19 Most Frequently Asked Questions on DaVinci Resolve

Davinci resolve Frequently Asked Questions 1

DaVinci Resolve is a very useful tool for modern day content creators (especially Youtubers) and filmmakers.

There are a lot of questions around it, especially by beginners and those making a transition to Resolve.

Without wasting time, let’s get started.


If you’re a beginner and considering DaVinci Resolve, then you might be interested in “Is DaVinci Resolve Good for Beginners?


Jump To

  1. Is DaVinci Resolve Really Free?
  2. What DaVinci Resolve is Free?
  3. DaVinci Resolve Free Vs Paid
  4. How to Get DaVinci Resolve for Free?
  5. What is the File Size of DaVinci Resolve?
  6. Can DaVinci Resolve Use MP4?
  7. Can DaVinci Resolve Read MOV?
  8. Can DaVinci Resolve Edit 4K?
  9. Can DaVinci Resolve Play H.265/HEVC?
  10. Can DaVinci Resolve Edit Pictures?
  11. Can DaVinci Resolve Edit AVI?
  12. Does DaVinci Resolve Support MKV?
  13. Can DaVinci Resolve Open Premiere Pro Files?
  14. Will DaVinci Resolve Run on a Laptop?
  15. What are the Best Alternatives to DaVinci Resolve?
  16. Can DaVinci Resolve do Green Screen?
  17. How to Export DaVinci Resolve to MOV?
  18. Can DaVinci Resolve Record Screens?
  19. Can DaVinci Resolve Use FLV?

Is DaVinci Resolve Really Free?

DaVinci Resolve is Free!

The free version has all the features, namely – importing, editing, color-grading, doing VFX, doing audio post-production, etc., required to export a movie in 4K UHD format.

Beginners and those transitioning to Resolve can officially and legally use the software for free.


What DaVinci Resolve is Free?

All the DaVinci Resolve applications have both Free and Studio (paid) versions. The following versions are free:

  • DaVinci Resolve 17
  • DaVinci Resolve 16
  • DaVinci Resolve 15
  • DaVinci Resolve 14
  • DaVinci Resolve 12.5

DaVinci Resolve Free Vs Paid

The free version is called “DaVinci Resolve” and the paid one is called “DaVinci Resolve Studio”.

DaVinci Resolve (Free)DaVinci Resolve Studio (Paid)
Absolutely Free.$299 – One time payment and life-time access.
Export upto 4K UHD (3840×2160).Export 4K DCI (4096 x 2160), 8K UHD, etc.
Can work with H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) codecs.Supports hardware acceleration for H.264, H.265.
Advanced features like noise reduction are watermarked.Supports advanced features like Noise Reduction, HDR etc.
Supports only single GPUSupports multiple GPUs.

For beginners, the free version is more than enough for an end to end video content creation.

But down the line, if needed, you can upgrade to the Studio version with a onetime payment of $299, which also includes free life-time updates to the software.


How to Get DaVinci Resolve for Free?

  • Check for the latest release of “DaVinci Resolve <Version no.>”.
  • (Please keep in mind that there is another variant called “DaVinci Resolve Studio <Version no. >” which is the paid one.)
  • Click on the required OS button – Mac OS X or Windows or Linux.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions (you might need to register).
  • Download and install!

Related Articles:

Is the Free Version of DaVinci Resolve Safe? (Here’s What You Should Know)

DaVinci Resolve & Free Stuff (Important Things You Should Know!)


What is the File Size of DaVinci Resolve?

DaVinci Resolve VersionFile Size
DaVinci Resolve 172.26 GB
DaVinci Resolve 161.62 GB
DaVinci Resolve 15996.45 MB (around 1 GB)

The file size of DaVinci Resolve free and Studio version is almost same.


Can DaVinci Resolve Use MP4?

DaVinci Resolve can use MP4 – which means you can import, edit, color-grade an mp4 movie.

Keep in mind that MP4 is a file extension (also called as container).

Mostly an MP4 video will have either H.264 or H.265 codec. So naturally the question should be more like – does DaVinci Resolve support h.264, h.265?

  • H.264 – DaVinci Resolve free version supports both decoding and encoding of H.264. The Studio version also supports GPU acceleration (which means the real-time playback will be better in Studio than free version).
  • H.265 – Both free and studio version support decoding of H.265 (HEVC) but only the studio version supports encoding (the export format).
davinci-resolve-codec-support-1

Click the below for a detailed guide:

DaVinci Resolve Mp4: Import / Export (& Fix Issues Quickly)

If you need more information on the support of your required codecs,

  • Go to Blackmagic Design Support Page.
  • Go to the “Latest Support Notes” which is next to “Latest Downloads”.
  • Scroll down till you find “DaVinci Resolve Supported Codecs“.
  • Download and read it.

Generally, smartphones shoot videos in MP4 format. And once they are imported into DaVinci Resolve, there can be issues.

If you are facing media offline or out-of-sync audio issues, then read “6 Ways to Fix DaVinci Resolve Media Offline Issue“.


Can DaVinci Resolve Read MOV?

DaVinci Resolve can read .mov footages.

You can import, edit, color-grade, do vfx on a .mov file and export the same into different formats like .mp4.

DaVinci Resolve – Free and Studio – both versions can decode and encode .mov files.

Mov is a filename extension. It is also called as container, which can hold different codecs like:

  • Apple ProRes
  • DNxHD, DNxHR
  • H.264, H.265
  • Go Pro Cineform
  • XAVC, etc.

Most of the DSLR and mirrorless cameras shoot videos in .mov.


Can DaVinci Resolve Edit 4K?

The free version of DaVinci Resolve can edit 4K videos. In fact, you can import 8K UHD (7680 x 4320) files inside Resolve.

But the free version will have the following limitations:

  • Maximum timeline resolution will be 4K UHD – 3840 x 2160 at 60 FPS (frames per second).
  • It can export up to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160).
  • It can’t export 4K DCI (4096 x 2160 pixels) and 8K UHD.

The paid or Studio version can:

  • Support timeline resolution of 4K UHD 120 FPS, 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) 120 FPS, 8K UHD 60 FPS, etc.
  • Export movie resolution of 4K DCI, 8K UHD, etc., up to 30FPS.

Related Article:

Is DaVinci Resolve Good for YouTube? (Things You Should Know)


Can DaVinci Resolve Play H.265/HEVC?

DaVinci Resolve can definitely play H.265 or HEVC codec.

The free version of DaVinci Resolve can decode H.265 and can’t encode the same.

The Studio version can both decode and encode H.265 codec, plus it supports GPU acceleration – which means the real-time performance will be better in Studio compared to the free one.

Keep in mind that H.265 (also H.264) are highly compressed codecs which can put a lot of stress on your computer’s resources.

If you’ve any issues playing H.265, read “6 Ways to Fix DaVinci Resolve Media Offline Issue“.


Can DaVinci Resolve Edit Pictures?

DaVinci Resolve can edit pictures or stills.

Resolve treats them as a clip which means you can import and edit them (in a timeline) like you’d do to a normal clip.

DaVinci Resolve Stills Editing

It supports the following file formats:

Stills Format
.png
.jpg
.tif
.dng
.psd and more!

For detailed step by step guide, read the below post:

Quickly Edit Images in DaVinci Resolve (Step-by-Step Guide)


Can DaVinci Resolve Edit AVI?

DaVinci Resolve can edit AVI. You can import, edit, color-grade any .avi footage.

In fact, .avi can contain the following codecs:

  • GoPro Cineform
  • Grass Valley
  • Uncompressed


Does DaVinci Resolve Support MKV?

DaVinci Resolve v17.2 and above support MKV files. Older versions like DaVinci Resolve 17, 16, etc, don’t support mkv files. For more information, click on the below post:

DaVinci Resolve MKV: Import / Export (& Fix Issues Quickly)

MKV files are recorded by screen recording software like OBS Studio. The best way to work with .mkv files is to transcode them into DaVinci Resolve supported codecs like DNxHD, H.264, etc,.

How to transcode .mkv files?

  • Head over to Handbrake website.
  • Download the software based on your OS.
  • Install.
  • Import the .mkv file.
  • In the “Summary” tab, select your required file format.
  • Go to “Video” settings and choose your required codec or leave it as default.
  • Click on “Start Encode“.
  • Done!

Once the transcoding is done, you can now import the file into DaVinci Resolve.

(Note – If you want to transcode to ProRes or DNxHD or DNxHR, use FFMPEG – a command-line interface tool because Handbrake doesn’t support these formats.)


Can DaVinci Resolve Open Premiere Pro Files?

DaVinci Resolve can open Premiere Pro files, provided you export the premiere file in EDL, XML, AAC, or other Resolve supported formats.

#1. In Premiere Pro, once you’re done with your editing, go to “File” -> “Export” -> “Final Cut Pro XML” (don’t worry if it’s named Final Cut Pro XML). It will generate an xml file which can be read by DaVinci Resolve.

Premiere Pro Export as XML

#2. In the next step, select a location to save your xml file.

#3. Now, launch Resolve -> “File” -> “Import Timeline” -> “Import AAF, EDL, XML”. Select your xml file.

#4. In the next window “Load XML”, validate the “Import Timeline”, timeline resolution and then click on “Ok”.

#5. Your Premiere Pro file will be successfully imported into DaVinci Resolve.


Will DaVinci Resolve Run on a Laptop?

DaVinci Resolve can certainly run on a laptop meeting the minimum system requirements of

  • CPU – 4 core or more
  • GPU – minimum 2GB VRAM or more
  • Memory – minimum 8 GB or more
  • Hard disk – preferably SSD or HDD

The best way is to check for yourself by downloading and installing the free version of DaVinci Resolve on your laptop.

But keep in mind that if you’ve a low-end laptop, playing H.264 and H.265 will strain your laptop’s resources.

If you’re really tight on budget, then with the existing laptop, follow the proxy route or offline workflow.

Read the below article for more information:

Can My Laptop Run DaVinci Resolve? (Explained for Beginners)


What are the Best Alternatives to DaVinci Resolve?

Best free alternatives to DaVinci Resolve:

  • HitFilm Express
  • iMovie (Mac)
  • Kdenlive
  • Shotcut
  • Blender
  • Windows Movie Maker

Best paid alternatives to DaVinci Resolve:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Final Cut Pro (Mac)
  • Avid Media Composer
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Power Director

Can DaVinci Resolve do Green Screen?

Using DaVinci Resolve, you can cleanly remove the green screen and composite it with your required footage.

You can remove green screen by

  • Navigating to “Color” tab -> “Qualifier” tool.
  • Click on picker from “Selection Range”
  • Then click on the green screen in the image to select it.
  • Fine tune the selection using plus or minus tool from the “Selection Range“.
  • Further fine tune by adjusting the “Hue“, “Saturation“, and “Luminance” tools.
  • Then “Invert Selection” so that only the green screen is now transparent.

Alternatively, you can also select “3d” from the “HSL” drop-down and draw lines over the image to select the green color and then invert it.

Next, for compositing with the required footage, you’ll have to work on nodes to capture the alpha output and use power windows to create masks, so that the required footage is displayed in the place of the green screen.


How to Export DaVinci Resolve to MOV?

  • Go to “Deliver” tab.
  • Under “Export Video” -> “Format” -> select “Quicktime“.
  • Select your required codec, most probably “H.264”.
  • Verify other required settings.
  • Click on “Browse” button.
  • The pop up will display the “.mov” extension.
  • Enter your filename and click on “Save”.
  • Click on “Add to Render Queue” and then “Render All”.
  • Your movie will be rendered in .mov container.

Can DaVinci Resolve Record Screens?

DaVinci Resolve can not record screen.

The best alternative is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio.

2 things to keep in mind while working with OBS:

  • The “Recording Format” – Default will be “Mkv”, which is not recognized by Resolve. Either you must “Remux Recording” to “.mp4” inside OBS or transcode “.mkv” to recognizable formats, say “.mp4” using Handbrake or FFMPEG before importing inside Resolve.
  • Select constant frame rate instead of variable frame rate. (VFR might cause Media Offline issue.)

Read the below article for detailed information:

Can DaVinci Resolve Record Screen? ( + Helpful Tips!)


Can DaVinci Resolve Use FLV?

DaVinci Resolve doesn’t support FLV.

Even if you click on “Import Media” from “Media Pool“, select the .flv file, give ok, the file won’t be imported inside Resolve.

OBS Studio records videos in .flv container.

Transcode the footage into .mp4 or .mov using Handbrake and then import the file into DaVinci Resolve.


I hope some of the most frequently asked questions were answered!

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