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RED and Colour

Published : 18th December 2010

Having some more issues with footage from a recent RED shoot, build 30, and Color. Quoting the director/editor :

Wondering if you or any of your cohorts might be able to shed some light on this lame DPX issue I'm having with Color. Here's the scenario:

- Shoot RED (4k, 4kHD, etc..)
- Ingest as REDCODE in FCP
- Send to Color
- Export as DPX, 10bit Linear
- These DPX frames will NOT import into SOME versions of After Effects.

So far, I have been unable to isolate what causes them to be readable by other Adobe products at certain times. i.e - I have a set of files that went through the above pipeline that I can open with no problem on my Mac (OS 10.6.2, AE 9.0.2) but those same files are not able to import into After Effects on another compositor's machine (OS 10.5.8, AE 9.0.2). The only immediate difference between us is the OS version but I really don't think that's the issue. Or, I should say, that would be really, really, really lame if it was the culprit.

In any event, Color is clearly writing DPX frames in temperamental. I know that there are two different DPX standards (v1 and v2) but not sure which Color is writing or which AE wants to receive for that matter.

Any thoughts would be helpful. Meanwhile, I have to take those same DPX files into AE on my machine and re-render/transcode them to .CIN files so that my compositor can read them. Ughhhh....

Any thoughts? Suggestions? All are appreciated!

Thanks-

-----------------------

Art Adams | Director of Photography
4 1 5 . 7 6 0 . 5 1 6 7
San Francisco Bay Area

showreel > www.artadams.net
trade writing > art.provideocoalition.com

ICG, SOC, NWU


 

Smoke 2k does not read dpx files rendered by color either,

Color will write cineon files directly instead of dpx...

I always use it. cineon is a parent of DPX.


Elias Haswany

121 dahlia Road,
Monteverde,
Lebanon

Tel + 961 3304532
Fax +961 453 3778


Elias Haswany wrote:

>> Smoke 2k does not read dpx files rendered by colour either,

I had the same issues in DS as well, I went to file renamer and changed the extension to .cin and DS was happy with the files then.

Dermot Shane
post stuff
Vancouver Canada


 

"Smoke 2k does not read dpx files rendered by colour either,"

What is wrong with the Colour files that they don't read.
Does Autodesk know why Smoke does not like the Colour DPX files?
Just wondering.


That has to be hell for the Post Houses dealing with Independent Final Cut/Colour guys...

Nothing like a session that starts with that frames don't load.

Jeff Olm
Stereo Lustre Colourist, Flame and Smoke
LA, CA, USA


>>That has to be hell for the Post Houses dealing with Independent Final Cut/Colour guys...

Just wait till June when nobody ever, ever, ever! uses Colour ever again due to the DaVinci announcement....

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker
www.lunarfilms.com


>> Just wait till June when nobody ever, ever, ever! uses Colour ever again due to the DaVinci >>announcement....

Leading to a severe "shit or get off the pot" moment for Apple and FC Studio.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


Just wait till June when nobody ever, ever, ever! uses Colour ever again due to the DaVinci announcement....

Let’s just say that it’s been Resolved...

Dane Brehm
DIT : Data Tech
NorCal


>> Leading to a severe "shit or get off the pot" moment for Apple and FC Studio.

Apple Colour? what's that?.... Mr.Jobs... "Oh that must be a interior design app for the Me-Pad right?"

..... Right....

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker
www.lunarfilms.com


It had to do with the "endian"-ness of the .DPX files. Autodesk gear only liked big endian files, but Colour wrote little endian. It's like reading a book from right to left instead of left to right. We had to
run a whole project through Shake a shot at a time to get it into Smoke! I believe the DPX importer on Flame was updated a version or two ago to address the problem, though. Back to lurking I go!

Brian Higgins
- Hide quoted text -
Chicago, IL


>> Let’s just say that it’s been Resolved

To paraphrase Aahnold "Stick around... You have been Resolvahhnated...."

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>> That has to be hell for the Post Houses dealing with Independent Final Cut/Colour guys..

>Just wait till June when nobody ever, ever, ever! uses Colour ever again due to the DaVinci >>announcement....

We'll see.

The idea that many of the people who now use Colour will spend a thousand dollars for a new product, no matter how much better, flies in the face of much of the evidence I've seen.

At a thousand dollars, it becomes a mid-range tool in current financial terms, and the mid-range is the fastest disappearing demographic in the industry.

Sure, the relatively small percent who already own expensive tools will jump on it, but the rest?

With every passing day, we seem to slide farther into the "It's good enough" morass. And for many, faced with the prospect of spending a thousand bucks, I suspect Colour is good enough.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


Bob Kertesz wrote:

>>The idea that many of the people who now use Colour will spend a thousand dollars for a new >>product...flies in the face of much of the evidence I've seen.

I don't know. What impresses me is that the DaVinci software works cross platform so a small user can effectively do a colour correct/tracking "roughcut" and take the data to a big iron Linux house to do the finish. All of the Colour users probably have the requisite MacPro capable of running the software and I am sure that many already own Tangent Waves. I am going to do an informal poll of some of the NYC spot post houses and Colour users to see what they expect.

Alan Rosenfeld
The Studio at B&H


>> We'll see. With every passing day, we seem to slide farther into the "It's good enough" morass. >>And for many, faced with the prospect of spending a thousand bucks, I suspect Colour is good >>enough.

I was trying to be a bit tongue in cheek with that and to get Resolve running it is not just $995 and a macbook pro either. The QuadroFX card is just under $2k and you need panels for another $1.5-2K and a machine with storage and the SDI card so I think it is more like $10K for a base Resolve. Makes a nice machine for a small shop or individual colourist or a nice assist machine for a full Linux resolve. It is still commitment to using rather than a throw in with FCS but most people who use FCS have only opened Colour once and that was it.

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>>All of the Colour users probably have the requisite MacPro capable of running the software and I >>am sure that many already own Tangent Waves.

Not to mention that a lot of them will likely not be paying Blackmagic $1000 anyway. They'll be downloading and running a cracked version. I'd be  surprised if some of them aren't already.

Mike Most
Technologist
Woodland Hills, CA.


>> Not to mention that a lot of them will likely not be paying Blackmagic $1000 anyway. They'll be >>downloading and running a cracked version.

True which is why BMD smartly made it so you have to use their $995.00 Decklink Extreme if you want to get video in or out of it, also it is not mouse drivable so they are going to have to buy somebody's panels to run it...

Just sayin...

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>> The idea that many of the people who now use Colour will spend a thousand dollars for a new >>product, no matter how much better, flies in the face of much of the evidence I've seen.

I don't see much evidence that many people are using Colour. Resolve stands a far greater chance of being accepted professionally, at any level. I'm wondering, mostly for FCP's sake, whether suddenly being second fiddle on their own turf will shock Apple into action?

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


>>The idea that many of the people who now use Colour will spend a thousand dollars for a new >>product...flies in the face of much of the evidence I've seen.

I've been using Colour for more than thirty years now, but I have to say that there is a lot to be said for Monochrome as well.

Scott Dorsey
Kludge Audio
Williamsburg, VA.


>>mostly for FCP's sake, whether suddenly being second fiddle on their own turf will shock Apple >>into action?

A good mid-level suite circa late 2010 might well be MC5 / Resolve / Nuke... think of it as FCS that does everything better than FCP / Colour / Motion can and does not lose it's media ever?

I'm not holding my breath for any game changers from FCS, that race seems to be done, and the battle won & not by FCS...

For folks in their basement FCS should still find a niche.

But anyone finishing for broadcast with even the skimpiest of budget should be looking at MC5 / Resolve / Nuke now as the combined price of  entry is not beyond a reasonable shot at seeing ROI, assuming one already had FCS / MacPro / Tangent Wave / Disk array / Scopes / accurate rec709 mon on hand.

But I have been wrong before...

Dermot Shane
post guy
Vancouver Canada


I spoke to Stuart Ashton, VP of Business Development at BlackMagic and he said that the Resolve software WILL be mouse driveable.

It will run on a MacBook Pro. Obviously that means there are no current methods for capturing or outputting video on a laptop, but...

Steve Hullfish


>> I spoke to Stuart Ashton, VP of Business Development at BlackMagic and he said that the Resolve >>software WILL be mouse driveable.

Hmmm I stand correct-a-maf-ied....

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>>It will run on a MacBook Pro. Obviously that means there are no  current methods for capturing or >>outputting video on a laptop, but...

Well, AJA has a product (the IOExpress) which will capture and output DVCPro HD on a Mac or PC with a PC Express slot, and of course there are several aftermarket external chassis which will plug into a PC Express slot and accommodate a PCIe capture/playback card, but whether any of these will work with the software is another question (especially the AJA products, AJA being their biggest competitor).

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


>> Obviously that means there are no current methods for capturing or outputting video on a laptop, >>but...

??? I/O HD, Ki Pro, MXO-2, etc, etc.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


Again, in my discussions with them, they claim that they will strive to be compatible with all "competitive" products. We'll have to see if they stick to that, but they claim that eventually they will allow IO from AJA. I'll have a full interview up shortly on www.provideocoalition.com

Steve Hullfish


I think you will find that Colour users will fall into two basic categories. Those who consider themselves colourists, and then everyone else. I believe that anyone that falls into the former group will move to Resolve, with most of the later group sticking with Colour. Obviously there are exceptions, but I think generally this will be the split.

Paul Zadie
Motion Picture Editorial, Design, Effects
310 773 0725
http://zadie.com


 

Well, I think our industry is going the same way as photography, music making or print; piracy is a big thing there, and vendors are pushing on cheaply made/mass produced hardware with bundled software, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that happening pretty much the same way as I have my home studio for music at home. Then it's about finding the right position in this new ecosystem, software as a service is the way other IT related stuff is going. Service is also important, but more and more difficult to find. My main concern at the moment is the quality brought down, and the absence of standards, especially in stereo, is a huge problem for differentiating quality work.

For the video stuff I think it should go quite fast to forget about SDI and have HDMI everywhere. Already a lot of small place don't have any video board or SDI cable in the whole facility.

The same way as today we have PCs with fancy gamer boards to work instead of good old SGIs at some point the switch to pseudo-consumer is inevitable for a big share of what we are doing. RED and its pseudo consumer technology was the first step, Canon 5D/7D/1D and 1 grand DaVinci the second, who bets for next one?

Cédric Lejeune
www.workflowers.net / www.icolorist.com
pipelines & workflows & colours


>>"Resolve stands a far greater chance of being accepted professionally, at any level"

I've been looking at the Resolve online manual (I've been in many DaVinci sessions but never Resolve) and I'm going to seriously consider Resolve for a couple reasons alone, 1, REALLY node based 2, the way tracking in secondary’s seems to be implemented

Sam Wells
film/digital/motion/nj


>> I've been using Colour for more than thirty years now, but I have to say that there is a lot to be said >>for Monochrome as well.

For me, being weak and red-green, so to say somewhat "colour blind" for lastly 40 years now, I really don't care much about Apple's colour anyway. If they are RED or Green, or somewhat in the middle, it’s always a matter of taste. Like Coburn vs. Jona-Gold, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.

After all, isn't a purely RED or purely Green Apple monochrome too?

I thought you might talk about greyscale apples, but they really don't taste as good (don't think they are all greyscale to me, I promise they aren't - take some LSD and understand what I am seeing).

Honestly,

IMHO the future of grading tools belongs to tools working directly from the editing timeline, so any "roundtripping" does not even need to exist, because its one single app doing the entire stuff. Or it must be apps that do the steps so well integrated that it feels like that. If an app allows rock-solid import/export from FCP/Adobe/AVID/... then it’s the holy grail.

Mit freundlichen Gr��en,
Best regards,

Axel Mertes
Gesch�ftsf�hrer/CTO
Tel: +49 69 978837-20
Fax: +49 69 978837-22


Bob,

I spoke directly to Grant Petty (who was at his first NAB in 2 years) about this subject and he told me that he was not locking the Software Only version of Resolve to the BMD hardware alone. He was adamant about making sure that Resolve would be hardware independent, and stated to me that he had made overtures to both Matrox and AJA about allowing access to the Resolve Mac SDK.

Gary Adcock

Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Chicago, USA


>> It had to do with the "endian"-ness of the .DPX files. �Autodesk gear only liked big endian files, but >>Color wrote little endian.

Flame/Smoke and friends have added support for little-endian DPX files in 2010 extension 1 releases, so this should no longer be an issue when interchanging DPX files between Color and Flame/Smoke. The last time I had to deal with these endianness issues, I ended up using the
command line version of Shake to convert from little endian to big endian DPX files, but that should no longer be necessary.

Something else to watch out for is that Flame/Smoke don't really care about the transfer characteristic metadata in the DPX header, but Color definitely does, so if you are sending DPX files from Flame/Smoke to Color, you have to make sure to pick the right transfer characteristic when exporting (I don't remember which one gets you the expected behaviour back in Colour).

JF Panisset
Chief Engineer
MPC
Santa Monica, CA


For some of the DSLR-based semi-animation I am doing I could actually see using Resolve as a front-end pre-grade. This is why the handling of secondary’s interests me (esp. give DR/
highlight limits on current digital capture. (Various flavours of RAW interpretation might be quite interesting as an added Resolve feature.)

As for round-tripping yes I agree timeline access wd be best  (I don't like the XML trip in Color; in fact I don't even like the XML trip say Soundtrack <-> FCP rather copy paste etc).

Then again I've wished Color could be a node in Shake ! (and why not vice versa - in fact I'd love to see a "Final Cut Master" let's call it where all the players in an FCS could be expressed as nodes on a page --- even 3 rd party (as long as I'm dreaming )

Sam Wells
film/digital/motion/nj


Sam Wells wrote:

>> I'd love to see a "Final Cut Master" let's call it where all the players in an FCS could be expressed >>as nodes on a page --- even 3 rd party (as long as I'm dreaming

It's here today, and it's called either Mistika or DS, both offer wide ranging tools from inside the software, and a GUI across all tools that remains consistent

Or the dear departed Cyborg2K v2... So far ahead of its time - so far  ahead that the only thing they could imagine to do with it was to kill it.

If you are used to FCS prices then remember to bring cash to the table when talking to SGO or Avid though.... there might be a bit of sticker shock involved..

They do offer what you are asking for, so you are not dreaming, but they offer it at a price point well above FCS, and offer tools that are rock solid, with media that stays put always.

Dermot Shane
post guy tonight
DS owner/ artist, former Jaleo & Cyborg artist
Vancouver, Canada


The largest impact will be to post houses that already own daVinci's.

Now, they have to try to sell clients that their DaVinci is better than the one the boutique has. In other words, the name value of DaVinci has been undermined.

Terence Curren
Burbank, CA
www.alphadogs.tv
www.digitalservicestation.com
www.editorslounge.com


>> In other words, the name value of DaVinci has been undermined.

Or they see the writing on the wall: lots of companies are trying to do it all themselves and post houses are having a rougher time bringing in clients. So instead of selling a pricey system to a few post houses that have the money to buy, they're selling software solutions to people who are using Color and cursing it on a daily basis.

Or they'll make an entre into post houses that now find they have to offer everything under one roof but can't justify buying a full-on Da Vinci system.

Given the direction the industry is going this might be a smart move. I'd love to see their current sales figures as I suspect that would tell us quite a lot.

-----------------------

Art Adams | Director of Photography
4 1 5 . 7 6 0 . 5 1 6 7
San Francisco Bay Area

showreel -> www.artadams.net
trade writing -> art.provideocoalition.com

ICG, SOC, NWU


>> The largest impact will be to post houses that already own daVinci's.... the name value of DaVinci >>has been undermined.

Could one describe that as the glass-half-empty view? The glass-half-full view might be that it's now an enhanced product, because people can get some distance into their projects on a smaller system, then take that same project to a bigger-iron shop to finish it out. The net effect may be to bring in a larger number of shows that otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford a DaVinci finish, because they can get some of the grunt work out of the way first. If some of that grunt work is substandard and bears fixing, then there may be some profit in the show.

The real lesson may be that fully-rigged shops expecting shows coming in semi-finished should bill T&M, not fixed bid, as they might have if they were doing it all.

And, as it was with Shake, when a small developer gets into trouble, the choice sometimes is not between two ideals, but between nothing and what the new owner wants to do with it. Previous, high-value incarnation users may just have to "bite it and smile", as the saying goes.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


>>"media that stays put always"

Sorry I am not paying top dollar for sw that is philosophically incompatible with FCS .

-Sam Wells
film/digital/motion/nj
seriously, thanx


> >Now, they have to try to sell clients that their DaVinci is better than the one the boutique has. In >>other words, the name value of DaVinci has been undermined.

I don't completely disagree about the undermining the brand name, but I would say that they need to try to sell clients on what they've always sold clients on, namely the talent and experience of the colourists and support staff, the ability to turn around work on a very high level very efficiently and technically correct, and the ability to deliver on all required deliverables in a reasonable time frame with a high degree of reliability.

Mike Most


>> I don't completely disagree about the undermining the brand name, but I would say that they need >>to try to sell clients on what they've always sold clients on

I don’t see how a full tilt Resolve with 16GPU's and a DaVinci panel and Linux license is to be seen as a low end machine now, it will still run you $100K without facilities and monitoring. Not as much as it was but not something the smaller colour user is going to run out and buy,

Also the base $995 system will be like $10K with panels and hardware so a great replacement for those who have colour already which is not a whim investment for an individual. I think there will be those who run Resolve on their laptops but that will get tired quick.

I think colour grading will stay a specialty and the DaVinci pricing reflects the fact that these systems are software that run on commodity hardware and no longer boards of custom Asics like the 888DUI I own...

Will some of the "bespoke" sales pitch be lost? possibly but were colour timers looked on as gods? not really, even though some of them should have been.

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>>"I think there will be those who run Resolve on their laptops but that will get tired quick."

No more tired than running Color on a laptop tho. Client big ticket project, MBP & a mouse of course not.

I think the analogy here is sorta like ProTools whose use can scale from "Bedroom studio" to Skywalker Sound.

Re Color & FCP timeline/XML, really all they need to do is make it work within the FCP session like the Color Finesse plugin did (does ?) --- you could access like the other FX or open its own interface.

-Sam Wells
film/digital/motion/nj


>>"I think there will be those who run Resolve on their laptops but that will get tired quick."

I'd be happy to spend $1,000 on something that will let me send some reference files to an actual colourist in a bigger facility, and have some confidence that they will be compatible. DaVinci's version of SpeedGrade On Set, as it were...

For that purpose, it doesn't need to be speedy on my laptop.

George Hupka
Director/DP, Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada
Listmum, Cinematography Mailing List


>>Could one describe that as the glass-half-empty view? The glass-half-full view might be that it's >>now an enhanced product, because people can get some distance into their projects on a smaller >>system, then take that same project to a bigger-iron shop to finish it out.

Y'know, I've been hearing that for at least a decade now about all sorts of inexpensive systems, and with the exception of semi-serious vfx work, I just don't think much of that "taking the project to a bigger-iron shop to finish it" is happening anymore.

As empirical evidence, there are very few bigger-iron shops left, those that are left are doing a lot of "silent" layoffs of 2, 5, 10 people a month, and not a lot of new ones coming on line.

It seems that if it's possible to do a "it's good enough" job on the desktop, that’s what happens.

And the definition of "it's good enough" is getting murkier by the day.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


>>there are very few bigger-iron shops left, those that are left are doing a lot of "silent" layoffs of 2, 5, >>10 people a month, and not a lot of new ones coming on line

And just this morning I was parked behind (not on) a Baselight at Colorworks...

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


>>work within the FCP session like the Color Finesse plugin did (does ?)

Does.

With improvements in the new 3.0 version.

-----
Bob Currier Synthetic Aperture voice: +1 949 493-3444
San Juan Capistrano, CA USA fax: +1 949 203-2108
web : www.synthetic-ap.com


 

Mike Most wrote:

>>[ ...I don't completely disagree about the undermining the brand name, but I would say that they >>need to try to sell clients on what they've always sold clients on, namely the talent and experience >>of the colourists and support staff, the ability to turn around work on a very high level very efficiently >>and technically correct, and the ability to deliver on all required deliverables in a reasonable time >>frame with a high degree of reliability.... ]

____snip____

As someone working on "Big Iron", my take is that there are a given number of people with the talent, resources and skills to make a living as a "Colourist". That number is growing and will continue to grow... but do some math on this DaVinci question. In the past selling a Big Iron system from DaVinci ( or Baselight, Film Master, Lustre, etc.), was a few hundred thousand dollars. A 2K plus I worked on went for around $400K. It came with 24 hour support, board replacements, software upgrades, etc. The Lustre I had was the same way. My current Baselight 8 is like that and a whole lot more. I can move through lots of spot work without worry of source resolution or deliverable requirement. I can
take in anything and make almost anything from the comfort and power of my suite. So, for argument sake, let's discount that number to $200K. So, 1 typical user of these systems now represents 200 new users ( at $1k ) to the manufacturer to obtain the same revenue. Maybe slightly higher profit margin ;>) ( Even when you consider development of the older DI products, current R&D, Marketing, and Salaries ?? You're not going to convince me that the old Hardware cost even 50% of the system.
Try around 20% maybe) . 5 old users represent 1000 new users of the DaVinci $1000 model. During a discussion the TIG a few years ago, we sort of surmised that there might be about 2000 working colourists worldwide. These were people making a living as Colorists. Maybe the number was higher - and who knows how many systems that really represented?? 2000 colourists available to possibly buy systems to make a living means $2M to DaVinci as laptop users. That's the revenue from around 4 systems in the past. Ahh, BUT you say, so many more people will buy them now. Dp's and Directors too. How many is that? 5000 users? Ahh, you say, BUT the DaVinci BRAND is a huge name. Clients know it. They're the same ones that wouldn't use a Pogle because it couldn't make a
toilet bowl vignette.

Nonsense I say. It never bothered anyone outside America. That was purely an American problem from my view

These days, it's a complete non-issue. Most clients wouldn't know a DaVinci from AE from a DS from Shake from Scratch for doing Color Correction. If someone is sitting in the chair making nice looking
images, it doesn't matter anymore what it's on, as long as they'll pay for it, right?

Most manufacturers of Big Iron at the time claimed to have at least 100 if not 200 systems online. DaVinci was higher, but how high? 800?

The truth, as Mike puts it, lies in what your workflow is. How much do you have to take into your system? What res? What format? And then, what do you have to output, and how quickly? For my part of this biz, I get a few hours to ingest, work, and output something, by a certain time, to a certain place. Every single part of that sentence is variable except the deadline. Most of my projects deliver same day. Some overnight. Some within hours or minutes. As I have said before on many lists - I can
colour correct on anything. The tool doesn't really matter anymore, though I have my preferences purely creatively, and as toolsets. I can size the tool to client expectations and budget. What I can't change is deliverables, deadlines, consistency, quality of what I can create, and reliability of gear. Without reliable tools that can keep up with what I ask of them, I cannot make a living doing what I do.

I worked on DaVinci products for around 17 years, starting with the Classic. I know the people that worked on them. I understand the power of the Brand...but I remain confused as to why everyone seems so ecstatic that they've now become affordably disposable. Rob Houlihan points out as well, that a real Linux based DaVinci Suite is going to run around $100K..... So, I guess the $1000 version is a "look generator"?

I'd rather get a still or a LUT ( even an RSX ) from the set. Works fine for me, thank you.

Best to all -

Craig Leffel
Senior Colourist
Optimus


Craig Leffel wrote:

>>Clients know it. They're the same ones that wouldn't use a Pogle because it couldn't make a toilet >>bowl vignette.

OK, I gotta ask: Toilet bowl vignette?

Stu Maschwitz
http://prolost.com


Here, let me translate for you.

What Craig is referring to is that colourists tend to make their vignette windows in the ovalized shape that is so popular in lavatories around the world.

Commonly named 'The Vignette, The Four Corner Pinch, Barrel Falloff, etc."

One of the most used and abused techniques in post-production.

Best,

Bob Festa
Send 1819 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404


>>How many is that? 5000 users? Ahh, you say, BUT the DaVinci BRAND is a huge name. Clients >>know it. They're the same ones that wouldn't use a Pogle because it couldn't make a toilet bowl >>vignette.

Craig, none of us can really know more than informed guesses about what this will do. Your perspective is from the land of Big-Iron, and I respect what you have said. From my perspective -small 3 person shop-, I see a very different outcome. In my vision of things to come, BMD could sell at least 10-20x the number of licenses you are talking about world-wide. Small production companies will see it as a necessity to compete on the same playing field they had been competing with other small Color shops. Of that much larger pool, 60% will struggle to figure out how to use it effectively. But they will have DaVinci on their bullet list and use that to stay competitive. 30% will develop a competent skill-set and workflow and do well with it. 5-10% will excel and open up new business models and purchase the full-on Linix based version. I think BMD will do very very well as long as they can figure out how to get the less-capable 60% of their user base up to a minimum acceptable level. It’s similar to Red's model.

How many Red Ones out there make a living doing high-end work vs being cool and marketable in the low-end?

Paul Nordin
DP/COLORist (planning to be in that upper 20% with DaVinci)
El Mundo Bueno Studios
Emeryville, CA


The da Vinci model proposed - that tons of small shops will get it just to add it to a "bullet list" of stuff they HAVE, not necessarily that they can USE - could prove fairly problematic for BM in the same
way that many early Avid shops got Avids and then had editors who used them so poorly that it gave Avid a bad name. I cleaned up all kinds of Avid projects in the early 1990s for producers who complained that Avid couldn't make a decent EDL. But it wasn't Avid, it was the PEOPLE
running the gear that were making the gear look bad and giving it a bad name. Hopefully, all this power will be used responsibly.

Steve Hullfish
author, "The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction"


There is one thing with BMD's DaVinci that is currently the biggest "problem" to the market from the perspective of those reselling colour grading systems:

It’s not there yet.

So why is this a problem?

Simply because many people who thought about adding a colour correction option to their workflow may now wait until that software is released and actually hitting the market. That does not affect the low end market that much, because the low end wasn't really existing except for Apple Color and some simple plugins for existing editing platforms. It does IMHO affect the "bigger" players starting with the ~20,000+ US$ products, because comparing the "full blown DaVinci Resolve with the panel"
to one of these mid-range and high-end products may be in peoples mind. There it were its starts to become "competitive". If they do not have jobs NOW they might well try to wait until the app is available and give it a try and compare.That actually freezes many investments, which could produce harder times for DaVinci competitors.

It’s the same as when RED announced the RED ONE, showing prototypes and demo footage, but being short on delivery at the beginning. Other vendors sold much less cameras, because people were waiting for RED ONEs and did only invest if a job required it. I know a ton of people who rented cameras during that period to overcome the job dilemma.

After all, I think that many apps out there might have their respective advantages and will - in the long run - remain their niche. But clearly DaVinci could become the replacement for FCP Studio's Color the more ambitious "Color" user. And it will potentially put a grading tool in the hand of those one-man authors, who already edit their movies on FCP and hitting the post houses for fixing and fine tuning their projects.

We have tons of customers like these, and we are clearly not always happy. What’s the value of an FCP station, if you just have to serve the room and machinery, but not the staff? For most 90 minutes docs or features its cheaper - from the producers perspective - to BUY that workstation instead of renting it in our facilities. BUT they ALWAYS have no idea about service skills and knowledge that is with us.

I think it’s not a speculation to say that this will exactly happen with DaVinci low end solutions. They will sell. People will use it. People may screw it up. It will bring down total "value" of grading - unfortunately. But I think there is nothing one can do against it. The whole thing started with Apple, not BMD. BMD just follows the "trend" send by Apple. What IMHO is different is that BMD seems to care about its customers, but I got the feeling that at Apple iPad, iPod and iTunes are way more interesting that making Color the new DaVinci...And I am somehow sometimes thankful for this ) either way.

Regardless of all this, DaVinci will be - in a short amount of time after its release - surely become very well known on a broad user base and thereby the talent pool will grow dramatically. That does not mean the overall skill will grow that much, but the chance you can hire an artist knowing the
software is becoming very good. Unfortunately such things put pressure on the good existing artists, cost wise. They can only justify themselves with their respective track records and demo reels. That might help. Press thumbs.

Mit freundlichen Gr��en,
Best regards,

Axel Mertes
Gesch�ftsf�hrer/CTO
Tel: +49 69 978837-20
Fax: +49 69 978837-22


>>you say, BUT the DaVinci BRAND is a huge name. Clients know it. They're the same ones that >>wouldn't use a Pogle because it couldn't make a toilet bowl vignette.

Yep it's always been limited with shapes but hey what beautiful keying... like cutting through butter, no need for a key blur...As for cheap systems, we all know that clients pay for speed, talent and reliability. We work with crazy deadlines and have to deal with unexpected additional clients requests, production hiccups or disasters on top of an already unrealistic schedule, I don't think a $999 Resolve system is going to make any difference to us. Look at VFX, high end commercial work is still done on the expensive Autodesk systems because it just delivers.

Jean-Clement Soret
MPC
London


>>Rob Houlihan points out as well, that a real Linux based Davinci Suite is going to run around >>$100K..... So, I guess the $1000 version is a "look generator"?

It is Houllahan (no I) but everyone spells it wrong...

I think a properly setup Resolve for mac is going to be more than a look generator but you still have to spend about $10K to get it. Panels, a fast Mac-Pro and GPU plus disk storage and motoring is not so cheap. I think the single GPU Resolve will outdo Scratch or other apps of that class. I have a 8 core 12Tb mac pro MC-Colour with an 11UK plasma just waiting for it.

I was somewhat horrified the other week when a guy from a local video shop said they were "getting into" colour correction and that they had to "drag out" their crt because the lcd monitors they were using had "no blacks" presumably the crt was a PVM. I have been timing film for about seven years now and I can say that my first year was a bit of a hard learning experience and I do think there is going to be a glut of badly timed projects out there.

The Red revolution has not produced any Kirosowa's and the $995 Resolve won't make any Dowdell's or Festa's and there will be more noise in the signal.... I think the small shop will only get so far because a $100K full tilt room is still going to be outside the envelope of their finances.

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>> It is Houllahan (no I) but everyone spells it wrong... produced any Kirosowa's

Duuuhhhh... Kurosawa

Rob "Tired Dumbass Speller Houllahan...."

Robert Houllahan
Film Maker


>>What IMHO is different is that BMD seems to care about its customers

Their tech support quality will have to improve dramatically, or they and their clients are both going to be very unhappy.

My experience with them has been so bad in that area that it would have to get a whole lot better just to reach "awful".

I have never been able to reach a live human being when calling, and their call-back rate hours or day later has been around 30% - the rest of the time they just didn't bother. Emails took WEEKS to answer, and then, more often than not, the answer was "we'll have to get back to you on that" and they
never did.

I'm STILL waiting for a response to the simple question "which LUT formats does the HDLINK-PRO support?". Their response was "We're busy with getting ready for NAB, we'll get back to you right after the show."

That was the 2009 NAB. Still waiting.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


Bob Kertesz wrote:

>>Their tech support quality will have to improve dramatically, or they and their clients are both going >>to be very unhappy.

My own experience of several years ago was no different from what Bob describes. I would hesitate buying anything from them that I anticipated needing support for.

Also, from my experience, I wouldn't count on promised features for the future showing up on a product eventually. Buy their products for what they actually do when they ship. The products I've used are good though.

I would also anticipate a post here from someone at BMD in response, slamming anyone who dares to suggest that their support is less than perfect.

Steven Bradford
DP/ Instructor
Seattle Washington
http://www.seanet.com/~bradford/

 


>> I'm STILL waiting for a response to the simple question

That's the problem with being a small entrepreneurial (dis)organization. And one of the reasons they can sell big products for a small price. I have to admit they had a pretty stunning product range at NAB. The best answer for them may be fuller documentation, so that for simple questions RTFM is a reasonable suggestion.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


>>The da Vinci model proposed - that tons of small shops will get it just to add it to a "bullet list" of >>stuff they HAVE, not necessarily that they can USE - could prove fairly problematic for BM

A lot of people had never used a tool for colour correction as sophisticated as Color 3 years ago. Apple did very little to help. However, in short order paths to understanding became available, like
Steven's great book, video tutorials, etc.

Now there is a whole new category of "Colonist" working with Color as the lynchpin. And in many cases the net quality of work has improved significantly. Has that little iron shop undermined big irons work or diluted it? Debatable. While abuse and misuse can easily be pointed to, I think more than anything it has raised awareness to the value of skilled colourists regardless of toolset, and raised the quality possible for a budget constrained project. Isn't it likely that BMD is going to continue that trend?

Paul Nordin
__________
El Mundo Bueno Studios
Emeryville, CA
www.EMBStudios.com


Hi Bob,

yes, I agree, the phone and mail support has room for improvement, no question.

>> I'm STILL waiting for a response to the simple question "which LUT formats does the HDLINK->>PRO support?". Their response was "We're busy with getting ready for NAB, we'll get back to you >>right after the show."

>> That was the 2009 NAB. Still waiting.

I remember I recently dropped you an email in the Fusion forum regarding this. What I can say is that .itx and .3dl files seem to work fine with our BMD HD Link Pro's. I have never checked what else might work, but we have the SDK lying around, maybe I can dig that out. If yes, I'll drop it to you
and BMD owes me a beer

Anyhow, my argument was more about that BMD actually DOES improve the software, while Apple is comparably slow on new features (if any at all).

And regarding the general support, Apple and BMD are similar in my experience (that’s why I prefer HP workstations...).

I hope that DaVinci support will somewhat rely on the existing DaVinci team, which might change the perspective a bit.

Ah, and some news to tell:

DaVinci is just being announced to ship on July 26th, 2010.


http://nmav.de/produkte/product/_3169/c/66e37f234b/prices.htm

Cheers,

Axel Mertes
Gesch�ftsf�hrer/CTO
Tel: +49 69 978837-20
Fax: +49 69 978837-22