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Let’s say we have a video that we want to color correct but we don’t have a project file – just the rendered video, or a project file is not compatible with our color grading suite.

To be able to color correct the project we need to split it into single takes. Cutting the clip manually is a really tedious work, but luckily there’s a solution for that. A FREE automated way of doing exactly what I described above.

DaVinci Resolve 12

All we need is DaVinci Resolve 12, which can be downloaded from the blackmagic website (in case you don’t have it already).

When Resolve is up and running navigate to the Media tab and find your video clip.

If you cannot find the directory on the list you need to add the location in the program options, so the program knows where to look for the footage. Once you found your clip, right click on it and select Scene Cut Detection. A new window will pop up.

Scene Cut Detection

To get right into the action press Start. The detection process starts and it usually takes some time.

The finished process looks similar to the one below. Vertical lines represent the detected cuts. The higher the line, the more certain DaVinci is about that particular cut. The magenta line is the threshold of the detection. You can move it up and down accepting more or less certain cut points.

You can add or remove the cut points manually too. Just go to the desired place movin the indicator on top of the detection track and use the buttons below marked with + and .

On the right side you see the list of the cut points.

The preview pane shows:

  1. The frame before the cut
  2. The 1st frame after the cut
  3. The 2nd frame after the cut

So for each detected cut point the display should show you the first frame which is different from two other frames which should be very similar.

Navigating through all the cut points with keyboard shortcuts n for next and p for previous can be really quick to evalueate false positives looking at the display.

To evaluate false negatives – the cut lines that are below the magenta line, we need to playback the whole video and make sure DaVinci didn’t skip the true cut point.

Once we are done we can save the detection project using the top right menu (3 dots) and press Add Cuts to Media Pool. Now, our video clip is split into takes and all of them are added to our media pool.

Color Correction

We can now create a Timeline with all of the takes and go straight to the color correction. To do that, navigate to Edit tab, in the Timelines area rightclick and select Create New Timeline, and uncheck Empty Timeline. This way DaVinci will automatically add the takes in the right order to our timeline.

We can also export the clips individually if we wish to color grade them in a different software (for instance After Effects).

When the timeline is ready, we just go right to the Deliver tab, and select Individual Source Clips in the Video panel. Adjust the settings for your needs, Add Job to Render Queue and press Start Render.

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