Muuuh Wildlife Photography

Video Editing Workflow

Last modified on 2023-03-27. This page is dedicated to nature lovers and wildlife photographers. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in and around Montreal.


We start by making a long video of a park visit with all the footage we have. This video has different uses. We publish it as a record of our park visit along with the log data and some weather notes. We also use it to review each clip and create an inventory of what we have. Later, we may use some interesting segments about a specific species for a "YouTube Short" or a regular video.

Data Import from Memory Card to Hard Disk

We use Photo Mechanic to quickly transfer media files from the camera's memory card to the hard disk. During this process, Photo Mechanic organizes the files into folders by date and renames them into their final format. Additionally, Photo Mechanic provides an optimized user interface for efficient quality checks.

Videos recorded with a GoPro camera are manually transferred to the hard drive via USB connection using Image Capture. The files are then renamed for consistency with those imported from the camera’s memory card.

For sound recordings recorded externally with the Zoom H4nPro see Sound Editing Workflow

Master Settings DaVinci Resolve

Initial project settings for all type of videos, before adding any video feeds, are the same for all type of videos with one minor difference for YT Shorts.

  • Timeline resolution: 1920x1080 HD (for YT Shorts check "Use vertical resolution")
  • Timeline frame rate: 30 frames per second
  • Video bit depth: 10 bit
  • Retime process: Nearest
  • Motion estimation mode: Standard Faster
  • Motion range: Medium

Workflow DaVinci Resolve

The majority of video editing efforts are focused on creating the first, longer video of a park visit. This involves starting with all the video recordings from that day and using this process to establish an inventory of usable clips. Shorter videos for platforms like YouTube Shorts and Facebook Reels, as well as species-specific videos, are then created using clips already edited for the first video. Over time, we have found that this approach is the most efficient way to manage our inventory of usable clips.

  • In DaVinci Resolve new project set master settings and import all clips
  • Drop all clips on the timeline in chronological order
  • Cut and trim raw clips to the segment that is usable
  • Rearrange clips by species and apply a different colour for each species
  • Normalize audio levels of each clip to -2 dBFS (tricky one!).
  • Stabilize, rotate, and zoom each clip to get best out of it. Trim further if necessary.
  • Check if horizons should be aligned between two clips.
  • Review transitions and apply effects if necessary.
  • Adjust speed of clips where appropriate (used rarely for the initial video)
  • Adjust colour, brightness, contrast of each clip. Start with white balance.
  • Add text and branding. Check spelling!
  • Add music track and adjust sound

During the process of editing a video, the version in work is rendered several times and reviewed on different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop, TV).

Checklist and DaVinci Resolve Final Render

Uploading a video, publishing it, and then noticing a minor error? A final review on a uploaded video should prevent this from happening.

  • No spelling errors?
  • Color grading consistent?
  • All clips stabilized?
  • Sound never clipping or passing -5dB?

Settings for the final render in Deliver screen:

  • Format: Quicktime
  • Codec: H.265
  • Resolution: 1920x1080 (YT Shorts/Reels 1080x1920)
  • Playback: 30 fps
  • Quality: restrict to 80'000 Kb/s
  • Advanced settings: Uncheck "Bypass re-encode", check "Force sizing to highest quality" and check "Force debayer to highest quality".

YouTube Shorts / Facebook Reels

To create a YT short, minor adjustments are necessary. Resolution should be 1080x1920, fill clip, UHD not possible. Creating YT Shorts has been topic in two of our streams:


  • Photo Mechanic Despite the benefits of using Photo Mechanic, we are actively searching for an alternative. This is because Photo Mechanic is not available on the App Store, it doesn't work with GoPro connected to the computer via USB, it is costly and only provides a license for one computer.
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Muuuh's YT Channel