Compound Nodes

DaVinci Resolve Compound Nodes: Efficiently Managing Looks

June 12, 2018

Now that DaVinci Resolve is gaining tools by the month, Dan takes a look at managing the node graph to keep things organised and flexible - with the goal of allowing for quick changes.

How can we make changing looks more efficient?

Can we use Compound Nodes to keep our node graph clean and efficient for making client changes?

As a newly independent colorist my life has changed drastically in terms of actually running my own business. The colorist in me wants to do as many projects as possible but the business person in me knows I need to fit enough jobs in a week to pay the bills. With that in mind, I’ve been researching as many ways as possible to tweak my grading style to be as efficient as possible.

It’s not about grading quicker but more being able to address client changes easily instead of having to do everything shot by shot. We’ve all been in the situation where feedback is broad and general and probably means tweaking every single shot on the timeline.

The Idea: Using Compound Nodes for speed

This is a lot easier to describe in the video below but I’m taking inspiration from our Flame and Nuke buddies. Instead of having countless nodes stacking on top of each other (I’m very guilty of this)

Advanced Node Operations for a Commercial Workflow in DaVinci Resolve
A Typical Node Graph In Resolve


I’m trying to move over to compound nodes that contain all the complex node trees for that idea or object in the image. It gives me a much quicker flexibility to change my grades and also use the key mixer control to blend the areas back when needed.

Let’s jump over to the video below for a break down of how to use compound nodes in this way.


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Homepage Forums DaVinci Resolve Compound Nodes: Efficiently Managing Looks

  • JFerraroM

    I found this extremely useful. Thank you Dan!

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Object-based color grading! Nice share, Dan.

  • Love your approach! Thanks for charing.

  • Awesome!

  • Scott Stacy

    I like the object-based approach. Looks promising. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gavin Keen

    amazing, thanks!

  • Jose Santos

    Great insight Dan! I specially liked the idea of naming the nodes object based. I really loke to work a fixed node tree I use on every project. Why not try a fixed node tree? Or is it to restrictive for advertising?

  • Joshua Howey

    I use compound nodes for my wedding work in a similar way. Create my own well-labeled looks to a gallery as compounds and can bring them into any project. If I need to adjust something I open the compound, or I can just bring the intensity of the entire look up or down. Kinda like a LUT but editable and flexible. All my corrections happen before and it keeps my node graph nice and clean and easy to work with, and fits great in an already established node tree.

  • Marc Wielage

    I use fixed node trees for episodic TV and features, but commercials and music videos are all over the place. If I could figure out a way to do it, I would.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Yup. I like this workflow. And WAY better than LUTs which clips out-of-bound detail.

  • Jose S

    I use my fixed node on most commercials I do, even if they are not that many (some are indeed all over the place). I just have so many nodes on the node tree that it usually covers anything.

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