Expensive! And you thought losing your drone was bad… have a thought for this!

Last night Perth (in Western Australia, not Scotland) held its annual City of Light Christmas Show that featured 500 drones. But something went wrong and about 50 of them simply dropped from the sky into the Swan River. The total cost of the loss is estimated to be around $100,000 according to Drone Sky Show managing director Joshua Van Ross.

No cause is yet apparent as to what befell the casualties, but today divers are attempting to salvage as many as they can to try and ascertain what went wrong.

Nobody in the huge crowd was in danger by the way as there was a 120 metre exsclusion zone around the area the drones were flying – or not as the case may be.

Perth is known as the “City of Light” because in 1962, Perth residents and businesses left on their lights, shone torches to the sky and lit lanterns to generate as much light as possible – Astronaut John Glenn commented on the brightness from space and Perth became known as The City of Light.  Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Image and footage from Nine News Perth


Tutorial: Inception still image using Photoshop

Whilst this tutorial creates the imkage of the horizon moving away and above you, it is also a technique that can be used for a backdrop insde a space station for example, where the floor is at 90 degrees to the horizontal due to centrifugal force.

The technique was also used by Arthur C Clarke (the writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey) in his RAMA series which if you have not read it, is well worth the read.

There have been rumours for years that this was to be made into a movie and financed by (and directed by and starring) Morgan Freeman.

Still waiting though.

DJI Mavic 3

New Australian Government Drone Website

With the explosion in drone use – both recreational and commercial – over the last few years has come a lot of challenges.

In the past, the only Government based information on usage came from the  CASA website, but I have just found out there is now a dedicated Government website covering all things drones, where you can find all the information you need. 

Simply go to https://www.drones.gov.au/news-and-announcements/welcome-dronesgovau



Build a Drone with a Raspberry Pi

This is a little left of field I know, but if you have some programming smarts and a 3D printer, you can become your own DJI. In theory, you could put a GoPro 11 Mini on it and hey presto, instant footage too.

I found this article in passing, and in the spirit of sharing and caring, thought I’d pass it on for interest sake.




DJI Flight Sim Now Available for Windows and Android. Yay!

I reckon they kept this quiet …

For quite some time if you had a DJI drone, specifically the FPV or now the AVATA, and wanted to learn to fly without the risk of crashing, you could use the virtual flight simulator from  the DJI website.

With a caveat.

You had to run the simulator on iOS. Major bummer as Neil would say.

But quite by accident I found out yesterday that DJI has quietly released not just an Android version of the simulator that is designed for the AVATA but also works with the FPV, but has also released a Windows version of the same!

Goody, goody gumdrops I say!

You can download the Android (1.4GB) and Windows (3GB)) version here. Due to the sizes they take a while as the DJI servers are not noted for their speediness in my experience.

Some useful tutorials on their installation and usage can be see on YouTube here and here.


Tutorial: The Camera Does NOT Create the Image. Or Going Beyond “A” for Auto.

If you are new to shooting your new GoPro or DJI drone and want to learn how to get those fantastic shots you see from experienced usres, here is a starting point that is very easy to digest and get you up and running and on your way.

I write occasionally of recurring themes I see in the various newsgroups and social media sites I frequent, as well as in questions received from readers here at Auscam Central.

Another common one is “what camera do I need to … (fill in the blanks yourself?”

Let’s get one thing straight up front.

The camera does NOT create the photo.

What it does is record a moment in time – or moments over time in the case of video – according to the a) instructions given to it and b) using the available light for that purpose.

If all you are doing is recording a memory and have no desire to be in any way creative, by all means set the camera or camcorder on “A” for “Automatic” and simply press the button. People have been doing that since the camera obscura was invented by the ancient Greeks and Chinese – no-one seems to know who came first.

And then you can stop reading right now.

Basic Factors

But if you want creativity in your photography or video shoots, then you need to become familiar with a few things, and once understood, these will take you beyond the “happy snapper” level.

These factors apply no matter you are shooting with a smartphone, GoPro, mirrorless 4/3rds model, dSLR or even a cinema camera.

The basic rules I apply to my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro are identical to those to be used on any other camera device.

They revolve around the 6 parameters of:

  • Light
  • Aperture
  • Focus
  • Shutter Speed
  • ISO
  • Composition


Firstly, and pretty obviously, if there is no light, there is no way you can capture an image. But as important as having light is how you use that light. My friend Peter Aitchison, one of Australia’s best photographers, once said to me photography is “painting with light”, a phrase that has stuck with me.

Have a look at any decent TV drama – I favour BBC productions, especially the period dramas it does so well – and watch how light is used to create a particular ambience, emotion or tension as well as simply lighting the set.

Lighting is a specific skill and is why there are separate people in TV or film industry who specialise only in lighting. In the credits, they are often called the Gaffer.

The properties of light you need to understand to get best effect include of course colour, but also colour temperature and strength.

I have a feature on the basics of lighting on the Australian Videocamera website at https://filmvideoandvirtualreality.wordpress.com/basics-of-lighting/

Aperture, focus and shutter speed

These three are intertwined and changing one will affect the other.

The aperture on a camera (some call it an iris in video) dictates the amount of light reaching the sensor to record the image. By using the aperture settings you can make sure there is enough light to create the image (prevent under exposure) or lessen the amount of light to stop an image getting overexposed.

Aperture is measured in f stops – f2.8, f5.6, f8, f11, f16 and f22. The larger the number, the smaller the “hole” – the aperture- to let the light on to the sensor.

In conjunction with the lens and focal length of the lens, you can also dictate what is called the depth of field in an image. This can get complicated, but in essence it is what part of an image is in focus and what is not.

For example, using depth of field you can set the aperture in concert with the lens so the subject 2 metres from you is pin sharp focus, but the background is blurred. A form of this is the so called “bokeh” effect.

Note: Cameras such as GoPros and many drone units have a fixed aperture of usually around 2.8. This means you have to use alternate methods to get any effects / techniques obtained by changing the aperture. One way is to use ND filters and there is a tutorial on that here.

Focus might seem obvious but there is a skill involved in this too. Getting the subject and keeping it in focus might seem like a no-brainer, but in video especially, sometimes you want to switch between what is in focus to something else being in focus, so this is something that needs practising.

Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open to catch the available light, and again, by controlling this you can get some interesting effects.

In sport, with a fast shutter speed you can freeze a race car but blur the background, or with a slow shutter speed, get that dreamy moving water look.

Image Courtesy Ross Gibb Photography

Shutter speed also plays a major role in creating slow motion, and there is a tutorial on that here.

I did a tutorial on depth of field, focus and shutter speed during one of my trips up north to Exmouth and you can read that here.


In the “old days” this was called ASA and referred to the “speed” of a piece of film stock. The speed was a reference to how it reacted to quantities – or lack of – light.

This still applies today, but of course in the digital world there is no film as such.

Modern day cameras have astonishing ISO ranges and what they do is increase or decrease the sensitivity to light. This means that in low light, cranking up the ISO assists in the exposure, but be aware, as ISO increases, so does the graininess of the image and this is caused by digital “noise”. Once again, while upping the ISO can compensate for low light, you cannot beat adding the real thing.


Composition refers to how the subject(s) in your image, and the image overall “looks”. The whole idea is to make an image that is either pleasant to the eye or assists in telling the story. Or both.

Of course, if the story demands it, a composition can also create a jarring image.

As a sideline, checking the composition of an image makes sure there are no glaring errors. A classic example of this was in the 1960s with the UK version of the TV show Robin Hood which of course was set in the Middle Ages.

The show’s titles started dramatically with Robin firing an arrow from his bow and the camera following it. Sadly, someone forgot to check the trajectory and consequently the arrow flew neatly past a long line of telegraph poles.

A common newbie mistake is finding you have a tree or other object growing out of someone’s head.

Composition is an art form to itself and most of it comes from watching others who have been doing it for years (think directors like Stanley Kubrick for example) and sheer trial and error.

There are some tools there to help you though and one basic one is the grid lines you can overlay on your viewfinder / LCD on many cameras.

The most common “rule” in composition is the Rule of Thirds, but this by no means has to be followed religiously every time. The aforementioned Mr Kubrick fastidiously ignored it, breaking every convention in the book by always having his subject at the dead centre of the camera frame.

At the very basic level, before pressing the shutter release you’ll get used to critically looking at how the image in the viewfinder or LCD looks, and scanning your eye over it to make sure there are no things such as shadows encroaching on the image, the horizon is straight, no foreign objects have snuck into frame and so on.

If you want a very good composition reference guide, Adobe has one here.


I have only scratched at the surface of these subjects, but hopefully have given you a starting point to investigate further and hone your skills to make a better and more creative photographer / videographer.


The largest dam mural in the world! And only 45 minutes from where I live… a quick video.

I put this together this afternoon after a 45 min trip out to the Wellington Dam, near Collie, Western Australia.

Apart from the obvious intro footage (Google Earth Studio), the rest is all shot on my DJI Air2S and everything was compiled in DaVinci Resolve (with Photoshop making the credits and titles)

Music is from the free library from Sonicfire Pro 6 


Which drone? Mini SE? Mini 3? Air2S? FPV? Mavic 3? Here’s all the stuff you need to know.

In the various drone newsgroups around the internet, there is a common pair of questions that really have the same answer. And no, it’s not the “can I fly here” one nor the “do I need a licence“ one).

The first is “I am about to buy my first drone and don’t know which one to get”. The second is “I have had a (brand name / model) drone for a while and now I want to upgrade, so which one do I get?”.

There are variations on these questions of course, but the obvious question back to both is “what do you want to do with it?”

So, accepting there are a million possible answers to that question, and it is essentially the same answer when folk ask, “what camera should I buy”, let’s explore the possibilities.

Up front, this is not a paid advert for DJI by the way so let’s get that out of the way. The reality is that in the consumer space DJI rules, at least for the present, and this article is not even going to touch on the industrial use of drones. So I am going to stick to the available DJI models I think will fit each bill.

Brand New to Drones

As longer-term readers will know, I did a stint at my local Jaycar store on a part time basis during the pandemic’s first 2 years. Jaycar sell a drone, a DJI Mini knock off, and a lot of people bought these. Many thought that it would be comparable with the DJI offering – it looked the same albeit it being yellow – and if the purchaser was brand new to drones, often I didn’t discourage them.

Instead I explained how when you start out, you will at some point crash. These don’t have the control and avoidance smarts of the more expensive units and therefore it is better to drive an $89 drone into a tree or the ground and destroy it rather than one costing 10 times as much.

This way you’ll also find out if drone flying is for you. You can find these cheapies in a myriad of places, but I do suggest you NOT buy one over the ‘net from an overseas supplier.

From customer’s horror stories, a lot of these are plain rubbish, with the most common fault being the batteries fail very quickly and replacements are usually unavailable. At least with the Jaycar one (and others bought locally), you will get a statutory minimum 90-day warranty.


Let’s assume you have either a) had multiple crashes of a cheapie drone and decided you need one with better control or b) you have mastered the cheapie and now want to get serious.

What do you want to do with the drone?

Just enjoy flying, testing your skill through obstacles and take the occasional photo or video?

Practice flying with a view to maybe getting involved later with a proper racing drone and compete?

Use it to enhance your existing photography or video skills – in other words treat it as a flying camera?

In each of these scenarios, the DJI Mini 3, a relatively new model in the market should fit the bill without breaking the bank. Not too much anyway. Its predecessors, the Mini and Mini 2 were quite a bit less expensive than the Mini 3, but they didn’t have the same features or capabilities either.

For example, the Mini 3 is pretty crash proof as it has forwards, backwards and downwards sensors to avoid collisions. In the “smarts” areas when shooting video it has clever things such as camera tracking of objects and people / animals to automatically keep them in frame, time lapse features and “Mastershots”, presets for a number of specific drone movements.

Battery life is superb at around 30 minutes, and you can shoot in 4K at up to 60 frames per second allowing for cinematic and slo-mo video as well as the newer HDR specification if your TV supports that.

AT AUD$1119 it is as I said, not a cheapie by any stretch, but the Mini 3 is a very capable drone and ideal for those who want to explore just what a drone can offer.

Having said that, I do have a Mini 2 and love it. Its eminently portable, weighs under 250g and works with either an Android or iPhone. You’ll get a second hand Mini for perhaps AUD$300 and a Mini 2 for AUD$500 I am guessing, but neither of these have avoidance sensors.

There is another model available if you are on a really tight budget and that is the Mini SE. Using the same base body as the Mini 3, it is a lower spec version, close to the original Mini in fact. There are no avoidance sensors, video is only at 1080p HD, and maximum range is 4Km, but at AUD$459 it is a bargain.

An important point here is that your drone talks to your smartphone via an app. The DJI app is called DJI Fly, is fully featured as you’d expect, and you download it from the DJI website (do NOT download it from the Google Play Store. That version, at present, will not work).

There is a 3rd party app though called Litchi (yeah weird name and I don’t know why either) and it has more features than the DJI one and may suit you better once you have mastered the basics.

You may also see references to the Mini series of drones, being under 250g, as being OK to fly anywhere. That ruling is NOT a universal one and certainly not a get out of jail card. Some countries do have it, but not yet in Australia, not in any really meaningful way anyway.

Drone flying – no matter the size – is regulated here by CASA, the same body that overseas any aircraft flying in Australian airspace.

For a full list of does, don’ts, details on licencing requirements etc, start at https://www.casa.gov.au/drones/drone-rules.

Semi Professional

My personal drone of choice, and the one I use the most by far, is the DJI Air2S. At $1699 it is of course more expensive than the Mini 3 base unit, and physically it is a bigger drone.

My reason for this choice is simply, for me, it had better video and photography capability than my Mini or Mini 2 offered at the time.

It utilises a true 1” sensor allowing up to 5.4K video and the imagery from this camera is truly stunning. Of special mention is its accurate colour capturing technology.

When I ally the camera with a good set of ND filters, it makes for a brilliant camera / camcorder system allowing me to get shots that are otherwise impossible.

Of course it has collision avoidance detection and added to the ones on the Mini 3, an upward one so it is almost impossible to crash. The Mastershot system is built in as are the tracking facilities and it is brilliantly easy to fly.

I use mine in combination with a Lift Baldur tablet holder (as against using a phone) and a Lift Baldur sunhood meaning even in bright sunlight I can clearly see what the camera is “seeing”.

My Air2S is kept in a case in the boot of my car along with 3 batteries so if I see something interesting while driving around, I can quickly assemble it and get it in the air to record whatever it is for later use.

I get on average about 20 minutes of flight (the Air2S is rated to 34 minutes, but I err on the side of caution) which is more than enough for what I need.


If you are a filming professional and therefore want the best of the best, then the Mavic 3 is your go to drone I would suggest. Boasting a full-on Hasselblad camera with a 4/3rds sensor, you get 46 minutes of flight time, complete omnidirectional obstacle sensing, a 15Km transmission range that uses DJIs custom intelligent wireless system and high end tools such as recording to 10bit D-Log, 12.8 stops of dynamic range, adjustable aperture and more.

As you may guess, the Mavic 3 (and its bigger brother the Mavic 3 Cine) has been designed with photography and cinematography in mind. The Cine version adds Apple ProRes to its feature set as well as a zoom second camera thus upping the ante (and price mind you).

The Mavic 3 and Mavic 3 Cine are AUD$2899 and AUD$7199 respectively.

Sheer Fun (and Nerves)

There is another option and that is the DJI FPV.

This model I would suggest has been designed Just For Fun.

Instead of using your smartphone or tablet as the primary viewing guide, it instead used goggles so you actually get a first person 150 degree view (FPV – get it?) of the drone’s actual view as its flying.

And while you can use the standard twin joystick type controller, an option is a motion controller that is a wireless joystick you hold and depending on your movement will dictate where and how the drone flies.

Whilst all these characteristics are similar to those found in dedicated racing drones, purists of that genre will scoff. Nonetheless, the FPV is a startling fast drone and in sports mode, you need nerves of steel to keep it from crashing (no avoidance sensors here folks when in sports mode).

It will record video and photos of your adventures (or crashes) for posterity up to 120 frames per second.

I have an FPV but only flown it on a few occasions. Serious pundits of the FPV suggest – quite vehemently – if you are serious about it, especially in sport mode, then it is very wise to get a hold of one of the simulator packages available to train yourself in this sort of flying.

From my brief flings with mine, I would suggest flying say the Mini 3 as compared to the FPV is characterized by driving to the local deli on a Sunday morning to get the milk as against careening down the main straight at Bathurst in a V8 Supercar with your glasses fogged up, brake pedal hard to the floor and doing nothing, and your pants on fire.

As I said, pure fun! (Oh there are “lesser” modes when you are learning. Whew!

You do get some advanced specialist features too such as emergency braking and hover, some fun things such as user activated custom LED lighting and changeable skins

The FPV is available for around $2100.

Fly More

The best value for money way to buy a DJI drone is by getting one of its “Fly More” combos. Extras vary but generally include external chargers, extra batteries, carry cases and so on. Another offering is DJI Care which also varies from drone to drone but is basically insurance if you crash or lose your drone. If this happens DJI will replace it for a small fee.


This is only my take on each of these drones in the DJI range of course. Others will no doubt disagree with me.

If you want to get more varied opinion, can I point you to some dedicated Facebook groups that specialise in this area.





or do a Facebook search of Groups for “DJI Drones” for an even bigger list.

Quick Tip: When you buy your drone, register it with CASA as soon as possible. That way, if challenged by one of the “Karen’s” of the world, you at least can show some legitimacy. Likewise if it is lost and someone finds out, they can trace you by the serial number.


GoPro? Drone? Other “action cam”? Here are the basics for editing your videos (Part 2)

Welcome to my 2nd tutorial on using DaVinci Resolve. The aim of these tutorials is not to turn you into a Steven Spielberg or George Lucas, but instead to get beginners used to the basics of editing footage you may have taken on your GoPro or DJI drone. You can get DaVinci Resolve for free from Blackmagic Design by clicking here.

If you missed Part 1, you can see it here.

My thinking is you don’t want to be a fully fledged paid up video editor, but you DO want to make good looking videos out of your material.

You can read the first of these which is an introduction to the basics of the workflow of editing here. This second tutorial goes to the next stage of actually cutting up your footage, adding titles, transitions, fades and a lower 3rd.

And do please let me know what you think in the comments below. They are all anonymous. You might also like to sign up for my weekly e-Magazine sent out to all subscribers. That is also free and all you have to do is enter your email address into the popup on this page (or email me at david@auscamonline.com).

Editing Basics – DaVinci Resolve (Part 2)

Now you have an overview of the editing process from Part 1, let’s put together a very simple project from scratch.

For the purpose I am going to use a single clip shot with my DJI Air2S at Whalebone Beach in the northwest of Western Australia near the tourist spot of Monkey Mia, famous worldwide for its dolphins.

Once we have the clip cut the way we want it, we’ll then add some transitions, a title graphic and a lower third overlay image. Finally we’ll render it out for distribution.

This is a frame from the final result.

As per Part 1, I’ll be using Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve for this project. This editor, which whilst easy to learn the basics, is very powerful in its capabilities. Better yet, its free and available for Windows, iOS and LINUX. You can get it here.

With the latest version of DaVinci Resolve, you have the option of working in full editor mode or alternatively, in a special mode called ‘the Cut Page’. In this tutorial we’ll be using the full editor mode.

Start by launching DaVinci Resolve. Along the bottom of the main window, you’ll see a row of icons. The one to click to use the Editor mode is the third from the left.

Click this and you’ll enter the Full Editor mode (Resolve may open at this automatically). The other icons are used for other functions within Resolve such as audio editing, colour correction and media management.

You’ll notice on the left there is a gray message saying there are no clips in the media pool. To load the clip we want to work with, click File and then Import and select Media from the flyout menu. You can now navigate to the location of your video file to be used in this project and load it into the Media Pool.

At this point, you may get a message asking to Change Project Frame Rate. There are times when you won’t want to for various reasons, but for now just click Change.

Editing Clips

We now want to go through this clip and select the portions we want in the final output. To this, double click the clip and it will load into the editing window.

The next step is to mark the in and out points of the segments of this clip and add them one by one to the timeline. The timeline is the area underneath the editing window where the clips will be assembled on a track. More complex projects will usually involve a number of tracks, sometimes dozens, there are separate track types for video, audio, titles, effects and so on.

To mark the first segment you wish to add, play the clip and when you find what looks like a good starting point, press ‘I’ on your keyboard to mark the “in” point of that segment. You can start and stop the playback with the on-screen buttons, or alternatively use the space bar.

Once you have an In point marked start playing the clip again to find the end of the segment you want on the timeline and press “O” key to mark the Outpoint.

Your editing window should show the two points.

To add this segment to your timeline, simply press the F12 key. This key is the Append command and will add the clip to the end of any other clips on the timeline. As this is the first, it will simply place it at the beginning.

Of course, there are other ways of adding clips to specific parts of the timeline such as between two clips, to fit a specific amount of time on the timeline, fit to fill and more. These options will be covered in a later tutorial.

Once you have pressed F12, the clip will appear on a track in the timeline. You’ll also notice there is now an extra item in the Media Poll, that of the Timeline. Resolve allows you to create timelines and then assemble them together. This is very useful when you have a complex project and want to break it up into manageable chunks.

The editing window has now changed and is instead showing the contents of the timeline.

To select the In and Out points of your next segment, double clip the original clip in the Media Pool again. You can see the In and Out points of the first segment are still there. You can scroll through the clip and mark another In and Out point and Append this in exactly the way did the first segment.

This image shows three clips have been marked and Appended to the timeline. If you press the Home key, the cursor on the timeline will move to the start of the video. You can now press the Space bar to play through it to the end.

When you have finished, press Home again to go back to the start.


You’ll have noticed when the timeline switches from one clip to the next, the transition between the two is immediate. This is called a Straight Cut. You can add different ways for this transition to occur.

To the left of the Timeline you should see a window marked Toolbox and inside the Toolbox is an entry called Video Transitions. Clicking this will then open all the transition types available to you.

The most common to use after a straight cut is a Cross Dissolve. If you click on this and drag it on the line between two clips you should see a small white rectangle appear between those two clips. I have expanded the timeline here so you can see it better (expanding or shrinking the timeline is done by holding the ALT key and using the scroll wheel on your mouse).

If you now play the timeline, you’ll see between those two clips we now have a cross dissolve.

Now look at the panel in the top right. This is called the Inspector and contains all the parameters for objects in the Timeline. If you click the Transition tab, making sure the transition is still highlighted in the timeline, all the parameters for your transition can be seen. To change one, simply change the current value.

For example, if you change the Duration from 1 to 3 seconds, it will take longer for the cross dissolve to occur between the two clips. This will also show by the transition box in the timeline getting bigger.

There are many parameters you can change and the best way to learn what they can do is simply experiment. Just about any object you may place on the timeline will have these parameters by the way such as clips themselves, titles, audio and so on.

If you change a parameter but don’t like the result, simply put it back to its original value or Press CTRL+Z to undo it.

To add exactly the same transition to the next clip, select the first, Press CTRL+V to copy it, hover the mouse pointer over the next transition, right click and choose Paste from the menu.

Adding Titles

In DaVinci Resolve there are many types of titles from static ones like we’ll be doing in a second to complex ones like you see at the end of movies.

For this tutorial I am simply going to add a text overlay that describes the location of this video and place it in the top left of the screen.

If you look back on the Toolbox, underneath the Video Transitions entry there is one marked Titles. Click this, and similar to the list of available Video Transitions, you’ll see a list of Title types available to you.

We are going to use the one called Text.

Make sure your timeline cursor is at the start of the timeline by pressing Home or dragging it there with the mouse (you need to drag the cursor in the Time Ruler above the clip tracks in the timeline).

Next, click and drag the Text heading in the Toolbox ABOVE the track holding the clips you have edited. Resolve will automatically create a new track and place the title clip on it and you will see this in the editing window in the dead centre of the screen with the words Basic Title.

To change its content, if you look in the Inspector, you can see you have a text box where can change the text plus many other parameters such as font style, size, colour, location and much more.

In this shot you can see how I have modified the text, changed the font and size and added a shadow. Note that you can select just parts of the text and change those parameters. Here for example, the top line is in Impact 96 font / size and the next line is Impact 48.

Another parameter you can change is the position of the text. At present it is at X 960 and Y 540. By changing those values you can place the text anywhere on screen as you can see.

(Quick Tip: By placing the mouse pointer over a value in the Inspector, holding down the right mouse button and dragging left or right will change the values and you can see the titles in this case move as you change those numbers. Alternatively, you can of course just type the new values into the boxes).

Right. The only thing left to do with our title is drag the right edge of the clip on the timeline to match the length of the clips in the track below.

(Quick Tip: if you don’t want the title to last the whole clip, but gradually fade out, if you hover the mouse over the top right corner of the title clip you’ll see white dot appear. Drag this to the left and you’ll create a fade out like you see here. You can do this to just about any clip type)

Lower 3rd

A lower 3rd is a graphic element that displays across the bottom of the screen They are very common in news items and documentaries and used to pass on further information about the clip. This might be the name of the person speaking, a location, news flash or in the case of the one I am about to add, a company logo, company name and website.

I created this lower third graphic in Adobe Photoshop, but any graphics package that allows you to add transparency should be suitable. If you want to know the technique for creating this transparency, shoot me a quick email at david@auscamonline.com

First, I need to add the lower 3rd graphic to the Media Poll. Make sure the timeline cursor is at the beginning of the timeline. Adding the image file is done in exactly the same way we did with our video clip. Click File -> Import Media and navigate to the file to load it.

Next, click the file and drag it ABOVE the title track we added earlier. As soon as you release the mouse button, Resolve will create a new track to contain the lower 3rd graphic and you’ll see it appear in the editing window.

All you need to do now is drag the right edge of the clip to the place where you want the lower 3rd to finish. Here I have dragged it to make it the same length of the video clip duration. That is, it will stay on the screen from the start of the video until the very end.

Of course you can select the lower 3rd clip and investigate changes its parameters in the Inspector if you wish.


Now that we have added clips, titles and a lower 3rd, the final step is to render the video out to a single file so that it can be distributed. This could be via a USB stick, SD card, on a portable hard disk or posting it to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for example.

Each of these mediums require different parameters and DaVinci Resolve makes it easy for some of them by having presets you can use. For now, we’ll just create a simple MP4 file that you could manually post to say Facebook or YouTube.

If you look at the bottom of the DaVinci Resolve window (where at the start you selected the Edit mode), the last option is Deliver. If you click this, Resolve will switch into the mode where we can render our clip.

At left are the parameters we can set for the final output such as format, codec, resolution and so on. The only one we need to change is the format. Click the drop down and change it to MP4. At the top, add a filename and choose a location on your hard drive to save the completed clip.

At the bottom of this panel is a button labelled Add to render Queue. Click this and Resolve will add this project to a queue ready for rendering. You’ll see the queue at the top right. You can render it now by clicking the Render All button or wait until later after you may have created some more projects.

If you click Render All now, Resolve will render the file. Depending on the size, length, amount of complexity (effects, transitions, audio, music etc) this can take from minutes to hours. Your computer’s specifications also have a huge bearing on this.


Congratulations! You have successfully edited, added titles and a lower 3rd to your video. Of course there is a lot more functionality in DaVinci Resolve and here we have just scratched the basics.

I urge you to go and download the full PDF manual and by all means, just have a play. DaVinci Resolve is a non-destructive editor so your original clips will always be intact as long as you don’t delete them.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at david@auscamonline.com