DaVinci Resolve Tutorial Part 37: Working with Compound Clips

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By Kevin P. McAuliffe

In our last lesson, in our look at learning DaVinci Resolve, we talked about best practices when working in the Color Module.  In this lesson, we’re going to talk about Compound Clips, how you make a group of clips a “Compound Clip”, why you would want to do this, and how to break clips out of a Compound clip to work with them, if necessary.

A “Compound” clip is a non-destructive way to take a clip, or layers of clips, and “fold” them down into a single clip.  Why would you want to do this, you might ask?  Well, in situations where you have made a multi-layered effect in your timeline (3 or more layers), it’s easy to contain all those clips and layers into one master clip. Having them in one layer, with the ability to step in and make adjustments to those clips is a nice feature.  To group clips together as a Compound clip, simply select all the clips, right click on them, and select “New Compound Clip”. 

DaVinci Resolve 15 - New Compound Clip

Once you’ve done this, Resolve will ask you to name the Compound Clip, and give it a timecode (if necessary), and then Resolve will create a new clip container, and drop all the layered clips you had selected, into the new Compound Clip.

DaVinci Resolve 15 - Naming Compound Clip

Now, your timeline will look nice and streamlined, no matter how many clips you have in your Compound Clip.

DaVinci Resolve 15 - Compound Clips in Timeline

Now, of course the big question is, how do you get in and adjust the clips inside of the Compound Clip, if you need to?  Simple.  Simply right click on the clip and select “Open In Timeline), and you’ll now be inside the compound clip, and can make any adjustments you need to.  Need to get back out again, simply click on where it says the name of your timeline, at the bottom of the edit module.

DaVinci Resolve 15 - Compound Clip Step Out

I want to wrap up this lesson talking about how you can break down your Compound clips, and get them back to being layered elements in your timelines.  To do this, simply select your Compound Clip, right click on it, and select “Decompose In Place”.  You’ll now see your Compound clip broken down, back into the original layered elements for you to do with, whatever the producer/director needs done with them!

Meanwhile, check out our entire catalog of tutorials for DaVinci Resolve here.

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