Why I May Have to Leave FCP X for Resolve 12, Episode 1

by Hugh Brownstone18 Comments

In the first in our new series “Why I May Have to Switch to DaVinci Resolve 12,” I share my first glint of recognition when Blackmagic guys go on and on about their “workflow features:” all it takes is a single click to render a timeline as individual clips, something impossible in FCP X.

“I don’t want to color grade, and I am NOT going to learn Resolve.”

Blasphemy? Tell-tale sign of an amateur, or someone who doesn’t do CGI or compositing?


But I bet there are a whole bunch of one-man bands and small production companies that simply can’t afford a dedicated colorist and are scared crapless — legitimately —  at the thought of the learning curved involved in switching from Adobe Premiere Pro or (in my case) Final Cut Pro X to…anything else, actually.

Who has the time?

And since most – oh, face it, ALL – of our stuff will be seen via the internet and increasingly on mobile devices where just awful compression is employed and the screens are small, what difference can it make to have all that color grading and workflow (let alone 4K or RAW) stuff as long as I don’t totally screw the pooch with my in-camera exposure?

After all, isn’t “burning it in” in camera the mark of someone who knows what he’s doing – at least with the camera? And isn’t one of the first roles of a DP to reduce the dynamic range of a scene with lighting so that you don't HAVE to go through heroics to recover details in the highlights or shadows?

And if we need to give our films different looks or color, isn't that why we have Red Giant's Magic Bullet or Color Grading Central's Color Finale available inside our existing NLE?

But there I was with a 100 clip timeline, having already graded every clip in it (easy in FCP X, at least as far as I was taking it), when suddenly I hit the wall: I couldn’t get them out as the individual clips the client needed by using a batch process.

I didn’t know that.

I couldn’t believe that.

Final Cut Pro X logo

Oh, yeah, I spoke with Apple Tech Support (big shout-out to the Final Cut Pro X support team who were, as always, outstanding in every way): but, nope, no can do.


Do you mean I have to switch to the range tool, select one clip at a time, and export one at a time?

Why, yes.

Mortified at the thought of how much time it was going to take that I could not — in good conscience — bill my client, I sent an email to Jason Druss, DaVinci Resolve 12 product specialist I'd met at their New York City event two weeks earlier. I asked him if Resolve 12 could handle this. [bctt tweet=”Is Resolve 12 good enough to make me leave FCPX?”]


I got a voice mail message from Jason a couple of days later (the deadline had passed over the weekend and I’d knocked ‘em out manually): “This is definitely doable, Hugh. But instead of me writing up a whole email, why don’t you just give me a call and I’ll walk you through it.”


There’s no way they’ll be able to provide this kind of service level once the crush starts on Resolve 12 downloads.

Not only is Resolve 12 incredibly featured — this sucker is FREE.

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 12 image

But if they could, wouldn’t that be amazing?

Anyway, long story, short: all it takes in Resolve 12 (and, for all I know, Resolve 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1) is a single click in the upper left corner of the “Deliver” screen where it says, plain as day, “Render timeline as individual source clips [or] Single clip.”

Resolve render timelins as individual source clips JPG

I guess that would be because Resolve users have had to grapple with issues like this – workflow issues – for years.

To quote Robin Williams as Genie, “Baa, well I feel sheepish.”

But at least now I have a first appreciation of what giving good workflow really means.

Time to do some more exploring.

If you’ve switched from Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid, or any other NLE and have an example of why you made the switch, please share in the comments section below. And if you think it makes NO sense to switch, or it makes sense to switch to something else, we're happy to read that, too.

Hugh is the author of Apple’s iPhone: The Next Video Revolution. Follow him on Twitter (@hughbrownstone) or write to him at [email protected]

(cover photo credit: snap from Apple & Blackmagic Design)


  1. I have been keeping an eye on resolve 12, hoping to hear more what people think of the new NLE with all these workflow features. As a FCPX user, I am not looking to leave, but perhaps I need to look at doing a small project in Resolve 12, forcing myself to learn the program. I recently had to manually export many many individual clips, so I feel your pain.

  2. There are a number of plug ins that allow you to batch export individual clips from fcpx for anyone that needs that option. Same goes for most “missing” features

  3. If resolve 12 gets a better keyboard map for premiere users, I will definitely consider switching.
    Also, does anyone know if resolve can use a magnetic (fcpx) style timeline? (It’s something I miss in premiere.

  4. One missing feature is not a solid reason to switch NLEs. It should be more about the overall workflow and experience. Besides, you can do this within FCPX, using Frame.io’s free companion app (which allows you to export ProRes and H264 of each clip in the timeline straight to your client) or Clip Exporter (which is more powerfull, although not free).

  5. To add to Jésus’ comments, the newest Frame.io app for FCPX, updated today (8-12-15), allows saving of individual files to the Finder just as you wanted to do.

  6. Two years ago, we switched from FCP 7 to both FCP X and Premiere at my previous job. It took a bit of learning but the jump wasn’t really stressful at all. As DaVinci becomes more and more of an editing tool, I can definitely see myself making the jump at some point in the near future.

  7. Scene detection tool. Best thing since sliced bread. I graded a series of commercials last year. I just told the client to send me all the commercials in 4:4:4 rendered as a single clip, but all the cuts had to be jump cuts, no fades or any kind of transitions. Took them into Resolve and used the Scene Detection tool. Easy as pie. Could use that to export each clip, but also just to send to a grader to do his magic.

  8. TaylorMartyn Just looking at a video of this in Resolve 11.  Very powerful!  Thanks!

  9. felbingerfilms You can change the keyboard mapping in Resolve. Premiere mapping is one of the presets, or you can create/save/export/import your own.

  10. captainh00k I’ve done that, but many of the keyboard shortcuts don’t work the same. I’ve since gone in and changed many of the ones I frequently use, but it’d be nice if this support was built in.

  11. I have been using Resolve 11 for about six months in anticipation of Resolve 12. If you read the forums you will regularly read about crashes with Resolve, even with the most powerful mac computers. It is has issues. If you switch to an inexpensive PC you have loose ProRes.  By far the most stable way to work with resolve is to import all of your footage and convert to ProRes. Resolve makes it pretty easy to do this. Then only work with ProRes files for your project. This is the golden rule or with with a Blackmagic raw codec.

  12. I just did my first test with Resolve. It is amazing. My past experience was with FCP7, then Premiere Pro. I’m utilizing a 8 core Mac Pro late 2013 with Tangent Element controls for color correction and it worked flawless, no crashes or issues. For the test I took a recent project finished in PP and built it into Resolve. Resolve was very intuitive and easy to get a handle on. Edit works much like FCP 7. I looked at Resolve as an option because the performance is so bad in Adobe on Mac. I don’t believe the open GL is utilized much in Premiere. The project contained Arri 4K footage to finish in HD. The documentary footage was resized in post for desired effect. The Arri 4k ProRes media chugs in Premiere and when sent to SpeedGrade it kills the program. If an adjustment is made in SpeedGrade it takes seconds for the result to engage, it is unusable. When SpeedGrade color correction has more that one layer of correction and is returned to Premiere it has to be rendered for playback. Resolve sees the Apple GPU cards in set-up and seems to utilize the hardware. After color correcting in Resolve with many nodes (layers) it plays great. The Resolve tracking is the best I have ever seen, 3D no problem.
    I will be utilizing Resolve in the future.

  13. JesusPerezMiranda I know it’s late to the party, but thank you — Frame.io does in fact do this!

  14. tpayton Thanks for the confirmation, and apologies for my very late reply!

  15. jordanedit You are operating on a much higher plane than me! Please keep us posted as you move more fully into Resolve.

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