Cropping your clip – be it video or image – is central to your editing process.
Having a good grasp on this technique is very important.
Especially beginners and people transitioning over to Resolve need to implement cropping quickly and efficiently to get started.
Today we’ll see different cropping techniques like onscreen cropping, custom shaped crops like circle, diagonal, etc., to enhance your production value.
Without wasting time, let’s dive right in!
Can You Crop Videos in DaVinci Resolve?
You can crop videos and images in DaVinci Resolve by accessing the “Cropping” controls under the “Inspector” tab on the “Edit” page. You can combine the cropping controls and transform controls like zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, etc., to achieve the look you want. In fact, you can even keyframe the cropping if your editing demands.
There are 2 simple ways of cropping clips.
- Using the “Inspector” settings.
- Using the onscreen controls – the best!
Let’s go through both of them.
And both of them take only a few seconds to crop your clips.
How to Crop a Video in DaVinci Resolve?
- On the “Edit” page, click on your clip in the timeline to select it.
- Now click on the “Inspector” tab (top right corner).
- Click on the “Cropping” label to reveal the settings.
- There are 4 options – Crop Left, Crop Right, Crop Top, Crop Bottom.
- Drag the small circular knob to the left or right to crop your clip in the direction you want – left, right, top or bottom.
A few things to note:
- “Softness” – Changing this value will blur the edges of the video which makes it look softer.
- If your clip doesn’t have other clips below it (placed on lower tracks), then the cropping will leave black bars (empty area) in the timeline viewer. Which means, if you export the video it will display black bars wherever you cropped.
- If your clip has other clips underneath it, cropping will reveal the video underneath it. Most probably this is why the cropping technique is used in the first place. (We will discuss more in the below sections).
How to Crop a Video with the Onscreen Controls in DaVinci Resolve? (The Best Way)
- On the “Edit” page, select your clip.
- Below the timeline viewer, click on the dropdown from the bottom left corner and select the “Crop” option.
- The video will have handles at the borders. You can click on the handle and drag to crop the video directly from the viewer.
- Cropping directly from the viewer saves a lot of time!
- You can also click on the dropdown to select “Transform” onscreen controls to pan, tilt, rotate, zoom, etc., to achieve your look quickly.
Always keep in mind to use the onscreen controls from the dropdown below the viewer for a quicker workflow.
How to Crop and Zoom in DaVinci Resolve?
Under the “Edit” page, select the clip in the timeline. Click on the “Inspector” tab. Under “Transform“, increase or decrease the values of “Zoom X or Y” to zoom in or out. Zooming in will crop the image from all sides. If more cropping is needed, then click on the “Cropping” label to reveal the settings (below “Transform”). Then drag the small circular knob to the left or right to crop your clip in the direction you want.
The other best way is to click on the dropdown below the viewer to select “Transform” and “Crop” controls and activate onscreen controls to crop and zoom, which is very efficient.
How to Crop Multiple Clips in DaVinci Resolve?
- First, select a particular clip in the timeline and crop it either using the “Inspector” tab -> “Cropping” settings, or “Crop” onscreen control which is available below the timeline viewer as a dropdown.
- Copy the clip using “Ctrl + c” or “Cmd + c”.
- Then select all the required clips (“Ctrl” / “Cmd” clicking or dragging a box around the clips).
- Right-click and click on “Paste Attributes” (the shortcut for paste attributes is “Alt + v”).
- Check the “Crop” checkbox (all other checkboxes like Left, Right, Top, bottom, Softness will also be automatically checked).
- Click on “Apply“. The crop settings are now applied to all the clips.
If you want to do a “picture in picture” effect, then read the below for step by step instruction:
How to Keyframe Crop in DaVinci Resolve?
- Under the “Edit” page, select your clip in the timeline.
- Click on the “Inspector” tab and click on the “Cropping” label to open up the settings.
- Click on the keyframe – small diamond shape, placed rightmost to the “Cropping” label. This will turn on the keyframing (highlighted in red).
- Place the playhead in the first frame of the clip and drag the small circle against the “Crop Left” to the right – it will crop the image from the left. A keyframe is created.
- Move the playhead a few seconds after the first frame.
- Now drag the small circle against the “Crop Right” to the left – to crop the image from the right. A keyframe is created.
- Crop top and bottom till you reach the end of the clip (according to your requirement). Whenever you change the values of the crop, keyframes will be created.
- Now play the clip. You will see cropping happening gradually in the direction you cropped in the clip.
Till now we saw common cropping techniques.
As you work on cropping, you will feel limited with the shape of the crop in the “Edit” page.
You naturally will like to have different custom shaped crops like circle, oval, diagonal, etc., for enhancing your video.
This is where “Fusion” comes into the picture.
No need to worry though, it’s not complicated.
You need to do simple operations in the Fusion (which we will cover below – step by step) and quickly return to the “Edit” page for further fine-tuning.
Can I Do Circle or Oval Crops in DaVinci Resolve?
You can create circular, elliptical, or oval-shaped crops in DaVinci Resolve in the “Fusion” page. A single click will enable the “Ellipse” option which should quickly help you to create the shapes you want. Then click on the “Edit” page to further transform the crop using zoom in or zoom out, panning or tilting till you get your desired output.
How to Do Circle or Oval Crop in DaVinci Resolve ?
- Under the “Edit” page, click on the clip from the timeline to select it.
- Click on the “Fusion” page.
- Below the viewer, click on the “Ellipse” button from the options.
- Under the “Nodes” area, by default, the line from the “Ellipse1” should connect to the “Media1” node. If not, then drag the line from the end of “Ellipse1” and drop it on to the “Media1” node. Both should now be connected.
- Click on the “Ellipse1” node.
- Go to the “Inspector” -> “Ellipse1” -> “Controls” tab.
- Adjust the “Width“, “Height,” and “Angle” to get the shape you want – circle, oval, or other elliptical shapes.
- Once you are ok with the shape, come back to the “Edit” page.
- Under “Transform”, adjust Zoom or Position settings till you get the desired output.
- That’s all!
Can I Create Diagonal Crops in DaVinci Resolve?
You can create diagonal or any other shaped crops in DaVinci Resolve on the “Fusion” page. A single click will enable the “Polygon” option which should quickly help you to create the shapes you want. Then click on the “Edit” page and place another video below the current track to see the 2 videos split diagonally.
How to Create Diagonal Crop (Split Screen) in DaVinci Resolve?
- Under the “Edit” page, click on the clip from the timeline (ideally in track 2 or in the upper track with another video beneath it).
- Click on the “Fusion” page.
- Below the viewer, click on the “Polygon” button from the options.
- Under the “Nodes”, by default, the line from the “Polygon1” should connect to the “Media1” node. If not, then drag the line from the end of “Polygon1” and drop it on to the “Media1” node. Both should now be connected.
- Click on the “Polygon1” node.
- Hover your mouse over the video in the timeline viewer, and press “Ctrl” and scroll your middle mouse button to zoom out a bit.
- Click on the left bottom corner below the image (your cursor will be plus-shaped). A mark will be left with 3 dots.
- Now go diagonally opposite to the right top corner and click again above the image. A diagonal line will connect the corners. Come straight down to the right bottom corner, click on the empty space after the image. Now again click on the left bottom corner to complete the selection.
- You will see a triangle shape cropping the image diagonally.
- Go to the “Inspector” -> “Polygon1” -> “Controls” tab.
- Click on the “Invert” checkbox if you want to invert the selection.
- Now go back to the “Edit” page for further fine-tuning according to your taste.
If you have another video clip beneath the diagonally cropped clip, then you will see both the videos diagonally cut.
It looks like a split screen!
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