Skip to Content

How to Add Arrows in Davinci Resolve (3 Easy Ways)

Adding arrows to your video is a great way to draw the attention of your viewers to where you want it. Therefore, using Davinci Resolve, I will show you three ways to do this, so you can find your favorite.

You can add arrows to Davinci Resolve by simply importing an image of an arrow with a transparent background. To make the arrow appear in the video, add it to the timeline, one video track above the main video. However, it’s also possible to create arrows in the “Fusion” page inside Resolve.

Since simply importing an arrow is the easiest and fastest way, I will show you how to do this first.

However, if you wish to create an arrow by yourself, I will show you two ways to do this as well.

You’ll also learn how to do simple animations in all of the methods. This makes them a bit more interesting.

Check out this table of content, if you want to skip ahead:

First the easy way:

How to Insert an Arrow in Davinci Resolve

To insert an arrow into Davinci Resolve, open the “Media Pool” inside the “Edit” page. Then right-click the grey part of the “Media Pool” and click on “Import Media…”. Locate the arrow on your computer, and double-click the file to import it.

To make the arrow appear in your video. Just drag it from the “Media Pool” into the timeline, one video track above the video it’s going to appear.

Here is a more detailed explanation, and also where you can find arrows to download for free:

There are many places where you can download arrows. One really good place is Pixabay (opens in a new tab), they offer a BUNCH of free images for you to use, arrows included!

All you have to do is make an account or simply sign in with your Google account.

And another way is to download this arrow (opens in a new tab), which I’ve made for you (for free as well). That link will take you to Dropbox. Just “X” out the sign-up window that pops up, and download it!

Using Pixabay:

If you decide to go with Pixabay, then just do a search for “arrow” and make sure it’s set to pictures.

Choose the one you like the best, and make sure it has a transparent background (a bunch of white and gray squares as the background):

pixabay

Before you download it, something nice to look for is this:

pixabay license

This means, you can use it for whatever you want and don’t have to give credit to the creator. However, giving credit is a good thing for you to give something back to the creator. All you have to do is simply leave his name in the Youtube description or whatever.

If you choose the arrow I provided you with, don’t bother with giving credit…

Now it’s time to import the arrow into Resolve.

First, make sure to be on the “Edit” page:

go to edit page

Then open the “Media Pool“, in the left-hand top corner of the page.

Next, locate the arrow where you’ve saved it on your computer. If you just downloaded it will by default be in the “Downloads” folder.

Then just drag it into the “Media Pool“.

drag arrow to project

Then, you want to drag it again, however, this time into the timeline.

If you already have a video in your timeline, where you want the arrow to be included, drag the arrow/image in the video track above the video.

drag arrow to timeline

That’s it.

Now you’ve successfully inserted an arrow into your video in Resolve!

The next question of yours may be: “How do I adjust and position it?

Well, it’s quite easy.

how to use transform mode

Below the viewer/video preview on the left-hand side, you can see a drop-down menu.

Click on that and choose “Transform” (watch the image above for reference).

When it’s activated you can basically adjust the size and position it however you would like! As you can see in the legendary illustration above…

Here’s another illustration of how they work:

transform mode in edit page

All of the white dots around the arrow (in transform mode) serve their own purpose. So just test all of them and get a feeling of how they work.

Next, we are going to add some movement to the arrow: (watch video)

Animating Movement (method 1)

If you don’t want to add the arrow to Resolve every time you need it, you can actually save it inside Resolve!

This way you can use it for all your projects:

To do this click on “View” in the top left-hand corner and on the bottom of the tab make sure “Show Power Bins” is selected.

enable powerbins

Now if you open the “Media Pool“, you should see a tab called “Power Bins” somewhere on the left side of the “Edit” page.

To add your arrow to the “Power Bins“, just drag the arrow into the tab like in the picture above.

The next time you need to use your arrow, just go inside the “Power Bins” and drag it into your timeline!

drag to power bins

Next up, you’ll learn how to make arrows on the “Fusion” page:

How to Make an Arrow Using Fusion

Alright, this next method is a bit more complex.

Now we are going to create an arrow using fusion, and also apply some cool animation to it in the end:

First of all, place the timeline cursor over the clip you want to add an arrow to on the “Edit” page.

If you don’t know what the timeline cursor is. Play the video in the timeline, and stop on the clip where you want to add an arrow!

Then head over to the “Fusion” page:

go to fusion page

Inside the fusion, the only nodes you’ll see are the “MediaIn1” and “MediaOut1“:

We want to add three additional ones: “Background“, “Merge” and “Rectangle“. Before adding the nodes, make sure that none of the other nodes are selected, click on the background just in case.

You find these in the toolbar above the node graph. Hover over the icons there, and you’ll see their name. Or just refer to the picture below.

(node graph=the gray area where all the nodes are gathered)

Add nodes

Once that is done, we want to disconnect/break the connection between the “MediaIn1” and “MediaOut1“.

To do this, hover your mouse over the line connecting them, and it should turn yellow and blue depending on where your cursor is. When both colors are available, just click on the line to break it!

break node connection

Now it’s time to connect all of our nodes!

Here’s a little explanation for those who are not familiar with nodes:

Gray square: Always on the right end side of nodes. You can think of this one as a wire coil, where you pull the wire out of the node and connect it to one of the triangles on the other nodes.

Blue triangle: This one is used to connect masks. For example, if you have a green background and mask it with a circle, the final result is then a green circle.

Yellow triangle: This is the main input, this one has to be connected in order for the node structure to work!

Green triangle: This is a secondary input, so by connecting to this, you add additional information to the main flow.

VideoWithJens

We’ll start by connecting the “Merge1“.

From “MediaIn1” drag the gray square over the yellow triangle (background/input) on the “Merge1” and drop it.

Then take the gray square from the “Merge1” and connect it to the yellow triangle on the “MediaOut1“:

connect node

Then, connect the “Background1” to the green triangle (foreground) of the “Merge1“.

Next, connect the “Rectangle1” to the blue triangle (mask) of the “Background1“.

Then you’ve created a node tree that should look like this:

connected node tree

Now, just for the simplicity of this tutorial and make sure you’re following:

Click on the two dots below “MediaOut1” to make both of them white-colored, like this:

select two dotes for them to show in video preview

Click on the “Rectangle1” in the node graph to select it, and then notice the rectangle in the viewer/video preview get what looks like a clock in the middle and some thin red lines around the rectangle:

select node in nodegraph to affect it in video preview and inspector etc

The thin red lines on the sides of the rectangle are used to adjust the shape and size.

If you hover your mouse over the sides and pull on them, you are changing the width or height:

If you grab the corners you’re affecting the height and the width of it at the same time:

how to change size of rectangle in viewer

When it comes to the circle and arrows that look like a clock inside the rectangle, these control the position:

  • The two small arrows inside are for changing the position horizontally and vertically.
  • That mini square in the middle is for moving the whole thing around.
  • And the circle around is the rotation.

So just experiment a bit on how they work, before moving on!

Here’s another legendary illustration:

explaining transform in viewer

Next, up in the image below you can see I have changed the width a lot. Try making your shape like that too.

Then go to the “Inspector” tab located on the right-hand side of the “Fusion” page.

Make sure to be under “Tools” > “Rectangle1” > “Controls“.

A little bit down in this tab, you should be able to the the “Corner Radius“, set this one to max/full like in the image below:

corner radius

Once you’ve made the rectangle in perfect shape, it’s time to duplicate it:

Right-click on the “Rectangle1” and click on “Copy“, then right-click one more time and click on “Paste“:

copy node

You should now be able to see two rectangle nodes in the node graph (watch the image below).

Make sure that the new “Rectangle1_1” is connected to the node tree, if not connect the gray part of it to the mask of the “Rectangle1“… It does not matter which order the rectangles are connected (as they are part of the same shape).

Next, click on the “Rectangle1_1” to select it, then rotate it, change the length, and position it like this:

change position of rectangle two

Once you have placed the new rectangle like in the picture above, it’s time to duplicate that one as well.

Right-click “Rectangle1_1” click on “Copy“, then right-click it again and click on “Paste“.

copy paste new node

Then select the “Rectangle1_1_1” and adjust it as you did with the other one. Just this time, place it the opposite way to create an arrow, like this:

re position new node

To change the color of the arrow:

Click on the “Background1” node, then go to the “Inspector” > “Tools” and make sure that it says “Background1“.

A little further down you should see a black box next to “Color“, click on this one and change the color of the arrow:

change color of arrow

To change the position of the whole arrow, click on the “Merge1” node and then you can just drag it around in the viewer/video preview like in the GIF I’ve made here:

moving merge in fusion

That’s how you make an arrow!

Next up I will show you how to adjust the duration of the arrow and also how to apply some movement to it:

Animate Movement (Method 2)

Save Arrow as Macro for Later Use:

If you thought that was a bunch of work, I have some great news!

You can actually just save the arrow as a macro/effect and then add it to every other project you make in the future from the “Edit” page!

You don’t have to thank me. I find great joy in helping others with whatever editing-related problem they might face.

Let’s get to it:

First, we want to create a “Transform” node. This one is located in the toolbar as well.

Make transform node

Then disconnect the “MediaIn1” and the “Merge1“.

Instead, connect the “Background1” node to the yellow triangle of the “Transform1” node and then connect the “Transform1” to the yellow triangle on the “MediaOut1“.

The nodes should now be connected in the order shown in the image below.

Once they are, click the node graph, hold, and drag over all the nodes, from above and down to select them.

Next right-click one of the nodes and click on “Macro” and click on “Create Macro…“:

create macro

In the “Macro Editor” window:

First give the macro a name, for example, “Arrow” or “VideoWithJensIsAwesome“.

Next, under “Transform” > “Controls” check off the boxes next to “Center” and “Size“:

macro settings

Next, click on “Close” in the right lower corner of the “Macro Editor” window.

Then the “Save changes to MacroTool1” pop up, where you want to click on “Yes“.

save settings

Before saving the macro we actually want to change the location where it’s saved!

At the top of the folder, you have a link that reveals the location of the driver.

You can from here either click on “Fusion“, then go to “Templates” > “Edit” > “Titles“.

Or you can click on the side of “Macros” to type. Then remove “Macros” and type in “Templates/Edit/Titles” instead and hit “Enter” on your keyboard.

When you are in the “Titles” folder, type in a file name and click on “Save“:

save macro as title

Here comes the LEGENDARY part!

Go to the “Edit” page inside Resolve, then click on “Effects” in the left-hand top corner.

Next, make sure to be under “Toolbox” and then click on “Titles.

There are a lot of different titles to choose from here.

Locate the macro you made by looking for its name or you can search for it by clicking on that magnifying glass icon.

macro in titles!

Now, it’s just to drag the title/macro to the timeline and place it above the video you want it to appear, like this:

add title to track 2

Boom!

Just like that, you now have saved yourself from a bunch of future work!

Next up you’ll learn how to make an arrow using the “Color” page. This is a weird way of doing it, however, I think it’s legendary: (it’s also faster than using the fusion page)

How to Make an Arrow in the Color Page

Using the “Color” page to make arrows, is a really easy and fast way to do it!

I’ve never actually heard anyone else do it this way… So let this be a secret between you and me…

Start by going to the “Color” page:

Go-to-colortab-davinci resolve

Below the video preview, there is a wide bar containing a bunch of different tabs, locate the tab that’s called “Window” (watch the image below).

Inside the “Window” tab you can see some different shapes like a rectangle and a circle.

Click on the one that looks like an ink pen.

Once you click on the ink pen you get these red lines around it, meaning it’s selected:

window mask

Then, in the viewer/video preview, if you click now you create these dots that you can make different shapes with. Try to make an arrow as I have done below.

(to close/finish the arrow, click on the first dot you made)

Notice in the picture below, that I finished the arrow/closed it (number 2), then adjusted it afterward (number 3), to make it perfect.

how to make arrow in colorpage

Once you are satisfied with the shape:

Open the “Curves” tab (watch the picture above).

Then on the right-hand side of the curves, you can see the colors “Y, R, G, B”. Click on the “R” for red, then only red should be selected.

Now in the curves, the diagonal line should be red.

Grab the dot/small circle in the top right-hand corner and drag it all the way to the left.

Voilà!

make arrow red

Now, your arrow should be colored red like this:

arrow finished color

To adjust the position of the arrow:

Go back to the “Window” tab to be able to see your dots again. Then you can move it around like this:

positioning arrow in color tab

To adjust the size of the arrow:

You find this option on the right-hand side inside the “Window” tab under “Transform“.

Then just change the “Size” value:

change size

Save the Arrow to Inside Resolve:

Yup.

There is a way to save this arrow as well so you can use it in all your future projects!

To do this:

Go to the “Gallery” tab in the left-hand top corner of the “Color” page, then expand the sidebar inside it, and click on “PowerGrade 1” (watch the image below for reference).

Then right-click on the video preview, and click on “Grab Still“.

You should now see a still inside the “PowerGrade 1” tab.

The “PowerGrade 1” is available on all of your other projects!

save grade

To apply it: have the video you want the arrow to appear on open, then right-click on the still inside the “PowerGrade 1” and click on “Apply Grade“.

applied grade

That’s it for this tutorial.

Another way to draw attention is by using circles, which you can learn how to make & add here.

Best regards,
Your friend, Jens.