A Hands-On Introduction To DaVinci Resolve On iPad Beta for Post Pros

December 7, 2022

Colorist Joey D’Anna gives an extended review of DaVinci Resolve for iPad Beta, how it differs from the desktop, and what it may excel at.

Placing DaVinci Resolve iPad Into Context For Editors, Colorists, and Finishers

While many people were surprised that Blackmagic Design announced a Resolve iPad version – I was predicting this since Apple transitioned to its new ARM-based architecture.

This new architecture is not only exceptionally good for its video editing and color grading – it is also now standard across all of Apple’s hardware products. This means software for ARM Macs will port to iPad easily – and as we’ve seen, Resolve is incredibly well optimized on these new Macs!

Testing DaVinci Resolve for iPad Beta

I’m fortunate to beta test this new iPad release on my M1, 12.9-inch iPad pro. I’ve been putting it through its paces both on the Cut page for editing and the Color page for grading – and I’m very impressed.

I think Resolve on iPad will become the most serious mobile post production option for professionals, thanks to its deep integration and compatibility with desktop Resolve.

Performance on the M1 iPad has been impressive, the feature set is deep, and color management on the iPad’s excellent display works great in both SDR and HDR.

Learning To Edit On DaVinci Resolve’s Cut Page and Speed Editor

Watch Sample Lessons from the Cut Page Course

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should know:

  • What Resolve iPad is, what it isn’t, and what features are available to iPad users
  • Resolve iPad can connect to existing Resolve databases and the Blackmagic Cloud
  • Significant user interface changes for touch and pen usage
  • How to set your caching settings for optimal performance
  • How to get media in and out of Resolve on the iPad, including from cloud services and local files on the iPad
  • How to use the Cut page on the iPad
  • How to set up Reference Mode in iPadOS 16 to enable very accurate color-managed viewing
  • How to use the Color page on the iPad, including color management for SDR and HDR, and using output color space to color manage the viewer
  • If you can use the Blackmagic Speed Editor with the iPad (and why it’s fantastic)

External Links

Related Mixing Light Insights & Courses

Questions or Comments? Leave a comment!

Is this Insight helpful to you? Let us know! Mixing Light is all about community discussions, and we’re curious if you found this helpful, if you have something to add, or if you have more questions that you need answered?

– Joey


Homepage Forums A Hands-On Introduction To DaVinci Resolve On iPad Beta for Post Pros

  • Chris K

    Hey Joey.

    Thanks for the comprehensive first look. Was wondering if you had a chance to run the iPad Pro as a “sidecar” secondary display with Ventura with reference mode turned on. I assume you can drive the ipad pro’s color mangement through MAC OS with this setup. Is this way any different from having DaVinci Resolve on ipad drive the colour management through the software?



    • I haven’t actually – None of my mac workstations are on Ventura, and they are all in a machine room so it isn’t easy to plug the iPad into them.

      • Chris K

        Hi Joey, One extra question, I assume in the Resolve for iPad, in color management – the “monitor” lookup table is what we think the “color viewer” lookup table is.

        Is that a correct assumption to make?


        • Yea i think that is correct – if i change the monitor LUT in settings, it effects the viewer. But I think using that will be uneccesary in all but a few workflow-specific cases. The iPad display is accurate when set to the right colorspace/EOTF in output color space in the project. I’m planning on doing more verification/testing with a spectro and colorimeter of that down the road.

    • So quick update – I can’t test it, but I talked to someone at Apple who is quite knowledgeable in these things and he verified that *yes* it is possible. Which is fantastic news. Like I’ve said – that iPad display is shockingly good in HDR in reference mode, so it could be a great way for people to get going in HDR without spending $30k!

  • Rich Marino

    Hi Joey, Thanks for the tutorial! Wondering if an iPad Pro is viewed from the clean feed from an iMac Pro using Sidecar and the iPad Pro reference mode is turned on, would it be accurate to the output transform without having to go through an Ultrastudio?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Rich Marino.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Rich Marino.

  • Eric Rosen

    Hi Joey,

    In regards to viewing HDR in reference mode on the iPad Pro is there any concern with Video Monitoring Data Levels setting in your project? Do those settings only apply to BM video IO? If the settings have no effect, what are the black levels set to when viewing HDR on the iPad Pro? Would be curious how the black levels behave in HDR for both Resolve for iPad and the Resolve Remote Viewing App.

    • Thats exactly correct – the video/data switch doesnt do anything in the native ipad viewer because it isnt connected to BMD hardware. Viewing HDR or anything else on the ipad pro, Resovle is feeding the image directly to ios for display – but also telling ios what color space/eotf it is – and the ipad drives the pixels accordingly.

  • Eric Rosen

    👍<div>Thanks Joey.</div>

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