[2024] How To Use Davinci Resolve Magic Mask + Tips & Tricks

Navigate to the color page in DaVinci Resolve and utilize the Magic Mask tool to isolate subjects by drawing strokes on them. Refine the mask using the Mask Finesse panel, track any movement, and make necessary adjustments for a professional result.

December 18, 2023
[2024] How To Use Davinci Resolve Magic Mask + Tips & Tricks
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How Do You Get The Magic Mask In Davinci Resolve?

Mocha Pro and Rotoscoping in After Effects now has a competitor! The Magic Mask feature in DaVinci Resolve has emerged as a powerful tool for filmmakers and video editors alike. Why is it gaining such traction? The ability to isolate subjects and elements in a scene without the tedious process of manual masking is a game-changer. With Magic Mask, you can effortlessly highlight a subject, refine the mask's edges, and even track its movement throughout a scene. This not only saves valuable time but also enhances the precision of your edits. Whether you're aiming to adjust the color of a specific object, blur out a background, or create intricate visual effects, Magic Mask offers a streamlined approach. In the sections that follow, we'll explore:

  • How to locate and utilize the Magic Mask tool
  • The step-by-step process of creating and refining your mask
  • Tips to ensure your mask seamlessly integrates with your footage.

How To Use The Magic Mask In Davinci Resolve Studio 18

Locating the Magic Mask Tool

To start, you'll want to be on the color page of DaVinci Resolve. If you've dabbled in color grading before, you'll be familiar with this workspace. On the bottom of the interface, you'll see a series of icons representing different pages. Click on the one that looks like a color wheel, and that will take you to the color page. Now, look for an icon titled "Magic Mask". It's relatively new, so if you've been using an older version of DaVinci Resolve, this might be a fresh sight for you. By the way, this tool is a game-changer for those wanting to isolate subjects without the tedious manual masking.

Creating Your First Magic Mask

Step 1: Accessing the Magic Mask Panel

Once you're on the color page, you'll see a plethora of tools and panels. But guess what? The one we're interested in is the "Magic Mask". Click on it, and a new panel will appear. This panel is divided into three main areas: the Toolbar, the Stroke list, and the Mask Finesse panel. No worries if this sounds overwhelming; we'll break it down.

Step 2: Applying the Mask

To apply the Magic Mask to a subject, pick up the stroke tool from the toolbar. Now, draw a stroke on the person you want to mask. You might think, "the longer the stroke, the better," right? Well, believe me, very long strokes can sometimes be counterproductive, especially when you're trying to track the subject's motion in the clip. So, in a nutshell, fewer strokes often yield better results.

Step 3: Visualizing the Mask

After drawing the stroke, it's a good idea to turn on the mask overlay. This will show you a highlighted area indicating what part of the footage the mask covers. It's a visual way to ensure you've got the right sections covered.

Refining the Mask with Finesse Tools

Now that you've got a basic mask, let's look into refining it. The Mask Finesse panel is where you'll spend some time tweaking.

Step 1: Accessing Finesse Tools

In the Magic Mask panel, you'll see a section labeled "Mask Finesse". Here, tools like denoise, clean black and white, and blur radius are at your disposal. If you ask me, these are the tools that can make your mask look professional and seamless.

Step 2: Adjusting the Mask Radius

One of the first things you might want to adjust is the mask's radius. This can be expanded or decreased using a dropdown box. Adjusting the radius can help the mask fit your subject more accurately.

Tracking the Mask

If your footage involves movement (and most footage does), you'll need to track the mask to ensure it follows your subject.

Step 1: Starting the Track

On the Magic Mask panel, you'll see a tracking option. It works similarly to the power windows tracking you might have used before. Simply hit play, and DaVinci Resolve will do the heavy lifting. At the end of the day, this tool is seriously impressive in how accurately it can track subjects.

Step 2: Review and Refine

Once the tracking is complete, review the mask. If there are areas that aren't quite right, you can go back to the Mask Finesse tools and make adjustments. This part is always the most fun because it's where your vision truly comes together.

Additional Tips for a Perfect Mask

Sometimes, the mask might cover areas you didn't intend. For instance, if a bag strap is being masked but you don't want it to be, you can paint a subtractive stroke (colored red) over that part. But remember, you'll need to track this again. On the other hand, if the mask misses a feature, like an arm, you can add an additional stroke. But, frankly, avoid adding too many strokes. It can slow down your system and potentially confuse the software.