By David Hague
Over the years, I have used many, many different video editors - Adobe Premiere 4.2 was probably my first NLE, followed by a long stint with Sony (now MAGIX) Vegas and flutters with AVID, EDIUS, one called Speed Razor and of course I have reviewed just about every package our there over the last 20 odd years costing from hundreds to many thousands of dollars.
So, when I am told that a full on, top featured package as used by the Hollywood heavyweights is available for free, of course my ears prick up just a little and I want to know more. Is it so complex that I won't be able to grasp its workflow?
Or does it require so much computer horsepower my modest Dell XPS 2710 all-in-one won't drive it? Perhaps the claims are overblown?
As it turns out, none of these statements is true; Resolve from Blackmagic Design is a ripper of an NLE that is not complex particularly, doesn't appear to need huge horsepower (unlike say Hitfilm 2017) and all the claims about its capability are quite sound.
As a bonus, it is available as a free download for Windows, Mac OS and LINUX.
There are some very nice features there too such as an excellent bin creation and file management system, a flexible way of marking (and keeping) in and out points and timeline clip assembly that is superfast when you use the shortcut keys.
To assist in the learning of Resolve (for the latest version 12.5), there is a great tutorial book by Paul Saccone called, "The Definitive Guide to Editing with DaVinci Resolve 12.5" and this is what I have been working through over the last week.
I am up to page 43, so about a quarter of the way through. Having been involved in the past writing tutorial books and even TV based tutorials on Windows and Office, Autocad and Filemaker, I think I am qualified enough to suggest this is one of the most well written books on a software product for training I have ever read. It's not too light as to make out you're an idiot (or dummy) nor so heavy as to be unreadable. It uses the metaphor I personally prefer in tutorial writing; creating a proper project and using it all the way through, building on the knowledge you acquire as you
progress through the book to the project's completion. A library of assets to use to create this project is available from the Blackmagic Design website. At around 2GB,it is a big download and will take time on the fantasy system our government calls laughingly "broadband" unless of course you have access to the mythical NBN!!
I have seen enough of Resolve so far to seriously consider swapping out my Sony Vegas package in favour of it. (I am also unhappy with the fact there is no representation in Australia anymore for Vegas and I don't see any enthusiasm towards this market from German based MAGIX).
If Resolve has one drawback, it is the fact that some video file types are not supported which can be a pain. For example M2T files from my old XHA1 camcorder are not recognised and if I want to use any I have to convert them. Thankfully the newer Canon codec, XMF is.
We'll have a full Resolve review when I have completed the tutorial book and had a more extensive play, but I do suggest you have a look at Resolve at www.blackmagicdesign.com and download the program.