It’s been a bit of a journey since the last major release of DaVinci Resolve. Resolve 16 came out almost two years ago, at NAB in April 2019. Finally, last November, Blackmagic announced that Resolve 17 was being released as a public beta, letting us get our grubby little mitts on the newest version to have a play and see what we could break.
Today, Blackmagic has announced that DaVinci Resolve 17 is now out of beta and sees its first final release. As with all new major Resolve versions, Resolve 17 offers a massive number of new features and improvements over Resolve 16. Over 300, they say, along with native support for Apple’s new M1 chips.
The features in the final release version of DaVinci Resolve 17 are largely the same as those that were announced during the initial beta in November. Except, they work now. For those of you who’ve been trying out the beta over the last few months, you should see a big improvement in stability and features that didn’t quite work before should now be working well.
And for those that haven’t played with the beta and have stuck with Resolve 16 – because, you know, you understand the importance of not testing beta software on your client’s live projects that have deadlines – you’ll see a whole lot of new and improved features, including…
- Next-generation HDR color correction with customizable wheels and tonal zones.
- Mesh and grid-based color warper delivers an entirely new way to transform color.
- Magic mask automatic object isolation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine.
- Improved color management with tone mapping and color space aware tools.
- Massive DaVinci wide-gamut color space for higher quality image processing.
- High-speed audio editing with new keyboard and mouse context-sensitive tools.
- Fairlight Audio Core engine with auto load balancing and support for 2,000 tracks.
- Revolutionary FlexBus architecture for audio routing without limitations.
- Automatic transient detection for beats, words, and sound effects.
- Support for massive audio projects with thousands of tracks on a single system.
- Metadata based card view in media pool on cut page.
- Precision audio trimming on the cut page timeline and graphical trimmer.
- Smart reframe powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine on cut and edit pages.
- Live effect, title, and transition previews on cut and edit pages.
- Import and edit projects from ATEM Mini Pro ISO.
- Proxy media workflows up to 1/16th resolution in H.264, H.265, ProRes or DNxHR.
- Timeline based clip syncing to create multicam and compound clips.
- Alpha support for keying and compositing on cut and edit pages.
- Render in place command for effects-heavy clips on cut and edit timelines.
- Make source side adjustments before editing clips into the timeline.
- Portable timeline and bin files for easy sharing.
- Native interlace processing and realtime 3:2 pulldown removal.
- Node tree bookmarks, customizable Fusion toolbar, and vertical node layouts.
- Support for growing files in the media pool.
- Support for frame-based metadata for BRAW, ARRI, RED, Sony and EXR.
- Workflow integration API and third-party encoder API.
The Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, and Fairlight pages have all seen a bit of an overhaul, to some degree or other in Resolve 17. Fairlight probably sees the biggest changes, which has had a lot of attention paid to it, bringing with it an entirely new audio engine that supports up to 2,000 simultaneous audio tracks. Sure, you probably won’t need that many for vlogs, but if you’re shooting short films or features, hitting a couple of hundred with music, voice, foley and other effects isn’t that uncommon.
But there are a whole lot of new features, and you haven’t tried the beta before, you might want to set up Resolve 17 on a second machine just until you get used to it. Colour grading, for a start has seen quite a few changes and offers some new ways to work with colour, including the new Color Warper tool (which is amazing!). Naturally, DaVinci Resolve 17 supports all of the usual Blackmagic decks and hardware that you’re used to using with Resolve 16, including the Editor Keyboard and the Speed Editor.
The only thing I’m not sure about at the moment is what’s going on with the Apple M1. During the Resolve 17 beta, Blackmagic released a separate 17.1 beta, in addition to the usual macOS version, designed specifically to offer native support to Apple’s new M1-based computers. In the final release, Blackmagic only lists a macOS version. I’m not sure whether this version offers native support for both Intel and M1-based Macs or if we’ll see a separate M1 version coming soon, but I’ve reached out to Blackmagic to find out and will let you know if and when I hear back from them.
Update (26 Feb 2021):
Blackmagic has confirmed to me that Apple M1 users should download the new 17.1 Beta 10 which was just released today (26 Feb) that you can download on the Blackmagic website. A native M1 version of the DaVinci Resolve 17 final should be coming soon.
Update 2 (11 Mar 2021): Blackmagic has now announced the final release of the native Apple M1 version DaVinci Resolve 17.1.
As always, there’s a free version and a paid Studio version. The free version is, well, free and the Studio version is $299 if you’re not already a Resolve Studio owner. If you do already own DaVinci Resolve Studio, the upgrade is completely free. Just download and install. Although, if you’re an existing owner, regardless of whether you’re using the free or Studio version, you’ll want to make sure to back up your work and databases before you upgrade.
For more information and to download and try out DaVinci Resolve 17 for yourself, head on over to the Blackmagic website.