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Larry Shelby

DaVince Resolve 17 (Beta)

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I've been using davinci resolve Studio Edition for several months, and used the free edition before that; to date I have created over 30 videos with it, and it is a great tool, as long as your computer has the firepower to deal with it's requirements. My studio machine is more than powerful enough, but it's graphics card was weak, so I recently swapped it out for the new Nvidia RTX 3070, and now it works more smoothly. I do recommend this software, however. I have not yet upgraded to the v 17 Beta (I'm on 16) because I am always busy with video projects and can't risk a bug or issue taking me down (it's not customary to install both versions concurrently). Just an FYI for anyone else out there.

 You can view videos I created with daVinci (recent ones are better than the early ones--there is a learning curve to this program that I am still climbing) here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCms13PjT7wZhETisoW6dhtA

 

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The learning curve is what always put me off but this is a top end NLE so I didn't expect anything less, I suppose.

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I have one major complaint about DaVinci, for some reason it saves in like 10 directories of the same name for some reason... not figured out why. All imbedded.

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5 hours ago, jackson white said:

@Dave Maffris  What was your experience with the fan noise for this?

Extremely quiet, I'm not hearing anything..this particular card has a 0db fan when temps are below 55 I think, and doing audio it never gets hot. Haven't noticed any sound when editing 4K video, either, so either I'm deaf or it's very quiet, or both.

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31 minutes ago, Tony Carpenter said:

I have one major complaint about DaVinci, for some reason it saves in like 10 directories of the same name for some reason... not figured out why. All imbedded.

I haven't had that experience, I believe you can set where it saves in the program preferences, I did change mine to a different default. Then again, maybe I am just not aware of this issue. Could be something for the daVinci forum, perhaps...

 

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41 minutes ago, TerraSin said:

The learning curve is what always put me off but this is a top end NLE so I didn't expect anything less, I suppose.

It put me off in the beginning, but after looking at a few alternatives I felt they all had their learning curve. Since someone I know was using it, I got into my "if he can do it, I can do it" mode, and finally got over the hump. Still learning a lot each day but from where I started it's night and day. Great program if your computer can handle it.

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6 hours ago, simon said:

Looks like you've got a great setup over there at The Shed 👍

Yeah, built this about 1 1/2 years ago, and it's my sanctuary...

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9 minutes ago, Dave Maffris said:

I haven't had that experience, I believe you can set where it saves in the program preferences, I did change mine to a different default. Then again, maybe I am just not aware of this issue. Could be something for the daVinci forum, perhaps...

 

Oh I am sure it's very strange, does the same on OSX and Windoze.

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2 hours ago, TerraSin said:

The learning curve is what always put me off but this is a top end NLE so I didn't expect anything less, I suppose.

With a few video tutorials and then just googling how to do particular things, the learning curve is pretty small for simple videos.

If you want to add effects, do advanced color matching color grading across a bunch of different sources, etc then it gets more complicated.

But for the average person that just wants to put a few video clips together with audio, the learning curve is actually really small, IMO.

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2 hours ago, Brian Walton said:

With a few video tutorials and then just googling how to do particular things, the learning curve is pretty small for simple videos.

If you want to add effects, do advanced color matching color grading across a bunch of different sources, etc then it gets more complicated.

But for the average person that just wants to put a few video clips together with audio, the learning curve is actually really small, IMO.

Yup! My experience with wanting to do a quick and easy edit with video and audio was so much easier than I thought. And this was when I first used it! Based on how advanced and complex it can get, I thought a quick and easy thing won't be that easy, but it turned out easier than all the other editors I tried before. So despite what some people may think, this is beginner friendly with the option of being advanced. 

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12 hours ago, Hillmy said:

Yup! My experience with wanting to do a quick and easy edit with video and audio was so much easier than I thought. And this was when I first used it! Based on how advanced and complex it can get, I thought a quick and easy thing won't be that easy, but it turned out easier than all the other editors I tried before. So despite what some people may think, this is beginner friendly with the option of being advanced. 

There is truth to this, even though I struggled at first--I did google and youtube various things and that helped me get going faster...there's a manual, but it is...well...no thank. you. And finally, after dozens of videos, progressing through trial and error, etc., souping up my graphics engine, I finally started immersing myself in the BlackMagic tutorial videos, and found that so far, they are quite good. The material is dense (Fusion page is my next goal, because compositing is, for me, rather complicated) but the guy doing the video is clear, and I think if I watch it again and follow along I will have made another jump in my video editing expertise. I've become obsessed with it now...if only I had a high-end camera...but that's another story...

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5 hours ago, Dave Maffris said:

There is truth to this, even though I struggled at first--I did google and youtube various things and that helped me get going faster...there's a manual, but it is...well...no thank. you. And finally, after dozens of videos, progressing through trial and error, etc., souping up my graphics engine, I finally started immersing myself in the BlackMagic tutorial videos, and found that so far, they are quite good. The material is dense (Fusion page is my next goal, because compositing is, for me, rather complicated) but the guy doing the video is clear, and I think if I watch it again and follow along I will have made another jump in my video editing expertise. I've become obsessed with it now...if only I had a high-end camera...but that's another story...

An entry level camera with a decent lens with good lighting can produce professional results.  

I have friends that create films (multi award winning) and they own a RED cinema camera, a pile of dslrs and mirrorless cameras.  But they also have shots in these productions that were from an iphone.  By the time they edit it and it is compressed to youtube, no normal person can even tell there were "low end" clips in there with the $60,000 ones.  But the lighting is of paramount importance to get those results.

Edited by Brian Walton
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1 hour ago, Brian Walton said:

An entry level camera with a decent lend with good lighting can produce professional results.  

I have friends that create films (multi award winning) and they own a RED cinema camera, a pile of dslrs and mirrorless cameras.  But they also have shots in these productions that were from an iphone.  But the time they edit it and it is compressed to youtube, no normal person can even tell there were "low end" clips in there with the $60,000 ones.  But the lighting is of paramount importance to get those results.

That's good advice. Yeah I use my iphone 8, ipad pro, and an Aluratek 4k webcam that does a nice job, but I know my lighting is not great for all situations, but mostly I just shoot music videos in my studio and edit the hell out of them with special effects. Not yet that proficient with the color adjusting, etc.--it's a miracle at all that I make decent videos, I am a sound, not visual, person, but trying to evolve and grow.  Friend of mine is investing in a couple of these PTZ Optics cams for his live streaming thing--too pricey for my current (covid--not gigging) budget these days. 

 

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DR is awesome. It is the only thing I could find in my price range 😁 that let me turn some extremely murky, drastically underexposed footage into something that can be seen.

 

I would definitely stay away from the Beta, however.

 

Also, be aware that DR uses your GPU for processing, and is resource intensive so if you are using onboard graphics or a card with less than 2GB, you will struggle - if it even runs.

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10 hours ago, Brian Walton said:

An entry level camera with a decent lens with good lighting can produce professional results.  

I have friends that create films (multi award winning) and they own a RED cinema camera, a pile of dslrs and mirrorless cameras.  But they also have shots in these productions that were from an iphone.  By the time they edit it and it is compressed to youtube, no normal person can even tell there were "low end" clips in there with the $60,000 ones.  But the lighting is of paramount importance to get those results.

A lot of people don't get that professional video production is about lighting and dynamic range, they obsess about resolution. Pretty much everything you see on TV and movies comes about because they are using a camera with high dynamic range and controlled lighting. Dynamic range is about the cameras ability to resolve light and dark images, the higher the dynamic range, the less you need to worry about lighting, the lower the dynamic range of the camera sensor the more you have to be conscious of controlling lighting to get a polished look.

If you are using an Arri Alexa and you take a shot of someone standing next to an open window (no interior lighting) with a landscape outside on a sunny day, the camera will capture the face, the interior window sill and also the outdoor landscape together with the sky and clouds and it will look good, you may only need a small amount of light on the face so that it matches the same brightness as outside but you could probably get away with no lighting. It's an easy shot. This camera is $100,000 up and has a dynamic range of around 14 stops.

If you were to use a Panasonic GH4 for the same shot, the interior would be too dark and the outside would be too bright, you would see dark shadows to noisy black on the interior and the clouds outside would clip as too bright, it wouldn't look good at all. This camera has about 11 stops and just cannot resolve the difference in lighting between the dark interior and the bright outside.

You can still get a good shot with the GH4 though, but it means boosting the lighting of the interior to more closely match the exterior, to reduce the range between the dark and bright areas. It would look different but still good. So in this situation, you could turn up with an Alexa and no lights and get an acceptable shot or you could turn up with a GH4 and a lighting kit and get a different but still acceptable shot. This is why filmmakers like cameras with a high dynamic range, because amongst other things there is less work to do to get a good shot in continually varying lighting conditions and the camera is more forgiving.

It's also about how the camera rolls off the highlights and treats the blacks, some cameras like the Alexa will give a nice polished look in this regard but with the GH4 you are more likely to get clipped highlights and noisy blacks. A more contrasty look, unless you plan your shots to avoid this. It's also about the bit depth of the camera, most consumer cameras are 8 bit, 10 bit is really the minimum for filmmaking, resolves more gradations of color.

In certain conditions where there is good lighting and not much dynamic range between the light and dark areas of the shot you can get great results using a cheaper camera. In reality, audiences won't notice a lot of difference unless it's glaring because they are focusing on the actors, the dialog and the effects/music, "the story".  With Davinci Resolve, you can take in any video, bump it up to a 10 bit codec and do a bit of color balancing and providing there is no clipped highlights, match it in quite well to whatever other footage you have, noise in the shadows isn't a great problem either.

I've shot on more expensive cameras and TV broadcast cameras but I don't do that any more, I have a GH4 now just for mucking about. If I was going to film a short, I could do it on the GH4 but it would be a bit more work, have to use external ND filters, an LCD loupe and an external recorder to get the 10 bit. I would have to plan shots differently as well.

 

Edited by Tezza
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Been looking at a GH5, actually. The biggest boost for me with DR recently was scoring a new Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card. Once I installed that, it was like magic, and my editing, encoding, and EFX processing, timeline playback, etc., has become smoother--and no more "out of GPU memory" messages (although I wish I had more than 8GB), and no more crashes of my custom made DAW computer, which heretofore was impeccably reliable, and is once again.

 

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A decent DSLR or Cinema Camera is going to wipe the floor with an iPhone in terms of image quality in the video.  It really isn't a comparison, and while iPhones are used in some capacity by some (or many) filmmakers we are still a few years away from a time when you can shoot an entire film on iPhones and have it turn out to be visually comparable in quality to what you get with a better camera.

Not to mention, the damned things do nothing but constantly overheat while trying to shoot scenes with them.  The price of an iPhone Pro is comparable to a Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K, and you're probably going to spend a few hundred on Lenses and other attachments just to make it usable - while spitting out difficult to edit, variable framerate compressed CODECs.

For most people, it just isn't worth it.

I get that some people want to be trail blazers, though, but I can't sit through a movie shot on an iPhone because I can see the image quality issues plain as day - especially on something as huge as a movie theater/cinema screen.

----

As for DaVinci Resolve:  BYO-GPU.

4GB VRAM for FHD if you plan on using the Color/Fusion Pages, and 8GB for UHD/4K.

You also need a decently fast GPU, because it does all image processing on the GPU.

Bias to Nvidia (on Windows)...

I think the price is right, though.  For $299, it's the best NLE in the $200-600 price range by a decent margin.  The only thing close in that bracket is Apple's Pro Apps Bundle.

Edited by Maestro

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