Whether you're editing the next big blockbuster or a funny segment for your budding YouTube channel, DaVinci Resolve is a piece of software you must have on your system. It doesn't matter if you're working in Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro X, having Resolve as part of your toolkit expands your capabilities tenfold. Also, its free version is almost as powerful as full-priced NLEs.

DaVinci Resolve 18.5 has been in beta since April of 2023, and now it's been officially released. For those who haven't been riding the beta train, here are all of the upcoming updates you need to know about. We've even included some of our favorite YouTube videos featuring techniques, updates, and tips for Resolve.

The Cut Page

When the "cut page" was added to Resolve, it was definitely a head-scratcher. But it all made sense once the iPad version of DaVinci Resolve was released. It was a truncated editing UI designed for quick edits on a tablet.

With 18.5, the cut page gets more love, so editing is more efficient. Here are a few of our favorite updates from the release notes.

  • Multiple timeline displays and action improvements.
  • Support for subtitles in the cut timeline.
  • Automatically detect and create captions from timeline audio.
  • Perform DaVinci Neural Engine scene cuts in the cut timeline.
  • Ability to create split edits by rolling or trimming audio.
  • Cut page track numbering unified with other pages.
  • Export current frame as still from media, cut and edit viewers.
  • New motion graphic effects templates and transitions in cut and edit.

The Edit Page

But with the new Cut page evolving how we edit, that doesn't mean the traditional Edit page is getting left in the dust. This update sees the addition of some AI tools powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine. Here are some of our favorites for the edit page.

  • DaVinci Neural Engine-based subtitles from audio in Studio.
  • DaVinci Neural Engine powered text-based editing in Studio.
  • Ability to add and delete keyframes using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Export the current frame as still from media, cut, and edit viewers.
  • Ability to stabilize multiple selected clips from the timeline.
  • Retime curve now invokes the speed curve by default.
  • Option to copy grades from flattened multi-cams to multicam angles.
  • Ability to manually relink missing VFX Connect clips.
  • Ability to select all clips under playhead in cut, edit, and Fairlight.
  • Improved text wrapping for caption previews in the subtitle inspector.
  • The timecode display window now shows timecode entry previews.
  • The Export Edit Index action is now part of the edit index options.
For those of us like me who work with multicam footage, seeing these updates really helps my editing anxiety. It's also exciting to see the AI-powered subtitle tools and text-based editing workflow finally get a full release!

Media, Color, Resolve FX

The release notes are massive, with over 150 updates to DaVinci Resolve. Check out the full release if you'd like to get the full rundown.

But we've parsed through the massive list of updates to give you some of our favorites that we plan on using on a day-to-day basis.

  • Support for AI-based audio classification in Studio.
  • AI-based Resolve FX Relight to add virtual lighting in Studio.
  • Import and export timelines using the OpenTimelineIO format.
  • New 2x Enhanced Super Scale algorithm.
  • Introduction of the USD toolset for managing USD assets.
  • Support for USD Hydra-based renderers, including Storm.
  • Support for a native AI-based depth map tool in Studio.
  • GPU accelerated Clean Plate and Anaglyph.
  • Up to 3x faster renders when using the Fusion splitter tool.
  • Per-timeline Resolve Color Management.
  • Support for matte finesse post-filter controls in Magic Mask.
  • Ability to manage missing LUTs from the LUT manager.
  • Generated LUTs now include spatial Resolve FX DCTL effects.
  • Up to 2x faster spatial noise reduction in Apple silicon.
  • Support for Leica L Log color management.
  • Color space and gamma options are now organized by vendor.
  • Ability to swap in and out colorspaces in Resolve FX Color Transform.
  • Up to 2x faster Beauty, Water Color, and Stylize on Nvidia systems.
  • Up to 1.5x faster Lens Blur and Aperture Diffraction on Nvidia systems.
  • Support for Blackmagic Cloud Presentations.
  • Sign in and upload videos directly to TikTok from DaVinci Resolve.
  • New vertical resolution timelines and projects default to full frame with crop.
  • Support for rendering animated GIF clips.

Editor's Thoughts

Not only am I the Tech Editor at NFS, but I'm also a film editor. For 20 years, I edited theater and stage productions, making heavy use of multicam tools found in FCPX. Moving to Resolve was a dream, as I had better color controls. I desperately needed these as each show I worked on ran for about two hours.

With DaVinci Resolve 18.5, I'm not only seeing a push towards making the suite social media friendly but also powerful enough to throw down on any high-end production. AI-supported text-based editing is a dream for documentary filmmakers. The FX Relight tool could save scenes you messed up during production. And with the new 2x Enhanced Super Scale algorithm, no one will know I still shoot on HD.

This is why DaVinci Resolve 18.5 should belong in every editor's toolkit. There will be times this suite can support your existing workflow or even replace it entirely. Sticking to one brand isn't always best for every project. In my career, I've jumped from Avid to FCP. But now, I hop between Adobe and Resolve, depending on my needs.

Whatever your needs are, having such a powerful software suite at your fingertips, all for the price of free 99, feels like a no-brainer.