How To Work With Non-Broadcast Frame Sizes in DaVinci Resolve

February 26, 2016

Are you trying to work with non-HD Frame Sizes in DaVinci Resolve? It's very common for display advertising and this video will show you how to handle it.


Advanced Finishing Techniques: Part 1

Earlier today I was at a local University giving a seminar on color correction. At the end of the seminar, a comment was made about how the skill and craft of color grading seem to lie at the intersection of technical knowledge and emotional intuition. It’s an observation that I not only agree with but also embrace. I love being creative. I love understanding the more mundane truths behind how that creative process works.

This Insight series is absolutely about the technical side of a color session

You’ll be learning about purely techie stuff we need to know, especially if we don’t have assistants who can figure this out for us (if you work staff at a big post-production house, you can get along without understanding the finer points of what this series will be discussing).

This series is going to cover these advanced Finishing techniques:

  • Part 1: How do you set up DaVinci Resolve to work with large, non-HD (or non-UHD) frame sizes? Think: Large museum-style installations.
  • Part 2: What do you do if the timeline created by the editor is much too complex for a round-trip DaVinci Resolve workflow?
  • Part 3: In this large museum-style installation job, where we’ve figured out a workflow for a complex timeline that can’t be imported into Resolve, how do we handle revisions and final output?

This Series is based on an actual project I recently completed

I found myself having to figure out a bunch of ‘road less travelled’ workflows in DaVinci Resolve. This Insight Series is my permanent documentation of how I finally handled this workflow. My conclusions and workflows will work for you too.

Part 1: How do you handle non-HD / -UHD frame sizes in DaVinci Resolve?

In this video Insight, I’ve created a timeline that mimics the style of editing and the non-HD frame size that I delivered to a client. I color graded 5 short films that would be playing in a permanent installation. I guess you could call this a 6K frame size – but the aspect ratio was unlike any broadcast deliverable.

The Problem: How do you color correct a huge, non-standard aspect ratio on your HD 1920 x 1080 OLED?

Figuring out how to properly monitor this image is only half the problem. The other half is making sure all your crops, masks, windows and tracks work properly when exported at the full 6K image size of the final render.

As you’ll see, my solution is to have two different Project Settings with two different timeline sizes: First, my working HD timeline size, then my 6K’ish rendering timeline size.

But there’s a problem… there are a few ways of setting this up in DaVinci Resolve and only one workflow allows us to work ‘normally’ while the other workflows look and feel a little messy and non-intuitive.

In Part 2, we’ll look at why I didn’t bother to pull in my editor’s timeline – and instead decided that a more ‘manual’ approach was actually the easier approach

As always, if you have any questions, just ask!


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