" page, the simpler, faster, more touch-oriented page is going to be there.

A Subtle Difference

Many folks were confused when Resolve rolled out "cut" but kept "edit," but we quickly got used to the idea that you can have two different methods for editing your timeline in a single application. Some power users got quickly used to using both, depending on which was faster for the task at hand. Maybe breaking down footage in the "cut" page but then refining and revising in "edit."

DaVinci Resolve Cut PageThe Cut PageCredit: Blackmagic Design

The key here is that full-fledged Resolve is designed so that you can go back and forth between both easily. You can contrast this with the launch of the mobile-first "Premiere Clip" tool from Adobe. You could take a project from "Clip" to full "Premiere," but you couldn't go the other way.

With Resolve, you can go back and forth from Cut to Edit, and we suspect eventually you'll be able to work on a project in "Edit" at the office and keep working on it in "Cut" on your iPad on the train home.

Displays for color gradingCredit: Apple

Details of Color

In terms of color, there is another sneaky part of the press release that folks are skipping over. You can send a clean feed out to the Apple Studio Display. This is where things get really interesting. Coloring on an iPads tiny screen seems very frustrating, but pairing it with a studio display (or any other Airplay-powered display) is when you get into a real workflow.

We can imagine a director and producer looking at a Studio monitor while the DIT or DP makes some quick tweaks with Resolve for iPad and everyone comes together to look at the footage quickly.

One thing we definitely know is that iPad Pro is already one of the best monitors out there. So if you are going to be having people make color-critical tweaks on set, doing it on an iPad Pro is a really great place to start. But being able to use the iPad to drive a clean image out to a Studio Display makes this wildly useful as a tool for making fast changes on set and previewing looks with clients. Since Apple is making both the Studio and the iPad, there is a good chance those two images will match each other quite well.

Apple Studio DisplayStudio DisplayCredit: Apple

A Little Short on Info

What we don't know yet is how you get media into the project. Blackmagic Cloud has tight integration with Dropbox that is quite slick. We're hopeful that integration will work well here, and if your footage is in Dropbox, there is a method for that linking to work on iPad as well for good playback. It's also possible you'll need to Airdrop your footage onto the iPad. We're eagerly awaiting more details on how footage loading functionality will work.

DaVinci Resolve won't be available until Q4 but we're of course dying to give it a hands-on experience.

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