If you’re a pro colorist, you probably use DaVinci Resolve. Today Blackmagic announced the public beta of Resolve 12, what they are calling their biggest update ever and is heavily emphasizing some new naming conventions and licensing re-jiggering which was confusing or misleading about prior products. I’m going to go over those new naming conventions as well as the new features in Resolve 12 as well as its final release date. The pricing explained below will cover what the software will be sold for once the beta period is over.
The free DaVinci Resolve Lite will now be renamed to just DaVinci Resolve, because Blackmagic believes there is nothing “lite” about the free version as it is complete professional editing and color grading software for individual editors working on SD, HD and Ultra HD projects. I have to admit, when I first tested Resolve, I didn’t believe I could use Lite because the name implied it was going to be a mostly-lacking software. It’s not, and the fact you can do quite a lot in it as a free software is pretty great.
Here are the versions that Blackmagic has made, and their differences:
- DaVinci Resolve 12 is free for customers to download and is a full professional editing and color grading system that is suitable for independent users working on SD, HD and Ultra HD projects. The free version supports all of the same file formats and has the same exact image quality as the paid version of DaVinci Resolve. The free version is designed for editors and colorists who need a dependable and professional tool to grow their business.
- DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio is $995 and has all of the same features as the free version, but also adds support for multiple GPUs, 4K output, motion blur effects, temporal and spatial noise reduction, 3D stereoscopic tools, remote rendering, and collaboration tools that let multiple users work on the same project at the same time. DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio is recommended for professional studios and collaborative workgroups.
- DaVinci Resolve Advanced Control Surface is $29,995 and includes the award winning DaVinci hardware control panel which was designed with input from professional colorists to help them work faster and be more creative. The DaVinci Resolve Advanced Control Surface lets colorists manipulate multiple parameters simultaneously, giving them more control and creative options than is possible with a standard mouse and keyboard
In this announcement, Blackmagic sort of poked at the Adobe CC model, with an entire paragraph dedicated to explaining why they don’t like the “cloud” system.
Blackmagic Design believes this “free and paid upgrade” model is vastly superior to the “cloud” model for distributing software products because customers get to take control of their systems. With this free and paid upgrade model, customers never have to worry about a system going down in the middle of a job, on set or when used remotely, because a license suddenly expires. With DaVinci Resolve, there is no license to expire and, if the worst should happen, a customer can get DaVinci Resolve working on a system immediately by downloading the free version in minutes.
So what’s new in the Beta itself? It includes new support for Intel Iris and Iris Pro GPUs, which will dramatically improves performance on a wider range of systems, including laptops. This will greatly assist editors and colorists who are working remotely and on-set.
- With the explosion of customers working with high resolution media and native RAW camera files, DaVinci Resolve 12 can now create optimized media proxies with custom settings for both the codec and resolution for even faster editorial performance. Also, a new Smooth Cut transition uses proprietary DaVinci optical flow algorithms to create a seamless transition between different parts of an interview so you don’t have to cover jump cuts with b-roll.
- DaVinci Resolve 12 features a new, modern interface with a lighter overall color scheme and new fonts that help reduce eye strain and make it easier to work for long sessions. The new interface is scalable and has been designed to look great on high DPI monitors, such as retina displays. New top down navigation speeds up layout selections and also gives users more flexibility to customize their workspace.
- The new multi-camera editing feature of DaVinci Resolve 12 lets editors cut programs from multiple sources in real time. DaVinci Resolve 12 can synchronize camera angles based on timecode, audio waveforms, or in/out points. The source monitor displays a grid containing the camera angles and plays them all back in sync while the editor makes cuts to the audio and/or video.
- In addition to multi-camera editing, DaVinci Resolve 12 also features several enhancements to the core editing tools. All trim modes, multi-slip, slide, ripple and roll have been extended and editors can now select multiple points for dynamic trimming and asymmetric trimming of clips, even if they’re on the same track. Timelines can be nested, edited together and expanded or collapsed in place to greatly simplify editing of large multi scene projects. New transition curves let editors create and edit custom curves for transition parameters and new on-screen controls let editors see and adjust motion paths directly in the timeline viewer.
- DaVinci Resolve 12 includes an entirely new, high performance audio engine that offers higher sampling rates and greatly improved realtime audio playback performance, including reverse playback and tape style slow motion scrubbing during dynamic JKL trimming. Both VST and AU audio plug-ins, along with their custom interfaces, are now supported and can be used on individual clips or entire tracks. Audio parameter adjustments can be recorded and now contain editable automation and full curve editor support. For the first time, editors will be able to export projects directly to ProTools via AAF for audio finishing.
- Media Management in DaVinci Resolve 12 has been redesigned to accommodate editorial workflows. Customers can now manage projects and media using new copy, move, transcode, relink and consolidate tools. Whole projects, including media can be archived and restored with ease. Resolve 12 makes it easier to find media in large projects by letting users create smart bins that can display footage based on metadata tags. Users can now import media by simply dragging it in from the Finder or Windows Explorer, or by using new “Favorites” for one click access to commonly used media folders on disk.
- DaVinci Resolve colorists will find incredible new tools that give them even more creative grading options than ever before. Resolve 12 improves upon DaVinci’s legendary advanced color science by adding support for DaVinci’s own color managed timelines as well as ACES 1.0 transforms, making it easier to get consistent results, especially when working in facilities with managed pipelines.
- The core grading and color correction tools have also been improved with a new, easier to use curves interface, automatic color analysis and matching between two or more clips, an incredibly accurate 3D perspective tracker, and a new 3D keyer with improved matte finesse options. Colorists can now define their own smart filters, convert any window to a bezier, collapse multiple nodes into compound nodes to simplify their view, ripple grades across multiple clips, and flatten pre and post-group grades into a clip’s individual grade.
- DaVinci Resolve 12 also now supports remote rendering so customers working in larger facilities can distribute rendering jobs to other Resolve systems that are on the same shared database and shared storage.
- With dramatically improved editing, DaVinci Resolve 12 now has the ability to integrate with other NLEs even better. Edit timelines can “round trip” to other editing software and more of settings, plug-ins and edits are preserved. For example when importing XMLs from Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve 12 can now import multi-cam clips and preserve all the original camera angles. Also, audio support is greatly improved to match the audio timeline in Final Cut Pro X. This makes collaborative workflows better and allows different people in a facility to use the tools they prefer instead of being forced into an inflexible company wide platform.
The DaVinci Resolve Public Beta is available today for download and once beta testing is complete, the main final release of DaVinci Resolve 12 will be available in later August time frame for download from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all current DaVinci Resolve customers.