How to Optimize DaVinci Resolve for Smooth Playback in 1 Minute

No more choppiness or stuttering!

If your timeline playback is smooth, it ensures that your editing process will be easier and faster. However, depending on the project’s complexity, playback may be choppy or even make editing impossible.

In this tutorial, I will go over the DaVinci Resolve features that you can use to achieve faster playback.

Option 1: Bypass Color Grades and Fusion Effects in DaVinci Resolve

This is the easiest way to achieve smooth playback in Davinci Resolve, but it will help you if your project has heavy color grading or many Fusion effects with many nodes.

How to Disable Color Grades and Fusion Effects in DaVinci Resolve?

Click the “Bypass Color Grades and Fusion Effects” icon. You will notice that the icon becomes grayed out, indicating that all Fusion effects and Color Grades are temporarily turned off, resulting in better playback performance.

When you want to turn back on color grades and Fusion effects, click “Bypass Color Grades and Fusion Effects” again, and the icon will become colorful.

It is important to be aware that turning off this feature will disable Fusion effects, which means that transitions and animation won’t be displayed while playing the timeline. Therefore, it is essential to remember this while disabling the feature to avoid confusion with other problems.

At this point, you may stop here. Usually, if you do heavy color grading or apply LUTs in your project, this single click may solve the issue, and your timeline will now play smoothly.

But if it doesn’t help, you may need to proceed with DaVinci Resolve’s other solutions to ensure smooth timeline playback.

Option 2: Lower Playback Resolution in DaVinci Resolve

One of the most effective ways to optimize playback in DaVinci Resolve is to lower the playback resolution. This will reduce the demand on your computer’s resources by reducing the video resolution you see while your timeline is playing.

Lowering the playback resolution makes it easier for DaVinci Resolve to play your footage smoothly.

How to Change Playback Resolution in DaVinci Resolve?

Step 1: Go to the “Playback” menu.

Step 2: Hover over “Timeline Proxy Resolution” in the context menu.

Step 3: Select one of these options from the menu “Half”, or “Quarter”.

Each option will divide the resolution accordingly, with the lowest resolution being “Quarter”.

You will notice that the image quality in the playback window will be less sharp, but it improves the playback of your entire timeline.

If you want your timeline to play at full resolution again:

Go to “Playback” > “Timeline Proxy Resolution” > “Full.”

Option 3: Generate Proxy Media in DaVinci Resolve

This method will work if you are just starting your project. Proxies generated by DaVinci Resolve take your original footage and convert it into half-resolution footage, which is smaller and easier to handle.

How to Generate Proxy Media in DaVinci Resolve?

Step 1: Go to the “Media Pool” tab.

Step 2: Right-click on one or several media files you want to create proxy media for.

Step 3: Select “Generate Proxy Media…” in the context menu.

This process can take some time, depending on the footage size. Still, once the rendering process is complete, you can use these proxy media files for editing your footage, which will help improve playback performance in DaVinci Resolve.

And don’t worry, once you decide to render your project, DaVinci Resolve will use the original media instead of proxies.

Don’t forget to tweak your export settings to match colors in DaVinci Resolve timeline too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the playback choppy and slow in DaVinci Resolve?

If your playback in DaVinci Resolve is choppy, it could be because your computer’s hardware doesn’t meet the software’s requirements. You can try using Proxies or dropping the timeline resolution to make the playback smooth.

What are proxies in DaVinci Resolve?

Proxies are lower-resolution and codec versions of the original high-resolution, high-bitrate media files. Proxy files are created to make editing easier on your computer and faster, particularly when working with large, high-quality media files. The original file is preserved and used for final rendering and output.

How to make Proxies in DaVinci Resolve?

Right-click on the clip in the Media Pool and select “Generate Proxy Media” in the context menu. It might take some time for a very large file. If a small camera icon appears on the clip thumbnail, it means a proxy of the current clip is being used.

How to make the playback smoother in DaVinci Resolve?

You can lower the playback resolution to optimize your playback settings in DaVinci Resolve. Go to the “Playback” menu. Hover over “Timeline Proxy Resolution” in the context menu. Select one of these options from the menu “Half”, or “Quarter”.

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