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View Full Version : My Workflow for using DaVinci 9 Lite and Sony Vegas Products



Ian
10-17-2012, 10:01 AM
I have finally found a workflow that could help me understand how to utilize this software with my current camera. The theory from me goes something like this "If you can't maximize your current camera using D9, then why are you getting a camera that is 'better' than the one you have". So, what this means is that I am doing the following to be able to maximize my skills using DaVinci Resolve (until the camera is more widely available) and finding out how I can do even better with me existing kit.

Problem is, I have an h.264 workflow using Sony Vegas. This is NOT friendly to deal with if you want to use an external CC program like DaVinci.
Here is how you can work with it, and get all the benefits (most of the benefits anyway).

Pr-Requisite
1. Install the Codecs for Avid DNxHD, without this, your workflow won't work at all and you will want to shoot yourself.
2. Install 5d2RGB
3. Install Davinci Resolve Lite
4. Setup Davinci Resolve Lite account so it is working correctly with the right presets.
5. LOTS OF FAST HARD DRIVE SPACE 1 TB at least on firewire/thunderbolt ( I use PC, so firewire is my friend still)

Footage Workflow
1. Run all h.264 .MTS files through 5d2RGB with Full Range and Quicktime .MOV wrapper of Avid's DNxHD options.
2. Import .MOV files converted from DNxHD into Media Folder of Davinci Resolve 9 project
3. Grade in Davinci Resolve the original converted .MOV files prior to the editing with Sony Vegas
4. Export from Davinci Resolve using .MOV wrapped Quicktime, AVID DNxHD codec 444
5. Import .MOV AVID DNxHD 444 into Sony Vegas and cut/edit/add audio/titles etc.
6. Export to Blu Ray 1080p file/chapters
7. Import files/chapters into TempGENC Authoring Works 4 for blu-ray menu building and disc creation
8. Burn file structure with IMGBurn to create play-able menu blu ray

This gets me what I want, experience with Davinci Resolve, use of Sony Vegas for editing, and export to final Blu Ray project.
This may have been shared, but I know I couldn't find it when I was looking.
Ian

Jason Greene
10-17-2012, 08:05 PM
Ian - Thanks for sharing. I am a Sony Vegas Pro user as well. And, I've been contemplating the same issues, it seems. I started thinking about this seriously when researching the BMCC, which I have now pre-ordered. I'm finding that Resolve 9 Lite seems much nicer than I recall v8 being when I tried it earlier this year.

In my case, I can go straight from my DSLR footage to Resolve 9 without transcoding. Then I can follow a similar workflow to what you describe, with an out through DNxHD to Vegas. The only issue with this workflow is that some might consider it to be a bit backwards in that grading is, for some (many?), the last step in the process. For some projects, I like to play around with the "look" before I cut the footage. Indeed, in some cases, the look helps to inspire the cut. However, in most cases, the grading is the last step, perhaps only followed by titles and some sound work.

You might already be aware that the new version of Vegas Pro (v12) has XML import/export capability. With this, you can roundtrip through Resolve - cut in Vegas, then grade and come back to Vegas for titles, etc. I downloaded the trial and it seemed to work on a simple test project. I haven't pulled the trigger on v12 yet, but I probably will before the discount runs out at the end of the month for those who upgrade from v11. Having been bitten by the instability in v11 and hearing of some stability issues in v12, I can't say that I'm anxious to pay Sony more for v12, just to have stability issues.

What I haven't figured out yet is whether we can shoot BMCC in RAW, create proxies to be used to cut in Vegas Pro 12, then round trip through Resolve at the grading stage using the RAW files, then back to DNxHD to Vegas for the final render. It is the ease with which both programs will recognize the proxies that I question, not the ability of Resolve to use them. It sounds like it should be possible, but I just haven't taken it that far for a test drive myself.

Jason Greene
03-17-2013, 08:08 PM
Ian (and others interested):

I was fortunate to have received my BMCC last week. So, I've now started working on a workflow between Vegas and Resolve in earnest.

Here's what I've run into. I'm hoping that others might chime in with some help.

I'm trying to do as I stated above: bring the BMCC raw (.dng) files into Resolve, render out proxies to use to cut the footage in Vegas, then go back to resolve for the color grading using the original BMCC raw files before rendering out the final (graded) clips for the final titles, etc. and rendering in Vegas.

As stated above, Vegas Pro 12 allows import/export of .xml files. See below for my problems in trying to use them.

The following workflow should work in theory (I think - please correct me if I'm wrong):
1. In Resolve: Create a media pool of raw .dng files from the BMCC
2. In Resolve: Render the raw files to .mov (proxies) files to use in NLE (I use DNxHD)
3. In Vegas 12: Open the .mov files and edit
4. In Vegas 12: Export an XML file
5. In Resolve: Import the XML file, choosing not to import the media (i.e., to force it to use the same media pool as in Step 1). Resolve should automatically link with media pool files rather than the .mov proxies.
6. In Resolve: Color grade
7. In Resolve: Render final .mov files to be used in final render, replacing the .mov files that were created in Step 2 (or creating separate clips, depending on whether the grades were consistent across clips for the same BMCC file?)
8. In Vegas 12: Render final output (perhaps after adding some effects, titles, etc.)

In my experimenting so far, this breaks down at Step 5. The XML file from Vegas Pro 12 is not interpreted by Resolve in a way that allows it to re-link the original BMCC raw files to the imported timeline.

Oddly, if I export from Vegas 12 to a Premiere Pro project (prproj), save in PPro, then export out an XML from PPro (doing this to replace Step 5), it works. My conclusion is that Vegas Pro 12's XML file is missing something crucial to Resolve to make the link.

mrholman
03-17-2013, 08:34 PM
What I haven't figured out yet is whether we can shoot BMCC in RAW, create proxies to be used to cut in Vegas Pro 12, then round trip through Resolve at the grading stage using the RAW files, then back to DNxHD to Vegas for the final render. It is the ease with which both programs will recognize the proxies that I question, not the ability of Resolve to use them. It sounds like it should be possible, but I just haven't taken it that far for a test drive myself.

You can. What you do is in the menus or settings, you click something that tells resolve not to care what the file extension is. I just watched a tutorial that covered this the other day. Hopefully someone with more experience will know the name of this option in the menus or settings since I can't recall it. I am sure you can work with raw and make your DNxHD proxies and flip back and forth between them. Just keep your filenames the same and the file extension/proxies won't matter. I'm a premiere user but since it is a Resolve option, it won't matter. Explore the menus.

mrholman
03-17-2013, 08:41 PM
I don't understand #7. If you are done with the proxies, just delete them or keep them until you are done with the project, then delete them. Go ahead and render out new files in another folder.

Try making an EDL. If you can get everything on one track in Vegas, save an EDL out and see if that works for you. Relinking files is pretty easy in Resolve. Right click the files that aren't showing up in the timeline. If you can't find an option there, right click the files in the media pool. There should be an option to link them. This was also covered in a tutorial I just watched.

I wish I could be of more help. I just started learning Resolve. This was covered in either cmiVFX Introduction to Resolve or Davinci Resolve 9 Core Training with Alexis Van Hurkman. Those are the last 2 I just watched. Check them out. They should get you through this.

mrholman
03-17-2013, 08:59 PM
Here is a vid that should solve your problems. ;)

In the render, make sure you check the "Use Source Filenames".

Here is a workflow vid for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0S2MJT9wDY Watch some round trip workflow vids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0S2MJT9wDY

You would export to Final Cut Pro too. You want that same XML file.

At 4:36 he addresses where I believe you get stuck. If what I said and this don't get you through your problem, lookup relinking media. It isn't hard to do.

I hope that helps!

Jason Greene
03-17-2013, 09:30 PM
mrholman - Thank you for your help. I have no trouble with the round trips, imports, exports, and file linking when using Premiere Pro. The trouble, I think, is with the Vegas Pro 12 XML. Oddly, if I export from Vegas Pro 12 to a Premiere Pro project, then open and save that prproj in Premiere Pro, I can export an XML from Premiere Pro that works fine when imported into Resolve (including relinking to the raw .dng files)! Go figure.

So, I hope someone else who uses Vegas Pro 12 (I know there probably aren't many of us) can try this and confirm for me, that would be great.

Also, in Step 7, I wasn't clear. There are two ways this could work:
A. I could replace the original .mov files with graded files. I should call these SHOTS (as they represent the actual .mov files of the full .dng files). Note that these files are unedited shots. If I replace these in full in the same proxy folder, then when I re-open my NLE, it sees graded shots where it used to see ungraded shots in the SAME timeline as before.
B. The alternate approach is to render CLIPS and export the timeline from Resolve to be read into the NLE. This would be a "new" timeline (in theory, it is the same timeline as before, assuming everything transferred/translated correctly) and references to new clips. The difference here is that I can do "local" (is that right?) color grades of each clip individually in approach B. Approach A applies the same color grade to the entire SHOT (i.e., for the entirety of the .dng file). This is a subtlety that escaped me initially, as I didn't think about having to make this distinction.

An example might help.
Suppose I have two shots from my BMCC:
Shot A: A medium close up
Shot B: An extreme close up
I render out the A.dng files to A.mov and B.dng files to B.mov. Two .mov files to be used in the NLE.

In my timeline, I alternate between these two shots through time as follows.
A1, B1, A2, B2, A3, B3 (imagine the 1's and 2's are a time indicator, showing cuts from the same shot).
Now, suppose I want to convey the passage of time by color grading, as if the sun is setting (but the subject has not moved). I might try making A3 more orange (or something) than A2, which is more orange than A1. Same with B3 vs. B2 vs. B1. Clearly, this is a different color grade to all three clips of the same shot. So, I cannot just render out a new single A.mov (to be replaced as the graded version of A). There are three grades to A. Therefore, I must (I think) do local grades (on each clip) and render out separate clips from the timeline and then export the timeline.

Perhaps I'm not understanding the workflow. If not, hopefully someone will correct me.

Again, many thanks for the input and links.

mrholman
03-17-2013, 11:00 PM
Oddly, if I export from Vegas Pro 12 to a Premiere Pro project, then open and save that prproj in Premiere Pro, I can export an XML from Premiere Pro that works fine when imported into Resolve (including relinking to the raw .dng files)! Go figure.

That part is crazy! At least you have a workaround with Premiere until someone can help. If I come across a Vegas Raw Workflow vid I will pop in and post it. I looked earlier, no luck.

Something that was covered in one of the tutorials is exporting multiple edl files as a potential workaround, one for each track in a project, if your program permits it. Or, if all of your footage can be put on one track, try exporting an edl.

You are spending a bunch of extra time (especially in rendering) doing things the way you are doing them now. Hopefully someone can help you get the fix you need.

Also, you can keyframe the grade on the A clip if you want to do it that way. Or if you want 3 different, static grades, the way you are doing it seems fine. I don't know much about the local grades part. I just starting seeing that word in these tutorials.

If you just aren't wanting to render out the full clip with 3 separate grades, use the splice tool and make sure you click to render out single clips if you want them rendered that way with the different grades. As long as you splice it, the different grades will be fine, whether it is 1 clip or 3.

Hopefully we are on the same page about that. You don't need to render the same file 3 times though. Just cut it and stick the grades on it (right click and unlink if you need to) or keyframe it.

Jason Greene
03-18-2013, 06:58 AM
Again, thanks for the reply mrholman. What I'm doing isn't actually a lot of extra work or rendering - only what is necessary. You can just check a box for Resolve to render out separate clips all at the same time. Resolve then renders only what it needs. So, it actually might end up taking less time than rendering out the entire graded shoot. Thanks for the splice idea. I think the splice tool approach might actually be more manual work (and therefore, open to error) than just using the local grades, clip renders, and timeline export from Resolve. But, I'll play around with it.

I had already tried EDL with the same results.

Yes, it is crazy to have to use the work around that I found. In honesty, it isn't terrible, given that I have PPro. But, if I didn't have PPro, I'd be out of luck. Also, I really like cutting in Vegas. So I want Vegas to work as it is supposed to. I have started a ticket with Sony Vegas Pro support. They are notoriously slow (and have been said to sometimes be totally unresponsive), but I figured I'd start it anyway. As v12 is the first version of Vegas Pro to have an XML (or any, for that matter) export feature, it might not be surprising that they are stumbling a bit. I'm hopeful that they'll get it resolved (no pun intended!).

I'll report back here if there is a fix from them or another workaround that I come up with.

mrholman
03-18-2013, 06:41 PM
Resolved ahahaha good luck.

Jason Greene
03-19-2013, 06:39 AM
Update: I've been posting my issues with Sony Vegas Pro 12 and Resolve in the Sony Creative Software forums. It appears that I'm the first that has tried to use Vegas Pro 12 and Resolve in a round trip workflow like this.

The DNxHD proxy files that I initially render in Resolve appear to have something to do with Vegas Pro 12 producing an bad (from Resolve's viewpoint) XML file. If I initially create Sony MXF (MPEG4 255Mbps) proxy files in Resolve, the workflow seems to work fine. Unfortunately, Resolve will not render a Sony MXF file with audio. So, this isn't much of a solution.

I'll keep updating as I find better workflow solutions.

TiDa
03-26-2013, 04:07 PM
Please watch this:
https://vimeo.com/62697652

It might help you. The workflow was developed if you need rewrap your files. Then you have the advantage that you can choose to render out clips between original length and just cutted length. You save time and in case of DNxHD a lot of hard drive space.

Jason Greene
03-26-2013, 04:29 PM
TiDa - Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial.

I just wish that your workflow worked with the original source files, as color grading the .dng files from the BMCC is probably of high interest to those on this forum.

To work with files shot in raw in your workflow, you would need to first render out .dng raw files from Resolve, before even getting to the first step in your workflow. Then, your workflow renders again from Sony Vegas, color grading these re-rendered DNxHD files in Resolve, finally rendering for the last time from Vegas. To me, this just defeats much of the purpose of a round-trip workflow in using BMCC raw source files.

Having said that, this workflow would probably help for anyone who shot the source files in DNxHD to begin with and didn't mind an extra generation of compression/rendering before color grading. In that case, it would be critical to render out in Vegas (prior to color grading) to 10-bit 4:2:2 DNxHD files to preserve as much as quality possible.

The holy grail here, as far as I'm concerned, is having a true workflow in which you simply export the Vegas timeline, which Resolve reads and links to the original source files, that get rendered out for the final treatment back in Vegas. If Vegas Pro 12 could be fixed to read the timecode of the DNxHD, your scripts would be unnecessary to achieve this and we would have a workflow that Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro users enjoy.

Again, thank you for your efforts and contributions here.

k Stark
03-27-2013, 02:55 PM
Jason,
K- from the other Sony thread. I totally agree that Sony should fix this, if they did I would go ahead with the V12 upgrade, if they don't I'll wait till V13.
If you change you mind feel free to PM me. At this point I think what I would need to do is get some (short) example dnxhd files and write the code to read and possibly modify the timecode metadata in them.
Yes I can do this, I've done it before with other image files, and yes it is a major pain and trust me, I don't want to do it unless I have to.

The XML or ELD file part is really easy, which is why I wanted to compare the vegas and premiere versions. I susspect that premiere is digging the metadata out of the dnxhd files correctly and vegas isn't.

best of luck,
Keith

Jason Greene
03-27-2013, 04:35 PM
Keith,

Again, thanks so much for your generous offer. I might take you up on it.

As you said, the problem appears to be that Vegas Pro 12 isn't reading the starting timecode in the .MOV files. As you might have seen in that other thread, manually inserting the timecode into the media properties fixes the problem (for me and the examples I've used).

Something I'm thinking about now is whether we could write scripts that don't interact with the "insides" of the media files, but only utilize their file names and access the media properties. Here's what I mean: Resolve actually names the .MOV files that I'm using with the starting timecode. For example, if the source file is sourcefilename.dng, the rendered .MOV file from Resolve is sourcefilename_startingtc.mov, where startingtc = (hh*60*60 + mm*60 + ss)*24, when the starting T/C is hh:mm:ss.

I haven't written any scripts, but I've done quite a bit of programming in my life (and still do). So, I might take this on during the weekend. Parsing the file name shouldn't be hard if the script facility has functions that can be used for that purpose. Also, I assume that Vegas Pro allows media properties to be set in scripts. The algorithm for such a script is fairly straightforward, I think: Parse the file name to extract the T/C, insert the timecode into the media properties.

The utilities you speak of: are these scripts or programs executed outside of Vegas? I guess the other route to go is to do what I described above OUTSIDE of Vegas Pro and simply parse the source filenames and insert the timecodes in the XML file (which is actually a bit easier in some sense, because the timecode is in the frames format already, not hh:mm:ss). What are your thoughts on this approach?

This is literally the algorithm that I followed to first verify that it was the timecode that was causing the Vegas-created XML to fail to import properly in Resolve (thanks to your suggestion of comparing XML files). Then, I verified that entering the timecode into the Vegas media properties resulted in it showing up accurately in the Vegas-created XML file. So, the writing of the XML by Vegas seems fine. It is just its reading of the timecode by Vegas, apparently.

k Stark
03-27-2013, 07:24 PM
Jason,
I had a bit of a brain fart. I was using Resolve 8 Lite, didn't know there was a 9. Now I can make dnxhd, so I don't need any examples.

I believe you are on to something, I didn't know you could do that with the file naming in resolve, sounds like it should work (scripting).
If it doesn't work in scripting, then the file names(with TC) could be used to correct the EDL/XML
I was going to do everything in outside utilities, which is the way I normally work, it's just faster for me that way. (dotnet vb/C).

I'll play around with it, let me know if the scripting doesn't work out.
Thanks,
Keith

Jason Greene
03-29-2013, 08:51 AM
Keith,
I've started playing around with the scripting and it appears that it should work. This will be my first foray into scripts for Vegas. Coming from a C programming background, I'm having to get up-to-speed on C#. So far, I'm muddling my way through. I've managed to access all media's filenames and timecodes in a script (just simply printing them to screen at this point). I need to build out the parsing to set the timecode, plus error-checking and exception handling. I hope to have it done by next week and I'll share it when it works.
Thanks again,
Jason

Jason Greene
03-31-2013, 12:10 PM
Here's a script that I wrote for Vegas Pro 12 that infers the timecode from BMCC DNxHD files and BMCC raw files that are rendered to QuickTime DNxHD files by Resolve: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/forums/ShowMessage.asp?MessageID=855096&Replies=0. Just copy the code in that file to a notepad document and save it as a .cs file.

Until Vegas Pro 12 can properly read the timecode in QuickTime files, this seems to be the workaround to getting Vegas Pro 12 and Resolve working with BMCC files so that the original BMCC files can be graded in Resolve.

As an aside, while this script works, it could be improved to work with files other than BMCC (and probably even work better with BMCC files). Anyone who knows how to access QuickTime routines/methods from C# scripts (.Net): I would appreciate some help, as the above script is a round-about way of getting the timecode. A more direct/reliable way using QuickTime calls would be better. If someone can just get me started in accessing QuickTime from within a C# script, that would be much appreciated.

Darryl Gregory
03-31-2013, 02:28 PM
I just ordered my second BMCC at Adorama I got the Bundle again with the Switronix PB70, but now it includes Vegas Pro 12 FREE!
http://www.adorama.com/VDBMCCPK.html#freeGift
I'm not a Vegas user but for those who are and have not purchased the camera yet this is a nice bundle!

k Stark
04-04-2013, 03:18 PM
Thanks Jason, I'll give your script a try. I haven't much time to work on mine this week. I think I have it worked out, but if you beat me to it all the better.
Just a thought on your question about getting timecode out of the QT files, my method requires that a referance XML is exported from Resolve when the clips are initally created from Resolve (or later).
In that XML is the Resolve clip name, proxy name, paths and start time code along with a bunch of other stuff. Much easier to deal with then binary land. I would think that as long as
any other clips are pre-imported into Resolve, this could be used to get the start time codes for them also.

I think I should have cam in hand by tomorrow. I'll check for the V12 (Thanks Darryl), I not sure I got it with my purchase in Febuary or not.

Thanks,
Keith

Jason Greene
04-07-2013, 06:10 PM
Just to let anyone here know, in case they already don't know: Sony has released Build 563, which appears to fix the issue with reading the timecode in BMCC and Resolve-created QuickTime files.

Ricky Fuster
06-01-2014, 11:39 AM
Hi Jason, I follow you everywhere because you are the only one who really knows the round- trip between Vegas and Resolve. I admire you!
I love Resolve. I think it is amazing software and I also love Vegas (I have now version 12). For me using both programs would be the perfect scenario. I would like to use a similar configuration that you (I shoot raw, edit and deliver in Vegas but grade in Resolve). I use a 5d mark III with ML raw, so I end up with Cinemadng files as you have with your BM (but they are not 2k, just 1080).
The case is that it would be very helpful for me and others that might be in the same situation to learn in more detail your work flow (dng->Resolve <->Vegas->final render). I have these steps from you that I found in the Sony forum but unfortunately it is difficult for me to follow them. Can you make it a little more compressive for people like me that are beginners in Resolve and round-trip work flow? Maybe some screen shots could be enough.

Thanks for everything you share. I appreciate it.

Jason Greene
06-01-2014, 12:31 PM
Ricky,

Very kind words, of which I am not worthy.

My workflow is essentially the same as what is in the BMCC manual.

I have not used the raw-to-Resolve-to-Vegas-to-Resolve workflow in quite a while for the simple reasons that 1) I cannot get Vegas to load more than 20 or so QuickTime DNxHD files in a project and 2) I almost never shoot raw these days.

Regarding 1. There is a workaround using mxf out of Resolve, but you cannot use audio this way. Thus, the workaround is hardly practical.

Regarding 2. I find the DNxHD mode of the BMCC to be very good. My current project is a documentary with long interviews of about two hours each. I'm using two BMCCs and raw just isn't practical, given how good DNxHD is. Obviously, this still leaves the first problem. For that, I have nearly given up on Vegas. I am doing more and more in just Resolve and in Premiere Pro.

I still love Vegas for how quickly I can do things, but... I need to get work done.

I will take another look at the workflow and try to post back here again.

Ricky Fuster
06-01-2014, 02:09 PM
Thanks for your fast reply Jason.
The audio problem is not an issue for me because I only shoot fashion short films. I always use music in the audio track. Never record audio and when I do I use always a Zoom portable recorder.
I do not have a BMCC. I shoot with a 5d mark III so I cannot shoot DNxHD but I could shoot raw and convert to DNxHD with some kind of convertor (maybe RAWnizer can do the job)
With this new info in your mind what would you recommend?
Thanks again
Ricky