by Ollie Kenchington | 13th March 2017
Today I took delivery of my new DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, after ordering it from CVP on the evening of its announcement last week. Understandably, there was a lot of talk about the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro after Blackmagic’s live stream, but the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel were the thing I was most excited about. They represent a push by Blackmagic in to a whole new market that is ripe for a shake-up. Blackmagic Resolve Micro Panel DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel – A New Generation Is Born It is very seldom that I get the chance to grade using Blackmagic’s full size panel and, at £21k, it’s not exactly something the new breed of home studio colourists are queuing up to purchase. For many years there has been a dearth of options at the lower end of the market. The woefully-supported Avid Artist Color panel was one I used for a time but, more recently, it was Tangent’s ‘Element’ control surface that I, and scores of smaller post houses and freelance colourists, were using. For Tangent, last week’s announcement must have come as a heavy blow. I never thought there was much wrong with Tangent’s products, but I can’t see anyone in the market for a control panel now choosing the Element over the Mini, and even the Micro gives it a good run for its money. The DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel retails for the same cost as just one part (the Tk balls and wheels) of the Element, or nearly a third of the full Element setup. It feels much more solidly built, has a more thoughtfully laid out design and works seamlessly with Resolve right out of the box, whereas Tangent’s panel requires users to install their TangentHub software. Blackmagic’s panel literally just plugs in using the included 2m-long USB-C to USB-A cable, and that’s it. Customisation Now some people may argue that, via its Mapper utility software, the ability of the Element to have its soft keys re-mapped to various functions gives it an advantage over the Micro panel, but I disagree. I can see these smaller panels quickly becoming widely adopted in various levels of post-production studios – from home suites, like mine, to post-production houses, agencies and educational institutions too. That means that the muscle memory you’ll build up on your own panel will still apply if you find yourself grading somewhere else on another DaVinci Resolve Micro or Mini panel. Because the functions won’t have been re-mapped to someone else’s specific tastes, you’ll be on familiar ground, ready to work immediately. In fact the panel is so small, it really wouldn’t be an issue to carry it around with you to grade on-site with clients. Knowing you could simply plug it in to your client’s system and start working in Resolve immediately is hugely attractive. There are also a lot of studios where internet access isn’t allowed on workstations, so not needing to download software is a nice bonus. First Impressions In use, this panel feels great. It’s solidly built and reassuringly heavy but, again, not so bulky you wouldn’t want to take it with you on site. There’s a lovely fluidity to the knobs, and the buttons offer a nice firm resistance as you depress them. There’s little chance you’ll accidentally reset a node or activate any of the buttons functions without intending to. I really like the easy to read, backlit buttons and their simple layout on the surface. Within minutes I was confident that I knew roughly where every function was and could grade faster than I would have been able to without it, and that really is the whole point with control surfaces. With regular use they will enable the operator to make both subtle and not so subtle changes at a pace that is unattainable with a mouse and keyboard alone. Of course, this only being the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, there are still functions you will need to reach for the keyboard to activate, particularly if you are editing in Resolve as well as grading. Thanks to the carefully considered size of the panel (it is exactly the same width as a full size Apple keyboard!) it fits snugly in-between my keyboard and Mac, allowing me to go back and forth with ease. Summary I’m really impressed with the panel so far. Though I’ve literally only played with it for a few hours, it already feels at home on my desk and, as I said earlier, operating it seems so instinctive that it feels like I’ve had it forever. At £800, I can imagine Blackmagic will sell a lot of these DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels, but I’m also curious to check out the more expensive DaVinci Resolve Mini panel which, at £2500 is quite a big step up. I’m hoping to lay my hands on a Mini soon, to do a side by side comparison with my Micro. Until then, I’m off to grade my latest project with this little fella.Read more
by Olaf von Voss | 24th June 2016
The wait is almost over! Tangent Ripple, the most affordable control surface for aspiring colorists, is finally shipping. Tangent Devices had to admit that the demand is much greater than expected, though. Therefore, the supply is still a bit short. The Tangent Ripple panel The Ripple was initally announced at IBC 2015. Almost a year later, the UK-based company has lifted the curtain, and the Ripple is now shipping. Check out Richard’s initial article on this new panel, too. Things seem to be going well for this new entry-level color panel. Actually a bit too well, as the demand seems to be much bigger than expected. From Tangent Devices’ news feed: We’re extremely happy to say that demand for the Ripple panel has been fantastic and we are doing everything that we can to ship product out to our reseller channel as quickly as possible. However there has been a very large number of pre-orders accepted which does mean that it will take a while longer for these to all be satisfied. So please be assured that the Ripple is indeed now shipping but it will take a few more weeks before supply catches up with demand. Thanks for your patience! I hope things run smoothly from now on and that production can keep up with this high demand. Features of the Ripple Just like all of Tangent Devices’ panels, the Ripple is fully supported by their mapper software. This means you can customize what the controls actually do within your software of choice, as long as this is supported by the mapper. Programs such as DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Speedgrade are already compatible as they come with support for the Tangent Hub. The Ripple is also compatible with panels from the Element range, like the Element-Mf multifunction panel, for instance. 3 trackerballs with dials for masters. High resolution optical pick-ups for the balls and dials. Independent reset buttons for the balls and dials. Programmable A and B buttons. USB powered with integral cable. Light-weight compact size (desk foot print 325mm x 148mm). Note that there are no rings for master controls but dedicated dials The only downside might be the absence of rings around the trackballs. In order to keep the price low, the master controls are mapped to dedicated dials instead of the rings which can be found on bigger panels such as the Element-Tk. If this is really a downside you have to find out for yourself, though. A basic color control surface for $350 is a very reasonable price, I think. I’ve used the Wave panel before, and even tried the element-Vs app for iPad, but that is not the real deal for me. It might be a good companion if you already own an Element-Tk trackball panel, for example, but a touch-screen interface can’t substitute a real trackball panel, at least not for me. Tweaking lift/gamma/gain with both hands and trackballs is just so much quicker than you could ever be with a mouse on the computer screen. In the old days, DaVinci Resolve didn’t even have software color wheels, so the hardware control surface was a vital part of the system. And now, you can get the most essential part of that control surface for just 350$ with a whole grading software for free if you’re using Resolve. This is what I call a no-brainer. What do you think? Are you still tinkering with a mouse when it comes to color grading or are you going to give this device a try? Link: Tangent Devices | Application listRead more
by Richard Lackey | 12th February 2016
The much awaited Tangent Ripple control surface is finally going into production and should be shipping at the end of April. First shown at IBC last year, UK-based Tangent have quietly incorporated feedback and perfected their new entry level control surface. The Tangent Ripple fills a real need for an affordable entry-level, highly portable control panel for colorists on the move, DIT carts and anyone wanting more professional control. This latest update was recently posted on the forum Lift Gamma Gain. Tangent produces some of the most highly respected and well-priced color grading control surfaces, such as the Tangent Wave, and Tangent Element panels for use on a broad range of systems all over the world. The Ripple fills out the line-up so that anyone who works with color can afford a hands-on professional experience. The Ripple will work with a wide variety of grading systems including DaVinci Resolve, Assimilate Scratch, Adobe Speedgrade, Baselight, and more. For a full list of software compatibility see the list on the Tangent website. We recently shared more details of the Tangent Ripple here, where I had a more in-depth look at the features and software compatibility that the Tangent Ripple is set to be released with. Tangent Ripple to Feature at NAB Above you can see the finalised design as it will go into production. Early production models will be shown at NAB at their booth (SL5507), as well as some of their partners’ booths. There definitely seems to be a bit of a buzz surrounding Tangent’s upcoming product although only time will tell if the buzz is warranted. Are you going to be attending NAB? If so, are you looking forward to getting a closer look at the new look Tangent Ripple? I know that a lot of people at Cinema5D are extremely excited to have a go!Read more
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