Exercise files contain examples that you can practice with to get a feel for the DaVinci Resolve software. Practicing along with the tutorials cements your learning, making it easier for you to color videos professionally. This video tutorial shows you how to use the exercise files and where to find them. Each file is explained with ease of use tips and you will learn how to import the files in your program.
- If you're a premium member of the lynda.com online training library, then you have access to the exercise files used throughout this title. After uncompressing the download file, you'll be presented with a folder titled Exercise Files, this one right here. You can place it in a location of your choosing, but for this training title, I've gone ahead and placed it on my user desktop. Inside this folder, you'll find several other folders organizing the various assets I've provided to you. There are two folders I want to call your immediate attention to.
First, the Databases folder. DaVinci Resolve saves all its individual projects inside databases. The way I've organized the projects for this training, you'll need to import the database I've provided to you, LearningResolve11.diskdb, which will contain all the projects we'll be working through, organized by chapter. You do not need to import this database yet. In chapter two, in the movie on managing archive and restoring databases, I will walk you through how to properly import this database and where to save it.
I've also provided a second database, LearningResolve11-END.diskdb. This database is the end state of each and every project, if you want to see precisely what I've shown in any movie. After importing the main database, you can optionally import and switch into this end database whenever you want to slow down and deconstruct my work. You can then switch back to the other database when you want to continue following along. Just be aware, in some chapters, I have you creating new timelines in one movie, and then using that timeline in a later movie.
If you do the training out of order, which is perfectly fine with me, you may need to rewind to an earlier movie to properly follow along. The second very important folder is the Media folder. This folder is organized by footage type. The ProRes_LT folder contains the music video which we'll be color correcting throughout this training. The RED folder is for the movies on dealing with Raw camera codecs. The Audio_Track folder contains the music for the music video, and the Reference_SceneDetect folder is for movies when we're dealing with self-contained exports out of a non-linear editor.
You do not need any other bit of software to follow this training, just DaVinci Resolve 11 or DaVinci Resolve 11 Lite. In the movies where I'm using Premiere Pro, the exports you see me do and work with are located in this folder. So you don't need Premiere to follow along, just use these movies. If you do have access to Premiere Pro CC 2014 and want to follow along, the Project folder contains the project file for our music video, Trust Me. We will eventually modify that project. The result of those revisions is in the Premiere Pro project file, 05-01-revised_xml-End, just in case you don't want to do the work, but do want to examine the final revised timeline.
In the Stills and PowerGrades folder are folders for our Look Up Tables and test images. You'll be instructed to import these assets at the appropriate times. There's also a Powergrades folder. If you follow the training in order, you won't need to do anything with this folder, since we'll create these assets. But if you skip the first movie in chapter 13 on Power Grades, we'll be creating folders and color corrections in DaVinci Resolve that you're going to need for later movies. This folder contains those assets, named how those Powergrade folders should be named inside of DaVinci Resolve.
If what I just said sounds like gobbledygook, (chuckles) then do not skip the first movie in chapter 13. Trust me on this, it's a feature you don't want to miss. One thing I do need to show you, how to import these files. I'm in an empty project in Resolve, and I've already created two Powergrade folders, Technical Nodes and Creative Looks. To import, first highlight the Technical Nodes folder, then right-click in the empty area here, in the gallery, and select Import. Navigate to where you've saved the Exercise Folder, then dig down to the Powergrades folder, then into the Technical Nodes folder.
Be sure this pull-down filter is set to either JPEG or DRX. Highlight the first file. Shift click the last file so they're all selected, and then import. Then highlight the Creative Looks Powergrade folder and import those Grades, just like we just did. You're now set to follow along, starting with chapter 13 through the end of this training. Back to our Exercise Folder. Finally, we've got the XML folder. I do want to emphasize, the footage used in this training is almost entirely Apple's ProRes codec.
Whether you're on Mac or Windows, Resolve will install the appropriate ProRes codecs, if you don't already have them installed, but Windows users have a complication. ProRes is a read-only codec on DaVinci Resolve in Windows, meaning, unlike Mac users, Window users cannot render to ProRes. They can play these files just fine. It's only rendering that's the complication. If you're on Windows, I currently recommend using Avid's freely available, high quality, DNxHD codec as your standard codec, and selecting that codec wherever you see me using ProRes.
Select MXF, and then select one of these DNxHD codecs. There are two last things you need to know to successfully use these exercise files. First, how to relink your footage to the music video files in Premiere and Resolve. Since Resolve uses absolute file paths, unless your hard drive and user's named precisely as mine, which is highly unlikely and totally unnecessary, as you open each of these projects in Resolve, you'll need to relink your footage. The good news: it's great practice.
Resolve doesn't make it easy to relink files, and I've kept this as easy as possible, but you will need to repeat this step for each new chapter. When you're done with this training, you won't forget how to do this. Muscle memory, baby. It's the one reason I love creating project-based training titles. Repetition is the key to long-term memory. I'm now in a fresh install of a database we'll be using for this training, and none of my footage is linked. I can tell because, as I click on the files, they're all black, empty.
Let's fix this. First, we'll switch this view into list view. Then we'll scroll down to the file path column and make it as wide as we can, and then click on the heading so we're sorting by file path. This is an important step, since Resolve will only allow us to relink one folder of media at a time. Now we'll click on the first clip in this list, then we'll scroll down, looking for the last clip in this ProRes LT folder, hold down the shift key and press on the last clip in this folder. And now right-click on one of these clips.
Select Change Source Folder. Leave this first line alone, Change From. This is telling you where Resolve last found these clips. Let's go to the second line, To. Press this ellipses button, and navigate to your Media Files folder. For me, that's on the desktop. Then I'll navigate to Media, ProRes LT, I'll click Open. Now I'll press Change. If everything goes well, and it should, each of these clips should show up in the viewer. Now do the same routine for the audio folder in the media pool.
And for those projects that have it, the red folder as well. You've now relinked to your local copy of these media files. Unfortunately, there's no way to globally make this change to all the projects in a database. When we hit a new chapter, you'll need to relink again. Fortunately, I've kept the folder structure uncomplicated. Once you get into the habit, it should take you less than a minute. The other thing I need to do is show you how to reconnect the Premiere Pro CC 2014 project file to our source media.
I've already launched Premiere Pro, and Premiere is asking me, where can it find the source footage? I'm going to make sure the first clip in this list is highlighted, which, for me, is the Trust Me WAV file. We should also make sure the Relink Others Automatically is enabled, as is File Name and File Extension under Match File Properties, then click Locate. Now I'll navigate to my desktop, then Exercise Files, then Media, then Audio Track.
If instead, the first file was a ProRes media file, I'd make sure this checkbox, Display Only Exact Name Matches, was enabled to help me sort through all of those files. Now highlight the Trust Me WAV file, and click Okay. Boom -- Premiere should now find all the other assets in this project, as well, since we've left the relative folder paths intact. And we're done. If only Resolve were this easy. Command, or control on a PC, + s to save, and you're set to follow along in the movies where we examine the Premiere Pro timeline that generates our XMLs.
If you're a monthly member or an annual member of lynda.com, then you do not have access to the exercise files. But you can follow along from scratch with your own assets, and I strongly encourage you to do so. Remembering how to use software as deep and feature-rich as DaVinci Resolve is difficult if you don't actually do the work while watching these movies. You'll retain the information in this training much more efficiently if you do the work you see me doing as you see me doing it.
Okay, now that we have the exercise files sorted out, let's get started.
In these tutorials, indie-feature-film and broadcast colorist Patrick Inhofer guides viewers through color grading with DaVinci Resolve and Resolve Lite 11. With emphasis placed on real-world techniques and workflows, the course will help editors and aspiring colorists edit in the timeline, perform primary and secondary color corrections, match shots from multiple cameras, create mood-rich looks, and render out movies to share with clients. Interspersed throughout the course are "lingo" movies, which will help you learn the language of colorists, and "in action" chapters, where Patrick applies the lessons learned to a real-world music video for the band Minimus the Poet.
- Building a Revolve system
- Comparing Resolve and Resolve Lite
- Tweaking preferences for better performance
- Getting clips, timelines, and projects into Resolve
- Editing footage in Resolve
- Evaluating images like a colorist
- Working with serial nodes
- Making contrast and color adjustments
- Making targeted secondary corrections with keys and shapes
- Creating looks with third-party plugins
- Matching shots
- Rendering, delivering, and archiving footage