Migrating Timelines Between Final Cut, Premiere Pro, Avid and DaVinci Resolve

The round tripping process between different editing applications is not always a straightforward one, yet it’s a necessity for many editors and an integral part of their everyday routine.

Each application has specific tools, workflow, and features. However, they all provide and share similar assets. As part of the most popular editing platforms, the AAF and XML interchange formats simplify and smarten up the process.

They are not a perfect solution, but they provide enough value being flexible enough to do the job in most of the time.

The Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) is a professional file interchange format designed for the video post production and authoring environment. XML (Extensible Markup Language) based data provide similar functionality in the video post production environment. Both XML and AAF are interchanged formats designed to carry different types of audio, video, still image, graphics, text, animation, music, and other forms of multimedia data.

Long story short, AAF and XML files are designed to help migrate sequences between video editing apps. There is a certain workflow for each application that should be followed in order the best results to be flawlessly attained.

These are some of the most popular workflow scenarios you probably would run across.

Migrating timeline from AVID to PREMIERE PRO

Avid_To_Premiere_Pro

  • In Avid, with your sequence or master clip selected in the bin, right-click and hit Export.
  • When the box pops up select “Untitled” from the drop down menu and click the box Options.
  • Under the “Export As” drop-down menu, you can select AAF and click Save.
  • Open the AAF file in Premiere CC

Migrating timeline from DAVINCI RESOLVE to PREMIERE PRO

TImeline_Migrating_Resolve_To_Premiere_Pro

  •  In Resolve go to Session and click Render.
  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip (this will still work in Premiere).
  • After choosing your desired export codec, you can directly hit Render.
  • Once completed you can jump into Premiere and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

This technique works with both the AAF and XML files out of Resolve.

Migrating timeline from FINAL CUT X to PREMIERE PRO

FCPX_To_Premiere_Pro

This is a tricky one. You should use the free version of Davinci Resolve Lite to complete the process.

  • In Final Cut Pro X go to File > Export XML where you will be asked to name and save a new .fcpxml file format.
  • The new .fcpxml file can be imported into Resolve.
  • In Resolve click Load and select your fcpxml file. A dialog box will pop up, click OK. You will now be able to see your clips in the timeline.
  • Inside of Resolve go to Session and Click Render.
  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip this works for Premiere as well).
  • After choosing your desired export codec, you can just hit render. Your clips will now render.
  • Once completed you can jump into Premiere and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

Migrating timeline from PREMIERE PRO to FINAL CUT X

Premiere_Pro_To_Final_Cut_X

Again, this workflow includes using Davinci Resolve Lite

  • In Premiere go to File>Export>AAF, choose a name, and click Save.
  • You can now import the .aaf file into Resolve Lite.
  • Once inside Resolve, go to Session>Export. In the drop down menu Select Final Cut Pro XML Round Trip.
  • Now select all the clips you want to send to Final Cut Pro and hit Start Render.
  • Now jump back into FCPX and go to File>Import>XML

Migrating timeline from AVID to FINAL CUT X

Avid_To_Final_Cut_X

  • With your sequence or master clip selected in the bin right-click and hit Export.
  • When the box pops up select “Untitled” from the drop down menu and click the box that says Options.
  • Under the ‘Export As’ drop down menu you can select AAF and click save.
  • FCPX can’t read AAF files so you will have to use DaVinci Resolve Lite.
  • You will now be able to import the AAF file into Resolve.
  • In Resolve go to Session>Export. In the drop down menu Select Final Cut Pro XML Round Trip.
  • Now select all the clips you want to send to Final Cut Pro and hit Start Render.
  • Your new .fcpxml file should be made. Now jump back into FCPX and go to File>Import>XML.
  • You can now import the .fcpxml file in FCPX.

Migrating timeline from DAVINCI RESOLVE to FINAL CUT X

Resolve_To_Final_Cut_X

  • Go to Session>Export.
  • In the render settings drop down menu labeled Easy Setup select Final Cut Pro XML Round-Trip.
  • Now select all your clips in the timeline and hit Start Render.
  • Resolve will create a .fcpxml file that you can now import into Final Cut Pro X.
  • To do this in FCPX go to File>Import>XML and select your new .fcpxml file. You should now see your video clips in the timeline.

Migrating timeline from FINAL CUT X to DAVINCI RESOLVE

FCPX_To_Resolve

  • In Final Cut Pro X go to File > Export XML where you will be asked to name and save a new .fcpxml file format.
  • The new .fcpxml file can be imported into Resolve. In Resolve click Load and select your.fcpxml file.
  • A dialog box will pop up, click OK.
  • You will now be able to see your clips in the timeline.

Migrating timeline from PREMIERE PRO to DAVINCI RESOLVE

Premiere_Pro_To_Resolve

  • In Premiere go to File>Export> AAF or XML.
  • Save your file in the pop-up box.
  • Jump to Resolve and click the Load button.
  • You can now select either your AAF or XML file, select Open.
  • A box will pop up, click OK. You should now see your Premiere sequence in the timeline.

Migrating timeline from AVID to DAVINCI RESOLVE

Avid_To_Resolve

  • In Avid, with your sequence or master clip selected in the bin, right-click and hit Export.
  • When the box pops up select “Untitled” from the drop down menu and click the box that says Options.
  • Under the Export As drop down you can select AAF and click Save.
  • You will now be able to import the AAF file into Resolve.
  • In Resolve click the Load button.
  • Select your AAF file and click Open.
  • A dialog box will pop up, click OK. You should now see your Avid sequence in the timeline.

Migrating timeline from DAVINCI RESOLVE to AVID

Resolve_To_Avid

  • Inside of Resolve go to Session and click Render.
  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip.
  • After selecting your desired export codec you can simply hit Render. Your clips will now render.
  • Once completed you can jump into Avid and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

Migrating timeline from PREMIERE PRO to AVID

Premiere_Pro_To_Avid

  • With your clips selected in Premiere go to File>Export>AAF.
  • You will be asked to name the AAF file.
  • You can now click import the file directly into Avid.
  • Your sequence should auto populate the clips inside of Avid.

Migrating timeline from FINAL CUT X to AVID

FCPX_To_Avid

You should use Davinci Resolve Lite in this case as well.

  • In Final Cut Pro X go to File > Export XML where you will be asked to name and save a new .fcpxml file format.
  • The new .fcpxml file can be imported into Resolve.
  • In Resolve click Load and select your .fcpxml  file.
  • A dialog box will pop up, click OK.
  • You will now be able to see your clips in the timeline. Inside of Resolve go to Session and Click Render.
  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip.
  • After selecting your desired export codec you can simply hit Render.
  • Your clips will now render.
  • Once completed you can jump into Avid and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

Use extra care when you do your transfers by following the above steps and remember that as-a-rule-of-thumb the media and edits are transferred safely in most cases. The issues are almost always in the moving of the effects. Kudos to Caleb Word from premiumbeat.com who gathered all that extremely useful information.

[via www.premiumbeat.com]

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE 12.5 - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!

  • Royce

    Hey Vlady! I’m trying to migrate between DaVinci Resolve 12 and Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015. In the above instructions, the indicated menu options for migrating out of Resolve seem to not be there. The instructions say: “In Resolve go to Session and click Render.” I don’t see this in Resolve, nor the “Easy Setup tab.”

    I also searched Google for:

    “resolve 12” “Avid AAF Round Trip”

    Only 3 results total – none of which answered anything.

    I’m not sure if this is called something different in Resolve 12, or even user error.. Is there still an effective workflow to move sequences from Resolve 12 and Premiere Pro CC 2015?

    Btw, thanks for compiling all this great info!!

    • Royce

      I should further explain that I’ve chosen Export .aaf, .xml, .fcpxml, & .edl each, and none have properly migrated clip cuts properly in PrPro. From what I’ve seen so far, they’ve all have some issue or another, many being clip duration issues. The closest to working has been .aaf which has clips (nests, actually) of the proper lengths in sequence, but they each start the original video from the beginning (and sometime there’s only audio). So on each cut on the timeline the video starts from the beginning. 🙁

    • Vlady Radev

      Hi, Royce. I tend to believe that this workflow in particular is for migrating projects between Resolve 11 and Premiere Pro CC. Premiere Pro is known for its issues in this situations so I’m not surprised to say the least. I’ll try to find more info on the topic. Thanks for your comment anyway!