Color Grading Workflow: Edit in Adobe Premiere & Grade in DaVinci Resolve | Fred Trevino | Skillshare

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Color Grading Workflow: Edit in Adobe Premiere & Grade in DaVinci Resolve

teacher avatar Fred Trevino, Colorist & Top Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Preparing for Resolve


    • 3.

      Importing XML into Resolve


    • 4.

      Grading and Exporting to Premiere


    • 5.

      Returning to Premiere


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this advanced course, you'll learn the full round-trip workflow from Adobe Premiere to Da Vinci Resolve.

It's for anyone who's familiar with Adobe Premiere but is ready to move over to Da Vinci Resolve to take advantage of its powerful color grading tools.

In this course we'll cover:

  • How to prepare your sequence in Premiere to grade in Resolve.
  • Bringing your project into Resolve and setting up your sequence.
  • How to get your sequence back into Premiere after the grade.
  • Re-assembling your sequence in Premiere for optimal delivery.

In this class you'll learn a powerful workflow that will allow you to grade your projects with the industry standard grading platform and get your projects to the next level!

About Your Teacher

Fred Trevino is a colorist with over 10 years experience.  He's graded over 50 feature films and hundreds of projects for high end clients such as HBO, Versace, ESPN, Under Armour and more. His narrative color work has screened at well known film festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and Slamdance. His goal is to use the experience and skills he's developed over his career to accelerate your learning in the field of color.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Fred Trevino

Colorist & Top Teacher

Top Teacher

Fred Trevino is a colorist at Beambox Studio and Top Teacher at Skillshare who has been grading projects for small, medium and large corporate clients, as well as filmmakers from all over the globe. He's graded over 50 feature films along with hundreds of music videos, short films, documentaries, commercials, web spots and more.

Some past corporate clients include HBO, ESPN, Shiseido, Under Armour, Sundance Channel, Tru TV, and Pepsi.

He's worked with countless talented DPs and directors and his color work has screened at several highly esteemed festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, and Slamdance. Along with grading he enjoys doing street photography in New York City where he lives.

As a first class he recommends Introduction with a Pro Colorist and then getting a... See full profile

Level: Advanced

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1. Intro: You've been working in Premiere for years, and you've been in grading in Premiere, but you want to expand your skill set and move into Resolve. The workflow can be very intimidating, but in this class, I'm going to make it super easy for you to learn how to prepare your sequence for color, how to send it into Resolve, grade, and bring it back to Premiere for final assembly. This is a skill that you'll definitely want to learn, and it'll make you a very valuable team member on any production. I'm Fred Trevino and I've been at colors for over 10 years now, I've graded over 50 feature films, and I've worked on projects for Versace, Gucci, ESPN, HBO, Netflix, just to name a few. In this course, we're going to get the best of both worlds of working in a industry standard editing platform like Premiere and industry standard color grading platform like Da Vinci Resolve. This class is for anyone wanting to expand their skills and move it up Premiere limited color tools, and move into results, endless tools, and features to give you a high-end look for all of your projects. We're going to cover preparing your sequence for color, how to send your sequence into Da Vinci Resolve, grading, and then the best export settings for bringing them back into Premiere, and I'll even do a quick little demo for reassembling your timeline for final delivery. To make things even easier for you, I'm including all of the media so you can follow along step-by-step. Let's get started. 2. Preparing for Resolve: In this lesson, we are going to go over the necessary steps to prepare your project in Premiere, to send over to DaVinci Resolve. The reason we're doing this is because as you know, sometimes certain things in one piece of software do not translate over to another. For example, there's a filter or effect that only exists in Premiere, well, if we send that over to DaVinci Resolve, Resolve won't know what to do with it so it might connect to the wrong clip. It might not show that clip at all, it might do all kinds of crazy things. The best thing to do to keep your entire workflow much more efficient and trouble-free is to follow these steps so let's get started. The first thing that we want to do before we do anything is to not mess up your Picture Lock sequence, here's my Picture Lock sequence, it's a short typical 35-second sequence. I'm going to go over here and right-click in the browser and we're going to duplicate this. Then what I typically like to do is to just, let's name this for Resolve at the end. Now, if we open it up, we have our list for Resolve sequence and then we want to click on our original Picture Lock. Before we do any of the cleaning things up, organizing, and preparing for Resolve, we want to export a reference movie of our Picture Lock with all of our effects, with all of our titles, with everything else, speed adjustments, crops, reframed, etc. We want to export that for Resolve. We can simply just click on our sequence, go to File, Export Media, or you can see the keyboard shortcut is Command E. Now for this, this is just for reference. What that means is that what you'll see in a lesson coming up is that Resolve has this really cool function where you can literally put your reference movie and your timeline right next to each other so that you can compare the two and you can make sure that the entire sequence that you bring into resolve came in correctly. That everything looks as it should, that the right clips were linked up, and that's what we're sending this reference movie out for. Again, we can just typically do an H.264 it doesn't have to be the highest quality 'cause it's just for reference and you can do a preset, something like High bitrate. Then the other thing I would do is do the timecode overlay, and that's just helpful so that you can see exactly what frame every shot is landing on. This sequence doesn't have any sound, but typically again, AAC, whatever the standard quality is will work just fine. Then we will go in here and we will rename that, I always like to do _Ref, Save that, and then basically that's it and then we can export this. Now that is done and we can now close our Picture Lock. Now, we go into the steps of cleaning up our sequence here. The reason we do this is honestly because this is a pretty typical sequence with titles and we have things on tracks 2 and 3. But depending on the kind of editor you are, you might be super organized and neat and have everything on one track, and it's color-coded and looks amazing. Or you might be the type of editor who has a ton of things on the sequence, you have alternate takes, you have 10 or 15 video tracks. Some tracks are on, some are off, you have a ton of stuff going on, and even though you might know exactly what's going on, DaVinci Resolve will not. What you want to do is simplify your sequence, clean things up, organize them so that when you get to Resolve, Resolve understands what's going on. You don't have any extra shot, excess clips, extra footage of any kind, or things that might make the entire process a lot more difficult and introduce a lot more headaches and technical difficulties. That can be something as simple as for example, let's watch through this here. I have a title, and then we have this guy here that pops in. We have a little bit of an effect there, and then we have a cross dissolve coming up. We have this split-screen, and again, it's just a short little project and The End title, there we go. Let's get started here and I'll go through each shot. The first thing that I see here is this title. This is a graphic and a title that was created in Premiere and using Premiere's titled generator, this will not translate over to Resolve. Stuff like this, we would remove, then after color, when we come back to Premiere, we will simply reapply those. That goes for all these other effects as well. I know that might sound like a lot of work, but really that's part of why we're keeping our sequence organized because really it's not that much work. In most situations, it will actually be a pretty quick process and it'll save you a ton of headaches by simply following along and cleaning up your sequence. The first shot here, I happen to know that this is actually a clip that has a speed adjustment, 50 percent. One thing to remember is that for very basic adjustments, for example, a speed adjustment of just a basic 50 percent adjustment or 75 percent adjustment or 90 percent adjustment, for example. That stuff is typically fine, Resolve understands it. Where you do have to be careful is if you had, for example, a clip that might have been speed ramped from maybe you were at a 100 percent and your speed ramping up to 200 and then back down to 50 and then the 12 percent, and you're keyframing all these different time remaps, that kind of thing. Typically, if you do send it to Resolve, it won't understand, you would have to either remove that or take that shot and bake or flatten that speed adjustment or effect into the shot. Export it from Premiere, and then bring it back in and edit it back into your timeline. Again, I'll go over that in a second, but that's just a quick overview of how we might handle certain effects or adjustments that Resolve doesn't understand and might be too much work to remove and then reapply later. Again, that's simple though. That's just a simple 50 percent adjustment. This is just a basic clip, no adjustments there. This is an example of the cleanup. We have two shots here. This one we're not even seeing, we are only seeing, obviously, the track up here. If I were to, say, turn that off, you can see this is an alternate take that I had, so I can actually just delete that. Then here I can just hold down Shift, bring this down. I'm holding down Shift so that the clip doesn't shift left and right. By holding down Shift it'll just lock it, and you can bring it straight down without slipping any frames or time to the left or to the right. Then I go through. You can see this one here, actually it was another shot whereby I selected. I actually punched in 25 percent, but again, that's just a very simple constant adjustment, so that should be fine for Resolve. Had I been doing a keyframe or maybe doing a digital resume, for example, that's something where I would probably have to remove that and then just reapply it when I'm back in Premiere after color. Here we go. This was just a messing around temp color, you can see it's [inaudible] metric color filter. That kind of stuff, any third party filter or temp color you want to remove. Let's keep watching through. Same as before, we're not even seeing this shot. That's an extra clip that's not necessary, so Shift and drag that down. We go and we have a cross dissolve. Cross dissolves are fine. Any basic transition like a cross dissolve, dip to color, fade-ins fade-outs, that kind of transition is great. If you do have any third party transitions where you maybe went out and purchased the package of Alpha transitions or really fancy transitions, that kind of stuff you typically have to turn off or make that adjustment in. But this is basic, it's easy. Here's an example. We have a split-screen. Here, we have to have things on two tracks because we have one of the clips resized on the left and one resized on the right. Here's something where maybe I don't want to turn this off, I don't want to remove this, I don't want to have to rebuild this after the grade, so I'm going to just bake this in. I can just select this, hit "X". I will take this, go to Export. In this situation, we don't want to lose quality. I typically recommend doing a ProRes export. In this case, I'll do, say, Apple ProRes 422 HQ. Then let's rename this shot here. I'll just rename this, Split Screen. Again, everything else will stay the same, the resolution, and I'm just transcoding this to a ProRes 422 HQ so I don't lose any quality. There's no audio in this situation, so I don't have to worry about that, so I'll just turn that off. Then I will export this shot. It's done there. Then we would go here, Import. Here's my split screen shot. Here's what you can see that I meant by baking in the shot. I exported it at a high quality in ProRes so that this stays as I had it in my sequence, and I don't have to turn things off. Then it's just as simple as taking these, deleting them. Now, I'm going to edit this. In, there we go. I'll drop this down. You can see that is what's meant by baking an effect in. You can see that, there we go. Same thing here. We don't see the bottom track. You can see how neat my sequence is getting here. We're almost done. This is another shot here. I happen to know that for this one I did a horizontal flip, so I'm just going to remove that. Easy to apply that later. Again, we're not seeing this portion of that shot, so Shift, drag it down. Then this end title again, we won't see that in Resolve. There we go. You can see how clean and neat the sequence is now. That is probably the hardest part of setting this up. Again, just staying organized when you're editing is a big help. Now, when we send the sequence to Resolve, it'll be just one neat sequence, or everything is on one track. Sometimes you do have situations where you might need something on the 2nd or 3rd, which is fine, but the point is to just clean everything up so that when it goes to Resolve, everything translates correctly. Don't spend any time troubleshooting or fixing things. You can jump straight into the color, make the adjustments you need to make, and then come back to Premiere to finish your project. Again, that process is exporting a reference movie of your picture lock, then you want to duplicate your sequence, then you want to clean up your timeline, bring everything down that could be brought down to track 1 or 2, either bake in your effects or remove them if they can be easily reapplied later. Now, we want to export an XML. File, Export, Final Cut Pro XML. Then we'll save that. There we go. From time to time you might get something that's like a translation report that scares people sometimes because it looks like an error message. All that is is a list of things that may not translate over to Resolve. It's a document, you can just open it up, look at it with Text Editor, and it'll tell you things like this title will not translate over into the XML or this effect will not translate over. If you see that, don't freak out, it'll be fine. That's just giving you information if you want to see what won't translate. It actually can be helpful in certain situations. Now, you can see where we're at is we have a cleaned-up timeline, we have a reference video, and we have an XML. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to take all of this media in the XML and the reference movie and set up a resolved project for color grading. I'll see you there. 3. Importing XML into Resolve: Now we are DaVinci Resolve, and in this lesson, I'm going to show you how to set up your project for grading and to take all of that media that we've created in the XML to set up your project. The first thing we want to do is we want to go into the media window, makes things a little bit easier, and then we want to import that XML. I think you'll be surprised how easy this is. We want to go to file import, timeline, and then select that XML that we created, so I'm going to open that up. Then we'll come to this screen, which really just tells you where the XML is, you can see the name of the sequence that we created in Resolve, you can choose to rename it if you'd like, and then the options which are pretty easy to follow or automatically set project settings, yes, automatically import the footage, the source clips. Yes, we want to do that. We also want to use the sizing information like the cropping, the re-framing, all of that stuff, and this is the resolution of our timeline. Mixed frame rate format, we exported, if you remember, a Final Cut Pro XML, so all this is good. We hit "Okay," and then boom, here we go. You can see our sequence, and you can see that if we watch through it, here we go, we have our there we go, so far, so good. That's the little pop in you can see, and this is the clip where we removed that temp color. Everything is looking great so far, and then here's the cross dissolve, so good stuff. Here's our baked clip, and the one that we flipped or unflipped, and this is where the graphic is. It looks good, but obviously, if we want to be a 100 percent sure or if you have a longer much more complex timeline, what you want to do is take that reference clip and import it as an offline reference clip. What we do is we go to where that clip is located on your drive, and here we have it. SK Premier to Resolve, REF. Then we would right-click, and then we want to select "Add as offline reference clip." We added it down here into our media browser, you can see it's right here with this little icon can like a checkerboard icon. Then to add that to our sequence, which is this guy here with little checkmark, we right-click, timeline, link as offline reference clip, and you can see here is that file, underscore ref, easy to see, and that's it, and now we can go back to the edit window, and then here in this second window, we can change from source to offline, which means that we want to see the offline reference clip. There we go. Now you can see that this with the burn-in time code is our reference clip, and then this right side here is our sequence. Then if we want to compare the two, we can just simply hit play, they play together. We can see everything looks good, and you can see that how the time code is useful because 12:05, here's time code 12:05, sometimes something will happen where this might say 12:08, and you will see that you're off three frames, and you'll see that something went wrong. But whenever you see that the time codes are matching, sometimes this might say 12:06 and you'll see that you something slipped one frame, and then you can go in here and easily make adjustments if you need to. But again, that's rare if you properly set up your sequence. Split screen, so we can see everything. See this is the shot that was flipped. This is the reference, so it's actually supposed to be flipped that way, and something like this is very easy to fix. There we go, and you can see the only thing missing is the title. Now what we will do is go to our color page, and in the next lesson, what we will do is do a very quick color grade and keep our Roundtrip workflow going. I'll see you there. 4. Grading and Exporting to Premiere: Now in this lesson, again, this class is mainly about doing a round trip workflow from Premiere to Resolve and then back to Premiere. We'll just add a very quick color adjustment to this. What I'm actually going to do is just do a very universal grade to everything. I'm just going to simply take this and reduce the saturation, maybe reduce the contrast, nothing fancy. This is just that we can see the differences once we get back into Premiere and I'm just going to then select all of the shots. Here's a little trick, "Append node to selected clips." There we go. We just added that quick adjustment to everything. It's not the most beautiful grade, but really we're just concentrating on the workflow. You can see I'll just jump through these here. Then regarding the shot here that's flipped, one thing to remember is that certain things can be done in DaVinci Resolve. Something as simple as this, for example, I can simply go into the " Sizing" window and here we go, just flip and then if I go back to the reference video, you can see that that's correct. Again, everything else came in, everything else looks good, but that's just an example of something that you can do to make that quick adjustment so that we basically do that in Resolve and it's just one less step to do. The next step in this lesson will be to do our export settings and DaVinci Resolve actually has a Premiere preset. I'll select this and then here we just simply select whatever settings we'd like to do. Okay, this is completely fine. "Video" "Quick Time" " Apple ProRes 422", let's say we do "HQ". You always typically want to "Render at the source resolution" of the shots. Then most of this stuff, I won't go into too much detail because really we can leave this all as is. The only other thing that I might do is handles. If you do need handles, you can add them here, so I typically say, I just want to add 24 frames, so one second handles. This is helpful for situations where you think you might have to maybe tweak a shot or so you will have an extra second or you can do two seconds, whatever you're most comfortable with. You can add that here. One thing to know, however, is if you do have some transitions, you don't have to worry about adding extra handles for transitions because if there's a transition already in a clip, DaVinci Resolve will render this out with the needed handles for this cross dissolve. Even if you have something that say a 10 second cross dissolve, you wouldn't have to input that manually here. Resolve is just smart enough to know whether you have a 100 transitions of different kinds. It'll know exactly how many frames to add in so that you don't have to do that manually yourself, which is a really great time-saving feature that it has. For this situation, I'm just going to add one second or 24 frames. Everything else will stay as is. Again, no audio in this sequence, but typically just the default settings, Linear PCM, which is high-quality. The same amount of handles, the channels, everything's the same as source. If you're finishing in Premiere, again, typically you don't have to deal with the audio settings, so I would stick with this. Lastly, selecting the location where you want to render those files, so choose your hard drive, just like in Premiere or any other program you hit "Browse." Now you just select your folder here. I have this one selected. We click "Add to Render Queue" and something that I liked doing as well is just so you can see the data and confirm you're doing everything. "Show job details" and it'll tell you frame size, the source frame size, source audio, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, the audio rate 48, and then your runtime as well. Now, this runtime however, is with handles. The original project was only about 35 seconds, but once you add one second handles to each clip, that bumps it up to 59 seconds and 22 frames, which is fine. Then from here we just simply click "Render All" and while this renders, in the next lesson, we'll finish the round trip and then take this media that we've generated, the newly graded clips with a new XML that's being generated right now with this Premiere XML workflow that you can see. This is generating a new XML and new ProRes 422 HQ color graded clips. You can see that it's completed here now, and so then in the next lesson, I will go over bringing all this stuff back into Premiere and finishing our project. I'll see you there. 5. Returning to Premiere: Here we are back in Premiere, and what we're going to do now is finish this round trip workflow. We're basically going to do in Premiere what we just did in Resolve and that is import the XML, which will then bring in all of the graded media that we created in the Da Vinci Resolve. It's simply going into the file menu, import, then grabbing the XML that was created in Da Vinci Resolve using the Premiere XML preset and then we import, and there we go. You can see all of the graded files here. Then something that makes things a little bit easier is to go into this list view. You will see that all of the clips are selected. One thing that Resolve does is for the new sequences, it will put in parentheses Resolve. Then we open this, and you can see that here is our sequence with the graded clips. It is zoomed in a little bit, but I'll show you how to fix that now. The reason this happened, and here's something that I did for you because it's a pretty common occurrence. Especially with a lot of editors, you might be editing in 1920 by 1080 in Premiere. But the source footage was, for example, in this case, the source footage was not HD. The source footage was 4K 4096 by 2160, for example, 4096 by 2160. But we were editing in HD. Now, whenever you do a round trip workflow and you're at this point when you're finishing the project, you do in most situations, want to have your source footage, it's the highest quality ProRes 422 HQ or 444, and you also want to keep your source resolution. That's if you need to make a 4K output, you can do that. If you need to do a 2K HD, you can do that rather than accidentally editing in HD just for maybe processing power or something like that. If you remember in Da Vinci Resolve that little checkbox that said render at source resolution. That's so that we would render out the footage at the source 4K resolution rather than the HD resolution that we were editing in. That's why right now what's happening basically is I have a HD sequence so if I go into the sequence settings here, you can see that screen is grayed out right now, but that says 1920 by 1080. My sequence is an HD, but my footage is in 4K, which is why it's very zoomed in like this. A simple way to fix this across the board and what you typically do want to do at this stage of a project when you're wanting to output at the highest quality is then we can reset or undo our sequence settings despite how we started editing. We can simply go up here to, right now it's grayed out and I can't change it. But it will simply go here, custom, then I can type in what my footage actually is, which is 4096 by 2160. It's telling me change to preview file format or to the frame size require all preview files to be deleted, this operation cannot be undone. That's fine because we're wanting to be in 4K. Then here we go, boom! Now everything looks as it should. Here we go. We can see everything came in, looks good. Again, this is just part of the workflow. This is when you go through and do all of this final assembly or on-lining of the footage to the higher-quality, for example, this one here was actually an HD clip. What we actually wanted to do in this situation is scale it up to fit. There we go. As you know, many projects have HD footage 4K footage 2K footage. You can see all this stuff is, and you can tell the stuff looks good now. Here we are almost finished with this project. Same similar issue with this, we're outputting at 4K true 4K. Well, the original resolution of this was actually ultra HD 3840 by 2160. This is the same scenario. We just have to go in here and scale this up a little bit. Here we go and yes, 7 percent is the difference between 4K and ultra HD. Now we've adjusted this, everything else should be the same. It's just two clips that really had to make adjustments to, that guy there. Now we go back to our original sequence, which is this guy here. Okay. We're simply going to copy and paste the titles. Let me close this so it doesn't get too confusing. We're just selecting this command C. Let's go into our final result sequence. Then what we want to do is turn off V1 so that when we paste it, it puts it on V2. There we go and then same thing for this last shot here. Go to our original sequence, command C, and then command V to paste it, and now we have. Here we go. Now we can watch through it. We have our titles, everything else looks good. We have our created clips in 4K so we can output to any resolution we'd like. The crosses off came in, the speed adjustments came in. You can see that this is how we would do a round trip workflow where we start off in Premiere, there's that shot that was flipped and we have the end, the final end title. There we go. We can then take this sequence that's been graded, start off in Premiere, we cleaned up our timeline, we export our reference clip and our XML. We took everything to resolve, did our grade, then did our Premiere XML preset, and made sure to render everything at the source resolution. Then we can very easily just bring it back and have a master 4K sequence that's graded. That now I can take this and export to any quality, any resolutions that I want from 4K to HD, and then everything will look great. We are very much near the end here. Now you see how simple the workflow can be. As you know, every project is different. Some projects might be simpler than this, some might be more complicated than this, but this should give you a good idea of what it's like to take a project from Premiere to Resolve for grading and now moving it back to Premiere to finish it in any quality you'd like. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Final Thoughts: Well, thank you so much for taking this class. I hope you learned a lot. You now have a skill that you can take with you to every project you work on from this point forward. We covered the full round-trip workflow from Premiere into Resolve and back again, and it's one that I hope you use every single day on every project. If you did follow along with the media I provided, just so you know, I've created a discussion board so you can chime in, ask questions, and be part of the Skillshare community. Also, if you're wanting to dig deeper into the color, check out my other color grading classes. I have everything from people who think they might be a beginner all the way to advanced. Thank you, again. Congrats on finishing the class, and I hope that you continue your journey in post-production. Take care.