DaVinci Resolve Tutorial: How to stabilize shaky clips.

I publish here a series or free articles and tutorials, as an introduction and educational resource for my up-coming Editing and Color Grading Workshops and Seminars.

All my courses are for the moment online, using Zoom. Classes are in English, with a maximum of 10 students per workshop. From October to December 2020, al courses have a reduced price of 135 Euros, instead of the regular 195 Euros fee, to help a bit during the Corona Virus pandemic. This is a 60 Euros saving.

My Workshops include: DaVinci Resolve Editing, DaVinci Resolve Color Grading, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, and Thinking the Edit (my Film Editing Theory and Analysis Seminar).

If you are interested, click here to find out about the next available dates. You can read reviews about my teaching here. I’m a highly experienced editing instructor, with more than 15 years of workshops behind!.

Now, to the free content of today!


DaVinci Resolve has a fantastic stabilization tool, in the Color Tab.

I’m gonna teach you how to use it in this tutorial

Mind you! No stabilization tool does magic and works perfect every time. Complex clips with lots of movement will be challenging, and we won’t always be able to obtain a satisfying result.

That said, stabilization works very well in many cases.


I explain this step by step in the video below, but here’s a previous explanation, so you understand everything better.

There are two ways to stabilize footage.

By default, DaVinci Resolve “smoothes” the movement. This is: keeps the overall movement, and smoothes the imperfections and shakyness.

This is the method we use if we are doing a camera movement (pan, tilt, etc.) and need to improve it. Resolve will respect global movement, and will remove the shakyness.

“Smooth” will also work better in complex clips.

The other method is “Camera Lock”, that we can activate as an option.

“Camera Locks” cancels all movement in the clip. This is: the clip won’t move at all, like if you shot it with a tripod.

It’s pretty spectacular (you’ll that in the video).

Obviously, “Camera Lock” doesn’t make sense if were are doing a camera movement.


Keep in mind this: when you stabilize a clip, DaVinci Resolve needs to zoom in a little bit.

This happens by default. It’s the option “Zoom”.

This is a characteristic of the effect. There is a lot of “repositioning” going on. This would produce black borders. To avoid them, Resolve zooms in.

“Smooth” requires less zooming in than “Camera Lock”. Thak makes sense, because “Camera Lock” is “repositioning” more.

If your clips are bigger than your final export resolution, zooming in is no problem. For example, 4K clips edited and exported in a 1080 Timeline.

That said, even if your footage is HD, the amount of zoom in applied is little, and DaVinci Resolve is a star when it comes to up-scaling, and we select high quality up-scale methods when we export.

Also, if the result is soft, we can always sharpen to compensate.


Enough reading!

See it for yourself in the video below.

If you have questions, write a comment! I’m happy to help!


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.

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