Davinci Resolve Tips and Tricks

20+ Davinci Resolve Tips for More Efficient Video Editing

Diving into the world of video editing can be as daunting as it is exciting, especially with a powerhouse tool like DaVinci Resolve at your fingertips. Known for its robust capabilities in color correction, visual effects, and comprehensive post-production, DaVinci Resolve stands out as a top choice for editors ranging from novices eager to learn, to seasoned professionals looking to refine their craft. The software’s free version is a great way for beginners to get started immediately (provided your computer is up to the task!). The full suite offers an even broader array of features if you are looking to push your creative limits.

In this article we will cover a range of Davinci Resolve tips and tricks, tailored for new and intermediate video editors keen on mastering Davinci editing. From understanding the interface’s various areas—Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, Fairlight, and Deliver— to incorporating Davinci Resolve 18 for seamless project workflows, this guide will be a trove of new tips and hacks. Here we will offer concise, powerful pointers on how to improve your editing process beyond efficient, but also make it enjoyable. Let’s get started!

Keyboard Shortcuts for Speedy Editing

Mastering keyboard shortcuts is one of the first steps to transition from a novice to a pro Davinci Resolve user. Here’s a breakdown of essential shortcuts and how they can turbocharge your editing workflow:

  • Basic Navigation and Editing:
    • Move to Previous/Next Edit Point: Q (previous), W (next)
    • Frame Navigation: A (one frame backward), D (one frame forward)
    • Cut and Undo: S (cut at playhead), Z (undo last action)
    • Playback Controls: L (play forward), J (reverse), K (stop). Multiple taps on J or L increase playback speed, while holding K and tapping J or L navigates frame by frame or in slow motion.
  • Advanced Editing Tools:
    • Razor and Trim: Command/Control + B (razor tool), T (trim edit mode). In trim edit mode, clips can be repositioned without creating gaps or overwriting footage.
    • Clip Selection and Editing: Shift + V selects the clip under the playhead. Option/Alt + backslash deletes the edit point for the clip on or to the left of the playhead. V selects the nearest edit point, and adding Option/Alt to U toggles between video and audio, video only, or audio only edit points.
  • Efficiency Boosters:
    • Copy and Paste Attributes: For Windows, Alt + C/V and for Mac, Command + Alt + C/V to copy and paste clip attributes, significantly speeding up the process of applying preferred settings across multiple clips.
    • Custom Keyboard Shortcuts: Navigate to the “Davinci Resolve” menu, select “Keyboard Customization” to either create new hotkeys or replicate shortcuts from other editing programs like Premiere Pro. Saving your layout as a preset allows for quick switching between customized setups.

Leveraging these keyboard shortcuts in Davinci Resolve not only streamlines the editing process but also opens up more time for creative exploration. Here is a couple of more shortcuts to check out:

Using Clip Attributes for Quick Adjustments

In Davinci Resolve, using clip attributes for quick adjustments is a game-changer for both starting and intermediate video editors aiming for efficiency. Here’s how to navigate this feature effectively:

  • Access and Adjustments:
    • Clip attributes are accessible via the edit page, offering a plethora of settings to tweak, including video frame rate, data levels, and audio settings, among others.
    • For instance, changing the video frame rate to match the timeline or adjusting the sharpness and noise reduction levels can significantly impact your project’s visual quality.
  • Copying and Pasting Attributes:
    • To streamline your workflow, select a clip with the desired settings, open the ‘Copy Clip Attributes’ window, choose which attributes to copy, and apply them to your target clip.
    • This not only saves time but ensures consistency across multiple clips without the need to manually adjust each one.
  • Removing Unwanted Attributes:
    • For instances where adjustments need to be dialed back, right-click the clip, select ‘Remove Attributes’, choose the specific settings to be removed, and click ‘Apply’.
    • This flexibility is also available for audio attributes, allowing for precise control over your project’s sound design.

By mastering these steps, you can significantly enhance your Davinci Resolve workflow, making your editing both faster and also more cohesive.

Leveraging Power Bins to Organize Your Process

Leveraging power bins in DaVinci Resolve can be a game-changer if you aim to speed up your process. Here’s how to harness the power of Power Bins effectively:

  • Creating and Color-Coding Bins:
    • Start by creating bins for each camera. This allows for easy identification and access.
    • Color-code your clips within these bins for even quicker reference on the timeline.
  • Organizing Assets with Power Bins:
    • Power Bins serve as the ultimate solution for asset organization, eliminating the need for multiple asset copies and reducing clutter.
    • Organize your Power Bins into categories like transitions, title packs, music, and sound effects. Not only does this method save space by preventing duplicates, but it also streamlines your workflow, making asset retrieval a breeze.
  • Efficient Asset Management and Migration:
    • Power Bins are shared across all DaVinci Resolve projects within the same database, meaning any settings changes are saved and don’t need to be reapplied.
    • With the introduction of DaVinci Resolve 18, assets and folder structures automatically migrate from DaVinci Resolve 17, which ensures a seamless transition between versions.
    • Drag and drop entire folders from Finder or Explorer directly into Power Bins to maintain the original structure, simplifying asset management.

With these strategies, you can significantly enhance your editing efficiency. Check this video tutorial out to reinforce the learnings.

Mastering Project Settings Presets

Mastering Project Settings Presets in DaVinci Resolve is another strategy for a seamless editing performance. By fine-tuning these presets, you can ensure that every project starts on the right foot. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the most of these settings:

  • Initial Setup:
    • Timeline Resolution & Frame Rate: Begin by setting the Timeline resolution to 1920×1080, even for UHD delivery, and adjust the Timeline Frame Rate to the industry-standard 23.976 fps for most video content.
    • Video Monitoring & Proxy Codec: Match the Video Monitoring Format to HD 1080p 23.976 and switch the default proxy codec to ProRes 422 proxy for smoother playback and editing.
  • Color & Storage Settings:
    • Color Management: Navigate to the Color Management Tab, setting Color science to DaVinci YRGB color managed and the preset to Davinci wide gamut for optimal color accuracy.
    • Proxy Generation & Clip Storage: Designate the Proxy generation location and save clips to a root folder on a main shuttle drive to streamline media management.
  • Saving & Applying Presets:
    • After configuring your settings, save them as a default preset by navigating to the Presets tab, saving with a specific name, and right-clicking on the saved preset to ‘Save as User Default Config’. This allows for easy application in future projects, ensuring consistency and efficiency across your editing workflow.

Here is more to it:

Efficient Audio Editing and Mixing

Efficient audio editing and mixing in DaVinci Resolve can elevate your video projects from good to professional. Here’s a comprehensive guide to mastering audio for starting and intermediate video editors:

  • Basic Adjustments for Clear Audio:
    • Normalize Audio: Ensure your base volume is consistent across clips by normalizing audio levels.
    • Noise Reduction: Utilize the Fairlight FX section to reduce background noise, enhancing clarity.
    • High-Pass Filter: Apply to remove lower frequencies that muddle your audio, focusing on those below 90-100 Hz.
  • Advanced Techniques for Professional Sound:
    • Equalizer Settings: Eliminate unwanted room sound and echo by adjusting frequencies.
    • Compression: Use a compressor to balance high peaks in your audio, adjusting the threshold and ratio for a smoother sound.
    • Audio Keyframes: Employ for precise volume control, ensuring smooth transitions and maintaining viewer engagement.
  • Enhancing Audio Quality:
    • Effects: Add a de-esser to soften harsh sibilance and a vocal channel effect for clearer voice tracks.
    • Fade In/Outs: Smoothly blend audio clips together or introduce audio elements without startling the audience.
    • Music Selection: Don’t underestimate the power of the right background music to enhance the overall video quality.

Here are some more tips about audio editing in Resolve:

Advanced Color Grading Techniques

Color grading in DaVinci Resolve can transform your footage from the ordinary to the cinematic. Here’s how to leverage advanced color grading techniques to elevate your video projects:

  • Fine-Tuning Color Balance:
    • Adjust exposure with the primary Wheels, ensuring optimal waveform levels.
    • Balance shots by shifting Trace towards blue with the offset and enhance visual appeal by pushing highlights towards orange, juxtaposed with gamma pushed towards blue.
    • Use power windows and the qualifier to accentuate key elements like the talent, adding depth and focus.
  • Enhancing Visual Dynamics:
    • Increase gain and contrast to spotlight the main subject, improving viewer focus.
    • For skin tones, gently push the camera wheel towards yellow in the qualifier for a natural look.
    • Modify the backdrop by adjusting gamma and gain towards green, subtly altering the scene’s mood.
  • Advanced Grading Tools:
    • Employ the HDR palette for nuanced control over specific tonal ranges, bringing out hidden details and textures.
    • Isolate subjects with Magic Mask for intricate grading adjustments, allowing for precise color manipulation.
    • Streamline your color management for consistent operations across tools, ensuring deliverable outputs match your creative vision.

Here is to reinforce and visualize the basics of color grading in Resolve:


Throughout this article, we’ve explored a rich collection of techniques, which will help you enhance your skills using DaVinci Resolve. From mastering keyboard shortcuts for speedy editing, using clip attributes for quick adjustments, to advanced methods in color grading and audio editing, this guide serves as a comprehensive toolkit designed to streamline your editing workflow and elevate your projects.

The journey from novice to pro in video editing is a continuous learning curve, and the strategies outlined here are pivotal stepping stones in that journey. The knowledge shared is intended to not just enhance efficiency but also to inspire creativity and passion for the art of video editing. As you apply these tips to your projects, remember that every edit is an opportunity to innovate, create, and share your unique vision with the world.


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