Remote Versions: How to Automatically Share Grades Between Timelines

Remote Versions: How to Automatically Share Grades Between Timelines

October 9, 2014

If you have to color correct multiple versions of a timeline, DaVinci Resolve's Remote Versions is a feature you need to know.

An update on sharing grades between timelines

What if a project you’re working on, the producer suddenly delivered an alternate edit of the timeline you’re color correcting?

And what if you were expected to color correct both of them, simultaneously? What would be your options in DaVinci Resolve?

You could try to Color Trace your corrections.

Using the Color Trace function would certainly work – unless you make revisions after Color Tracing… then keeping both timelines in sync? That could prove to be a nightmare.

What you’re looking for is a mode of operation that keeps the shots in different timelines synced with each other. If you modify the color grade in one shot, that color grade would ripple through the shot in all your timelines – at once.

Remote Versions allows one shot in several timelines to share the same Node Tree.

If you make changes to a node in ANY timeline, you’re changing that node in all the timelines.

It used to be this was the default behavior in DaVinci Resolve. Back in DaVinci Resolve 9 and earlier, any time you added a clip to the Media Pool that clip would get added to a default, unchangeable timeline called the Master Session (today, Resolve calls it the Master Timeline). And when you created or imported a new timeline? Those timelines were all ‘cut downs’ of the Master Timeline and color grading a shot in one timeline meant you were color grading a shot in every timeline.

Unfortunately, many users found this behavior confusing and unexpected and Resolve 10 changed the default behavior to always work in Local Versions – where the Node Tree of every shot is independent of every other shot. Resolve 10 also eliminated the Master Session.

The Question Is: How do Remote Versions and Local Versions work in Resolve 10 & 11?

After all, since the Master Session is no longer available once we’ve added footage to the Media Pool – is the Remote Version somehow hobbled or working differently than it did before?

Not Familiar with Remote Versions or Local Versions?

Then it’s time you started thinking about this functionality. There are times when Remote Versions are extremely useful. For those times, I’ll show you how to enable Remote versions. In a later Insight, we’ll take a look at another useful function of Remote Versions that’s not immediately obvious.

In this video, you’ll learn how to work with Remote Versions in the latest versions of DaVinci Resolve.

And as always, ask questions in the comments!

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Homepage Forums Remote Versions: How to Automatically Share Grades Between Timelines

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  • Dario Bigi

    Hi Patrick, In a recent project I just came across the need to try and go back to remote grades after starting in local. I too want BMD to allow for the pulldown menu to have “Copy Local Grades to Remote”. One thing I wanted to mention about your work around. Any previous window tracking needs to be redone. (And that can be a real drag.)

    Thanks to you and the Mixing LIght Team.

  • Andres Delgado

    So, is better work always with Remote Grades?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Sort’a. You can use the Copy / Paste function in the Tracker to help ease this – so you won’t have to do a full retrack – useful on those tough tracks you spent time optimizing. But on a long timeline, I totally agree, it’s better to decide to use Remote versions sooner rather than later (and have to do the Copy / Paster routine).

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Not necessarily. What I didn’t talk about was Shot Linking, which is enabled in the Remote Version workflow… and Shot Linking can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the project. I’d say it depends on the job.

    But I’ll also do a follow-up Insight talking about Shot Linking to help you fully understand the implications of working with a fully Remote timeline.

    I DO encourage you to pick a smaller job and try the Remote Version workflow – since this is the only way to determine if it works the way you naturally think.

  • Hey Patrick. So I’m on a reality show, and they just don’t believe in locked cuts. So I set up a master timeline, and worked in remote the entire time. They consolidated a new cut and made a new AAF. I was hoping working in remote would some how make my corrections carry across when the new cut came in. However, now color corrections came across. Except for new shots (maybe 10% of timeline) all clips names are the same. Only difference, new AAF, and instead of living in AvidMedia MXF folder 1, they live in folder 2.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Ernest – are you saying ‘new’ color corrections are not coming across? If so, it’s likely a result of the ‘consolidate’ command. It’s now creating new media which gets imported into Resolve. Remote Grading works only if the same media files are being reused in new timelines… not new media being imported into new timelines.

    In this case, you’ll need to use Color Trace between your timelines to copy the corrections across.

    Make sense?

  • I think this is really a metadata questions. For example, if I take the original media consolidation “folder 1” offline, and and label the new consolidated media (from the second AAF2) “folder 1” my original AAF1 timeline stays online. All media is there. So that means the clips names are same for all media in both consolidation (except editorial changes). So my guess is that this related to AVID. AVID old sequences will not relink to new consolidated media, even if the clip is the same at the desktop level. So is there a way to tell Resolve, ignore some of the metadata? Similar to when a clip comes in offline, and you have to change source info settings, like “Ignore file extensions” or tape instead of clip name, etc. Is there a way to trick Resolve into seeing this media as the same, since the file name at the desktop levels is identical (except editorial changes). Thanks for such a quick response.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    I need to watch these videos to remind myself how I explained how Resolve handles this… but Remote Versions are based on the physical media clips that are in the Media Pool. If you want Resolve to replace the old media with new (and the corrections to follow) you’ll need to ‘Change Source Folder’ on a per directory basis from the original non-Consolidated media to the Consolidated media.

    But I’ve found Resolve doesn’t like to relink Consolidated media so your mileage may vary.

  • just realized I can probably say this easier. is there any way to get resolve to see just some parts of the mete data. enough to relink color. again, no matter which media, first consolidation or second consolidation, the colored timline sees the clips and stays online. it’s only the new AAF that has to be pointed to new consolidation. again most clips stay the same, with exact same desktop file names. can’t copy them into old folder without being promoted to replace another clip with same name. How do facilities deal with last minute new AAFs of hour long shows?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    No. There are no Remote Grading options that let you choose what color data flows where… it’s not a sophisticated feature. It’s simply based on physical media in the Media Pool. As I say in the videos, you are grading Remotely from a conformed timeline in the Master Timeline (which is different from the conformed timeline). If a physical clip is used in multiple timelines, then the grade carries through those timelines. If the exact same clip is consolidated and pulled in the Media Pool, DaVinci Resolve considers it a wholly new clip and there is no way to associate the two clips together.

    What you’re asking for a feature request to change the behavior of how the Remote Grading functionality works.

    In your workflow your should consider using Color Trace (we have a series on that in MixingLight as well).

    How do the big shops do it? They don’t grade with one set of media and change it up with a new set of differently named files at the very last second (which is what the Consolidation process does… you end up with multiple clips from the same master clip and they can’t all be named the same—so they’re renamed). If I were in your position, I would not have them Consolidate until after the color grade… this way I can keep referencing the same media files I’ve been grading all along. OR: I’d use Color Trace to copy the grades across.

    Big post houses solve this problem by defining a workflow before post-production begins, so they don’t have to solve it midstream. OR, when a problem like this hits them unexpectedly, they define and lockdown a workflow as quickly as they can that solves the immediate problem—and then make sure they revise their workflow in the future to keep this problem from happening again.

  • Thanks for such quick, and detailed responses. Yes I think it should be a feature request. In the world of reality TV, you get some pretty, how do you say, not so workflow oriented folks. So changing a cut up until the last minute is going to be a problem. When I do commercials it’s no problem. I get all the media on drive, and no consolidations are necessary. However, with 20, 52 minute episodes, I don’t have enough shared storage to get all their media upfront. Although I’m thinking about it buying now. Right now, they have to send me AAF consolidations. Colortrace was relatively painless, since the editorial changes were not severe. Awesome feature. If you have the patience, one last quick question. How do I copy node trees from remote mode to local mode? If I copy remote grades to local, the groups just disappear. You guys rock!!!!!

  • Patrick Inhofer

    RE: “copy node trees from remote mode to local mode?”— I *think* the only way is to Color Trace and include Groups (I *think* this was put into Color Trace in a recent version of Resolve, you’ll have to confirm).

    Otherwise, you don’t. You rebuild Groups locally. This would be a: Feature Request 😉

  • Maybe I should be beta testing for Blackmagic. Thanks again Patrick!!!

  • Stefan Weßling

    Hey Patrick,
    is this tutorial still valid (I am using )?
    Im am wondering if there is an option to limit the remote grades to one timeline?

  • Pat Inhofer

    Hi Stefan – It works largely the same today as it did 10 years ago. They’ve added more ‘Copy to’ options between Remote and Local grades. And, of course, the placement of these options has been moved around.

    RE: Limit remote by timeline – AFAIK, that option does not exist. It’s designed specifically to share grades both within and between timelines (think: revisions or cut-downs of the main timeline).

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