Choosing the correct frame rate for your final delivery is very important.
In fact, choosing the correct frame rate should start right before shooting a single video in your camera – be it mirrorless, DSLR, drone, action camera, smartphone, etc., or screen recording software like OBS Studio.
To change the frame rate in DaVinci Resolve, create a new project. Before importing any clips, go to “Project Settings” > “Master Settings ” > choose the frame rate from “Timeline Frame Rate”. If you’re in middle of editing, then it will be locked out. But there is a workaround.
Let’s go through the above step-by-step in detail with pictures.
- Where to Set Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
- How to Change Project Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
- How to Change the Timeline Frame Rate in Resolve?
- How to Change the Frame Rate of a Clip in DaVinci Resolve?
- What is Playback Frame Rate in Resolve?
- How to Change Export Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
Where to Set Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
You can set the frame rate at 3 different places in DaVinci Resolve:
- Project level
- Timeline level
- Clip level
Your project is a collection of your timelines. A project level setting will affect all the timelines. However, Resolve lets you alter the setting of individual timelines. More on that later.
So a project timeline frame rate refers to the frame rate of the timelines inside any given project.
The project frame rate is always changed before importing any clips into the media pool.
How to Change Project Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
- Go to the “Project Manager” (click on the bottom right corner home icon).
- Create a “New Project”.
- Don’t import your clips yet.
- Click on “File” > “Project Settings” (short cut for project settings is “Shift + 9“).
- Click on “Master Settings“.
- Under “Timeline Format“, there is a “Timeline Frame Rate” dropdown.
- Choose your required frame rate, say, 23.976 FPS from the dropdown.
- Click on “Save“.
Your project timeline frame rate is now set to the required value.
You are good to go ahead and import your required clips.
After you import one or more clips, you’ll note that the timeline frame rate is now locked out under “Project Settings”!
Why is Timeline Frame Rate Greyed Out in Resolve?
The timeline framerate will be disabled or greyed out once you import your footage into the media pool within a project. DaVinci Resolve will not let you change the frame rate directly once the clips are imported. But you can change it indirectly (discussed below).
It’s very important that you know your target frame rate beforehand and set it accordingly.
Fix – You can still change the frame rate at this stage. All you have to do is delete all the imported clips from the “Media Pool”. Then go to “Project Settings” > “Master Settings” > “Timeline Frame Rate” will be enabled for you to choose the correct frame rate.
But if you’re in the middle of editing and would like to change the frame rate, then there is a workaround.
You can’t change your existing timeline’s fps (frames per second); however, you can create a new timeline, set your required frame rate, and copy all the clips from your existing timeline to the new one.
How to Change the Timeline Frame Rate in Resolve?
- Under the “Edit” page, click on the “Media Pool” tab.
- Go to the menu “File” > “New Timeline” (the shortcut for the new timeline is “Ctrl + n” or “Cmd + n”).
- Uncheck “Use Project Settings“. This will reveal different tabs like “General”, “Format”, “Monitor”, “Output” etc.
- Click on “Format“.
- Select your desired fps from the “Timeline Frame Rate” dropdown.
- Click on “Create“.
- An empty timeline is created.
- Now go back to your timeline with all the edits using the dropdown from the top of the timeline viewer.
- Copy all the clips by pressing “Ctrl + a” or “Cmd + a”.
- Go to the new timeline by selecting it from the timeline viewer dropdown.
- Press “Ctrl + v” or “Cmd + v”.
- All the clips will now be copied with your new frame rate to the new timeline!
Keep in mind that the new frame rate is only applicable to this particular timeline.
The project timeline frame rate is still the same that is greyed out (and not the new one that you just set while creating a new timeline).
Any new timeline created will still follow the project timeline frame rate unless you uncheck the project settings manually, as discussed above.
If you are facing many issues related to changing frame rates in DaVinci Resolve, then I’d highly recommend the below-detailed guide with pictures:
Till now, we have seen how to change the frame rate for an individual timeline and project timeline (collection of your created timelines).
Now let’s see how to change the frame rate (fps – frames per second) of a specific clip.
How to Change the Frame Rate of a Clip in DaVinci Resolve?
- Under the “Edit” page, click on the “Media Pool”.
- Select your desired clip (or select a group of clips with the help of “Ctrl”/ “Cmd”).
- Right-click and click on “Clip Attributes…“
- Click on the “Video” tab.
- Under “Video Frame Rate“, select your desired frame rate and click on “Ok”.
The clip(s) is now updated to the new frame rate.
(You can also do the same operation when the clips are placed in the timeline. Just select your required clips and select “Clip Attributes”.)
The “Clip Attributes” reveal the properties of a clip.
Once you update the frame rate, Resolve will re-interpret the clip with the new frame rate.
When you change the frame rate of a clip, keep in mind:
- The duration of the clip might change.
- The audio of the clip will not be affected. Meaning, if you change the frame rate, the duration of the video may change, but the audio duration remains the same (which might cause out-of-sync issues).
What is Playback Frame Rate in Resolve?
Playback frame rate is the frames per second value you set to be output to your monitor (or other external displays). This doesn’t affect the timeline frame rate or the frame rate of your footage. It is merely for external displays (like your desktop monitor).
Then what is the difference between Timeline Frame Rate and Playback Frame Rate?
Timeline Frame Rate Vs Playback Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve
The timeline frame rate represents the number of frames per second of your clips in the timeline as required for your final delivery. The playback frame rate is the number of frames per second your clips will play on your monitor (external display), which is based on the refresh rate (hertz).
For example, let’s say you have a 4K timeline with 23.976 FPS. If you have a 1080p monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate, it can smoothly display 23.976 fps without any issues (in fact, frame rates up to 60 fps will have no problem in your display).
Anything beyond that will result in, what is called “screen tearing” (but the monitor will still display what it is capable of).
The timeline frame rate can not be changed after importing your files into the timeline.
But the playback frame rate can be changed at any time based on your external display needs.
(If you don’t understand the above technical concept, then let’s keep it simple – keep your playback frame rate the same as the timeline frame rate. That’s it! Once you get the hang of working in Resolve or any video editor, you’ll figure out the difference through your experience).
How to Change Export Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve?
You can’t export a 23.976 or 24 or 30 fps project frame rate to 60 fps output in Resolve. Similarly, you can’t export a 60 fps project to a 24 fps. However, you can export a “23.976” fps project to 23.976, 24, and 29.976(3:2) frame rate.
Read the below-detailed guide to know more about changing the export frame rates in Resolve (with pictures):
The best way to have a smooth workflow is to determine the target frame rate before you start production.
For example, you can shoot the majority of the footage at 23.976 fps and slow-motion stylistic footage at 60, 120, or 240 FPS.
In this way, when you start editing, you can set the project timeline frame rate to 23.976 and convert the 60, 120, and 240 fps footage into 23.976 for a slow-motion effect through “Clip Attributes”.
You may also be interested in the below posts:
Quickly Reverse / Rewind in DaVinci Resolve (Important Tips)
How to Change Resolution in DaVinci Resolve (Quickly!)
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