Like any creative pursuit, color grading isn’t just something you sit down and learn over a few weeks or years. Instead, it’s a constant cycle of education and practice that will continue as long as you decide to pursue it.
That means that whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro, you should always be on the lookout for new opportunities to sharpen your skills and learn new techniques.
Of course, maybe you know all this already but don’t know where to look. That’s where we’ve got you covered. There are hundreds of resources available to colorists of all skill levels that have been compiled by some of the best in the business.
In this article, we’ll cover some of our absolute favorite resources for colorists who work in DaVinci Resolve 17. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’ve got a little bit of everything to help you get inspired and polish your color grades to perfection.
Our top 15 online resources to help you color grade like a pro
In no particular order, here are our favorite resources to help you get the most out of DaVinci Resolve:
#1: Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve Training
Let’s start at the source first. Blackmagic has dozens of free online resources to help you improve your knowledge of the DaVinci Resolve platform and build new skills as an editor.
If you want to take it up another notch, there are also Blackmagic-endorsed training centers both online and in-person that will help you become a certified DaVinci Resolve editor.
#2: DaVinci Resolve 16: From Beginner to Hero Tutorial by Color Grading Central
If you’re brand new to color grading in DaVinci Resolve, this comprehensive tutorial by Denver Riddle (a professional colorist and filmmaker) is the perfect resource to take you from zero to semi-pro with color grading.
It’s 25-minutes long and provides an approachable walkthrough of all the color grading tools of DaVinci Resolve and how to use them.
#3: Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve by Premium Beat
We love this tutorial because it specifically focuses on color grading for different skin tonal ranges, which can be one of the most challenging and common elements of any color grade.
Making sure you correctly render skin tones is not only essential to making your color grade look realistic, but it’s also important to ensure performers of all skin tones are properly represented on screen.
#4: The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter
If you’re serious about staying up-to-date with the latest techniques in color grading, The Tao of Color Grading is an amazing weekly newsletter that covers all things color.
It not only covers technical skills for a variety of color grading programs (including Resolve) but also covers the business of color grading, industry news, and hardware and software reviews.
#5: Learn Color Grading Channel
This entire channel is dedicated to teaching color grading in Resolve. While there are a lot of channels that teach color grading, we love this channel because they focus specifically on Resolve and cover the latest news, software updates, and even fun “history of Resolve.”
They publish once or twice a week, and there are hundreds of videos in the library for you to browse and learn from.
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#6: Color Grading with DaVinci Resolve: Beginner to Advanced
This 30-hour Udemy course is affordable and hands-on, making it an awesome resource for anyone trying to learn by doing, but with the guidance of a skilled instructor.
Developed by a Blackmagic certified trainer and 6-year veteran colorist, the course walks you through how to take a color grading project from start to finish with a professional polish. Once you purchase the course, you get lifelong access to its materials, so you can go back and reference them at any time in your career.
#7: Advanced Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve 17
For more advanced color graders, this RippleTraining course covers more difficult techniques that are suited for people who are already relatively familiar with Resolve. It’s a bit pricier than the previous course we’ve mentioned, but it can be a great hands-on way to learn some more advanced skills.
#8: Resolve 17 Crash Course by Casey Faris
This is an hour and a half walkthrough of all things Resolve, perfect for anyone who’s brand new to the platform and wants to cover all the basics in one fell swoop. Casey Faris is a great resource for amateur colorists and has a ton of other videos dedicated to color grading and editing skills you need to know to produce professional results.
#9: Colorist podcast
While new episodes are no longer being released, the Colorist Podcast has 23 episodes that contain invaluable interviews with leading colorists who share their expertise.
These people have risen through the ranks and can provide incredible insight into what it takes to be a professional colorist. We highly recommend putting this podcast on in the car or while you work to enhance your understanding of what it takes to be a great colorist.
#10: The Editor’s Guide to DaVinci Resolve 17
If you’re someone who likes more tangible resources, this paperback guide is a great one to add to your shelf.
It contains a step-by-step guide to all of the features of DaVinci Resolve 17, from color grading to 3D animations. If you want a handy resource you can access offline (especially for those of us who can’t be trusted with an internet browser when we’re supposed to be working), this may be a great reference for you.
#11: All About Color Nodes in DaVinci Resolve 17
Nodes are one of the most useful features in DaVinci Resolve for advanced color grading, but they’re also one of the most frequently misunderstood. This tutorial takes all the guesswork out of what nodes are and how to use them, which will help you create much more intricate and unique color grades going forward.
Originally we were going to feature just their free DaVinci Resolve crash courses on here, but honestly, clicking through the entire site is worth it.
It’s packed with tutorials and courses that are sure to help you up your game as a colorist within DaVinci Resolve and beyond. You’ll want to add this one to your bookmark list and constantly reference it when you get stuck.
#13: How to Install and Use LUTs in DaVinci Resolve by FilterGrade
Learning how to install and apply LUTs to your DaVinci Resolve projects is a huge workflow timesaver as you take on more color correction projects, and this tutorial by FilterGrade is a great introduction to this process. They walk you through how to install your downloaded LUTs, apply them to your project, and tweak them so that they look perfect.
#14: Commercial Vs. Film Color Grading by Artlist
Color grading is a subjective process, meaning there is never one “right” way to color grade a piece of footage.
The context for that footage means so much when it comes to choosing the right color grade, and this great tutorial walks you through how to approach color grading a project for a commercial vs. a film and the decision-making processes behind each process. This is a really great way to get to understand the why behind a color grade instead of just the how.
#15: 40+ Must-Know DaVinci Resolve Shortcuts
Ok, fine, I may be a little biased on this one, but whether you choose to use this guide or another, you’ll want to make sure you have a shortcut list always handy when you’re working on a project.
Using shortcuts is a massive timesaver, but remembering them all takes time. Keeping a reference list close by will allow you to reference your most commonly used shortcuts until they become muscle memory.
While these are our favorite resources, there are thousands out there for you to discover, so use this guide as a jumping-off point and allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole to discover new techniques to enhance your color grading of all types of media.
If you're looking for a way to bring the studio collaboration vibe into a remote setting, consider Evercast. It’s a platform that allows you to stream your DaVinci Resolve edit sessions in HD while video chatting and exchanging notes on saturation, exposure, luminance, and shadows on the video clip you’re working on.