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Avoiding frame rate conversions in DaVinci Resolve

It is important to use the same frame rate in the project and the source file to avoid frame dropping in DaVinci Resolve.

A 25 FPS film is the same length in a 24 FPS project and a 25 FPS project in Resolve. To achieve this, Resolve drops every 25th frame. Final Cut X and other software change the film’s length instead and stretch the sound with phase sync. This is the preferred method.
(The same applies to 23.98 FPS films in 24 FPS projects)

If you need to use frame rate conversion in Resolve and want to avoid frame dropping, you can:
-convert the films first in Final Cut X
-change the frame rate on the film and change the length of the sound.
In “Media bin,” right-click the film and choose “Clip Attributes,” Change from 24 to 25. Resolve will now interpret the source file as 24 FPS even if it is 25 FPS. Then you can use this sampling trick to stretch the sound and keep phase sync. The film will be longer but with no frame dropping.

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Valid DCI F and S DCP Resolutions

Normal aspect ratios/resolutions used in cinemas:

2K DCI F Flat 1.85 1998 x 1080
2K DCI S Scope 2.39 2048 x 858
4K DCI F Flat 1.85 3996 x 2160
4K DCI S Scope 2.39 4096 x 2160

All cinemas have presets for F and S.

Not commonly used aspect ratios/resolutions

DCI 2K C Full Container 2048 x 1080
DCI 4K C Full Container 4096 x 2160
Full container is not commonly used in cinemas. If a DCP is made in Full Container C, it will often be played in Flat with some cropping on the sides.

Letterboxed and pillarboxed aspect ratios inside Flat and Scope

Films made in 2:1 or 2.2:1 aspect ratos are mastered in letterboxed Flat instead of Full Container or Scope. When the film is mastered in Flat, the side masking setting for Flat still fits the sides. The DCP is marked with the custom aspect ratio, like this F-220 for 2.2:1.
Films made in 2.66:1 are mastered in letterboxed Scope.

It is possible to make new projector channels/presets for F-220 2.2:1 and similar aspect ratios to avoid letterboxing in a common height cinema. In a normal common width cinema, every format wider than Flat is letterboxed. In a normal common height cinema, every format wider than 2.39 Scope is letterboxed.

A new channel based on the flat channel for 2.2:1 in a common height cinema would:
-Add more power to the lamp
-Be more zoomed in
-Have a new focus setting
-Have new digital masking. And ideally a new physical side masking setting.
A DCP made with letterboxing should have subtitles above the letterboxing so it is possible to make a custom channel.
F-220 2.2:1 (Tenet), F-178 1.78:1 (HD), and F-210 2:1 have been used on some films and some cinemas have made presets for them.

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Viewing P3 D65 in Resolve on macs with display P3 screens

If you have a Macbook Pro newer than 2016 or another Mac with a Display P3 screen, you can use P3 D65 as the color space in the viewer in DaVinci Resolve.

Enable P3 D65 in Resolve on Macbook pro

To enable P3 D65 in Davinci Resolve go to
“Resolve – General Preferences”
and choose
-“Use Mac Display color profiles for viewers.”

General Preferences and choose Use Mac Display color profiles for viewers.

Then in “Project Setting” – “Color Space & Transforms”

Tick “Use separate color space and gamma.”
“Timeline Color space:” P3D65
“Gamma:” SRGB

Timeline Color space


If you load the SMPTE color bars they will be shown in P3 D65 with more saturated red and yellow colors. (violet, pink, and orange are also more saturated)

P3 D65 color bars

If you choose SRGB as the Timeline color space the color bars will be in the Rec.709 color space.

srgb color bars

Testing with the C-LOG to P3 D65 3D LUT

With the ARRI C-LOG to P3D65 3D LUT, you can convert C-LOG films to P3 D65.

To test it out on Arri Alexa footage, you can download sample test footage here:

To convert a BMDFILM BRAW film to Arri C-Log you can use the Juan Malera Powergrade from Pocket 4K or 6K to Arri Alexa and then apply the P3D65 3D LUT

To test it on sample Blackmagic Camera Braw test footage, you can download it here:

The Rabbit Ear Clones clip has a good example of saturated neon red which looks different in P3 D65 and SRGB/Rec. 709.

Exporting P3D65 Quicktime files

If you export QuickTime files from Resolve, they will be tagged with P3 D65 if it is the Timeline color space by default. The Quicktime files will play In Quicktime Player with the same colors as in Resolve (on macs).