Learn How to Edit Videos in Da Vinci Resolve 16 in Less Than 30 Minutes

We all know that lockdown is a great time to learn a new skill, so here's a half an hour guide to get your started with creating videos using Da Vinci Resolve 16.

Da Vinci Resolve 16 by Blackmagic Design is a popular video editing suite which has been used for a whole host of impressive, high-end film productions, through to many of the YouTubers you're bound to have watched at some point. In recent years its userbase has grown and for anyone wondering whether it might be right for them, this short video will get you up and running in no time.

Many of us photographers are pivoting towards video and have been for some time. I'd always had interest in video production but the timing was never quite right and I didn't have any obvious market I could corner by learning those skills. Then, I did. Fortunately for me, I'd been familiar with video creation using Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere Pro for a long times, just not shooting the footage myself, so I was able to get by. However, if that hadn't have been the case, I would have been behind before I'd even started. So, if you think that videography will become part of your skillset sooner or later, or you just want to see how it all works, this video is a great starting point that could have you creating videos on Da Vinci Resolve 16 almost immediately.

Do you use Da Vinci Resolve 16? What's your best tip for new users?

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Gary Pardy's picture

Best tip for new users? As a newbie myself, having started a YouTube channel about a month ago using Resolve for editing, I'd say keep your projects simple and consistent, while learning and applying new techniques gradually.

You can't learn everything at once, and if you try to apply at once, you may end up disappointed with the results.

Don't be afraid of color correcting, shoot log if possible, expose correctly, sharpen in post rather than in camera, explore audio capabilities in Fairlight. Generating optimized media can be a storage hog on a small SSD, so be mindful of that.

It's crazy that software this capable is free, so take advantage of it.

I've had DaVinci Resolve installed for quite some time but it is one of those applications I never got around to start using the program fully. My needs are basically personal and home videos. With all the bells and whistles and switches and dials of the program, it seems daunting and intimidating. However, with more time on my hands now as a result of the stay home pandemic policy, I can start to learn some basics. If nothing else I reckon I can just start with the cut page module (new edition from v16). For my own needs I can probably get most of my work done just using the module as I am not about to start creating Hollywood style, blockbuster movies. As you point out, you can not learn everything at once. Or, stated differently, 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. As I become accustomed to the application I can eventually grow into some of the more advanced and esoteric features of the application.

Gary Pardy's picture

It's pretty impressive for home video editing - maybe not as impressive as some of the AI assisted tools in Premiere Elements - but for anyone who loves to learn and take control of the editing process, I'm not aware of a better free tool. And yes, the COVID-19 lockdown certainly gives us a little more time to learn :)

I won't use 'Adobe' anything any longer, simply because I don't (and won't) buy into their, monthly (yearly)subscription fee-based, forever recurring, software rental business model. And, once you stop paying, or don't want to, or can't afford multiple recurring subscription models, one's data pretty much becomes useless. I realize Elements may be an exception to a subscription but, sooner or later... the 'I gotcha' will kick in ... somehow... because it's Adobe.

Thus, DaVinci Resolve has become a choice and is a saving grace, free or paid version. Alternatives would be HitFilm Express (free and paid models but not a subscription) or Sony Vegas Pro. But, attempting to do a juggling act with video NLEs, would become overkill. So, I am sticking with DR. There are more then enough tutorials on YouTube to learn the application as well.

Gary Pardy's picture

I've been using Affinity Photo and Capture One Express in lieu of Photoshop and Lightroom, though C1 doesn't really shine without the Pro version. Like Adobe Elements, you kind of buy it for the capabilities on offer that year knowing there will be a newer, more feature-rich version next year that you can purchase or wait another trip around the sun. Devs gotta make money somehow!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Great intro into Resolve. I've been tinkering with it for about month. Man, it takes me a long time to learn new software now.

Really liked that slow-mo trick. The way I was doing it I would split the clip and change the frame rate on left clip. lol.

Gary Pardy's picture

Same here. So many little nuances in the interface.