Book Review: The Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 15

I have said it before and I don’t doubt, I will say it again.

I like manuals. Big meaty ones I can sit down for a read, use to find something I don’t know yet or have forgotten. Or simply as a time filler for a few minutes to get a refresh and discover a new command, short cut or feature.

I even wrote one once – an 800+ page monster for the web site development software, NetObjects Fusion.

So, when I found out there was a real life, paper based comprehensive book for DaVinci Resolve 15, the very well featured NLE from Blackmagic Design, I was very happy indeed.

Part manual, part tutorial lessons, The Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 15 by Paul Saccone and Dion Scoppettuolo is a 389 page tome that covers every single aspect of using the program. The book is broken into “groups” and each has chapters that relate to that specific subject matter.

For example, the first, “Quick Editing a One Minute Movie” is 25 pages of the book and has chapters such as Starting a Project, Adding a soundtrack, Trimming a title, Playing full screen and Assembling clips in the timeline.

Similarly, there are separate group sections with their own chapters for Applying Transitions and Effects, Quickstart Colour Correction, Delivering a Final Program and, with a nod to Blackmagic Design’s purchase of the legendary Fairlight company (itself an Australian icon), Mixing sound in Fairlight: Exploring the Interface.

I like the tutorial format of The Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 15 very much indeed, with numbered step-by-step instructions to illustrate points and how to implement them. There are lots of screen shots too, although some could do with a little more contrast as white text on black background is used a lot and tends to come out greyish in the printing process.

There are many breakout Tip sections too.

The beginning of each chapter tells you the expected goals to be reached by going through the lessons in that chapter, and an expected time frame is offered.

DaVinci Resolve 15 (now up to a  dot 2 release) is a bit of an enigma. One must wonder how and why Blackmagic can make, support and continually update this program and yet give it away in this form for free.

Make no mistake, Resolve 15 is NOT a cut down version of anything, or an NLE wannabe.

Many, many Hollywood blockbusters have been cut and graded with Resolve, on either Mac, Windows or LINUX platforms. Yes, Resolve 15 is available on all three. And is still free!

The back cover of the book has an interesting testimonial in fact from no less than Eric Wilson who is the editor for the popular and very successful NCIS TV franchise; “ DaVinci Resolve 15 is the first NLE that offers me all of the professional tools I need in one app!”

He goes on to call the program “a game changer”.

And so, the asking price for The Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 15 for around AUD$60 (shopping around) is a bargain.


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