This year’s release of DaVinci Resolve 18 continues its journey from a niche color grading tool to a powerful one-stop shop for editors. It’s been several years since the DaVinci editing software started positioning itself as a viable option against other industry-leading post-production programs. That hasn’t stopped Blackmagic, the developers of DaVinci Resolve, from continuing to raise the bar.
Year upon year, DaVinci has delighted its users by adding more useful features that many brands reserve for paid customers. It’s worth noting that a paid version of DaVinci Resolve is available, called DaVinci Resolve Studio. The licenses for this version are pricey and are generally recommended to post-production houses dealing with complex workflows and high-budget projects. However, the filmmaking community remains enthusiastic about the free version of DaVinci Resolve 18. As of July 2022, the software update is officially out of beta. So what is it that makes this update different?
DaVinci Resolve 18: System requirements (for Mac and Windows)
Before rushing to download the latest version, it’s worth double-checking that your system match DaVinci Resolve 18’s requirements. The good news is that Resolve worked its way into our hearts thanks to its variable system requirements. Unlike some competitors, both Mac and Windows users can benefit from the software. In fact, even Linux users can use the program.
While Resolve 18 does require a decent Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), it’s more than accessible to the computers that most professionals in the field will use. The minimum system requirements are:
- macOS 10.14.6 Mojave and later
- Windows 10 1703 or later will suffice
- Linux users on CentOS 7.3 or later
That is, so long as your system has a minimum of 16GB RAM or 32GB for Linux users.
Many of DaVinci Resolve 18’s new features are not limited to the paid version. For example, the new proxy generator is a key feature that brings value to those working with heavy video files, running as a separate application that can be opened outside Resolve. And the new release has streamlined what was possible on DaVinci Resolve 17 to bring any editor’s workflow to new levels.
Proxy File Management
Equally, file management of proxies was also carefully thought through. By default, new proxies are saved in the same folder as the source video files, and proxy use can be switched on and off easily via your editing timeline. Providing your computer meets or exceeds Resolve’s 18 system requirements, these features are sure to speed up your workflow.
Subtitles & Captions
There’s more good news for editors who can now spend less time executing complicated subtitles. Additions to this feature include an extended variety of subtitle file types that are now supported. Viewing and importing subtitle files from the media storage is also possible, adding a nice touch of efficiency to what was previously a laborious workflow.
For editors who manage captioning in multiple languages, Resolve 18 offers multiple simultaneous captions per track. This can also be handy when demonstrating multiple speakers.
The technology used within the latest update, including AI, makes tasks requiring precision and skill much more accessible. This allows you to push the boundaries of what’s achievable in your post-production workflow. For instance, automatic depth maps, track-moving warped surfaces and intuitive object masks are all possible on the new update.
You already know that the DaVinci editing software essentially offers several state-of-the-art post-production programs in one package. Considering DaVinci Resolve’s price – i.e., free for most users – it’s a heck of a deal. So, what has version 18 updated in each of the workspaces? There’s something on offer whether you spend more time in the edit, on effects, color or even audio.
One of the most exciting headline updates to this software iteration is cloud collaboration. While collaborative post-production workflows have been possible for a while, Blackmagic has released a host of new products and cloud updates to make post-production workflows easier from anywhere in the world. You could be sitting editing your timeline while your assistant works on a color grade and see their updates in real-time with a quick refresh of your project.
Multicam editing was also possible on previous iterations of the software, but Blackmagic has really delivered this time with 25-camera multicam editing capabilities. Plus, quick export settings allow you to swiftly create new presets for project and export settings alike. In addition, the user interface now allows you to access this option in a few clicks, which is much less time-consuming than before.
Fairlight has a lot to offer on this version of DaVinci Resolve. If audio is your thing, you could save hours now that you can copy settings between tracks for EQ and dynamics processing. Before, this function was only possible via a mouse shortcut many Mac users couldn’t access. No more creating endless lists of presets for what is now a quick hack! Binaural output rendering is now a breeze, and there’s a new, flexible system for audio projects with multiple tracks called Flexbus. Flexbus shows off Blackmagic’s signature innovation in making post-production tools functional, visual and intuitive for users.
Fusion – the DaVinci Resolve effects tool – welcomes updates that translate to quicker rendering of graphic and title previews. So you can say goodbye to slow preview renders and hello to instant visual feedback. Additionally, the ultra beauty effect has been overhauled to better smooth skin while preserving detail.
The additions and updates in DaVinci Resolve 18 are undeniably impressive. So what isn’t to love? Some users complained that this iteration of DaVinci Resolve’s beta – and DaVinci Resolve beta 2 – suffered from a choppy interface. However, when the system requirements are met, most of these issues appear to be patched in the official release.
There are still some factors that may hold users back from completely ditching other editing programs. It’s difficult to deny that the DaVinci Resolve package includes incredible value for any post-production professional. However, some users complain that it still lacks the industry integration to completely replace competing programs. The truth is that many existing products and online support cater to other more popular editing software. This is beginning to change, with many DaVinci Resolve plugins already on the market. Tutorials from Blackmagic and users alike are also becoming more readily available online in different languages.
Blackmagic is aware that the number of users moving to DaVinci Resolve from its competition is increasing. When you download DaVinci Resolve for the first time, it allows users to set up their workspaces in a similar way to the program they’re most used to. There’s even flexibility to adjust your DaVinci Resolve keyboard shortcuts. So if there was ever a time to try to make the switch, it’s now.
DaVinci Resolve 18 has moved beyond simply proving itself as a viable option for post-production. Regardless of your sector, the Resolve editing software is not only possible but a real asset to an impressive variety of editors, colorists, animators, sound engineers and more. If the software can meet all your project workflow’s requirements, then new users and seasoned pros alike will find something to take away from this new update.