DaVinci Resolve Studio Reaches New Heights with Version 16 and “Rocketman”

DaVinci Resolve Studio, Blackmagic Design’s editing, color grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software, recently received a major update with version 16. Introducing a revolutionary new cut page, faster Fusion VFX, DaVinci Neural Engine, 8K editing, 3D audio and more, DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio includes dozens of new features for post production professionals.

DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio’s cut page is all about speed and has been design specifically for editors working on high-end, fast turnaround work such as television commercials and even news cutting. As an alternate edit page with a streamlined interface and new tools that help customers work faster than ever, the cut page lets users import, edit, trim, add transitions, titles, automatically match color, mix audio and more.

DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio’s new DaVinci Neural Engine uses state-of-the-art deep neural networks and learning, along with artificial intelligence (AI) to power new features, such as speed warp motion estimation for retiming, super scale for up-scaling footage, auto color and color matching, facial recognition and more. The DaVinci Neural Engine is entirely cross-platform and uses the latest GPU innovations for AI and deep learning to provide unparalleled performance and quality. It provides simple tools to solve complex, repetitive and time-consuming problems. For example, it enables facial recognition to automatically sort and organize clips into bins based on people in the shot.

For VFX, DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio provides multiple performance improvements with significantly faster Fusion processing. This includes improved performance and accuracy for the camera tracker, with support for lens distortion; improved performance for the planar tracker; the ability to flexibly scale animation with changing clip lengths; and improved performance for vector motion blur and motion blur in other tools with GPU acceleration support; along with much more.

Blackmagic Design also announced a major update to its standalone Fusion Studio software. With Fusion 16 Studio, users get an updated and more modern user interface, along with dramatically faster performance. All 3D operations are GPU accelerated, making Fusion Studio much more responsive and interactive. In addition, there are dozens of GPU accelerated tools such as time effects, dissolves, stereo 3D tools, vector motion blur, corner positioning, color tools and more. B-spline and bitmap mask operations are accelerated, as well as the planar and camera trackers. Improved memory management makes large compositions with high tool counts more reliable, making Fusion 16 Studio dramatically faster and more stable than ever before.

DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio and Fusion 16 Studio are both currently in Public Beta 4. Along with the software, Blackmagic Design also announced the DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard, a new premium keyboard that dramatically improves the speed of editing since it allows the use of two hands, so transport control and selecting clips can be done while performing edits. The DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard will be available late this summer.

The Colorful World of “Rocketman”

DaVinci Resolve Studio was recently used throughout the color pipeline for the Elton John musical biopic “Rocketman.”

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

Lensed by DP George Richmond, BSC, the film’s on-set DIT workflow was developed and managed by Onset Tech Joshua Callis-Smith with Goldcrest Post handling the final DI and online. Senior Colorist Rob Pizzey handled the final grade, delivering in Dolby Vision Domestic and Theatrical HDR, as well as SDR Rec 709, with Russ White and Daniel Tomlinson completing the online. The team also used a Blackmagic eGPU, which allowed them to achieve faster processing speeds.

Pizzey and Richmond began preproduction by defining the main show LUT in early testing where different lenses, exposure ranges and lighting setups were tested against elements from the film’s production design. Once production was complete, Richmond and Pizzey selected 350 still frames from the film to create a color bible for the final grade. They then spent two days picking different looks for each scene before a two-week unattended grading process, where Rob matched up the different looks to the aesthetics in the color bible while handling subtle recuts and dropping in VFX sequences where necessary.

“We wanted to reflect the narrative with a slightly muted, desaturated world for young Reggie,” says Pizzey. “Then, as the film progresses and Elton’s world goes out of control, the color pops more and vintage lenses were used to obtain a vibrant feel with exaggerated flares.”

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Sheila, Gemma Jones plays Ivy, Taron Egerton plays Elton John and Jamie Bell plays Bernie in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

“I aimed to maintain the soft look achieved with the vintage lenses, making sure not to go too hard on the bottom end of the curve,” adds Pizzey. “For one scene, we wanted to create a look where everything was muted except for Elton and Reggie. There was a lot of color in the scene’s rushes. The houses were red brick, there was lots of green in the gardens, and the dancers wore colorful outfits. To achieve the required look, we asked VFX to create mattes to help us to make sure the grade didn’t bleed into the other characters throughout the dance routine.”

For more information about DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio or its use on “Rocketman,” visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

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