Post-Production: All-In-One or Modular Suite?

I have added two applications to my arsenal.  The first is LightSpace BMLight, a limited version of Light Illusion’s Ligtspace CMS beautifully integrated with Resolve and to be used with the decent X-Rite i1 Display Pro OEM probe. The software only runs under windows, but it communicates  with Resolve on Mac, PC and Linux. It makes the creation of display LUTs a painless  and rapid operation. It is always good to know you are looking at the right colours, and not everybody wants to become a colour scientist (or having to pay one)

The second is Resolve Collect. I have been receiving a fair amount of BMD RAW footage to conform and consolidate. It is a bit of a nightmare when you receive 9TB worth of media and not even 1TB is needed in the timeline. Resolve Collect makes consolidation of assets simple and fast. I realised that the price of the application is covered within 2-3 projects once looking at all the time and Aspirin I have saved.

Small additions make a great difference. We often look at big items (new version of a leading software, new codecs, new espresso machine,…) as ways for improving the quality of our work, the state of our finances and our lifestyle. Smaller little additions are often forgotten at the margins, as we wait the future to deliver the holy grail of post-production: an all encompassing application that perfectly integrates with the rest of the production ‘ecosystem’. I do not believe the one-stop film production suite exists, yet.  Many companies, however, seem interested in moving into that direction.

Avid and Adobe are focused conquering the ‘cloud’ and venturing into support to ‘distribution management’. Blackmagic Design continued the evolution of DaVinci Resolve, now labeled an online editing platform. The Foundry with Nuke Studio moved closer to Autodesk Smoke and Flame by bringing timeline management and a lot more to the growing number of Nuke users.  What I am trying to get to is that most of the companies mentioned above are adding features aimed at keeping you under their roof for more of your ‘software-time’, from pre, to post, to distribution and marketing.

Apple is being Apple, and Final Cut Pro X is a beast of its own. But, its intention seems to be mainly to assist you in organising, arranging and editing your media in the most intuitive way possible. It is mainly an editing software, and that is where its strength is. A lot had to be thrown away, but Apple seems interested in keeping the price of FCPX low, maybe because they understand that you will need other applications to complete the job. Build a ‘suite’ that matches your need through plug-ins and 3rd party applications.

Do you love grading in Resolve? Why not edit in Resolve too? Are you a Photoshop or AE user? Well, let us tempt you with 100 more apps you might (not) need. I do find the utopian idea of a suite offering all the perfectly integrated software support needed for the pre-production, production and post-production of a project appealing, but I must ask, what is wrong with specialisation? Can you really be the best at everything? I will always have to use small additions and plugins,  therefore a modular a-la-carte future is where I would like to be. Where development is specialised and integration standardised. And, that is about as likely as a single-vendor-perfectly-integrated-all encompassing suite.

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