How To Use The Shared Node Feature In DaVinci Resolve 15
Each iteration of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve has become more efficient than the last. In 15, it’s the shared node that makes the difference.
Shared nodes are a new feature in Resolve 15 that allow colorists to share individual nodes across multiple clips, allowing for simultaneous correcting and grading on all clips while maintaining the properties from the clip-specific nodes.
For example, in the past, if you needed to push all the interior shots from scene six toward a warmer hue, you had two options: group all clips together and apply the correction, or individually open each clip and apply a new node to follow with the new direction. However, with the grouping aspect, you then had to keep switching between clip node graph and the group node graph to make further adjustments. Suddenly, applying the warm push to each clip became tedious, especially if there were numerous clips to adjust.
This is where shared nodes come in.
Creating a shared node couldn’t be easier, but there are a few steps that can trip you up (especially the automatic locking feature).
To create a shared node, you simply right-click any corrector node and select Save as Shared Node. There’s no minuscule color change to the node outline, nor is there a hard-to-miss icon indicating that the corrector node is now a shared node.
However, what isn’t as obvious is the small lock icon on the bottom-right of the node, which signifies that the node is locked. This is an automatic feature to prevent users from making accidental adjustments across all the clips that share the node. It can be somewhat confusing as you can still use all of the available correction and grading tools, but no adjustments are implemented. To make any further changes to the shared node, right-click and select “Lock Node” to unlock it. There won’t be an option to “unlock it” — the tick will symbolize if it’s locked or not.
Of course, sharing the node is the main thing to learn.
Copy and Paste
The simplest (although not the most practical) way to share the node is to select and copy the node by either selecting the node and using Edit > Copy, or by hitting Ctrl+C, then moving to a new clip and pasting the shared node properties to a new node. This, however, requires one too many clicks and button presses compared to other methods.
For example, if you were to copy and paste the shared node to a new clip, Resolve would automatically apply it to the node that was previously selected when grading that clip, which nullifies any existing adjustments. Therefore, you have to add a blank node before pasting the shared node.
Copy Entire Grade Shortcut
Likewise, if you were to copy the entire grade by using the middle mouse button shortcut (select a clip from the clip timeline, and then hover over a graded clip and press the middle mouse button), then the shared node would be on the new clip.
Apply Grade from Still
If you were to save a grade to the gallery, and the grade included a shared node, and you were to apply that grade to a new clip, the shared node would be included. Again, it’s important to remember that when applying a grade from a captured still, all of the nodes replace all of the existing nodes unless the still is appended.
All these options are great for when you want to move the entire grade, but how about just adding the shared node to a new clip?
Node Contextual Menu
This is arguably the best and easiest way to add a shared node to a new clip. Upon creating a shared node, the option to add a shared node appears in the contextual node menu (the menu that appears when you right-click a node). When you do this, you get a selection of shared nodes to choose from, and the shared node appends to the selected node; there is no overwriting existing nodes.
Append Node to Selected Clips
If you have several clips and need to apply the shared node to all, perhaps for a color temperature change, you can do this with relatively few clicks. First, make sure that the shared node is selected in the open clip window and that the clip timeline is visible, then while holding Ctrl, select the appropriate clips, open the color menu, and click “Append Node To Selected Clips.”
If you need to delete the shared node, you need to do more than simply selecting the node and hitting delete. While that will delete the node from the specific clip, the shared node and its properties will still be active on the other clips. To remove the node from all shared clips, you have to enter the contextual node menu, and then select “Delete Shared Node.” This will delete the properties of the shared node across all clips; however, an empty node will remain.
The ability to share nodes across several clips truly is a brilliant feature, and I’m sure that with future updates the feature will only improve. Being able to see which clips share the node would be most welcome . . .
Lewis McGregor is a certified DaVinci Resolve trainer.
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