The other take-away from BVE London was an eye-opener for me. The world of color grading.
There’s a London-based outfit called SOHO Editors which is the largest pool of freelance editors throughout the UK and Europe. They also teach classes in London and Manchester in all the disciplines (editing in the major NLEs, Motion, After Effects, Divinci Resolve, etc.).
They had live presentations all day and I watched a few of them relating to FCPX and Divinci Resolve.
It was clear that these guys were top-notch. Teaching is a part-time job. These were industry professionals.
The first thing I noticed was that FCPX was their weapon of choice. Without getting into all of the reasons why, a point was made that was rather telling. FCPX is faster. Period. The speaker said that alone is the major reason why major networks and production companies are moving over. It’s economics. And that is the reason to no longer ignore FCPX. But what I didn’t know (and this was a bunch of geek stuff), FCPX is set up for the future to such a degree that many of the other major NLEs will be forced to majorly upgrade anyway. Changes are coming. FCPX is already there. And this, from a guy who ran the team of editors for the World Cup on FCPX: it is hands-down the best multi-cam editing software out there, bar none.
But I digress.
The hands-down best grading tool out there is Divinci Resolve by Black Magic. That was also made clear.
And the same guys who use FCPX for editing, use Divinci Resolve for Color grading (which works pretty seamlessly with FCPX).
I had NO IDEA all the things that can be done in grading. I was stunned. I mean I was gobsmacked, a quivering mass of jelly on the floor.
Talk about ‘pure frickin’ magic’.
Color and looks aside, you can practically re-light a damn set with Divinci Resolve.
Plus they pointed out that the FREE version of Divinci Resolve has everything the paid version has bar one thing: The De-noise tools. Everything else is there in the free version. And it’s really free. Not a trial. You can download it today right here.
What they were demonstrating was light years beyond anything I’d need to do in corporate videos–or weddings or anything else of that nature. But it was clear to me that I could make anything I produce look way better, no matter how well it was shot to begin with.
I was intrigued.
There’s one problem. You’re not just going to download it and ‘figure it out’. It will take some basic training. And that, with the SOHO group–who I would implicitly trust to get me up and running in either their one or two day course–is a few hundred dollars for a day or about $1500 for the more intensive two day course. They’ve got a 3 day course in the works.
I spent time time discussing my exact needs and trying to determine if I needed the one or two day course. I was pretty determined to work out a schedule whereby I could go down to London and do it at the earliest opportunity.
Then serendipity struck on Linkedin.
There’s a colorist in the U.S. who has just released a product called ‘Color Finale’. (It runs on FCPX Yosemite only)
There’s no mention, but I’d bet anything he’s a Divinci Resolve user and I think what he’s done is produced a program that has the most crucial tools found in Divinci Resolve. If so, I should be clear: Divinci Resolve is the bees knees and has everything you would ever want as a colorist. But clearly, not all of us need all those tools. Just as clearly, we could all use some of the basic magic available that goes beyond the scope of what we can do in our NLE of choice. And I think that’s what he’s done.
The really good news is that if you buy it by 3 March, you can get it for $79. After that it will be $99.
Furthermore, one of the things that Divinci Resolve has that is mind-blowing is ‘masking and tracking’. In Resolve it’s absolutely magical how easy it works. (say you change the color of a shirt in the background and someone passes in front of it–well, masking and tracking is how you deal with that and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it easily in Resolve). Anyway, that feature will be coming to Color Finale in a ‘pro version’. However, if you buy it now, you are grandfathered in and you will get the future upgrades with no further charges.
So far he’s got a couple of good tutorials on his site with, undoubtedly more to come.
So…a few hundred dollars plus travel and expenses to London for a day…or $79 for a program that does everything I need to make anything I produce look better?
Here’s the link: Color Finale