Yesterday I counted my .setting files, I was bored and I used the app DropIt to find any .setting file and copy it to a folder, I had 2376 unique .setting files. A .setting file is a small LUA script that makes up a macro, whether it is a title or effect. This got me thinking surely there is a way to have fewer entries in the Davinci Resolve effects library but still retain the number of effects and of course there are.

There are a few ways to do this, the complicated way is to add a switch to the node tree and a combo box in the inspector or the easy way, which is just to save versions of an effect. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, however, Blackmagic Design has included the option to add 6 versions to any macro. 

To actually have 6 versions isn't obvious, well not in the cut or edit page anyway, it is available on the fusion page but there doesn't seem a way to create the versions when you build an effect. This is where I discovered in simple terms saving the composition twice. The first time to create the macro or group and the second to add 5 extra versions.

I will explain the process below using the "DSLR" effect which is built into Davinci Resolve, however, this works with any macro or group composition. I have recorded a quick tutorial which you can find here:-

https://youtu.be/ZDj-Mqyhs24

I will mention here that some of these steps may be obvious to the more experienced of you but if you are a beginner they may not be so I am including them. 

I will make the following assumptions.

You have created your edit on either the cut or edit page and have clips in the timeline and now want to add the "DSLR" effect to a clip. However either further along the timeline or in future projects you want the "DSLR" effect to have a different "Look".

Start by making a cut in the portion of the clip you want the effect to take place. This means you can position the "DSLR" effect exactly where you want it in your edit, it also avoids putting too much strain on your computer resources as the effect is only rendered for the time required. 

Drag the "DSLR" effect from the Effects Library > Effects panel onto the portion of the clip you want to add the effect to. 

Highlight the clip with the "DSLR" effect on it and ensure the Red CTI (current time indicator) "The Playhead" is over the "DSLR" effect.

Open the inspector and navigate to the Effects tab, select the 'wand' which is situated near the top of the inspector to the right of the title of the effect, which in this case is DSLR. 

This will then open the fusion page and displayed in the node graph you'll see a "MediaIn" "DSLR" and "MediaOut" The "DSLR" is the group of nodes that make up the effect. Select the "DSLR" node. You will notice that the controls in the inspector look the same as the edit page, that is because they are.

Once again at the top of the inspector (this time working from the right), you'll see a padlock icon a pin icon, and two rectangles overlaid on each other, select these rectangles. The version panel will now be visible to you and is numbered 1 through 6.

Select the number 1 and make changes to the controls below, then select 2 and make further changes, then 3, and so on until you have created 6 versions. 

Once all 6 versions have been created, right-click on the "DSLR" node group and select settings > saveAs. You will need to ensure you rename the file to avoid overwriting the original and it must go into the correct folder. The correct folder will be different based on what the effect is and what operating system you are working on. A rule of thumb will be the folder that has the original file in. 

Depending on your version of Davinci Resolve:

  • Version 17, the effect is "Live" without a restart

  • Any Version prior to 17 will require you to restart DaVinci Resolve. 

The renamed effect will now show in the effects library > effects and when dragged over a clip you will see the versions in the inspector. Selecting each version will reflect the changes you made previously. You can still change any control on any version but it will revert back to these defaults the next time you drag it in from the effects library. If you wish to save variations, head back to the fusion page using the wand. Change the parameters for each version in the inspector and resave, this will create new defaults. However this will write over your initial versions, to avoid this save the new versions in a separate location.

These new versions can be loaded into fusion by using the load option in the context menu.

Select "Load" then navigate to the new versions and select it, this will then load the new versions into this composition. In effect this means you can have as many pre sets as you wish for every macro you have.

There you have it a simple and quick way to create pre sets inside DaVinci Resolve. If you enjoy learning about DaVinci Resolve Fusion then please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel

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Thanks for the support, enjoy the rest of your day.

-John