Blackmagic Design jhas released DaVinci Resolve 8, an update to the advanced Mac and Linux colour correction tool for video and film. DaVinci Resolve 8 is available for download for all DaVinci Resolve users free of charge.

New features in DaVinci Resolve 8 include multi-layer timeline support with editing, and XML import and export with Apple Final Cut Pro 7 (but not Final Cut Pro X) and Adobe Premiere Pro. It includes OpenCL processing to allow use on Apple iMac and MacBook Pro computers.

New advanced processing tools have been added for real-time noise reduction, curve grading, advanced multi point stabilization as well as automatic stereoscopic 3D image alignment. DaVinci Resolve 8 also supports the Avid Artist Color, Tangent Wave and JL Copper control panel hardware, plus offers ALE export to relink graded DNxHD files back into Avid editors.

Blackmagic says that customers will love the new XML import and export, combined with the multi layer timeline, in DaVinci Resolve 8, because it lets complex sequences from Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro to be imported, color graded and then exported directly back with all the new graded shots, and the layer structure, intact. If the edit is changed, DaVinci Resolve 8 will automatically relink all the clips so the grades are preserved. Editing can also be performed inside DaVinci Resolve 8, and clips adjusted and relocated.

Advanced OpenCL image processing has been incorporated into DaVinci Resolve 8, and this allows a broader range of GPUs to be used for real time processing up to 1080 HD resolutions. OpenCL-based processing, while not as powerful as CUDA™ processing also used on DaVinci Resolve, does allow a much wider range of computers that can be used for color grading. Now Apple iMac and MacBook Pro series computers can be used for real time grading, allowing customers to use the computer hardware they already have.

Often digital cameras when shooting in low light conditions will suffer from electrical noise in blacks, and film originated shots often include film grain and electronic noise from the film scanner. DaVinci Resolve 8 includes a new high quality CUDA noise reducer which eliminates noise and helps make images perfectly clean. The DaVinci Resolve 8 noise reduction is incorporated into the color correctors, so it can be used in any corrector node and limited to inside or outside windows or by color qualifiers, so noise reduction can be used creatively by the colorist.

For handling shots that suffer from movement of the camera, DaVinci Resolve 8 includes a new multi-point advanced stabilizer, which fixes unstable shots. The stabilizer is intelligent, and uses dozens of stabilization points to totally lock every part of the image.

For colourists who are new to DaVinci Resolve, there is now a new Curve Grading feature that Blackmagic says works exactly the same way as in editing software. DaVinci Resolve 8 Curve Grading takes this interface much further because colourists can customize the curves and they get greater control with hue vs hue, hue vs sat, hue vs lum and lum vs sat controls. For fastest grading speed, curves can be adjusted from the mouse as well as the control panel.

For stereoscopic 3D work, DaVinci Resolve 8 includes a new image alignment tool that automatically aligns images between cameras to produce a perfect 3D image. Blackmagic notes that as 3D material is shot using two cameras combined with optics, this causes problems with alignment because it’s impossible to perfectly align two cameras mechanically down to the pixel-level. Until now, users had to accept some misalignment, however this is very fatiguing for viewers of 3D materiel, and has led to negative reviews of some 3D feature films. When working in higher resolutions such as 4K the problem is worse, because the mechanical tolerances are even tighter.

New versions of DaVinci Resolve 8 costs from US$995 (around £620), while the update is free.