[Tig] Resolve on MAC

Simon Brazzalotto brazzalotto at optusnet.com.au
Wed Oct 20 15:25:29 BST 2010

Hi All,

Our usually reliable Linux Resolve had a motherboard die the other  
week and we've been using a hired Mac Resolve.  Our usual workflow is  
to bounce in and out via tape using 10bit DPX.  Most of our work is  
SD and it performed quite happily using internal RAID storage for  
this.  I even had it Power Master direct from the timeline to tape on  
a long job that had very simple grades with only one to three nodes  
per shot.

The hired system is not on the most up to date or fastest MacPro and  
it only had a Tangent wave panel which was not only limiting but I  
also found it unresponsive, so I was constantly watching the WFM to  
see if I was getting a reaction from the controls.  The main  
highlights encoder wheel seemed most unreliable but it may have had a  
hard life as a hire panel.

I've also used it on two HD jobs with pre-conformed QTs as the  
source.  For these I used faster external storage (Bright RAIDS via  
fast ethernet, not fibre).  The first was 10bit uncompressed and the  
second was ProResHQ.  The GPU wouldn't play in realtime (25fps).  It  
managed the uncompressed at 20-22fps and the ProResHQ at 18-20fps.   
Both jobs were rendered as 10bit DPX and played to SR Betacam with  
only 1 or 2 dropped frame aborts.  The first job was also rendered  
out as ProResHQ QT.

The SDI monitoring flickers and jumps all the way through the renders  
on SD and HD and sometimes displays this flickering image through a  
half mix of the last Gallery still you may have used for a split  
screen comparison.  All of this is very disconcerting, particularly  
for clients.

Overall I think Resolve on Mac has potential and obvious appeal for  
its price point but it needs the absolute fastest and newest Macs as  
well as fast storage and high bandwidth connections just like any  
other serious colour grade system once you go above SD.  For HD and  
higher it seems to be really pushing the capabilities of the system  
but these things will continue to improve in the way of all things  
computing.  There are potential workflow advantages as well because  
of the Codec freedom that the Mac platform allows.  The proper  
Resolve panel would have been nice to try.

Simon Brazzalotto
Colourist and Online Editor
ABC TV Sydney

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