7+ Cool Built-In Free DaVinci Resolve Effects (Beginners)

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Enhancing your video with special effects makes you stand apart from the crowd.

Especially with the boom in social media platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, etc., adding effects to your video attracts a lot of eyeballs.

With the DaVinci Resolve’s built-in effects, you can take your footage to the next level!

Don’t worry about the endless hours needed to make your video look cool. (Because that’s already taken care of.)

First, I will explain the basics quickly and then jump right into the different effects.

Without wasting time, let’s get started.


Does DaVinci Resolve have Effects?

DaVinci Resolve has a lot of built-in video and audio effects like film damage, camera shake, watercolor, mirrors, blur, de-esser, dialogue processor, etc. These can be found under the “Effects” tab under different pages like “Edit“, “Cut“, “Fairlight”, etc. With the help of these effects (as explained below), your video will look incredible and cinematic!


Are the Effects Free in DaVinci Resolve?

Most of the effects are free in DaVinci Resolve (as listed below). Although with the DaVinci Resolve’s free version, you can access all the effects, the ones requiring the paid (or Studio) version will display a huge watermark in your screen. If you’re not ready to pay for the Studio version, you still have free workarounds – but be prepared to spend some extra effort.


How to Access DaVinci Resolve’s Effects Library?

To access Resolve’s effects library, go to the “Edit” page (you can also go to the “Cut” page) click on the “Effects” tab from the top left corner (next to the “Media Pool”). The effects library consists of video/audio transitions, titles, generators, effects, Open FX, etc.

If you pay attention, you will notice “Effects” and “Open FX” displayed in the “Effects” tab.

Clicking on “Effects” reveals different Fusion effects, which you can drag and drop over a clip in the timeline.

The below list will clearly tell you the free effects and the paid (Studio only) ones.

Full List of Built-in Free and Paid Fusion Effects for Use in the “Edit”/”Cut” Page

CategoryEffectsFree / Studio Only
EffectsAdjustment Clip Free
Fusion Composition Free
Fusion EffectsBinoculars Free
CCTV Studio Only
Colored Border Free
Digital Glitch Free
Drone Overlay Studio Only
DSLR Free
DVE Free
Night Vision Free
Video Call Free
Video Camera Free

Similarly, clicking on the “Open FX” reveals the built-in Resolve’s Effects and any third-party effects you have installed in your system. Also, note that you can access the “Open FX” from the “Color” page as well.

Full List of Free and Paid Built-in “Open FX” Effects in DaVinci Resolve

There are 45 free built-in Open FX effects out of 76 (at the time of this writing).

The remaining 31 are Studio only (or paid version) effects.

So, with the free version, you get more than half of the effects for free.

CategoryEffectsFree / Studio Only
Resolve FX BlurBox Blur Free
Directional Blur Free
Gaussian Blur Free
Lens BlurStudio Only
Mosaic Blur Free
Radial Blur Free
Zoom Blur Free
Resolve FX ColorACES Transform Free
Chromatic Adaptation Free
Color Compressor Free
Color Space Transform Free
Color StabilizerStudio Only
Contrast PopStudio Only
DCTLStudio Only
DehazeStudio Only
False ColorStudio Only
Flicker Addition Free
Gamut Limiter Free
Gamut Mapping Free
Invert Color Free
Resolve FX GenerateColor Generator Free
Color Palette Free
Grid Free
Resolve FX Key3D Keyer Free
Alpha Matte Shrink and Glow Free
HSL Keyer Free
Luma Keyer Free
Resolve FX LightAperture Diffraction Studio Only
Glow Free
Halation Studio Only
Lens Flare Studio Only
Lens Reflections Studio Only
Light Rays Free
Resolve FX RefineBeauty Studio Only
Resolve FX RevivalAutomatic Dirt Removal Studio Only
Chromatic Aberration Removal Studio Only
Dead Pixel Fixer Free
Deband Free
Deflicker Studio Only
Frame Replacer Studio Only
Noise Reduction Studio Only
Patch Replacer Studio Only
Resolve FX SharpenSharpen Studio Only
Sharpen Edges Studio Only
Soften & Sharpen Studio Only
Resolve FX StylizeAbstraction Free
Blanking Fill Free
Drop Shadow Free
Edge Detect Free
Emboss Free
Mirrors Free
Pencil Sketch Studio Only
Prism Blur Free
Scanlines Free
Stylize Studio Only
Tilt-Shift Blur Studio Only
Vignette Free
Water Color Free
Resolve FX TemporalMotion Blur Studio Only
Motion Trails Studio Only
Smear Studio Only
Stop Motion Free
Resolve FX TextureAnalog Damage Studio Only
Film Damage Free
Film Grain Studio Only
Jpeg Damage Free
Texture Pop Studio Only
Resolve FX TransformCamera Shake Free
Transform Free
Video Collage Free
Resolve FX WarpDent Free
Lens Distortion Studio Only
Ripples Free
Vortex Free
Warper Studio Only
Waviness Free

Difference Between the “Effects” and “Open FX” in DaVinci Resolve

“Effects” mainly contains the adjustment clip and Fusion effects. After dragging and dropping these effects over the clip in the timeline, you can access the settings by going to the “Inspector” tab > “Effects” > “Fusion”.

When you click on the fusion icon (as pointed by the second arrow in the image above), it will take you directly to the “Fusion” page for advanced tweaking.

On the other hand, you can access the Open FX settings inside the “Open FX” tab, which is found next to the “Fusion” tab in the “Inspector” window.


Now that you know the different effects (free and paid ones), let’s move on to the next important thing.

How to Add Effects to your Video or Image in DaVinci Resolve?

To add effects to your video (or image), click on the “Effects” tab inside the “Edit” page, locate your required effect, let’s say, “Binocular”, drag and drop it over your video clip in the timeline. That’s it. The effect is instantly applied.

You can further tweak the settings by first clicking on the video clip from the timeline and then going to the “Inspector” tab > “Effects”.


How to Apply Effects to Multiple Clips in DaVinci Resolve?

  • Go to the “Edit” page.
  • First drag and drop any effect, let’s say, “DSLR” from the “Effects” Library on a single clip in the timeline.
  • Tweak the settings to your taste from the “Inspector” tab > “Effects” > “Fusion“.
  • Click on the clip in the timeline and copy the settings by pressing “Ctrl + c” (or “Cmd + c”).
  • Then select all the required clips either by ctrl+clicking them or drawing a box around them.
  • Press “Alt + v” (or right click and click on “Paste Attributes”).
  • Check “Plugins” checkbox for selecting Resolve FX effects and “Fusion Effects” checkbox for selecting, well, fusion effects (self-explanatory).
  • Click on “Apply“. The effects are now applied to multiple or all of the selected clips.
  • You can still go to the individual clip and tweak it’s “Inspector” settings to achieve your desired look.


The following section will list different effects that you can achieve for free within Resolve.


DaVinci Resolve Old Film Effect

To make your video look old and vintage, on the “Edit” page, add the Resolve’s built-in effect called “Film Damage” found under the “Resolve FX Texture” from the “Effects” Library to your video in the timeline.

To make it look really old, you can make it black and white and skip a few frames.

Read “DaVinci Resolve Old Film Effect (How to Do Under 2 mins!)” for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.

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Monochrome-for-film-damage-effect-vintage-old-film-look Beginners Approach.com

Cartoon / Comic Effect

To make your footage mimic the look of a cartoon, you can make use of “Watercolor” and “Abstraction” effects found under ” Resolve FX Stylize ” in the “Effects” tab.

After adding the effects, go to the “Inspector” tab for further tweaking.

Read “Cartoon / Comic Effect in DaVinci Resolve“, for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.

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actual-footage-with-no-cartoon-effect-davinci-resolve Beginners Approach.com

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davinci-resolve-cartoon-effect-watercolor Beginners Approach.com

Outline Effect for Video/Image

To create an outline-only effect, you can use “Edge Detect” found under “Open FX” > “Resolve FX Stylize”.

If you want to do the following:

  • Outline only, or
  • Actual video with an edge or outline, or
  • Actual image with an edge or outline

Then read “DaVinci Resolve Outline Effect for Video/Image (Free & Fast)” for a detailed step-by-step video tutorial.

Edge-Detect-Inspector-Tab-in-DaVinci-Resolve

DaVinci Resolve Shake Effect

You can use the built-in “Camera Shake” effect for the desired shake. On top of the Camera Shake effect, you can also use “Zoom Blur” and “Dynamic Zoom” for bass effects.

Read “Shake Effect in DaVinci Resolve Free Version” for video and step-by-step tutorial.

dynamic-zoom-for-bass-shake-effect-in-davinci-resolve

Glow Effect in DaVinci Resolve

You can make your object shine and sparkle with the built-in “Glow” effect, found under “Open FX” > “Resolve FX Light”.

This effect can make your footage look dreamy or give an ethereal look of illusion.

Read “Quick DaVinci Resolve Glow Effect under 1 min (No Fusion!)” for a step-by-step tutorial that also includes a video on how I implement this effect.

Inspector-Glow-Effects-Davinci-Resolve

Light Rays Effect in DaVinci Resolve

With the help of the “Light Rays” effect found under “Open FX” > “Resolve FX Light”, you can create beautiful light rays for light sources in your footage – like sun, artificial lights, etc.

You can further tweak it to exclude certain light sources from your footage and affect only the required sources.

On top of that, you can also track your light sources.

Read “Quick Light Rays Effect in Free DaVinci Resolve (+ Video)” for a detailed step-by-step explanation to achieve the look.

light-rays-effect-in-davinci-resolve-inspector

DSLR Look in DaVinci Resolve

To achieve a DSLR or mirrorless camera look with different onscreen settings like ISO, REC, F stop numbers, etc, you can use the “DSLR” effect found under “Effects” > “Fusion Effects” (not Resolve FX).

You can further tweak the settings from the “Inspector” tab > “Effects” > “Fusion” to get your desired look.


VHS Effect in DaVinci Resolve

To achieve a VHS look that contains glitches, noise, scan lines, etc., the Studio only (paid )version has an effect called “Analog Damage”.

But the free version doesn’t have this effect. So you need to perform a few more steps to achieve the same look – all free, though!

Read “VHS Effect in DaVinci Resolve Free Version (Quick Tutorial)” for a detailed step-by-step tutorial with resources containing VHS overlays and other steps.

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digital-glitch-for-vhs-effect

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