Learn How to Seamlessly Loop Video & Audio in DaVinci Resolve 17

DaVinci Resolve 21/02/2022 4 min read

Whether you want to know how to loop playback in DaVinci Resolve 17 or create seamlessly looping audio or video, we’ve got you covered. Looping audio and video playback in DaVinci Resolve is a very handy feature to know and especially handy when you are trying to create seamless loops for video or audio.  Seamless loops are very popular for things like animated gifs, Instagram reels, TikTok, and YouTube shorts. The seamless loop is mesmerizing and often results in blown-out average view duration and watch time.

Part 1: Basic Loop Playback in DaVinci Resolve

To loop video or audio playback in DaVinci Resolve 17 simply enable it by pressing the button in the toolbar under the viewer in the Edit page and under the mixer in the Fairlight page. 

  • To loop playback on just one section create an In point by pressing the shortcut I and an Out point by pressing O.  
  • Now press Alt+/ or Option+/ to playback video or audio between the In and Out points.
  • Clear the In and Out points by pressing Alt+X or Option+X.

Part 2: Seamless Video Loops in DaVinci Resolve

The key to a successful seamless loop is matching frames at the start and end of the video or audio.  This can be achieved by careful editing, planned during filming, or created by blending frames.

1. Editing Method

This method works best with multiple clips that are telling a story or with movement. The viewer expects transitions between the clips and the more clips you have and the faster transitions are between clips the harder it is for the viewer to recognize they are in a loop. It works best when the start and end are not obvious, so choose your start and end clip well. In this snowboarding example, the start and end are the same clip at the top of the run and the story in the clips takes you down and back up again.

  1. Create your edit in the timeline.
  2. Take your first clip and move it to the end.
  3. Cut the clip in half.
  4. Move the second part back to the start.

That’s it. Your sequence will now start and end on matching frames and as long as the sequence and clips make sense you have created a loopable video.

2. Filming Method

This is achieved in-camera and works best for single seamless clips. It works on the same principle as before. Your clip needs to start and end on matching frames. As you can see in this example the blank table is the matching frame and the title was cut in half to match up at the start and end as in the method. Any changes in exposure or focus on this blank table will ruin the effect, it needs to be a perfect match at the start and end.

  1. Add your clip to the timeline.
  2. Trim the clip so the static frames at the start and end match.
  3. Add a Title to the end and let it overlap halfway and fade in the start and end.
  4. Cut the Title in half and move the second half to the start.

In this case, the title just helps to sell the seamless effect and hide any small transition.

3. Blending Frames Method

This method works best for static video with some moving content, like a static shot of a flowing river where the start and end frames won’t match exactly.  Any significant changes like exposure or moving vehicles etc. are going to be very hard to hide and create a seamless effect. The effect is created by slowly blending the start and end of the clip.

  1. Set the in and out point of your clip.
  2. Add your clip to the timeline.
  3. Cut a portion from the start then move it to the end and place it on top so it lines up with the end.
  4. Create a manual fade on the top clip to help blend the transition.

This method will create a near-seamless loop but it won’t be perfect.

Bonus: Seamless Audio Loops 

Creating seamless looping audio in DaVinci Resolve works on the same principles as for video. To create a seamless loop the start and end must match or be blended together and this can be done with the exact methods as above in the Edit page or in the Fairlight tab.

If you are using music or sound effects try to use something that was made to loop like this train ambiance from Motion Array. This type of file makes it easy to loop. You can also use silence, like a pause when taking a breath, if you are using sound effects or dialogue as long as the silence is expected.

Part 3: Learn to Loop Animations in DaVinci Resolve

Looping animations seamlessly in DaVinci Resolve is surprisingly easy when using the spline editor in Fusion. The key is to ensure that the start and end of the animation match, like in our simple square animation.

  1. Add an Adjustment clip.
  2. Go into the Fusion page with the Adjustment clip selected.
  3. Add a Background node and change the color.
  4. Add a Transform node to the Background node.
  5. Go to the first frame, add a keyframe and change the Size to 0.5.
  6. Go 5 frames ahead and change the Size to 0.8.
  7. Go another 5 frames and change the Size back to 0.5.
  8. Open the Spline editor, make sure the Size keyframes are ticked, select them all and press the Looping button.
  9. You now have endless loops.
  10. Back in the Edit page, cut the end frame of the animation to match the start frame so you create a seamless loop.

The looping feature in the Spline editor can be used for any keyframes on any animation.

Looping playback in DaVinci Resolve 17 is as simple as enabling looped playback and using shortcuts to playback between In and Out points. Creating video or audio tracks that will seamlessly loop is a bit more complex and requires a bit of planning and editing skills. Once you understand that the key is for the start and end frames to match then the world is your oyster and you can go and create as many seamlessly looping videos and animations in DaVinci Resolve 17 as you want.

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