ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

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John_H

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ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostThu Nov 07, 2019 3:02 pm

I'm doing some simple VFX (TVs in back of shot, building extensions, object removal) on an indie feature. Shot on Sony F55 raw. I'm pretty new to Resolve and VFX pipelines.

Couple of questions:
1) Should I use ACES for my workflow? From comments on these forums the ACES integration in Resolve 16.1 could be buggy.
2) What exactly should I give back to production? An alpha layer with just the VFX work *or* a log file with everything merged on it? Output tech specs? My concern is that if doing the latter, unexpected artefacts might surface when de-logged during the grade.

Bearing in mind that my VFX shots will be mixed with Sony 16bit raw sources in the (2k) final grade/conform.

I'm on a 2013 macbook with 8gb ram; am I hopelessly optimistic?

All gotchas and caveats gratefully received. Thanks.
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Peter Chamberlain

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostFri Nov 08, 2019 9:54 am

I doubt 4k clips will work on the fusion page with that hardware config. ACES issues irrelevant at this stage. Do u have access to a 2019 computer with a 8GB ram GPU and 32GB system ram?
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostFri Nov 08, 2019 10:26 am

John_H wrote:1) Should I use ACES for my workflow? From comments on these forums the ACES integration in Resolve 16.1 could be buggy.

If you are new to ACES and don't have anyone in production to guide you, it can be a bit confusing. Do different parts of production (grade) also use ACES?
John_H wrote:2) What exactly should I give back to production? An alpha layer with just the VFX work *or* a log file with everything merged on it? Output tech specs? My concern is that if doing the latter, unexpected artefacts might surface when de-logged during the grade.

Let them create pulls from raw data for you, cut into shot length (with handles if necessary), it will save a lot of trouble. Then give back the same format they gave you. And make sure they know what they are doing colorspace conversion wise etc, so you know what lands on your door. Regarding mattes, alpha etc, ask what they need.
John_H wrote:Bearing in mind that my VFX shots will be mixed with Sony 16bit raw sources in the (2k) final grade/conform.

Let them do the pulls, so they can confirm that their plates match their workflow. Then your job is to not mess them up and you simply deliver back what was given to you.
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostFri Nov 08, 2019 10:29 am

Peter Chamberlain wrote:I doubt 4k clips will work on the fusion page with that hardware config. ACES issues irrelevant at this stage. Do u have access to a 2019 computer with a 8GB ram GPU and 32GB system ram?

Peter, at what stage do ACES issues become relevant? Maybe OP will change his workstation today afternoon for one that matches suggested hardware?
I do stuff.
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John_H

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostFri Nov 08, 2019 10:44 am

Hendrik Proosa wrote:
John_H wrote:Let them create pulls from raw data for you, cut into shot length (with handles if necessary), it will save a lot of trouble. Then give back the same format they gave you. And make sure they know what they are doing colorspace conversion wise etc, so you know what lands on your door. Regarding mattes, alpha etc, ask what they need..


Hi Hendrik,
Thanks. Actually I am working from copies of the camera originals (sony 4k raw). Production ( = our director :) ) is giving me an offline edit plus all the camera originals. I think a conversation and some tests with the colourist is in order...
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostSat Nov 09, 2019 6:40 am

Main thing you want to avoid is divergence of data due to you and colorist using different raw decode settings and.color pipeline. Because when people start interpreting stuff randomly, it is a 50:50 chance that when you deliver your comp, colorist will start complaining that your footage messes up his grade that was already done on raw files. Easiest way to prevent this is to prep plates in a consistent way and deliver back exactly the same that you received. ACES makes this easy if you know what you are doing, Peter can fill you in on what bugs and when become relevant.
I do stuff.
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John_H

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostSat Nov 09, 2019 7:30 am

Many thanks Hendrik and Peter.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostSun Nov 10, 2019 5:15 am

Another acceptable VFX workflow is to have the colorist create a temporary viewing LUT for you, and put that at the top of the stack in your compositing program. That way, you can see the look of the scene, design the effect accordingly, then bypass the LUT and render it out as needed. The shot will get cut back into the colorist's project, and the same color correction will work for this scene.

I've had this work dozens (maybe over a hundred) of times, and it can work very well in lieu of ACES. As long as Editorial, Color, and VFX all have access to the same LUTs, it's no problem.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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John_H

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostSun Nov 10, 2019 10:36 am

Good tip, thanks Marc!
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Hendrik Proosa

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Re: ACES advice for Resolve newbie?

PostSun Nov 10, 2019 11:59 am

Keep in mind that LUT won't help if data is messed up on input transform level and LUT is helpful or needed when your work actually modifies color in significant way AND there will be strong grade applied that diverges from base ODT. ACES usually takes care of input handling when working with raw files but I strongly suggest to test your round trip before doing actual work. In non-ACES project all bets are off when people start juggling raw to their own liking.
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