September 24, 2016

New to DaVinci Resolve? Here Are a Bunch of Tips to Get You Started

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve
A bunch of tips for working in DaVinci Resolve 12.5—comin' atcha rapid fire.

If you've been introduced to DaVinci Resolve, Blackmagic Design's NLE/color correction program, liked what you saw, and want to know how to work faster, better, and—just—super good, then you might want to take a look at this video by editor Casey Faris. In it, he gives you a ton of tips that'll help you complete your editing projects from start to finish.

Faris shares a lot of sweet, gooey knowledge in the video—too much, too gooey, and too knowlede-y to provide any kind of list. So instead, here are a few that might be of particular interest to those just starting out.

Project settings...better get 'em right!

Just like with everything in life, you want to start off on the right foot, and the same goes with opening a new project in Resolve. The first thing you'll want to do is open your "Project Settings" and make sure everything is optimized and correct for your specific project, namely your timeline frame rate, video format, and timeline resolution. If you don't get these settings right when you begin your project, you might be looking at some problems later on—trust!

Optimize your media

Sometimes Resolve doesn't play very well with certain media. If you're working with file formats that make the program work overly hard or that it just has a hard time playing back, Resolve gives you the option to optimize it for playback. To do this, select the files you want, right click, and choose "Generate Optimized Media". This will render versions that put less stress on the program, meaning playback will be a lot smoother. (It may take a while to render, so be prepared.)

Take shortcuts! Remap your keyboard

If you're spending a lot of time trimming, deleting, and moving clips around in your timeline, Faris suggests adding shortcuts to make the process more efficient. Resolve gives you the option to remap your keyboard shortcuts, so if you go to "Keyboard Mapping" in your Project Settings, you'll be able to assign pretty much any function to any key you want.

What are some helpful tips you could share with new DaVinci Resolve users? Let us know down in the comments.      

Your Comment

9 Comments

Cool tips. Thanks. I recently completed a 5 minute short edited, colored and rendered completely in Resolve. No messing with EDLS. It's really exciting to see how free version of Resolve is inching towards replacing some of the popular paid products. I still had to use After Effects for titling and some shot enhancements. If only I had the patience to sit and master Fusion....

September 24, 2016 at 12:38PM, Edited September 24, 12:39PM

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Rajesh Naroth
Filmmaker
281

Agreed. I use to do the whole back and forth with either premiere pro or FC to Resolve and back again but this year just used Resolve pretty much for everything. The 12.5 was a godsend.

September 24, 2016 at 6:32PM

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Too bad they don't make this work on Windows 7 anymore. Next...

September 25, 2016 at 1:26PM

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Vidrazor
276

Really?
Is that both versions, or just the Win32 platform?

October 3, 2016 at 2:53AM

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Stewart Fairweather
Cinematographer
345

This was helpful to get up and running. Quick question - what's the relationship between optimize media and other windows besides the timeline editor? i.e. if I want to optimize media so that I can edit, but see true colors for color grading

September 26, 2016 at 2:46AM, Edited September 26, 2:46AM

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Hi there,
those who want to learn Fusion 8 check here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkk0mmgb5UMuBjK8cT64now
I am doing fine with these tutorials. There are few more youtube pages with more on Fusion 8.

September 26, 2016 at 9:15AM

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Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography
500

I've been messing around with Resolve lately and really love it, I can definitely see it becoming my go to NLE, except I can't for the life of my figure out how to setup a project independently, ganging it to a single external drive. I know there is a way but it should be much more straightforward. Another small annoyance is the the process of resizing the timeline, wish it were as easy as Premiere or even avid (shudder). If they could fix the above, and add a solid Premiere style Warp Stabilizer, i'd embrace it in a heartbeat. Overall I absolutely love the freedom of the timeline, and the trim tools (a bit of best of both worlds).

September 26, 2016 at 1:02PM

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Spence Nicholson
Writer / Director / Producer
115

Me too struggling a little with the time line habit of Premiere Pro in Resolve. I think we need to play around more on Resolve to get used it. When I started with Premiere Pro I had faced the same difficulties. Now working in Resolve 12.5 and Fusion 8 an getting comfortable. I might not shift to Premier Pro unless demanded by the client.
Keep struggling, its life!!! :)

September 28, 2016 at 3:01AM

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Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography
500

Can they make a version that doesn't crash without warning when it finds footage of different framerates in the Bin,... or titles from another NLE on the timeline ?

October 3, 2016 at 2:55AM, Edited October 3, 2:55AM

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Stewart Fairweather
Cinematographer
345

If you need tips then did you know there is a FREE APP full of DaVinci Resolve Tips? Its on Android and iOS. Really handy to have tips on your smartphone. It is also categorised for editors and colourists.
https://vimeo.com/184041040
https://www.facebook.com/KillerTipsDaVinciResolve

October 6, 2016 at 6:30AM

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Darren Mostyn
Colourist
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