kortina.nyc / notes / devlog
1 May 2022 | by kortina

film devlog #0 // DaVinci Resolve

I started using DaVinci Resolve for all sorts of post production work (editing, sound, color) in 2020.

My usage is a bit sporadic, and I often need to re-remember how to do things, so I started making a search index of tips, tricks, keyboard shortcuts, and workflows here.

Also, here is a more quickly / frequently updated list of shortcuts I am tracking.


TEST RENDER (frame rate, audio)

Live Save

Project Settings (for Cloud Collaboration)


Cut at the End of a Word

When editing voiceover dialog with b-roll, Rob and I found that cutting the visual on the end of a word (vs the beginning of a word) seems to generally feel a bit more natural.

Play a Portion of the Timeline on Loop

Dual Viewer Mode on Edit Page

Punch In / Crop in Post

Crop a Clip to Fill the Entire Timeline Frame

Crop to 2.39 (or any) Aspect Ratio with Output Blanking

Animate Anything (eg, Camera Tracking) with Video Keyframes

View and Delete Video (Fusion) Keyframes for Adjustment Clips

Cross Dissolve (Fade in / out video)

Editor Choppiness

Render in Place…

Improve Choppy Slow Motion with Frame Interpolation (when you didn’t capture at a high enough framerate)

Copy and Paste Clip Attributes

Paste Insert at Playhead

Paste into Any Track

Delete a Gap on the Timeline

UI Tweaks

How to (Really) Use the Lower Left Third - Title Effect

How to Burn in Subtitles Like DodFord

DIY Multicam Timeline

Organizing and Importing Media

Search Text of Markers with Edit Index

Fix Greyed-Out Export Edit Index

Use no-op Adjustment Clips as Annotations

Automatically Set Reel Names from File Pathname

Set Human Readable Clip Names with Metadata Variables


Custom Metadata Groups

BMPCC4k Slate Scene and Shot Metadata

Fixing Framerate (fps)

We had two options.

Option 1: Export from DaVinci at 60fps and then convert to 24fps after the fact:

# inspect the fps, was 60
ffmpeg -i  scene-06.mov

# convert from 60 to 24fps by dropping frames (vs changing duration)
ffmpeg -i scene-06.mov  -filter:v fps=fps=24 scene-06-24fps.mov

We would have done Option 1 if we had more work on the project done before we realized this error, but since we had done relatively little, we opted for Option 2.

Option 2: Create a new DaVinci project and DON’T change the Project Timeline fps when DaVinci prompts to do this on initial import.

Then, for all of the clips that are at 60fps, right click, select Clip Attributes and change Video Frame Rate from 24 to 60 fps.

NB: we did this once clips were in a timeline, BUT I think we might have been better off trying this in the Media Pool.

Proxy Generator

I often have a 4TB solid state drive velcro-ed to my laptop to store large project folders, but this can get slightly annoying. In the Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 18 release, I learned about new Proxy workflows I wanted to give a try – essentially, these allow you to seamlessly switch between .braw and .mov Proxy files, intelligently using whatever files are on your drive and allowing you to select a preference for one over the other if you have both.

This is good primer on how the tool works.

My first pass was to run it on the project folder on my external SSD and then rsync everything except the .braw files over to my laptop HD:

❯ rsync -av /Volumes/SQ/__PROJECTS/jason-mattress/ /opt/s3/projects/jason-mattress --exclude='*.braw'

In the future, I may switch this up to skip creating a project folder on my SSD altogether and have Proxy Generator directly send Proxy files to the laptop drive.

Deliver with Only Proxies


Sync Based on Timecode

Sync Clips Based on Waveform with Syncalia

  1. Drag all video and audio into a Timeline named “Everything”
  2. Open the timeline and File › Export AAF, XML and export an fcpxml file.
  3. Open in Syncalia. Sync. Export XML.
  4. Import the xml back into DaVinci, name Everything - SYNC.
  5. Almost all of the audio should be synced.

Syncalia Timeline Tracks Gotchas

Syncalia Timecode and Framerate Gotchas

Transcribe Timelines

Background Noise Filter

Dialog Leveler and Voice Isolation

Removing Clicks and Using a Spectral Frequency Display

Crossfade (Fade in + out audio)

Normalize Audio Levels!!

Normalizing Audio Levels (Continued)

An Alternative to Audio Volume Keyframes

Quick Downmix From 5.1 Channel to Stereo Channel Sound

Fix Left / Right Audio Pan Issues

Fix Mono / Stereo Audio Issues

NB: this is just me looking at one example, but I think he did different things for different tracks.

Display Different Audio Channels from wav in Separate Tracks

Fairlight Index

Use a Bus to Group Audio Tracks

Apply Filters to Entire Bus

Use Dynamics Audio Compressor

Make Dialog a Little More Clear By Adjusting Band 1 In Equalizer

Make Something Sound Further Away

Simulate a Walkie Talkie Sound

Create Ambient Outdoor “Roomtone” by Looping Smaller Clips with Offsets

Bounce Audio to a New Layer

(OLD WAY I did this):

Sidechain Dialog to Music

Fix Missing Waveforms

Target Loudness

Mixing for Broadcast Loudness

Check Loudness at Faster than Realtime with Analyze Audio Levels

Mix Audio for YouTube

Creating a 5.1 Audio Mix

A film festival that I am submitting Super Diva! to asked me to send them a 2k res 5.1 audio mp4 file of the short. The current sound mix is stereo only, so I did some work to put together a quick and dirty 5.1 mix.

My first step was consulting the excellent Davinci Resolve Fairlight Audio Guide.

I also posted and got some help in the Blackmagic Forum here.

After a bunch of research and messing around, here is what I ended up doing.

Save Voiceover Clips to Your Project Folder


Record Voiceover with Fairlight

Voiceover Editing Workflow

Setup 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers on Mac for Davinci Resolve

More Notes on Mixing 5.1

Fixed Bus Mixing

Flex Bus Mixing


Export for YouTube

Export for Pro Tools

Export for DCP

Export Letterboxed for Vertical Video on Instagram

Color Grading

Here is an excellent tutorial from Gerald Undone on color grading / matching.

Useful Shortcuts for Color Grading

Quick Fix for Red Skin Tones


Rob’s Basic Process for Color Grading

  1. Select the BRAW clip and you can do things like:
  1. Make 6 or 8 Serial Nodes

  2. Node 1: White Balance

  1. Node 2: Skin
  1. Node 3: Light & Exposure
  1. Node 4: Spot Adjust
  1. Node 5: Film Grain
  1. Node 6: Motion Effects
  1. Node 7: LUTs

Is there a lum vs lum curve?

Working with an underexposed image.

Adjusting the Default Tone Ranges in Log Mode (from Resolve guide)

How to Reinstall colourlab Look Designer


Layout Multi-Column Credits with Multiple Tab Stops in Text+

Character Level Styling

Smooth Rolling Credits that Don’t Skip Frames


Use an ec2 Postgres DB for Cloud Multiuser

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