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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 01:44

Using Avid Artist Color with DaVinci Resolve 9

Written by  David Hurd
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93cw 700x700 ArtistColorSince adding Avid’s Artist Color to my review system over a year ago, I’ve found it to be a very useful tool. Lately, I have been using the color panel with Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 9 software with very good results. To make a living as a colorist, you need to work fast. But while you can control software using a keyboard and mouse, you’ll never get the speed needed to do a professional workflow without using a control surface. If you go to the Blackmagic Design website, you can download a chart that will give you all of the function mapping details that will really bring Avid’s Artist Color alive.

Avid’s Artist Color panel is grouped in six basic sections: the knobs, CG, PG, banks, nodes and trackball settings. The six knobs along the top and the left- and right-page buttons will give you access to many control menus. The CG1 through CG4 buttons are for saving memory locations A through D. By holding down the shift key, these same keys will save memories E through H. Right under the CG keys are the PG keys that will let you load memories. PG1 through PG4 will load memories A through D, and by holding down the shift key you can load memories E through H.

Using the bank 1 and bank 2 buttons, the F1 through F9 commands control your power windows and window nodes. In bank 1, F1 through F4 gives you various types of power windows, while F5 gives the window outline and F7 toggles between the matte and mask commands. F8 lets you select your in/out points and F9 controls the master invert function. In bank 2, F1 through F4 let you add a power window and new node at the same time. F5 through F9 let you manipulate the keyframes: F5 lets you add a static keyframe; F6 adds a dynamic keyframe; F7 allows you to delete a keyframe; F8 goes to the previous keyframe; and F9 goes to the next keyframe.

For controlling nodes, use the same F1 through F9 commands buttons as well as the left-shift and right-shift control keys for a total of 27 commands. The left- and right-shift keys are the bottom buttons on the lower-left and lower-right sides of the panel. They toggle on and off, so you can punch one on and off or hit it once, and it will stay lit until you finish the rest of the command. F1 is base memory; F2 is highlight; F3 adds a serial node; F4 adds a parallel node; F5 adds an outside node; F6 enables or disables the current node; F7 deletes the current node; F8 is undo; and F9 is redo. By using the F1 through F9 keys along with the left-shift key, you can gain access to the view commands. F1 is a base memory reset; F2 highlights black-and-white; F3 grabs a still; F4 plays a still; F5 loops; F6 is to enable or disable all; F7 will wipe invert; F8 will wipe type; and F9 is the save command. By using the F1 through F9 keys along with the right-shift key, you can gain access to the tracking and session commands. F1 lets you track forward; F2 is track reverse; F3 is auto color; F4 is proxy, F5 is add version; F6 is default version; F7 is previous version; F8 is next version; and F9 is the render command.

The “R” keys (1 through 6) are for resetting the trackball. R1 resets the Lift master while R2 resets the Lift RGB. The same process works for Gamma and Gain, with R3 resetting the Gain master; R4 the Gamma RGB; R5 the Gain master; and R6 the Gain RGB. The three trackballs and rings work as you would expect: The left ring and trackball are for the Lift, the middle ring and trackball are for Gamma, and the right trackball and ring are for Gain. The rings are Lift controls and the trackballs give color balance.

So, there you have it. These are all of the controls that you’ll need to run DaVinci Resolve software using Avid’s Artist Color. And there’s a bonus: I really like the fact that the color panel can fit in a drawer under the desktop, giving me more space to do my work.

MSRP: About $1,400


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