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How to Change the Timeline Frame Rate in DaVinci Resolve

framerate

When working with videos on DaVinci Resolve, it’s essential to ensure you are using the correct frame rate that your camera shot the footage in. Mixing frame rates is a big no-no and not a good way to start a project.

This easy tutorial will show you how to change the frame rates when using DaVinci Resolve for your video editing.

From animating to video editing, there’s no limit to what you can do with DaVinci Resolve. The platform features different tools, and allowing you to adjust the frame rate is one of them.

Follow the steps below to change the frame rates of your clip with DaVinci Resolve.

What is the “Frame Rate”?

A video is an illusion of images being displayed quickly per second, otherwise known as FPS (frames per second). The frame rate is also used on cameras to measure how many of these images are captured in a second. So, if you have a video with 24 frames per second, this means 24 images are playing rapidly per second.

The more advanced your camera is, the higher the rates would be, set at 60 or even as high as 1000fps.

Shooting at high frame rates is strictly for capturing more frames so you can slow down the footage; otherwise, it is known as slow motion. You will never have a project in DaVinci Resolve in slow motion frame rates such as 120fps+.

The only video editors that use high frame rate projects are Gamers because they love the 60fps and 120fps games. When they make gaming videos, they want to get the same feel as the game.

Most editors will never use frame rates over 30fps as a base project, and for good reason. It just looks like Emmerdale or some other lame TV show. Movies are more favorable in 24fps, this is why most films have only ever stuck by the 24fps rule.

Learn more about frame rates.

Favorable Frame Rates

The most popular frame rates to use for video editing are 24fps (Film), 25fps (PAL), and 30fps (NTSC).

There’s a bit of confusion around the world on which frame rates to use and when. It usually depends on your country and the refresh rates of your lights when filming.

Personally, I find 30fps to look too “smooth”. I always shoot in multiples of 25fps and then edit my videos at 25fps.

Rules for Frame Rates

Stick with your camera footage frame rate

If the footage is in 25fps, then you should have your project in 25fps. If you are shooting slow motion, such as 50fps or 100fps, still keep your project at 25fps and slow your footage down.

If you slow 50fps footage by 50% in a 50fps project, the footage will appear jumpy to the rest that is playing in normal motion. Slow motion frame rates are only used to capture more frames to use slow motion.

Do not have a higher project frame rate than 30fps

Your frame rates should only vary from 23.987 to 30fps. It’s the most favourable range unless you’re a gamer. Movies are mostly always 24fps. In the UK and some other countries, they are always 25fps, and in the US, they are around 30fps.

Do not mix frame rates in your timeline

Mixing frame rates causes all sorts of issues. If you’ve ever seen a video and noticed frames looking jumpy or some frames freezing, they’ve probably mixed framerates. It’s good practice to stick to multiples of what your framerate is. Therefore, you won’t have any issues with the final render.

It’s not always bad; sometimes, it’s hard to notice mixed frame rates, but it’s not a good practice at all. Of course, if you have to then do it, but avoid it as much as possible.

Changing the timeline frame rate in DaVinci Resolve

You can only do this if you have no clips in your timeline. Is your timeline frame rate unclickable? Scroll down to ‘Why is my timeline frame rate option greyed out?

1. Go to “File” > “Project settings…”

project settings

2. Edit your timeline framerate

change timeline frame rate

Why is my timeline frame rate option greyed out?

You can only do this if you have no clips in your timeline. Unfortunately, this is just the way Davinci Resolve works. If you need to change the timeline framerate, you need to create a new timeline:

1. Right-click in your media pool > click “Create new timeline”

create timeline

2. Deselect “Use Project Settings”

use project settings

3. Click on the “Format tab” & change the frame rate

format

4. Click “Create” & copy your old timeline to your new timeline

You can do this easily by double-clicking on your old timeline, selecting all by “CMD + A” on Mac and “CTRL + A” on Windows, then pasting it in the new timeline by using “CMD + V” on Mac and “CTRL + V” on Windows.

Video tutorial in 17 seconds

What should the project frame rate be in DaVinci Resolve?

Your project frame rate should be set to your anticipated delivery frame rate. But this should be decided before filming. You should film in the frame rate that you want the final video to be (or in multiples of it if shooting slow motion).

This is REALLY important so that you film the correct frame rate ready for the timeline in DaVinci Resolve and the final render.

Can you change the frame rate of an already created timeline in DaVinci Resolve?

You can change it, but you will need to remove ALL clips from the timeline. It may be best to create a new timeline with the correct frame rate and then copy all of the clips over to the new timeline.

FAQ

How do I know which frame rate to use for my video project?

Choosing the right frame rate for your video project depends on several factors, including the frame rate your camera shoots in, the regional standards (PAL or NTSC), and the intended look of your video.

For a cinematic look, 24fps is commonly used, while 25fps is used in countries following the PAL standard, and 30fps is common in countries using the NTSC standard.

Always stick to the frame rate your camera shoots in, and avoid mixing frame rates in your timeline.

Can I mix different frame rates in my DaVinci Resolve timeline?

It is not recommended to mix different frame rates in your DaVinci Resolve timeline, as it can cause various issues, such as jumpy or frozen frames.

It’s best practice to stick to multiples of your base frame rate to ensure a smooth final render. If you absolutely need to mix frame rates, make sure you understand the consequences and proceed with caution.

Why is the option to change the timeline frame rate greyed out in DaVinci Resolve?

The option to change the timeline frame rate in DaVinci Resolve is greyed out when you have clips in your timeline. In order to change the timeline frame rate, you must create a new timeline with the desired frame rate and copy the contents of your old timeline to the new one.

Conclusion

Understanding and correctly managing timeline frame rates in DaVinci Resolve is crucial for a seamless video editing experience. This article has provided valuable insights on the importance of frame rates, popular frame rates used in the industry, the rules to follow when working with frame rates, and a step-by-step guide to change the timeline frame rate in DaVinci Resolve.

Remember to stick to your camera’s frame rate, avoid mixing frame rates in your timeline, and ensure your project frame rate does not exceed 30fps unless you’re working with gaming videos.

By following these best practices, you can create professional-looking videos and avoid issues such as jumpy or frozen frames, ensuring a high-quality final render.

If you have any questions about the above content or need any help when it comes to the process, feel free to contact us. We reply very quickly and are always happy to help when it comes to video editing.

Will Sutton

Will Sutton

Will is a professional Camera Operator/Video Editor with over 17 years of experience). Now living between the Isle of Man & Brighton UK. Highly experienced in Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and After Effects + some other editing software. Founder of Teckers, Bounce Color, Stunt Camera Crew & more.

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