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Davinci Resolve 20 Years History

2004: Da Vinci Resolve

(Resolve DI Digital / Resolve FX VFX / Resolve RT 2K resolution processing tool)

“2004 Da Vinci Resolve” refers to a groundbreaking software package released in the year 2004. It encompassed three distinct modules tailored for different aspects of video production and post-production:

Resolve DI Digital (Digital Intermediate): This module provided advanced tools for color grading and color correction. It allowed filmmakers to manipulate the color and tone of their footage with precision, ensuring a consistent and polished look throughout the film.

Resolve FX VFX (Visual Effects): This module offered a range of visual effects tools and capabilities. It enabled users to add special effects, animations, and other visual enhancements to their videos, elevating the production value and creativity of their projects.

Resolve RT 2K Resolution Processing Tool: This module was designed for processing video at 2K resolution in real-time. It allowed for efficient editing, rendering, and playback of high-resolution footage, catering to the demands of professional filmmakers working with high-quality content.

Together, these modules formed a comprehensive suite of tools for video professionals, providing everything needed to take a project from raw footage to a finished, polished product. The release of “2004 Da Vinci Resolve” marked a significant milestone in the evolution of video editing and post-production software, setting new standards for quality, efficiency, and creative possibilities in the industry.

2009: Black Magic Design bought da Vinci Systems

In 2009, Blackmagic Design, a renowned manufacturer of professional video and film production equipment, acquired Da Vinci Systems, a leading provider of color grading solutions.

This strategic move marked Blackmagic Design’s expansion into the high-end post-production market, granting them access to Da Vinci Systems’ advanced technology, particularly the renowned Da Vinci Resolve software suite.

This acquisition enabled Blackmagic Design to offer a comprehensive ecosystem of products and services, combining their expertise in hardware with Da Vinci Systems’ software capabilities. Following the acquisition, BMD continued to invest in the development of Da Vinci Resolve, transforming it into a fully integrated editing, color grading, visual effects, and audio post-production platform.

2010: V7 Mac only version

DaVinci Resolve V7, released in 2010, was a major update to the popular color grading software that brought several new features and improvements. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of a new user interface, which was designed to be more intuitive and easier to use. Resolve 7 also added support for new file formats, including native support for Apple ProRes and DNxHD. Additionally, the software gained new color grading tools, such as multi-point tracking and power windows. These features helped to make Resolve 7 a more powerful and versatile tool for colorists of all levels.

2011: V8 Resolve Studio / Free Resolve Lite

Resolve first Windows version

In 2011, DaVinci Resolve V8 made waves with its debut on Windows, marking a pivotal moment for video editing. Previously confined to Mac users, this release opened the door to a vast new audience accustomed to Windows-based systems. This expansion wasn’t just about accessibility; it ignited competition within the professional video editing market. Notably, V8 offered both a feature-rich Studio version for professionals and a free Resolve Lite version, making DaVinci Resolve more approachable for hobbyists and independent filmmakers on tighter budgets.

The impact of V8 resonates to this day. DaVinci Resolve has transformed into a globally renowned video editing and color grading powerhouse, available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Its 2011 release not only cemented its position as a key player in the industry but also continues to be a popular choice for professionals and amateurs alike, thanks to its constant evolution and commitment to cater to diverse user needs.

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2012: V9 Interface Redesign

Bold Refresh: DaVinci Resolve V9 Unveils its Revamped Interface

In 2012, DaVinci Resolve V9 arrived, not just with new features, but with a complete interface overhaul. This redesign aimed to enhance usability and cater to a broader audience, including both seasoned colorists and aspiring video editors. The changes were significant, departing from the previous version’s traditional layout and embracing a more streamlined, modern aesthetic. Workspaces became customizable, allowing users to tailor the interface to their specific workflow preferences. Navigation received a boost with improved menus and toolbars, making finding and using functionalities more intuitive.

This update wasn’t solely about visuals. V9 streamlined complex tasks with dedicated panels for color grading, editing, and audio mixing. Colorists rejoiced with new tools like secondary qualifiers and power windows, while editors gained improved timeline functionality and multi-cam support. The free Resolve Lite version also saw enhancements, making it a more attractive entry point for newcomers.

Ultimately, the 2012 V9 interface redesign marked a crucial step in DaVinci Resolve’s evolution. It laid the groundwork for future versions, prioritizing user experience and setting the stage for its position as a leading name in the video editing and color grading world.

word image 7816 3 2013: V10 Video Editing

with limited functions like trimming clips and Open FX plugins

The 2013 release of DaVinci Resolve V10 was a landmark moment, officially introducing video editing capabilities to the software primarily known for color grading. This marked a strategic shift, but it’s important to understand the context and limitations:

Limited Editing Functionality: While V10 did bring editing features, they were basic compared to dedicated editing software. Users could trim clips, arrange them on a timeline, and add transitions, but lacked advanced options like multi-cam editing, complex titling, and motion graphics. This positioned V10 not as a direct competitor to established players, but rather as a tool offering basic editing within the existing color grading workflow, primarily targeting colorists needing light editing capabilities.

OpenFX Plugin Support: V10 integrated OpenFX plugins, opening up a vast library of third-party effects and transitions for creative expansion. However, not all plugins were compatible, and performance with demanding ones could be an issue. This meant that while the plugin support offered flexibility, it came with limitations.

2014: V11 Develop standalone NLE and audio mixing

The 2014 release of DaVinci Resolve V11 marked a monumental leap forward, solidifying its position as a serious contender in the video editing world. This version introduced two key aspects that cemented its evolution:

Standalone NLE (Non-Linear Editor): V11 ditched the previous requirement for a separate color grading module, transforming DaVinci Resolve into a fully independent non-linear editor. This meant editors could now import, edit, and export projects entirely within DaVinci Resolve, eliminating the need for additional software. This move significantly broadened its appeal, attracting editors who sought a complete solution without juggling multiple programs.

Dedicated Audio Mixing: Recognizing the importance of audio in the editing process, V11 introduced a dedicated Fairlight audio mixer. This provided editors with professional-grade audio mixing tools, including multi-track mixing, EQ, compression, and effects processing. This integration eliminated the need for separate audio editing software, streamlining the workflow and empowering editors to handle all aspects of their project within DaVinci Resolve.

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2015: V12 New Audio Engine

The 2015 release of DaVinci Resolve V12 wasn’t just another update; it was a complete overhaul of the software’s audio engine, offering a significant boost for both audio professionals and editors. Here’s how it transformed the audio experience:

Performance and Stability: Gone were the days of lagging playback and frustrating crashes. V12’s new engine delivered remarkable performance gains, allowing smooth handling of complex projects with numerous audio tracks, plugins, and effects. This enhanced stability gave editors peace of mind and ensured a seamless creative flow.

Advanced Mixing Features: V12 wasn’t just about smooth playback; it empowered editors with professional-grade mixing capabilities. Features like surround sound support, automation lanes, and improved plugin support opened doors to achieving high-quality audio results directly within the software. The integration of the FairlightFX suite provided a versatile arsenal of EQ, compression, dynamics, and other essential processing tools, eliminating the need for external plugins in many cases.

Collaboration Made Easy: Recognizing the importance of teamwork, V12 introduced improvements for collaborative audio editing. Centralized audio libraries and project-locking features ensured seamless collaboration between editors and sound designers, allowing them to work on shared projects efficiently.

2017: V14 Audio Editing Software Fairlight

The 2017 release of DaVinci Resolve V14 introduced the full integration of the renowned Fairlight audio engine. This transformed DaVinci Resolve from a video editing and color grading suite with basic audio tools into a complete audio post-production powerhouse. Here’s a breakdown of its key features and impact:

Unleashing Professional Audio Tools: V14 brought Fairlight’s professional suite directly into the software, empowering editors with features like:

  • Subframe editing: Edit with pinpoint accuracy down to the sample level.

Multitrack timeline: Handle hundreds of audio tracks simultaneously with ease.

  • Advanced mixing console: Perform professional-grade mixing with EQ, dynamics, plugins, and automation.
  • Bus routing and mixing: Create complex mixes with multiple buses and submixes.
  • Surround sound support: Work with various surround sound formats like 5.1, 7.1, and even Dolby Atmos.
  • Extensive plugin support: Expand your creative possibilities with VST plugins.
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2018: V15 integrated Fusion Compositing and VFX

The Fusion Revolution: Compositing and VFX Integration

The 2018 release of DaVinci Resolve V15 marked a monumental shift in the software’s capabilities, not just for video editing and color grading, but for visual effects (VFX) as well. This release saw the seamless integration of Fusion, a powerful and industry-standard compositing and VFX tool, directly into DaVinci Resolve. This move had a significant impact on the industry, offering several key benefits:

  • Node-based compositing: A flexible and efficient workflow for layering images, adding effects, and creating complex composites.
  • Particle effects: Generate realistic fire, smoke, explosions, and other visual elements.
  • Text animation: Create dynamic titles, motion graphics, and lower thirds.
  • Rotoscoping: Isolate objects with precision for clean keying and compositing.
  • Tracking and stabilization: Smooth out shaky footage and track objects automatically.
  • 3D compositing: Work in a full 3D environment for advanced compositing and effects.
  • Seamless Workflow: The integration was designed for a smooth and efficient workflow. Effects could be applied directly to the timeline, and changes could be previewed in real time. This eliminated the need to jump between separate software, saving time and boosting creativity.

2019: V16 integrated the Cut page / Ai Tools

Introducing the Cut Page and AI-Powered Features

Two key highlights were the introduction of the Cut page and the integration of machine learning functionalities:

The Cut Page: Streamlined Editing: V16 introduced the Cut page, a dedicated editing workspace designed for fast-paced cutting and assembly. This page offered a simplified interface with features tailored for editors working on projects like documentaries, news packages, and fast-turnaround content. Key features included:

  • Trim tools and timeline: Optimized for quick clip trimming and arrangement.
  • Multicam editing: Easily switch between camera angles and create seamless multicam edits.
  • Smart editing tools: Leverage intelligent features like SmartBins and auto-tagging for efficient organization and selection.
  • Fast export: Export finished projects directly from the Cut page for quick delivery.

V16 also marked the start of DaVinci Resolve’s embrace of machine learning (ML) functionalities. Two key features showcased its potential:

  • Facial recognition: This tool automatically identifies and tags faces in the footage, saving editors time in organizing and finding specific scenes.
  • Object tracking: ML-powered object tracking allowed for automatic tracking of moving objects within a frame, simplifying tasks like adding motion graphics or applying effects.

2020: V17 Improved Fairlight Audio and HDR Color Correction.

The 2020 release of DaVinci Resolve V17 brought significant advancements in two key areas: audio editing with Fairlight and color correction for High Dynamic Range (HDR) content.

Fairlight Audio Enhancements: V17 focused on refining the Fairlight audio experience, offering several improvements:

  • Expanded Edit Modes: New edit modes, like slip editing and ripple editing, provided editors with more flexibility and control when working with audio tracks.
  • ADR Tools: Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) tools simplified the process of recording and replacing dialogue, essential for film and television projects.
  • FairlightFX Suite Expansion: The FairlightFX plugin suite received an expansion, providing even more creative possibilities for audio processing and effects.
  • Immersive Audio Support: Support for immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D expanded the scope of projects DaVinci Resolve could handle.

HDR Color Correction Revolution: V17 embraced the growing trend of HDR content by introducing advanced HDR color correction tools:

  • HDR Grading Workspaces: Dedicated HDR grading workspaces with optimized color wheels, curves, and tools streamlined the HDR grading process.
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10+ Support: Native support for established HDR formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+ ensured accurate color representation and compatibility with various delivery platforms.
  • False Color Monitoring: False color tools specifically designed for HDR grading helped visualize highlight roll-off and tonal adjustments in HDR content.

These HDR color correction tools made DaVinci Resolve a powerful solution for creators working with HDR content, allowing them to achieve stunning and accurate color grading results for various HDR formats.

word image 7816 62022 V18 Black Magic real time Collaborative video editing / BM cloud / Resolve on iPad iOS

2022 DaVinci Resolve V18: Real-Time Collaboration Takes Center Stage

The 2022 release of DaVinci Resolve V18 marked a monumental shift towards collaborative video editing with the introduction of several key features:

Real-Time Collaborative Editing: V18 introduced “Blackmagic Cloud,” a revolutionary cloud-based platform that enables real-time collaborative editing. This meant editors, colorists, and VFX artists around the world could work on the same project simultaneously, seeing each other’s edits and changes instantly. This groundbreaking feature unlocked several advantages:

  • Increased Efficiency: Collaboration became seamless, eliminating the need for file transfers and syncing between different versions.
  • Enhanced Creativity: Remote teams could brainstorm ideas, make edits, and provide feedback in real time, fostering collaborative creativity.
  • Global Accessibility: Geographic barriers ceased to be an issue, allowing teams to work together regardless of location.

Blackmagic Proxy Generator: To facilitate smooth collaboration over the internet, V18 introduced the “Blackmagic Proxy Generator.” This app automatically generated smaller proxy files from high-resolution footage, ensuring efficient editing and collaboration without compromising quality on slower internet connections.

DaVinci Resolve for iPad: V18 further expanded accessibility with the launch of “DaVinci Resolve for iPad.” This mobile app offered a streamlined version of the software, optimized for touch and Apple Pencil, allowing users to edit and color-grade projects on the go. This opened doors for creators to capture, edit, and even color-grade projects entirely on their iPads, increasing flexibility and workflow options.

Impact and Legacy: The 2022 DaVinci Resolve V18 wasn’t just a software update; it was a game-changer for collaborative video editing. By introducing real-time collaboration, cloud-based workflows, and mobile accessibility, it significantly impacted the post-production landscape in several ways:

  • Democratized Collaboration: Remote and geographically dispersed teams gained access to professional-grade collaboration tools, making high-quality video production more accessible.
  • Simplified Workflows: Streamlined cloud workflows and proxy generation eliminated technical hurdles, enabling faster and more efficient collaboration.
  • Redefined Creativity: Real-time collaboration fostered deeper creative interaction, allowing teams to experiment and iterate on ideas instantly.
  • Mobile-First Workflows: The inclusion of the iPad app opened doors for on-the-go content creation and editing, offering greater flexibility and spontaneity for creators.

Overall, the 2022 DaVinci Resolve V18 marked a paradigm shift in collaborative video editing, paving the way for a more connected, efficient, and creative future for video production teams across the globe.


Over the 20 years since its acquisition by Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve has evolved significantly. Its all-in-one studio solution, impressive grading capabilities, audio mixing features, and VFX compositing tools have made it the preferred application for both filmmakers and hobbyists. With the upcoming Version 19 introducing AI tools and streamlining workflows, DaVinci Resolve is poised to become even better.

What about you? What do you appreciate most about DaVinci Resolve?

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