DaVinci Resolve Part 2: Projects and Databases

By Andrew Devis (doodleNEWS)

When you have installed DaVinci Resolve and opened it up you will be taken to the ‘Project Manager’.

Project Manager Menu
Project Manager Menu

If you want to get back to this you go through the ‘File>Project Manager’ menu.

From here you can do quite a few things in DaVinci Resolve… However, for our purposes we want to start a new project. Well, if you double-click the ‘Untiled Project’ tile, you will be given a new empty project, which will need saving at some point.

Alternatively, you could select the ‘New Project’ button at the bottom of the screen that will allow you to create and name a project as you start. Both methods work, but sometimes the ‘Untilted Project’ tile may not appear, in which case you can use the ‘New Project’ button instead.

Please note that at the top of the Project Manager there are some helpful icons listed 1, 2, and 3 below.

Helpful Icons
Helpful Icons

We’ll come back to 1 in a moment, but 2 is a zoom slider, which will make your project tiles bigger or smaller. The two buttons under the number 3, above, give you the option of looking at your projects either as ‘tiles,’ or in a ‘list view,’ with additional meta data displayed. The icon to the left of 3 – the “!” in a circle will display additional data below the tile (similar to the data in the list view), and the little magnifying glass is, as you would expect, is a way of searching through your projects.

Database Manager
Database Manager

Clicking on the icon under the number 1 will open the ‘Database Manager;’ this is where you set up your databases, hold all your project information. Additional databases can be created with the ‘New Database’ button at the bottom.

IMPORTANT: Unlike many other editors, DaVinci Resolve does not create stand-alone projects but instead manages projects inside Databases. These databases can be ‘local’ disc based databases on your own machine or they can be PostgreSQL databases which will be the type of database you will want if you intend to have multiple people working on the same project at the same time. In this course I will only be talking about local databases.

Database Options
Database Options

The buttons at the top of the database manager in DaVinci Resolve allow you to: 1 – Backup and Restore databases. 2 – Change the sort order of your databases. 3 – Display additional information about your databases (e.g. where they are on your system). And, 4 – search your databases.

Databases and Multi-users

If there are going to be different people using DaVinci Resolve at different times, it makes sense for each user to have their own database. However, if a database gets corrupted for any reason all the projects in that database will be lost unless they have been backed up.

This in turn has led to some people creating a new database for every project they work on, and then ‘backing it up,’ or exporting it via the first icon below 1, above, to ensure it is safe. The big difference here is that it is possible to lose many projects all at the same time if you are not careful with your databases, and how you manage them. And this can be quite a change from other NLEs which create single ‘project files’ which if corrupted will only lead to the loss of a single project. So, now you know.

In the next tutorial, I’ll talk a little more about back-up and project management before we actually get going with DaVinci Resolve.

Click here for part 1, which is the introduction to DaVinci Resolve. Also, check out our growing list of tutorials here, and you can learn more at Blackmagic Design’s site.

1 Comment

  1. I just started using DaViinci Resolve. Using an external hard drive for my project, I had mistakenly double imported some clips. Rather than trying to figure out which clips had doubles, I deleted the clips from the media area and was going to re-import just what was needed. DaVinci Resolve had actually deleted them from my external hard drive. That was a surprise! FCP X and Premiere don’t work that way. Thankfully I had made a backup of the files on a different external drive.

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