Company Plans to Make Collaboration Features Free for All Users

Blackmagic Design released a public beta of DaVinci Resolve 17, an upgrade to its popular do-it-all post-production software that now supports an optional hardware control panel, the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor. Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty called the new version “the biggest update in the history of DaVinci” in a 100-minute livestream introducing the release.

Designed to maximize editors’ efficiency when working on Resolve’s intuitive, context-sensitive Cut page, the compact Speed Editor panel is meant for two-handed use. It features a large metal search dial on the right-hand side, along with transport controls and buttons to select between Resolve’s timeline and source tape views.

DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor

The left-hand side of the panel includes large in and out buttons as well as buttons controlling various editing functions, including trimming and setting transitions. A user can select shots from Resolve’s source tape with the jog dial, use the in and out buttons to select part of the clip, and then hit the append button to add that clip at the end of the timeline.

More functions are available in the middle of the panel, which includes a set of nine cam buttons used for editing multicam clips from a Resolve sync bin—probably the most compelling application for the Speed Editor. It works a little bit like a switcher, allowing editors to cut between different camera views in real time just by pressing buttons. Editors can also use the dial to navigate a timeline, more precisely selecting the exact edit points for cutting to different cameras.

The Speed Editor is designed in a compact form factor that can be used alongside a laptop computer. It connects to the host computer via Bluetooth. A USB-C port is available for charging and as a back-up connectivity option.

The Speed Editor will sell for $295, but will be bundled free with DaVinci Resolve Studio ($299) for a few months as an introductory offer, according to Petty.

Resolve 17 Edit page

The lion’s share of the livestream was given over to Petty’s Speed Editor-driven demo of the Cut page, but Blackmagic introduced new features across all components of Resolve. The Edit page, for instance, now includes the ability to auto-align multicam clips based on either timecode or waveform. The Resolve neural engine is now leveraged for high-quality deinterlacing as well as for analyzing widescreen timelines and adjusting the framing to fit the square aspect ratios favored on social media.

A new 3D keyer is available on the Edit page, and the effects library now has thumbnails that display live previews. A transform effect allows images to be distorted and corner-pinned on-screen (think digital sign replacement), and a video collage feature allows editors to build picture-in-picture composites that can be animated using presets or manual keyframes.

Resolve 17’s Edit page will also get a new proxy workflow that simplifies the creation of proxies in different formats and resolutions and also allows easy linking to externally generated proxies.

Resolve 17 Fusion page

Fusion is being beefed up, most notably with new effect templates. Basically, an effect template is a Fusion composition that can be used as a plug-in on the Edit or Cut page. A Fusion artist who has created a given effect can select all of the required nodes and then choose Resolve’s Create Macro option, deciding which parameters should be adjustable on the Edit page, including minimum or maximum ranges.

Shape nodes, which allow users to easily generate, modify and render vector shapes, as well as new animation curves, which automatically scale animations to fit the length of a clip or transition even when its timeline duration is changed, should upgrade Fusion’s status with motion designers. The new Fusion page even includes the ability for artists to customize toolbars for different tasks.

Resolve Fusion Color Warper

Resolve’s Color page has a powerful new feature called the color warper, which allows colorists to easily and cleanly manipulate hue and saturation values in new ways by interacting visually with a color chart and/or with the image itself. It’s hard to describe—watch this video from power user Darren Mostyn to see what’s possible.

Resolve’s neural engine is powering a secondary grading tool called the magic mask, which allows users to draw small strokes to separate a person (or just certain physical features) from the background of an image for color-grading purposes. Other new features include a wide color gamut—wider than Rec. 2020, ACES AP1 or ARRI wide gamut, Blackmagic says—display of HDR nit values on scopes, and the ability to share LUTs across a facility.

Keyboard functions on the Color page have changed enough that Blackmagic is now offering an updated replacement set of keycaps for the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel for $595.

And Blackmagic is continuing to whip Resolve’s Fairlight (audio) page into shape with newly comprehensive Dolby Atmos integration, a new audio core engine, an improved context-sensitive selection/edit tool, and a new set of keyboard shortcuts.

Fairlight Desktop Console

Also new is the Fairlight Desktop Console, a hardware control panel with 12 faders, panners and a metal search dial with HDMI output for monitoring on a 1080p HDTV or computer monitor. It will be available in December for $3495, Blackmagic said.

Finally, in a nod to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, Petty said Resolve’s collaboration features, which are currently exclusive to the paid Studio version of the software, will be made available free of charge to all users sometime between now and the final release of Resolve 17. Petty did not, however, venture a guess at when that finished release might be available.

Here’s the company’s official rundown of the new Resolve 17 feature set:

DaVinci Resolve 17 Features

  • Next-generation HDR color correction with customizable wheels and tonal zones.
  • Mesh- and grid-based color warper delivers an entirely new way to transform color.
  • Magic mask automatic object isolation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine.
  • Improved color management with tone mapping and color-space-aware tools.
  • Massive DaVinci wide-gamut color space for higher quality image processing.
  • High-speed audio editing with new keyboard and mouse context sensitive tools.
  • Fairlight Audio Core engine with auto load balancing and support for 2,000 tracks.
  • Revolutionary FlexBus architecture for audio routing without limitations.
  • Automatic transient detection for beats, words, and sound effects.
  • Support for massive audio projects with thousands of tracks on a single system.
  • Metadata based card view in media pool on cut page.
  • Precision audio trimming on the cut page timeline and graphical trimmer.
  • Smart reframe powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine on cut and edit pages.
  • Live effect, title, and transition previews on cut and edit pages.
  • Import and edit projects from ATEM Mini Pro ISO.
  • Proxy media workflows up to 1/16th resolution in H.264, H.265, ProRes or DNxHR.
  • Timeline based clip syncing to create multicam and compound clips.
  • Alpha support for keying and compositing on cut and edit pages.
  • Render-in-place command for effects-heavy clips on cut and edit timelines.
  • Make source side adjustments before editing clips into the timeline.
  • Portable timeline and bin files for easy sharing.
  • Native interlace processing and realtime 3:2 pulldown removal.
  • Node tree bookmarks, customizable Fusion toolbar, and vertical node layouts.
  • Support for growing files in media pool.
  • Support for frame-based metadata for BRAW, ARRI, RED, Sony and EXR.
  • Workflow integration API and third party encoder API.

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