Intro to Resolve 18’s Collaborative Workflow – LucidLink and Proxies

August 23, 2022

Get started with DaVinci Resolve 18's Cloud-based Collaboration workflow. In Part 1, begin sharing media and projects with a remote team.


Part 1: Share media assets to multiple distributed users in a simultaneous Resolve Collaborative project

In Resolve 18, Blackmagic added a collaborative workflow option that was nearly impossible to execute in earlier software versions: Having multiple creatives simultaneously working in the same DaVinci Resolve database – from remote locations.

The Blackmagic Cloud Project Server has features that can only be accessed through a web browser.

For many years, these collaborative projects were limited only to creatives in the same physical location due to the requirement of a shared SQL database that had to be hosted on a local area network. Latency problems from internet-based creatives accessing the SQL database risked database corruption. I’ve heard stories of some facilities getting this to work using services like Amazon AWS – but it was tricky and required a specialized understanding of network topography and database management.

Without Blackmagic creating a specific workflow, Collaborative workflows would remain the domain of mid and large-sized post production facilities. With the release of DaVinci Resolve 18, everything changed.

Resolve 18’s Blackmagic Cloud databases opens Resolve Collaborative workflows to distributed teams

If you have a team of editors, colorists, VFX specialists, sound mixers, and their assistants spread across your city, country, or the globe, then it’s now possible for them to work on a single DaVinci Resolve project simultaneously, using a shared Resolve database located ‘in the cloud.’

Introduced with Resolve 18, the Blackmagic Cloud server opens up new possibilities for remote teams of creatives.

There are two challenges to executing this workflow:

  • How do you effectively share source media of large video files? Especially if some team members have limited internet download speeds.
  • What are the ‘rules of the road’ when multiple people are working on the same project; simultaneously?

In this live demo, learn a simple workflow for sharing media with your remote team – using LucidLink.

LucidLink is a simple app with compelling features that complement Resolve Cloud databases for distributed teams.

Zeb, Luke, and I all got on a call and recorded a live demo – as Zeb got Luke and me up and running with LucidLink:

  • We begin by creating a Blackmagic Cloud project, and Zeb adds Luke to the team
  • Luke and Patrick had just installed LucidLink (which is cross-platform) before the call, and Zeb shows us how permissions are handled within LucidLink and how he controls who has access to various folders and media files
  • Wrapping up this live demo, we do an extended walkthrough of Resolve 18’s new proxy process, the new Blackmagic Proxy Generator, and how the Proxy Generator is different from generating proxies from within DaVinci Resolve.

At the end of Part 1 of this demo, you should have a strong understanding of how to onboard all of your team members, prepare your media for distribution, and use LucidLink’s simple interface for media distribution.

This is a long-form Insight, with the three of us discussing the advantages and pitfalls of various workflow choices.

This Insight feels like an Office Hours call, but it’s not. The end goal is to set us up for Part 2, where Zeb, Luke, and myself work collaboratively within a Cloud Database. In Part 2, that’s exactly what we’ll do – digging through bin-, file-, and shot-locking while making mistakes and, yes, having each of us crash at different points of our live walkthrough.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

Did we make a mistake or miss a step? Did we confuse you on something? Have you attempted this workflow and want to share your experience? Do you want to share your thoughts on this Insight? That’s what the comments are for! Plus, your comments help shape our future Insights – so jump in and join the conversation!

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Homepage Forums Intro to Resolve 18’s Collaborative Workflow – LucidLink and Proxies

  • As someone already using LucidLink within the Adobe systems, this is a fascinating start to working with L-L within Resolve. Already learned a couple things I hadn’t known in a year of L-L working, looking forward to the next installment!

    • Great news! Putting these things together you never know if they will help anyone so always nice to get some feedback 🙂

  • Digging into these new Cloud functions is really useful, thank you! I’ve had a couple of things I can’t figure out – one is how exactly do different users link to different file paths for proxies which have been downloaded to their local drives? All the path mapping options only refer to the file path of the originals (nice to see a new project based path mapping option in settings though). I can manually relink to local proxies on one machine but then other users can’t link to their copies of the proxies.

    The other thing I came across when making proxies is the camera raw settings – flip to proxies and some of my grades went wrong – I guess making the proxies in Resolve should work with project settings for raw but what about the proxy generator, do you know if that just assumes default camera metadata for raw?

    Thanks again. I’m looking forward to part two!

    • I think using the media storage locations with Mapped Mounts might be what you are after so drive ‘Zebs Drive’ points to drive ‘Jamies Drive’ and as long as folder structures are right it will be fine, could also be a folder within that, ‘Zebs Drive’ points to drive ‘Jamies Drive/Files from Zeb’. We recently hit some snags with project based path mapping and have flagged with BlackMagic, I’d really like to completely manually setup the paths so I can make sure they are what I want and also have the settings included when exporting projects which doesn’t seem to happen at the moment.

      Proxies aren’t really for grading generally. You could use them in many cases but you will find issues with video and data levels and also RAW files you wont have access to the RAW settings so that would negate the need for RAW. If that isn’t an issue then you would make proxies but only work from proxies throughout instead of disabling them. Or work with proxies for most things but don’t create them for RAW. The proxies have been built around editorial rather than finishing really. One issue with that is that they should allow you to burn in colour management, the quality is much better on proxy media with colour management burned in rather than laid on top of compressed files. We would make proxies via the delivery options still and link to them within Resolve to have burnt in colour management as it stands for editors.

      • Thanks Zeb – I’ll try that path mapping the way you suggested.

  • It was always my understanding that H264 is a pretty compressed codec that isn’t easy to play back and terrible for editing. I’m pretty sure I remember getting red bars in the timeline in Premiere and FCP and having to wait to cache to get smooth playback. How come the proxy generator defaults to H264? Did I miss something? Is H264 ok for editing now?

    • With hardware acceleration and many other improvements over the years it’s not really a big deal these days although I tend to still go for prores proxy or similar out of habit.

      • Patrick Inhofer

        Right. Unless you *know* your CPU has built-in hardware acceleration for h264, I’d avoid that as a Proxy format. Even if you do have that acceleration, I’d test the performance of h264 vs. ProRes Proxy – just to be sure.

  • Alex Martin

    This is really great! When will part 2 be available?

  • Hi Team,

    Great overview of the topic. I am trying to set this up between a Windows computer in Germany and a Mac in the US, but the file mapping is failing.

    When I open the file the Cloud project in the Mac I this is what appears in the File Path for the test clip: “D:/Fernando/Slow Test 1.mp4”

    The equivalent path in the Mac is: “/Volumes/T7/Cloud Test /Slow Test”

    I have tried “Project Settings > Path Mapping” and “Resolve Preference>Media Storage Locations” to no avail.

    I am a 20+ years IT Professional with plenty of experience in Networking but can’t figure this out.

    Any help or clues will be greatly appraciated.


    • Patrick Inhofer

      Lucid Link does this file mapping seamlessly, so you don’t have to mess with Resolve’s file mapping. That said, on the occasions I’ve had to use Resolve’s file mapping – it seems completely hit-and-miss. I haven’t found a way to use it in a 100% repeatable manner. For a Collaborative workflow, it can be untenable.

  • LucidLink is more designed to work with files stored on online servers. As in my case, I’m in Oregon, totally PC based. My partner Mo is in Cape Town SA and never ever touches a PC, being totally Mac-ified.. Our shared filespace is on Amazon S3 servers in London.

    LucidLink creates a virtual drive on your machine that connects to that onlline filespace. So I’m not sure the way you’re working … works.

    LucidLink has a great help service via their Slack channel. I suggest checking in with them.

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