DaVinci Resolve Can't Add Transition? [Solved]

Last UpdatedOctober 17, 2023


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Anthony Gallo

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Not being able to add transitions in DaVinci Resolve is a common issue faced by most new users to the software. The good news is that it’s easy to solve!

In this article, I’ll show you exactly why you can’t add a transition in DaVinci Resolve and how to fix it!

DaVinci Resolve Can't Add Transition?

The primary reason you can't add a transition in DaVinci Resolve is due to insufficient extra frames in the clips you're trying to merge. Certain transitions require additional frames from each clip to create the effect. Without these extra frames, the software restricts the placement of the transition. Trimming the clips to provide these extra frames usually resolves the issue.

Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

The issue with adding transitions in DaVinci Resolve often boils down to the availability of "extra frames" in the clips you are trying to transition between. A transition like a cross-dissolve needs additional frames to create the overlap effect between two clips. If either of the clips lacks the necessary extra frames, DaVinci Resolve won't let you add the transition over both clips.

For example, if you're working on a 30fps timeline and you want to add a 1-second cross dissolve transition, you would need 15 frames of extra footage from each of the clips. Without these extra frames, DaVinci Resolve allows a transition at the beginning of one clip or at the end of another, but not spanning both.

A workaround is to move the second clip to a different video track and try again, but this usually adds the transition to only one of the clips. Trimming some frames from the beginning of one clip and the end of the next clip usually solves this issue without having to shift your clip to a different track.

Some of the low end video editing suites will allow for transitions without such restrictions. While that may be true, it's important to note that professional software like DaVinci Resolve has a different set of standards for transitions, focusing on frame accuracy and quality. These requirements often make it less forgiving than simpler software but offer higher quality output.

Other Reasons DaVinci Resolve Can't Add Transitions

If you're still unable to add your best DaVinci Resolve transitions, it may not be just because of clip length or insufficient extra frames. Here are additional factors that could be interfering:

Hardware Limitations

DaVinci Resolve relies on hardware for real-time rendering of transitions. Older hardware may struggle to keep up, making it difficult to add or preview transitions smoothly.

Incompatible Video Formats

DaVinci Resolve supports multiple video formats, but not all are created equal when it comes to transitions. Ensure that the clips you're working with are in a compatible format.

Timeline Frame Rate Mismatch

Make sure the frame rate of your timeline matches the frame rate of your clips. A mismatch can cause problems when trying to add transitions.

Keyframe Interference

If you've added keyframes to your clips for other adjustments, they might interfere with your ability to add a transition.

Clips Have Different Resolutions

If the clips you're trying to transition between have different resolutions or aspect ratios, this could cause issues.

Incorrect Settings in Preferences

Sometimes, your user preferences can be set up in a way that restricts certain functionalities, including transitions.

Incomplete Software Installation or Update

A corrupt or incomplete installation of the software can lead to various operational issues, including difficulties in adding transitions.

Third-Party Plug-ins

If you're using third-party transitions or effects, compatibility issues might prevent you from adding them to your timeline.

Graphic Drivers Out of Date

Old or incompatible drivers can cause rendering issues and may prevent you from adding transitions.

Cache Issues

Sometimes, clearing the cache can solve a host of issues, including the inability to add transitions.

Although a lot of these options are highly unlikely, knowing what can go wrong allows you to troubleshoot more effectively.

Wrapping Up

In this article I’ve outlined the possible reasons you can’t add transitions in DaVinci Resolve.

The first section should take care of 90% of users, and if you’re still stuck after this you can consider the other reasons your transitions might not be working!


Anthony Gallo

Anthony Gallo is the cofounder of ContentCreator.com and lead educator in the online course 14 Day Filmmaker, that has taught over 100,000 aspiring creators how to shoot & edit professional video content with PRO and SMARTPHONE cameras.

Having created content in a variety of industries including commercial advertising, weddings, music videos, and hundreds of youtube videos, Anthony has amassed over 50 million views online and is constantly looking for new and engaging ways to create content and help others master this amazing craft.