Creating Speed Ramps in DaVinci Resolve – Quick Tip

August 16th, 2023 Jump to Comment Section 4

Speed ramps are a great way to spice up your footage by either slowing down or speeding up sections of a clip. You have probably seen shots like these showing people doing spectacular stunts, where the clip starts at normal speed, then shifts to slow motion during the stunt, and returns to normal speed once the stunt is completed. Let’s see how this is done quickly in DaVinci Resolve!

Speed ramps in DaVinci are easy to do… once you know where to find them

Setting up speed ramps is no big deal once you know where the function is hidden. Once you have placed your clip in the timeline, right-click on it and choose “Retime Controls”. You can now retime your clip. Set keyframes by clicking on the black triangle in the bottom section next to where it shows the speed of the clip as a percentage. Choose “Add speed point” to create a keyframe at the beginning of the section you want to slow down and speed up – then add another one at the end of the section.

Create a speed point by clicking on the black triangle
Adding speed points in the “Retime controls” section. Image credit: CineD

Manipulating time

You can then use the top handle of the second speed point to either stretch or compress the previous section. At the bottom, you will see the speed percentage change accordingly. Using the bottom handle will only move the speed point but not change the timing within the clip, so make sure to use the top handle. 

From a cliff to a ramp

Now you have changed the speed to go from normal to quicker or slower and then back to normal again – but the change occurs abruptly, from one frame to the next. How do we get from this “cliff” to the ramp? Simply right-click the clip again and choose “Retime curve”. This will open up another set of tools beneath the clip. 

The “Retime speed” control still looking more like a cliff rather than a ramp. Image credit: CineD

A little trap with speed ramps in DaVinci Resolve

In older versions of DaVinci Resolve (before 18.1), there was a hidden trap. In the upper-left corner of the newly opened window, just below the clip, the option “Retime frame” was selected by default. However, this isn’t the right selection for our purpose. If you are using an older version, click the small arrow to the left of “Retime frame” to open a drop-down menu and switch it to “Retime speed”. In versions 18.1 and later, the default setting is already “Retime speed”, so you don’t need to make any changes here.

If the setting is “Retime Frame”, change it here to “Retime Speed”. Image credit: CineD

Creating the ramps

Now that we have the “Retime curve” section opened (with “Retime speed” selected) we can see the abrupt speed changes. To add speed ramps in DaVinci, select the first keyframe or speed point so it turns red, and click on the left icon at the top to change this keyframe to a curve. You will see the curve appear as well as handles, which allow you to further change the shape of the curve. Now repeat this process for the second keyframe and you have created your first speed ramp!

Finally a nice speed ramp in DaVinci Resolve. Image credit: CineD

More info

For more info on getting started in DaVinci Resolve, check out our article with resources for beginners here, and head over to for Ollie Kenchington’s Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve.

Pricing and availability

You can download DaVinci Resolve directly from Blackmagic Design’s website or retailers such as B&H and CVP. Before updating, check out our article on how to prepare yourself should anything go wrong.

Will you use this feature a lot? Are there any more functions that Blackmagic should implement? Let us know in the comments below!


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