Skill Up: Fusion-Photoshop Painting/Cleaning Workflow – Part 1

June 26, 2023

VFX artist Bernd Klimm imports one frame of a painted Photoshop still (removing an object) and shows how to composite it into a moving image.


Compositing raster-based paint fixes from Photoshop within DaVinci Resolve Fusion

Fusion offers a vector-based paint node. It’s essential for tasks where your paint strokes change from frame to frame. For example, removing a wire that swings in front of a background requires an animated paint stroke that follows the swinging movement and then samples different background areas for each frame. Fusion’s vector-based paint node excels in that situation.

However, if the frame’s content stays mostly the same, a dedicated raster-based paint software like Photoshop or Affinity can be easier and faster. You could also try one of the new machine-learning tools (marketed as ‘AI’) – but as I show in this Insight, they often fail miserably. If you want to add this skill to your professional toolkit, you must know how to execute this raster-based workflow manually.

In this Insight

Part 1 of this tutorial discusses all the tasks required to remove a bottle (and its reflection) from the frame. To avoid static noise in our final shot, we perform noise removal and add the noise again after the paint. For the paint itself, we select and export one dedicated frame as an OpenEXR file with linear gamma. The final paint gets tracked on top of the denoised plate with the help of a point or planar tracker.


  • Raster vs. Vector: What are the differences? ( – If you’re unfamiliar with this terminology, Adobe has an excellent plain-English overview of the two concepts. Plus, it explains the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches as it relates to our craft.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should understand how to:

  • Denoise and then re-add the noise, losslessly, for paint tasks in Fusion
  • Identify and fix problems with the Denoise-Renoise operation
  • Export a linear *.exr file for Photoshop
  • Load the painted Photoshop still image into the Fusion using a Loader Node – and why that is important
  • Use the Planar Tracker and learn how to solve the track if a small section doesn’t align
  • Track multiple background elements with one planar tracker considering parallax

Plus, you’ll learn some additional tips and tricks I employ when using a still image for painting operations.

Coming up

In Part 2 of this series, you learn my raster-painting technique within Photoshop, which I skip over in this Insight.

Related Mixing Light Insights

Questions or Comments? Leave a comment!

Are you doing paint tasks outside of Resolve? Are you using different software or a different workflow? I’d love to hear about it!

– Bernd

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