Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve

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Compound clips are a great way to group multiple clips together in DaVinci Resolve. Here’s how to use them.

Similar to grouped clips and compound nodes used during the grading process, compound clips allow users to cluster clips together in the Edit and Color pages. DaVinci Resolve’s compound clip functionality is essentially a grouping feature that works much like those in other nonlinear editing programs. Here’s how to make the most of compound clips in DaVinci Resolve.

Lasso or command-click the shots to be grouped together and right-click on them. At the top of the menu, choose New Compound Clip. Compound clips don’t necessarily need to be in sequence with one another.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip

You’ll get a dialogue box that enables you to give a specific name to the compound clip. After clicking Create, the compound clip will show up in your Media Pool as a project element. After executing the New Compound Clip command, a dialogue box pops up, allowing you to name the compound clip and process the audio in one of two ways (see below).

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip: compound clip properties

You can also choose whether to group the audio as Single Adaptive, which will cluster them together as its own group, or as Multiple Mono, which retains the audio stems for further editing, but it will make a sort of mixdown of them (see image below).

You may choose to employ this method as an easier way to send stems, but it can be cumbersome when editing further. Here’s an example of choosing the Single Adaptive audio mode. All audio is “mixed” down to one channel:

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: single adaptive option

Here’s an example of choosing the Multiple Mono audio mode. All audio is kept as discrete channels that are the length of the compound clip, regardless of the original audio durations.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: multiple mono option

Frankly, you may find that both audio modes disturb the integrity of your audio edits, as frequently one performs different functions on audio than video. To retain your audio edits as they were before creating the compound clip, make sure your video clips are unlinked by selecting them, right-clicking, and deselect Clip Link.

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Black Canvas Athletes

This short story was originally published at Across the Margin.

Competition, compulsion, and companionship – a story told in 8 bits…


Trinidad checks her crumpled shopping list. She’s just picked up the bouquet of flowers. That’s everything.

The drive home is quick despite intermittent traffic. Trinidad slips through the front door with grocery bags hooked over her arms, especially careful with the bouquet. Streeter hunches over a worn cardboard box in the living room, wrestling with a cluster of wires inside. “Tachyon” is scribbled on the box’s side in black.

Streeter plucks an ancient video game console out of the box and hooks it up to his 70-inch television. Trinidad smiles, realizing he has no idea she’s there. A brown-haired Swede, over the years she’s developed a hunched spine that betrays her thin body and lean face.

Computerized, simplistic beeps flow through the television’s speakers when Streeter switches on the console. The pixelated title screen is absurdly magnified on such a large display. Trinidad sets the bags down and comes into the living room with the bouquet. “I leave you alone for five minutes,” she says matter of factly.

Streeter whips around in surprise, his boyish slate-blue eyes peeking out from unkempt chestnut hair. “You’re back. Thought I’d play a quickie.”

“So, only a two-hour game?”

“I used to be so much worse.”

Trinidad shows him the bouquet. “How’s this by the way?”

Streeter shrugs. “That’s fine.”

“They had silk too, but I didn’t think you wanted that.”

Streeter unravels a clunky controller from its black wiring. “Real’s better.”

The uncomplicated, insistent game music draws Trinidad in. Small pixelated ships move around the screen in staccato animation. “Wow. This game’s ghetto.”

“Hey. Your boyfriend holds the world record in this ‘ghetto’ game. Show some respect.”

“Another online dating miracle.”

“Nine months of pure bliss, baby. And counting.”


The game makes a sound like a pitched-down kick drum run through a distortion pedal.

Streeter’s ship floats alone in space, until a wireframe tube comes out of nowhere. Enemy ships run along the perimeter, shooting at Streeter, who retaliates. His movements are graceful, like a master chef’s unwasted strokes; each serves a function. The gameplay is fast, even by today’s standards.

Trinidad’s gaze drifts to the cardboard box. Several crinkled 35mm photographs of Streeter rest on the mess of wires. She flicks through them. “These photos are amazing. Look at these corny t-shirts!” She studies one of Streeter with an older man resembling him. “Is this him?”

Streeter is silent, either from game focus or from memories.

Trinidad pulls out her phone and scrolls through her newsfeed. “I’ve been following BitPixel like you said. Someone tweeted the other day about beating your high score.”

“Whoa, really? All the more reason to practice.”

“You’ll beat him.” She reads from her phone. “This kid got a high score finding a glitch on level twenty-five. It shows you how on the site.”

Trinidad shows him the phone but he doesn’t look. Already the game’s tougher; enemy ships are firing homing missiles and triple-burst shots.

“Twenty-five….let’s see when I get there.”

“So wait. How’s that not cheating?”

“Yeah, it’s allowed if it’s in the programming. Obviously cheat codes, stuff like that, that’s notallowed.”

“Can’t believe people still play this game.”

“It’s big.” The game rewards Streeter with a shrill, klaxon sound for grabbing a bonus orb. “You’re coming to BitPixel this year, right? Maybe you’ll like it.”

Streeter doesn’t see her reluctant expression. “Yeah, I’ll check it out.” She watches him destroy three enemy ships with sniper-like precision. “You want to get going?”

“I already started a game.”

“Pause it.”

“This came out prior to pause.’”

An hour and a half later, Streeter runs out of lives, but he finds the level twenty-five glitch.

Training for the BitPixel competition coincides with Streeter’s annual cemetery pilgrimage, the one day of the year he drags himself out to visit his father’s grave. The March air is brisk, but it no longer slices at exposed skin.

The cemetery is near the pizzeria he and his father frequented when Streeter was little. It was on the way back from school, and on Fridays, his father took him for pizza to ring in the weekend. Streeter ate greasy pepperoni slices and listened to the owner and his father talk about off-track betting, their weekly poker nights, the shitty weather and most often, trouble with the misses.

Then the eighties arcade game explosion hit, and businesses were eager to cash in. The pizzeria owner installed a Tachyon arcade cabinet when Streeter was ten. Long after slices and idle conversation became stale, his father sat marveling at Streeter’s early gaming skills.


By twelve, the game transfixed Streeter. By fourteen he had the highest score on the leaderboard.


By sixteen he’d mastered the game, his score hundreds of thousands higher than second place. A friend told him about the world high score rankings; Streeter had a new goal.


By eighteen, he’d made out with a few girls and had gotten to second base with one, but, more importantly, he held the world’s highest score in Tachyon, having shattered the previous record holder by over a million points.


His goal achieved, Streeter turned to his college studies, largely forgetting about video games. But video games wouldn’t forget him. A few years after he finished college, BitPixel was formed.

b. 1942 – d. 2007

Trinidad gives Streeter space in front of the tombstone. He crouches over the grave and reads the inscription, once again doing the math in his head. Sixty-three. Trinidad squeezes his shoulder. He rises and hugs her in prolonged embrace, allowing the tears to flow.

For the next two months Trinidad has front-row seats to Streeter’s intense training. He wakes at six for a couple of hours of play before work, and hits the console immediately after, breaking only to eat a few protein bars and fill a water bottle to stay hydrated.


By week two, Streeter tapes a printout of the new high score in large type near the television, a visualization technique he picked up from a sports documentary. Streeter and Trinidad go to bed together at first, but by week four she’s jolted awake nightly by the trebly sounds signaling the game’s beginning. In his absence she discovers the comfort of keeping in touch with friends digitally, from commenting on friends’ vacation posts to joining interest groups to building boards and sharing those with her growing followers.

Streeter’s unwavering discipline is that of an athlete or a drug addict, depending on the day. Streeter’s ritualized discipline is one of his strong traits, but it pushes out other aspects of a well-rounded life. In these months he sacrifices human pleasures in service of the greater objective. Sex with Trinidad decreases, his sleep patterns are affected, and his posture becomes hunched. Before the start of the tournament he takes vacation days to train.

Read the full short story at Across the Margin and don’t forget to follow Tristan on Twitter.

Organize Your DaVinci Resolve Work Area with New Compound Nodes

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

In a fast-paced session, it’s easy to lose track of each node’s function in the tree, especially when time doesn’t allow for labelling each one. DaVinci Resolve 12′s compound nodes offer a solution.

When time doesn’t allow for proper labeling, it’s easy to lose track of each node’s function in the tree. New to DaVinci Resolve 12, the compound node condenses the complexity of the node tree, which can organize client comments or help otherwise clean up the node editor. Compound nodes can also allow for various workflow applications, like applying one correction that affects multiple nodes.

Or, consider a scenario: perhaps you’ve been addressing an art director’s comments for several minutes, creating multiple serial nodes that can be stepped back through if needed. Let’s say the art director now wants to toggle the result of all of those changes. The easiest way to show this would be to enable and disable a single node. In this case, compound nodes can also help.

To use this new feature, nodes must be in direct sequence with each other; the first and third node in a serial node tree can’t become a compound node. First, command-click on each node to be included. The active node doesn’t need to be one of these nodes.

Below, the third and fourth node are selected, denoted by the red bar above the thumbnail. The second node will not be included in the compound node even though it is the current node, as seen by the red box highlight.

1. Compound Node Selection

Right-click on any node and select Create Compound Node at the bottom.

Create Compound Node is revealed when several nodes in sequence with each other are highlighted.

2. Create Compound Node

The selected nodes will be grouped and the new node will be identified by a thicker border resembling a stack of cards. It’s subtle, which is why Blackmagic probably thought it was a good idea to label the node by default.

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Easier Interview Editing With DaVinci Resolve’s Smooth Cut Transition

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

DaVinci Resolve 12 debuts the Smooth Cut transition, mimicking Premiere’s Morph Dissolve tool. Interview editing has never been easier.

Interview editing can be tricky. But with DaVinci Resolve’s Smooth Cut transition, you’ll have no problem getting around line flubs or seamlessly blending two cuts together.

Let’s get into how DaVinci Resolve’s Smooth Cut works. In the Edit page, chop up the audio in your timeline as usual, taking out flubbed audio sections to create a more coherent performance. The video will be choppy since the person moves while talking; we’ll apply Smooth Cut to each of these edit points.

DaVinci Resolve's Smooth Cut Transition: Chopped Up Video
I’ve edited out some of the speaker’s flubs, resulting in a timeline with several edits.

Activate the Effects Library on the top left of the interface. Smooth Cut is in theTransitions category. Let’s be a little tricky. Hold down the Command key and click each of the edit points you made a moment ago, highlighting each of them. Right-click the Smooth Cut transition and choose Add to Selected Edit Points and Clips. The transition is added to every selection at once. Nice!

DaVinci Resolve's Smooth Cut Transition: Apply Smooth Cut
Open up the Effects Library; Smooth Cut is near the top.

If you just have one edit point or don’t feel like being tricky, simply drag the transition onto the edit point. Either way, you’ll have something that looks like the image below.

DaVinci Resolve's Smooth Cut Transition: Result Smooth Cut
The resulting clips all have the Smooth Cut transition on them with the default transition length set in the Editing preferences.

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Convert Power Windows to Bezier Curves in DaVinci Resolve 12

This article was originally published  on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Power windows can now be converted to Bezier curves in DaVinci Resolve 12. Learn how to use this timesaving feature.

Colorists use tons of power windows in typical sessions. However, using a standard circle or polygon shape can sometimes “give away” especially extreme corrections.Bezier curves provide finer control by having the ability to add additional pointswithout the jagged edges of the polygonal shape. Bezier softness around each point can be controlled as well, and with their amorphous shapes, they run less risk of being found out by the audience.

In a brand new feature in DaVinci Resolve 12, power windows can now be converted to Bezier curves with the click of a button. This can help you to work faster in session. Let’s take the image below. Perhaps we want to treat the window differently than we want to treat the subject, a normal usage of power windows.

The client has called out the window as being a bit too blue. Normally, the colorist would create a power window to address this concern.

Convert Power Windows to Bezier Curves in DaVinci Resolve 12: starting shot - no correction

Our workflow will be to generate a power window using one of the standard shapes, and then convert it to a Bezier curve for further modification. I’ve found the simpler shapes to be faster to control, and after getting the window into a place we generally want, we can then add nuance by converting the circle to a Bezier shape. Let’s start with a circular power window.

Circles can be faster because the softening affects the entire shape, unlike the polygonal window where each of the four corners has its own softening. Circles are also great to use for ovoid human faces. Draw the general shape, but don’t increase the softening, as converting to a Bezier object will reset any softening information.

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