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Avid DaVinci Resolve RoundTrip

Here's a short tutorial on how to use DaVinci Resolve with Avid Media Composer.  This tutorial focuses on roundtriping from Avid into Resolve with media that has been imported into Avid and has been wrapped within an .mxf file format.

Avid_DaVinci_Resolve.pngBlackmagic Corporation makes a Lite version of DaVinci resolve that's free!  The Lite version is fully funcational.  So, it may be worth downloading the software and watching this tutorial.


Black Magic Design Corporation makes an incredible color correction software package called DaVinci Resolve.

Better yet, there is a Lite version of the software that is fully functional and it's free to use.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of round-tripping from Avid Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve.

There are many different workflows and theories when using Avid Media Composer with Resolve.

This tutorial focuses on using media that has already been imported into Avid and which is wrapped within an .mxf file.

For this demonstration, let's assume you've completed a rough edit of your program.  

To prepare your media for Resolve, it's important that you assign a tape name for all of your original source clips.

To do this, use the keyboard shortcut command A to highlight all your clips, and then right click on them.

Choose modify from the contextual menu.

Within the modify box, click on the pull down menu and choose set-source.

Select or add a New Tape Name.

Then press the okay button four times to accept the new name.

Now, this is important.  Make sure you deselect the clips in the bin after changing the tape name.

Next, navigate to the bin that contains your sequence and highlight it.

Navigate to the file menu and choose Export.

Click on the options button.

Make sure the export-as menu is set to AAF.

For the export method, use the Link to option.

Press the Save button to export the AAF file.

In doing this, this Avid will also create a copy of your sequence.  

To avoid confusion you may want to delete this extra copy.

Next, within the project window, make sure you have a new bin called Corrected Media.

Double click on the correct media bin to open it.

Okay, so now go ahead and launch the DaVinci Resolve Software.

First, navigate to the file menu and choose save project.

This project name is important, because the new clips that DaVinci Resolve creates will be tagged with this project name inside of Avid Media Composer.

Now Navigate back to the file menu and choose Import AAF.

Find the AAF file that you exported from Avid and open it.

Okay so now, go ahead and color correct your media within Resolve.

To demonstrate, I'll click on the color tab and then the eye dropper button to select a color qualifier.

Then I'll adjust the color offset so Billy's shirt is green instead of blue.

Okay, after you've color corrected your clips within Resolve click on the Deliver Button.

Now, for demonstration purposes, I only made the one change, but if you've made multiple color corrections, you may want to re-export the entire sequence of clips back to Avid.

To do this, right click on the timeline area and choose select all.

Now navigate to the render settings window.

Within the output area, change the Render Timeline option to Individual Source Clips.

Change the Render to option to MXF.

Change the Codec pull down menu to the codec of your choice.

In this example, I'll choose the Avid DNX Codec.

Next, click on the browse button to specify a location for the new files.

Twirl down the disclosure triangle for one of your media drives.

Look for the Avid MediaFiles Folder / MXF.

Right click on the MXF folder and choose new folder.

Give the new folder a number.  

It doesn't matter what number, but it must be all numbers and no letters.

Then press the okay button.

Move back over to the Render Settings area, and look for the File Name and Render Output options.

Click on the option to use the source filenames.

Then Click on the option to make each file name unique.

As an additional option, you may want to add frame handles for each clip.

This is in case you need to extend and trim the color corrected clip segments when you get back to Avid Media Composer.

Click on the Add job to Render Queue.

The press the start render button.

DaVinci resolve to then start placing the new .mxf files onto your hard drive.

Next, it's important that you re-launch the Avid Software.

In doing so, it will place a media database file inside the numbered MXF folder.

One method of importing the color corrected media is to use the Mac OS X finder, and look for the .mdb file inside the assigned numbered folder.

Drag the .mdb file into the color corrected media bin, and all the clips from that folder will appear within the bin window.

The other method is to use the Media Tool, and look for the DaVinci Project name that you've assigned to the clips.

Then drag those clips into your Color Corrected Bin.

Okay, the next step is to make sure you re-assign the matching tape name the new clips in the Color Corrected Bin.

Highlight all he clips, and right click on them.

Choose Modify.

Select -Set Source from the pull down menu.

Re-select the same tape name from before, and then click ok to through all the dialogue boxes.

Leave all the clips selected and go back and highlight your original sequence.

Right click on the sequence and choose - relink.

Choose Selected Items in ALL open bins.

Then press okay.

Avid Media Composer will now create a sequence that's linked to the new color correct footage.

Check it out!

For other great tips like this, or to enroll in a Davinci Resolve or Avid Media Composer training class, visit GeniusDV.com


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