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How to Enable Rule of Thirds in DaVinci Resolve

rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a well-known principle in photography & videography that helps create balance and visual interest in your compositions. It involves dividing the frame into nine parts using horizontal and vertical lines (two each) and positioning the subject along these lines or at the intersections. But how do you enable the Rule of Thirds in DaVinci Resolve?

To enable the Rule of Thirds in DaVinci Resolve, open the FX window and then drag & drop the Grid effect onto your adjustment clip. Next, go to “Effects” → “Open FX” and adjust the Row Cells slider until it reads 3 and the Column Cells slider until it reads 3.

This post will show you how to enable the Rule of Thirds in DaVinci Resolve in a few easy steps. Read on to find out more.

Adding an adjustment clip to your timeline

To enable the Rule of Thirds in DaVinci Resolve, the first step is to add an adjustment clip to your timeline. The special clip type allows you to apply effects to a specific part of your video rather than the entire project.

1. Adding an adjustment clip

  1. Go to the “Effects Library“, located in the top menu under the Effects tab.
  2. Drag and drop the Adjustment Clip onto the preferred track on your timeline. That will create a new clip that you can make adjustments to on your timeline
Creating an adjustment clip in Premiere Pro.

2. Finding the grid effect

Next, you’ll need to open the FX window to access the grid effect that will create the rule of thirds grid.

  1. Towards the top of DaVinci Resolve, select Effects“. Doing so will open the FX library for DaVinci Resolve.
  2. In the FX window, select Resolve FX Generate from the dropdown menu at the top. That will give you access to various effects you can use to enhance your video.
Finding the grid effect in the FX library on DaVinci Resolve.

3. Add the grid effect to your adjustment clip

Now that you have access to the Resolve FX Generate effects, you can add the grid effect to your adjustment clip. That will create a grid over your video, helping you align your subject with the rule of thirds.

To apply to grid effect, just drag & drop it over your adjustment clip in the timeline. It should apply.

4. Adjust the number of rows and columns

The final step is to adjust the number of rows and columns in the grid to create the rule of thirds.

  1. Go to the “Effects” tab in the top menu and select “Open FX“. That will reopen the FX window.
  2. In the FX window, scroll down to the “Grid” effect and find the “Row Cells” and “Column Cells” sliders.
  3. Adjust the “Row Cells” slider to “3” and the “Column Cells” slider to “3“.
Editing rows & columns to a grid effect on an adjustment clip in DaVinci Resolve 18.

Video tutorial

Common mistakes to avoid when applying the rule of thirds

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when applying the Rule of Thirds in video production:

  • Placing the subject too close to the center of the frame: This can make the shot look dull and uninteresting. Instead, try placing the subject along one of the grid lines or at an intersection.
  • Ignoring the background: Remember that the Rule of Thirds applies to the entire frame, not just the subject. Make sure to consider the placement of the background elements as well.
  • Being too rigid: While the Rule of Thirds is a helpful guideline, it’s not a hard & fast rule. Sometimes breaking the rule can lead to a more interesting composition.
  • Overusing the grid: While the grid can be a useful tool for composing your shot, try not to rely on it too heavily. Remember to use your own judgment and creativity to make the shot visually appealing.
  • Forgetting to consider movement: When applying the Rule of Thirds to a moving subject, it’s important to consider the direction of movement and adjust the composition accordingly. This can help create a sense of balance and flow in the shot. This is especially important in filmmaking.

FAQ

Can you experiment with different grid layouts to find the perfect balance for your project?

Yes, you can, you can tinker with the grid effect settings in the Inspector window to create any type of grid you like. DaVinci Resolve allows you to change almost any aspect of an effect you can imagine.

How important is the Rule of Thirds in creating visually appealing and balanced videos?

The rule of thirds has been used in an unbelievable amount of creative content from movies to TV shows & books to comics. There’s a reason it’s so widely used in any form of creative content it can be applied to. It is considered worldwide to be an essential tool for creating visually appealing and balanced videos.

Are there any other composition techniques that can improve the visual appeal and balance of a video?

There are plenty of techniques that are widely taught & utilized in the photography & videography industry that can improve the appeal & balance of a video. Bob Books talks about this in much more detail.

Can the Rule of Thirds be applied in other areas besides videography and photography?

Yes, the Rule of Thirds can be applied to other areas such as graphic design, painting, and even web design. The principle of dividing an image into thirds and placing the subject or focal point along these lines or at the intersections can create a sense of balance and visual interest in almost all types of visual media.

Conclusion

And that’s it! With these four easy steps, you can enable the rule of thirds in DaVinci Resolve and create a more visually appealing and balanced video.

Remember to play around with the grid settings and experiment with different layouts to find the perfect balance for your project.

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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