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  • Writer's pictureTais Pagan

DaVinci Resolve #1 - Understanding Database

The first screen you’ll see when you open DaVinci Resolve is the project manager. It will look like this:

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DaVinci Resolve will have created a disk database automatically the first time you opened the software. To see your database manager, all you have to do is click on that little icon on the left top corner to open the sidebar and see where DaVinci Resolve is storing all your projects.

At first glance, database might be a little scary for those used to other editing software like Premiere or Final Cut Pro, but it’s quite simple after you give your mind some time to get used to this new layer of organization and how you can use it to benefit your future projects.

So here’s a few questions I had when I first came across that window:

I’ll try to answer to all those questions to the best of my abilities.

1. What is database?

Database is just a way to organise and store data in your computer. It does not contain media, but all the metadata for every project. It also contains all of the timelines for every project you have worked on inside that database.

Things to consider about database:

  • Databases with fewer and smaller projects will save and operate faster than databases with greater number of larger projects

  • You can’t find saved projects by going through Finder or Windows Explorer because everything is saved in an internal database that only the software can access by default.

  • The first rule of database is: DO NOT MESS WITH DATABASE By default, the location of your database Is in the Library folder if you’re in a macOS or in the Program Data folder in Windows, but do not rename, modify, or delete any of the files in a database. It will give you trouble!

2. What’s the purpose of database?

Database will come in great help if you want to move or backup all of your projects and timelines. It will help you organise and keep track of all your projects, as they all can be found inside the database, and it allows the projects to be stored on a server connected to multiple DaVinci Resolve workstations so that you can work simultaneously with other collaborators.

Reasons to create a new database

  • To organise your projects according to your needs Every project has different needs and organisation is key, so each editor/colorist must find the best way to store their projects. Before you choose the best organisation system for you keep in mind that you can only open projects from the database you’re in. That means if you’re working on a project located in the database1 and need to open another project located in database2, you’ll need to close your current database and open the other. So, if you’re a freelancer, for example, it might be best to keep a different database for each client, and all their projects inside that database.

  • To backup existing projects Backup is like breathing for anyone working with computers. It just must be done. I always recommend doing a backup of your projects before installing an update or a new version of the software. That way, if any troubles occur with the new version, you still have the old version to work from. (Database can only work forward, never backwards. So, if you convert your database to a new version, you won’t be able to change it back to older versions, even if you try re-installing the older version.

  • Crowded boot drive Too much going on at once? Give yourself a fresh start and organise your projects like you are the Marie Kondo of post-production!

Databases with fewer and smaller projects will save and operate faster than databases with greater number of larger projects.

So, you might want to plan ahead how to best store your projects.

  • Sharing a database If you are working in a collaborative project, DaVinci is definitely one of the best software to help your workflow. You can create a new remote database housed on a server that can be accessed by multiple Resolve operators simultaneously.

3. What does that Japanese symbol on my pen means?

It means a reason to procrastinate! So let’s just stop everything and try to find out, shall we?

I hope this article was helpful, don’t forget to check it out my next posts about database:

  • How to create and switch database

  • How to backup and restore database


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