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  • Resolve 9 – FCP X LUT Workflow Question

    Posted by Paul Golden on October 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    OK Braintrust,

    Reasonably new to Resolve 9 (as is everyone!) but I’m exploring a workflow that has a roadblock for me:

    1) Shoot DSLR with Cinestyle
    2) Add TOD timecode and rename via Magic Bullet Grinder but retain as H264 files
    3) Bring into Resolve 9 and apply Cinestyle LUTS
    4) Export ProRes Proxy dailies
    5) Edit in FCPX
    6) Export XML to Resolve and grade selects off of the original H264 footage
    7) Render selects as ProRes 422 and export XML back to FCPX
    8) Conform cut

    Here’s my issue:
    Let’s say the footage is inconsistent: some properly exposed, some over, some under (the usual things). If I apply the LUT in Resolve for the dailies, I might want to tweak the settings in FCPX to improve visuals of the rough cut. The color information that I apply in FCPX can carry across back to Resolve as a primary grade, but the LUT won’t be applied.

    Should I:
    A) Uncheck “retain color information” when I bring the FCP XML into Resolve and start from scratch?

    B) Re-apply the LUT on all the footage inline as the first node before the FCPX color information node and take it from there? (And is this manual, shot by shot or can this be automated?)

    C) Don’t bother with LUTS in Resolve; bring the footage as flat into FCPX and quickly grade each shot there and bring that color information back to Resolve for the final grading?

    Another thing I’m not sure about: is Resolve equally happy grading the orignal H264 footage or transcoded ProRes422 versions of the same? Are there any color bit depth improvements by working off of transcoded footage for the final grade vs. using the original camera files and rendering 422 masters out?

    Thanks in advance for weighing in…

    Carl Ballou replied 11 years, 7 months ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Sascha Haber

    October 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Grading H264 is terrible…sluggish and instable while tracking.
    I would either go ProRes4444 or DPX if you have the disks for it (220mb/s)
    Dont waste any time in editing with the color.
    Edit around bad shots, this is the moment of truth.
    If you can not see the actors eyes and stuff, well…thats it.
    DSLR material tends to fall apart when using secondaries that isolate colors.
    Try to avoid keys and curves, use masks.
    Design yourself a nice grain workflow as juan described in one of his posts.

    have fun 🙂

    A slice of color…

    Resolve 9.01 OSX 10.8.2

    Colorist / Aerial footage nerd

  • Paul Golden

    October 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks Sascha, this is more documentary footage where there aren’t alternate takes and footage is inconsistent so we’re just working with what we have.

    Normally, without Resolve, I’d bump everything immediately to ProRes 422HQ and take it from there. Using Resolve to apply LUTS offers the option of creating proxy dailies that can reference back to the original media, saving tons of disk space.

    So unlike grading with original “RAW” footage (like RED, Alexa, BMCC), you suggest bumping DSLR footage to ProRes 4444 immediately and editing with that?

    I’m trying to keep to a lighter weight proxy workflow where the first pass out of Resolve are ProRes Proxy dailies and then conform the much shorter rough cut’s footage from the H264 originals. I could import the XML from FCP and render out ProRes 4444 and re-import the select footage to grade, but I’m not sure Resolve will re-link that easily.

    Are you saying that DSLR footage falls apart when grading from h264 files or is improved by transcoding it first to 4444 and then grading it (assuming I can’t shoot with a higher end camera)? Does putting the footage in a 444 space get you better curves and keys?

  • Peter Chamberlain

    October 9, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Hi, you can not ‘improve’ the picture by transcoding it. However some file are easier to manage than others. ProRes is one of the easier ones. Consider 422 HQ as your working codec and do a test on three clips. It may just show you thats fine for the source footage you have.

    An I would do all the grading in Resolve. It’s 100x faster.

  • Carl Ballou

    October 26, 2012 at 5:01 am

    If you’re working with Canon DSLR footage, try 5DtoRGB for your transcodes…. there is a batch and command line version. Check the reviews, it is worth the trouble.

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