DaVinci Resolve Speed with Optimized Media
DaVinci Resolve is one of my favorite pieces of software these days. It’s powerful, it’s versatile, and it’s free. But depending on your computer setup and media, it can also be painfully slow.

While Resolve is traditionally quite a bit more resource hungry than other software, there are some concrete steps you can take to make it run faster and smoother, no matter what kind of computer you have. And the single biggest tip for making this happen is to have Resolve create optimized media.

First up, here’s colorist David Torcivia to show you how it’s done and to walk you through some of the settings you’ll need to know:

And if you’re using Resolve as your primary platform for editing (which more an more people are doing these days), then here’s another tutorial from Casey Faris showing how Optimized Media can help speed up your editing workflow considerably.

All in all, if you’re using Resolve heavily for either color or editing (and you really should be), but you’re frustrated with the performance as you play and scrub through your media, then optimized media is the key to making your life a whole lot easier.

As both David and Casey mention in their videos, you have a wide range of resolutions and flavors of the DNx codec to work with when using optimized media, and Resolve is smart enough to automatically switch back to the original media once you’re ready to render everything out. It’s drop dead simple, and there’s never any need for complex online/offline workflows. Resolve takes care of everything.

The only real tradeoff here is that it requires a bit of time up front to create optimized media. Depending on the quantity and quality of your original media (and your settings), it can take anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour to create optimized media for all your clips. All the while Resolve can’t be used for anything else.

But it’s a great excuse to get up and go for a walk or grab a bite to eat. Then when you come back, Resolve will perform significantly better.