Blackmagic Design recently announced that New Zealand’s Department of Post is using DaVinci Resolve Studio, DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panels and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panels as part of the leading HDR post production workflow in Australia and New Zealand.

Department of Post is one of the most influential post production houses in Australia and New Zealand, and provides end-to-end post production services, including DIT, editorial, online, finishing, color and audio for film and television productions, both local and international. Recently, they have focused on opening up New Zealand’s first fully HDR compliant post workflow to a wider range of productions, using DaVinci Resolve Studio as one of the core components. By demystifying HDR standards, and making it accessible to productions of every budget and scale, they hope to encourage more productions to produce world-class content in UHD HDR for the international market.

The facility has a DCI compliant DI theater, which includes DaVinci Resolve Studio and a DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel, a television grading suite with DaVinci Resolve Studio seats and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel for 4K HDR post, and five seats of DaVinci Resolve Studio for the company’s near-set DIT department.

Katie Hinsen, Department of Post’s Head of Operations, describes the company’s HDR workflow, “Depending on the distributor, our HDR workflow can change. Generally speaking, our dailies and DIT department will process footage for editorial, and we will screen dailies in full HDR to help guide the cinematographers. This is very helpful for our clients, especially since HDR is still new enough that many directors of photography have limited experience with the nuances of extended dynamic range and colors.”

Once production wraps and editorial is done, media is conformed in DaVinci Resolve Studio and graded to the HDR standard required.

“Resolve has the added intelligence of scaled scopes for HDR, and all the color management EOTF’s we need. After the grade, we are able to export whatever high-resolution DSM format we require for mastering, straight out of the Resolve to our deliverables mastering team. We then use Resolve’s collaborative workflow to pass the timeline to our assistant colorist/finishing artist for the SDR trim pass. Once again, it’s DaVinci Resolve’s excellent color management which makes this far less complicated than other systems, as it has the ability to more intelligently switch between color spaces.”

Since they provide post production for many international films, commercials and TV shows, Department of Post also had to build an HDR workflow that deals with all HDR standards, to deliver in HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG.

“Resolve color management makes this seamless, taking the complication out of the post finishing process across three fundamentally different color science workflows,” Hinsen continued. “We use Resolve on all of the HDR projects we do! Resolve has fantastic color management and is an integral part of our end-to-end HDR workflow. Resolve is also used for most of our finishing projects. We believe that every production, regardless of budget or scope, should have equal access to the best tools and technology the world has to offer, so we use Resolve across web series, commercials, television and feature films. We even used Resolve recently on portions of an AR-integrated live broadcast.”

One of the most recent additions to the Department of Post’s workflow are DaVinci Resolve Mini Panels. “We love using the Resolve panels, both the large and the Mini Panel. The Mini Panel has really improved our high-end TV grading. We’re looking to add some Resolve Micro Panels for our dailies colorists in DIT,” she said.

While international productions are now regularly finishing in HDR, Department of Post is helping local productions with their first move into HDR, and opening their doors to New Zealand’s cinematographers and post production freelancers for training on HDR workflows.

“We want to help ensure that our local productions are consistently world-class, so we open our doors to give the production community the tools and exposure to HDR material, so that they can produce the best work possible,” said Hinsen. “It’s all about enabling our creative community to tell unique Australian and New Zealand stories to the world.”

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