DaVinci Resolve 15 Tutorial: Project Archive

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As I’m sure you know, when you edit with any software (Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, FCP X, DaVinci Resolve), you are working, on one hand, with media (the video and audio files used in your project), and on the other hand, with your project files, containing the information about everything you do inside the software.

Each software uses a different method to generate, manage and organise project files.

To make everything work, you always need a project file, and the media files you imported in it.

Now: imagine you have DaVinci Resolve project file, and imagine the media you use in that project is placed in different hard-drives.

Now imagine you need to collaborate with another editor/colorist, and you need to pass your project file, and the media you’re using in it.

Another example: imagine once your project is finished, you need to archive your project file and the media.

How would you do that?

DaVinci Resolve offers a very simple and easy to understand feature to achieve this: Project Archive.

Based on the DaVinci Resolve project you’re working with, Project Archive generates a folder with the extension .dra (DaVinci Resolve Archives).

Inside that folder, the software creates a copy of your project (a file with .drp extension, DaVinci Resovle Project), and a Media Files folder, where every media element you imported in your original project is copied. There are also options to copy Optimized Media and Cache files.

It’s a very simple and elegant solution to back-up a whole project, both project files and media.


  • In the Project Manager of DaVinci Resolve, we select the project we want to archive, and right click. Then we select Archive.

Screenshot (2)

  • Then we select/create a folder to save the Archive Packages that’s going to be generated, in the hard-drive of our choice.

Screenshot (3)

  • Optionally, we can check the options Render Cache and Optimized Media, to copy, not only all the media in the project, but also all Cache Files and Optimized Media we generated .

Screenshot (4)

  • We click OK and DaVinci Resolve takes care of everything. The result is: inside the folder we choose before, we find a folder (here, BERLIN MOVIE.dra), containing the Resolve project (.drp) and a MediaFiles folder, containing a copy of every piece of media we imported in the original project.

Screenshot (5)

It’s important to understand that the purpose of Archive is to create a duplicate of a whole project: project file + all media.

If you need do more complex operations, like consolidating a Timeline with only the media you used in that Timeline, you have to use Media Management (more about that below).

Now: we can also restore one of these archived projects, either in our own system, or in a different location.

To do this: in the Project Manager, we right click, and select Restore. Then select the desired project, and that’s it. The project is now in our Database.

It works!


DaVinci Resolve also has a very sophisticated Media Management tool, found in the File menu, that allows for more complex operations, options, and details.

With Media Management we can move, copy or transcode media inside the project, based on the whole project (like Archive does), or, optionally, based on a manual selection of clips, or a particular Timeline.

Example: imagine you have big project, with lots of media, distributed in various hard-drives, and you need to pass that to a collaborator, but this time you don’t want to pass the whole media, but just the media used in a Timeline.

This is possible with the Media Management Tool.

Screenshot (6)

Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, FCP X, and of course DaVinci Resolve, offer different ways to media manage.

This media management tools can be complex, and plenty of users are not familiar with them.

In small projects, things are easy.

Big projects, with lots of media, and different user collaborating, require to master this tools.

To start, Project Archive offers a very simple and easy to understand solution.

If you have doubts or questions, write a comment below!


If you wish to join any of my DaVinci Resolve Workshops in Berlin, follow the link to know about dates and details.

All my workshops are 20 hours, in English, and cost just 195 Euros.

Classes happen at my co-working space, in central Kreuzberg.

4 thoughts on “DaVinci Resolve 15 Tutorial: Project Archive

  1. Do I need to create a backup of the database as well and move it together with the archived project for it to work on a 3rd party machine?


    1. Hello, Susan! How are you doing? Thanks for asking. No, you don’t need to back-up the database. You may just take the Archive to the other machine, and then, in any database of your choice in that other machine, right click, and select Restore Project Archive.


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