Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve remained probably the best bargain on the show floor at NAB 2019, as Blackmagic showed off a slate of new tools in its free NLE and finishing system that seem aimed at making basic editing simpler, faster, and more intuitive — as well as, of course, feature additions that help it keep up with rivals.
Most intriguing of the new options is probably the Cut page, a workspace for editors that Blackmagic said is built for speed. Among the editorial aids in this view is a special dual timeline that allows you to see a miniature version of your timeline in full, with the larger segment where you’re currently working magnified as expected down below. You can make edits in either timeline view, which should save users some scrolling and zooming.
Taking a cue from old-school linear editing techniques, a new “source tape” option turns a set of clips in your bin into an end-to-end sequence, allowing you to build your story by scanning through the “tape” and dragging selected sections to your timeline. Editorial process like trimming have been simplified, with Resolve now doing its best on the Cut page to save you gestures and clicks by inferring your intentions as you cut.
Blackmagic said it hoped that editors of high-end, quick-turnaround projects like commercials would find the Cut page helpful, but it seems to be tuned for quick online video publishing, right down to the new YouTube and Vimeo delivery options. Fortunately for editors who prefer the original, full-featured edit mode, Blackmagic is keeping it just a click away.
Intrigued? Baffled? Watch the company’s “What’s New” video to get a better idea of how it all works:
The standard edit mode has some new tools, too, like Adjustment Clips, which you can use to place effects that are applied to any clips below them on the timeline. A number of Resolve effects, including vignettes, have been added to the edit page so that editors don’t have to go into the Color page just to apply them.
And Resolve now has AI, which Blackmagic calls a “neural engine.” It drives features on the Color page, like the ability to remove objects from video by selecting and tracking them (it’s reminiscent of a similar feature just added to After Effects this week) and new auto-balance and shot-matching capabilities.
A new feature on the Audio page called Elastic Wave makes dialogue replacement more precise by allowing a replacement waveform to be stretched or condensed in order to visually match the waveform it’s replacing, which ensures that the cadence of the dubbed line will match the original lip sync.
The Audio page has also gotten a number of loudness meters that reflect current loudness standards. In addition to metering loudness in real time, Resolve will display a “loudness history” timeline that helps identify exactly where the spec is being violated.
Last but not least, Blackmagic introduced a $995 keyboard designed as a high-speed companion to Resolve for editors. Most cutters might be able to live without oversized keys labeled “in” and “out,” but the jog-and-shuttle dial placed at one end, which invites right-handed operation while the left hand works the keys, seems promising for some high productivity editorial styles.
Blackmagic Design 16 is available for download in a public beta version, so proceed with caution.