Skip to main content

The Cutting Board

Lesson 9 from: How to Edit Video in DaVinci Resolve

Casey Faris

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

9. The Cutting Board

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

This lesson focuses on the basics of video editing in DaVinci Resolve, specifically how to add clips to the timeline and how to trim and manipulate them. The instructor explains how to add clips to the timeline using different methods, such as dragging and dropping or using the "append at end" feature. He also demonstrates how to trim clips by adjusting the beginning and end points, and how to cut clips in half using the blade tool. The instructor emphasizes that the timeline is like a cutting board where editors can prepare and arrange their clips to tell a cohesive story.

Lesson Info

The Cutting Board

So we have all of our ingredients selected, we have them home in our cabinet, and we've picked up each one and looked at it and made sure that we wanna add it to our soup. Now it's time to actually put them down on the cutting board and kinda get them prepped to go into our story. So in the video editing world, this process is adding things to the timeline and kind of getting it cut up. So let's take a look at just what the timeline is. Here in Resolve, this kind of lower half of the screen is our timeline. And anything that appears in our movie is going to be laid out in this timeline. I'll just grab some footage and throw it down here so that we can work with this a little bit. Along the top we have our ruler, which just shows the time from left to right. We also have our big time code right here to show how far along we are in our movie. This reddish orange line here is our play head. So just like on YouTube or any other video player, that is the current frame that you're looking at...

. And whatever order we put our video clips in that is the order that they're going to show up in the story, but we can also put them on different layers. And whatever's on the top layer, that's the one that is shown and it will cover up anything that's below it. So I threw those down in the timeline just so we can take a look at it a little bit, but here's how we really do this. If we double click on a piece of media, that'll bring it up here in the source viewer, and we can take anything from the source viewer and add it to the timeline. We can do this in a couple of different ways. The easiest way is to just grab the middle of it and drag it down here into the timeline. If we don't have a timeline made already, it's gonna make a new timeline for us and that'll show up here in the media pool. And if we already have a timeline open, that will just add it to the timeline. So that's one way to add this clip to the timeline. I'll open up another clip here and show you a really cool way. If I grab this in the middle and I drag it over here over the timeline viewer, I have this fancy little popup. And this will do all kinds of different things to add this clip to our timeline. The one that I use the most is append at end. What that will do is put this clip at the very end of our timeline no matter where our play head is, no matter what we're looking at right now. So anytime I want to add a clip to the end, I can grab this and drag it over here over append at end, and that will put it at the end of the timeline. This is great if you're just trying to get a bunch of clips down in the timeline. You can kind of drag 'em over in order and you don't have to worry about exactly where you're putting them. It's just gonna throw it at end. The other thing you can do if you wanna put a clip in between two other clips is grab it, is double click it, load it up in the source viewer. Make sure that your play head is right where you want to put that clip, and you can grab it and throw it over here under insert. And that will put that in between the two clips. Even if you can just understand this little bit, you can really make, I mean, so much stuff just by knowing this little tiny bit of information. Because, remember, if we're building a story, all we're really trying to do is get the right pieces of the story in the right order and so that the story makes sense. So if the media pool is like the ingredients in your cabinet and the source viewer is like picking up an ingredient and taking a look at it, the timeline is really like a cutting board. You take your ingredients and you put them down on the cutting board and you can cut them in half, you can trim the edges, and you really just get them ready to go into whatever you're making. That's kinda what we do in the timeline, is we can cut our clips in half, we can select which parts we want to use, and we can trim them really easily. So how do we do that? Down here in the timeline, we can mouse over different parts of the clip to adjust it. So if I mouse over the beginning of the clip, I can click and drag this to the right and trim the beginning. I can grab the right edge and drag it into the left to trim the end, and now my clip is shorter. I can also take a clip and cut it in half. One way to do that is to use our blade tool, which I can select here, or I can hit B on the keyboard. And as I mouse over this clip, I'll see this little red line. And as I click, It will chop it right there. And now I can switch back to my cursor and I can move things around, and I've made two clips from my original one clip. And each of these new little clips I can grab the edges of and drag those around. You also notice that if you grab the edge of a clip that it kind end of snaps to the other edges of clips or to your play head. And you can turn this off by clicking this little magnet icon right here, and then you can get a little bit more precise. Really depends on what you're doing. Sometimes you want it to snap to the edge if you're trying to just push something right up against another clip, sometimes you wanna be really precise, and so you can always click that on or off. You can also hit N on your keyboard. Why is snapping N instead of S? Well, you can remember it by snapping. (chuckles) You can. (laughs) But this is really the basics of how timeline works, is it builds the story from left to right and you can put your clips down in the timeline and trim them, cut them in half, and rearrange them to your heart's content. We're gonna dive a lot deeper into working in the timeline when we actually put together our project, but for now it's enough to understand that the timeline's kind of like our cutting board. That's where we start to lay out our ingredients and trim them and make sure that they're gonna fit together just right. So now we have a pretty good idea of kind of how things are laid out inside of the edit page and a little bit of the video workflow. We've taken media that exists only on our computer and brought them into Resolve, into our media pool, so that we can actually open them up, get them organized and work with them. We've picked up each ingredient, looked at it, made sure it's what we want. And then we can throw it down into the time timeline and actually work with it, trim it, adjust it, and make sure that it fits within the story. This I think is a really good overview of just the basic workflow of making a video. In the next couple lessons, we're gonna get more detailed on how we can control our story within the timeline and the awesome amount of control that we have as a video editor. Let's go.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

17 Shortcuts

Ratings and Reviews


This is a great class! Probably my favorite Creativelive class so far. I've been a fulltime photographer for 13 years now, I guess it's about time I get back into video. I love that Resolve has a free version to learn on. The pace of this class was perfect, can't wait to watch the rest of Casey's DaVinci classes.

Simona Geneva

Thanks to Casey Faris for the interesting study material. I have been looking for a creative life course for DaVinci Resolve for a long time and I am very happy that one has already been created on your platform. I look forward to the other pieces. Thanks again for the shared knowledge!


I've seen many DaVinci tutorials that seem to just make things more confusing but Casey's tutorial really took a simple step-by-step explanation to really show how powerful and yet simple it is to use Davinci. The tools Casey covered in this course gave me the confidence to edit the ton of videos I have collecting dust on my hard drive. Great job Casey and a great sense of dry corny humor...lolol highly recommended!!

Student Work