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Backing Up to the Future: Three DaVinci Resolve Backup Strategies

Here’s a common plea for assistance you’ve seen on Resolve forums every couple of months: "I've lost my database and all its project files. PLEASE HELP! My deadline is in 5 hours!".

If you’re that person desperately searching for a lost database or project, what you really need is a trip back in time with Doc Brown and his Delorean -giving you time to back up your projects and data.

Understand that finding yourself in this situation isn’t a matter bad luck - just a matter of bad timing. The fact is: This WILL happen to each of us. Period. Drives fail. Databases get corrupted. The only time this becomes a problem is if you don’t properly plan for it.

What many DaVinci Resolve colorists and admins don’t realize is that it has a few different options to aid you in backing up your project. Spend one hour today - and a few minutes weekly - and you can save your future self / reputation / career / business a whole lot of pain!

In this article I'm going to show you 3 useful and easy methods to protect your work from hard drive catastrophe.

Let’s start with the two ways Resolve has of storing your database (the database contains all your projects):

       • The first is a Disk based database system which saves all the project details into a project folder on your            computer.

     • The second type is a hidden Postgres based database which runs a database server on your machine          (Resolve automatically creates this for you) and offers you extra options like sharing databases and          automatic backups.

PostGres Database Backup

Backing up your entire database (as opposed to just the project file) is the most comprehensive way of protecting your work. It will make a carbon copy of your database and I would recommend doing this once a week at least. I personally use an automated script to do this daily.

To backup your database you navigate to the user login page and select the small icon in the bottom right corner. This will take you to the database manager. Select the database you want to back up and then all you have to do is click the backup button, select a safe location and click go!


Highlight the database you wish to backup, and click backup on the dropdown menu

Your work is now protected, in case of your grades vanish in the night.

As I mentioned earlier there is also a scripting method of doing this automatically but it must be written for each users situation. My setup: Our central server uses SSH to dial into each of our resolves daily and around 5am the backup script runs automatically.

Exporting The Project

I export the project (as opposed to the entire database) in situations when a job is so important I can't sleep at night. It provides an independent backup of just the project you choose to export and can also be used to send projects to other Resolve machines.

To do this you right click the project and select Export from the drop down menu. You then have the option of exporting Luts, Audio, EDL's and Stills. Click save and thats it. Backup complete.


Highlight the project you wish to backup and click export on the dropdown menu

Exporting Gallery Stills

This is a quick way to export reference stills and your node trees as a backup. One thing to note about this method is it will not store tracking or keyframe information but what you loose in functionality you gain in speed.

To export your stills for an entire project:

       1. With the project loaded, create a new empty Stills page.

       2. Right click on the viewer and select ‘grab all stills from first frame’. This will pull a reference stills of             every shot in your timeline.

       3. Select all of those stills and right click on them.

       4. Select ‘export’ from the drop down menu

       5. Create a new folder and save them to that folder.

Depending on the length of your timeline this can take less than 2 minutes to perform.

One warning: If you’ve labelled your versions or stills, you’ll lose those labels when exporting

Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

There you have it, with a weekly routine of saving your database and a daily routine of exporting out your current Project to a different hard drive - you’ll minimize downtime and save your reputation when your boot drive suddenly give out on you... and it WILL give out on you - eventually.


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