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My Comment on Oliver Peter’s Color Grade App Post

Oliver Peters wrote a great article here on his thoughts behind a few color grading choices, namely Color and Resolve. I’ve used both. Naturally, I’m not a power Color user but I am a power Resolve user and it does several things MUCH better than Color. But I’d like to touch on probably my biggest comment on his post I think is worth blogging a minute about and that would be with this statement here (a PERSONAL statement as he notes ;):

On the plus side, DaVinci leverages the CUDA power of certain NVIDIA cards for greater real-time performance. Unfortunately this chews up your slot space and limits you to one brand of graphics card. I personally would never build a “DaVinci room” unless I knew it would primarily serve as a color grading suite.

He’s absolutely right, Resolve does leverage that power and it’s really nice. In my suite, I typically use Cineform master files out of FCP/Adobe/Avid and grade them off my MacPro server where my RAID 5 is installed. My throughput is more than fast enough for the Cineform material right now (also done a fair bit of ProRes). I can easily reconfigure as needed based on the content- DNxHD 220 masters from Avid for instance.

BUT, I built a color suite around Resolve. Is that all I do? Not at all. Though its where I spend most of my time. It’s also a value statement by me of where I typically invest my gear money: capture and finish. So this means, I have an early ’09 MacPro running a Decklink card to an HDLink Pro box to handle my Light Illusion CMS LUTs I use for calibration to my Panasonic Plasma or Sony projector. It also means I’m running the stock GT150 card with the GTX 285 NVIDIA GFX card.

On the same system, same boot, I’m running Avid Media Composer, the Adobe and Final Cut suites, Nuendo and Cineform’s Neo 4K, add in the Apogee One as my D/A for audio monitoring. Everything plays well together with no issues. I spend 1/3 of my time in other apps and 2/3rd’s of my time in Resolve. Incidentally, this setup works well with FCP and Color.

That’s my only comment. A final note about this with Media Composer:

  1. When in Resolve, nothing is physically hooked up to the GTX285 card.

  2. Before launching Media Composer, take a second input from your client/preview/grading monitor and plug it into slot 1 of your your secondary GFX card (in this case, my 285).

  3. Set Media Composer’s fullscreen playback  to that monitor.

  4. Now you have dual screen work areas with full screen playback on your client/preview/grading monitor.

I’ve been doing this successfully since I started working on beta with version 5. I am anxiously awaiting BMD support which, although they haven’t said anything, current trajectory with now AJA I/O support, I only suspect is coming.

PS: The Decklink card works with FCP, Color, Color Finesse, Adobe, and Nuendo without issue.

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©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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