Rendering Multiple Projects (And Timelines) At Once

Rendering Multiple Projects (And Timelines) At Once

August 26, 2015

In this Insight, learn how to leverage DaVinci Resolve's powerful rendering engine to render multiple projects and timelines all at once.


Setting Up Resolve To Be A Multi-Project/Multi-Timeline Render Queue Is Easy (If You Know Where To Look)

Okay, file this Insight under ‘Robbie might be the last person in the world to know this’, but a recently discovered (for me anyway) Resolve render feature is going to really affect multiple projects and multi-delivery projects that I work on – in a good way!

What am I talking about?

In this Insight, I want to talk about Resolve’s ability to render multiple sequences from multiple projects at the same time, essentially allowing you to take any timeline from any project in your database and render those items all at once in a single render queue.

Seriously, I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t know about this powerful feature until a fellow colorist buddy of mine pointed it out, but hopefully, this trick can help you out.

Setting The Scene

I work on a lot of gigs that for many reasons need to have multiple, separate Resolve projects.  Here are a few examples:

  • Multiple Frame Rate Components – Often I’ll get a feature that’s 23.98, but the client has done some standards conversion for TV promo materials and now wants me to grade a 2 min trailer.
  • Installation Work – I do a lot of Museum and other installation projects where overlapping different size project screens necessitate separate projects
  • Educational Pieces – Last year I did a project on learning to play every instrument in a typical concert band.  There were 319 separate timelines divided into projects based on instruments.

You might have multiple projects for a wide variety of reasons and in each one of those projects have one or more timelines.

Now you might be thinking “what’s the big deal? I render multiple timelines all the time, simply by switching between projects”.

Sure, rendering multiple timelines within the same project is simply a matter of adding each timeline with whatever settings you want to the render queue, but if you have multiple projects you have to switch between those projects and render out timelines in each project.

Or do you?

Setup A Render & Then Render Once

Using a sort of hidden feature in Resolve you can actually render multiple projects & multiple timelines from each project in a single Resolve render queue.

Pat & Dan tell me this feature has been in Resolve since at least Resolve 11, but possibly Resolve 10.  Regardless, it’s new to me; and taking advantage of it is easy.

The only bummer about the workflow is that you still have to switch between projects to ‘setup’ the renders. However, once set up you can render all from one queue from whatever project you want to.

To use the workflow as I show in the video below simply use the following steps:

  • Open up a project, configure render settings for a timeline(s) based on your needs
  • Add those jobs to the project render queue & save the project
  • Open up a new project(s) and repeat these steps
  • Using the fly-out menu in the jobs area of the render queue & choose to view the render queues for all projects
  • Look at that!  The render queues for any project in your database are available
  • If you need to change a particular render item simply double-click it to open its parent project and make changes as you would in any single project

I’m a huge fan of Adobe Media Encoders’ ability to render Premiere Pro/After Effects Projects (and sequences within) without having to open each individual project.

While this functionality lacks the ability to choose a sequence to render from a project in a database while within another project, it’s still a nice workflow enhancement.

Question, comments?  Use Disqus below.  

– Robbie

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Comments

4 thoughts on “Rendering Multiple Projects (And Timelines) At Once”

  1. Just a quick heads up: I use this method often, but typically on multiple gigs that all have the same frame rate. Once, in Resolve 11, I ran into an issue where it rendered all projects at the frame-rate of the currently open project even though one was 23.98 and the other 29.97. Not ideal. Your video seems to show that Balckmagic worked out that bug in Resolve 12. To be honest I haven’t had the time to test why this happened, if it was specific bug to my setup, to Resolve 11, or just a quirk of that particular day.

    1. Hey Jason – I haven’t had the issue in 11 or 12 (just tested on both to make sure I’m not nuts!)

      You need to configure as I show each timeline in each project. what I didn’t show was that when resolve gets to a render job in from another timeline it will open up that project automatically.

      Which leads me to one thing I should have mentioned – enabling dynamic project switching so that projects load into RAM makes this process much quicker too. I did an Insight on that a while back.

      let me know if, when you have time you’re still seeing weirdness

      1. Hmmm, Must be very specific to my system – I didn’t get a chance to test the issue thoroughly and right now I am in the process of making my beast of a hackintosh into an actual windows system. Also, I know I did not have dynamic project switching turned on. I wonder if that may have been the culprit? I will try to test this soon since I still have that hackintosh build set up in R11. I just know that one time, that all the projects and render settings were set up correctly, but when I woke up I noticed that the audio slipped out of sync progressively and that the frame rate was wrong on the one timeline that was not the same as the other five or six projects I was batch rendering.

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