• Post category:Learning

Have you been doing a lot of Zooming and Facetiming lately?  Maybe even recorded some of those meetings and coversations with Open Broadcaster Software?  Or maybe you’ve been ripping old Blu-rays for legitimate backup purposes…right.  Either way, there’s a good chance you’ve been hit with the hard reality of dealing with the MKV file format.  It’s a great codec, but isn’t supported by the major NLE players like Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Avid.

Free presets?  Take me there!

One Secret to Rule Them All

If you’re interested in how to edit with an MKV file, there’s a simple answer.  The trick for how to import MKV files into DaVinci Resolve or any other NLE, even After Effects, is to convert the files first.  You’re probably wondering how we’re supposed to do that since none of the “pro” programs will open the files.  Enter Handbrake.



Open-source for the Win

Handbrake is an amazing open-source application.  One of those that makes you scratch your head and wonder how on earth it’s possibly free.  Simply import your MKV file, or multiple MKV files to batch convert, grab a preset, or choose your own settings, and convert!  
Handbrake’s default settings will transcode your MKV files into an M4V, which is just a tasty flavor of H.264 MP4.  In the example above (which you can download below), I chose one of Handbrake’s built in presets “Super HQ 1080p 30 Surround”.  It’s great for a quick and dirty transcode that will deliver good results.

Custom Handbrake Preset

As you’ve probably gathered, I’m a big fan of presets and Handbrake lets you build and import your own presets to get your workflow cooking.  

On the video side of things, I switched a few things around to enhance the output video:
  • Video Codec:  Hardware Encode (Nvidia, AMD, Hardware, etc)
    • Uses hardware encoding to create videos (faster)
  • Framerate(FPS):  Same as source
    • Constant Framerate
      • Keeps the source framerate rather than converting to 30 or something else
  • Constant Quality: 15
    • Slight increase in quality of the video.  0 is lossless.

Under audio, I added a single stereo mixdown with a bitrate of 256 kbps.

With that set, you can click the “Save New Preset” button and get to converting.

Import MKV into NLE

That’s it.  After the file’s converted, the M4V that Handbrake creates can be pulled into your preferred NLE.  If you want to go a step further you could convert again into an intraframe codec like Prores for easier editing.


If you’d rather not go through the trouble of creating your own preset, feel free to download the Same as Source preset I created below.  Then simply import it into Handbrake via Presets > Import From File.