DaVinci Resolve Photo Editing 2024 (QUICKLY Get Started!)

Featured DaVinci Resolve Photo Editing

Can DaVinci Resolve Edit Photos?

DaVinci Resolve free version can edit photos the way it can edit video and audio clips. It treats a picture as a clip so you can resize, crop, transform, animate, color grade, and export them.

Today we’ll see how to edit images – from importing to resizing, cropping, fading out, adding effects, transitions, etc.

Let’s dive right in!


Does DaVinci Resolve Have a Photo Editor?

DaVinci Resolve doesn’t have a separate photo editor app like Lightroom. But you can still edit photos like you’d edit a video clip. The “Cut”, “Edit”, “Fusion” and “Color” pages help you resize, composite, and color grade your pictures.


Photo Editing Tips in DaVinci Resolve – Quickly Get Started

Step 1. Set Project Timeline Resolution

Launch Resolve. Click on the bottom right corner gear icon – “Project Settings”. Go to “Master Settings” > “Timeline Settings” > “Timeline Resolution” > “Custom” > then set your desired resolution, say, “1080 x 1350” for your Instagram feed. Check “Vertical Resolution” if applicable.

Ideally, this should be your delivery image format resolution.

In the “Project Settings” > click on “Image Scaling” and make sure “Scale Entire Image to Fit” is selected against “Mismatched Resolution Files” for “Input Scaling” and “Output Scaling”.

Step 2. Import Your Photos to Resolve

Go to the “Edit” page. Press “Ctrl + i” (or “Cmd + i”) to open the “Import Media” popup. Select your required photos and import them into the “Media Pool”.

Make sure you import the photos individually. If you face any issues, I recommend reading the post below for a detailed step-by-step guide on importing and adding images in DaVinci Resolve.

DaVinci Resolve Add Image (+ Must KNOW Tips)

Step 3. Add the Image to the Timeline

Locate your photo in the “Media Pool” on the “Edit” page. Drag and drop it onto the timeline. A new timeline with a video track will be created.

You can see from the above image that there are black bars on the top and bottom of the image. This is due to the difference in the timeline resolution (1080 x 1350) and the image resolution (2000 x 1500).

So the next natural step is to resize the image to fill the screen.

Step 4. How to Resize Image in DaVinci Resolve?

You can resize or transform an image by going to the “Inspector” tab on the upper right corner of the “Edit” page and then adjusting the zoom in/out, position, rotation, etc., till you get the desired result.

The “Transform” section has the below options to resize the image:

  1. Zoom in or zoom out to stretch the image.
  2. Change the Position of the image in the X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) direction.
  3. Rotate the Image
  4. Change the Pitch of the image
  5. Change the Yaw of the image
  6. Flip the image horizontally or vertically.

Let’s dive into each of the operations for more clarity.

How to Zoom In or Zoom Out an Image in DaVinci Resolve?

  1. After dropping the image into the timeline, select the image.
  2. Click on the “Inspector” tab to reveal the settings.
  3. Under “Transform“, place your mouse over the “Zoom X” or “Zoom Y” value and drag to the right or left to zoom in or zoom out (without changing the aspect ratio).
  4. If you click on the link to disable it (which is placed between X and Y), then the aspect ratio is not maintained.

How to Pan / Tilt (Change the Position of) an Image in Resolve?

  1. Select the image from the timeline.
  2. On the “Inspector” settings, click on “Transform” to reveal the settings underneath.
  3. To change the image position horizontally or pan, place your mouse over the “Position X” value and drag the cursor to your left or right.
  4. To change the image position vertically or tilt, place your mouse over the “Position Y” value and drag the cursor to your left or right.

How to Rotate Image in DaVinci Resolve?

After dropping the picture into the timeline, select it. Next, click on the “Inspector” tab to reveal the settings. Under “Transform”, grab the small circular knob against “Rotation Angle” and drag it left or right to rotate your image.

There are 3 ways in which you can rotate an image in Resolve, as per Blackmagic:

  • Usual circular rotation (2d rotation).
  • Rotating the image from left to right, towards or away from the camera.
  • Rotating the image from top to bottom, towards or away from the camera.

How to Push Away or Bring Forward the Top or Bottom of an Image in Resolve?

  • Select your clip.
  • Click on the “Inspector” tab and click on the “Transform” setting.
  • Under “Pitch” – Drag the small circular knob left or right to push away or bring forward the top and bottom of the image.

How to Push Away or Bring Forward the Left or Right Side of an Image in Resolve?

  • Select your clip.
  • Click on the “Inspector” tab and click on the “Transform” setting.
  • Under “Yaw” – Drag the small circular knob left or right to push away or bring forward the left and right of the image.

How to Flip an Image in DaVinci Resolve?

  1. Select your clip from the timeline on the “Edit” page.
  2. Under the “Inspector” tab, click on the “Transform” setting.
  3. Against “Flip“, there are 2 buttons – when you click them, one flips the image horizontally, and the other flips the image vertically.

How to Resize an Image Using Onscreen Controls in DaVinci Resolve?

You can also transform the image by selecting the “Transform” option from a dropdown found on the bottom left corner of your timeline viewer. This will activate the on-screen controls of the image with handles.

Using these handles, you can drag them to resize your image, like:

  • zoom in, zoom out,
  • rotate,
  • pan,
  • tilt, etc.

How to Move an Image Using Mouse in DaVinci Resolve?

Go to the timeline viewer. Middle-click your mouse button, hold, and then drag to move the image inside the timeline viewer.


How to Crop Images in DaVinci Resolve

  1. Under the “Edit” or “Cut” page, select the image in the timeline.
  2. Click on the “Inspector” tab to reveal the settings.
  3. Click on “Cropping“.
  4. There are 4 options – Crop Left, Right, Top, and Bottom.
  5. Adjust the small circular knobs till you get the cropped image of your taste.

How to Crop Images Using Onscreen Controls in Resolve?

You can crop the image by selecting the “Crop” option from a list of dropdowns found in the bottom left corner of your timeline viewer.

(Make sure you select the clip from the timeline).

This will activate the on-screen controls of the image.

Using the boundaries, you can drag them to crop your image. As you crop, you’ll notice that the crop settings under the “Inspector” tab will also change accordingly.


The default standard still duration is 5 seconds in DaVinci Resolve. However, you can change the value to your desired seconds, say, 3 seconds.

How to Change the Duration of a Still Image in DaVinci Resolve?

  1. Go to the menu “DaVinci Resolve” > “Preferences”.
  2. Click on the “User” tab.
  3. Click on the “Editing” option.
  4. Under “General Settings”, change the “Standard Still Duration” value to your desired one, say, 3 seconds.
  5. Click on “Save“.

Next time you drop an image onto the timeline, it will be of 3 seconds.

The next way is to change the still image duration in the timeline itself.

After you drop the image into the timeline, you can grab the head or tail end of the image and drag them left or right to change the duration to your taste.

Once you have successfully placed an image in the timeline and changed its duration, you can resize it to your liking.


Now that you are familiar with resizing, and cropping your images, let’s move on to the next step in editing.

How to Ripple Trim an Image in DaVinci Resolve?

After importing the images into the media pool and placing them on the timeline, click on the “Trim Edit Mode” button (the shortcut is the “T” key) below the timeline viewer.

Now head over to the tail end of the clip and drag left and right to ripple edit it. Ripple edit will ripple or affect the entire timeline to the right of the clip (the one being ripple edited).

How to Trim an Image Clip Without Rippling?

The normal trim is by pressing the shortcut key “A”, also called “Selection Mode” and then dragging the head or tail of the clip. This will not ripple the timeline and will leave gaps.

If you want to know more about finding and deleting gaps, then read:

How To Delete Gaps & Clips in DaVinci Resolve (the Right Way!)


How to Cut an Image in Resolve?

  1. Under the “Edit” page, import the images into “Media Pool”.
  2. Drag and drop onto a timeline.
  3. Click on the blade button below the timeline viewer or press the shortcut key “B”.
  4. The mouse cursor will turn into a blade when you place it over the clip.
  5. Click wherever you want to cut the clip.
  6. After cutting, you can return to normal mode by pressing the shortcut key “A”.

How to Fade Out an Image in DaVinci Resolve?

Fade out operation can be done using the fader handles, which are available in the left and right top corners when you place your mouse cursor over the image or clip. These fader handles are white in color. You can grab them and move towards the left or right to fade out or fade in effect.

Very simple!


There are a lot of built-in transitions inside Resolve, which can be found under the “Effects” section on the “Edit” page:

  • Dissolve
  • Iris
  • Motion
  • Shape
  • Wipe
  • Fusion Transitions
  • ResolveFX Transitions.

You can go through the list and choose your favorite one.

How to Add Transitions to Photos in DaVinci Resolve?

  1. Go to the “Edit” page.
  2. Have at least 2 images placed end to end in the timeline.
  3. Click on the “Effects Library” tab (next to “Media Pool”).
  4. Click on “Video Transitions” from the toolbox (on the left).
  5. Click on your favorite transition, say, “Blur Dissolve” and drag & drop onto the boundary of the 2 images.
  6. Click on the transition, which will display the transition settings under the “Inspector” tab in DaVinci Resolve 18.
  7. You can play with the settings to your taste.

There are a lot of built-in effects in DaVinci Resolve to get your desired look, like:

  • Fusion Effects – Binoculars, CCTV, Video Camera, Drone Overlay, etc.
  • Resolve FX Blur – Box Blur, Lens Blur (Studio only), Radial Blur, etc.
  • Resolve FX Color – Invert color, False color
  • Resolve FX Light – Glow, Light Rays, Lens Flare (Studio only)

(Some of them are for the paid version (Studio). If you try to use them, Resolve will place a huge watermark on top of your image.)

You can access Effects by clicking on:

  • “Effects” tab under the “Edit” page.
  • “Effects” tab under the “Cut” page.

How to Add Effects to Images in DaVinci Resolve?

  1. Go to the “Edit” (or “Cut” page).
  2. Click on the “Effects” tab.
  3. Click on “Effects” under “Toolbox” from the left.
  4. Choose your favorite effect; let’s say, “Video Call” under “Fusion Effects”.
  5. Drag the effect and drop it onto your image in the timeline.
  6. Click on the image to reveal the “Effects” tab under “Inspector” for further fine-tuning (in DaVinci Resolve 18)!

You can also play with other effects and settings until you get the desired look.


Before You Go:

Once you’ve edited your photos and images, it’s time for you to export them. There are various image formats that you can export like png, jpg, tiff, bmp, etc.

I’d highly recommend you to go through the below detailed step-by-step guide for a quicker export:

DaVinci Resolve Export Image: PNG, JPG, TIFF

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