DaVinci Resolve is a high end post production software used by Hollywood feature films, commercials and television shows.
When Resolve is made freely available to a common user, is it any good?
Today, I will show you how DaVinci Resolve would fit your needs.
Let’s get started.
Before we decide if DaVinci Resolve is good for beginners, we have to make sure what kind of beginner you are.
- Thinking of becoming a filmmaker who is starting from the scratch, Or
- Going to make a career out of Editing or Color-Grading, Or
- a Youtube/Instagram or other social media content creator, Or
- Someone who will need a tool for their creative needs or casual editing?
So first get yourself clear with where you belong.
Is DaVinci Resolve Good for Beginners?
DaVinci Resolve is a VERY GOOD CHOICE for beginners who would like to become filmmakers or editors or colorists or sometimes content creators like YouTubers. DaVinci Resolve free version has all the functionalities like editing, color grading, sound design, visual effects, etc, needed for post production – all in a single platform!
So if you’re a budding filmmaker/independent filmmaker trying to shoot short films, web-series, etc on a tight budget, or would like to become a professional editor or colorist, then hands down Resolve will be a better choice compared to its rivals.
Recently, many YouTube content creators are using DaVinci Resolve to produce high quality videos!
Here’s WHY Resolve is PERFECT for Beginners (Who Want to Become Filmmakers/Editors/Colorists/Content Creators):
This one should be an excellent reason for a beginner to download and start exploring the features.
All the features are made free except for few advanced FX like Film Grain, Lens Blur, Neural Engine for facial recognition, etc.
With the free version, you can export a 4K UHD movie (3840 x 2160).
In short, you can easily work with the FREE version features and export movies up to 4K UHD resolution, which is more than enough for beginners, content creators and Indi-filmmakers.
2. End to End Feature Set for Movie Production
Covers End to End Post Production workflows inside a single application.
- The Media page for assembling clips,
- The Cut page for a quick rough cut,
- The Edit page for refined editing,
- The Fusion page for VFX and compositing,
- The Color page for advanced color grading and getting the film look,
- The Fairlight page for audio post production
3. Frequent Updates and Enhancements to Improve Your Workflow
This is an outstanding feature!
Any DaVinci Resolve user will vouch with the fact that the frequent updates and enhancements make the end users happy. This is one exciting thing to look out for.
The updates would involve supporting of formats/codecs of new cameras that are released into the market, bug fixes, new functionalities like “Cut” page, etc.
They have a beta version as well to test out the new features (if you would like to).
4. Blackmagic Design’s Dense Ecosystem
DaVinci Resolve is from Blackmagic Design company which also manufactures
- Digital film cameras like Blackmagic Pocket cinema cameras, Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K, and the recent Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K!
- DaVinci Resolve hardware control panels for color-grading, audio console for Fairlight, etc.
- And much more.
So if you choose to be in their ecosystem, it’s a huge plus to learn Resolve.
The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and Pocket cinema cameras (affordable) produce one of the best images out there.
Their color-science is fantastic and the codecs are well optimized to work with in Resolve.
5. Can be Easily Upgraded to Studio Version by One Time Payment of Lifetime Access
After you grow in your filmmaking path, there might come a time when you will require advanced features to take your movies to the next level.
The Studio (or the paid) version will unlock many cool features (notable being multiple GPU support for faster workflow) to enhance your post production work.
A onetime payment for lifetime access.
As Blackmagic claims:
“Unlike cloud based software, DaVinci Resolve Studio does not require a connection to the internet and there are no monthly subscription fees. DaVinci Resolve Studio is only $299, which is 50% less than the cost of popular cloud subscriptions.”Source
6. Future Proof
As you make your way slowly into Resolve, you will come across many interesting and advanced concepts to learn.
You can keep honing your skills.
There is a lot of room for learning, improving and growing, which can make you an actual expert on post-production workflows.
(Resolve is truly Professional And Hollywood’s Golden Standard.)
If you have a lot of other questions on DaVinci Resolve, then you may be interested in “Most Frequently Asked Questions on DaVinci Resolve“
Is DaVinci Resolve for Everyone?
Even though DaVinci Resolve can do all powerfully and professionally…
DaVinci Resolve is NOT for everyone.
There are a plethora of Video editing tools for different needs.
A social media content creator, especially who targets Youtube, can opt for free video editors like Hitfilm Express, Shotcut, iMovie (for Mac users) which are beginner friendly and take less time to learn.
These tools are well optimized for certain codecs like h.264, mpeg4, etc.
If you’re considering a career option, then NLEs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro (Mac), Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas Pro, DaVinci Resolve (especially Studio version) are excellent ones to start from.
If you’re starting out and do not understand what I am talking about, please check out Windows Movie Maker. You’ll learn basic concepts like timeline, trimming, inserting, etc, with little effort.
DaVinci Resolve Vs Other Free Video Editors for Beginners
A good free video editor with all the end to end functionalities (as in DaVinci Resolve).
You can get started faster as a beginner, whereas Resolve will take more time to get used to.
Hitfilm is mostly preferred over DaVinci Resolve by those who are YouTube content creators.
Especially, the video effects can be quickly created in Hitfilm than the Resolve counterpart – Fusion. But remember, Fusion is a high-end node-based compositing program (used in Hollywood and other major industries – because it’s powerful and flexible).
As I said earlier, if you are choosing filmmaking career path, and you’re getting started on learning video editing, it’s better to spend time with DaVinci Resolve rather than Hitfilm. You won’t regret!
iMovie (for Mac users)
It is a beginner friendly software but is very limited in functionalities compared to Resolve.
If you want to do simple or casual video editing and don’t want to waste time, iMovie should be the one for you.
But when you go through many forums, it becomes clear that as your media (or footage) gets bigger and bigger, it’s difficult to manage them in iMovie.
iMovie doesn’t support LUTs functionality, which is a MAJOR plus in Resolve. (LUTs are helpful in the color-correction/color-grading process.)
So, Mac users generally make a plunge to Final Cut Pro (paid version).
But with Resolve making it big as an NLE, we see many of the users heading towards it.
Open Source Tools
Blender is a powerful open-source tool which is primarily used for 2d and 3d graphics, modelling and animation. But it also supports Video Editing.
If you are someone who is into animation a lot and needs to do little video editing – Blender should be fine.
But if you need to do a lot of animation, video editing and color-grading – DaVinci Resolve fares well. (Keep in mind – Resolve is a high end Color-Grading tool.)
Both are Free.
Another free and open source tool is Kdenlive. It has improved over the years (some users had complained about its stability).
It can handle many effects and transitions. It also supports proxy editing and automatic backup.
Again, Shotcut is for those (especially home users) who want to do editing for fun. But then a quick research on the forums reveal that Shotcut can become buggy and crashing.
DaVinci Resolve Vs Premium Video Editors
If you’re ready to invest and start from scratch, I would recommend Adobe Premiere Pro.
Adobe Premiere Pro
The adobe ecosystem is huge. One can easily find online help in the form of tutorials, YouTube videos etc to overcome any challenge faced during post-production work.
After windows movie-maker, I plunged into Adobe Premiere Pro and never looked back. It was super fun to edit videos and audio and render final output in Premiere Pro.
And with seamless integration with After-Effects for VFX work and Audition for audio post-production, Premiere Pro is an industry leading NLE.
But despite that, there are many who complain about Adobe’s recurring fee-based rental business model. Many leading names have switched over to Resolve for this single reason.
When you consider the monthly/annual fees, it easily adds up and can become costly, quickly.
Because of this reason, many opt for Free video editor like Resolve, which also boasts powerful features.
Many Youtubers and casual video editors use Cyberlink PowerDirector for their post-production works. Most times, it comes as pre-installed when buying a new laptop.
It basically gets the job done and can be called as mid-level editor.
As the company claims:
For YouTubers, Vloggers & Instagrammers, PowerDirector 365 gives you all the precise, high-end performance tools you need to take control of your video creation process without a steep learning curve.
Beginners can quickly get started with PowerDirector as opposed to Resolve.
But again, a quick search in the forums would reveal some users facing issues with crashes and being buggy.
Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas Pro
I haven’t used these tools.
Because I was happy with Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, there never really was a need for me to jump on them.
But they are also Industry leading NLEs and have their own set of fans. All these NLEs get the job done.
And are robust.
Does DaVinci Resolve have a Watermark?
The free version of DaVinci doesn’t have a watermark. But when you try to access Studio level features like Object Removal, Lens Flare, and other ResolveFX features, the entire screen will be covered with “DaVinci Resolve Studio” watermark.
The free features should be more than enough for any movie post-production work, especially for beginners.
Is DaVinci Resolve Easy to Learn for Beginners?
DaVinci Resolve is not easy to learn for beginners. There is a STEEP learning curve involved to learn the basics and produce video content (from importing footage to rendering the final output).
But just think for a moment.
If you want to make it BIG in your filmmaking career…
And most probably Independent filmmaking is what you might choose…
Then, it’s good to know the post-production workflows which demand INDUSTRY standard.
Setting the end-goal in mind will make your current choices clear.
If you’re envisioning yourself as a Director few years from now…
To get the film you have in your mind into the world…
Then knowing how editing, color-grading, and VFX works, will POLISH your dream product.
Instead of relying on your editor completely, you’ll realistically know what to expect and how to manipulate your final output to match your vision.
With the end goal in mind, try to learn industry standard NLEs like Resolve, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc.
And why DaVinci Resolve gets an edge – because it’s FREE!
Once you take time to learn how Resolve deals with:
- Color-Correction, Color-Grading
- Audio Post Production
You’ll be on the right path.
Then you’ll know if Resolve is right for your career path.
Down the line, with your best judgement, you can switch from Resolve to other Industry Leading NLEs like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro anytime. The core concepts are always the same irrespective of the NLE you are using.
Best Free Video Editor for Color Correction and Color-Grading
Hands down, DaVinci Resolve is the BEST and FREE color correction (color grading) software.
The color tab inside Resolve has plenty of toolsets to get the cinematic look that you have always wanted.
Especially the “nodes-based” color correction approach is VERY powerful and flexible enough to get the desired film look.
The nodes-based color-correction gives powerful control over the image as opposed to layer based one (as seen in Premiere Pro).
This color-correction toolset is used for color-grading many Hollywood films, commericals and Indi-films (especially festival ones).
If you happen to shoot in LOG or RAW formats, you can achieve the film looks that you have always wanted, using the POWERFUL color grading tools like color wheels for primaries and Logs, HSL corrections, power windows, etc.
On top of that, it also supports LUTs viewer to instantly apply film looks of your choice!
DaVinci Resolve’s StandOut Features for Beginners
All rough cuts can be done inside this window. From importing to cutting to checking audio, to exporting a movie – a beginner can quickly get started.
Single Timeline across different interfaces
Resolve deals with one Single Timeline across different interfaces like cut, edit, color, audio, etc. No importing or exporting of timelines, which saves a lot of time.
End to End Post Production Inside a Single Application
Another thing to keep in mind is – if you will shoot an indi-film or short film or Youtube content creation, you will do the below anyway:
- Basic VFX techniques like Green screen, compositing, 2D animation, etc.
- Sound Design – Dialogues, Foley sounds, Background Music, etc
There are powerful softwares like Blender for compositing, Audacity for sound design. But then moving your projects across different tools is time consuming and frustrating.
It’s good for beginners to stick to one platform for all their needs – from editing to color-grading to audio works to vfx to rendering.
(When I started out, I would use Premiere Pro for editing/color correction, then switch over to Adobe After-Effects for vfx, Blender for basic 2d animation, then again switch over to Adobe Audition for audio post production, then return to Premiere Pro for final touches and export.)
(But now Premiere Pro has integrated most of the workflows inside it.)
That’s where DaVinci Resolve scores BIG TIME, because of the powerful feature sets for free – all within the same application!
By this time you would have gotten an idea of how Resolve will fit your needs.
If you think DaVinci Resolve is for you…
Time to get started on DaVinci Resolve.
How to Learn DaVinci Resolve for Free?
- Doing a simple Google and Youtube search will return many useful results to fit your needs.
- MixingLight Tutorials – One of the best tutorials on DaVinci Resolve. I have learnt a lot from these tutorials. Head over to MixingLight – DaVinci Resolve Quick-start course – Check out – Apply coupon code – and it’s Free.
- FilmSimplified Tutorials – Youtube tutorials and DaVinci Resolve Crash course and other great resources to get you started for free.
- DaVinci Resolve Official Website – Training materials and video tutorials are good. Please check out for yourself.
Then head over to official Blackmagic Design website to download the latest and stable version of DaVinci Resolve and install it.
Then explore the Resolve landscape for yourself – the media, cut, edit, fairlight, color, and deliver pages.
DaVinci Resolve will demand a lot of horsepower from your desktop or laptop.
Because of which sometimes DaVinci Resolve can crash on you.
As a beginner, be clear about what would you like to become – filmmaker, content creator, editor, colorist or editing for casual purposes.
Then you can zero in on the tool.
DaVinci Resolve is an excellent post production tool for free.
And at the same time, it will demand a lot of effort and time from you (if you’re getting started).
Once you get the basic hang of Resolve, then you will love working on it!
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