Have you ever edited a video and found yourself adding layer after layer for one section of the video? Do you wish you could have just collapsed the layers into one clip, so it wouldn’t seem so overwhelming?

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Well, luckily for you, DaVinci Resolve has that exact feature available for users. Compound Clips can help keep your video organized when editing, increasing productivity and giving you peace of mind.

Keep reading for a guide on how to use DaVinci Resolve’s Compound Clips.

What Are Compound Clips?

The meaning of compound is to bring together two or more elements into one entity, and Compound Clips do exactly that.

A Compound Clip has the power to take several video, audio, and subtitle tracks and combine them all into one clip for easy use. Additionally, they’re easy to open back up, edit, and even create duplicates.

Why You Should Use Compound Clips?

Many video editors forget that the Compound Clip tool exists and will go through the whole process of creating a video without employing it. However, there are several benefits to using Compound Clips.

Getting Organized

Let’s say you have multiple video and audio tracks open—they contain your normal video and audio clips, along with applied premade transitions, effects, and adjustments to the clips. This can look incredibly messy on a timeline and overpower your workflow.

However, with the ability to use Compound Clips on DaVinci Resolve, you can compress all that visual noise and turn it into a singular, more manageable clip. Neat, huh?

Reusing Created Clips

A Compound Clip may not seem like something you would want to reuse in the same video—or in other videos, for that matter—but they can serve a multi-use purpose.

Some YouTubers like to create intro videos that they reuse in each video, kind of like a title sequence on a TV show. If you plan to make something like this, you could save it to be reused in other videos. This would definitely save time.

Editing More Efficiently

Using Compound Clips allows you to effortlessly edit everything within the clip all at once.

For example, if you are using a color grading technique on a Compound Clip, it will affect everything within the clip—frames, titles, and graphics. You won’t have to individually add color grading to each layer.

Nesting Compound Clips

Nesting of Compound Clips means that you have multiple Compound Clips, and you are combining them together. For example, you have Compound Clips one, two, three, and four. You can merge Compound Clips one and three and create Compound Clip five. Then you can combine Compound Clips two and four and make Compound Clip six.

Nesting is mostly used when a video editor has a complicated project, like using MultiCam footage. Using the nesting method for Compound Clips in this way will allow the editor to easily transition between the different camera angles, creating a more seamless look.

How to Create a Compound Clip

There are so many ways to take advantage of DaVinci Resolve’s Edit page, and creating Compound Clips is one of them.

Starting on the Edit page, have your layers set up on the timeline. You’ll want to highlight all the clips you want to combine and right-click.

Select New Compound Clip from the menu that pops up. A box will appear for you to add a timecode and name. Once you complete that, click Create.

From there, all the clips you wanted to be merged together should be in one Compound Clip that you can move anywhere.

You should also note that the Compound Clip has been added to the Media Pool. If at any point you remove the Compound Clip from your timeline, you’ll be able to drop and drag it back.

If you double-click on it in the Media Pool, it will appear where you set the timecode. If you have other clips within that slot, the Compound Clip will overwrite it.

How to Open and Close a Compound Clip

Opening a Compound Clip is easy. Right-click on the clip and select Open in Timeline. A new section within the timeline will open, which will allow you to make any necessary edits.

To close the Compound Clip, in the lower left-hand corner of the timeline, double-click on Timeline1. This will close the clip and bring you back to the original timeline, so you can continue editing away.

How to Edit a Compound Clip

Editing a Compound Clip works exactly like editing any clips on the timeline. Make sure to open the Compound Clip first, though.

The cool part about editing the Compound Clip is you can change the features of the singular clips already there or add or delete anything you want. Once you’re done, close the Compound Clip, and your changes will go along with it.

Consider using keyboard shortcuts to speed up your DaVinci Resolve editing in other areas.

How to Decompose a Compound Clip

If you find that you don’t need to work with Compound Clips in a video and want to get rid of it, you can. Right-click on the Compound Clip, and select Decompose in Place > Using Clips Only. This will dissolve the Compound Clip and give you all the clips back as individuals.

Cool Things to Do With Compound Clips

Compound Clips have more functions than just organizing and nesting. You can create some pretty exciting effects within your videos with them as well.

Try a Facecam

Let’s say you have a clip on your timeline that you want to add a facecam to. A facecam is a small video recording usually positioned in the corner on top of the main video.

Place the video that you want as the facecam in the timeline. Create New Compound Clip using only that clip.

To make your facecam stand out, you could add a border and a drop shadow. To add any effects, open the Compound Clip with Open in Timeline, add any effects, and close it back up.

To resize the facecam, select the Transform tool in the lower left-hand corner of the Preview Window. Resize and position the clip where you want.

Create a Polaroid

If you have an image or a video clip you want to look like a Polaroid, you can do that with Compound Clips.

Create New Compound Clip with the clip of your choice. Open the newly created Compound Clip with Open in Timeline. Move the clip up a track to add a background.

In the Effects tab under Generators, add the Paper effect to the track below the clip. Go into the Inspector tab. Under Video find the Cropping section and crop the Paper clip to make it look like a Polaroid. You can even add text to the effect to give an authentic feel.

Close the Compound Clip, and you have yourself a cool Polaroid look that you can use in any video.

Try Using DaVinci Resolve’s Compound Clips

DaVinci Resolve has an abundance of effects that you can use to enhance your videos, organize your content, and allow you to work more efficiently—Compound Clips included. See for yourself if combining your multiple clips into one segment can help your video editing.

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