How Do I Use Davinci Resolve

Emily Thomas

So you’ve heard about this powerful video editing software called Davinci Resolve, but you’re not quite sure how to get started. Well, fear not! In this article, we will walk you through the basics of using Davinci Resolve and help you unlock its full potential. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced editor, we’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions, useful tips, and tricks to make your editing process smoother than ever before. Get ready to take your video editing skills to the next level with Davinci Resolve!

System Requirements

Operating System

To use Davinci Resolve, you need to ensure that you have a compatible operating system. Currently, Davinci Resolve is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. For Windows, you’ll need to have Windows 10 (64-bit) installed on your computer. For macOS, you’ll need to have macOS 10.14.6 Mojave or later. And for Linux, you’ll need to check the official Davinci Resolve website for the specific distribution requirements.

Hardware Specifications

In addition to the operating system, you need to consider the hardware specifications of your computer to ensure a smooth experience with Davinci Resolve. Minimum requirements include a 4-core processor, 16GB of system memory (RAM), and at least 512MB of video memory. However, for optimal performance, it is recommended to have a more powerful system, such as an 8-core processor, 32GB or more of system memory, and a graphics card with at least 4GB of video memory.


Downloading the Software

To begin using Davinci Resolve, you’ll first need to download the software. Visit the official Davinci Resolve website and navigate to the “Downloads” section. From there, choose the appropriate version for your operating system and click on the download link. The download may take some time depending on your internet connection speed.

Installing Davinci Resolve

Once the download is complete, locate the installation file and open it. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Davinci Resolve on your computer. You may be asked to agree to the terms and conditions and choose a destination folder for the installation. After the installation process is finished, you’re ready to start using Davinci Resolve.

How Do I Use Davinci Resolve

Interface Overview


Davinci Resolve offers various workspaces tailored to different stages of the editing process. These workspaces include Editing, Color, Fusion, Fairlight, and Deliver. Each workspace provides a specific set of tools and features to enhance your workflow. You can easily switch between workspaces by selecting the desired workspace from the menu bar.

Menu Bar

The menu bar at the top of the Davinci Resolve interface contains various menus that provide access to different functions and settings. Here, you can find options to import media, save and export projects, adjust preferences, and more. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the different menus and their respective options, as they will be essential in navigating and customizing your Davinci Resolve experience.

Header Toolbar

Located below the menu bar, the header toolbar houses quick access icons to essential features such as playback controls, undo/redo options, project settings, and more. This toolbar provides easy access to frequently used functions, improving your efficiency while working on your projects.

Media Pool

The Media Pool is where you import and organize your media files. It acts as a central repository for all your clips, images, and audio files. By organizing your media in the Media Pool, you can easily locate and manage your assets in the timeline. You can also create bins within the Media Pool to further categorize and organize your media files.


The Timeline is where you arrange and edit your clips to create your final video. It provides a visual representation of your project, with tracks for video and audio. You can trim, cut, add transitions, apply effects, and make precise edits in the Timeline. It is the heart of the editing process and allows you to bring your creative vision to life.


The Inspector panel provides detailed information and controls for selected clips or elements in your project. It allows you to adjust parameters such as color grading, sizing, positioning, and more. The Inspector panel offers precise control over individual elements, helping you fine-tune your project to achieve the desired result.

Node Editor

The Node Editor is a powerful tool for advanced color grading and effects. It allows you to create complex node trees to manipulate and enhance the look of your footage. Nodes can be connected and adjusted to create intricate visual effects and achieve precise color grading. The Node Editor provides a high level of control and customization options for your projects.

Color Grading

Davinci Resolve is renowned for its industry-leading color grading capabilities. The Color Grading section provides comprehensive tools to adjust and fine-tune the colors in your footage. You can make primary and secondary color corrections, use curves and color wheels to refine your grading, match grades across multiple clips, work with LUTs, track and stabilize footage, and create unique looks and styles.


Once you have finished editing and color grading your project, the Delivery section allows you to export your final video in the desired format. It provides a range of export settings and options to ensure your video will be compatible with your intended playback platform. You can choose the output format, configure parameters such as resolution and bitrate, add watermarks or logos, and even export directly to social media platforms.

Importing Media

Creating a New Project

Before importing any media, you’ll need to create a new project in Davinci Resolve. To do this, go to the Project Manager in the File menu and select “Create New Project.” Give your project a name and choose a location to save it. Once your project is created, you’re ready to start importing media.

Importing Files

To import media files into your project, you can either use the Import Media button in the Media Pool or drag and drop files directly into the Media Pool. Davinci Resolve supports a wide range of file formats, including video, audio, and image files. After importing, you can organize your media by creating folders and bins within the Media Pool.

Organizing Media in Bins

Organizing your media files in bins can greatly improve your workflow and make it easier to locate specific assets. In the Media Pool, you can create bins by right-clicking and selecting “Create New Bin.” Name the bin accordingly and drag and drop media files into the bins. You can create multiple bins to categorize your files based on different criteria, such as scenes, characters, or locations.

How Do I Use Davinci Resolve


Creating a Timeline

To start editing your project, you need to create a timeline. In the Timeline section, click the button to create a new timeline based on your chosen settings. You can select a custom resolution and frame rate or choose a preset that matches your intended output. Once the timeline is created, you can begin adding and arranging clips.

Cutting Clips

One of the fundamental tasks in video editing is cutting clips to remove unwanted sections or rearrange the sequence. In the Timeline, position the playhead at the desired starting point of the section you want to remove and use the Razor tool to split the clip. Then, position the playhead at the end point of the section and split the clip again. Finally, select the unwanted section and press the Delete key to remove it. Repeat this process as needed to create the desired sequence.

Trimming Clips

To fine-tune the timing of your clips, you can use the trimming tools in Davinci Resolve. In the Timeline, select a clip and position the cursor at its edges. The cursor will change into a trim tool. Click and drag the edge of the clip to extend or shorten its duration. You can also perform precise trimming by using the keyboard shortcuts for trim in and trim out.

Adding Transitions

Transitions help create smooth and seamless transitions between clips. In the Edit section, you can access a variety of transitions to choose from. To apply a transition, simply drag and drop it between two clips in the Timeline. You can adjust the duration and modify the properties of the transition as needed. Transitions add polish and professionalism to your video edits.

Applying Effects

Davinci Resolve offers a wide range of effects and filters that can enhance your footage. In the Effects Library, you’ll find categories such as color, blur, distortion, and more. To apply an effect, select a clip in the Timeline and drag the desired effect from the Effects Library onto the clip. You can then adjust the parameters of the effect in the Inspector panel to achieve the desired result.

Working with Titles

Titles are essential for providing information or enhancing the storytelling in your videos. Davinci Resolve includes a variety of text templates and customization options for creating titles. In the Edit section, go to the Titles tab and choose a template. Drag and drop the template onto the timeline, and then customize the text, font, color, and position in the Inspector panel. Titles add a professional touch to your video projects.

Audio Editing

In addition to working with video, Davinci Resolve offers powerful audio editing capabilities. You can adjust audio levels, add effects, apply EQ and filtering, reduce noise, and mix and master your audio tracks. In the Fairlight section, you can access audio editing tools and features to fine-tune your audio elements and ensure a high-quality audio experience for your audience.

Color Grading

Understanding Color Grading

Color grading is the process of manipulating and enhancing the colors in your footage to achieve a desired look or mood. It involves adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, and other color parameters. Davinci Resolve provides advanced color grading tools to help you achieve professional-grade results. Understanding color grading principles and techniques can greatly improve the visual impact of your projects.

Primary Color Corrections

Primary color corrections involve adjusting the overall color balance of your footage. In the Color section, you can use tools such as color wheels, sliders, and curves to modify the shadows, midtones, and highlights. By tweaking these parameters, you can achieve a more accurate representation of the original scene or create a specific aesthetic for your project.

Secondary Color Corrections

Secondary color corrections allow you to selectively adjust specific areas or elements within your footage. This can be useful for isolating and modifying objects or correcting uneven lighting conditions. Davinci Resolve’s powerful secondary color grading tools enable you to precisely target and modify specific colors, enhancing the overall visual impact of your shots.

Using Curves and Color Wheels

Curves and color wheels provide granular control over the color and tonal adjustments in your footage. Curves allow you to adjust the shadows, midtones, and highlights individually, while color wheels provide an intuitive interface to modify the color balance of your footage. By utilizing these tools effectively, you can create striking visual effects and accurate color reproductions.

Matching Grades

Matching grades involve ensuring consistency in the color and tone across multiple clips, especially in scenarios where shots were captured under different lighting conditions. In Davinci Resolve, you can use the Color Match feature to automatically adjust the color and tone of one clip to match the color and tone of another clip. This helps maintain visual continuity and a professional look in your projects.

Working with LUTs

Look-Up Tables (LUTs) are pre-defined color grading presets that can be applied to your footage. Davinci Resolve supports the use of LUTs, allowing you to experiment with different looks and styles easily. You can import LUTs from external sources or create your own custom LUTs using Davinci Resolve’s grading tools. Applying LUTs can give your videos a distinct and consistent visual style.

Tracking and Stabilizing

Tracking and stabilizing are essential techniques in color grading that help maintain consistent adjustments across moving elements in your footage. Davinci Resolve offers powerful tracking and stabilization features that allow you to track specific objects or areas and stabilize shaky footage. This ensures that your color grades remain accurate even when the content of your shots is in motion.

Creating Looks and Styles

With Davinci Resolve’s comprehensive color grading tools and capabilities, you have the freedom to create unique looks and styles for your video projects. Experiment with different adjustments, combine color grading techniques, and develop your signature aesthetics. By creating your own looks and styles, you can set your videos apart and make a lasting impression on your audience.

Audio Correction and Mixing

Audio Workspace

The Fairlight section of Davinci Resolve is dedicated to audio correction and mixing. This workspace provides a range of tools and features specifically designed for audio editing, allowing you to fine-tune and enhance your audio elements.

Importing and Managing Audio

To import audio files into your project, you can either use the Import Media button in the Media Pool or simply drag and drop audio files directly onto the timeline. Davinci Resolve supports various audio file formats, ensuring compatibility with different sources.

Controlling Audio Levels

Audio levels play a crucial role in creating an immersive and balanced audio experience. Davinci Resolve allows you to adjust audio levels for individual clips, controlling volume, pan, and fades. By ensuring proper audio levels, you can enhance the overall quality and clarity of your audio elements.

Equalization and Filtering

Equalization and filtering tools in Davinci Resolve enable you to shape the frequency response of your audio tracks. By adjusting the levels of specific frequencies, you can enhance clarity, remove unwanted background noise, and create a more polished sound.

Noise Reduction

Unwanted background noise can greatly affect the quality of your audio. Davinci Resolve provides advanced noise reduction tools to help you remove or reduce background noise while preserving the integrity of your intended audio content. By minimizing noise distractions, you can achieve a clean and professional sound.

Audio Effects

Davinci Resolve offers a range of audio effects that can enhance the creative aspect of your audio elements. Whether you’re looking for reverb, delay, chorus, or other effects, you can easily browse and apply them to your audio tracks. Experiment with different effects to add depth and character to your audio elements.

Mixing and Mastering

Mixing and mastering are essential steps in audio production that involve adjusting the balance, levels, and overall tonal response of your audio tracks. Davinci Resolve’s Fairlight section provides intuitive tools for mixing multiple audio tracks, adjusting the levels, panning, and applying effects. By mastering your audio, you can ensure a professional and balanced sound in your final video output.

Visual Effects and Motion Graphics

Adding and Manipulating Visual Effects

Davinci Resolve offers a wide range of visual effects that can be applied to your footage. From basic effects like blur and sharpen to advanced effects like lens flares and particle systems, you have the power to create stunning visuals. By applying and manipulating effects, you can enhance the visual impact of your shots and add an extra layer of creativity to your videos.

Working with Composites and Layers

Compositing involves combining multiple elements, such as images or videos, to create a seamless final image or video. Davinci Resolve’s Fusion workspace provides powerful compositing capabilities, allowing you to layer different elements, adjust blending modes, and use masks and mattes to achieve professional-level composites. With compositing, you can create visual effects that go beyond the limitations of your original footage.

Creating Titles and Lower Thirds

Titles and lower thirds provide important information and context to your videos. Davinci Resolve includes a comprehensive set of tools for creating and customizing titles and lower thirds. You can choose from a variety of templates, customize the text, font, color, and position, and animate the title elements to add visual interest. With Davinci Resolve, you can easily create professional-looking titles and lower thirds to enhance your videos.

Keying and Chroma Keying

Keying allows you to remove a specific color or range of colors from your footage, leaving transparency in those areas. Davinci Resolve’s keying tools enable you to perform chroma keying, where you can remove a green or blue screen background and replace it with a different image or video. By utilizing keying techniques, you can composite your subjects onto different backgrounds or create special effects seamlessly.

Animating Elements

Animation brings your visuals to life by adding movement and dynamics. Davinci Resolve provides tools for animating elements within your footage or composites. You can animate properties such as position, scale, rotation, and opacity to create engaging motion graphics and visual effects. By incorporating animation into your projects, you can captivate your audience and tell compelling stories.

Creating Motion Graphics

Motion graphics combine graphic design elements with animation to create visually dynamic content. Davinci Resolve offers tools and features that allow you to create motion graphics directly within the software. You can design and animate text, shapes, and other visual elements, and integrate them seamlessly into your videos. With motion graphics, you can enhance the visual appeal and professionalism of your projects.

Tracking and Masking

Tracking and masking enable you to isolate and modify specific areas or objects within your footage. Davinci Resolve provides powerful tracking and masking tools that allow you to track objects or areas throughout a clip, apply adjustments or effects to those areas, and even create complex visual effects. By utilizing tracking and masking, you can achieve precise control and fine-tuned modifications in your videos.

Exporting and Delivery

Understanding Export Settings

Before exporting your final video, it is essential to understand the export settings available in Davinci Resolve. Export settings determine the format, resolution, frame rate, and other parameters of your exported video. It is important to select the appropriate settings based on your intended playback platform or distribution channels.

Exporting a Final Video

To export your final video, navigate to the Deliver section in Davinci Resolve. Here, you can set the export format, choose the desired output location, and configure the export settings. Once you have customized the export settings, click the Start Render button to initiate the export process. Depending on the complexity and length of your project, the export time may vary.

Choosing the Right Format

When exporting your video, it is crucial to choose the right format that is compatible with your intended playback platform or distribution channels. Davinci Resolve supports a wide range of video formats, including commonly used formats such as MP4, MOV, and AVI. Consider the platform requirements and the devices on which your video will be viewed to ensure optimal compatibility.

Configuring Output Parameters

In addition to choosing the right format, you can configure various output parameters to optimize the quality and file size of your exported video. These parameters include resolution, frame rate, bitrate, and compression settings. Consider your desired output quality and target file size when adjusting these parameters to strike a balance between quality and file size.

Adding Watermarks or Logos

If you want to protect your video or add branding elements, you can include watermarks or logos in your exported video. Davinci Resolve allows you to import images or graphics that can be positioned and scaled to your desired locations. This feature is particularly useful for branding, attribution, or copyright protection purposes.

Exporting for Different Platforms

Davinci Resolve offers presets and recommended settings for different platforms, making it easier to export videos optimized for specific platforms. Whether you are exporting for YouTube, Vimeo, or other social media platforms, Davinci Resolve provides the necessary settings and configurations to ensure your videos meet the required specifications.

Sharing to Social Media

Social media platforms are a popular way to share your videos with a wide audience. Davinci Resolve simplifies the process of sharing your videos by providing direct export presets for popular social media platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These presets include the recommended settings and configurations, making it easy to upload your videos without worrying about meeting platform-specific requirements.

Archiving Projects

After completing a project, it is essential to archive the project files to ensure their long-term preservation. Davinci Resolve allows you to create project backups that include all the media files, edits, effects, and settings associated with your project. It is recommended to regularly create backups and store them in a secure location to safeguard your work.

Troubleshooting and Resources

Common Issues and Solutions

While using Davinci Resolve, you may encounter common issues or errors. These could include crashes, performance issues, or playback problems. Davinci Resolve provides troubleshooting resources such as error code lookup tables, online forums, and support documentation to help you resolve these issues. If you encounter a problem, consult the available resources to find a solution.

Online Documentation and Forums

Davinci Resolve offers comprehensive online documentation that covers various aspects of the software. The documentation provides detailed explanations of features, step-by-step tutorials, and troubleshooting guidelines. Additionally, online forums and communities are valuable resources where users can ask questions, share tips and insights, and seek support from fellow Davinci Resolve users.

Video Tutorials and Courses

If you prefer a more visual and hands-on approach to learning Davinci Resolve, there are numerous video tutorials and courses available online. These resources cover a wide range of topics and skill levels, from beginner tutorials on the basics of editing to advanced courses on color grading and visual effects. Video tutorials and courses can be a great way to enhance your Davinci Resolve skills.

Davinci Resolve Community

The Davinci Resolve community is a vibrant and supportive network of users, professionals, and enthusiasts. Engaging with the community can provide valuable opportunities for learning, collaboration, and inspiration. Participate in online forums, join social media groups, and attend meetups or events to connect with other Davinci Resolve users and expand your knowledge and skills.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively use Davinci Resolve to create professional-quality videos. From understanding the system requirements to mastering color grading and exporting your final video, Davinci Resolve offers a comprehensive set of tools to support your creative vision. With practice and exploration, you can unlock the full potential of Davinci Resolve and bring your videos to life.