My friend Gary Yost has been enjoying learning Resolve. He recently graded a short project I directed, shot, and edited for the Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco. Then, he made this great comparision video that shows the original shots next to the graded shots. I thought you might enjoy seeing the difference a good grade can make. You can see the original video here.
The video was shot with a Panasonic GH4 using either the Panasonic 12-35 or the Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm.
I edited in Final Cut Pro X and then created a new consolidated library of just the final project for Gary to use for the grading which I delivered on a USB drive. He returned to me a new project on the same drive which I used to make my final audio and title changes.
Here are some of Gary's responses to questions posted about the grading of the video:
A typical node graph for one of these shots would start out like this:
1st: primary adjustment for global exposure, contrast and white balance.
2nd: power windows to separate foreground subject from background (usually two ovals… one for head and one for shoulders, linked and tracked together). This window optimizes subject contrast and lighting, adds eye sharpening, in some cases pro-mist for skin treatment
3rd: outside node inverting the power windows to darken background and in some cases also desaturate background slightly.
4th: Osiris M31 LUT at somewhere between 40-60% along with final global contrast and exposure adjustment.
Beyond the above, there were plenty of shots that needed additional HSL qualification for doing things like recovering green in the parsley, doing Hue vs Sat and Hue vs Hue adjustments, and operations like that. Probably 50% of the shots needed additional work with these types of secondaries.
This was my first gig as a colorist for work that wasn't mine and I'm finally starting to get comfortable with a good workflow. Mark shot this using the Natural profile and had contrast, sharpening and saturation turned down pretty far (but I'm not sure of exactly how far… you definitely don't want to turn saturation all the way off with the GH4). I've found that Natural has been the best all-around profile for grading GH4 footage and that's what I use with my GH4 all the time now.
Regarding pro-mist, yes… this is the mist function in Resolve inside of the Blur panel. A little bit goes a long way, and I tend to use a second power window inside of the first as a mask for the eyes. (I love that ability to copy tracking data from one window to another without having to re-track.)
I've done Alexis Van Hurkman's Ripple tutorials twice this year (first r10 and then the fantastic r11 version) and read his book, along with grading a bunch of my own projects (best one was this: http://youtu.be/ItXygU9SJCA) but it was a whole other experience doing it for a client. Looking forward to doing more because it's just so much fun.