Dancing with Black Magic Resolve

Tones and I Dance Monkey

Black Magic rides along with crowd-pleaser Dance Monkey by Tones and I. The video is a YouTube sensation, but nothing is as easy as it looks. Visible Studios used Black Magic Studio to make everybody dance.

What to do, what to do… it’s Friday afternoon and there’s a big backlog of work to do. Blessedly, Blackmagic Design lobbed in a press release about the Dance Monkey video by Tones and I. Voila! Friday fun.

The cute video is about “Old Tones,” an old man in a wheelchair dragged out by equally old pals for mischief and golf. The video has blown up on the Internet. The song has been number 1 in Australia for 22 weeks and the video has already been viewed more than half a billion times.

The piece was edited and graded by Visible Studios in Melbourne using Black Magic’s DaVinci Resolve Studio. The team made use of the new GPU accelerated Neural Engine AI features in Studio, which includes facial recognition, Footage Upscaling, Auto-color, Object Removal, Shot Match, Auto-color, and Speed Warp. Producer Tim Whiting said they used Speed Warp for a scene in which Tone and the “boys” careen around in a golf card. Using motion estimation allowed them to slow down footage moving across “objects like bodies, highly textured background trees and horizon lines.” without getting distortion or jittering. Whiting says the set up can be difficult for traditional optical flow techniques.

Editor Nick Kozakis called out Resolve’s performance. He said the recent update for decompression and debayer optimized for Nvidia boards enabled them to work smoothly with 6K RAW footage on a 4K timeline with good quality debayer.

As always the real story is in the work you don’t see. Whiting said the video was a fast turn around to take advantage of the rising popularity of “Dance Monkey” and singer Tones and I. It was shot in one day edited in two with another day and a half for color and VFX.

The day of the shoot was cloudy and gray. So they used a sky image matte and Davinci’s match move tool, keyer, lens blur, and power windows to create a bright sunshiny day. They made the grass green the plants lush and golf clothes even more lurid than usual.

For more of the story, see the Black Magic release here. Our report on Black Magic from NAB 2019 is here.

What do we think?

Black Magic is taking advantage of GPUs and with the company’s love of hardware and software implementations, they’re exploiting the potential of eGPUs (external GPUs) and Thunderbolt connections, a capability that’s coming into its own in content creation over the last couple of years with wide-spread use of USB C and GPU support for AI and VFX tools.