DaVinci Resolve Cloud Multi-User Collaboration Walkthrough

November 30, 2022

In Part 2 of our series, learn the many features (and tips/trick) of Davinci Resolve 18's cloud-based Collaborative Workflow


Part 2: Diving into Resolve’s ‘cloud collaboration’ workflow

In Part 1, we explored the initial challenge of any cloud-based multi-user (or team) workflow – sharing source footage. We also looked at the several ways of generating Proxys, including using Resolve’s Proxy Generator, reducing bandwidth requirements, and the resulting cloud storage costs, when sharing media with a team.

In this Insight, we dive into how Resolve’s collaboration workflow is executed, explicitly using the new Blackmagic Cloud database option.

Real-time international collaborative editing, color grading, media management

Luke Ross and Patrick Inhofer join Zeb Chadfield as Zeb demonstrate a collaborative project with a distributed team using a Blackmagic Cloud Resolve database. With Zeb in Greece, Patrick in Florida, Luke in New Zealand, and a database hosted in San Franciso, we put the system to a test.

This is Luke’s first time working in a Collaborative project – providing us with the newcomer’s perspective. The team shares how this workflow is executed while discovering, in real-time, if this new cloud-based solution works as advertised.

From folder-locking and timeline-locking to editing and color grading, we give Resolve a workout. Each of us deals with a crash (while the others never even notice).

Additional Notes about Collaboration Mode

During this call, the team discovered a few additional quirks that didn’t make the final edit of this Insight (to keep it from running too long):

  • Project notes – These notes are local to each individual and are not shared with other Collaborators until the other Collaborators leave the project and then re-open it.
  • Fusion page – If one collaborator is one the Fusion page, other collaborators can enter the Fusion page, but the node tree and viewers are blank. But there is not indication of who has ownership of that shot in Fusion.
  • Deliver page – Render queues are not shared or displayed to other collaborators until they exit and then re-open the project.

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Question, Comments, or Updates?

For reasons that Patrick is too embarrassed to share, this Insight was recorded this summer using Resolve Public Beta – and then forgotten about until Patrick read a comment in Part 1 asking for Part 2. But now, it’s here and released. Since this recording, there have been a series of consequential updates to DaVinci Resolve 18. If some of the features we discuss have been updated or new features added – use the comments to let us know!

Plus, if you have any other comments, thoughts, or questions – you know what to do! Don’t be shy 🙂

Table of Contents

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:20 – Cloud projects – Backing up databases and moving projects between cloud and local databases
  • 03:16 – Are project load times affected by the number of collaborators on a project?
  • 04:32 – Enabling Multi-User Collaboration
  • 05:02 – Bin locking and identifying the owner of a bin
  • 05:40 – Quick demo of Collaboration Chat and discussion of the ‘@’ functionality for shared markers and notes
  • 08:51 – Who owns the timeline?
  • 09:00 – Setting Path Mapping to each user’s local drive location (in Project Settings) if you’re not using shared drives like LucidLink.
  • 12:39 – Resolve’s ‘refreshing system’ of project updates that keeps other collaborators from interrupting your workflow
  • 13:23 – DEMO: Multiple users creating multiple timelines simultaneously (not edited down for time, so you can see responsiveness)
  • 15:54 – How to lock a bin to keep collaborators from rearranging shared assets with pre-set contents or folder structure
  • 18:43 – How bin, timeline, and shot locking change depending on the page you’re working in
  • 20:44 – The collaborative workflow on the Color page
  • 22:05 – Patrick gets a ‘Critical Exception’ warning dialog. What’s the best practice for continuing onward?
  • 23:05 – How to organize multiple colorists working on the same timeline in a way that makes sense
  • 25:40 – Using flags on the Color page
  • 27:01 – How do the Gallery and saving stills work with multi-user collaboration?
  • 28:22 – The team tries to troubleshoot how ownership of the Gallery is working
  • 30:27 – Do Annotations flow through to collaborators?
  • 31:32 – We discover that Chat History is to retained across restarts – so you can’t rely on Chat as a way of leaving notes to one another
  • 31:54 – Collaboration on the Fairlight page
  • 35:27 – Zeb shares his general thoughts on Resolve’s Collaboration features (which have been available for several years)
  • 36:21 – The team has a concluding discussion about how they’ve started using Resolve’s new Cloud databases and the opportunities and workflows its enabled
  • 39:34 – Zeb reminds us that you can share remote ‘cloud databases’ from private servers securely behind a VPN. If you have the technical know-how, you can rely on your servers rather than Blackmagic’s Cloud servers.

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Homepage Forums DaVinci Resolve Cloud Multi-User Collaboration Walkthrough

  • Haven’t had a collaborator yet to test this, so was curious how plugins (both ofx and vst [audio]) work?

    • Patrick Inhofer

      They work. But everyone on the team needs the plugins—each with its own license. There’s no sharing of licenses.

      • Hey Patrick. Thanks for the reply. I was assuming they’d work for an editor/colorist if they had them locally and they were the ones applying, so thanks for that confirm. But what happens if one has the plug-in but the other doesn’t? Does it just show as greyed out on the persons who don’t have it (and nothing happens on their end) or the issues are bigger than that?

        • Patrick Inhofer

          For the person who doesn’t have the plugin, it depends. Personally, I’ve also found Resolve can get sluggish and may nag you about plugins used in the project that you don’t have installed. IIRC, dialog boxes tend to pop up on every shot where the plugin is applied, which stops playback in its track.

          I don’t recommend it.

          A marginally better experience is to install the plugin on all machines but only activate it on the machines where you need to see consistent playback. This way, you’ll get watermarks rather than show-stopping dialog reminders. But the watermarks tend to be very visually obtrusive. I’m not sure what happens with audio plugins – I’d guess a similar experience.

          I think @zeb_chadfield talks about this briefly in Part 2, but I don’t remember the full details other than: Bad experience.

          • Got it. Thanks for the tip about using the “watermark method” so to speak. I watched that episode (which spurred this question) but maybe I missed his response to it. Anyway, appreciate the comments. Cheers!

            • Hi Mark! Sorry for the delay been traveling and whatnot. We are fortunate to have an enterprise MDM system called Kandji that allows us to push out system builds to all of our 90something systems so we can make sure they are all identical and avoid conflicts. Fonts are a bit tricker but we sync from a shared folder on google drive and mirror them that way across all systems. With plugins we won’t necessarily have all users licensed, just the ones that want to use the plug-ins or the users that are mastering the programmes or film. I think I suggested when doing this that a shared folder on the storage that you are working from for plugins, fonts, luts and all that would be best. Then you can make sure everyone is running the same versions of everything and it’s all installed before kicking off. Any collaborative work you need to do more thinking and planning to be sure that the right systems and processes are in place to keep it smooth. If you can’t ensure that then you are best to segregate the users and farm our specific bits for them to do rather than using a shared project.

            • Thanks Zeb! Yeah, makes sense. Appreciate you making the walkthrough. Hoping to work on more collaborative projects this year to test this out fully. Cheers!

  • Chad Smith

    Cloud collaboration has been problematic here. Trying to use it on two machines at the same location. The latest issue I was having was after using for one day, the next day the two machines did not show the same timeline content when both connected to BMD cloud and on the same project. One machine was missing a days work. I exported the project an am running local till this job is complete. Then will have time for more trouble shooting.

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