How do colorists extend the life of old computers? Becoming a Mixing Light Contributor?

July 18, 2022

This lively Office Hours answers questions on extending the life of an old computer, becoming a Contributor, and impressions of Resolve 18.


Office Hours – June 29

Mixing Light Contributors Joey D’Anna, Hector Berrebi, and Arthur Ditner join host Patrick Inhofer in leading a Mixing Light Office hours discussion. Today’s discussion included:

  • Are Resolve 18’s new Object Mask and Depth Matte tools a waste of time?
  • What can you do to extend the life of an old computer for color grading?
  • How do you become a Mixing Light Contributor?

Table of Contents

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:45 – Contributors discuss what they’ve recently learned that they didn’t know before
  • 01:57 – Arthur and MacOS Ventura
  • 02:57 – Hector is very disappointed with Resolve 18’s new Depth Map and Object Mask tools
  • 06:54 – Joey and Hector talk about expectations using ‘auto’ mask tools and how colorist’s expectations of those tools differ from motion graphics or VFX professionals
  • 09:33 – Hector zeros in on his criticism of the Object Mask tool
  • 11:47 – The difference between AI and Machine Learning
  • 11:19 – Discussion of the grade for Top Gun: Maverick
  • 15:45 – The colorist’s Holy Grail of machine learning tools!
  • 16:18 – Hector shares the story of a much more reliable alternative to timecode that no company was interested in implementing
  • 20:00 – Patrick shares his experience recording a demo using Blackmagic’s Cloud database, Lucidlink, and the Resolve Collaborative workflow
  • 21:49 – Member question: What can I do to extend the life of my mid-range 2013 MacPro (trashcan)?
  • 22:40 – Arthur: Manage your GPU load and display resolution
  • 25:00 – Hector uses to flash drivers for older Macs to keep them current.
  • 28:54 – Joey: Additional tips on reducing the load and increasing reliability for older CPUs using general best practices
  • 31:56 – Stefan: Should empty nodes impact performance? Does spreading three operations across three nodes reduce performance compared to doing them in one node?
  • 32:33 – Arthur: Great tips on using node caching for underpowered computers a large node trees
  • 34:45 – Hector: It’s not just GPU load you need to worry about, but CPU load as well
  • 36:45 – Joey: Creatively, is a larger node tree is often worth the slight performance hit?
  • 38:37 – Hector: Strong advice for working with Noise Reduction nodes
  • 39:28 – Stefan: As an on-set DIT with a primary concern of rendering out dailies quickly – does our advice change? Has anyone seen render caches disappearing even though no changes have been made to the footage?
  • 41:50 – The impact of your storage architecture on general system performance
  • 42:59 – Arthur: The importance of politely managing client expectations
  • 44:48 – Hector: Using an exported render at the top layer to ‘cheat’ around using the render cache
  • 46:21 – Patrick: How to troubleshoot your node tree as a source of your slow-downs
  • 47:01 – How do we help Mixing Light members become contributors?
  • 47:01 – 64:00 – Bouncing around ideas on how to help members create content for Mixing Light. Plus, how to reach out and become a member.
  • 64:18 – Conclusion

Resources mentioned in this Insight

  • – GPU and packages for flashing firmware to allow older machines to work with newer MacOS releases.
  • – Cooling base for the ‘trash can’ MacPro

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Homepage Forums How do colorists extend the life of old computers? Becoming a Mixing Light Contributor?

  • Jim Robinson

    I passed on the last Mac Pro ( 2019 ) and am now awaiting the Ultra Studio ( in August ) I have been able to keep up with Resolve with my MacPro late 2013 ( trashcan ) by using the following methods.

    I kept changing my workflow to stay with my current Mac Pro ( trash can ) for as long as I could. The pandemic was not  kind to my finances, so hanging on longer is heavily motivated me to find some fixes. Some are not that noticeable as far as smoothing things out, but the combined steps have my system run smoother than it did last year.

    Big things ( noticeable )

    -Transcode your footage right away – no H.264 or h.265.

    -Generate proxies to half or even quarter res.

    -Do most of the work in HD in the project settings and then change back to 4k just before render.

    – Work in order of operations – edit then color. jumping back and forth can actually put a load on the edit and make things bog.

    -Set cache to User cache while working and if you take a break, put it to smart cache.

    – If the footage is noisy – set up the NR and then turn the node off until ready to render.

    – Pretend that magic mask doesn’t exist.

    – If using Superscale – put the clip on a timeline – turn on superscale and render the timeline and then bring the new clip into Resolve and don’t use the HD one.

    ( big one ) – buy fast SSDs and

    -have one for current project media ( only import this media into project ) I used to have original media over many different drives attached in all different ways to my computer – and although Resolve can work like that – putting it on a fast drive in one location really made my footage smoother for working with.

    – separate drive for cache ( ssd )

    – separate drive for gallery and stills etc. ( ssd ).

    – I also put a laptop fan cooler under my MacPro and installed fan control. It used to heat up and when it was hot was not as responsive – this pretty much fixed that.

-Oh and for use in Fusion and any big move in edits ( stabilization – optical flow etc. – “Render in Place”

    And with Fusion I changed out my 32gb of ram and upped it to 64gb – which used to cost a small fortune – but now only a couple of hundred dollars.

  • Balaji Gopal

    Need an workflow video about Resolve 18 Remote Monitoring Streaming feature which is only available for Windows & Linux users as Resolve Server side.



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