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How to Set Up Video Projects in DaVinci Resolve

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Learn to colour correct like a pro with our free course DaVinci Resolve Color Grading for Beginners. You'll learn how to use each important tool in Resolve, including how to set up your project using scene cut detection, how to get clean skin tones with noise reduction, and how to create cinematic looks.

In this lesson, you'll find out how to get everything set up with your video project, ready for colour grading.

How to Set up Video Projects in Resolve

Settings

In the Media tab, before bringing in any media, go to the cog icon in the bottom right corner and you’ll find settings.

check the timeline frame ratecheck the timeline frame ratecheck the timeline frame rate
check the timeline frame rate

The first thing to do is to check the timeline frame rate. It’s 24 by default and if you’re in a PAL country, you’ll need to change that to 25. You actually don’t need to worry too much if you aren’t sure, as soon as you drop footage into your Timeline, you’ll get a popup if your frame rates don’t match and it’ll ask you if you’d like to change the timeline frame rate to match it.

You can also change your timeline resolution here as well. Many projects will be delivered in Full HD (1920 x 1080) but if you need to change it to something else then you can. The higher the resolution though, the harder your computer will need to work, which is why a lot of projects are still hovering around Full HD, it’s a good balance.

Everything else should be set up by default the way that you would want it but check through the settings and change anything that you feel you need to for your specific circumstances.

If you were importing Camera RAW files, you can go to Camera RAW and change all your RAW profiles there.If you were importing Camera RAW files, you can go to Camera RAW and change all your RAW profiles there.If you were importing Camera RAW files, you can go to Camera RAW and change all your RAW profiles there.
If you were importing Camera RAW files, you can go to Camera RAW and change all your RAW profiles here.

If you were importing Camera RAW files, for example, you can go to Camera RAW and change all your RAW profiles there.

The other thing worth checking out is Color Management.

Make broadcast safe’ will ensure you don’t exceed any broadcast safe IRA levels.Make broadcast safe’ will ensure you don’t exceed any broadcast safe IRA levels.Make broadcast safe’ will ensure you don’t exceed any broadcast safe IRA levels.
Make broadcast safe’ will ensure you don’t exceed any broadcast safe IRA levels.

You might not be delivering anything for broadcast, but if you are or if you're likely to in the future, be sure to tick the box at the bottom, ‘Make broadcast safe’. That will ensure you don’t exceed any broadcast safe IRA levels.

Import Your Media

You can add your media in a couple of ways: by dropping it into the timeline, or by navigating through the file browser.

Right-click on your footage and hit Create New TimelineRight-click on your footage and hit Create New TimelineRight-click on your footage and hit Create New Timeline
Right-click on your footage and hit Create New Timeline

Once your footage is in the media pool, you can right-click on it and choose Create New Timeline using the selected clips.

if there’s anything you want to change then you can untick ‘Use Project Settings’if there’s anything you want to change then you can untick ‘Use Project Settings’if there’s anything you want to change then you can untick ‘Use Project Settings’
if there’s anything you want to change then you can untick ‘Use Project Settings’

You’ll have gone through your project settings already but if there’s anything you want to change then you can untick Use Project Settings and you can adjust things like resolution, frame rate and so on. It also has Mismatch Resolution where it will scale an image up or down to your timeline to fit your resolution.

When you’re done, hit Create and double click on the footage you’ve just imported and it’ll appear in the Edit window.

Your footage will appear in the edit window and you're ready to start grading!Your footage will appear in the edit window and you're ready to start grading!Your footage will appear in the edit window and you're ready to start grading!
Your footage will appear in the edit window and you're ready to start grading!

Now you’re ready to start editing or colour grading!

More DaVinci Resolve Tutorials and Resources

About the Authors

Tom Graham created the video course that includes this lesson. Marie Gardiner wrote the text version of this lesson, and it was edited and published by Jackson Couse.

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