New Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve. Major New Enhancements.

Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve 18.1, a major new update that adds support for editing in vertical resolutions such as TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram TV, as well as automatic locking of individual timelines within bins for multi user collaboration. This update adds DaVinci Neural Engine enabled AI dialogue leveler and AI voice isolation tools to the cut, edit and Fairlight pages as well as vector keyframing for Fairlight automation curve editing. Fairlight grid support has also been added allowing customers to position clips on a grid based on timecode or musical tempo. DaVinci Resolve 18.1 also makes projects imported from ATEM Mini ISO projects easier to edit for customers, with audio now attaching to the video clips.

DaVinci Resolve 18.1 is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 18.1 lets customers produce, export and post work quickly and easily on TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook shorts, Instagram TV and more. With added support for social media vertical resolutions such as 1080 x 1920, customers can choose square and vertical resolutions directly in project settings making it faster to setup a timeline to produce videos. Collaboration with other editors at the same time is also easier with the new timeline locking operation. This automatic operation prevents two users selecting the same timeline by locking it to the first user without the need to lock the whole timeline bin. Multiple editors can now work on different timelines in the same bin at the same time.

For audio, DaVinci Resolve Studio 18.1 adds new AI based voice isolation track FX so customers can remove loud, undesirable sounds from voice recordings. By adding DaVinci Neural Engine enabled voice isolation to the cut, edit and Fairlight pages using a new DaVinci Neural Engine AI based core effects process, customers can isolate dialog from background sounds in a recording, eliminating everything else from moderate noise to aircraft and explosions leaving only the voice. Voice isolation is perfect for interviews and dialogue recordings from noisy locations.

The built in dialogue leveler track FX in the inspector processes and smoothes dialogue recordings without the need for tedious level adjustments on clip gain or automation curves. Controls include real time scrolling waveform display, focus presets and three process options which allow customers to easily achieve natural sounding results. With the new vector keyframing of Fairlight audio automation curves, customers now have the ability to graphically enter, edit, trim and nudge keyframes with standard tools. Plus, there’s a new automation editing view which allows for faster and simpler management of curves and keyframes. DaVinci Resolve 18.1 also adds Fairlight grid support so customers can position clips on a grid based on timecode or musical tempo.

Editors now get a faster and smoother editing experience in this update with improved project importing when using ATEM Mini, so that audio is now attached to the video clips automatically making imported projects much easier to edit and helps improve workflows. DaVinci Resolve 18.1 adds DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor functionality to the edit page, including multicam switching, audio level, trim in, trim out and more! Plus, customers can use these functions in conjunction with the search dial for even more speed. There’s also support for subtitle track presets and per-track formatting rules. This means customers can now adjust individual settings for each subtitle caption, including font and style while retaining the track setting for size and background.

For Fusion users, customers can speed up their workflows with added support for magic mask in the Fusion page. The magic mask palette uses the DaVinci Neural Engine to detect animals, vehicles, people and objects, tracking their movement in a shot. Now customers can produce these clean traveling mattes directly in the Fusion page to add effects to characters or stylize the background. Plus, customers can now search for common keywords and categories for more than 200 tools. With this smart search functionality customers can filter the list without knowing the exact tool name to quickly find and apply tools to their visual effects.

DaVinci Resolve 18.1 also adds support for Dolby Vision 5.1.0 cinema trims, so customers can adjust the brightness levels of their high dynamic range images to optimize them for both cinema and television audiences. Customers can now also scale the DaVinci Resolve user interface incrementally to optimize the resolution for their specific Window or Linux display making it much easier to see the fonts on all aspects of the interface.

There are also significant performance improvements with multiple tools. Updates to the internal processing result in up to 10x faster Text+, 5x faster stabilization, face refinement tracking and analysis, 4x faster spatial noise reduction, better playback performance with large node graphs and improved Blackmagic RAW decoding on Apple silicon.

“This is a major update with new added support for social media vertical resolutions. Now, customers can work quickly and easily to create video posts for sites such as TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook shorts, Instagram TV and more,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Plus, there are some other exciting performance improvements as well, such the new DaVinci Neural Engine AI enabled voice isolation tools, and new features for Fusion, such as support for magic mask. We’re always excited to see what our customers can do with these amazing updates to DaVinci Resolve.”

DaVinci Resolve 18.1 Key Features
* Vertical resolution options in project settings for social media.
* Select custom thumbnails and channels for YouTube uploads.
* Support for individual timeline locks enhancing multi-user collaboration.
* New DaVinci Neural Engine enabled voice isolation in Studio.
* New Dialogue Leveler for natural smooth audio.
* Vector keyframing for Fairlight automation curve editing.
* Fairlight grid support for editing to timecode or musical tempo.
* Reorganized and streamlined view menu.
* Support for Resolve FX Dust Buster in the edit timeline.
* Improvements to ATEM Mini ISO project import to keep audio attached to video clips.
* Improved speed editor functionality in the edit page.
* Subtitle caption properties can now be overridden individually.
* Support for subtitle track presets and per-track formatting rules.
* Support for Magic Mask in the Fusion page.
* Support for Dolby Vision cinema trims.
* Support for fractional display scaling for Windows and Linux

Availability and Price
DaVinci Resolve 18.1 update is available now for download free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Basic Tutorial: DaVinci Resolve 18

DaVinci Resolve which is a very powerful video editing package and available on Mac, PC and LINUX, has a free version available as well as its super powerful Studio version.

If you are starting out with video editing, or want to have a quick try and compare it to your existing editor, then this tutorial will get you up and tunning in around 15 minutes.

Creating Instagram Reels with DaVinci Resolve

One of the current darlings of the streaming set is  Instagram with its Reels option. As both these and the other player TikTok use resolutions not generally native to video – vertical orientation as against landscape – there needs to be some steps made when creating video for these platforms so they look their best and conform.

DaVinci Resolve is a very, very full featured editor. So much so that it is used to make many of the Hollywood blockbusters you see in cinemas. But it’s equally at home making Instagram Reels too, and better yet, this can be done in the freebie version available at

Here is a step by step in DaVinci Resolve to make a video for Instagram Reels.

  1. In the Media Pool, create a new timeline and give it a name
  2. In the dialogue box, deselect the “Use Project Settings” checkbox
  3. This will give you access to four tabs. On the Format tab, change the resolution to 1080 x 1920
  4. On the Output tab, deselect the “Use Timeline Settings for Output Setting”
  5. Click “Create”
  6. Add a clip to the timeline
  7. Right click the thumbnail for the timeline you have created in the Media Pool, and choose “Timeline Settings”. For the “Mismatched Resolution” setting, change it to “Scale Full Frame with Crop”
  8. On the Output Tab, Deselect “Use Timeline Settings for Output Scaling”
  9. Click OK
  10. You can now use the Inspector to change the position and zoom of the clip to suit and make sure the subject always stays central.
  11. If you move the clip up with the Zoom, this will allow space to add titles
  12. You can now export your movie using the Deliver tab
  13. Use the Custom Export and change the resolution to Custom and then the size to 1080 x 1920
  14. You can now render

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

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

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


SoKrispyMedia Produces Viral Video Using New Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18

live action production and visual effects (VFX) company SoKrispyMedia recently completed work on its newest viral video, “Trapped in a First Person Video Game,” using DaVinci Resolve Studio 18 editing, color grading, VFX and audio post production software, along with Blackmagic Cloud.

Best known for its massive viral films such as “Chalk Warfare” and its work with MrBeast and his recent “Squid Game” recreation, SoKrispyMedia is no stranger to cutting edge technology and innovation. Its newest video, based on the popular video game Dying Light 2 Stay Human, combines live action production, VFX and practical stunts, and was produced in only six weeks.

Director and Visual Effects Designer Sam Wickert shot most of the project on a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 digital film camera, with post from media ingest to cut and color handled in DaVinci Resolve Studio 18, which is currently in public beta. “We were grateful for being able to stay in one package, honestly, as a 12 minute short film is a lot to tackle in a six week turnover time,” said Wickert. “Once you factor in all of the stages of post production, including selecting takes, assembly edit, audio, VFX, color, etc., there isn’t a lot of time left to bounce in and out of various pieces of software.”

Blackmagic Cloud and DaVinci Resolve 18 could not have come at a better time for SoKrispyMedia. “Blackmagic Cloud was something we were really excited about and something we used quite a bit on this project,” added SoKrispyMedia Producer Micah Malinics. “We had a pretty busy schedule during our post timeline because we were traveling, taking meetings, and generally on the go. Since we were editing this film ourselves, we needed to find a solution to allow us to seamlessly access the project even if we weren’t at our primary workstation.”

“Blackmagic Cloud allowed us to work between workstations, regardless of where they were, without the need to migrate projects,” said Wickert. “This was great since we were editing the project on a pretty tight deadline. This isn’t something we could do easily in the past; for example, managing various project files across devices became pretty clumsy when we would go back and forth between multiple devices in one day. With Blackmagic Cloud, we didn’t slow down when moving between machines or even working on the road.”

SoKrispyMedia’s work with Blackmagic Cloud on “Trapped in a First Person Video Game” won’t be its last. “As more and more of our productions embrace remote workflows, it’s fantastic that we can work in cloud based and multi user interfaces easily and efficiently,” continued Malinics. “While there will always be certain needs to have artists and vendors in house, this workflow enables us to have a smoother experience in post whether our team is all together, working remotely around the world, or a hybrid of the two.”

“A lot of our work embraces innovative and bleeding edge technology, and we’re really excited with how Blackmagic Design is implementing these types of new features,” said Wickert. “The cloud workflow and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18’s AI tools and advanced hardware utilization really improve the way that we work, and we’re excited to dive more into DaVinci Resolve Studio 18, and the Blackmagic Cloud this year!”



From the “Things You Didn’t Know” file

Since purchasing Da Vinci Systems in 2009, Blackmagic  Design has reduced the price of DaVinci Resolve dramatically. It previously sold for over US$200,000 and its studio version now retails for USD$295, with Blackmagic Design introducing a free version in 2011, disrupting long standing industry practices.

You can get the free (for Mac, Windows or LINUX systems) version here.

Review: Logickeyboard for DaVinci Resolve

Since I started my video editing explorations in the mid-1990s, I have played with, tested, reviewed, written tutorials and pulled apart just about every NLE (non-linear editor) and associated plug-in and ancillary package ever invented.  From AVID Media Composer to Z-Brush, I have used ‘em all.

But until recently, I only ever used two NLEs for my own editing, Adobe Premiere Pro from around 1997 to 2000-ish and from then on Vegas Pro.

In the last few months, however, I made the switch to DaVinci Resolve. The reasons are many and varied, but simply for the things I now want to do, and the equipment I use (Blackmagic Pocket Camera 6K, Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro etc) it made sense. Another major factor is that having a huge library of clip and images, using Kyno as a library system, I can easily and quickly search for assets and once found, direct them straight into DaVinci Resolve.

There is though one legacy I have stuck with that goes right back to the last century; for both Adobe Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro, I used a Logickeyboard dedicated keyboard.

These are available from Australian distributor Adimex and have colour coded keys showing groups of commands for the editing package. I have always found using short cut keys far more effective than the mouse for fast editing, and these keyboards are simply brilliant for that purpose.

Two days ago my brand new one for Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve finally arrived (like so many things it had been held up by “supply chain” issues for a number of weeks.

It is fractionally wider than my previous Vegas Pro one, but the keys are similarly placed and have the same feel to them. They are backlit which is a major asset in a dark editing suite, and you can change the level of the lighting intensity by pressing a key at the top right. There are 6 levels available from bright to off.

To the left of that key are three more for controlling audio levels; one each for volume up and down and one for mute.

On the back edge of the keyboard and adjacent to these media keys is a single USB port (the old Vegas Pro keyboard had one each side and was very useful to plug in my DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor on one side and the Loupedeck CT on the other).

As you’d expect, with so much functionality, this keyboard draws a lot of power and so the cable to plug it into the PC splits into two meaning you need a pair of spare USB ports on your PC.

Another major difference between the DaVinci Resolve keyboard and the Vegas Pro one is the way the colour coding is applied.

For example, with the Vegas Pro keyboard, for commands that affect moving clips on the timeline or any navigation of the timeline, the relevant key caps are coloured green. That is, the whole key is green and the alpha-numeric designation and the shortcut commands are etched on the keycap.

Conversely, with the DaVinci Resolve keyboard, only the bottom half of the key cap has the colour coding along with the letter designation of that key. The rest of the key is black and contains in white a text reference to what it does as a shortcut key. Additionally, the SHIFT, CTRL and ALT keys are also colour coded (Pink, Magenta and Cyan) and coloured dots on any key explain what that specific key will then do if either of these is pressed in conjunction with the alpha-numeric key.

So for example, the alpha-numeric key “I” is colour coded Yellow and by itself as a shortcut key acts as a media player key for “go to end of clip”.  But as the coloured dots show, if pressed in conjunction with either SHIFT, CTRL or ALT, then the function changes to Go To In, Clear In or Import respectively.

I admit this confusion of colour does take some getting used to, especially when just using the keyboard for typing in Word say (unless you are a touch typist of course), and it has taken me the two days of pretty solid use to get au fait and comfortable with it.

Using the shortcut keys with DaVinci Resolve similarly takes a bit to adapt, but once you get your most used keys off pat, it becomes a breeze. Throw in the DaVinci  Resolve Speed Editor and you have a brilliant setup. Add a Loupedeck CT into the mix with he SideshowFX shortcut key for DaVinci Resolve and its icons, and it is a dream setup.

If there is one criticism, and the Vegas Pro keyboard also lacked here, is that there is no way to adjust the keyboard height as there are no adjustable “legs” to raise or lower the rear. A second USB port would also be useful.

The Logickeyboard for DaVinci Resolve retails for around $260 and is available online at Digistor.

Other colour coded Logickeyboards are also available for applications such as Ableton, Adobe After Effects, Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Maya and many more programs. 


Christmas Down Under Shot Using Blackmagic Design Cameras and Posted with DaVinci Resolve Studio

Ion Network’s new Christmas film, Christmas Down Under, was shot using Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2. The film’s editing and color correction was completed using DaVinci Resolve Studio by Tasmania’s South Sky pictures during the height of the Covid quarantine.

The film, which is being distributed by Ion Network’s in the United States and by Level 33 globally, was directed by My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Louis Mandylor and produced by Adam Horner of Ignite Pictures. It follows a tightly wound American, Ellie, who flies to Australia and enlists the help of an aboriginal tour guide and YouTube famous Uber driver to find her husband and his eclectic family.

Christmas Down Under, a full length feature, was shot in 20 locations in Australia over three weeks and required incredibly efficient filmmaking. Also, because the film is being shown in a crowded market of holiday films, speed and efficiency had to come with high quality.

“The holiday film industry is incredibly competitive, and more so now than ever. We’re now seeing almost every major network producing numerous holiday movies per year. So, quality matters and that was the reason we chose to use the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and DaVinci Resolve,” said lead producer Adam Horner.

Instead of snow and rosy cheeks, an Australian Christmas means high temperatures, air conditioned interiors and outdoor shooting in unforgiving sunlight.

Maarten ‘Fish’ Talbot from Tazmania’s South Sky Pictures, 2nd Unit DP and a camera operator on the film, as well as an co-producer and editor, explained: “Getting an overall unique and culturally appropriate look for the film meant leaning into those differences while still having a Christmas feel. The Blackmagic cameras really handled the harsh Australian sun and Resolve let us pick a color pallet in post that set us apart from the typical Christmas movie.”

The film was shot by DP Luke Walker using three URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2s, with some of the scenes shot with all three simultaneously. To ensure that the tight deadline was met, Walker relied on the camera’s ease of use and ability to be set up and broken down quickly.

“For the simultaneous shots, the camera’s ease of use meant all camera operators were on the same page at all times. No other camera produces a look like the URSA Mini. With standard features like false color, being able to use different codecs, built in NDs and more, we found we had everything we needed,” Walker continued.

Post production, which was done at South Sky Pictures in Tasmania, took place in the middle of strict Covid quarantine rules in Australia. Editing and VFX were done by Talbot and post production manager Joshua Freeman, both using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

South Sky Pictures picked up the post production work for the film after an initial cut had been done in other software.

“We had to rebuild the entire project in Resolve, which actually helped make post quicker and more efficient since there were no stability issues and we could begin to edit without having to nurse our tech,” Talbot continued. “Adapting to Resolve was a surprisingly intuitive process because it could quickly ensure the editing process was streamlined, and we found we could instinctively cut much faster on it.”

He continued: “Resolve’s simple approach when it comes to user experience is great. You have to remember that this film was posted by two guys on having to work at home during the pandemic, so the way Resolve splits different aspects of post production into tabs meant we could have everything we needed in front of us without wasting valuable screen real estate or becoming fatigued by searching through the interface.”

The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and DaVinci Resolve Studio workflow was particularly useful when producers and network executives requested three new scenes late in the process.

Adam Horner, the film’s Producer said “These additional scenes were shot at the peak of Australia’s pandemic crisis, with most of our talent and crew unable to get together. The shoots had to be designed and shot in a way that made everyone appear as though they are in the same location, despite the fact that they were thousands of kilometres apart. Using Resolve and Blackmagic cameras meant the new scenes were cut and colored just days after receiving all the media.”

New DaVinci Resolve 17.4 up to 5 times faster and now Dropbox Replay integration

Blackmagic Design has announced DaVinci Resolve 17.4 which transforms the speed of DaVinci Resolve to work up to 5 times faster on the new Apple Mac models with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. With this massive speed increase, customers can now play back, edit and grade 8K projects even faster, and can work with up to 12 streams of 8K footage.

DaVinci Resolve 17.4 is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 17.4 also increases the decoding speed of 12K Blackmagic RAW files, making it over 3 times faster and H.265 rendering is also 1.5 times faster. Plus, DaVinci Neural Engine performance is up to 4 times faster, for real time facial recognition, object detection and smart reframing! Support for ProMotion 120Hz displays makes playback and editing incredibly smooth and HDR viewers are also supported on the new Apple MacBook HDR displays.

DaVinci Resolve 17.4 also adds Dropbox Replay integration. Projects will flow smoothly from DaVinci Resolve Studio directly to Dropbox Replay for easy video review and approval. Frame accurate colored markers, comments and annotations made in Dropbox Replay are almost instantaneously synced to the DaVinci Resolve timeline. Plus with a simple login, customers will only have to sign in once. Other features include quick and easy render set up with dedicated Dropbox and Dropbox Replay presets as well as automatic background uploads that are monitored for status and confirmed when complete.

For subtitling, DaVinci Resolve 17.4 includes automatic resizing of backgrounds and cursor placement when creating captions, as well as nested timeline subtitle tracks now auto-populating the main timeline to speed up creating captions.

There are also improvements to the edit page such as better functionality for position curves in the timeline, so customers can more easily adjust the ease in and out points. This creates a more custom transition from one point to another when applying zoom or image position adjustments. Customers will also now be able to use DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor to switch between cameras in multicam clips on the edit page making it faster to cut programs together. Additional support for asymmetrical trimming allows customers to adjust a transition’s in point without affecting its out point or vice versa, enabling them to fine tune work more quickly.

With Fusion, customers get additional support for languages with combined glyphs and those that may write right to left such as Arabic and Hebrew. Combined with improved vertical layouts, rotation and line direction when working with Text+, this will enable customers to work in a wider range of languages and layouts.

DaVinci Resolve 17.4 adds greater support for automatic color management, making it faster and simpler to set up projects. Additionally, this update adds support for ACES 1.3, including gamut compression, so customers can now more accurately display wide gamut images to be certain they are getting the best representation of the source image.

A new Resolve FX called custom mixer allows customers to combine effects and make adjustments to grades with finer control. Plus, a new 3D keyer adds the ability to make finer adjustments to the key and matte finesse settings to make it easier to create clean masks with more accurate keys and finer edges. For DaVinci Resolve Studio, there’s also a new film halation which will add the effect of a glow or light reflections around high contrast edges, giving images a more filmic look.

Fairlight audio now has support for Steinberg VST3 audio plugins, giving access to more audio effects so customers can create the perfect soundtrack. Plus, there are keyboard shortcuts or click and drag to reorder, move and duplicate effects in the Fairlight mixer, displays single sided audio transitions as fades and added support for multi channel audio outputs.

When finishing projects customers can now export projects with YouTube video chapters, improved encode settings for the YouTube render preset and the ability to use hardware accelerated H.265 on Windows.

“This amazing update gives customers massive performance gains on the new Apple MacBook Pro models with the M1 Pro and Max processors. It completely transforms workflows and unlocks some incredible creative potential. What’s exciting is simply by downloading this free DaVinci Resolve update customers will get all these features for free,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “To have the capability now to easily edit and color grade Blackmagic RAW 8K footage in HDR and all on a laptop while you’re miles away from the studio is incredible. Plus the ability to easily collaborate on projects with Dropbox Replay makes it such an exciting time for our customers to be out there creating content. We’re very excited to see what our customers can do with this amazing update to DaVinci Resolve.”

DaVinci Resolve 17.4 Features

Key Features

  • Hardware accelerated Apple ProRes on Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max.
  • 120Hz support on Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max for smoother UI and playback.
  • Faster DaVinci Neural Engine performance on Mac OS 12.
  • Native HDR viewers on supported Mac hardware.
  • Comments and annotations sync between Dropbox Replay and DaVinci Resolve Studio.
  • Markers and comments sync between Dropbox and DaVinci Resolve Studio.
  • Export timeline markers titles as YouTube video or Quicktime chapters.
  • Steinberg VST3 support giving access to even more audio effects.
  • Simplified color management, SDR and HDR selection and new automatic project settings.
  • New Resolve FX including film halation.
  • Improved 3D keyer and matte finesse controls.
  • Text+ support for combining glyphs, vertical layouts and right to left for Arabic, Hebrew etc.
  • Significantly faster ProRes decode, encode and AI performance for M1.
  • Subtitle backgrounds auto resize and nested timelines decompose to parent.

Support for Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max

  • Hardware accelerated Apple ProRes on Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max.
  • 120Hz support on Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max for smoother UI and playback.
  • Faster DaVinci Neural Engine performance on Mac OS 12.
  • Native HDR viewers on supported Mac hardware.
  • Native full screen mode on Mac.

Dropbox Comment Integration

  • Dropbox login within DaVinci Resolve preferences.
  • Render directly to Dropbox or Dropbox Replay.
  • Automatic background uploads when render completes.
  • Comments and annotations sync between Dropbox Replay and DaVinci Resolve Studio.
  • Markers and comments sync between Dropbox and DaVinci Resolve Studio.


  • Subtitle and caption backgrounds now auto-resize to fit text content.
  • Subtitle tracks in nested timelines now decompose to the main timeline.
  • Adding a new subtitle caption now auto-focuses on the text area.
  • Simple titles and subtitles are faster on Apple Silicon systems.
  • Improved ease in and out functionality for position curves in the timeline.
  • Options to include effects and grades for render in place operations.
  • Switch multicam angles in the edit page with the speed editor.
  • Ability to mark selection for timeline gaps.
  • Edit asymmetric audio transitions created in the Fairlight page.
  • Trim video and audio transitions asymmetrically using cmd/ctrl.
  • Fine audio clip gain adjustments using shift + mouse drag.
  • Support for pasting retime attributes on audio clips.
  • Option to limit audio sync to the first timecode match.
  • Preview composite modes by hovering over each mode in the inspector.
  • Ability to set per-clip deinterlace quality in the inspector.
  • New square iris transition.
  • Support for custom aspect ratio controls for shape transitions.
  • Improved overlays for Fusion tools in the viewer.
  • Improved undo support for Fusion effects and Text+ in the inspector.
  • Support for folder based organization of effect templates.
  • New customizable key actions to go to previous/next timeline tabs.
  • Ability to close timeline tabs with middle click.
  • Preview generators and titles from the effects panel in the cut viewer.


  • Support for an automatic mode for color managed projects.
  • Support for ACES 1.3, gamut compression and new CSC transforms.
  • New 3D Keyer with new modes, better selection/stroke logic, live feedback.
  • Improved HSL and Luma keyers with updated matte finesse controls.
  • Track forward and back with a single action in trackers and magic masks.
  • Node tooltips now indicate LUT and effect type present.
  • Dragging new links to layer and key mixers auto-creates node inputs.
  • Dragging color nodes over key links creates key-to-RGB connections.
  • Added individual primary and secondary tool icons for faster switching.
  • Clip filters for timeline clips with Dolby Vision analysis or trim.
  • Disabled clips are now shown as gray in the timeline.
  • Support for applying camera LUTs and CDLs to ARRI MXF ProRes clips.
  • The printer light state is now persisted across application restart.
  • Navigating to markers in the timeline now auto scrolls to center marker.

Resolve FX

  • Film halation emulates film stock reflections and scatter with Studio.
  • Custom mixer to combine effects and grades with finer control.
  • Improved 3D, HSL and Luma keyers in edit and Fusion.
  • Better noise handling and key refinement for existing keyers.
  • Improved patch replacer with ability to align source and target.
  • Film grain with interactive previews and grain freeze options.


  • Support for Steinberg VST3 audio plugins on Mac OS and Windows.
  • Ability to reorder, move and duplicate effects in the mixer.
  • Support for copying clip ranges with partial fades.
  • Single sided audio transitions are now displayed as fades.
  • Support for multi channel audio outputs on Linux.
  • Better waveform displays at smaller track heights and lower zoom levels.
  • Ability to shift-click and cmd-click on keyframe selections in the timeline.
  • Navigating to previous or next timeline marker now selects the marker.
  • Improved default processing order in Fairlight mixers.
  • Automation curves display current values when no automation is present.
  • Point selections now flash in edit selection mode.
  • Improved column order and search behavior in the clip index.
  • Improved jog, scroll and shuttle with the editing keyboard and speed editor.
  • Fairlight FX meters have resizable displays and improved channel labels.
  • Improved audio performance when using Blackmagic monitoring devices.


  • Text+ support for combined glyphs and right to left language layouts.
  • Improved vertical Text+ layout, vertical glyphs, rotation and line direction.
  • Improved Text+ character grouping, spacing, underlining and borders.
  • Text+ supports per-character stylistic sets for supported fonts.
  • Support for OpenType features, including old-style numbers in Text+.
  • Multiple Text+ improvements for character styling and animation.
  • Hover to show tool descriptions in the effects panel and add tool window.
  • Improved default tracker search and pattern size for grid warps.
  • New search area scale slider in tracker options.

Codecs and File I/O

  • Improved encode settings for YouTube render preset.
  • Option to export a timeline marker color as YouTube video chapters.
  • Option to export a timeline marker color as QuickTime chapter markers.
  • Support for decoding opus audio in QuickTime and MP4 clips.
  • Hardware accelerated Panasonic 8K AVC decodes on Apple Silicon.
  • Improved decode speeds for ARRI ARX clips.
  • Hardware accelerated H.265 encodes on free version on Windows.
  • H.264 encode profile options on supported Nvidia systems with Studio.
  • H.264/H.265 encode bit rate controls on supported Windows Intel systems.
  • Faster encodes and decodes for Windows Intel systems with Studio.
  • Support for encoding to ZIP1 EXR format.
  • Ability to add custom languages in DCP/IMF composition naming options.
  • Ability to use approved operator / rating / region lists for DCP naming.
  • Marker support in the IO encode plugin SDK
  • Ability to bypass re-encodes for Sony XAVC Intra clips.
  • Improved retention of comments metadata for third party XML workflows.
  • Improved display of render job names with tooltips.


  • Right click audio icon to adjust volume on media, color and deliver pages.
  • Auto-identifying media storage sequential image formats as stills or clips.
  • Prompt to overwrite existing projects when invoking save as.
  • Locked project indicator for PostgreSQL databases with usage info tooltip.
  • Ability to clone a PostgreSQL database from the project manager.
  • Ability to export PostgreSQL access keys from the project manager.
  • Option to import into current timeline when importing an AAF.
  • Scripting API support to access inspector properties for video clips.
  • Scripting API support to set playhead position on the timeline.
  • Scripting API support to get color version for video clips.
  • Scripting API support for reflecting upload status in render job APIs.
  • Scripting API support for setting network optimization in render jobs.
  • Scripting API support for H.264 multi-pass encode option in Mac OS.
  • Improved scripting property set when querying MediaIn nodes.
  • General performance and stability improvements.


Availability and Price
DaVinci Resolve 17.4 is available now for download free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

The ULTIMATE system config? (Yes it’s Resolve based with secret sauce added).

I have fond memories of the first time I discovered I could get Microsoft Word and Excel “talking” to each other. For instance, if I created a chart in Excel from a data set – my staff’s sales figures for the week at that time was a good example – then pasted it into a Word document, if the numbers updated, so did the chart in both Excel AND Word.

Thus was the magic of DDE or Dynamic Data Exchange. And from little things, big things grow, to quote Paul Kelly.

This same magic, albeit far more sophisticated these days, is also used to update calendars, phone apps use it, and hell, the entire Internet-cum-Google universe relies on it just about.

So what does this have to do with video and film making?

Well it’s a sidewise lean into describing what I consider to the very best setup available today in terms of the perfect editing system, which I have been trying to put together for years and years.

You see, over the last few months I have been getting more and more into the Blackmagic Design (BMD) ecosphere. Sure, I still use Vegas for quick and dirty stuff as I know it well after 20 odd years.

But for the projects I am now looking at doing, I have the feeling that the BMD way of approaching things, along with some ancillary products, is a better long-term bet.

At the heart of it of course is the Da Vinci Resolve NLE, now at Version 17 Beta 9, and as stable as anything I have seen (so far). As well as the revolutionary Cut page, in the free version you also get a cut-down of Fusion, BMDs 3D / Motion Graphics editor and of course the basic Fairlight audio system and arguably the best program for colour correcting there is.


If you spend the extra money to get the full version, you also get the BMD Speed Editor hardware controller which I am finding almost indispensable now and the application itself opens up a lot more options to you. At about $550 it is still a bargain..


Yes, the Speed Editor is skewed mainly to being used in the Cut page section of Resolve, but nonetheless it has certainly speeded up my workflow dramatically.

But I have also added the Loupedeck CT controller.


And this is further enhancing the system along with the Da Vinci customised profile pack (complete with icons) from Sideshowfx.


This combination of software and hardware is, to me, brilliant in its own right and while I do have other plugins in the mix too from BorisFX, Red Giant and the like, rounding it all out is the asset logging system from Kyno, and this is where the magic comes in.


Once you have installed Kyno and pointed it to the directories / folders containing all of your video, stills and audio, you can use the system to search for clips that you may want in your current Da Vinci session. Once found, with a mouse click, they can be immediately loaded into your Da Vinci project.

Various options regarding metadata and folders / bins are also available.

To aid in the search, you can also set folders in Kyno to be “drilled down” automatically when searching for clips.

This in my workflow is the Holy Grail; to be able to search through and find relevant clips and basically throw them into specific bins in a project on-the-fly is as good as it gets.

Try the free version of Kyno and see what you think.