Mp4 is the most widely used delivery format. And some of the smartphones and cameras shoot videos in Mp4 format.
So it becomes necessary to have a basic knowledge of how DaVinci Resolve works with Mp4 format.
Especially importing, exporting, editing, transcoding mp4, etc.
So today, we’ll see how Mp4 files are handled in DaVinci Resolve.
List out certain Mp4 format issues in Resolve and how to overcome them.
Without wasting time…
Let’s dive right into it!
Does DaVinci Resolve Support Mp4?
DaVinci Resolve definitely supports Mp4. The “DaVinci Resolve Supported Codecs List” by BlackMagic Design clearly tells that, in Mac – Resolve can encode and decode Mp4 with H.264/H.265 codecs, in Windows – Resolve can decode Mp4 with H.264/H.265 codecs, encode H.264, but needs Studio (paid) version for encoding H.265.
Therefore, you can definitely work with Mp4 formats in the free version of Resolve!
Can the Free Version of DaVinci Resolve Import Mp4?
DaVinci Resolve free version can definitely import Mp4 files with H.264 or H.265 (HEVC) codecs. This also means Resolve can decode Mp4 files – you can import and edit an Mp4 file in the DaVinci Resolve timeline with no issues.
How to Import Mp4 Files into DaVinci Resolve?
- Launch DaVinci Resolve and create a new project.
- Go to the “Edit” page.
- Click on the “Media Pool” from the top left hand corner.
- Go to the menu “File” > “Import” > “Media” (shortcut for import is “Ctrl + i” or “Cmd + i”).
- Choose your mp4 files and click on “Open”.
- The mp4 files should now be imported.
- If you don’t see your mp4 files in the “Media Pool”, then there might be some issues with them. Read on to know more.
Mp4 Import Issues in DaVinci Resolve and How to Fix Them?
After importing your mp4 files, if they don’t show up, then most probably the codec of your mp4 file – either video or audio, is not supported by DaVinci Resolve.
Even if they get imported and when you drop the file into the timeline, there is either no video or audio!
We’ll see how to fix these issues.
DaVinci Resolve Mp4 No Video After Importing
If your mp4 file is not getting imported or no video is displayed, then Resolve doesn’t recognize the video codec of your mp4 file. DaVinci Resolve supports Mp4 videos of codec H.264 or H.265. The best solution is to convert (or transcode) your existing mp4 file codec to H.264 codec.
How to Transcode (Convert) Existing Mp4 file to H.264 Video Codec?
- Go to “Handbrake” website. Go to the “Download” section and select the installer file based on your OS.
- Install the setup and launch the application.
- Go to “File” -> “Open Source” -> Select your video file.
- Select the required “Preset” (Most probably you will find your required resolution under “Web” or “General” menu).
- Head over to “Video” tab -> Select “H.264(x264)” from “Video Codec”. (If your mp4 file is 10 bit and Resolve doesn’t import it, then “H.264(x264)” codec should solve the issue).
- Then select “Constant Framerate” radio-button.
- On the bottom, choose your folder location for the output and rename the file to .mp4.
- Click on “Start Encode” on the top.
You can then import this mp4 inside DaVinci Resolve with no issues.
Another effective way is to use FFMPEG – a command-line utility.
With the help of FFMPEG, you can convert any video format to Mp4, and on top of that, you can also convert any video format to editor-friendly codecs like Prores (Mac) and DNxHD (Windows).
(Keep in mind that Mp4 format with H.264/H.265 codec is not editor-friendly and puts tremendous pressure on your computer resources.)
Read the below article to know more on how FFMPEG is used to convert a wav file into mp3:
DaVinci Resolve Mp4 No Audio After Importing
Sometimes after adding an Mp4 file into Resolve’s timeline, you can see the video, but the audio is not present.
This could be due to Resolve not being able to recognize the audio codec. The supported codecs list by BlackMagic Design reveals that an mp4 file having in-built audio can be recognized by Resolve, as long as it is of the following type:
- wav and Aiff formats with Uncompressed PCM 16 or 24 or 32 bit
- mpeg audio codec of Mp3 file with a constant bit rate.
- aac/m4a with a constant or variable bit rate
- flac file
The most common issue could be variable bit rate Mp3 audio codecs (since only a constant bit rate is supported by Resolve).
It is better to transcode the audio to a constant bit rate mp3 or, still, a better option would be aac – since Resolve can recognize the “aac” format with constant or variable bit rates.
You can open handbrake, import your mp4 file, go to the “Audio” tab, select “AAC” against the “Codec”, and encode. See if you can hear the audio in Resolve. If not, again, come back to Handbrake and select other listed codecs, encode and import into Resolve.
DaVinci Resolve Mp4 Media Offline
Sometimes when you drag and drop the mp4 file into Resolve’s timeline, you might see media offline error. This means that DaVinci Resolve is not able to recognize your mp4 file.
It could be due to multiple reasons, like your video having H.265 (HEVC) codec, or your mp4 file might contain variable frame rates instead of a constant frame rate. (Please keep in mind that Resolve only recognizes constant frame rate files.)
To solve this issue, click on the below for a detailed step by step guide:
Mp4 Editing Performance Issues in DaVinci Resolve
After making sure DaVinci Resolve can import your mp4 file, you start editing your footage.
You realize that Resolve is struggling to playback the footage smoothly in real-time. This is mainly due to the codecs H.264 or H.265 of your mp4 file.
Both of them are highly compressed codecs – especially H.265 is more compressed than H.264. So naturally, your CPU/GPU is under tremendous load to unpack them (decode) and process them in real-time.
The best option is to optimize the footage to a lower resolution by right-clicking your mp4 files and selecting “Generate Optimized Media“.
Then change the “Timeline Proxy Mode” to half or quarter resolution from the menu “Playback”. This will lower the burden of your GPU so that you get real-time playback.
Apart from that, also make sure you can utilize your GPU to the fullest. Read the below articles to know more:
- How to Make DaVinci Resolve Use GPU (Helpful Tips!)
- Most Common DaVinci Resolve GPU Issues (& How to Fix Them)
- GPU & DaVinci Resolve (9 Things Most Beginners Don’t Know)
DaVinci Resolve Mp4 Export
Since Mp4 is the most widely used delivery format (especially YouTube prefers Mp4), it only makes sense to export your DaVinci Resolve project to an mp4 file format.
And keep in mind that you will have to choose H.264 codec (the only codec option available in the free version of DaVinci Resolve in Windows).
For the Studio (paid) users, you can speed up your render (or export) time with the help of the “Encoder” option set to “Nvidia” or “AMD” based on your GPU. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t have hardware acceleration for encoding.
How to Export DaVinci Resolve Project to Mp4
- Click on the “Deliver” page in DaVinci Resolve.
- Click on “Custom” under “Render Settings”.
- Enter your required “Filename” and choose a location to save your project as mp4.
- Select “Single Clip” against “Render“.
- Under the “Video” tab, make sure “Export Video” is checked.
- Select “MP4” from the “Format” dropdown.
- Select “H.264” from the “Codec” dropdown.
- Choose your required “Resolution” and “Frame Rate“.
- Click on “Advanced Settings”.
- Check “Force sizing to highest quality” if you used optimized media or proxy media with a lower resolution. Checking this option will enable original high resolution footage for export.
- Click on “Add to render queue“.
- On the right hand side under “Render Queue“, click on “Render All” to start the exporting process.
No Audio After Exporting to Mp4 in DaVinci Resolve?
Make sure the audio track is not muted in the timeline under the “Edit” page. Then go to the “Deliver” page, under “Render Settings”, click on the “Audio” tab. Make sure “Export Audio” is checked.
Make sure “Bus 1 (Stereo)” is selected against “Output Track 1”. (Sometimes “Timeline Track” selected resulted in no audio, as reported by certain users in the online forums).
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