And they had announcements to match.
Resolve on a Mac for US$ 995
Revival for $ 1495
Resolve on Linux for $ 20,000
The DaVinci control surface for $ 30,000
And other new products, some for USB3. None of those work on a Mac as yet.
But the most interesting new item was undoubtedly Resolve for Mac for $ 995. Make no mistake, this is going to make a difference to colour grading as we know it. In the days that followed, forums were abuzz with discussions. At the Creative Cow, the Apple Color forum saw one of the longest threads discussing this new Resolve.
To put things into perspective, this new Resolve will not be available till June 2010. It will work on a 8-core MacPro preferably the faster 2.66 or 2.93 GHz version. it will need as much RAM you can afford to put in, but I suspect at least 12 Gb will be needed.
So even if the software costs $ 995, you'll need a $ 15,000 Mac and monitors to go with it before you can own a sensible grading solution. And a Tangent Wave panel that runs $ 1700.
My colorist colleague Jayadev put the Resolve on Mac through its paces. And reported, happily, that at first glance this Resolve performs just like the older Linux Resolves. Many primaries and secondaries still played real time even with 2k DPX frames. Other conform functions worked as usual too. And there was built in dust-busting to de-spot film while grading.
The BM Resolve on Mac needs a Blackmagic HD Extreme card for video output. So if you already have a Kona, you're out of luck unless BM supports it with drivers. For a grading panel, this Resolve works happily with a Tangent Wave. If you need more control, you can look at Blackmagic Impressario panel for $ 30,000. Of course, if you buy that panel you'll get the Resolve software free with it.
The new Linux version is also available for $ 20,000. Coupled with the panel you can get a new Linux Resolve for about $ 60,000 (with system and monitors).
And there's more. With the HDLink Pro, there's support for an external Display at 10-bit 4:4:4. And 3D stereoscopic as well. But how well these features work will be evident only after the software becomes available in June 2010.
With the cost of systems going down, a lot of trashy colour grading will happen. But in the long run, this will make people realize the need for a professional colorist. And eventually hire one.
The value of a good colorist will not reduce as systems get cheaper just as the value of a good editor has not diminished even with editing systems getting cheaper over the past decade.