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DaVinci Resolve

Created: 2021-11-26 06:30:21 -0800 Modified: 2023-12-19 14:38:38 -0800

This section talks about making basic edits that I’ve needed for basically all of my videos: trimming clips, transitioning between them, etc.

  • Overview

    • Modes: the bottom bar has several modes you can use (which Resolve calls “pages”):
      • It generally seems to go in order from left to right of how your workflow:
        • “Cut” is great for setting up the timeline with all of your unedited clips
        • ”Edit” (the next mode) is for trimming clips, relocating them, etc.
  • Transitions:

    • Add quick cross dissolve: right-click right at the boundary of any two clips to quickly add a cross dissolve between them.
  • Zooming in as closely as I’ve shown above lets you easily right-click the transition to change its properties.

  • Video transitions: they can seemingly only be added to the beginning or end of a clip, so use the Blade tool to create new beginnings/ends so that you can easily add them where you want.

  • Fine-tuning edits: when in Trim Edit Mode (shortcut=T), let’s say you used the blade tool to split a clip so that now you have Left Clip and Right Clip. You can select one of the two clips and use comma or period to nudge where the clip starts. You can hold shift to nudge more frames at a time.

    • For example, if you want the Right Clip to start sooner, select it and press [shift+]comma a few times.
    • You can also just click and drag the clip rather than use the keyboard (ensure you’re in Trim Edit Mode first though), but this must be done at the boundary (so the cursor will look like this: ”<[:”).
  • Adding text: click “Effects” at the upper left to show the Effects panel, then click “Titles” in the resulting panel. Each effect is really its own mini timeline, so depending on where you hover, you’ll see the start/middle/end of it. When you find one you want, drag it onto a higher video track.

    • Use the Inspector panel to change the properties of the text, e.g. the string you’re displaying, animation properties, etc.
    • Editing in Fusion: if you chose a cool animation, you can right-click the text effect and choose “Open in Fusion Page”.
  • Modifying the transform with the mouse: click this button

    • …it’ll turn white and you’ll see animation controls show up in the preview:
  • Using keyframes to animate position/size (e.g. to zoom in): Davinci Resolve - How to Move Images (Animate Movement)

  • Highlight something with a circle: How to Draw a Circle in Davinci Resolve

  • Speeding up a clip (e.g. due to a hesitation): split out a clip that you want to speed up, then right-click it and go to “Retime controls”. Then, you can just drag the clip (from the “Speed Change” bar, not the clip itself) to be smaller on the timeline.

  • Ripple delete blank space:

    • First, click the blank space to select it.
    • Then, right-click and ripple-delete it.
  • Selectively mute audio: alt+click an audio track to select only that track and not the corresponding video, then split out the part you want to mute. After that, press D to disable that clip.

  • Normalizing audio: you can select all of your audio clips and normalize them from the right-click menu, but all that does is change the clip’s “volume” property that you see in the Inspector.

    • Be careful with the “independent” setting since any sped-up clips may end up being super loud if they were just ambient noise to begin with. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the independent setting; it just means you have to check your video afterward and manually lower the audio level in the Inspector for outliers.
  • Keyboard shortcuts (reference)

    • ⭐️ Up/down: navigate to previous/next clip
    • Ctrl+plus/minus: change timeline zoom level
    • Edit Mode
      • A: enter selection mode
      • B: enter blade mode (to split clips where you click).
        • Ctrl+\ can split at the playback head
      • Delete: remove clip and ripple backward
      • Ctrl+scroll: scroll left/right
  • Adjusting output framerate (reference): the framerate is set when you make a project. You can go to File → New Timeline…, uncheck “Use Project Settings”, go to the “Format” tab, and choose a different framerate. Then, you can copy/paste all of your existing timeline to the new one.
  • Blurry videos?
    • I had sort of blurry output when there was a lot of motion and sped-up clips. I did two things to try to address it, but I’m not sure which one was needed:
      • Choose “Quality: Best”
      • Set a keyframe every 18 frames rather than every 30
  • Go to the Media page, right-click a clip, and go to Generate Optimized Media. This can take a long time (10 minutes for 300 MB for me (which is about 15 minutes of video)). Everything should be buttery smooth after that.
    • This takes a significant amount of hard-drive space. I used something like 250 GB optimizing the clips for a 15-minute video in 1080p60. Granted, many clips were way longer than they needed to be since I had multiple takes in each clip.
      • The cache is in a folder called CacheClip in the folder specified by Preferences → Media Storage.
    • You can generate optimized media just for the portion of the clip that you’re using by right-clicking from the timeline in Edit Mode.
  • Reduce playback resolution via Playback → Timeline Proxy Mode → Half (or Quarter) Resolution. I think you need to go to the Media page and generate proxy media for all of your clips before this will work, but I’m not sure since generating optimized media already fixed the problem for me.

Resolve just needs enough clip to work with on either side of the transition, so try trimming each clip (i.e. remove some of the end of Clip #1 and some of the start of Clip #2). That way, Resolve can use the trimmed section for the transition.