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Organize Your DaVinci Resolve Work Area with New Compound Nodes

Tristan Kneschke

In a fast-paced session, it’s easy to lose track of each node’s function in the tree, especially when time doesn’t allow for labelling each one. DaVinci Resolve 12’s compound nodes offer a solution.

When time doesn’t allow for proper labeling, it’s easy to lose track of each node’s function in the tree. New to DaVinci Resolve 12, the compound node condenses the complexity of the node tree, which can organize client comments or help otherwise clean up the node editor. Compound nodes can also allow for various workflow applications, like applying one correction that affects multiple nodes.

Or, consider a scenario: perhaps you’ve been addressing an art director’s comments for several minutes, creating multiple serial nodes that can be stepped back through if needed. Let’s say the art director now wants to toggle the result of all of those changes. The easiest way to show this would be to enable and disable a single node. In this case, compound nodes can also help.

To use this new feature, nodes must be in direct sequence with each other; the first and third node in a serial node tree can’t become a compound node. First, command-click on each node to be included. The active node doesn’t need to be one of these nodes.

Below, the third and fourth node are selected, denoted by the red bar above the thumbnail. The second node will not be included in the compound node even though it is the current node, as seen by the red box highlight.

1. Compound Node Selection

Right-click on any node and select Create Compound Node at the bottom.

Create Compound Node is revealed when several nodes in sequence with each other are highlighted.

2. Create Compound Node

The selected nodes will be grouped and the new node will be identified by a thicker border resembling a stack of cards. It’s subtle, which is why Blackmagic probably thought it was a good idea to label the node by default.

The red border becomes thicker than when on a single node, but it’s subtle, so it’s best to keep the compound labelled to avoid confusion.

3. Compound Node Creation Result

From here, you can step into the group by right-clicking on it and selecting Show Compound Node.

4. Show Compound Node

This will focus on only this group, functioning like the main node graph area and allowing for further corrections. To leave the nested group and return to the master correction, right-click in the work area and choose Exit Compound Node.

5. Exit Compound Node

Additional corrections can be performed directly on the compound node without stepping into it, or it can be enabled and disabled to satisfy the client scenario described above.

Compound nodes can be nested again if needed. One useful application is to limit the compound node with a qualifier, especially if applying something from the Powergrade that features a lot of processing.

Change the name of the compound node to something less generic by right-clicking it and selecting Change Label, the same functionality as other nodes. Inputs, outputs, and options for alpha channels can also be added.

Labelling the compound node something more specific aids clarity, especially in long, grueling sessions.

6. Compound Node Rename

I hope a feature to destruct a compound node will be implemented by the time of the official non-beta release of Resolve 12, but at the time of this writing no details have been given.

What are your favorite new features in DaVinci Resolve 12? Let us know in the comments below!