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How to Slow Down a Video in DaVinci Resolve

Smooth and slow video with a few clicks.

Sometimes, a video should be slowed down to emphasize certain aspects or for a creative purpose.

Slow-motion is one of the most common cinematic techniques to create dramatic effects.

Slow-motion involves capturing a scene or action at a higher frame rate than the normal speed and then playing it back at a slower rate.

But sometimes, we want to slow down a video that wasn’t recorded at a high frame rate. 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to slow down a video in DaVinci Resolve and ensure smooth playback, creating an illusion that the video was shot at a high frame rate.

How to slow down a video in DaVinci Resolve?

Step 1: Right-click on the clip and select Retime Control.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Command + R to enable Retime Control.

Step 2: Click the dropdown icon next to “100%”.

Step 3: Go to Change Speed.

Now you can select by what percentage you want to slow down the video. Here are the options you should have available:

  • 10%
  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%

Select one of the above percentages.

Play the video – you should notice it plays back at a slower rate.

You may notice that the video playback is choppy because of the frame rate at which it was recorded.

If all you want is to slow down the video and it satisfies your purpose, you may stop here.

However, if you want to make the video play slow and smooth, there is a simple solution.

How to make a slow-motion video play smooth in DaVinci Resolve?

Step 1: Click on the clip.

Step 2: Go to the Inspector tab.

Step 3: Find the “Retime and Scaling” section. Click on it.

Step 4: For the Retime Process, select Optical Flow.

This feature creates fake frames in between real frames. Therefore, the video has the illusion that it plays smoothly.

If your video playback is still choppy, you can also optimize DaVinci Resolve for Smooth Playback.

You have just learned how to slow down a video in DaVinci Resolve!

A general suggestion is that if you intend to use slow-motion when editing, you should record your videos at a higher frame rate.

The default setting for most cameras is 25 or 30 frames per second (FPS). You should change this to a higher setting, like 60, 120, or even 240 FPS. This will allow you to easily slow the video down and keep the quality high.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to add slow motion to a video in DaVinci Resolve?

To slow down a video in DaVinci Resolve, first select the clip in the timeline, then right-click on it and choose “Change clip speed” from the drop-down menu. In the “Change Clip Speed” window that appears, adjust the speed percentage to a lower value than 100 to slow down the video.

Will slowing down a video in DaVinci Resolve affect the audio as well?

Yes, slowing down a video clip in DaVinci Resolve will also slow the audio.

Can I slow down part of a clip in DaVinci Resolve?

Yes, just cut the part of a clip that needs to be slowed down, right-click on it, and choose “Change clip speed” from the drop-down menu. In the “Change Clip Speed” window that appears, adjust the speed percentage to a lower value than 100 to slow down the video.

What camera settings are best for slow motion video?

If your camera allows, you should change the frames per second setting to a higher value. Most cameras have a default value of 25 or 30 FPS. You should aim to increase this to 60, 120, or even 240 FPS.

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