One of the many appealing features of the BMCC is the bundled version of Davinci Resolve, and when it finally arrived in August I desperately wanted to master this piece of software. I felt that it was the ‘missing link’ between my camera footage and a mainstream feature film. What it actually taught me was how I should be setting up the camera correctly. The saying ‘You can’t polish a turd’ applies here as much as it does in the music world!
I quite quickly found out that Resolve 9 is 64bit only, and the Mac Pro 1,1 simply won’t support it (Apparently the Mac Pro 1,1 was advertised as a 64bit machine but I digress). I tried various methods of tricking the Mac Pro into booting MacOs Lion, with some success… but Resolve was not having it! My 2010 MacBookPro did take the install, but attempting to grade with it was a miserable experience. It’s a pro piece of software for pro hardware setups.
I eventually found an install of Resolve 8 (not the lite version) and purchased a Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 from MacVideoCards, specifically setup for MacPro 1,1 and 2,1. I had previously swapped out the processors (4x2Ghz to 8×2.66Ghz) and upgraded the machine basically into a 2,1 by then anyway.
I had a video ready to grade (shot on my Canon 5DII 2 months earlier) and needed some serious post work to raise the subject out of the shadows. The built in denoiser was seriously helpful here, and tracking powermasks to subjects felt too good to be true. Clipped H264 footage is a challenging start to grading…
Generally I’m really happy with the results, and I had to go further on this video than just using Colorista II powermasks (in Adobe AE & Premiere CS6). I had been using AE for grading jobs requiring tracked masks up till now. The lack of CUDA support from Colorista is also a deal breaker, making the grading experience with Resolve 8 on a 6 year old Mac Pro actually enjoyable.
Still thinking about the new models though! Keeping an eye on new Mac Pro and MacBookPro news… need thunderbolt as well with the large file sizes with the BMCC.