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Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve

Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve

From simple social media videos to advanced movies, people use video editing programs worldwide.

This article looks at two popular software: Shotcut and DaVinci Resolve. Which one is for you? The text is all about Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve.

Interface

Shotcut uses a basic and dated interface with the timeline on the bottom and files to the left. On the right side is the video preview, while on the top, you find the navigation and tools.

You can enable and disable specific interface options in the view navigation option.

DaVinci Resolve, in contrast, comes with a rich interface that offers edit modes. Those are also called workspaces.

In each workspace, you get specific options. You can also customize the interface and make the tool your own.

Tools

Both come with effects and tools to enhance your video. The problem with Shotcut is that the effects/filters are not organized, so while browsing, we don’t know the function of the filter unless we use it first.

Here is what we get in both:

  • Video trimming and splitting
  • Video rotation, zoom in and out, and speed adjustment
  • Add and remove video and audio tracks
  • Markers and snapping

Overall, DaVinci Resolve has a few more options. It also categorizes tools to help you find effects quickly. Let’s explore the specific type of effects below.

Transition effects

Adding Transition Effect in Shotcut

Both come with transition effects. You find 24 effects on Shotcut.

To add and see all the transitions, you drag and drop a video clip to another in the timeline. It also has two audio transition effects, including cross-fade and mix.

DaVinci Resolve contrarily comes with 63 transition effects, all categorized. Additionally, it offers a “cross-fade” audio transition effect with three levels: +3, -3, and 0.

Video effects

Shotcut offers over 90 video effects and filters. Each effect is configurable for further enhancements.

On the other hand, DaVinci Resolve has about 12 simple video effects and 80 professional Resolve FX filters.

Audio effects

Shortcut offers 27 audio effects, including delay, pitch, and mute. DaVinci Resolve also comes with almost the same number of audio tools. In total, the program supports 24 audio effects.

DaVinci Resolve also brings the Fairlight sound library with thousands of audio files.

Related: HitFilm vs. DaVinci Resolve

Text titles

DaVinci Resolve Adding a Text Title

Shotcut uses a different approach for text. It uses presets, and you find over ten presets. Those are for the text positions and animations. The latest version of Shotcut has three text options:

  • Simple text
  • GPS text
  • Rich text

Both simple and rich text effects come with the same presets. Shotcut does not place the text separately on the timeline; you don’t get the start and end times.

So to add text, you need to split the video section and add effects to the clip.

DaVinci Resolve offers 67 text titles to add to your projects. Unlike Shotcut, the titles are placed separately on the timeline allowing you to manage the title time and duration.

Color grading

Color Grading in Shotcut
Color Grading in Shotcut

Color grading in Shotcut is basic. These 3 color wheels can color-grade video:

  • Shadow (lift)
  • Midtones (gamma)
  • Highlights (gain)

It also has some quick color effects to give videos a different look.

In comparison, DaVinci Resolve offers very comprehensive color grading tools. On right hands, its color correction system can completely change the look of the video. Here are some of the options it has:

  • Color wheel
  • HDR grade
  • Color match
  • Motion effects
  • Curves
  • RGB mixer
  • Color warpers
  • Qualifier

Exporting

We find plenty of exporting options in Shotcut. The program simplifies exporting by providing formats, platforms, and other information.

You can export videos for YouTube by choosing the “YouTube” option. It also supports MP4, AV1, WebM, and some audio formats.

DaVinci Resolve, on the contrary, lets you export videos in MOV format with H.264 or H.265 encoding. Moreover, you can directly upload videos to YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and Dropbox.

I must mention that the free version of Resolve does not render videos using your GOU, so it will take time to render HD or longer videos.

Ease of use

When you use DaVinci Resolve for the first time, it opens up a quick setup window.

It also asks if you are familiar with other programs, including Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer. If you choose any, the software adopts a similar layout.

Both also support adding markers to the timeline. Resolve’s marker option is more advanced because it allows adding notes and keywords along with the title available on both.

Collaboration

The latest version of DaVinci Resolve (version 18) supports collaboration on projects. It is a powerful feature for teams to work on the same project.

For example, the colorist can work on video colors, while the editor can work on the editing part.

DaVinci Resolve also supports the Blackmagic cloud for cloud-based workflows. To use this technology, we create an ID to log in to the project’s server.

Other tools

Let’s explore other features of both in this Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve.

Shotcut

Other effects: Other than those mentioned, you will find many effects to enhance your video.

MKV support: Shotcut supports MKV files. Some video editing tools do not support this format.

Proxies: Shotcut supports proxies to speed up the software.

DaVinci Resolve

Keyframes: DaVinci Resolve supports advanced keyframes.

YouTube chapters export: With the help of markers, you can add YouTube chapters directly from DaVinci Resolve.

Advanced color grading: The program supports advanced color grading for professional editing.

Other effects: Like Shotcut, other effects are available to improve your video.

Integrations: DaVinci Resolve supports add-ons. Some add-ons are free, while some are premium.

Proxies: Like Shotcut, Resolve supports proxies.

MKV support: Unlike some other tools, DaVinci Resolve supports MKV files.

Related: Filmora vs. DaVinci Resolve

Installation

DaVinci Resolve Installation
DaVinci Resolve Installation

Both are available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Downloading and installing both is not easy. Being free, Shotcut shows a few ads before downloading it.

The software is available on the Windows Store, but it costs a couple of bucks to own. Once you download the 96 MB Exe file, installing it is pretty quick.

On the other hand, DaVinci Resolve displays a form with a few details, including the name and phone number. The tool, which takes about 2.9 GB of storage, comes in the ZIP format.

The installation takes time, and the software installs some other dependencies to ensure it works as expected (above image). You also must restart your PC after installing it.

Pricing

Shotcut is open-source and free. Its source code is available on GitHub for anyone to download and improve.

DaVinci Resolve, on the contrary, is freemium, but from individuals to teams, the free version is more than enough. The Studio version has the following:

  • Neural Engine
  • Stereoscopic 3D tools
  • Extra Resolve FX filters
  • Fairlight FX audio plugins
  • Advanced HDR grading
  • HDR scopes
  • High-resolution and immersive 3D audio
  • Dolby Atmos
  • More supported formats
  • Lens distortion
  • Remote grading
  • Scripting and automation
  • GPU acceleration
  • Advanced temporal and spatial noise reduction tools

The Studio version costs a one-time fee of $295. The parent company Blackmagic Design also offers hardware equipment specially designed for DaVinci Resolve.

The items, including keyboards and panels, are used in the movie industry to speed up the editing process.

Which one should you choose?

If you want basic video editing software that is light, takes less than 1 GB of storage, and offers basic to medium options, Shotcut will be sufficient.

If you think you need advanced video editing options or will need to amp up your skills in the future, consider spending time with DaVinci Resolve.

Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve: Links

Wrap up

The debate Shotcut vs. DaVinci Resolve compared the essential features of both. It’s hard to find a free program, but unlike other tools, those two put users first.

Anyway, I hope the article helped you choose one of the two. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions below.

Weslley

Sunday 10th of July 2022

Hello, thank you for this post. Hitfilm Express no longer exists (you can still download and activate it if you had it in the past, but no more updates and no one new can use it). There is now only a single Hitfilm product, and the free version is very limited, you can't even export 4K anymore.

Because of that, I'm now going to switch, Resolve is what I'm thinking of, but learned about Shotcut and I'm thinking of trying it too.

Thanks for helping.