DaVinci Resolve – download, manual and tips for getting started/changing

The camera and film accessories manufacturer and software provider called Blackmagic Design is not the only one available Blackmagic Camera app for the iPhone, but also DaVinci Resolve for macOS, Windows and Linux. According to the company, DaVinci Resolve is “Hollywood's number one post-production solution” and is therefore suitable not only for private vacation videos, but also for editing and editing cinema, Netflix and YouTube films. The best thing about it: DaVinci Resolve is free in the basic version. And therefore probably the best alternative to Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition from the Adobe Creative Cloud.

DaVinci Resolve is a free alternative to Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Audition and other professional programs for video editing, motion graphics and audio editing. Here you will find an introduction to the Blackmagic Design app.
DaVinci Resolve is a free alternative to Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Audition and other professional programs for video editing, motion graphics and audio editing. Here you will find an introduction to the Blackmagic Design app.

TL;DR: All important information in just three bullet points

  • With DaVinci Resolve you can edit videos, make color corrections, create effects, use filters, record and edit audio and output finished videos or films with individual settings.
  • The basic version of DaVinci Resolve is available free of charge for Mac, Windows PC and Linux machines; the studio version with additional functions and content costs 329 euros.
  • Beginners and those changing over alike need a certain amount of training time, as e.g. For example, unlike in After Effects, effect creation does not primarily rely on a timeline and keyframes, but rather on a node system.

What is DaVinci Resolve?

Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve is software that can handle various video and audio editing tasks. Through individual app areas (Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, Fairlight, Deliver) you can divide the work and do it individually or have it done. Collaboration with others is an option incorporated from the outset, which enables the creation of films in a team. But even if you work alone on a video project, the separate work areas ensure order and the necessary overview.

The various app areas, which are explained individually below, are there to import content, trim image and sound material individually, combine it on a timeline, add effects or other editing to individual content, etc Apply color correction, edit audio, and ultimately output the finished video to an appropriate file. Various settings and codecs are available for the final step. Presets can also be imported, for example to comply with certain platform standards.

However, both when switching from other programs, such as Adobe, Magix, Apple or the like, and when completely new to the field of video editing, some training time is required. I recommend downloading the official manual (English, 4.204 pages) and watching YouTube tutorials with the basics of using DaVinci Resolve. Of course, you don't have to study the manual in its entirety. However, it helps to look for individual functions and possible uses. Once you find the right chapter, it will prove to be very helpful.

The free DaVinci Resolve download

All official information compiled by Blackmagic Design about its own program DaVinci Resolve can be found on this website. In the lower section of the same you will also find the two options for downloading: the free version and the paid studio version. The latter costs a one-time fee of 329 euros (as of March 1, 2024). Below the free offer there is the “Free download now” button. Use this to open the download selection. Select “Mac OS X” (outdated name for macOS), “Windows” or “Linux”. You then have to fill out a registration form and then the download can finally start.

app version Content platforms Price
DaVinci Resolve Editing, VFX, motion graphics, color correction, audio editing, video output macOS, Windows, Linux Free
DaVinci Resolve Studio Additionally: AI area tracking, stereoscopy tools, more FX filters, more audio plug-ins, advanced HDR color correction macOS, Windows, Linux 329 Euros

Information provided without guarantee; Changes possible; As of: March 1, 2024

DaVinci Resolve: What is the Media tab for?

Add the required media in the Media tab of DaVinci Resolve. You can use integrated import tools or simply drag and drop files from a folder into the program. Most common formats for videos, images and audio are supported.

DaVinci Resolve: What is the cut tab for?

In DaVinci Resolve's Cut tab, imported media can be trimmed individually. Here they are not yet combined to compile the finished video, but are simply edited individually for length. In this way, a pre-selection can be made and everything can be prepared for the rough cut.

DaVinci Resolve: What is the Edit tab for?

The various contents come together in the Edit tab of DaVinci Resolve. Here you can combine video clips, individual film scenes or camera shots, display graphics and animations, add audio tracks and the like. In addition, fine-tuning the cut and adding transitions are possible. Media can also be moved over the video section using keyframes.

DaVinci Resolve: What is the Fusion tab for?

DaVinci Resolve's Fusion tab is responsible for specific effects and motion graphics. As in the cut tab, the content here is edited individually, using a node system. This was not intuitively understandable to me. After one or two tutorials and a look at the manual, I quickly understood the basics. Anyone who has worked with After Effects before will have to get used to it quite a bit.

DaVinci Resolve: What is the color tab for?

Color correction is carried out in the Color tab of DaVinci Resolve. In addition to a simplified timeline from the edit tab, there are a variety of controls, overviews and settings. Even a node system can be used. But you shouldn't let that intimidate you. If you concentrate on individual areas and what you can adapt with them, you will find a first step.

DaVinci Resolve: What is the Fairlight tab for?

DaVinci Resolve's Fairlight tab is all about audio editing. In addition to adjustments and effects for already imported audio files, audio recordings can also be made here. Setting up audio tracks, the input device and the output device is not as intuitive as in other apps. If you have patience, you can conjure up synchronizations, voiceovers, sound effects and more. 

DaVinci Resolve: What is the Deliver tab for?

DaVinci Resolve's Deliver tab is designed to output the project into a single video file. Various formats and codecs (H.264, H.265, ProRes, etc.) can be used. A wide variety of individual adjustments can also be made. There are also settings for integrating subtitle texts. Last but not least, presets can be imported so that the project can be output in the same way as a previous project (for example if the studio always has the same specifications).

Individual adaptation of the work areas is possible

The above description of the individual work areas is only a minimal thematic introduction. In addition to the possible uses shown, these are not only available in a much greater complexity, but they can also be supplemented with a wide variety of content that is not mentioned in detail. The work areas can also be customized so that the user interface only shows what you really need. Here I recommend corresponding tutorials, individual instructions for the various tabs and the use of the manual. It would go beyond the scope of this article to try to show all the possibilities.

The official DaVinci Resolve manual with 4.204 pages

You can download the official software manual in English for free via the website of the provider Blackmagic Design. Because DaVinci Resolve has been continually developed for years and is currently available in version 18.6, a wide variety of functions, tools and work areas have accumulated. The instructions, tips and tricks for using the entire program now fill 4.204 pages. As mentioned above, you shouldn't let this put you off. If you are specifically looking for the topics you need for a task in the app, the ham is very helpful. Here is the direct link to the PDF.

Update, April 2024: It is now DaVinci Solve 19 outside. You can read about the big updates for new features on the official website. (End of update)

No German manual for DaVinci Resolve

The Blackmagic Design Official Handbook is constantly being updated and expanded, even several times in just one year. It is therefore not an easy task to quickly transfer the care and level of detail possible in English into other languages. Or to put it another way: There is no German manual for the program. Amazon does offer a more or less helpful translation of the introductory chapters. But this is a poorly made Kindle offering from a conspiracy theory teller. That's why I'm not linking the whole thing here.

My tip, however, is: get used to the English user interface and translate the required passages from the manual using the tools integrated in macOS (mark text, right-click and have it translated) or with apps or web tools like DeepL, Google Translate and so on. There are also many free YouTube tutorials in a variety of languages, including German. Here you can have individual work areas, their adaptation and use as well as different solutions for individual tasks explained. There are even learning courses with example files that can be downloaded, thanks to which you can imitate the procedures shown.

Hardware for using Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve

Both Blackmagic Design and third-party manufacturers offer various products that make it faster or at least more convenient to use DaVinci Resolve. Of course, you should first familiarize yourself with the program and see whether it is right for you. But if you are convinced of this, then you can e.g. B. buy special keyboards and boards with knobs, controls and specially labeled keys. In addition to these, there is also the compact TourBox Elite, a handy Bluetooth device with controls, buttons and pads that can be mapped to certain tools in the app.

LogicKeyboard Davinci Resolve Astra 2 DE (Mac)
  • Designed for Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17
  • Compatible with macOS
  • Backlit keys
LogicKeyboard Davinci Resolve Astra 2 DE (PC)
  • Designed for Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17
  • Compatible with Windows
  • Backlit keys
TourBox Elite, Bluetooth editing controller for photo & video editing, illustration, video editing...
  • TourBox Elite is an upgraded Bluetooth console aimed at enhancing the experience of content creators in...
  • EXTENSIVE COMPATIBILITY: Supports creative software such as Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Lightroom,...
  • REVOLUTIONARY VIDEO EDITING & COLOR CORRECTION: With haptic feedback on the dial, buttons and...
Blackmagic Design Davinci Editor Keyboard including license
  • Designed for professional editors who need to work faster and turn around quickly
  • Designed for DaVinci Resolve 16
  • Integrated search wheel integrated directly into the keyboard
TasTutor keyboard sticker for Davinci Resolve | Keyboard stickers in German for Windows and MAC,...
  • 💎 (Davinci Resolve Controller) Look forward to your new full-fledged Davinci Resolve Controller. Learn...
  • 💎 (Davinci Resolve keyboard sticker) Purchase the only product on the market that is based on the German...
  • 📄 (Davinci Resolve Keyboard) Fully compatible with various keyboard versions, Windows and MAC -...
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