NAB: Blackmagic Combines Sound Postproduction Into Resolve Color Grading System

As the NAB exhibition floor opens, news arrived from companies including Lucasfilm, Nokia, Digital Domain and ARRI.
Courtesy of Blackmagic
DaVinci Resolve is getting Fairlight audio post tools.

Tech developer Blackmagic Design unveiled a major new version of its widely used DaVinci Resolve postproduction system that now takes a major step toward sound editing and mixing. Announced Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, the full-featured Resolve Studio also gets a drop in price from $995 to $299.

Resolve is best known as the popular color grading system used at such Hollywood post houses as Company 3 and Efilm and for such major features as La La Land and Pirates of the Caribbean. In recent years, it has been moving towards the editing world by adding capabilities aimed at film and TV editors. Now, following the acquisition of audio company Fairlight last fall, Resolve is moving into the sound business with the addition of Fairlight audio postproduction tools built-in to the software.

With the launch of version 14 (the beta version is now available), Blackmagic also confirmed that new multi-user collaboration tools would let each department — editing, color grading, sound — work on the same project at the same time. The company also reported that it has reconfigured the way it handles data, which it claims could result in significant speed improvements.

The NAB exhibition floor opened Monday morning with its usual flurry of technology news.

That included Nokia — maker of the OZO virtual reality camera system — which said its previously reported VR tech agreement with The Walt Disney Studios will include the creation of VR content for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Also on the VR front, Digital Domain’s VR arm announced new technology for the production and distribution of VR. That includes a new spherical camera and a new cloud-based system for managing delivery of live and recorded VR content.

AJA Video Systems made several announcements aimed at high dynamic range support. In collaboration with manufacturer Colorfront, AJA is showing a technology preview of a new HDR supported converter and frame synchronizer for broadcasters and postproduction facilities. Dubbed the FS-HDR, it uses Colorfront color space processing algorithms developed by Colorfront CTO (and co-founder of Efilm) Bill Feighter and lead engineer Tamas Perlaki. AJA also confirmed support for HDR with the new spring release of Adobe Premiere Pro. That means that editors will be able to play the Hybrid Log Gamma flavor of HDR from Premiere Pro with the AJA Kona 4 desktop I/O card or an AJA Io 4K Thunderbolt I/O device.

Camera maker ARRI started to release its NAB news in advance of the show. On Monday morning, it dropped software updates for the Alexa Mini and Amira cameras, as well as a Look Library that will be built into the Alexa Mini and Amira Premium cameras shipped from May 1 (cameras shipped before that date can get an upgrade). Its 87 looks have been developed by ARRI Media, ARRI’s postproduction and creative services business, based in Germany. Additional looks inspired by customer feedback are likely to be added.

Also for cinematographers, Cooke Optics is unveiling two new lens ranges plus a second zoom lens for its Anamorphic/i series. The S7/i Full Frame Plus prime lens range (shipping in June) is designed for full-frame cinema camera sensors, while the Panchro/i Classic range is a lightweight redesign that could be used for Steadicam or drone work.

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