Remote grading in Davinci Resolve without port forwarding

I want to warn you right from the beginning. The title of this article is a little misleading: for this guide we will still share a port, but we will not use our own.
We will instead make use of an external server that will create a remote port for us. This is good especially for those that have limits with their own router that has no options for port forwarding.

Before I’ll show you how to do this, I will quote here the introduction and the basic requirements for Remote Grading (Chapter 173 of the reference manual).

Introduction to Remote Grading

©Blackmagic Design

To enable colorists to work interactively with clients across the globe, DaVinci Resolve offers a remote grading option. It allows two matching DaVinci Resolve systems to be synchronized via an Internet connection such that changes made on the colorist’s workstation are immediately applied on the remote client’s workstation.

Cue commands are also synchronized to ensure that both systems are always on the same frame in the Timeline. Starting or stopping playback on the colorist’s DaVinci Resolve also starts and stops the remote client system. While a remote grading session is in progress, input from the user at the remote client’s DaVinci Resolve workstation is ignored.

Currently, the remote grading feature supports only color correction and does not allow editing or conforming during a session. The two colorist and remote DaVinci Resolve systems must have matching timelines and the number of clips, clip durations and system resolutions must match. The requirements and limitations of a remote grading session are summarised below.

Requirements for Remote Grading

©Blackmagic Design

The following requirements must be met for remote grading to work.

  • The same version of DaVinci Resolve must be installed on both systems.
  • The display resolution must be the same on both systems.
  • The Timeline to be graded must be conformed on both machines prior to the start of the remote grading session.
  • The number of clips on the Timeline and the duration of each clip must be identical.
  • While grading, the active Timeline and versions on the remote client system are constantly updated. Creating, deleting, or switching the Timeline on the client’s DaVinci Resolve is not allowed. Doing so will terminate the remote grading session immediately.
  • You cannot make any grading adjustments on the remote client’s DaVinci Resolve workstation until the remote grading session has ended.

NOTE: Remote grading does not require a shared database.

Setting up Remote Grading

©Blackmagic Design

To start a remote grading session, the client’s DaVinci Resolve must be able to connect to the colorist’s system using TCP/IP.

  1. Open DaVinci Resolve on the remote client’s workstation (the one that’s being remotely controlled), log in, and open the project that will be remotely graded
  2. Choose Workspace & Remote Grading (Ctrl-G) on the remote client’s workstation. A window is displayed with text fields to enter the IP address and port number of the colorist’s system.
  3. Set the IP address field to the IP of the colorist’s DaVinci Resolve workstation. If the colorist’s system already has a public IP address, the port number can be left at its default value (15000). If the colorist’s system is on a private network, the colorist or their network administrator should set the port number to one on the public IP router that is internally routed to port 15000 of the colorist’s DaVinci Resolve.

    Click here to jump to “Setting up Remote Grading without forwarding port 15000”
  4. Once the remote client clicks Connect, the client’s DaVinci Resolve system will attempt to establish a connection with the remote colorist’s workstation.
  5. Once the connection is established, a pop-up appears on the colorist’s screen asking for permission to accept a Remote Grading connection.
  6. Click OK to accept, minimize the size of this dialog window, and continue grading normally.

The Remote Grading session will remain active until one of the users chooses to disconnect or an error occurs causing DaVinci Resolve to automatically terminate the session.

Setting up Remote Grading without forwarding port 15000

If you have issues forwarding port 15000 or if simply you are limited with your router, luckily there is a way to skip it.

For this, we will need to use “Hamachi from LogmeIn“, a software used already by a lot of gamers, that brings cloud-based remote connectivity services with their servers.

You will have to download and install it and instruct your client to do the same.
After install, just simply follow this steps:

  1. Open LogmeIn Hamachi
  2. On the Mac menu bar, under Network, click “Create a new network…”
  3. Name a Network ID and a unique Password. I advise you to not use your own personal password.

    Now you can share the Network ID and Password to your client, that instead will have to follow these steps:
  4. On the Mac menu bar, under Network, click “Join an existing network…”
  5. Write down the Network ID and Password your colorist provided you.

You’ve finally succeed to establish a connection between yours and the client’s computer and can proceed to your remote session.
I’ll quote again the last points:

  1. Once the remote client clicks Connect, the client’s DaVinci Resolve system will attempt to establish a connection with the remote colorist’s workstation.
  2. Once the connection is established, a pop-up appears on the colorist’s screen asking for permission to accept a Remote Grading connection.
  3. Click OK to accept, minimize the size of this dialog window, and continue grading normally.