Color Grading with Da Vinci Resolve: Beginner to Advanced
4.4 (1,063 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
6,519 students enrolled

Color Grading with Da Vinci Resolve: Beginner to Advanced

Learn to grade like a professional with hands-on projects and guidance!
4.4 (1,063 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
6,516 students enrolled
Created by Matthew Falconer
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $104.99 Original price: $149.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 31 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will be able to take a grading project from start to finish and deliver to a professional standard
  • You will be able to guide others through the color grading worklfow
  • A working familiarity of video editing

Color grading still enjoys an odd, almost mystical status among some filmmakers.  Well, there' no magic (Blackmagic doesn't count) here, just hard graft and know-how.  This course will take you from a standing start, right the way through to high-end and professional color grading using the excellent Da vinci Resolve.  The training material I'm providing comes from real-world projects where I was paid to provide my labor.  I'm gong to take you through how I approached each and every one of these projects to achieve professional, high-end results.

I'm now a Blackmagic Design certified trainer in Da Vinci Resolve  and I've been color grading professionally for over six years and in that time I've produced work for brands such as Unilever, Greggs Bakery, TNT Logistics, Joules (a UK clothing line), the NHS, the BBC and Virgin Airlines.  It doesn't stop there either.  I've delivered drama and factual work for broadcast and web as well as feature films for international distribution. 

I'm bringing the benefit of my experience to this course because I know what it's like to have no-one to teach you.  When I started to grade on my film course back in university, there were no tutors who could teach the grade at all.  I wound up spending long nights in the grading suite (some winter days I actually missed the sun completely) teaching myself to use Resolve from scratch.  It paid off as I wound up delivering grading work for the BBC wildlife unit whilst still studying at university!  But why was it like that?  I still believe I'd be a lot better now if I'd had the right training earlier, all the harder to iron out bad habits when there's no-one around to call you out!

So this course is my attempt to provide that support and that training to as many people as possible, all for the price of a pizza (a heavily discounted pizza if it's a large one).  If you want to learn how to finish your film projects to a higher standard then come along as we cover Da Vinci Resolve in Depth in this course!

This course is now in a near-finished state.  I have plans for one additional bonus module on HDR grading in the future, but otherwise I will be revisiting all the lectures here as new versions of Resolve are released.

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who wants to take their film projects to the next level through color grading and high-end finishing
  • Anyone who needs to know the workflow of the grade in post production using the industry's most popular solution
Course content
Expand all 122 lectures 30:52:25
+ Introduction
3 lectures 04:13

An intro to this course, a quick overview of where I've come from and where we're going.

Preview 03:01

A very quick overview of what we're going to be covering and the content in the course so far.

Preview 00:49
+ The Edit Panel
2 lectures 06:46

A quick overview of the edit panel within Da Vinci Resolve, we're going to be taking our projects into this before we start grading.

Preview 02:56

Here, we go into how to investigate the important attributes of our footage, we need to know what we're dealing with and where to find that information!

The Edit Panel: Clip Attributes
+ The Conform: Getting a project into Resolve
11 lectures 01:03:21

What is a "conform?"  It's how we take an edit from our choice of NLE (editing program) and take it into resolve with all the editing decisions made intact.  We can then grade that timeline and return that to our client.

Preview 01:59

Here we take a closer look at the Media Panel.  This is where we manage our project's media files, import our material and generally keep things organized to ensure a smooth grading workflow.

The Media Panel Whistle-stop

A quick look at the master project settings within resolve.  It's important that we know where these controls are, but we'll go over these in detail as they become important to real-world projects.

Master Project Settings

This is our first real look at the workings of resolve.  we're going to take a "Baked Master" File, which is a single video file containing our whole edit, and cut it back up into workable cuts within Resolve using the scene cut detector utility.  This is the simplest way to get a project into resolve and a real bread-and-butter workflow for anyone working on shorts or corporate video that has been shot on the likes of an ARRI Alexa/Amira, a Sony FS7/700 or any DSLR.

The Baked Master Workflow: Shorts and Corporate

The first step of a slightly involved process.  We're going to bring a timeline into Resolve, intact and still referencing the original rush files our editors worked with.  This is the essential Workflow for anything captured in any RAW format or any high-end project as well as longer form projects such a serial-length or feature films.  Here we take a look at the first step, and the first step is always organization, follow along with the Premiere pro project file provided.

Preview 07:35

Now we've got the pre-grade out of the way, we're going to prepare our project and bring the footage into resolve.  We'll go over how to lead resolve to footage that has moved, this is an essential step if the project has migrated workstations.

XML Part 2: organizing the project and importing footage for shorter projects

Now we're going to go through the edit we've brought into Resolve and proof-check it using the offline reference file we made during the first lecture on the XML roundtrip.  We need to be totally sure that what we've got is correct here as we have to send the footage back to our client at the end of the process!

XML Part 3: Proof-checking our conform
The AAF Part one: Generating the AAF
The AAF Part 2: Reconforming in Resolve
+ The Scopes
4 lectures 20:39

We're going to be spending most of our time here so we'd better get well acquainted with the color panel!  We'll have a quick skim through the layout first and then move on to our scopes.

The Color Panel Whistle-Stop
The Scopes Part 1: Luma Waveform R16 update
The Scopes Part 2: RGB and Parade R16 update
The Scopes Part 3: Vectorscope R16 Update
+ Primary grades
11 lectures 01:20:22

A quick overview of what a primary grade actually is.  An adjustment that effects the entire image.

Preview 01:20

The primary wheels are our most basic and important tools in Resolve.  We go through how to make adjustments to the brightness of our image using these simple yet powerful tools.

Preview 06:59

Now we're going to move on to fixing a color cast in our image using the primary wheels.  This, along with our initial contrast adjustment, is the most common task in Color grading.  Time to get started!

Primary Grading Pt2: Primary Wheels and color adjustments

Now onto the RGB curves.  These straddle the line between primary and secondary as they can be used to target parts of our tonal range, but also the entire image at once.  We'll take a look at how they work and how I like to use them.

Primary Grading Pt 3: RGB Curves and Luma adjustments

Now for something with a little more finesse.  We can control our color channels very tightly with the right use of the RGB curves and make some very accurate adjustments.  We'll take a look in this lecture.

Primary Grading Pt 4: RGB Curves and color adjustments

The Log Wheels are a very accurate tool that allow us to manually define our area of effect.  We'll take a look at how the differ from the Primary Wheels and when we might use them instead.

Primary grading Pt 5: The Log Wheels
Primary Grade Pt 6: Stills Gallery R16 Update

Now we're going to take a look at Nodes, the building blocks of a grade in Resolve.  We're going to see how we combine multiple adjustments to form a simple grade and how we keep our work organized so that we can revise our grade efficiently later on.

The Node Tree Pt 1: Organizing as we work
Primary Grading Pt7: Auto Colour R16 Update

Now to put it all into practice, follow along as we tackle a short dialogue scene head on and make sure we get it into a good place for the secondary grade!

Primary Grading Pt 8: Matching a short sequence with our primary tools
+ Secondary grades
10 lectures 01:41:23

A quick look at secondary grading tools.  Here' we'll start to see how we'll select or "qualify" parts of our image to work on and make highly targeted adjustments to our image.

Preview 01:23
The Scopes Part 4: Histograms R16 Update
The Secondary Curves Pt1 :The Attribute curves R16 Update
The Secondary Curves Pt 2: Sat and Luma R16 Update

Arguably the most powerful tool in Resolve.  We're going to take a look at this tool and how it's used.  We'll be coming back to the HSL Qualifier over and over again whilst performing advanced grades.

The Hue Saturation Luma Qualifier

Power windows allow us to draw tow-dimensional shapes onto our image that we can then work inside of or outside of.  this is a very powerful feature when combined with tracking and keyframing, which are covered in the next lecture.

Power Windows

We've got a shape, now we're going to make it move!  We can track windows to significant features on our image and make them follow along.  this is very useful for faces in particular.  we'll also go over how to manually keyframe a power window and use manual keyframing to fix a partially correct track.

Tracking and keyframing

Alpha is a fourth channel that governs transparency, whether or not we can actually see a part of our image.   In the context of resolve it allows us to combine qualifications to make highly accurate adjustments to our image, we're going to look at how to do this in this lecture.

The Node Tree Pt 2: Being transparent about Alpha
The Node Tree Pt 3: Copying nodes R16 Update

Here's the first bit of real work.  We've done a simple primary grade but now we've got to finish the job and get this sequence into top shape.  We'll use everything we've learned to grade this sequence to a professional standard.  Download the demo file from the Dropbox link and follow along!

Matching a short sequence with Secondaries
+ The dreaded Tech Part 1: the Basics
4 lectures 11:08

A quick look at what we'll be covering in this module.  This is super-important stuff, so be sure to take note!

Overview of basic tech

A look at what we need to know about codecs to deliver a simple project for web.

The basics of Codecs

An all-important concept in both color grading and VFX.  Bit depth denotes the number of colors we have to work with n our footage.  why does that matter?  You're about to find out.

Bit Depth

A quick look at compression and the effect it has on our footage.  We don't want our footage to be mangled before it even reaches us, this is important stuff to know and to pass on as we work with less experienced clients.

Compression and Data Rate
+ Basic delivery for web
5 lectures 21:44

Now we're going to look at how to deliver a project for upload to the web.  We'll start with an overview of the delivery panel, then we'll go through how to get our graded project back to our client in either a single piece or as a new timeline and an XML to finish up our roundtrip.

The Delivery Panel Whistle-Stop

We're going to look at the different settings available to use when we render out a project from Resolve.  This is super-important, we need to be sure we're sending the right stuff back to our client or we haven;t done the job!

Delivery Settings

We're going to look at how to render out multiple timelines from a single project.  Useful for when we'e got a series of shorter videos cut form a common pool of rushes or when you've got a single contract with multiple separate videos that can all be exported in rapid succession.

Mutliple Deliveries

We're at the last hurdle.  We're going to get a graded timeline back into our choice of NLE in it's separate edits ready for the online edit and final export.

XML Pt 5: Reconforming your project back in your edit software
The AAF Part 3: Reconforming in Avid
+ Real world project 1: Corporate video
8 lectures 04:34:56
A workaround for crossfades in the Baked Master workflow

We're now on to our first real-world project.  But before we rush in, there's some thought about the grade we're going to perform.  how do we start this creative process?  Continue to find out.

Approaching the grade; thinking like a Colourist

We're going to move onto the first phase of a real grade.  We're going to develop a number of looks that our client can feedback on and then we're going to progress with the chosen look.  We'll take a look at how to find inspiration and what we might consider when looking through our project and deciding on the direction of a grade.

Look Development

With the look chosen by our client we'll now go onto the first pass of our grade.  We'll use everything we've learned to get a rough approximation of our chosen look on the whole timeline and we'll think about how far to go before presenting the project for feedback.  Then we'll prepare to continue with the second pass.

The First Pass
Keeping track of our grade

Now we're onto the second pass.  We've got feedback from our client and we're now getting the project close to a deliverable state.  We're going to match our shots more closely and sign off on each one as we work.  We'll then prepare for final feedback and the final, third pass.

The Second Pass

We're right at the finish line!  We'll polish off the last few lingering issues with our project and then get it ready for delivery back to the client who will take care of the online edit and final export for their delivery to their choice of web platform.

The Third Pass, Signoff and Delivery to Client
+ Module 10: Lookup Tables (LUTs)
3 lectures 14:40
An introduction to Lookup Tables
Where to Apply and generate LUTs
1D and 3D LUTs