DaVinci Resolve 18.1 Update

There’s a huge update to Resolve today, and it’s truly impressive.

A few of these features made my exclaim out loud at my computer!

Big round of applause to the Blackmagic team for so many amazing updates and video to help explain them.

Ok, now on the features. Watch the video above to get an overview of a few of the new items. Full list below.

From Blackmagic Design:

“This is a major update with new added support for social media vertical resolutions. Now, customers can work quickly and easily to create video posts for sites such as TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook shorts, Instagram TV and more,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Plus, there are some other exciting performance improvements as well, such the new DaVinci Neural Engine AI enabled voice isolation tools, and new features for Fusion, such as support for magic mask. We’re always excited to see what our customers can do with these amazing updates to DaVinci Resolve.”

Here’s a few items that stuck out to me…

Vertical timeline support is a welcome addition and is constantly requested. Glad to see that BMD is listening!

I’m super excited to have Blackmagic Cloud collaboration locking apply to just the timeline I’m working on, not the whole bin. This will save time and less back and forth of “hey can you click out of that bin so I can get in there?”

The new voice isolation is magic! My jaw dropped when I heard the example in the video. Saving audio becomes possible. Sound recorded in less-than-ideal circumstances won’t be as big of a headache!

The new Dialog Leveler looks like a huge time-saver as well. Can’t wait to try it out.

The Grid lines and tempo tools look amazing. I know this will be super helpful for quicker and more precise sound & music editing.

If you mark up source footage, having multiple duration markers to source clips is a great addition.

Fusion keyboard shortcuts integrated with the keyboard customization panel really help fusion feel more integrated, and will unlock easier use of keyboard shortcuts.

I’m so glad magic mask is now available in fusion!!

And the new sky replacement effect looks amazing. The previous solutions were powerful, but not nearly this quick or user friendly. This is a game changer for editors, VFX artists, and colorists.

Faster performance all around is also a huge plus. The speed gains listed in the video are really impressive. Especially 10x performance on Text+!

The release notes also mention improved speed editor functionality in the edit page, I’m looking forward to that!

As always, be sure to back up your database before updating.

For details, downloads, and update instructions, visit the Blackmagic Design Support Page.

What’s new in DaVinci Resolve 18.1

Key New Features
• Vertical resolution options in project settings for social media.
• Select custom thumbnails for YouTube uploads.
• Support for individual timeline locks enhancing multi-user collaboration.
• New Voice Isolation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine in Studio.
• New Dialogue Leveler for natural smooth audio.
• Vector keyframing for Fairlight automation curve editing.
• Fairlight grid support for editing to timecode or musical tempo.
• Reorganized and streamlined view menu.
• Support for Resolve FX Dust Buster in the edit timeline.
• Improved speed editor functionality in the edit page.
• Subtitle caption properties can now be overridden individually.
• Support for subtitle track presets and per-track formatting rules.
• Support for Magic Mask in the Fusion page.
• Support for Dolby Vision cinema trims.
• Support for fractional display scaling for Windows and Linux.

Media
• Support for smart bins to show individual marker clip listing.
• Navigating to markers in the viewer now selects the marker.
• Support for loading previous or next clip via source viewer actions.
• Drag media entries to auto smart bins to apply keyword, shot or scene.

Edit
• Improved speed editor functionality in the edit page, including:
– Full screen view, resize timeline and review playback keys.
– Trim, roll, slip edits and insert close ups in the edit timeline.
– CUT, DIS and SMTH CUT keys.
– Changing audio levels for clips in the edit timeline.
– Setting default transition durations with the SET key.
– Using sync bin and cam 1-9 keys to change multicam clip angles.
• Improved subtitle functionality:
– Subtitle caption properties can now be overridden individually.
– Improved subtitle handling for HTML bold and italics formatted text.
– Support for subtitle track presets and per-track formatting rules.
• Improved alpha handling with compound clips and transitions.
• Ability to multi-select, delete and realign transitions.
• Support for edit and trim actions on gaps.
• Support for timeline page scrolling.
• Shortcut to enable or disable all audio track destinations.
• New tracks are now added in context in the edit timeline.
• Support for Resolve FX Dust Buster in the edit timeline.
• Support for marker and track listing alongside the edit index.
• The change speed dialog now shows source clip duration.
• Reconform from bins persists the selected bin for the session.
• Drag and drop media as inputs to inspector on supported Fusion effects.

Fusion
• Integrated keyboard configuration for Fusion actions.
• Support for Magic Mask in the Fusion page.
• Support for Resolve FX Keyers, Dust Buster, Lens Flare and Stop Motion.
• New media-in background mode to access edit track composites.
• Up to 10x faster Text+ playback and render performance.
• Search for Fusion nodes using common keywords and categories.
• Faster VariBlur with GPU acceleration.
• Faster FilmGrain with GPU acceleration.
• Support for ARRI LogC4 and ARRI Wide Gamut 4 in the Fusion page.

Color
• New Resolve FX Sky Replacement including generated sky textures.
• Support for motion blur for textures with Resolve FX Surface Tracker.
• Support for using Resolve FX alpha for grade isolation.
• Support for separate RGB controls in Resolve FX Film Grain.
• Support for Dolby Vision cinema trims.
• Color grading nodes with Resolve FX automatically get additional inputs.
• Ability to process alpha channel for supported Resolve FX in Color.
• Tracking now works over transition extents.
• Improved resize quality for multicam and compound clips.
• Improved quality when tracking faces in profile or partial occlusion.
• Improved eye sharpening behavior in Resolve FX Face Refinement.
• Improved DaVinci Resolve advanced panel features:
– Improved clip and timeline toggle for grouped clips.
– The pots mode now includes additional primary controls.
– Improved qualifier menus.
– Improved power windows menus.
– Pressing shift down + loop toggles playhead mode.
– Ability to dock reference wipe mode on the side panel.
• Improved handling of Text+ in RCM projects with DaVinci Wide Gamut.
• Improved HDR, division and percentage labeling on video level scopes.
• Ability to filter clips with object mask.
• Ability to filter clips by clip color.
• The effects inspector now shows an explicit delete icon.

Fairlight
• New Voice Isolation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine in Studio.
• New Dialogue Leveler for natural smooth audio.
• Support for grid editing to timecode or musical tempo.
• Greatly improved automation editing and control including:
– Automation curve editing with vector keyframing.
– New snap automation glide time preference.
– Automation now follows clip edits by default.
– Automation now stays updated to match current playhead position.
– Support for writing automation to start, end or all of a timeline.
– New controls for auto punch, auto safe, zones and new mix.
• Ability to create audio crossfades between clips over a gap.
• Support for paste insert and ripple cut actions in the Fairlight timeline.
• Support for pasting multiple track names for adjacent tracks.
• Support for locating view to start and end of range selection.
• Rendering one track per channel now suffixes audio channel name.
• Mixers and meters show tooltip names for easier patch visibility.
• Confirmation dialog when deleting buses with assignments or automation.
• Support for deleting multiple buses from the bus format dialog.
• Multiple ADR usability improvements.

Codecs & I/O
• Select custom thumbnails for YouTube uploads.
• Select bit rates for supported codecs in YouTube presets.
• An option to review rendered clip before social media upload.
• Support for timeline markers in AAF import and exports.
• Custom preset support for Dropbox and Dropbox Replay uploads.
• Most suitable H.264/H.265 encoder is automatically selected.
• Support for decoding Dolby Vision H.265 Profile 5 clips.
• Hardware accelerated AV1 encodes in supported Nvidia systems.
• Support for UHD and DCI presets in output resolution scaling.
• Support for importing and exporting timeline markers in IMF workflows.
• Improved multichannel audio metadata in IMF delivery workflows.

Performance
• Up to 2x faster optical flow performance in enhanced mode.
• Up to 10x faster Text+ playback and render performance.
• Improved performance with RCM on Apple silicon.
• Up to 5x faster face refinement tracking and analysis.
• Up to 5x faster Resolve FX object removal performance.
• Up to 2x faster sharper resize performance on Apple silicon.
• Up to 4x faster spatial noise reduction performance.
• Up to 30% faster temporal noise reduction performance.
• Up to 5x faster video stabilization performance.
• Faster playback performance with large node graphs.
• Up to 2x faster decode performance for PIZ EXRs in Apple silicon.
• Improved RAW decode performance on Apple silicon.
• Up to 30% faster Nvidia accelerated playback for 8K H.265 clips.
• Up to 50% faster AV1 and H.265 encodes with dual Nvidia encoder.
• Improved startup time on Mac for users with many project libraries.
• OpenVINO accelerated AI-based Studio features in Windows Intel systems.

General
• Vertical resolution options in project settings for social media.
• Support for individual timeline locks enhancing multi-user collaboration.
• Improved audio management when importing ATEM projects.
• Simplified project setting presets accessible from the three dot menu.
• Reorganized and streamlined view menu.
• Support for exporting multiple selected projects.
• Support for copying and pasting project manager folders.
• Exported DRT timelines now include media sync information.
• Ability to copy and paste values when selecting virtual slider controls.
• Middle mouse drag to scroll clip thumbnails in color and Fusion.
• Support for fractional display scaling for Windows and Linux.
• Customize shortcuts for move clips, audio record and more actions.
• Ability to search for sub menus in keyboard customization.
• Keyboard customization action hover text shows the location of the action.
• Clickable warnings to easily resolve key shortcut conflicts.
• Scripting API support to spot audio to current track at playhead.
• Ability to select specific timelines to import from FCPXML files.
• General performance and stability improvements.

Improvements to speed editor functionality on the edit page
In the edit page, the speed editor features a number of workflow improvements. The Sync Bin button opens the source viewer in multicam mode. The CAM buttons switch angles in multicam clips and timelines. Audio level, trim in, trim out and other functions prioritize selection followed by track order. The slip source button always works on the clip under the playhead and slip dest works on the following clip. Other speed editor functions now match the behavior on the Cut page.

Multiple subtitle improvements
You can now override individual properties for each subtitle caption, e.g adjust font family and style while keeping font size and background to follow track. Imported HTML styled rich text in SRT is handled better with subsequent font changes.

You can also specify per-track deliverable rules, setting multiple tracks targeted at specific markets, each with their own custom CPS, timing and line rules.
Both track style and rules can be saved and recalled as presets from the inspector 3 dot option menu.

New tracks are now added in context in the edit timeline
Context clicking and adding a track inserts the new track adjacent to the context clicked track. When adding multiple tracks, the dialog suggests the appropriate position for the new tracks.

Media inputs for Fusion effects in the edit inspector
You can now drag and drop media pool clips to the inspector as Fusion inputs. When creating Fusion effects, plugins and transitions, you can create media drop targets by selecting a Media In tool and exporting clip name as an inspector control.

Combined sizing and alpha support for nested compound clips
Multicams and simple compound clips can now combine sizing and alpha changes from their child clips with sizing and alpha changes applied in the parent timeline, effectively preserving the underlying media resolution.

New Resolve FX Sky Replacement including generated sky textures
Resolve FX Sky Replacement allows for keying and replacing the sky in shots with B-roll or artificially generated sky textures. You can use it to keep the sky consistent between takes or provide more appropriate backgrounds to creatively affect color and mood.

An option to review rendered clip before social media upload
From the render queue 3 dot option menu, you can enable Review Before Upload. When rendered, jobs with internet presets render to disk and show that they’re waiting for upload. From the job’s context menu, you can reveal the rendered file, review the quality and content and upload the result.

Individual timeline locks in multi-user collaboration projects
With DaVinci Resolve 18.1, you can lock and edit individual timelines without locking the parent bin’s contents. This allows for greater flexibility in multi-user projects in setting up your media pool bins without locking other media or timelines in the same folder.
You can still manually choose to lock individual media pool bins to secure their contents independently.

Reorganized and streamlined view menu
The View menu has been streamlined and improved to make it easier to focus on View-related choices that apply to the entire application, while moving some view-oriented choices that are specific to a single page (e.g., Color) to local menus.

The View menu has been reduced from 40+ items to 25. Some items have been moved into a hierarchical choice, and some moved elsewhere to panel-specific context menus.
• The Color Page viewer’s 3 dot option menu now includes options like Window Outline, Highlight, Wipe and Split Screen, aggregating some items that were formerly hidden in context menus. These can now be controlled via the keyboard if desired.
• Stills options and Step Timeline Wipe are now available from the Color menu.
• Display of Smart Bins and Power Bins are now available in the Media Pool panel options menu as they are local to the Media Pool.
• Playhead shadows, Gray viewer backgrounds and 2D timeline scrolling can now be found in Preferences>User Preferences.

Dolby Vision cinema trims
DaVinci Resolve now supports the Dolby Vision XML 5.1.0 format which includes trim support for Dolby Vision cinema targets as well as L11 metadata. Users can create trims for Home and Cinema targets by selecting the appropriate target displays.
When exporting a 5.1.0 XML from a Dolby Vision version 4.0 project, there is a dialog where the mastering colorspace, application type and L11 values for content type and intended white point can be chosen.

Fairlight automation curves updates
Substantial update to audio automation curves, including vector-based keyframing, ability to graphically enter, edit, trim, nudge keyframes with standard tools.
• A new automation editing view, selectable from the track header automation drop-down menu, allowing management of curves and keyframes. You can add (Option/Alt-click), remove (Ctrl-Alt/Cmd-Option-click), select and move individual keyframes, or select, edit or cut/copy/ paste keyframe ranges. A keyboard shortcut can be configured to allow you to easily switch to fader views.
• Automation curve data written by control surfaces now appear as keyframes on the curve line.
• Moving keyframes now creates smooth ramps between any 2 adjacent points. When moving multiple keyframes in a range, bounding keyframes are automatically added to the range to preserve values outside the range.
• Select an area and drag up or down to create “carve out trims,” allowing instant level changes over a selected area. Use the Shift key for fine tuning.
• In the multi tool focus mode, hold shift-alt/shift-option to temporarily switch to the pencil tool to redraw curves.
• An overlay will appear when trimming and adjusting keyframes. e.g. “-8.5 dB (∆1.3 dB)” indicating absolute level value (-8.5 dBfs) and the change in the current trim operation (+1.3 dB).
• The Select Range Mode Tool is now removed as it is no longer needed. The other tools (especially Multi Tool in Focus mode) can now be used in the Automation curve view to select and manipulate keyframing.

Fairlight automation modes updates
New behaviors have been added to automation modes:
• Automation values now update when moving the playhead to a new location, avoiding discontinuities when recording automation; faders are always up to date when the Playhead is parked.
• The Fairlight>Automation menu has several new choices:
– You can choose Write to Start/End/All actions to write current automation levels to the start, the end or all of your timeline.
– Choose Join to manually resume writing automation in Latch mode from the current level.
• You can set an automation active zone (indicated in red on the ruler) by choosing Fairlight>Automation>Active Range and choosing In, Out or Enable to restrict where automation can be written. Automation preview switches automatically at the borders, allowing playback before and after the active range and recording within the range.
• Trimming can be initiated by touching and holding the fader prior to pressing play, or prior to or during playback, pressing the automation punch button on the channel. The button will turn red and the fader cap will turn yellow. Use of the punch button allows trimming to be initiated on some channels and not on others.
• You can disable per-track automation recording and automation playback by right clicking the automation arm icon in the mixer and selecting Off or Safe.
• The user preference “Include mixer events in the undo stack”, in the Fairlight tab, allows mixer actions to be undone from Edit>Undo (Control/Cmd-Z).

Fairlight grid mode
The Fairlight grid mode allows you to position clips on a grid based on timecode or musical tempo.
• From the Grid options, located next to the Timeline View options above the ruler, you can customize grid line visibility, duration, snapping to grid lines and other options.
• For the timecode grid, you can select resolutions of 1 second, 1 frame, 1/2 frame and 1/4 frame.
• For the tempo grid, you can configure beats per minute, note duration (1 bar, 1/2 note, 1/4 note, 1/8 note, 1/16 note) and time signature (4/4, 3/4 and 6/8).
• The ruler context menu also allows you to set grid start at a timecode location, or create grids from a range. Areas before the grid start are shown with negative bar|beat values. You can set a grid from a selected time range and set the start point and number of measures so that tempo is automatically calculated.
• Musical tempo grid lines are labeled with bars, beats and note durations. A counter location of “003|03|09” indicates a grid location of “bar 3, beat 3, and nine 16th notes.”

Voice isolation processing
The Fairlight page now has a new DaVinci Neural Engine AI-based core effects process that appears in the Inspector or as a floating plug-in window. This processing can remove loud, undesirable sounds from existing voice recordings. You could literally remove a jackhammer from a recording, leaving only the voice. Voice isolation can be very effectively for general purpose noise or room sound reduction/removal – including air conditioning, traffic, generator or motor noise, echoes and reverbs, undesired room sound, and other background sounds.
The voice isolation effect is one of two Fairlight track effects (the other being the dialogue leveler), accessible from the inspector. Under the audio tab, you can enable voice isolation for selected mono and stereo clips and tracks in the Fairlight, edit and cut pages. For tracks, it can also be enabled from the track FX section in the Fairlight mixer.
• There are two controls: effect on/off and an “Amount” control (0-100%). Using just a bit less than 100% can create a more natural result.
• Supported as an effect in mono and stereo tracks and clips.
• Live audio input cannot be used; the sound source must be on disk.
Note: Voice isolation is not suitable for anything other than the human voice, and primarily useful for dialogue processing.

Fairlight FX Dialogue leveler
The dialogue leveler allows for very useful improvements to dialogue recordings without the need for tedious level adjustment (clip gain or automation curves) or the artifacts of compression or expansion.
Use the dialogue leveler for dialogue recordings that are partially off mic, or have multiple people in a scene at different volumes, differing levels are too extreme, etc, to get extremely even and natural results, while maintaining the perspective of the original balance. The overall effect allows dialogue levels that originally jump out or are near inaudible to sit well in the final mix.

The dialogue leveler (like the voice isolation effect) can be enabled from the inspector and the track FX section in the Fairlight mixer.
The dialogue leveler’s controls include:
• An on/off switch.
• 4 presets optimized for different dialogue types. The default (“Optimize most sources”) works for most material.
• 3 module switches that allow to further tailor the response to your source material.
• An output level control with up to 6 dB of gain.

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