Premiere Pro CC 2017 to Resolve 12.5 Round Trip Workflow

Before we delve into the actual process, it’s essential to note that both of these platforms are completely different beasts regardless of the fact that they do share loads of common features. I’m sure you heard a lot of dreaded stories where editors have spent countless hours on figuring out a feasible workflow that will eventually help them to bypass all the possible complications and flaws that may occur while moving projects from one NLE to the other and vise verse. The truth is, there is no such thing as a seamless round trip workflow, however, there are certain steps you can take to eliminate (or at least minimize) most of the possible shortcomings you might stumble upon down the road. Having that said, let’s have a quick look at the particular Premiere Pro CC 2017 and Resolve 12.5 round trip workflow of Casey Faris showcased in the next video.

Once you locked your edit in Premiere Pro CC, make sure that all video bits and pieces of your project are laid out on a single video track. Then turn off all elements that are overlaying your final image such as crop lines, subtitles, animations, etc. After that, head over to File>Export>EDL.

It’s recommended to turn off all audio tracks of your project in the EDL pop-up dialog box, because sometimes you might end up with an unnecessary cut in your video edit where the audio cuts are. Leave the rest of the settings as they are by default and export your EDL.

Additionally, you should also export your edit as a media file. Use the Cineform YUV 10-bit preset for your intermediate codec if you working on Windows, or an appropriate ProRes flavor if you are working on a Mac system.

In Resolve 12.5 create a New Project, navigate to the recently created video file and drag it into the Media Pool. Then switch to the Edit Page, right-click in your Media Pool, go to Timelines>Import>Pre-conformed EDL, and navigate to the EDL file created earlier in Premiere Pro CC.

This final step should bring in your previously rendered file with all of the cuts done beforehand in Premiere Pro CC in the exact right places. Double-check all the transitions and cross fades and make sure that they came through right.

Finally, go to the Color Page and color grade the edit accordingly as you would normally do with any other piece of footage dropped in Resolve. To send the color graded edit back to Premiere Pro, you should export it as a single clip using the same high-quality codec of your choice.

Personally, I’m a firm believer that you should avoid round-trip workflows whenever it’s possible as both softwares provide a plethora of tools and assets to utterly complete a project from start to finish, but if you end up sending files back and forth between Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve 12.5, this particular workflow could be a workable solution that will certainly do the trick and hopefully will save you some time and effort along the line.

[source: Casey Faris]

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  • Gary Breece

    In trying to maintain the best quality possible (I’m one who thinks every little bit matters), I try to minimize exports when possible. Do you think the double export (to ProRes, for example) is okay for achieving highest results?

    • If uncompressed codec is used than you have a good chance of not additionally reducing quality size, or not in any noticeable way but you will most likely end up with super huge files and you will have to transcode again and that takes time. It would be great if the applications would have a way to just use dynamic link like Premier Pro and Speedgrade could do but since they use different technology from different companies that are essentially competitors, no luck. And the who round trip from Pr to Resolve is also filled with lots of asterisks.

      Best thing to do would be to test everything and find out for your specific needs what is reasonable or acceptable quality lose in return for color grading in Resolve. Every need and every user will have different needs. So I suggest you test and measure and compare everything and find what works for you best. That’s what I’m doing as well.

      • Gary Breece

        What I was referring to is using XML instead. That way you can export your cut from Premiere, but work with your original files in Resolve. Then do a final output from Resolve. One export instead of two.

        • Yeah I guess that would be one less than two. True. Unfortunately it does not remember complex effects so only cuts and occasional dissolves are carried over from the Premiere Side. Better than nothing I guess.

          • rquick

            You can’t grade footage with complex effects you created in Premiere, if those same effects aren’t in Resolve.

  • David Chan

    Is Cineform better than DNxHR HQX? If so why? If rendering time and file size is no object, what would be the highest quality codec to output to Resolve?

  • rquick

    Exporting as FCP-XML and importing in Resolve, saves the intermediate rendering step. Remember, every rendering step potentially destroys your footage.
    Next grade, export and drop the clip on a track above the cut, so you still keep the cutting points.