DaVinci Resolve is killing Premiere Pro

I usually don’t post opinion pieces about software, but this time I just can’t help myself.

I have been an Adobe Premiere user since 2004. I own CS3 Master Collection, CS4 Creative suite and CS6 Master Collection. I have been using CC at work.

I was not happy when Adobe forced everyone into a subscription model. It was good for new users though as they had a lower bar to entry. But for us long time users it was not a good move. Many of us expressed skepticism if Adobe would still be motivated to innovate new features for programs like Premiere and After Effects now that they would get our paychecks regardless. I think that skepticism has been proven right over the years.

I think we users can sympathize with software development being complex, difficult and time consuming. So we forgive a lot even when we only see cosmetic features after years and years of waiting. But then DaVinci Resolve steps up and shows everyone how rapidly a piece of software can actually be developed.

It was not that long ago that Resolve 16 was released with an amazing list of new features. And many of them big features, like the Cut page, adjustment clips, the neural engine for AI goodness, object removal etc. So I was not expecting to see as big of a release as Resolve 17 so soon. But here it is, filled with even more AI-based tools like the magic mask, massive Fairlight updates like improved architecture, automatic beat and word detection, new proxy workflows and render in place, new in-timeline chroma keyer, scene cut detection and 90+ smaller features.

I’m not sure if I have ever seen so quick software development, maybe excluding Blender. With speed like this one might expect tons of bugs and crashing, but so far Resolve 17 has been rock solid on my computer.

DaVinci Resolve just starts to seem like an absolute no-brainer at this point. It has editing, VFX-compositing (via Fusion), color grading and audio editing (Fairlight) all in one package. And it’s completely free to use for most purposes. But if you want all the goodness that is available including the neural engine, even then the cost of a perpetual license is only around $300. At the moment you can even get the Speed Editor keyboard thrown in the bundle for free. Now get this: not only is the license perpetual (yours forever), but you will even get free upgrades.

Boy is it nice to see competition like this against Adobe CC! I think we will see people jumping the Adobe ship in masses.

Blender Video Editor Tips

Blender, being the Swiss-army-knife -tool that it is, can also do video editing. Setting up a video editing layout is easier than ever with the new “Workspace” -system of Blender. Simply click on the + button at the end of the workspace tabs and choose Video Editing –> Video Editing. Here’s a picture:

When using Blender as a video editor, a couple of questions immediately come to mind:

  1. How do I perform a cut? Answer: Simply press K.
  2. How do I perform a ripple delete (an edit in which the gap of the deleted content is automatically closed)? Answer: There is no ripple edit feature at the moment, but it can still be done very quickly by hitting “Del” to delete, then “Page up” to jump the playhead to the previous cut and finally “Backspace” to “Close gap”.
  3. How can I “render the timeline” for better playback performance? Answer: The best way might be to create Proxies. In the Proxy workflow, Blender will create new, better performing versions of your video files and use them for better work speed. These are the steps you need to take to enable Proxies in Blender Video Editor:

First find the Proxy Panel. It lives usually on the right side of the Sequencer (timeline looking panel). Select the clips you want to create a proxy for in the sequence. Click on “Set selected strip proxies” to set these clips up for proxy creation. It will ask for a desired proxy resolution. Then click “Rebuild Proxy and Timecode Indices”. Blender should now start creating the proxy files, next to your original files (although this location can be changed in the settings). It might take a while, but after it’s done, your playback should be much better.

Dealing with a multiresolution .mov file

For the first time in my career I encountered a video file that had two different resolutions. The beginning of the video was SD resolution and after 15 frames it jumped to a resolution of 1080p. VLC player was able to correctly switch the resolution during playback and it displayed the two different resolutions also in the codec information window. But Premiere Pro didn’t understand the file properly and never switched to the higher resolution portion of it. That was a problem because I wanted to use the high resolution in my edit.

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