new user issues

Get answers to your questions about color grading, editing and finishing with DaVinci Resolve.
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Aeronaut

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new user issues

PostTue Dec 05, 2023 1:13 am

I have a Macbook Air M1, 8GB. I had no trouble getting up to speed with iMovie for the last few years. I am hoping that Davinci Resolve, with Generate Proxy Media, will not bog down so much with large videos. But DR's UI is, for me, very unintuitive .

While watching one of the getting started videos on Youtube, I followed along. At one point the instructor said he would select Reset UI Layout so that we see exactly what he sees. Nope. My view became completely different including moving the Master panel (if that's the right term here) to the bottom and other UI components were very different.

Worse, I could not find any way to move that panel. I tried grabbing its header bar to move it up. Nothing. No other option found. Googling the issue...no success.

I was initially able to drag files from Finder to the Media Pool. After the above I tried closing and reopening the app. No joy. I deleted the project and tried again. No joy. I uninstalled and reinstalled but have not tried a UI reset again to avoid wasting more time.

The otherwise excellent new user videos make a lot of assumptions that the UI can't intuitively let the user figure out how to handle.

There is a Delete option that I discovered deletes not just the media pool entries, but deletes them from the source drive!!! Who thought that would be a good idea? I'm sooo glad I had a backup.

My initial purpose is do color correction on my scuba dive videos. Now I'm hoping the new-user instructions for that will not be onerous.

And in this forum, I just discovered that I can save a draft and open it to edit, but cannot submit. Ugh. Here is a copy/paste to a new post.
Last edited by Aeronaut on Tue Dec 05, 2023 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Uli Plank

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Re: new user issues

PostTue Dec 05, 2023 8:49 am

Which resolution is your screen? if it's considerably less than the instructor's, the GUI will look different, but should still work. And then, don't rely on YT, there are only very few good tutors, like Darren Mostyn or Cullen Kelly.
Rather start here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/produc ... e/training

I admit that coming from iMovie it can be an intimidating experience, but you'll get there.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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John Waldmann

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Re: new user issues

PostTue Dec 05, 2023 7:59 pm

Uli’s comment re training. Go there.
At the very least skim the manual (found in the Resolve Application folder). The manual describes most aspects of Resolve. To give you a feel but not always a blow by blow.

The training guides pointed to by Uli are far more accessible.
Resolve is software that is more demanding to learn than the whole Microsoft office suite, because it is quite literally half a dozen professional applications bundled together. Note each specialist Resolve Page has its own keyboard shortcuts as a result.

I suspect your layout issue is that your jumping between Resolve pages.
When the app opens it opens in the Cut page.
The edit page is more intuitive for many users. (Big overlap, but utterly different mindset). The edit page shares a layout and features common to most other professional editing software (except FCPx).

Resolve mostly has a fixed layout for each page. And you open and close different panes to access media, inspector etc. but on,y rarely move panes around. If you have an external display, or an iPad you may be able to use dual display mode to see more of the interface at any one time. iPad airplay extended display mode works quite well with resolve.
a 13” MBA is kinda limited. But can work.

Step one. Buy a fast big reliable external SSD. To store your media and resolve cache on. Suggest a 1 or 2TB Samsung T5, or T7, or a thunderbolt NVMe (my preference).
Note. Make sure to only use apple’s Time Machine backup in manual mode. Or you will have the can’t delete system temp files issue.
The goal is to never ever fill your internal SSD beyond 75%. That last 25% is critical to the performance of the Mac. (Some experts say 35% empty is optimal).

For basic editing, one or 2 tracks your h.264, h.265 media is in effect a kind of proxy equivalent media type. Because your m1 can hardware accelerate decoding.

This file type was traditionally not an editing codec, and in some circumstances can cause issues. (Complex effects, colour grading complex timelines). In more demanding contexts ProRes is the preferred file type for editing on a Mac. The proxy generator unfortunately is limited in terms of ProRes proxy quality. For higher quality proxies the process requires using resolve. But for your needs on your mba your probably best of simply using “timeline proxies which lower the decoding resolution for ease of editing (still in your original codec). 1/2, or 1/4 will best match your screen resolution (remember the viewer is less than 1080p resolution).
Resolve is timeline resolution agnostic, so you can also edit 1080P at 720p without messing up your video, then when your ready, change your resolution to the full source resolution for Delivery ( rendering out).

Note. The free version of Resolve is resolution capped (I think at 4K, or less to deliver).

Note on the Media Page the top pane on the left is actually a mini Finder window that looks directly to your drive. The bottom (wide pane) is the actual media pool. (This bottom media pool is the same media pool in the other pages. The media Pool is purely a database and deletions in it have no effect on your drive.

You have learned an important lesson which is to manually back up your files to another drive.
Editors end up with at least two external drives. One fast for media and caches. One for backups (often a big slow HDD -recommend at least twice as big as your internal plus your media drive).

As you get into resolve, and use all of its features you will become a bit of a hardware junkie. Be warned editing can be extremely expensive, beyond a certain level.

When seeking help here read the forum guidelines on reporting bugs. At the very least, state your hardware, macOS, resolve version. And your media type (codec & resolution), and your timeline resolution.
The free Media info app, (App Store) is the best way of discovering all details about your source footage.

Do not use the Mac App Store version of Resolve (it has limitations, -definitely not the Mac App Store version of Resolve Studio!). Download Resolve from the BlackmagicDesign.com support page. Both the free and the paid studio versions are available. For your MacBook Air and level of use I would recommend version 18.1.4. As the most stable and reliable version, or perhaps v.17. (The latest versions 18.5 so far had had issues that would drive you mad). Older versions can be found by scrolling down the left hand column of the support page. r.17 was a very very good fit for m1 macs. The later new features are nice to haves, but for a learner, stability is more important than fancy features -most of which are only in the paid version. Note. Older versions of will not be compatible with any more recent project libraries. So if you choose to go older you will loose access to your current projects and timelines.

Good luck, have fun. Remember backup. Your Resolve projects (from the project library onto an external drive before upgrading Resolve.


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Aeronaut

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Re: new user issues

PostWed Dec 06, 2023 6:34 pm

Hi John. In case this is important, I had put this in my original reply:

A neophyte at it, I used a GoPro 10 Black on the scuba dives: cinematic, 5.3K/30/Linear (I don't like the fisheye effect of Wide), speed 1X. I didn't follow the advice to change some settings to plain vanilla to be dealt with in post-production because I had no time to test all of that and didn't want to take a chance on messing up my settings for ship/land videos (which came out great). I wanted at least a usable scuba video in GoPro quality, hoping that color grading will still be doable in post.

Thank you again, and Uli, for all the great advice and references.
Last edited by Aeronaut on Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Aeronaut

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Re: new user issues

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 2:35 pm

Hi Uli. Thank you for this direction. I will look for tutorials from the sources you recommend. Very helpful. I hope there is a training video from these sources that focuses on underwater color grading.
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Aeronaut

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Re: new user issues

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 3:32 pm

Hello John. Wow, you went to a lot of trouble to provide me with a lot of solid information to work from. I greatly appreciate it!

When I replied the first time, I realized that I had missed some important information you provided, so I wanted to edit the message before it got posted. I asked the moderator to not yet accept my post and instead just send it back to me for editing. But the message was just killed, so I'm replying anew. My apologies for the delay in thanking you after the terrific help you provided.

"I suspect your layout issue is that your jumping between Resolve pages." - Bingo! That was exactly it. I didn't know I was doing that or that there were so many views/functions. Thank you for clearing up this mystery. Now I also know about the Shift# shortcuts. Hopefully, I'll be able to do the small subset of functionality that I need right now without getting too lost in all that I didn't know I needed. :D

"a 13” MBA is kinda limited. But can work." - Ok, I can see it's not really practical to do all this on the MBA display; I will use my large screen work monitor (plus the built-in).

"Make sure to only use apple’s Time Machine backup in manual mode or you will have the can’t delete system temp files issue." - Thank you for pointing this out! On your recommendation to have the source files on an external SSD, is that needed if I have a lot of space on my built-in SSD? Or would a WD external HDD serve the purpose for now?

"For basic editing, one or 2 tracks your h.264, h.265 media is in effect a kind of proxy equivalent..." - From this and your following advice, I can see I will need to invest significant time learning new things. Thank you for this valuable information. My first pass in my initial very simple post-production will hopefully be able to be done in a relatively short time to share with my wonderful grandchildren.

"Do not use the Mac App Store version of Resolve (it has limitations" - I am pretty paranoid about sideloading software these days. But it's interesting and unexpected to know that the App Store version is different. Is the App Store version I am using different in any important ways for simple video compilation? (combining separate videos, cutting segments with transitions, show text at certain points, and doing color grading especially for the scuba media?)

I appreciate your pointing out the best specific versions for my use.

I am confident I will never be a video production expert or even an advanced user. But you have made it clear that if I want decent quality in this work, I have much to learn.

Thank you!!
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Uli Plank

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Re: new user issues

PostFri Dec 08, 2023 1:30 am

Aeronaut wrote:"Make sure to only use apple’s Time Machine backup in manual mode or you will have the can’t delete system temp files issue." - Thank you for pointing this out! On your recommendation to have the source files on an external SSD, is that needed if I have a lot of space on my built-in SSD? Or would a WD external HDD serve the purpose for now?



"Do not use the Mac App Store version of Resolve (it has limitations" - I am pretty paranoid about sideloading software these days. But it's interesting and unexpected to know that the App Store version is different. Is the App Store version I am using different in any important ways for simple video compilation? (combining separate videos, cutting segments with transitions, show text at certain points, and doing color grading especially for the scuba media?)


As long as you always have about 25% free on your system, it's OK. But SSDs are cheap these days and a HDD is awfully slow in seek times in comparison. Just bought me a few Samsung T5 with 2 TB, it seems they are selling them out. Paid 36,- (in US dollars) each here in Asia.

The AppStore version of DR is kind of 'sandboxed', but should be OK for your purposes.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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Aeronaut

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Re: new user issues

PostSun Dec 10, 2023 5:19 pm

Uli Plank wrote:
Aeronaut wrote:As long as you always have about 25% free on your system, it's OK. But SSDs are cheap these days and a HDD is awfully slow in seek times in comparison. Just bought me a few Samsung T5 with 2 TB, it seems they are selling them out. Paid 36,- (in US dollars) each here in Asia. The AppStore version of DR is kind of 'sandboxed', but should be OK for your purposes.


Uli, I really appreciate your help. Thank you!
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Uli Plank

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Re: new user issues

PostSun Dec 10, 2023 11:08 pm

But careful where you buy, there are fake SSDs around too.
Seems they were selling out stock, the real T5 are gone now.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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John Waldmann

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Re: new user issues

PostTue Dec 12, 2023 12:45 am

Uli Plank wrote:
Aeronaut wrote:"The AppStore version of DR is kind of 'sandboxed', but should be OK for your purposes.

Everything Uli has said, plus note do not buy the Apple Store Paid version of Resolve Studio. This version is not entirely compatible with the retail store version of resolve that has a proper Registration code.

If you are thinking in future of buying Resolve Studio look at the BMD website, and buy from one of the listed BMD retailers in the real world.
Note: often control panels, and cameras made by bMD are bundled with Resolve Studio. And the price is often less than $100 more than buying the hardware on its own. A BMD Bluetooth speed editor bundle might be a very useful low cost tool to add to your edit suite. (Works on iPad too.)

A three button mouse is the next best thing.

Resolve downloaded (free and studio versions) are updated far more frequently on the BMD website support page. As are the other software components that support BMD hardware.


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John Waldmann

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Re: new user issues

PostTue Dec 12, 2023 1:04 am

Cache and media files are best stored in external SSDs.
Cache especially as it can grow to mammoth proportions depending on the effects you apply.
I use internal ssd with 60% empty to deliver (render out) my final project to a smaller delivery codec like h.265, or h.264.

Editing should be in an edit codec like ProRes 420 lt or better. You could have source h.264 on your main drive, initially to transcode to ProRes on your external using a temp project. Then new project import the ProRes to edit as your HQ S should edit much more smoothly. If not you can turn on timeline proxy resolutions under the playback menu and select a lower resolution for your viewer. This basically allows resolve to only partially decode each frame as you edit so can be much faster. (Will slow down during final render). But I expect this would not be necessary.

A useful but if hardware to consider, is the owc mini stx hub available from MacSales.com It has 4 thunderbolt /usb-c ports and has two drive bays, one for a full size 3.5” HDD or SSD, and another m.2 NVMe pcie port. With a big HDD for media archive, and regular manual project library backups, (and Time Machine on manual mode) and the m.2 NVMe can provide a nice fast cache drive.

As a hub the owc mini-stx is a good adjunct to a basic MacBook or Mac mini. You can buy built, or build your own. And it there is also a software based raid solution (to combine the two drives as one). OWC hardware designs are a little conservative, sometimes a little slower performance but very reliable, because they built their reputation building Mac orientated solutions. I was selling OWC FireWire drive cases back in the 1990s.


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Uli Plank

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Re: new user issues

PostTue Dec 12, 2023 1:12 am

All great advice by John! One thing to add: if you need caching, make sure in your settings that it’s not set to a huge codec. Ask back if some of this information is still over your head.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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MacBook M1 Pro, 16 GPU cores, 32 GB RAM and iPhone 15 Pro
Speed Editor, UltraStudio Monitor 3G, iMac 2017, eGPU

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