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Blackmagic Design releases DaVinci Resolve 18.0 in beta

The recording of Blackmagic Design’s livestream announcing the public beta of DaVinci Resolve 18.0. Coverage of Blackmagic Cloud and Da Vinci Resolve 18.0 itself starts at 00:12:25.

Blackmagic Design has released DaVinci Resolve 18.0 and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0, the latest updates to its colour grading, editing and post-production software, in beta.

The update introduces Blackmagic Cloud, a new cloud-based collaboration system, and Blackmagic Proxy Generator, a new app for creating and managing proxies from camera orginals.

Colorists and VFX artists get new AI-trained object masking and depth map generation systems, support for tracking warped surfaces, a new despill effect, and updates to the integrated Fusion compositing toolset.

Video editors get new transitions and improved subtitling. Audio artists get improved Dolby Atmos mixing.

New cloud-based collaboration and automatic proxy generation workflows
The headline changes in DaVinci Resolve 18.0 are the new cloud-based collaboration and proxy systems.

Blackmagic Cloud, the firm’s new cloud-based collabaration platform, lets users host project libraries on the DaVinci Resolve Project Server in the cloud, and share them with collaborators or clients.

DaVinci Resolve automatically maps and manages file paths when using cloud-based project libraries, meaning that files are relinked automatically if another user updates them.

For shot review, it is possible to “upload and review … presentations with synced markers and comments”.

Windows and Linux users with Nvidia GPUs can also now stream the output of the DaVinci Resolve Studio viewer to a remote Blackmagic DeckLink cards with 12-bit colour depth and “extremely low latency”.

Suggested use cases include remote editing and grading, as well as viewing output on local reference grading monitors.

The update also introduces Blackmagic Design’s new Proxy Generator app, an intelligent automated system for generating H.264, H.265 or ProRes proxies from raw footage.

It can be set to monitor multiple watch folders for new source footage, and automatically assigns proxies to their proper place in the file tree, and links them to the camera originals in the media pool.


AI-based object masking and depth matte generation, plus tracking of deforming surfaces
For colorists, DaVinci Resolve Studio’s Magic Mask palette gets a new object mask system powered by DaVinci Neural Engine.

The AI-trained tool isolates and tracks “thousands of unique objects” including animals, vehicles, people and even food, making it a quick way to selectively apply grading or effects.

In addition, the new Resolve FX Depth Map uses DaVinci Neural Engine to generate a depth alpha channel from footage, for grading the background and foreground of a shot separately, or adding depth-based fog.

VFX artists get DaVinci Resolve Studio’s new Resolve FX Surface Tracker, which tracks organically deforming planar surfaces in footage, including clothing, flags, and “even the side of a face”.

The tool generates a 3D mesh over a selected region of a frame to which a new texture can be applied, automatically repositioning it and deforming it in subsequent frames to match the footage.

There are also self-descriptive new Resolve FX Despill and Fast Noise effects, while DaVinci Resolve Studio’s existing Resolve FX Beauty filter for smoothing skin imperfections gets a new Ultra mode.

Fusion, DaVinci Resolve’s integrated compositing toolset, has also been updated.

The key changes are the same as those in Fusion Studio 18.0, the new version of Blackmagic Design’s standalone compositing software, which has also just been released in beta.

New tools for video editors and audio artists
Video editors get new reverse shape, iris and wipe transitions in the effects library, support for TTML and XML timed texts and embedded MXF/IMF subtitles, and a new 5×5 option in the multicam viewer.

Audio artists get improved mixing of Dolby Atmos projects, including support for binaural monitoring and rendering; and automatic conversion of legacy projects to Fairlight’s new FlexBus system.

We don’t cover video or audio editing on CG Channel, but you can find more details of the new features via the links at the foot of the story.

Support for new broadcast standards and Apple’s M1 Ultra processors
Other changes include support for the HDR Vivid broadcast standard, the option to embed Blackmagic RAW data in QuickTime renders, and a number of other codec updates.

In addition, the DaVinci Resolve 18.0 product page advertises the software’s support for the M1 Ultra, Apple’s latest Apple Silicon processor, available in the new Mac Studio.

Apple Silicon support isn’t new in DaVinci Resolve 18.0, Blackmagic Design having been one of the first software developers to support M1 processors natively, but the firm claims that playback of 8K multicam timelines is “30x faster” on the M1 Ultra.

Pricing and system requirements
DaVinci Resolve 18.0 and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0 are available in beta for Windows 10, macOS 10.15+ and CentOS 7.3 Linux. Blackmagic Design hasn’t announced a final release date yet.

The base edition of the software is free; the Studio edition, which adds DaVinci Neural Engine, stereoscopic 3D tools, HDR grading and more Resolve FX filters and Fairlight FX audio plugins, costs $295.

Read an overview of the new features in DaVinci Resolve 18.0 and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0
(At the top of the page: the bottom of the page includes features added in previous updates)

Read a full list of new features in DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.0 on Blackmagic Design’s forum

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