How to Import XML Files into Resolve Without Crashes

1-DaVinci Resolve Lite LogoI’d had Resolve in my applications folder for forever but not for one second did I think I would ever need it, let alone learn to use it. But since I became interested in color grading, I realized FCPX wasn’t going to cut it. There remained only one obstacle – importing XML files into Resolve from Final Cut. Each and every time I tried, Resolve would crash. Of course, I consulted the Black Magic forums, but there weren’t any step-by-step procedures. Some readers suggested the problem stemmed from downloading Resolve from the Apple store, recommending instead getting it from Black Magic’s site. That wasn’t the answer, either. So I spent countless hours trying everything before figuring it out. Here is a brief tutorial for those using FCP 10.1 and OSX 10 Mavericks.

1.5- You want to export XML to Resolve Lite

Once you’ve completed editing your project, the first step is to go to the file tab in the toolbar and select Export Project XML.

3-Export XML

A dialogue box will open. Give your project a name and be sure to save the file to your computer, not to an external drive. Hit Save.

4- Export Dialogue Box

Quit Final Cut Pro and open Resolve. Go to the Edit screen.

6- Open Resolve and go to Edit

Select the gear icon and configure your project. I shot my video with a Lumix GM1 at 24fps. 24fps may very well be the holy grail of filmmakers, but it sure can be confusing! No wonder some prefer shooting at 30fps for internet delivery. If these settings don’t match those of your project, Resolve won’t recognize the file.

7- Hit gear and configure project settings

Hit Apply, then Cancel. At this point, you can go ahead and hit the + sign on the upper left corner of your screen and create a new timeline.

8-Create a new timeline
Now you’ll want to give a name to the timeline.

9-Give Timeline a name

At last, you are ready to import the XML file. Right click in Timelines in the upper left corner of your screen and select Import XML.

10- Right click in timeline and select import XML

You will be asked to select a file to import. Black Magic advises importing XML files from a path you’ve already added to Preferences, Media Storage, but I’ve successfully imported from sources that weren’t added to my preferences.

11- Select XML file. It must not be on an external drive

After you have done that, another dialogue box will appear.

12- Another dialogue box will open. If everything is alright, select Okay

It’s best to leave the boxes Resolve has checked alone. If everything looks alright, hit Ok.

12- Another dialogue box will open. If everything is alright, select Okay

Your files will appear in the timeline and you’re ready to begin editing your clips.

13- Your files have been imported!

I hope this tutorial has been useful. I welcome any comments or suggestions.

Lumix GH3: Color Grading With LUT Utility and Grading Breakdown

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.22.15 PMIn all of the digital video I’ve done over the past two years, virtually the only manipulation I ever applied in order to enhance the image has been to reduce contrast, color saturation and in-camera sharpening. When it came to editing, any adjustments were solely to correct for over- or underexposure. It has only been in the past couple of weeks that I have radically reconsidered my working methods, thanks to the excellent tutorials by Denver Riddle at Color Grading Central. At the same time, I added two tools to my arsenal which have vastly improved the quality of my clips: a shoulder rig, which almost completely eliminated any micro jitter, especially from Panasonic’s 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom; and a set of neutral density filters by Tiffen, which allow me to use my zooms at their optimal apertures – somewhere between f/3.5 and f/7.1.

GH3: Best Picture Style Settings
In these pages, I’ve discussed at length the hoops GH3 shooters had to jump through to get pleasing skin tones from the sensor – grievances which I had been perhaps too hasty to dismiss as the result of faulty white balance or incorrect exposure. As a consequence, I decided to go out myself and shoot as many faces as I could, with as wide a variety of skin tones as possible. At first I was satisfied with the results, as were others I’d shown them to: but the more I examined them, the less they pleased me. I began to notice all the imperfections, and no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get the look I was after. That’s when I discovered Denver Riddle’s tutorials and his very affordable LUT Utility plug-in. Because it is recommended using the Natural setting (in the GH3’s picture profile settings) for use with these LUTs, I went ahead and made the switch, turning down contrast and saturation another notch just for good measure but keeping most settings conservatively between -3 and -4. It’s entirely possible that the issues many filmmakers were experiencing were due to blindly turning all factory settings down to -5, resulting in the washed-out look so many complained of.

Shooting Technique
I said earlier that the shoulder rig greatly improved my shots, but that has not come without a cost. Whereas before, I would leave the apartment armed with my GM1 and GH3, reserving the smaller camera for wide shots and the larger one for telephoto, the added bulk of a stabilizer has made this all but impossible. Moreover, unable any longer to use the EVF, I am constrained to using the camera’s less than ideal monitor, making determining correct exposure and focus problematic. On top of all that, changing lenses and filters has become an arduous chore. One unexpected benefit though is how subjects respond to seeing me rigged out with this elegantly machined aluminum contraption. In fact, people seem more eager to have their picture taken now than when I carried only a camera and spare lens.

In addition to the rig, the ND filters and changing picture style settings, one other modification has significantly increased the number of useable shots I get in an outing: selecting facial recognition in the focus menu. While not a magic bullet – the lens still hunts and will maddeningly lock onto faces in the distant background or corner of the frame – it is nonetheless an improvement. In the very near future I’ll be acquiring a set of primes and learning to focus manually. I’ve also become quite proficient at using the Kelvin meter for judging white balance, in spite of the monitor’s glaring deficiencies.

The following is my first video using LUT Utility’s Kodak 2393 Film Emulation LUT. The occasion was a weekly market that is held in the parking lot of the Galaxy Cinema, Nguyen Du street in district 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

And this video shows off my very limited color grading abilities.