The Program That Does Everything Now Does a Little More

Every year as NAB gets under way, one of the questions on editors’ lips is: what does Da Vinci Resolve do now? One day soon the answer may be everything. For now, Blackmagic is just taking on a bigger and bigger chunk of the post-production ecosystem every year.

Fusing Resolve with Fusion

In 2018, the new thing in Resolve is visual effects. Blackmagic has bundled its Fusion VFX software into the package, meaning VFX artists can work in the same desktop environment as their collaborators in editorial and color, and editors don’t have to leave the boundaries of Resolve in order to try their hand at compositing.

At the press briefing announcing Resolve’s Fusion integration, Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty expressed pride in the company’s continued democratization of post-production tools. (A powerful version of Resolve is a free download; even the fully loaded Resolve Studio sells for just $299.) Decades in the past, he said, “the guy who could get a bank loan was the guy who owned the post house.” These days your post house may be in your house house.

But just because everyone can afford Resolve doesn’t mean those customers are going to use all the features available or replace other software in their toolkit. Petty admitted as much: “I don’t know what it’s going to mean,” he said. “I don’t quite know what people are going to do with it.” Fair enough. The new Resolve is in “public beta” now, which means a finished release should come along later in the year.

Fairlight Consoles: Still Coming Soon

By the way, Resolve also wants to be a Fairlight. Last year at NAB, Blackmagic announced the integration of its recently acquired Fairlight technology, including support for hardware control via Fairlight consoles, inside the Resolve interface. Blackmagic might have bitten off more than it could reasonably chew, there, as it’s been a year console control is still on the wishlist for sound editors and mixers.

Petty said Blackmagic found it had to redesign and rebuild the venerable Fairlight console, adopting a new modular structure and configuring the console in two-, three- and five-bay versions. Those will range in price from $21,995 to $48,995 — an effective 80% discount from previously available panels, the company said. Those are due later this year.

But Blackmagic hasn’t let the lack of consoles keep it from working on Resolve’s audio. The Fairlight page has been revamped with a new ADR toolset, variable audio retiming and pitch-correction, and more. FairlightFX plugins now run natively on Mac, Windows and Linux.

Color and Edit

Color isn’t being neglected either. Resolve 15 has a new LUT browser (with the ability to link shared nodes so changes propagate across the links), improved noise reduction, and an HD-to-8K upres feature. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ tools are now GPU-accelerated for speedier workflow in HDR, and there’s a new slate of ResolveFX tools for painting out unwanted elements in shots, dust and scratch removal, and more.

And of course Resolve is upping its editing game, with faster load times, stacked timelines and timeline tabs for easier comparison of multiple timelines, image-stabilization from the Edit page, and 2D and 3D Fusion title templates.

For (much) more on what’s new in Resolve 15, check the company’s website, below.

Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve: