3 Tips for Beginner Video Editors: DaVinci Resolve

But what about Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve? It is a well known and popular world class colour grading application which there are three different version of.

  • DaVinci Resolve Lite
  • DaVinci Resolve Full Version
  • DaVinci Resolve with Control Surface + Decklink HD Extreme

So, now you know the different versions of the product, its time to find out the tips for people just starting out on DaVinci Resolve, so let’s crack on.

Starting out with the typical DaVinci Resolve workflow. There are two ways in which you can go about your workflow:

  • Load Footage > Grade it > Export it
  • Load EDL/XML/AAF Projects and Media > Grade it > Accept Edit changes > Export it

If you look closely, the first workflow is perfect for creating dailies and proxies. You dump what you have shot in Resolve, render out dailies, proxies or whatever else you want. The second workflow is designed to accept EDLs, XML and AAF from “in-progress” and locked edits for grading. It has the ability to handle small changes in editing, a habit you might want to learn well, because changes to a locked edit are as common as changes to a normal edit.

Finally, you can create your master from Resolve, unless you want to add titles and other motion graphics. Rendering and exporting is called “Delivering” in Resolve, and it gives you sufficient tools to ensure your renders are acceptable for broadcast as well as cinema.

Next up, is your basic setup, and this will contain the last two tips I will be giving you on Resolve in this blog, if you want a part 2 let me know. Anyways, when you fire up DaVinci Resolve, you get an inspiring grey GUII. I can’t explain it. If the speed grade GUI seemed bland, the Resolve GUI seems filled with energy. Maybe I am imagining things. Anyways, first thing you will want to do is check your system preferences. To do that, you go to DaVinci Resolve > Preferences ad it should give you a list of preferences for all your colour grading needs. You can check if any connected hardware is recognised by Resolve. You don’t want to be starting a project without realising your I/O card or Red Rocket isn’t working. You will find all of these under Video I/O Hardware. You’ll find drives and connected storage devices under Media Storage. As you can see above, the GPU is listed under System Overview.

Now, onto the last tip for today and that is choosing your resolution and frame rate. Just to prewarn you if you are using Resolve Lite you are limited to:

  • The maximum resolution of 1080p, the only other options you have is 720p and the SD versions.
  • One GPU only
  • No AMD GPU support for Windows Machines, only Nvidia. AMD is supported on Macs though.
  • No 2K monitoring
  • Only one red rocket
  • Very limited noise reduction and motion blur effects.
  • No stereoscopy work.

It is tough top call these “limitations”, because for broadcast work and codecs, all you probably need is Resolve Lite. To access your frame rate and resolution you need to click the settings button (wheel – bottom left corner) and you get your settings. DaVinci Resolve has one of the most elaborate project settings panels I have ever seen. I haven’t tested each and every one of them, so I don’t know if quantity means quality in this case. Other than the usual suspects you can also look at the following:

  • Master Project settings
  • Image scaling
  • Audio
  • General settings
  • Camera RAW
  • Auto save

So, that was my blog on a few beginner tips for DaVinci Resolve, if you want a part 2, make sure to comment below.

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