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Using Improved Groups in DaVinci Resolve 11

Use the new group feature in DaVinci Resolve to accelerate your color grading workflow.

DaVinci Resolve

The Blackmagic team has a knack for implementing features in Resolve that accelerate or simplify the way I work. One of the handy new features in Resolve version 11 is the group feature, which has been retooled and improved in this version of the software. You now have two opportunities to grade inside the group, as well as grade each shot without affecting the rest of the group. The overall timeline grade is also carried over.

Once you’re in the Color page, you’ll find the grouping options on the top right corner of the interface, above the node tree. Once you have a group set up there are a couple of options:

  • Group Pre-Clip: You can use this to apply a grade to every shot in a group. This is good for a general grade that will hold for most, if not all, of the clips in your group. If the shots are consistent you may not need to delve into the Clip tab at all.
  • Clip: This is the mode you’d be grading in if groups didn’t exist. Clip by clip, one by one. Easy enough.
  • Group Post-Clip: After you’ve made your initial grade in the Pre-Clip and done some fine tuning in Clip, your client might yell out a change that affects the whole group, like putting a vignette on each clip of a talking-head interview. Making this change could affect keys that you’ve pulled in the Clip tab. Having a global group change in the Post-Clip prevents keys from getting screwed up, and retains your sanity.
  • Timeline: Timeline lets you apply a grade to every clip in your session timeline, grouped or not. I often use Timeline to reduce the blur of Alexa footage by around .03, in effect sharpening the entire timeline just a tiny bit. It’d be a huge pain to apply this to each clip manually.

Check out the video for a practical application of groups:
 

A word of caution when saving stills: the stills will only save out whatever option you have selected. At the end of the session, it’s good practice to save stills for shots you’ve finished graded by right-clicking the monitor and selecting a “Grab All Stills” option. Just make sure you’re on the Clip setting in the grouping to grab where you’ll likely be doing the majority of the work, on the clip level.

Have you found any other uses for groups? Let us know in the comments.

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