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How to Export Videos in DaVinci Resolve – A Simple Breakdown

Lewis McGregor

Exporting a video correctly is the first step to professional-level editing. Learn how to export videos in DaVinci Resolve with this simple approach.

Exporting can be a perplexing task if you’re new to editing, even more so when the software presents a brand new interface for when you need to render your footage. In the tutorial below, we break down the basics of how to export a video in DaVinci Resolve.

Don’t have time for a video? Not to worry, you can read the transcript below. However, there may be some sections that specifically call back to a moment within the video.


Edit Page Layout

With our edit completed, sound effects added, and grade implemented, it’s time to go to the Delivery page. Resolve, unlike other software that may have a pop-up box, has an entire page devoted to rendering your content. This is the edit page.

The Edit Page

Resolve’s edit page is entirely devoted to rendering your content.

To the left, we have our render settings. In this panel, we’ll set all the parameters for how we want our video to be rendered.

In the center, we have our preview monitor where we can watch back the edit one final time before hitting render. (However, it’s important to note that, unlike the editing page where the scrubbing tool scrubs through the entire timeline quickly, it only scrubs through the clip. So, please take note that it operates slightly different.)

On the right, we have our render queue where the selected clips put out to render will be placed and where we’ll finally hit render. And underneath is our timeline, which mirrors the timeline found on the edit page. However, we can’t make any adjustments whatsoever. We can’t mute the tracks. We can’t disable a clip. It’s merely for reference.

Let’s head to our first pit stop — the render panel. If you’re brand new to editing and still feel unsure about adjusting the parameters, Resolve will help you streamline that process with a set of one-click presets. From YouTube upload or Audio-only, the presets are perfect for quick exports.

Filename and Destination Location

Here’s where you’ll name and render your file.

First, we have our Filename and Destination Location. This is where you’d name your file and where your file would be rendered.

Next, we have an individual clip or single clips. Our timeline is made up of numerous clips, and the idea of exporting is to combine all this into one large video file. However, there may be circumstances where we want to render out low-resolution files to render on our laptop and need to export each clip individually.

When selecting Individual Clips, Resolve will render each video clip (as opposed to one large video file). If you’re rendering to create playback-friendly files, it’d also be worth jumping to the File sub-menu found here:

File Sub-Menu

In the File sub-menu, select File Uses Source Name to render with their original file name.

In this panel, you can then select Filename Uses Source Name. In doing so, your low-resolution files will render with their original file name, which makes it easier to replace when rendering in your high-resolution files.

Underneath, we have the format and codec. These parameters are not something you can typically recommend, as each project may require a different form of encoding. But for online encoding, the preferred format is Quicktime with an H.264 codec — you could also push for the even friendlier H.265.

Format and Codec

Set your format and codec parameters here.

Next, we have Resolution. You’re going to want the resolution to mirror the size of the timeline. If you try to render at 4K when you have a 1080 timeline, you’ll get a warning message. Therefore, if you’ve been editing 4K media in a 1080p timeline, to make the files play easier, you’ll need to revert the timeline settings to 4K.  

Warning Message

This warning indicates that you’re trying to render at 4K when you have a 1080 timeline.

And, of course, we want our frame rate to correspond to our timeline settings. Again, quality (like the codec) is going to depend on the requirements of the platform you’re rendering for. However, between you and me, I just like to stick it at best and deal with the larger-sized video files.


Primary Functions

These primary functions — the filename and location, the format and codec, the resolution, frame rate, and quality — dictate the core components of your render, and, I’d argue, are the only aspects you’re going to need to touch if you’re here watching this video.

If you need to change the audio or file settings, you do that by hitting the audio or file button, which will swap out the sub-panel here. If you wanted to render your video without audio at all, instead of going back into the edit and muting the tracks, we could just deselect this checkbox.

Audio

To render your video without audio, deselect the Export Audio box.

For the final setting to discuss, we’re going to head to the timeline and focus on this drop-down menu. Instead of rendering the Entire Timeline, we can select Render In and Out Range. Using the same keyboard shortcuts as we use on the edit page, I and O, you can create a shortened area to export, perhaps if you need to send just one scene to an actor for their showreel. And, what’s great is when you do add this to the render queue, you can create various in and out points and add them to the render queue. They’ll all render separate to one another.

Render In and Out Range

Instead of the Entire Timeline option, select Render In and Out Range, which will create a shortened area to export.

When all is said and done, you can hit Add To Render Queue in the Render Settings panel. Then, over on the render queue panel, we’re ready to hit Start Render.

To recap:

  1. Enter the Delivery page and review your footage one final time using the timeline viewer, if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Set the Filename and Destination Location.
  3. Adjust the format, codec, and quality to best suit the delivery location, and make sure the resolution and frame rate matches your project settings.
  4. Press Add to render queue.
  5. Then select Start Render.

That’s how you export a video in DaVinci Resolve. Here’s how you do everything else: