November 23, 2015

Premiere Editors, Here's What You Need to Know to Start Cutting with DaVinci Resolve 12

Switch from Premiere to Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is now a comprehensive non-linear editing system. And with powerful color features and a price tag of zero, it's more tempting than ever to jump ship from another NLE.

The unfortunate part of this situation — if you really want to call it unfortunate — is that Resolve isn't quite like any other NLE on the market, which means that editors looking to switch over aren't likely to have a seamless, painless transition. Resolve 12 differs from other NLEs on some pretty fundamental levels, including the way it handles media management, timeline trimming, rendering, and a few other essential editing tasks.

Luckily, Alex Jordan, who offers some of the best Resolve courses out there through his excellent site Learn Color Grading, recently put together a video in which he talks about the primary differences between the editing functionalities of Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve 12. Needless to say, after watching this, you'll be far more prepared to make the jump:

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two programs, and the one which seems most likely to throw Premiere editors off, is the way that Resolve handles trimming media in the timeline. Unlike Premiere, which uses an array of indiviual trimming tools (ripple, roll, slip, and slide), Resolve has trimming modes. 

In the "normal" trim mode (enabled by the mouse pointer button above the timeline), the timeline acts just like you're used to with Premiere. Dragging a piece of media to the timeline will perform an overwrite edit, and moving media around/trimming will result in gaps. The "trim" mode in Resolve, on the other hand, is where the magic happens. Depending on where you hover the cursor, the type of trim will change contextually. In this mode, all of the media will ripple as you edit, which means you can do all of your fine cutting without worrying about accidentally making small gaps between edits.

If you've made the switch from Premiere (or any other NLE) to Resolve 12, share your experience with us. What have you liked, not liked, or been confused by? What advice would you give to someone thinking about switching? Let us know down in the comments!     

Your Comment

33 Comments

Yea but whenever I try to edit on resolve my footage never plays back smoothly...

November 23, 2015 at 4:55PM

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Did you lower the playback resolution to 1/2 or 1/4 like Alex mentions in the video?

November 23, 2015 at 5:02PM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
5502

Me 2nd.

I really tried Resolve for editing. But smooth play back is not possible (even with lowres proxy files and play back resolution set to 1/4).

It also seems that when clips are put to the time line (from the media bay), the system works and calculates before you can move on and preview your time line. :(

November 24, 2015 at 10:57AM, Edited November 24, 10:58AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2174

I know the problem you are facing.
You shouldn't edit on H.264, Resolve hates this codec. Most of the editing softwares hate this codec.
Try to edit on Prores 422 HQ or anything else but never on H.264, Too much compression!

November 24, 2015 at 3:38PM

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Ammar Quteineh
Director|Cinematographer |||France|||
667

Why? If your NLE can't handle the codecs straight out of your camera, you need another NLE. You shouldn't have to spend needless time and resources re-compressing you footage just because your NLE is a prima donna on codecs. No excuses.

November 26, 2015 at 6:50PM

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Vidrazor
646

Where does he say he's using H.264? I'm using ProRes on a 5K iMac, and playback in Resolve sucks. Premiere CS 6 plays it back no problem.

The problem with interframe-compressed codecs is just that: They're interframe-compressed. So the editing software has to unravel every group of pictures to make cuts, and cache a playback region to allow scrubbing.

November 27, 2015 at 5:23PM

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David Gurney
DP
2365

My main gripe right now is the lack of being able to have multiple timelines up. It seems pretty tough to have a selects timeline and easily pull from that into an assembly edit. anyone find a good workflow In resolve similar to having multiple timelines in premiere that you pull from?

November 23, 2015 at 6:52PM

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Forrest pando
Director
74

Take your selects timeline, right click on it to make it into a compound clip and then right click on the compound clip and choose load into source monitor. Not identical to pancake timelines in Premiere, but it's as close you'll get and is similar to working from selects sequences in Avid. In any case, the biggest limitation to editing in Resolve 12 is cutting interviews or dialogue -- if you have to cut things tight, grab individual words or breaths and create frankenquotes, you can forget about using Resolve. It simply can't handle the 1-2 frame audio crossfades with enough finese so the results sound terrible, even on export. Despite the new code in version 12, the audio side still isn't there to make it a viable editing option for most narrative or documentary work compared to the big three A's.

November 23, 2015 at 10:15PM

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Jamie LeJeune
Director of Photography
283

Hi Jamie, try v12.1 as there were audio updates in that release. Please PM me if you see other issue as we are keen to work them out.

November 23, 2015 at 11:49PM, Edited November 23, 11:49PM

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Peter Chamberlain
DaVinci Resolve Product Manager
81

We are going to edit our next short film on DaVinci (we are thinking about moving from Premiere to DaVinci) and we hope to have a good experience with it!:)

November 24, 2015 at 11:52AM

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Roy Fochtman
2BadMen | Filmmaker | Photographer
113

Resolve 12 won't run on my computer...Win 7X64, AMD Phenom 2X4, 16 gigs Ram.
Blackmagic says I need WIN 10 Pro and a more powerful computer.
I say, design your software so people can use it without investing $2000+ just to be able to use it.
I'll stick with Pr.
Blackmagic products always leave something to be desired.

November 24, 2015 at 2:44AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1403

Agree. PPro (CS6) works very smooth compared to Resolve.

November 24, 2015 at 10:59AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2174

Resolve 12.1 has enabled me to start new projects while I wait for Adobe to fix (if they can) all the many problems that prevent CC 2015 and Premiere Pro from being "production ready" for me.

November 24, 2015 at 3:11AM

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Do you mean the many Audio issues? Audio out of sync audio just not audble buggy warning messages that anoy the shit out of you. Mask tracking that doesn't track or just stops working or indeed just doesn't start in the first place. Love the new colour engin and with a couple of extra features would be great. Like being able to mask shadows so that you could put a colour cast on the image but not the shadows for example. Infact why not just make the colour interface like Speedgrade right inside Premiere. Maybe that's already their plan. Lets hope. Nick some other ideas from Davinci and we're up and running. Get the audio stuff sorted first though hey.

November 24, 2015 at 4:06AM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
590

I love the look and idea of Davinci Resolve BUT. I have downloaded the free version and tried to use it but it will not bring in the audio for the clip. I've updated it and still no audio. I have messaged Blackmagic and facebooked them and tweeted them but they just don't answer. I'm sure it's a great piece of kit but ignoring potential clients that would like to move over from Premiere for the convienience of keeping all your grading and editing in a single NLE isn't going to get me to want to jump no matter how good the software is....... when it's working. If there is anyone willing to help me with this issue I'd be greatful. Blackmagic customer service is rubbish. I understand it's FREE but don't just ignore people. RUDE!

November 24, 2015 at 4:00AM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
590

It's impossible for anyone to help when you don't give any specifics. What kind of files are they, and what codec, and what is the audio codec?

November 27, 2015 at 5:27PM

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David Gurney
DP
2365

As a beginner who's only experience with NLE's has been iMovie and Lightworks, I'm keen to try out Resolve (the cost, or lack of, is very attractive!). I guess never having worked with a high end NLE such as Premier would be an advantage for me in some ways as I won't have to re-learn techniques?

However, my concern is that Resolve might not be really geared up for newbies such as me and might require a solid background in something like PremierPro?

Matt

November 24, 2015 at 6:24AM

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Matt Wetherill
Film maker, photographer
74

Go with Premiere. This is a work-in-progress, and you want to learn to edit, not beta test.

November 26, 2015 at 6:56PM

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Vidrazor
646

As much as I love Davinci, it is not even close for prime time. Great for something quick and dirty regarding an edit, but its way early in the game to replace a full NLE system. Stick to its amazing color features.

November 24, 2015 at 11:21AM

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Alex Gans
Director/Editor
156

free ... let me think. i'm currently paying through the nose monthly for the latest version of a POS nle that is unusable.

November 24, 2015 at 12:29PM

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stephen knifton
owner / creative director
513

I just completed my first commercial project in Resolve's NLE and it was a fairly painless experience. I just dove into it, applying what I know from other NLEs and it worked out okay without really needing to crack open the manual. It really simplified my workflow as I was able to edit the raw camera footage. What I really loved was the ability to edit, color a clip, then jump back into the editor and edit some more. My workflow before, where I would make proxies, edit in Premiere, and then output an XML for Resole, was cumbersome and usually gave me some problems - not to mention that I couldn't easily go back and adjust an edit if I wanted to change something while grading. During this project, I synced up my audio at the tale-end of the project, which I don't really recommend- but I was impressed by the auto-sync feature. In the end, I built the audio track in Audition. This workflow, going from Resolve to Audition, was one that I hadn't quite worked out and had some trouble with. Therefore, I essentially had to start from scratch in Audition. Fortunately this was only a 60 second commercial I was making so it wasn't too bad. While I later built some titles in AfterEffects I was happy with all the tracking and powerwindowing I was able to achieve (and quickly achieve/render) in Resolve. With all that said, I am on a pretty powerful computer, HP Z840 (Dual 3.4 GHZ 128GB RAM, Dual 4G Nvidia K4200) so I'm anxious to try my next project at home on my iMac to see if performance is acceptable there too. If you're working with Raw Footage especially and your computer can handle the workload, I think you'll find that your workflow will be much faster if you can stay in Resolve. Great video, thanks for posting.

November 24, 2015 at 12:31PM, Edited November 24, 12:36PM

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I have Davinci Pro (I own the dongle) and still export from PPro CC 2015 via XML. However, once a project is imported into Davinci to grade, I have messed around with editing it. What I found was the performance in the timeline was really bad. Not the playback, but merely scrolling through, sometimes clicking on a clip and dragging. At first it was not bad, but then performance would wane and things became so bad to where dragging clips would be cumbersome.

Has anyone experienced this problem?

PPro is super fast on my machine with the same projects.

Rendering in Resolve is fine for me (1080p work from BMCC so far).

I have a 6 core 980x clocked to 3.75ghz, 24GB ram and an Nvidia 480GTX, SSD drives and a RAID 0 with WD Blacks.

Sure the 480GTX is old (I've been waiting to buy something and then new cards come out, then I wait for the price to drop then newer cards come out lol.) But I'm getting 85 FPS rendering 1080 down to 720p footage with 3-4 nodes and sharpen. About 55 FPS for 1080p BMCC footage. That's pretty good for me thus far.

But the performance editing in Davinci worries me.

November 24, 2015 at 2:14PM

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Matt Battershell
Web Developer / Graphic Designer / Filmmaker
148

are you working on H.264 ? if yes, then try to ingest Prores 422 HQ and work on it..

November 24, 2015 at 3:44PM

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Ammar Quteineh
Director|Cinematographer |||France|||
667

If he's running Windows, ProRes is not a supported format for rendering to.

November 24, 2015 at 9:46PM

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Glenn Thomas
Music video director and editor.
76

This is in any case a problem for Premiere too - especially with 4K. I have reverted to transcoding (in AME) to Cineform. Although there is a trade-off in that the file sizes are much bigger, it is worth it to be able to actually scrub through the timeline.

It's fine for Adobe to market PPro (the others too) as being able to handle any codec, but be aware that there are limitations when dealing with some of them. I imagine H.265 is even more problematic!

November 25, 2015 at 2:22AM

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The BMCC doesn't record in H.264, so I think we can assume NO.

November 27, 2015 at 5:34PM

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David Gurney
DP
2365

Actually I was working on H.264 from my 5dmkII. You think ProRes would fair better?

December 11, 2015 at 3:56PM

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Matt Battershell
Web Developer / Graphic Designer / Filmmaker
148

Nothing, but NOTHING beats Sony Vegas Pro 13 + Vegasaur 2.3. N O T H I N G!

November 26, 2015 at 2:31PM, Edited November 26, 2:31PM

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Cosmin Gurau
Director
420

Could you name some positive reasons, please?

November 27, 2015 at 9:50AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2174

Vegas is an incredibly simple, fast and light weight program. I started using it on a shoot in India because it was the only program that would run on the dinosaur laptop I had.

Now that you can use 3d LUTs, its even more powerful and speedy for quick turn arounds, rough colors, etc.

November 28, 2015 at 6:48PM

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I have been using Premiere Pro CS6 which is integrated with the Audition sound editor by Adobe for a couple of years. I tried the free Resolve 12 and couldn't figure out how to use it. I read through parts of the 1000+ page manual and couldn't find the help I needed. I watched some videos on youtube and none were aimed at taking me through the basic steps of loading and editing footage.

If I didn't have Premiere Pro it might be worth it to learn Resolve. But why would anyone who has Premiere want Resolve? Why use Gimp when you have Photoshop? These Resolve videos are trying to convince people it can be used like Premiere. I haven't seen anything other than the cost that would make Resolve more attractive than Premiere Pro. But if you already have Premiere Pro, why bother?

November 27, 2015 at 1:19PM

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bobspez
Retired unix sys admin
187

To those struggling with scrubbing, go to Playback->Render Cache->Smart et voila--smooth scrubbing.

I use PPcc day to day but got DaVinci with a BMCC and wanted to try the editing side of it for smoother workflow with the colour, and I have to say, it's been a dream. It generally works in a similar way to PP, but rather than being the software equivalent of untangling a mess of cables, it works and feels like a much more considered product.

That, and the broadcast safe limiter actually works.

November 27, 2015 at 2:57PM, Edited November 27, 2:57PM

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Audio is a deal-breaker for using Resolve to edit, for a couple of major reasons.

1. Playback sucks ass. Resolve can't even play ProRes footage back at full speed on up-to date computers (in my case a 5K iMac with Thunderbolt RAID), so you can't even listen to the audio while watching the image. Obviously you can't edit the audio either.

2. There's no audio export. This is unbelievable. One can't expect the video-editing app to be a complete audio-finishing app. But once you finish your picture edit in Resolve, there's no way to get the audio tracks into your audio app for finishing.

Well, there's a ridiculous time-wasting workaround, where you render the video AND each audio track to a container one at a time, with the audio uncompressed; then use some other application to extract each audio track from each video file. Need I go on? This is ridiculous.

November 27, 2015 at 5:47PM

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David Gurney
DP
2365