Tips for Achieving Real-Time Playback in DaVinci Resolve

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

As the high resolution 4K TV market grows, let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence playback in DaVinci Resolve.

The inevitable ubiquity of 4K televisions in the near future ensures larger resolutions will be the norm, not the exception. Without adequate hardware support, slow, choppy playback will continue to frustrate us. Professional colorists are at risk for experiencing slow playback since we prefer to work with the highest-quality images available. This requires robust systems that can handle intense processing. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence playback in DaVinci Resolve.

Upgrade Your Graphics Card

Cubix xpander
Cubix Xpander image from Cubix

Resolve, both a hardware and software system, isn’t optimized unless you’re taking advantage of a modern graphics card (and several, if you can afford it). Resolve can use separate multiple cards to power its GPU and GUI.

If playback is lagging, consider investing in a new graphics card or getting a second one for more firepower. You can also invest in a GPU expander chassis like the ones made by Cubix. These take advantage of multiple PCIe slots so you can expand past the physical limitations of your current system.

Rendering clips before playback is the alternative, but you may be waiting for clips to cache for a while, especially on longer projects. In certain scenarios this may be acceptable, but some clients are used to faster service. Besides, wouldn’t you want tospend your time coloring, not watching progress bars?

 Render Cache and Proxies

I’ve explained the much-improved Render Cache before, and it’s a feature I still rely on in session, especially when adding nodes into the double digits. I’ll also tend to use the Render Cache when applying processor-intensive effects such as noise reduction.

Activating the Render Cache and playing the clip once can be enough for Resolve to render the necessary frames for the clip to play real time in subsequent instances. Resolve tries to retain the render even as further corrections are made in additional nodes further downstream.

You can also choose to render to the same preview codec as your final output which can save time during your final render. This preference is located in General Options under the gear preferences located on the bottom left of Resolve. You can also change how quickly the system will start rendering.

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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