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Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project

Tristan Kneschke

The Usage Tab can help remove unused clips from a large media pool and make any DaVinci Resolve project easier to manage.

In addition to crafting aesthetically pleasing shots, the more mundane task of managing grades, clips, and timelines is also a colorist’s job. Removing unused clips from a large media pool makes any DaVinci Resolve project easier to manage, but how do you know what’s being used and what isn’t?

There’s a small feature represented as a piece of metadata called Usage that can help with this detective work. Let’s look at how to use it.

For the sake of this demonstration, load the entire contents of a project drive into the DaVinci Resolve project, and then import any timeline that references the footage via XML, EDL or AAF. The majority of edited timelines will use significantly less footage than was shot.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: Imported TimelineAbove: import your XML first. Here’s a complicated project with multiple camera formats and resolutions.

Head to the Media page, the best place for managing footage and analyzing the wide variety of metadata information such as frame rate, resolution, and file path. The Media page organizes every clip in sortable spreadsheet-style tabs familiar to any NLE user. Right-clicking on the column heading brings up a host of other metadata options that can be hidden or revealed. The one we’re looking for is Usage.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: Select UsageAbove: right-click the main column heading and select Usage from the myriad options.

At first, Usage displays a column in which every row shows a default letter X. We’ll need to refresh the column to reflect what’s being used in the cuts.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: Default XsAbove: selecting usage reveals a column with default Xs. 

Right-click anywhere in the media footage pool and select Update Usage Data near the bottom.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: Update Usage DataAbove: right-click anywhere in the media pool and select Update Usage Data near the bottom.

Clicking this will either maintain the Xs or transform them into numbers. The numbers correspond to how many times the footage is referenced in the project’s timeline. Anything denoted with an X is not being used and can be safely removed from the project without producing the dreaded offline graphic.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: Numbers revealedAbove: some of the clips now display numbers, indicating their use in the cut.

Since we’ll be removing media from our project, you may want to save a version of your project before the next step so you can always revert back to a more complete project. From here, click the Usage column to sort it. This will separate the used shots away from the unused shots. Then it’s just a matter of shift-selecting all the unused clips, right-clicking within them, and choosing Removed Selected Clips.

Employ the Usage Tab to Simplify a DaVinci Resolve Project: End ResultSorting the Usage column separates the used clips from the unused. It’s easy now to remove the unreferenced clips to simplify your project.

Got any additional tips for consolidating projects? Let us know in the comments below.