Importing Projects from Other Video Editing Applications

Color is also capable of importing projects from other editing environments, by importing edit decision lists (EDLs). An EDL is an event-based list of all the edits and transitions that make up a program.

Once you've imported your project file into Color and copied the program media onto a storage device with the appropriate performance, you can then link the shots on the Color Timeline with their corresponding media.

Importing EDLs in a Final Cut Pro–to–Color Roundtrip

If you've been provided with an edit decision list of the edited program and a box of source media, you can import the EDL into Final Cut Pro to capture the project's media and prepare the project for sending to Color. In addition to being able to recapture the footage, Final Cut Pro is compatible with more EDL formats than is Color. Also, Final Cut Pro is capable of reading superimpositions, all SMPTE standard transitions, and audio edits, in addition to the video edits.

Note: Although capable of importing EDLs directly, Color reads only the video portion of edits in track V1. Video transitions, audio, and superimpositions are ignored.

Figure. EDL-based video finishing workflow illustration.

Here's a more detailed explanation of this workflow.

  1. Stage 1: Importing the Project into Final Cut Pro

    Import the EDL of the edited project into Final Cut Pro.

  2. Stage 2: Capturing Media at Online Resolution

    You need to recapture the sequence created when importing the EDL using the highest-quality QuickTime format that you can accommodate on your computer (such as Apple ProRes 422 or Apple Uncompressed).

  3. Stage 3: Prerendering Effects, Sending the Sequence to Color, and Grading

    At this point, the workflow is identical to that in Stage 6: Grading Your Program in Color in A Tape-Based Workflow.

Importing and Notching Preedited Program Masters

Another common way of obtaining a program for color correction is to be provided with an edited master, either on tape or as a QuickTime movie or image sequence, and an accompanying EDL. You can use the EDL to automatically add edits to the master media file in Color (called "notching" the media), to make it easier to grade each shot in the program individually.

Important: The EDL import capabilities of Color are not as thorough as those in Final Cut Pro, and are limited only to shots on track V1. All transitions in EDLs are imported as dissolves. Superimpositions and audio are not supported, and will be ignored.

Figure. Import and notch program master finishing workflow illustration.

Here's a more detailed explanation of this workflow.

  1. Stage 1: Capturing the Program Master

    If you were given the program master on tape, you need to capture the entire program using the highest-quality QuickTime format that you can accommodate on your computer (such as Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), or Apple Uncompressed). If you're being given the program master as a QuickTime file, you should request the same from whoever is providing you with the media.

    For this process to work correctly, it's ideal if the timecode of the first frame of media matches the first frame of timecode in the EDL.

  2. Stage 2: Importing the EDL into Color and Relinking to the Master Media File

    Either select the EDL from the Projects dialog that appears when you first open Color, or use the File > Import > EDL command. When the EDL Import Settings dialog appears, choose the EDL format, project, EDL, and source media frame rates.

    To properly "notch" the master media file, you need to turn on "Use as Cut List," and then choose the master media file that you captured or were given. For more information, see Importing EDLs.

  3. Stage 3: Grading Your Program in Color

    Use Color to grade your program, as you would any other.

  4. Stage 4: Rendering New Source Media and Sending the Updated Project to Final Cut Pro

    When you finish grading, you use the Color Render Queue to render all the shots in the project as a new, separate set of graded media files.

    Afterward, you need to send the updated project to Final Cut Pro using one of the two following methods:

    • If Color is installed on the same computer as Final Cut Pro, use the Send To Final Cut Pro command.

    • If you're handing the color-corrected project back to the originating facility, you need to export the Color project as an XML file for later import into Final Cut Pro.

  5. Stage 5: Adjusting Transitions, Superimpositions, and Titles in Final Cut Pro

    To output your project, you can use the Send To Final Cut Pro command, or you can export an XML project file that can be manually imported into Final Cut Pro. At this point, you can add other effects in Final Cut Pro, before creating the program's final master.

  6. Stage 6: Outputting the Final Video Master to Tape or Rendering a Master QuickTime File

    Once you complete any last adjustments in Final Cut Pro, you can use the Print to Video, Edit to Tape, or Export QuickTime Movie commands to create the final version of your program.