Paul David Murray is an Apple certified editor & trainer and he also runs the FCP community in Berlin. He's released two tutorial videos on how to edit in DaVinci Resolve, from the Final Cut Pro editor's perspective.
Why are we publishing tutorials on editing in Resolve? We will let Paul take up the reasons after his first tutorial:
Lets start at the beginning by posing the question, why on earth would you want to edit in a Colour Correction program. There are in fact, a number of very good reasons to do so! For example some people already have Da Vinci Resolve in their workflow for heavy Colour Correction but might just want to do some basic editing.
There are people who despite picture lock end up making changes at the Colour Correction stage of things. Removing just one frame from an edit, entails a round trip. Round trips take time, can be fiddly at best and at worst make clients nervous and reach for their smart phone! When push comes to shove, nobody likes a workflow that works but does not flow. And speaking of flow, last but by no means least, some people are very budget conscious and do not want to be shelling out money for a NLE, be that once off or in the form of a subscription.
Blackmagic Design have being rolling Edit Functions into Resolve since version 10 which was announced at NAB in 2013. Despite the initial fanfare, information has been sporadic. Sure you can always, read the manual. However the manual whilst excellent, is pretty dense and weighs in at 850 pages from cover to cover.
Alternatively there are a couple of people who have condensed things somewhat and have Blogged about editing in Resolve touching on short cuts that are common to this or that editing system. You can even take a quick look at some Resolve Overview tutorials which touch in passing on the programs editing functions. Usually these brief excursions into editing in Resolve, revolve around some one showing you how to drag and drop a clip into the timeline via the Timeline Viewer. Viola! Try dragging and dropping a couple of 100 times a day…
Sweating the details:
I was editing on a brand new MacBook Pro with Retina display and ran into somethings that initially stumped me. The first problem that I encountered (on the laptop display) was that it looked as if my images in the timeline had a ratio of 4:3 when they should have been 16:9. The same image displayed 16:9 in the viewer! This had to do with the Retina display settings which were new for me. The problem was solved by going to the system preferences and clicking the scaled option to activate it. I then had to switch from “Default” to “More Space”. After that my material displayed properly in the timeline viewer.
The next minor problem that I noticed was that the interface was still to big for my screen (i.e. the bottom part was cut off). To solve this, I clicked on View then Show Window Frame under the view menu. Next up, I clicked the green (+) which now appeared on the top left of the interface to resize the Resolve interface perfectly. You probably want to have at the very least a 1920 times 1080 monitor connected to your computer for any kind of serious long term work.
Something that you also might want to keep an eye on if are using a MacBook with out an external keyboard are your keyboard settings. If you have the little tick box called “Use all F1, F2 etc” selected then you will not be able to directly control the brightness, volume etc of your computer using these keys. However the function keys inside the program of your choice will work. In this case for example F9, F10, F11 & F12 for the different edit functions inside Resolve! On a side note I can only recommend working with an external keyboard. An external keyboard becomes indispensable at the very latest when you start punching in timecode.
Finally although my project was tiny with only 3 clips they had all kinds of weird formats. Call me old fashioned by all means but but rather than relying on Resolve to play them I went to the trouble to convert them in Compressor to Apple Pro Res HQ. This boosted my performance and gave me a level playing field with every thing in the same format. If you do not have compressor there are other options out there such as MPEG Stream Clip or Hand Break. Both of which are free and available for Mac and Windows, alike.
Know Thy Shortcuts:
From here on in the emphasis is on how to get your material with the minimum of fuss and the aid of shortcuts into the timeline for a painless final delivery to the client. This has nothing to do with smoke or mirrors. Quite the opposite. It is all about getting closer to your material and entering a meditative like state where you become one with your edit. Pressing buttons to edit and thinking afterwards!
Sometimes in my capacity as trainer I get to sit back and observe how people edit before a training. And frankly it can be horrifying. I´ve seen what I like to call fledgling editors dragging and dropping themselves from the melting pot into the fire, ad infinitum… Lets be very clear about this. Shortcuts are your friends. If you have an intimate knowledge of about 10% of the essential functions of pretty much any NLE on this planet you can technically call your self a power user. Resolve whilst not an NLE as such is no exception to the rule! The million dollar question is however which 10%? What shortcuts?
Press Command and 1,2, 3 etc to activate the relevant window. Keep an eye on the text description of the active window. In particular the Viewer and Timeline window. Notice how the description for the later two windows turns orange depending on which window is active! This helps you remember which window is active. I happen to have this hard wired into my brain so it is not a problem but I think that pretty much any one with a little practice should be abel to remember what was the last number they pressed!
The majority of the playback commands are the same as on pretty much any edit system. FCP included. The usual suspects include, JKL, In & Out, Frame for Frame, Next Clip, Timeline Start & End, and indeed two little favourites of mine go to In & Out!
All the standard types of edit are there from both FCP 7 Premiere & FCP X. Also there are some other old friends ,such as Edit Point Selection, Edit Point Type and of course Command T for transition!
And if you are going to be playing one source clip track hustle you might as well consider getting some keyboard short cuts down for this as well. Again very FCP like!
And last but by no means least, many of the tool short cuts should also seem pretty familiar to the seasoned FCP Pro. Command A, T and B are all at your finger tips. Going full circle Command Shift A also works which can be very useful. Often when things do not happen the way you think they should it is because you simply have the wrong clip selected. In short, Command Z and then Command Shift A will get you out of many a sticky situation and you do not even need to know how sticky it actually was! Ignorance can indeed be bliss.
Having spent a couple of months playing with Da Vinci Resolve and its editing features it is blatantly obvious that who ever designed the editing functionality of Resolve was heavily influenced by Final Cut Pro. Editing in Resolve with FCP short cuts and logic is hardwired into the program and is not only very doable but can be actually very pleasurable. If you are coming from Final Cut Pro or Premiere for that matter, you should be able to take to it like a duck to water. Avid is not that far removed either! I hope that you enjoyed these tutorials and find them useful. Happy Editing.
Here is a basic break down of the points covered in Part 02 of the Webinar:
Editing with the keyboard Navigating the Timeline Viewing the Timeline The Tool Palette Insert & Overwrite Edit Basic Trimming Basic Audio Deliver Tab Finishing Up
What you will need:
Knowledge of OS X or Windows and basic computer Skills!
Basic knowledge of video editing terminology is highly recommended!
Free Copy of DaVinci Resolve 11 Lite and some editing Material!
I hope that you enjoy these tutorials and find them useful.
Jossie Malis for kindly allowing me to use excerpts from his wonderful film.
And of course the amazing Vladan Petkovic for facilitating!
Extra Tech Stuff:
Original articles posted here.
Paul David Murray is the Berlin FCP Community Manager, an Apple Certified Trainer and Film Editor and can be contacted at Paul(at)finalbug.tv