This Quick Guide focuses on 10 Steps on the fastest possible way to create a short film from your pre-rendered images in Blender with DaVinci Resolve 16.
First, download and install DaVinci Resolve16 from the Blackmagic Design site:
Version 16 is free of charge, but registration is required, and the exported film sequence is limited to 4K. DaVinci Resolve Studio costs about $299, but can export movies with an 8K resolution. This Quick Guide is based on the “free version” of DaVinci Resolve 16.
Before you start, you need to have an organized CA-Project with rendered images. It does not have to be the final version, but something already usable.
2. Step – Start Page of DaVinci Resolve
Open DaVinci Resolve 16
After the program is loaded, you see the Project/Database Window. Here you create your project, defining its location, which could be locally at your computer, the cloud, or elsewhere. You can set the project specifications as well.
The storage & organizing philosophy in Da Vinci Resolve is as follows:
Projects are stored in so-called “Databases” in different locations on your system. By default, the “Local Database” is located at (C:\ProgramData\Blackmagic Design\ DaVinci Resolve\Support\Resolve Disk Database). By clicking at the “new Database” – Button, you can create a new storage location & name to store your short-film project.
By clicking the “New Project”- Button, you create a new DaVinci project at the new Database location. With “Right Click” on your project name, you get access to the subfolder where you find the “Project Settings.” There you can adjust your project environment to match your Blender Settings (such as framerate, resolution, and others)
3. Step – DaVinci Resolve – Project Page Overview
Double click your project name -> The DaVinci “Main Project Window” opens.
First, a quick overview of the DaVinci “Main Project Window”. The DaVinci “Main Window” is organized in 7 pages:
1-Media; 2-Cut; 3-Edit; 4-Fusion; 5-Color; 6-Fairlight; 7-Deliver
Each page focus on different parts of the finalizing process of a movie. The tabs to switch to the different views are located at the bottom of the “Main Window.” Below you find a brief description of each view.
This view contains all the necessary functions for importing, organizing media data such as videos, audio files, still-frames, etc. For obvious reasons, the standard “Main Window” view shows the Media page.
2-Cut (new in DaVinci Resolve 16):
For fast, streamline, “rough” editing.
This page includes everything to open, cut video and audio, and to export your final film.
In my opinion, this page is the perfect tool for CG-generated short films. Therefore, the next steps described in this Quick Guide refer to this view.
This page contains the full options for editing a film project with extensive possibilities – mostly too overwhelming for small short film projects.
The “VFX Editing Suite” page contains everything to generate effects for your film.
In this note based program part, you can generate your own animated titles or effects. Fusion has lots of possibilities, but it probably requires significant time to learn. Still, Fusion contains many pre-produced titles in its library for you to use, and you have direct access to these pre-generated titles from the Cut Page (Title – Button). In the Linklist below you find three Tutorials showing different ways of creating titles.
The heart of DaVinci Resolve is the “Color Grading Suite”. Here you can do all types of color grading, for example: changing the color of some elements or compensating color differences between footage. The options are nearly endless!
For your project, I hope you can skip this page because your final images rendered in Blender are correct in light and color aspects. If you still need to change your present color or light setting, a link to a tutorial showing the basic functionality of this page is included.
A fully equipped audio mixer is present for mixing and cutting audio as well. I also included tutoriasl to show the functionality below.
This page provides all instruments to export the finished film to different custom formats, or some presets, for example, YouTube or Vimeo.
4. Step – The Cut Page
Open the Cut Page by clicking the second Button from the left on the bottom of your “Main Project Window”.
The Cut Page is divided into different areas which focus on different aspects of the movie editing process:
On the top of the page, you find the “Main Menu Bar”. It has the same look as in any other program. Here you get access to all project functions (open file, edit, trim, etc.).
Below the “Main Menu Bar”, the Window is divided into 3 sections:
- The upper right side holds the “Monitor/View Section”.
- On the upper left side, you have the area for the “Project Libraries”, for example, Media Pool, Transition, Effect, Title.
- The Window below focuses on the “Editing Part” of the film. Therefore it contains the Timelines and the Toolbar with fast cutting and editing options.
Finally, you find on the right top corner, the “Quick Export”- Button with the most common export feature to quickly render your film.
5. Step – Import footage
If not yet selected, click the “Media Pool” – Button to import your footage.
Drag and Drop your folders with your files, files, or image tree’s directly from your file explorer into the “Media Pool” – section. Or you use the Shortcut: “Ctrl + I” or “Right-Click” to open a subfolder with the “Import Media…” – Button, this can be used as well for importing your sequences. DaVinci Resolve automatically converts your image sequences into a video clip. If the frame rates of your image sequences do not correspond to your DaVinci Project Setting (for example, 24 fps -25 fps), a dialog box appears. There you can either change your environment to the new frame rate or skip the dialog if you want to keep the previous setting.
To replace old footage with a new one, you rename/overwrite the old frame with the new frame at the same location on your filesystem. DaVinciResolve automatically loads the new imagesequence.
6. Step – Align in Timeline
Align your video footage in the Timeline. Select and Drag and Drop the “First Shot” in the Timeline – Section. A new Timeline is automatically created, and the first clip is aligned at the timecode 1:00:00:00. Then continue with the second clip and so on.
As you can see, the Timeline Area contains two different Timeline Views:
- The one on the bottom always shows 10 sec of the whole clip, and the “Playhead” can be centered to the middle of the screen (“Lock Playhead” or “Free Playhead”- Button)
- The second Timeline directly above shows always the full clip.
You can drop your footage in each of them.
By dropping your shots directly into the Timeline, DaVinci automatically chooses the most common insert methods according to the cursor position.
If you need to adjust a shot beforehand, load your shot into the “Source/ Edit” – Monitor by double-clicking the source clip or dragging it into the “Monitor/View Section”. Mark your In- (I) and Outpoint (O), then drag your shot into the Timeline or use the presented insert possibilities shown in the Toolbar – Section:
- Smart Insert: insert the new shot, at the next possible cutpoint related to your current cursor position
- Append: insert the shot at the end of your clip
- Ripple Overwrite: insert the clip at the cursor position and close the gap
- Place on Top: insert the clip at the actual cursor point on top of the current track
- Close Up: insert the shot at the actual cursor point, a “200% zoomed in” shot of the source clip is placed on top of the actual Timeline.
7. Step – Video editing
In DaVinci Resolve, Trim is a dynamic process. In the Cut Page, you are in the Trim Edit Mode, and you can complete different trim edits depending on where you place your cursor on the clip:
- Ripple Edit: bring your cursor just in from the edge of a clip. Special icons appear for trimming the edge of the clip, either the left or the right end, as shown in the icon.
- Roll Edit: When your cursor is directly within an edit point or two clips, another icon appears. You can perform a Roll Edit Trim, which will affect both ends of the two adjusting clips simultaneously.
- Slip Edit: placing your cursor in the lower Timeline in the middle of a clip, the Slip Edit- icon shows. You can slice your clip left an right in the middle of the two surrounding clips.
Roll Edit Trim
Slip Edit Trim
As a side note, if the edge of your clip is highlighted green, that means that the clip still has unused footage – so you can extend it. If the edge is red, this means that there is no footage left to work with
If you need a basic “Dissolve“- Transition, position your cursor at the end of a clip or between one. Click the “Dissolve” – Button on the “Toolbar” above the Timeline, the effect is automatically placed on the clip. To adjust the 30 frame standard time, click the effect in the Timeline, the “Timeline Monitor” switch to Dual-Mode, and the “Frame by Frame” – Timeline appears to trim the duration of the dissolve.
At the end or the beginning of a single clip, the “Dissolve” – Transition, switch automatically to a “Fade In” or “Fade Out” – Transition.
If you need other transitions, click the “Transition” – Button underneath the “Main Menu Bar”. Select “Video” for video transition options. The shown options are other common “Transition Effects” for “Quick and Easy” editing. But if your not satisfied, with the options, open the Effects Tab and choose “Video”, and you get the whole palette of DaVinci Effects. For example, Box Blur and Chromatic Adaptations.
8. Step – Audio editing
Import your Sound Effects and Music like all other footage.
Place your Sound Effect or Music on the Audio Area of the Timeline. If no audio track is present, an audio track will be automatically generated.
Move and Trim your audio tracks in the same way you trim your video footage.
If you need to adjust the whole audio level of the track, use the “Tools- Button (Icon with the “Three Sliders”) in the middle of the “Timeline Tool”- Section.
A new “Toolbar” opens underneath the “Timeline Monitor”. The “Music Note” is selected, and you can adjust your audio level with a simple slider.
- There are eight (nine) different Tabs in this section: Transform, Crop, Audio, Speed, Camera, Dynamic Zoom, Composite, (Effects or Title). Each tab focus on different editing functions in a quick manner.
If you need a simple audio “Fade In” or “Fade Out”, click on the “Transition” – Button underneath the “Main Menu Bar”, choose the “Audio” -Tab, and you have 3 “Cross Fade“ -Versions.
If you need additional audio effects, open the “Effect” – Tab and choose “Audio” there you have all “Effects” from the “DaVinci Fairlight “ page.
9. Step – Title
Open the “Title”-Tab and choose a “Title Style”.
Place the title on top of your video footage.
Click the “Tools”- Button in the “Timeline Area”, then click the “Title”-Tab in the “Toolbar” to open the “Inspector”- Button. A second window appears. Here you can edit the Title: Font Style, Textposition, Rotation, Color, Shadow, Stroke, Background, etc.
Move, Trim, use” Fade In” and “Fade Out”, etc. to adjust your Title in the clip.
10. Step – Deliver
I recommend switching to the “Deliver Page” to define your render options for your final movie.
Click the “Deliver” – Button on the bottom of the “Main Project Window” to switch to the page.
Select on the left side: H.264, choose a filename and location. Than Define your output setting: Video: Format mp4; Codec H.264; resolution, framerate; Audio: as default. In the “Timeline” – Section, you can choose between the entire “Timeline” or an Range of it.
Recommended Output Settings:
- Filename – gXX_Title
- Location – somewhere on your computer but don’t forget to copy the file to the caserver
- Format – MP4
- Codec – H.264
- Resolution / Frame Rate – according to your animation
- Quality – Restrict to -> 8000Kb/s
- Rest – as default
- Codec – AAC
- Data Rate – 192 Kb/s
- Output Track 1 – according to your editing
- Rest – as default
To proceed, click the “Add to Render Queue” – Button, the movie is loaded into the “Render Queue”.
The “Final Step” : click the Button “Start Render” in the Render List. The final rendering of your movie starts.
Review of DaVinci Resolve 16 (German):
Review Cut Page (Englisch):
Crash – Course in 6 Steps: DaVinci Resolve 16 from Andreas App (German)
- Das große Einsteigertutorial | Davinci Resolve 16
2. Die Cut-Page ist ein GAMECHANGER | Davinci Resolve 16
3. Lerne Color Grading | Davinci Resolve 16
4. Fusion für Anfänger | Davinci Resolve 16
5. Grundlagen in Fairlight & Stimme bearbeiten | Davinci Resolve 16
6. 15 Tricks & Hacks, die jeder kennen muss | Davinci Resolve 16
DaVinci Resolve 16: Crash Course for Beginners | Basics Tutorial from Jason Yadlovski – without Cut Page (English)
Cut Page from MUENTERMEDIA (German):
CUT page vs. EDIT page – DaVinci Resolve 16 from “Lern Color Grading” (English)
DaVinci Resolve 16 AUDIO CRASH COURSE from Jason Yadlovski (English)
Color grading from Color Grading Central (English):
Pre Made Titles: Titles in Davinci Resolve 16 from CB Super English)
Custom Titles in Davinci Resolve 16 from CB Super English)
Make Modern Animated Titles In Davinci Resolve 16 FREE from The Modern Filmmaker (English)
Introduction to Editing from Black Magic Design:
(based on Da Vinci Resolve 15–without Cut Page)