Does Colour Correction Seem Like Sorcery to You? Never Fear. Here’s The Solution. And It’s FREE!

This official Blackmagic Design hands on training guide takes you through a series of practical exercises that teach you how to use DaVinci Resolve’s colour correction tools in detail. 

You’ll learn a wide variety of workflows, effects, and the tools necessary to perform Hollywood calibre grades.

Download the PDF book from:

Quick Review: Red Giant Universe. (And there is a 50% off deal at the moment)

In the tutorial section of the e-magazine and on the website, I have been placing clips showing how to use various plugins from various places. One of the major ones is Maxon which publish a huge array of different plugins. One I use regularly is Universe, and as Maxon has a special deal 50% off on for Universe during Cyberweek, I thought I’d give a run-down of what it is, so you can grab the trial version and have a play.

For those new to this, here is some background info on what plugins are and how they work.

By itself, Adobe After Effects is a pretty amazing. I’ve been dabbling with it on and off since the turn of the century. I do not profess to be an expert by any stretch, but I can make it do what I want it to for the menial jobs I require.

I admire those folk that can sit down with it and whip up a scene from Lord of the Rings in 20 minutes!

But thankfully, if you are also somewhat also graphically challenged, or alternatively, know After Effects really well and can quote every keyboard shortcut off the top of your head, but want to expand your skillset, there are plugins available to assist in a myriad of ways.

As I mentioned, one of my favourites is from Maxon, the makers of the 3D modelling and motions graphics package, Cinema 4D, and is called Universe.

Universe is a collection of 89 GPU accelerated plugins that collectively cover a multitude of areas from Text to Textures and Retrograde footage to Reframe with animated picture-in-picture and much more besides.

The effects and transitions are grouped under specialist headings and these are Stylize, Motion Graphics, Transitions and Effects and Text Generation. As well as the four modules under these headings I have already mentioned, others include Warp, Logo Motion, Socialize and Type On.

Using these allows you not just enormous freedom for your creativity but can also hugely speed up the time it takes to get a certain effect.

I remember well when The Matrix movie was released, and everyone who had access to a copy of After Effects (AE) tried to mimic the effect of the cascading green numbers – and it proved a lot harder than it looked. I don’t think anyone in the After Effects newsgroups I was a part of, managed to master it, not even the famed Trish and Chris Meyer, the AE wizards.

But using Universe I can see for example that the module Text Tile would allow this to be built very quickly. Or, and another favourite here, rapidly create one of those scrolling computer screens the news services are fond of showing us when they do stories about hackers.

If you are into sci-fi movies and want to create what sci-fi aficionados know as a HUD – that overlay image inside the helmet of the hero space warrior showing all sorts of data – there is a module for that too, all totally customisable.

There is serious stuff there too of course, with tools to create transitions to creatively go from one scene to the next, add lens flares, create alpha channels, fix “fisheye” lens distortions and blurring sections of footage such as people’s faces, vehicle licence plates and so on.

You can see the complete list of all the modules here.

One of the great things I like about Universe is that unlike a lot of plugins, it also works with most of the major video editing packages, so if you are not in the Adobe ecosphere – you might use DaVinci Resolve, Vegas Pro, AVID Media Composer or Final Cut X on the Mac – you still have access to them. You can check the compatibility of your setup here.

This means if I am doing something quickly in Vegas Pro – I regularly create short 30 seconds clips – or doing something longer form in Da Vinci Resolve, I can still access any of the Universe modules.

I mentioned at the start there is a trial version you can download, and you get it for your editor (or AE of course) at

Universe is a subscription system for AUD$29.20 a month but at present during Cyberweek, Maxon has made it half price using the code CYBERDEAL2022

Proxies? Where do they fit in …?

Do a search of any of the newsgroups around dedicated to video editing – whether in general or for specific packages such as Adobe Premiere or Vegas or Resolve – and use the word “choppy” as the search criteria.

I guarantee you’ll find hundreds of posts about the subject. And in most cases, the “problem” is caused by hardware, the computer, not being able to keep up with the software.

The same problem occurred when we went from standard definition to 4K, when special effects capability was built into NLEs as against using stand alone packages such as After Effects, and now, with 8K becoming available (Gawd knows why), it will undoubtedly happen again.

I noticed it on my main computer, a very capable up-specced Dell desktop about a year ago, especially when using DaVinci Resolve. Increasing the memory to 32GB helped, as did a faster and bigger hard drive, but when I started to do serious 4K editing, the gremlin would occasionally pop up in all its frustrating-ness.

But for many, the solution is quite simple, and won’t even cost you anything.

It’s called “Proxies”.

In short, a proxy is a low re version of the master file you have shot and / or are editing. You use this file to assemble the finished product, and then when ready for the final render, the real footage is substituted back in, with the editing software “knowing” from the proxy files where to make the edits and place the clips.

Different NLEs approach this in different ways. In Vegas Pro for example, you can tell it in Preferences to automatically create proxies. With DaVinci Resolve, you select all the clips you want to turn into proxies in the Media Pool, right click and choose “Create Proxies”. Check your NLE Help files for the way they do it (Adobe Premiere pro, Final Cut etc).

Using proxies will make life a LOT easier I promise and very soon, creating them will be come second nature and probably the first thing you do before you start editing proper.

By the way, if you haven’t found out as yet, Blackmagic Design released DaVinci Resolve 18 over the weekend. The base version, which is a more than capable video editor, is free and works on Mac, Windows and LINUX. So if you just need something more upmarket than Quik, iMovie and the like, go and get it here.

The full Studio version which includes the Fusion Motion Graphics / 3D system, Fairlight audio and much, much more is AUD $479 (far less expensive than Adobe Premiere or Vegas etc) and any future upgrades will always be free. I recommend however getting the Blackmagic Design Speed Editor console and you get a full version of Resolve Studio with it. This costs AUD$645 and is worth every cent in capability and productivity gains.

Released: Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 18. Here’s what’s new…

I am downloading it as we speak, and will report back as to what I find. But in the interim, the updates and new features – bloody impressive too in such a short time frame  – are:

Key Features

  • Blackmagic Cloud to host and manage cloud-based project libraries.
  • Collaborate securely over the internet using Blackmagic ID.
  • Support for intelligent path mapping to relink files automatically.
  • Vastly improved project library performance for network workflows.
  • Improved project performance, especially when working with large projects.
  • New Proxy Generator app for auto-creating proxies within watch folders.
  • Ability to choose between prioritizing proxies or camera originals.
  • Proxy files in subfolders are automatically assigned in the media pool.

Media & Edit

  • Stabilize Blackmagic Pocket Camera clips with camera gyro metadata.
  • New subtitle improvements including:
    • Support for timed text TTML, XML and embedded MXF/IMF subtitles.
    • Ability to view and import subtitles from media storage.
    • Support for relinking subtitle clips from the media pool.
    • Subtitle region support with multiple simultaneous captions per track.
    • Set individual presets, text positions and intuitively edit between regions.
    • Add, rename and manage regions from the timeline context menu.
    • Ability to export TTML subtitles from the track header context menu.
    • Ability to import, export and embed multiple subtitle tracks as TTML.
  • Support for reversing shape, iris and wipe transitions in the edit page.
  • Support for showing up to 25 simultaneous multicam angles on the viewer.
  • Edit Index now shows clip duration.
  • Ability to navigate keyframes outside trimmed clip extents.
  • Ability to navigate retime keyframes using hotkeys.
  • Smart bin filter for disabled timelines.
  • Render in place and open in Fusion actions can be assigned shortcuts.
  • Reset Fusion composition now works on multiple clip selections.


  • New object mask capability in Magic Mask.
  • Adjustment clips and Fusion generators can bypass color management.
  • Support for syncing clip groups in remote grading sessions.
  • Ability to trigger bidirectional tracking from advanced and mini panels.
  • Support for matte finesse and 3D qualifier in advanced and mini panels.
  • Dolby Vision highlight clipping support in advanced panels.
  • Support for bypassing color outputs from advanced panels.
  • Add key mixers with auto-connected key outs from advanced panels.
  • Support for bidirectional tracking in advanced panels.
  • Support for fast review playback mode in advanced panels.
  • ACES support for Blackmagic Gen 5 camera formats.
  • Support for the HDR Vivid standard.
  • Reference gamut compression enabled by default in ACES 1.3.

Resolve FX

  • New Resolve FX Depth Map to generate 3D depth based keys in Studio.
  • New Resolve FX Fast Noise.
  • New Resolve FX Despill.
  • New Resolve FX Surface Tracker for tracking warped surfaces in Studio.
  • Improved Resolve FX Beauty with new ultra mode.
  • Improved edge strength and filter controls in Resolve FX Edge Detection.
  • Option to composite from a second input in Resolve FX Transform.
  • New bokeh preset for Resolve FX Lens Reflections.
  • Green-purple control for Resolve FX Chromatic Aberration.
  • Sizing awareness option in Resolve FX lens flare and radial & zoom blurs.


  • Ability to convert fixed bus projects to FlexBus in project settings.
  • Ability to freely order tracks and buses in the mixer via the track index.
  • Ability to nudge custom millisecond or sub-frame intervals in the timeline.
  • Improved quality for time stretched audio.
  • Improved Dolby Atmos immersive mixing, including binaural monitoring.
  • Native support for Dolby Atmos production for Linux and Apple silicon.
  • Independent controls to enable automation and expose parameters.
  • Improved behavior of automated tracks under VCA control.
  • Improved meters with configurable decay, peak hold and display modes.
  • Ability to ctrl-alt click to remove gain and elastic wave keyframes.
  • Ability to double click a clip in the timeline to rename.
  • Ability to set record clip name prefix at a per-track level.
  • Support for renaming underlying tracks when renaming a linked group.
  • Equalizers with improved Q controls and mouse wheel inputs.
  • Dynamics with enhanced metering, gain display and enable controls.
  • Dynamics with improved dry mix, soft knee and metering in FlexBus.
  • Improved plugin management with replace and copy settings in the mixer.
  • New built in presets for equalizers and dynamics.
  • Hold shift and double click clips to extend the edit selection range.
  • Support for applying audio gain on range selection.
  • Improved waveform display accuracy under crossfades.
  • Origination time metadata is now persisted when bouncing mix to track.
  • Option to trim from unity on the Fairlight Desktop Console.
  • Support for VCA and bus spill on the Fairlight Desktop Console.
  • Support for using the Fairlight Desktop Console on Linux systems.
  • Studio monitoring support for FlexBus on consoles.
  • Fairlight console option to mute speakers on timeline load.
  • Support for chasing timecode via Fairlight audio interfaces.
  • Support for user views in the Fairlight Desktop Console.
  • Improved mapping for audio effects on the Audio Editor panel.
  • Ability to use alt + solo to invoke solo safe in the Audio Editor panel.
  • Support for a new clear mutes action in the timeline menu.
  • Enabling track mixer controls brings window to focus if already open.
  • Grid and list modes are persisted for patch, bus and VCA assign.


  • Multi-button mode selection in inspector for multiple tools.
  • Support for all modern and future python 3 versions for scripting.
  • Support for live previews when using the Text+ color picker.
  • Multiple new composition blend modes.
  • New expression animated Custom Poly modifier for masks and strokes.
  • Faster GPU accelerated paint tool with smoother strokes.
  • Faster duplicate tool with additional blur, glow and size controls.
  • Improved fade-on and text ripple title performance.
  • Improved performance for night vision, glitch, TV and other effects.


  • Support for Blackmagic RAW SDK 2.6.
  • Support for video uploads to internet accounts using custom presets.
  • Support for encoding mono and stereo MP3 audio.
  • New HyperDeck export preset in the Quick Export and deliver page.
  • Ability to render individual clips with timeline effects.
  • Ability to embed Blackmagic RAW metadata in QuickTime renders.
  • Custom quality and profile media management options where available.
  • Support for rendering Dolby Vision compatible H.265 clips.
  • Support for decoding CMYK format TIFF files.
  • Support for retaining reel name metadata in rendered EXRs.
  • Support for record date and time metadata for JPEG stills.
  • Alpha channel support in the IO Encode Plugin SDK.
  • Support for RED SDK 8.3.
  • Support for the ARRI Alexa 35 camera.
  • New 1440p YouTube preset.
  • Render option to override ACES gamut compression for round trips.
  • Main10 is now the default H.265 encoding profile on Mac.


  • Support for 10-bit viewers on Windows and Linux in Studio.
  • Stream video output to remote monitoring in Windows and Linux in Studio.
  • Apple Neural Engine support for DaVinci Neural Engine on M1 and M1 Pro.
  • Support for Korean localizations in DaVinci Resolve.
  • PostgreSQL 13 is now bundled with Project Server.
  • Support for desktop notifications for collaboration chat.
  • User preference to import Finder tags as clip keywords on Mac.
  • Support for importing and exporting Final Cut Pro v1.10 XMLs.
  • Ability to unlink Dropbox comment and marker sync for timelines.
  • Playback and render now prevents Mac systems from sleeping.
  • Render jobs now show progress bars for uploads.
  • Support for per-system project working paths in collaboration and cloud.
  • Support for per-system render cache mode in collaboration and cloud.
  • Support for setting current project settings as default.
  • Drag and drop project archives to project manager to restore.
  • Scripting API support for creating Fusion compositions.
  • Scripting API support for exporting project archives.
  • Scripting API support to get and set timeline start timecode.
  • Scripting API support to detect stale media bins and refresh them.
  • Scripting API support for updating camera raw sidecar files.
  • General performance and stability improvements.

Pre-Installation Notes

  • PostgreSQL 9.0 is the minimum supported version.
  • PostgreSQL 13 is the recommended version.
  • 10-bit viewers on Windows & Linux needs a capable graphics card and display.

Minimum system requirements for Mac OS

  • macOS 11 Big Sur
  • 8 GB of system memory. 16 GB when using Fusion
  • Blackmagic Design Desktop Video version 12.0 or later
  • Integrated GPU or discrete GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM.
  • GPU which supports Metal or OpenCL 1.2.

Minimum system requirements for Windows

  • Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • 16 GB of system memory. 32 GB when using Fusion
  • Blackmagic Design Desktop Video 10.4.1 or later
  • Integrated GPU or discrete GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM
  • GPU which supports OpenCL 1.2 or CUDA 11
  • NVIDIA/AMD/Intel GPU Driver version – As required by your GPU

Minimum system requirements for Linux

  • CentOS 7.3
  • 32 GB of system memory
  • Blackmagic Design Desktop Video 10.4.1 or later
  • Discrete GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM
  • GPU which supports OpenCL 1.2 or CUDA 11
  • NVIDIA/AMD Driver version – As required by your GPU

Using the Loupedeck CT controller. My experience and how I use it.

I first saw information on Loupedeck in 2019 via an advert in a magazine on the shelf in my local newsagent. The particular model in the ad was the original full size Loupedeck+, a console controller apparently much loved by Adobe Lightroom users.

I don’t use Lightroom, and never have, but I was intrigued so asked the company for a review unit.

For years I had been using a Contour ShuttlePro, primarily for video editing as I love the concept of the jog wheel – a throwback to my analogue editing days. I wondered how the Loupedeck+ would fare in the same environment. You can see my initial review here and a revisit here.

Six months later, the company announced the Loupedeck CT, a – to me at least – much more versatile unit than the Loupedeck + due to an open architecture allowing easier 3rd party development of ‘profiles’ for different applications. The Loupedeck CT will switch from profile to profile as you changed between apps in Windows or MacOS.

Using the Loupedeck CT

So how do I use the Loupedeck CT?

It’s necessary to understand the topography of the unit to fully get the picture of what it is, what it can do and then most importantly, how you can effectively use it to speed up whatever workflow you press it into service for, whether it be (as I do) for DaVinci Resolve, Vegas Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Cinema 4D or more than 60 other products, or using profiles you create yourself.

I don’t intend this piece to be a tutorial as such, so here is an excellent video I used to get the hang of creating my own profiles.

The Loupedeck CT is made up of a series of rotary dials, a panel of square touch buttons (showing icons), a panel of square buttons with pre-set labels (A through E and a Function button) , horizontally laid out circular labelled buttons (numbered 1 through 8 via an engraving on the button, and keyboard commands below it such as TAB, CTRL, SHIFT, ALT etc, a second panel of square buttons with labels such as Undo, RETURN and Keyboard layout and finally, a largish jog / shuttle wheel with an LED programmable centre.

Now it’s important to understand that each of these keys / buttons / dials can be programmed with whatever you like. Additionally, there are separate ‘pages’ of commands per button in some case that can be created.

I’ll be using DaVinci Resolve as the example here.

When you first start DaVinci Resolve (assuming of course you have the DaVinci Resolve profile loaded – more on that soon), the touch panels show the 7 options of Resolve that display along the bottom of the program; that is, Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Colour, Fairlight and Deliver. Pressing these will take you to the corresponding mode in Resolve just as if you had clicked the option in the program proper.

And now the fun starts and you get to see the functionality and associated advantages of the Loupedeck CT in a working environment. Let’s assume you pressed Edit to take you into full on editing mode, as against using the Cut page. The touch buttons immediately change to reflect a set of commands relevant to this mode. Further, by pressing one of the horizontal number buttons (1-8), you can ‘page’ through all the commands available in the profile that are there for the Edit mode.

The rotary buttons can also be pressed like an on / off switch and then do something totally different.

The DaVinci profile one is so extensive, I think the developers must have mapped every single available command to the Loupedeck CT, including editing, colour correction, all the audio sweetening options and more.

This means that once I understand the logic of the ‘pages’ under each main mode of Resolve, it is much easier to use the labelled icons on the Loupedeck CT to perform an action than use the mouse and the menu systems, or indeed, in many cases, even keyboard shortcuts.

Further of course, if I am switching between programs as often happens, say to get a screen grab for a tutorial or something similar, as long as there is a suitable profile available, the Loupedeck CT will automatically switch to reflect the menu / command structure of that new program.

This speeds up workflow immensely.


Now, of course as I say, all this depends very much on the fact there is a profile for your program. In my case, as I use DaVinci Resolve, Cinema 4D and Adobe Photoshop regularly, I have all these loaded. But I also use Microsoft Outlook and Excel, Google Chrome, After Effects, Illustrator and Vegas Pro and there are also profiles for these and even for Windows itself.







Recently, the Loupedeck company setup a Marketplace area on their website so 3rd party developers have somewhere to display the profiles they have developed. The Marketplace is easily accessible directly from the Loupedeck app that is also used to create profiles manually and setup the Loupedeck CT to your tastes.

It’s early days but already there are profiles for YouTube Music, Spotify, Logic Pro, Blender and many more.  You can access it directly in your browser via

The system I use is from a company called SideshowFX. They specialise in making profile packs for controllers including the Loupedeck CT and I have to say, these are a work of art to say the least! Currently Sideshowfx has profile packs for Adobe products, DaVinci Resolve (this is the one I use), Final Cut Pro, Ableton and more.

You can check them out at


It might not be for everyone, but I have found that since getting the Loupedeck CT, my production has increased quite dramatically. You do have to ‘train’ yourself initially to actually use it, and in the early days, you can spend a little time hunting for commands and functions for an application.

But once you become familiar with the ways to access the common ones, your mental library grows in leaps and bounds.

The Loupedeck CT does cost around $850 in Australia through retailers such as JB HiFi, Leederville Cameras and Camera Warehouse and some may say that is expensive.  I’d agree here.

If you make a living via editing video, creating 3D models in Cinema or Blender, or even crunch numbers in Excel though, then the money is well spent in the return of increased productivity over quite a short period of time.

Compared to European pricing at €499 it is about $100 too high in my opinion. That of course is out of the Loupedeck company’s hands though, but it does mean you might get a better deal buying direct from Loupedeck dependent on exchange rates.

And I can say, for me at least, the company’s support when needed has been exemplary.

If you regularly travel and use a laptop away from your desk, then there is also a carry case available for your Loupedeck CT allowing you to take it with you and continue using it with your laptop. Just make sure the Loupedeck app and relevant profiles are installed.

If you have any questions I can answer on using a Loupedeck CT (but not technical please in terms of setting it up etc), feel free to contact me.




Hit Korean TV Show “Mine” Graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio by Westworld  

Seoul, South Korea based production and post studio Westworld completed color correction on the recent tvN television series “Mine” using DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post software and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel. The series was made available internationally on Netflix, with Westworld using DaVinci Resolve Studio to help the show meet the streaming service’s high quality specifications.  

Offering full production and post services, Westworld has worked on some of the biggest South Korean global hits over the past 20 years, including “Squid Game,” “Sweet Home” and “Silent Sea.”  

“Mine” was the first project done by Ms. Lee, Hyemin, the main colorist for the series, using DaVinci Resolve Studio. Working with a team of post production professionals, she handled color correction for all 16 of the show’s episodes.  

“Mine” tells the story of two women seeking to topple all that stands in the way of them finding true joy and freeing themselves from high society’s prejudices. The series stars Lee Bo-young and Kim Seo-hyung.

 Explaining the look and feel of the series, Ms. Lee, Hyemin said: “‘Mine’ is a story about a murder case in a rich family, but it’s also about the lives of strong women searching for their real identities against prejudice. The principal image color concept was a mix, including using color to emphasize the difference between the two main characters. Some looks were luxurious and soft, with others heavy and noble. DaVinci Resolve Studio helped us to achieve them well.”  

She continued, “With DaVinci Resolve Studio, we created more contrast and an aggressive look and feel for the trailer and certain scenes. But overall, we used a harmony of gold and pink colors as the main theme and set the black level down and thick to avoid the image being too light. DaVinci Resolve Studio gave us all we needed to create these images.”  

Westworld began color correction on episodes before production had been completed and was often still working on an earlier episode when new ones came in. With tight deadlines and working on several episodes at once, the color correction process had to be incredibly efficient. Taking advantage of the experience and talent across its team with real time collaboration was one of the primary reasons why Westworld chose to use DaVinci Resolve Studio.  

“As the episodes progressed, I expected it to be crunch time. Collaboration was important with the deadlines we were under. The team had to work closely, quickly and accurately. We believed that DaVinci Resolve Studio would not only give us the best collaboration, convenience and usability but also a high quality outcome producing textures, which we thought was the most important thing with ‘Mine,’” said Ms. Lee, Hyemin.  

Westworld was asked to accomplish a number of tasks in each episode, including the creation of different looks for the main characters, correcting low light shots, matching shots from different cameras and creating a filmic look for the entire series. To do this, the Westworld team relied on several of DaVinci Resolve Studio’s features.  

Building the contrast between the two main characters was a constant task for her team. Ms. Lee, Hyemin explained, “We keyed actress Lee, Bo-young’s face and graded it to look more bright, low in contrast and soft. On the other hand, for actress Kim, Seo-hyung, with her character being the one with charisma, we applied contrast separately on her face. For example, after keying her face, we used various texture effects in DaVinci Resolve Studio and added sharpness while emphasizing the difference between the light and shade.”  

There was a very important scene with a peacock flying overhead, and the faces of the maids looking up at the bird stood out too much. DaVinci Resolve Studio’s halation and diffuser helped us get a proper look and feel, and it looked natural and fantastic,” she continued.  

DaVinci Resolve Studio was also used for a small amount of VFX, including the use of VFX filters to create a sense of halation and illusion. The Westworld team also used DaVinci Resolve Studio for a simple master edit based on the XML files provided by the main editing facility.  

Loupedeck CT gets DaVinci update from SideshowFX

One of the best investments I have made over the years is the Loupedeck CT desktop controller which gives me fingertip control over applications such as DaVinci Resolve, Cinema 4D, Spotify, Chrome and more.

Oh I admit, early in the piece there were definite teething issues with drivers, some apps not behaving as they should due to some donkey profile settings and the UI to create your own profiles was not exactly friendly.

But following a few updates later from all involved parties, the Loupedeck CT is now an integral part of my workstation and workflow.

This has been further enhanced in the last few days by a major update from SideshowFX, a Canadian company specialising in customising profiles form the Loupedeck CT and other controllers.

The company just released an updated version of its Da Vinci Resolve package including over 1500 custom made icons and 900 + actions.

To see what you might be missing (and see what profiles you can get for the Loupedeck CT, have a look at the Loupedeck website here and for the SideshowFX custom profiles and icons, see here.

Everest VR: Journey to the Top of the World

Blackmagic Design today announced that the stunning new 8K 3D documentary “Everest VR: Journey to the Top of the World,” produced by Facebook’s Oculus, was edited, graded and stitched with DaVinci Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio.

In April of 2017, world famous climber Ueli Steck died while preparing for climbing both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse without the use of bottled oxygen. Ueli’s close friends Jonathan Griffith and Sherpa Tenji attempted to finish off this project while award winning VR director and alpine photographer Griffith captured the entire story.

Over the course of three years, Griffith shot footage following Tenji and some of the world’s most accomplished climbers on some of the world’s most extreme locations. The series also includes footage that lets viewers witness what it is like to be engulfed in a Himalayan avalanche, cross a crevasse and staring deep in its depths, take a huge rock climbing fall, camp under the stars and soak in the view from the top of the world.

Griffith worked with a veteran VR post production expert Matthew DeJohn for editing and color correction, VR stitching expert Keith Kolod and Brendan Hogan for sound design.

“It really was amazing how a small crew was able to get all of this done. The collaboration between myself as the cameraman and Matt and Keith was a huge part of being able to get this series done and done at such as a high quality,” said Griffith.

Matt and Keith would give suggestions on how to capture for VR, how camera wobbling impacted stitching, how to be aware of the nadir and zenith in each frame and to think about proximity issues. The efficient post production process helped in letting us focus on what was needed, and I am incredibly happy with the end result. Everyone on the project worked above and beyond, and the results show.”

DeJohn was tasked with bringing together a huge amount of footage from a number of different high end camera systems.

A VR project usually has different teams of multiple people for editing, grading and stitching, but with DaVinci Resolve, Keith and I handled everything,” DeJohn said. “DaVinci Resolve is ideal for VR post. The fact that every tool I needed was in a single app made the entire process efficient and cost effective. So much time was saved simply by just having to switch apps with a few mouse clicks instead of shutting down the process by moving files from one system to another.”

For editing, DeJohn used DaVinci Resolve Studio to cut the series at 2Kx2K, relinked to 8Kx8K source and then change the timeline resolution to 8kx8K for final color and rendering. He used the Fairlight audio editing tab for its expanded toolset which allowed him to make fine adjustments, manage different narration takes with audio layers, and manage varied source files such as mono narration, stereo music, and 4-channel ambisonic spatial audio.

With color correction, I used Resolve to ensure we kept and honest look throughout and to make that look consistent across various camera systems and shooting conditions.

VR forces you to be real, and I used DaVinci Resolve to keep every scene realistic because any hint of oversaturation or an unnatural grade would ruin the VR experience,” he continued. “I colored the project from the very first edit so when it came to finalize the color it was just a process of touching things up.

Fusion Studio was used for stereoscopic alignment fixes, motion graphics, rig removal, nadir patches, stabilization, stereo correction of the initial stitch, re-orienting 360 imagery, viewing the 360 scenes in a VR headset and controlling focal areas. More intense stitching work was done by Kolod using Fusion Studio.

Kolod, explained: “Every shot in this type of production is a VFX shot and I relied on Fusion. It is better, faster and more affordable. The render time is much faster and the seamless integration with the rest of post is incredibly efficient.

Footage of such an extreme environment, as well as the closeness of climbers to the cameras, provided unique challenges for Kolod who had to rebuild portions of images from individual cameras. He also had to manually ramping down the stereo on the images north and south poles to ensure easy viewing, fix stereo misalignment and distance issues between the foreground and background and calm excessive movement in images.

“A regular fix I had to make was adjusting incorrect vertical alignments, which create huge problems for viewing. Even if a camera is a little bit off, the viewer can tell,” Kolod said. “The project used a lot of locked off tripod cameras, and you would think that the images coming from them would be completely steady. But a little bit of wind or slight movement in what is usually a calm frame makes a scene unwatchable in VR. So I used Fusion for stabilization on a lot of shots.”

“High quality VR work should always be done with manual stitching with an artist making sure there are no rough areas. The reason why this series looks so amazing is that there was an artist involved in every part of the process, shooting, editing, grading and stitching,” he finished.