The Benefits Of Fixed Node Structures in DaVinci Resolve – Part 2

January 16, 2019

In Part 1 you learned how to build a Fixed Node Structure in Resolve's node tree when color grading. Now learn its huge time-saving benefits.

Day 16: 25 Insights in 25 Days 2019 New Year Marathon!

The Benefits and Advantages Of Using A Fixed Node Structure

In Part One, I introduced the concept of using a fixed node structure for every shot on a project. I mentioned that there are advantages to that workflow. Mostly, fixed node structures speed up your work. I explained some of the reasons why I use them, and shared some tips on building your own. In this Insight – we dig deeper. I’m introducing you to great tools and workflows designed specifically for colorists using a fixed node structure. It’s all designed to get you color grading, faster.

Efficient Tools for Faster Grading

Committing to a fixed node structure for a project opens up a few tools in DaVinci Resolve that most colorists rarely touch. In the video you learn how to:

  • Use  the “Switching Clips Selects Same Node” node graph option to avoid going back to your UI monitor to find the node you want to adjust.
  • Use multiple playheads to quickly match shots – again, using the “Switching Clips Selects Same Node” option.
  • Understand the “Preserve Number of Nodes” options in the Gallery.
  • Use Resolve’s powerful Ripple commands, and preferences for making important tweaks to how those commands work.

Ripple: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The most useful color grading command with a fixed node structure is Ripple. Ripple allows you to apply only what has changed in a node, to that same node in every shot you have selected (or in the current group). This is a super fast way of working across whole scenes while addressing client notes.

But – Ripple also has the potential to be dangerous because it’s applying a change to a bunch of shots instantly. Ripple does NOT cleanly undo if you make a mistake. It’s easy to mess up your grade if you get it wrong. Because of this, as you’re getting started I recommend turning off Live Save.  Then, always Save your project before using Ripple – that way you can always revert back to a previous save if needed.

Don’t let that warning discourage you – once you get your head around how ripple works and the different ways you can use it to apply changes – you find yourself loving how much it can speed up your grading. Especially in fast-paced client-supervised sessions.



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Homepage Forums The Benefits Of Fixed Node Structures in DaVinci Resolve – Part 2

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  • Adam H

    These two tutorials are absolutely brilliant. Extremely useful, clear, and concise. Thank you so much! I hope you do more insights.

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thank you so much! I love this workflow, it really has sped me up and kept me organized.

  • Scott Stacy

    Packed full of great ideas. Very useful and awesome way to organize changes with the fixed node tree and ripple functions. Thanks!

  • Pat Inhofer

    Adam – I’ve seen a few colorists explain the benefits of fixed node structures and rippling. What Joey has done here is outstanding. And yes, he’s coming back for more Insights (assuming he survives flying his drones).

  • Ibon O

    Joey! Thank you soooo much for all your insights. You master like nobody else all the functions of Davinci to speed it up processes in order to gain time for creativity. Personally I connect always with the way you take care of consistency, organization,etc Should be a good reminder for others that artistry without craft is much more difficult. Thanks.

  • Jose S

    Another great insight!! Ripple just blew my mind… Can’t believe I never used it!

    Just wanted to point out that you can define that option in the Resolve user settings and always have it set that way.

  • Tim Whiting

    This is the video that finally made fixed node structures click with me.

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thanks so much – you hit the nail on the head, for me this kind of workflow is about getting the technical out of the way so I can focus on the creative. The less time I spend looking at the UI and figuring out where I am and what I need to do, the more time I can devote to the creative process of grading

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thanks! Yea ripple is super powerful once you get your head around it. I wish it had its own page on the mini panel to save me having to go into preferences if i want to change the ripple mode – but I do have ripple selected and ripple to group mapped to shortcuts on my streamdeck to get to them faster.

  • Joey D’Anna

    Thats great to hear. While they aren’t the answer for every single project, I use them almost all the time. Using them has absolutely sped up my grading, which is a huge deal when you’ve got a client in the suite and your trying to get through a lot of notes on a show or a spot in a short amount of time.

  • Kenedy T

    Thanks for this! Amazing…

  • Seth T

    First time I’ve seen Ripple explained in a live fashion… and this is life changing! thank you! Always learning!

  • Willian Aleman

    WOW, Joey, this is a fantastic and really helpful workflow. You have motivated me to jump into my own fixed node tree, but the use of the ripple feature will be part of all of them whn applicable. A very well concise insight, as always.

  • Grant McNair

    Thanks so much for this series, Joey. I’ll be moving to a fixed node structure on the next project!

  • Joey D’Anna

    Hey everyone – just an FYI – one thing I forgot to mention when I was explaining ripple, It’s only going to track the changes on the node while you are on the shot.

    So for example if you make a change, then switch shots, then switch back to the shot you were working on – ripple won’t know that anything has changed (because as far as resolve is concerned – the node hasn’t changed since you opened the shot).

    Just figured I would add that, in case you get caught trying to ripple a change and it not applying for you.
    Happy rippling!

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