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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 31 of 37

Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 31 of 37

Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve


Lesson Info

Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

So now I'm gonna move over to DaVinci. Now, DaVinci Resolve is slightly different. Okay, quick question. It's a question on the XML. It's not actually exporting any of the files, the movie files themselves, it's just kind of tags pointing to where they are in that project directory? Exactly. Absolutely. Okay, thanks. So XML is just a set of instructions that another editing software can pick up to understand, okay, here's where things are, gotcha. Essentially it's a translation device between two different editing tools. So let's pretend you edit in Final Cut Pro, you edit in DaVinci, and I edit in Premiere, and we're all working on the same project. We can work on the same project in three different editors so long as we're pushing out XMLs to each other. The downside of this is sometimes there's translation errors meaning the more stuff you do to the edit that isn't just cutting, the more likelihood that effect or that thing you do will not translate. XML is very, very unreli...

able past a certain point. You gotta keep it simple, okay? So here we are. You can see here I set myself up so I can breeze through, breeze through this a little bit. But what I'm gonna do here is when you open, let me close out DaVinci real quick, when you open up DaVinci Resolve, it's gonna open up, it's gonna give you this nice little graphic. You're gonna get this, it's your Project Manager window. Presumably we won't have anything in here. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna go to New Project. We're gonna call it, I'm gonna call it, Ivan Gym import from Premiere. And then I'm gonna open it. So the way that DaVinci Resolve's laid out, there's a media section, there's an edit section, there's a color section, there's a delivery section. When you import, typically we're gonna live in these two places, color and delivery. So how do we get this in? We're in a completely new software, I know you're thinking, oh great, I gotta learn something else, I have to learn another piece of software, so I'm just gonna give you steps. Open DaVinci Resolve, create a project, open that project, that's step one. Step two, come over here to import. What did we export from Premiere? We exported an XML. It tells you here, hey, I can import an XML. So, import XML. Just go ahead and click that. Now when you click that it's gonna bring up a dialog box and hey, there it is, clean XML, that's what I want. Open it up. It's gonna give you a window, it's gonna give you all the stuff. Pretty much I won't touch it. Not gonna touch it. Nine times out of ten you won't be touching it. Click okay. What's gonna happen here? Boom, there's the edit. So I've got all my media here, I've got the tracks here, hey, it's actually an editing software, so if you don't own Premiere you could potentially just edit in DaVinci. I choose not to do it because I don't know it well enough. I edit in Premiere because I know it really well. But you could have, I could have edited in DaVinci Resolve if I'd known it, if I didn't own Premiere. It's a very powerful editing tool. There's a lot of stuff in here. But I use Premiere because I know Premiere, and I can teach Premiere. I can explain Premiere a lot more easily. When you import, it's gonna drop you to here, the edit module. We're gonna go here, went to the color. So I laid myself, I set myself up for a little bit of success here already. I'm gonna jump over into this other project. So inside of our media, I've set up sequences. Here's the actual project here. What I did was I created a second bin, where I put all of my calibration stuff into. And what I ended up getting to was I ended up getting to the point of, give me a minute, let me open up media. Sorry, just opened it the wrong way. Okay. What I got myself to, guys, is I got myself, and I created a quick little reference sequence that allows me to grab what I call stills. And we're not talking, like, stills from, stills from a camera. We're not talking about putting still pictures on a timeline we're talking about grabbing a still frame from the video file and lifting the color profile from it. That's a terminology that a lot of us get hung up on when we talk about DaVinci. DaVinci allows us to lift the color profile that we apply to one image, and then apply it to another. So let me just get to my little thing here. Sorry, I keep clicking the wrong project. Okay. Let me just show you how to do this real quickly. Here's Ivan's thing. We just go here and view timeline. Great. So I'm gonna go ahead and drag this clip that I've got here of Ivan holding a target. I'm gonna scrub through until I see Ivan right there. If I do this inside of the color module, what I'm gonna get a chance to do is place something here that gives me the ability to pull the profile from this target and apply it to this image. The way I do that is two ways. I'm gonna come here, I'm gonna change in my window here, from that little eyedropper tool down to color chart. Then I'm gonna come over here and click that color chart. Little icon there. Now, I'm using an X-Rite ColorChecker for video. What I'm gonna do here is just lay this in. I'm gonna see here, gonna go ahead and drag this over here, drag that over there. Once I've lined that target up, now, you gotta make sure when you use these targets that they're straight up and down. Okay? Straight up and down. Otherwise if it's flipped, it's gonna get the wrong color profile. Gotta make sure that black is on the bottom, when you put them up for camera. Now once I do that I'm just gonna click match. Watch the red. Keep your eye on the red. Okay, one more time. Keep your eye on the red. All I need to do now is do what's called grab a still. What it's done is it's lifted, see, this little chips, these little chips have a certain value, a numerical value that's been applied to them. Those numerical values have been provided to DaVinci Resolve by X-Rite. X-Rite has said, hey, here are those numbers. Here are those numbers. And then DaVinci says, why thank you for those numbers. Anytime someone uses these targets, if that number is two on the reading, and it should be four, we will change it to four. If that number is seven and it should be five, we will change it to five. And then as a result, the person will have correct color. That's the power here. So I clicked that. I'm gonna right click, I'm gonna click grab still. So I've grabbed that still. Now comes the fun stuff. So I've grabbed that still, I'm gonna come back and open up a different timeline. So let's get back to the media, let's go back to my master, let's get back into my real timeline, which is here. Cool. Alright. So when I get here, what I'm gonna do is just real quickly take this still, find the footage that came from that camera, let me just get rid of this grade real quick, and just click and drag onto that node. So now I have like a real, a real, real, I'm good. I've worked through the edit. I've got it. I've got through the edit, I've got my color. So now let's take, so I've already, in this segment here, I've already done all that. I've applied all the charts, I've done all of my color grading, but I'm gonna teach you a little bit about how to use this software to get that color kind of the way you need it to get. So DaVinci Resolve, the way it works in color is kinda like how Photoshop works in layers. Instead of a layer in DaVinci, you have a node, and you never apply more than one adjustment to a node, because then you never know what adjustment that node has done. So typically what you're gonna want to do is apply a color correction to the first node, and then you're gonna add a second node to apply any other adjustment outside of your basic color correction. Does that make sense? It's like adding a contrast layer, adjustment layer, and then a saturation adjustment layer, because then you can control those adjustment layers independently of each other. Same concept here, it's just not in layer format. It's in node format. You have a question? So how did you apply then this color correction to all the clips? You gotta click them and draw it. So I clicked in each one, and then dragged the still over to it. So you have to do every single clip separately? Yeah. There probably is a way to do it en masse, but you're at the point now where you're doing a color grade don't cut corners, because even though these two guys are from the same camera, what changed between these two clips was the ambient light outside of the window. So there may be a slight color differential. I'm positive there's a way to do a batch correction from a still inside of DaVinci. That would make sense to me. But I choose not to do it because I need to look at every clip. I just need to look at every clip so that I can guarantee myself that I've done it properly.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video