Tdubs wrote: ...Are there any FCP users that are color grading using FCP and also color grading using Da Vinci Resolve? I would really like to hear your thoughts on advantages / disadvantages of both, thanks!
I have corrected and graded a lot of material using only FCP and am also testing Resolve for the finishing stage of FCP editing.
As Ben said you can do a lot with FCP's native tools. There are also various plugins like Color Finale and CoreMelt which expand that but in a collaborative workflow can cause issues since everyone must have that plugin. Plugins as currently implemented using the FxPlug 3 framework may degrade FCP reliability in some cases. This will theoretically be improved in the future as plugins are re-written to use FxPlug 4.
Resolve Studio has excellent tracking, stabilization, skin refinement and noise reduction all built in. The quality of those is similar to the best available expensive 3rd party products like Neat Video and Imagenomic Portraiture. The color masking features are more nuanced than FCP, and the node-based color system allows elaborate grading. The question is do you need that vs what a skilled colorist can accomplish with FCP, and is it worth the time and coordination overhead to have a dual NLE workflow.
In a formal, sequential post-production workflow, you achieve "edit lock" and hand off to color and audio. If the initial editor avoids certain things that don't translate well to Resolve, that can work.
But if the timeline requires editing in Resolve then goes back to FCP, then back again to Resolve, it becomes more complex. It can work but the entire workflow must be mapped out ahead of time and all post production collaborators must be trained.
Resolve can directly handle BRAW but not ProRes RAW; FCP is the opposite. However EditReady2 can batch transcode both of those to ProRes 4444.
Resolve can require significant hardware (esp. GPU) for certain tasks, but FCP also requires that if using similar capability via plugins. E.g, Neat Video, Digital Anarchy's Flicker Free, Imagenomic Portraiture, etc.
Thanks Joema & Ben! I really appreciate that detailed response. I'm working with a color science and developer team we have been in R&D for quite a few years now. We are developing technology to help make color grading easier for all content creators. I'm really interested to find out if there are a lot of Final Cut users who find color grading challenging or who would like the color correction component of their workflow to be easier. Is this a pain point? And is it worth developing a product for FCP?
I used to teach color grading, I do grading weekly, I don't have any issues with the tools supplied by FCP. But a lot of folks rely on Color Finale and Coremelt. I also avoid LUTs unless it's to normalize a Log clip. I personally don't see a need for more grading tools in FCP. But, I'm sure you'll find a wide variety of opinions on this.
Tdubs wrote: ...I'm really interested to find out if there are a lot of Final Cut users who find color grading challenging or who would like the color correction component of their workflow to be easier. Is this a pain point? And is it worth developing a product for FCP?
As Ben said, there are various 3rd-party color grading plugins for FCP right now. I'm not sure what the "market penetration" of those is among the FCP user community. CineMatch (a shot-matching plugin) will be available for FCP soon: www.cinematch.com
There are several high-end FCP plugins which do certain non-color finishing tasks such as Neat Video, Imagenomic Portraiture and Digital Anarchy Flicker Free.
FCP now has built-in hue/sat curves, HSL masks and good HDR support. I'd say the biggest lack is tracking but people can use CoreMelt for that.
I suppose there is always space to make a better, smoother or more reliable color grading plugin. All current non-template plugins are developed with Apple's FxPlug 3 framework, which runs the plugin code within the address space of FCP. A single software bug in any plugin can destabilize or crash FCP. Going forward plugin developers must re-write their code to use FxPlug 4 which can run in a separate address space, improving reliability. However this places greater demands on the plugin developer to manage threading, synchronization, etc.
In a collaborative environment plugins can be problematic because all collaborators must have the same versions of the same plugins. The Apple plugin framework does not have a unified method for querying current plugin version number, upgrading it, or de-installing it.
Our plug in is a dynamic transform (think of it like an intuitive LUT) it automates part of the color correction process. You sound like you have a really great grasp of FCP, would you be willing to test our plug in in Da Vinci Resolve and let us know if you think it would be worthwhile creating a version for FCP? It's brand new technology that we would be sharing. Thanks!