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How to Reverse a Clip in DaVinci Resolve - 3 Easy Steps

Reversing a clip in DaVinci Resolve is a creative technique that can be achieved through various methods, such as using the "Change Clip Speed" option, "Retime Controls," or the "Inspector" tool. By selecting the reverse speed option or manipulating the speed percentage, you can create a reversed effect that adds depth and interest to your video project.

August 7, 2023
How to Reverse a Clip in DaVinci Resolve - 3 Easy Steps
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How To Rewind In DaVinci Resolve

Reversing a clip in DaVinci Resolve is a technique that can add a unique flair to your video projects. Whether you're looking to create a rewind effect or simply want to experiment with time manipulation, DaVinci Resolve offers several ways to reverse a clip. In this guide, I'll walk you through the process, explaining each step in detail. By the way, this tutorial is suitable for someone with just three months of experience using this video editing software.

What Is Clip Speed?

The clip speed of your video is simply how fast or slow your video clip is. Playing around with the speed results in varying effects. One of these is known as speed ramping, which is the process of digitally speeding up and then slowing down a video clip. This technique was made popular in films through directors like Zach Snyder, who famously used this technique in the movie "300."

Speed ramping can also work by reversing the speed of your video clip. What this does is make it look as though your video is getting rewinded. This reverse effect can be used stylistically for a myriad of reasons. For instance, rewinding footage could be used for comedic effect or to transition from one segment to the next.

Why Reverse Your Clip and Speed Ramp?

Speed ramping and reversing footage can be used to bring the audience from one scene to the next in a spectacular fashion or to emphasize a certain point in the video. In filmmaking, it can be used to make a scene more "epic" seeming than it would normally be. In my opinion, for those in the corporate world of video editing or creating content for social media, speed ramping and rewinding is almost an absolute necessity in a post-production workflow.

Reversing a Clip in DaVinci Resolve Using Change Clip Speed

There are a few different great ways to change the clip speed within DaVinci Resolve. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Method 1: Using Change Clip Speed

  1. Right-Click Your Footage: Right-click your footage and click Change Clip Speed from the drop-down menu.
  2. Reverse Speed Checkbox: Clicking the Reverse Speed checkbox will activate the reverse video effect.
  3. Speed Up and Slow Down: From this menu, you'll also be able to speed up and slow down your video clip.
  4. Inspector Menu: You can also go to the Inspector menu to change clip speed as well (located on the right side of the screen in DaVinci Resolve). Open up the Speed Change submenu to access the speed controls of your video clip. Clicking on the rewind arrow will reverse your clip upon playback.

Method 2: Using Retime Controls

  1. Right-Click on Your Video: Right-click on your video and select Retime Controls.
  2. Blue Arrows: This will bring up a series of blue arrows at the top of your clip. These arrows indicate the direction in which your video is going in.
  3. Reverse Segment: Clicking on Reverse Segment will reverse the speed of your video clip.
  4. Retime Curve: You'll also be able to pull up a retime curve from this menu for even more control so that you can speed ramp and freeze frame (which completely pauses your video clip).

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How Can I Reverse a Clip in DaVinci Resolve?

In DaVinci Resolve, reversing a clip is quite straightforward. Here are three methods you can use:

  1. Using Change Clip Speed:
  2. Right-click on the footage and select "Change Clip Speed."
  3. Click the "Reverse Speed" checkbox to activate the reverse video effect.
  4. Using Retime Controls:
  5. Right-click on the video and select "Retime Controls."
  6. Click on "Reverse Segment" to reverse the speed of your video clip.
  7. Using the Inspector Tool:
  8. Go to the "Edit" page and select the "Inspector" tool.
  9. Click on "Speed Change" and select the arrow pointing to the left to reverse the clip.

What Is Speed Ramping, and How Is It Related to Reversing a Clip?

Speed ramping is the process of digitally speeding up and then slowing down a video clip. It can also work by reversing the speed of your video clip. This technique is popular in films and corporate videos, and it can be used to make a scene more "epic" or to transition from one segment to the next. In DaVinci Resolve, you can combine speed ramping with reversing for a myriad of creative reasons.

I Encountered Trembling in My Reversed Clip. How Can I Fix It?

Trembling in a reversed clip might be related to resolution and frame rate issues. For instance, reversing a clip in 4K resolution with 60fps might create this problem. Here are some suggestions to fix it:

  • Reduce the resolution to 1080p and 24fps.
  • Try switching off "Frame Reordering."
  • Use "Render in Place" for the reversed clips.
  • Optimize the clip to a different codec like DNxHD.

Can I Adjust the Speed of the Reversed Clip?

Yes, you can make the reversed clip faster or slower by changing the value percentage on the speed in DaVinci Resolve. For instance, -150% is a fast reverse, while -50% is a slow reverse. This flexibility allows you to achieve the desired effect for your project.

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