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Osman Arslan

Help needed for feature film color grading workflow

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Hello everybody,

I was just given my first feature film grading job. I need some help. What’s the typical or best way to receive the timeline from the editor? The editor is using Premiere Pro. I will be editing in Davinci Resolve 16. I have only worked with original source files. Mostly on my own projects. So I don’t know how colorists receive and deliver the timeline from the editors. Any tips and advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

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Ok so in Premiere, you need to make sure they switch off proxy mode if they were using it. You also can't accept any nested sequences within the final timeline. It needs to be a clean timeline pointing to media that has the same name as the master media. 

Then you need to have them export an AAF file from Premiere and when you import it into DaVinci, you will be requested to "link to original camera media" and it will literally sniff your drives for the original media. From Avid it works 8 times out of 10, from Premiere it works 2 times out of 10. So be very careful with the checkboxes and make sure you check everything you want. There is no way to go back and re-do it later, gotta start over again. 

I do this process all the time so if you have specific questions, please hit me up. 

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Hi Tyler,

Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it. So I will need to receive the hard drive which the original media is stored from the editor as well. Is that right? Or receive the original files in some way, so that I can link the files in Davinci. It sounds scary. I hope it will work. Thanks again. 

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Usually the original files don't come from the editor, they usually come from the production directly to the colorist. 

You'll get a completed exported quicktime from the editor along with the media they used to cut the movie with. Generally that's a lower-resolution proxy file, but sometimes editors do have original media, it's just rare. You'll just open up the AAF file, link to the original media and use the quicktime reference to conform the cut. Pretty easy! 

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This is the basic workflow I followed when color grading a recent short film. I hope this is found helpful in anyway!

  1. Editor is to create a new simplified timeline specifically for color. Place all video tracks on one track as much as possible.

  2. Have an exported reference file of the picture lock to make sure the import into DaVinci was done properly.

  3. Export XML or EDL out of editing software

  4. Receive hard drive with all of the raw files, editing project file (just in case), the exported project reference file, and the XML or EDL.

  5. Import XML or EDL into DaVinci Resolve

  6. Choose hard drive source files, if not done automatically in DaVinci.

  7. Color!

  8. Either export a single clip that will lay back into premiere or export individual clips that will link back to the clips in the original timeline. (You will only need to export individual clips if further editing needs to be done).

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