Edit Video with your SMEs using Text Transcription in DaVinci Resolve Studio

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Often we instructional designers are given hours of video footage of recorded lectures or webinars, and it’s our job to edit them down into easily consumable, topic-focused chunks of video. This can be challenging due simply to the sheer workload of reviewing hours of video, but it’s even harder when the subject matter is outside your area of expertise. Working with subject matter experts (SMEs) can help considerably, and this technique I developed has really helped me to empower my SMEs to have direct input about what is (and is not) critical information to include.

DaVinci Resolve Studio Text Transcription Timeline Editing

My beloved video editing suite DaVinci Resolve’s paid tier Studio includes an AI video-to-text auto transcription feature. Not only does this feature accurately and quickly generate a text-based transcript of your raw footage files, but it can also be used to append or insert footage into your timeline directly, based on the text you have selected in the transcription!

Transcribe, Add to a Shared Doc, Let SMEs Highlight, then Edit

I’m working on a project where my stakeholders are sending me several hours of video about sales methodology (of which I understand very little). I have been able to use the DaVinci transcriptions to quickly generate a transcript right when I get the footage, and send it back to the SMEs via a shared Word doc for them to highlight the passages they want to include in the final video.

I then go back to the transcript and use the “append to timeline” feature of the transcription tool to string out only the passages they want in my timeline. It’s a huge time saver for me and it empowers the SMEs to have a higher degree of control over what gets included in the final product.

The SMEs were more aggressive than I would have been, cutting out extraneous sentences that I might have included out of caution. The end result is a nicely lean and succinct editing job that won’t require lengthy revisions since the SMEs have an active role in the creation throughout the whole process. Not to mention this saves me the work and tedium of filling my mind with content I don’t care about just to ensure it’s interesting and engaging for the viewer. Win-win.

Pro Tip: Check Your Edits

I noticed that the resulting timeline created by appending passages was clipped more closely than I would normally – beginnings and ends of words were lopped off, so you still have to listen to your edits and time them to flow naturally. Thankfully, the appended clips can be easily extended to include the footage around the cut, so it’s easy to drag out your clips to include the material you want.


I am an enthusiastic proponent of DaVinci Resolve and think the AI features in Studio make it well worth the one-time $295 price tag (and I’m not paid to say that), but you can also access similar transcription functionality in Adobe Premiere CC or many other pro editing suites. We were previously using Descript.com and timebolt to do similar work, so there are lots of options. But I’d encourage you to see how easy it is to edit video via text and use it as a bridge to work more closely with your stakeholders and SMEs.

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Written by

Ted Curran is a Learning Experience Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Mastodon, LinkedIn or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.

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