Are you a film newbie or just getting familiar with DaVinci Resolve? Either way, DaVinci will take your films to the next level. Before jumping into all the bells and whistles of this software, you should learn a few key elements first. In this article, I will show you how to zoom in DaVinci Resolve.

How To Zoom in DaVinci Resolve

Why Add Zooms?

The purpose of camera zoom is to quickly capture your audience’s attention by zooming in on the subject in the frame. Zooms can be used to draw attention to significant elements, such as emotions or an unlocked door, making your audience engaged and invested in your project.

They can also serve as an establishing shot, creating a sense of time and place for your viewer. The goal is to make your content more intriguing and highlight the most exciting parts.

However, it’s crucial to have a purpose or motivation for using zooms in your project. Randomly adding zooms can confuse your audience and leave them unsure of where to focus their attention. Therefore, we should only use zooms when necessary or emphasize certain aspects. While zooms can be exciting to use, we must exercise caution not to overdo them without a valid reason.

Examples of Zooms

Let me give you two examples of how zoom shots can be used to enhance a film. In Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, directed by Peter Jackson, there’s a scene where Frodo senses danger, and the camera zooms in on the forest ahead to visually show it. Fear is an excellent motivator for adding a zoom effect. This particular zoom is achieved by using a dolly zoom. A dolly zoom is when the zoom lens is zoomed in or out while the dolly on which the camera is also in motion.

Zoom in DaVinci Resolve - Dolly Zoom

My favorite zoom shot is in Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. It’s used for comedic relief when Kuzco is knocked out in a nap sack while being chased by Kronk, and they’re about to fall down a waterfall. Kronk saves Kuzco at the last second, and the camera does a series of “hard cut zoom-outs” until we reach a chimp and a bug. Then, the camera quickly zooms back in, dropping us right back into the action. This movie uses a lot of zooms for comedic purposes, and it works great! Animated films always know how to make you laugh when least expected. 

Now that we have a solid basis of understanding and some examples let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

How To Zoom in DaVinci Resolve:

In showing you how to do this, I will be using keyframes as one option. There is a lot of misconception about keyframes because it is assumed that they take a lot of work. So while that might be a dreaded word for some of you, stick with me! DaVinci Resolve makes them super easy to work with and edit as needed.

They are also better if you need more control of the position of your clip. If you don’t wish to use keyframes and just need a quick zoom with no hassle, jump below for the steps on how to use Dynamic Zoom. I am adding a few pro tips before jumping in, so please read through them, as they will be helpful to you as you follow along!

You will be so glad you know how to do this, and then you’ll be ready to export that beautiful project of yours! 

Pro Tip 1:

Select your keyframe next to the Transform option and not zoom alone. This will allow you to manipulate quickly if you decide to adjust anything besides a zoom. A perfect example of this is, let’s say, you want to zoom in on a particular part of your image and not just a standard zoom. Well, if you don’t select the transform keyframe and only the zoom one and try to adjust anything else, it will adjust your entire clip and not adjust keyframes. Then you end up with your clip not centered or flipped around etc., from your starting point. And we don’t want that!

Pro Tip 2:

The speed of the zoom is based on the length of your clip or the distance of your keyframes. The further apart your keyframes are, the slower the zoom. However, if you want only a specific clip to be slowly zoomed, then the length of that clip will determine how fast the zoom is. The fast zoom can be hilarious for reaction shots, so feel free to experiment!

Pro Tip 3:

To see the keyframes associated with your clip, click on the diamond on your clip that is half black and half grey. The diamond will turn white, and you will instantly see all of your keyframes under your clip. This can help you navigate them quicker as well.

Pro Tip 4:

Your keyframe will turn red as an indicator that you have added a keyframe.

Pro Tip 5: 

Make sure the link between your X and Y axis is white and not grey so it will scale both at the same time.

How To Zoom In DaVinci Resolve (Keyframes)

  1. Make sure you are on the Edit tab in Resolve
Make sure you are on the Edit tab in Resolve
  1. Select the Inspector in the upper right-hand corner 
  2. Make sure you are on the Video tab and that Transform is toggled on
Make sure you are on the Video tab and that Transform is toggled on
  1. Place your red skimmer on the frame you want your zoom to begin on
Place your red skimmer on the frame you want your zoom to begin on
  1. Click the keyframe diamond next to the Transform option. (Notice all of the diamonds turn red, so feel free to adjust them as needed)
Click the keyframe diamond next to the Transform option
  1. Drag your skimmer to the place you want your zoom to end 
  2. Then drag your x or y axis to the left or right to adjust your clip to the desired result. (Arrow will face up or down to indicate if you’re zooming in or out.)

Just to reiterate: make sure that you drag your skimmer to where you want the zoom to end before you adjust the scale and position.

How To Zoom In DaVinci Resolve (Dynamic Zoom)

  1. Make sure you are on the Edit tab in Resolve
Make sure you are on the Edit tab in Resolve
  1. Select the Inspector in the upper right-hand corner 
  2. Make sure you are on the Video tab and that Dynamic Zoom is toggled on 
  3. Select the clip you want to add the zoom to
  4. Use the drop-down arrow and select what kind of zoom you want
Use the drop-down arrow and select what kind of zoom you want

Pro Tip 6:

Use the “Swap” feature to toggle between “ease in” or “ease out” for faster results!

Use the "Swap" feature to toggle between "ease in" or "ease out" for faster results!

FAQs About Zoom in DaVinci Resolve

Can I zoom in on just one X or Y axis?

You can zoom in by clicking the white link between your X and Y axis. Keep in mind that this will only end up stretching the image and technically wouldn’t be considered a zoom.

Can I add multiple zooms?

Yes! If you wish to continue to add zooms, you can repeat the steps above and treat your “endpoint” as if it were your starting point. 

Can I delete keyframes?

To delete keyframes, navigate to the keyframe you wish to delete by using the left and right arrows. Once you have found the right one, click the red diamond, and it will turn white. You have successfully deleted that keyframe. If you look at Pro Tip #3, you will see that keyframe delete on your timeline as well.

Can I adjust keyframes?

Use the right and left arrows next to navigate to whichever keyframe you wish to adjust. You will be able to tell them apart because DaVinci will jump to the frame that the selected keyframe is on. Once you are on the right one, you can adjust the scale.


What did I tell you? That was pretty simple, right? Use the keyframes for more refinement, but if you need something quick, then the Dynamic Zoom feature is for you. Don’t just take my word for it. Give it a try, and let us know in the comments what you think. Remember to allow yourself to get creative. As always, happy filmmaking!

Since you’re deep in edit mode, here are some additional tutorials that I wrote on DaVinci Resolve: