Importing Editorial Information from Other Sources

As a Final Cut Studio user, you will do most, if not all, of your editing in Final Cut Pro. However, if you’re inheriting a project that was started in another editing environment, there are a variety of options for importing it.

Import an Edit Decision List from another application

The Edit Decision List (EDL) format is one of the oldest and most widely supported project interchange formats for editing. EDLs are formatted as plain text documents, which can be output and read by most editing applications. Because they’ve been around for so long, they describe only the most basic components of an edited project, namely audio and video edits, basic transitions (from a list of SMPTE standard transitions), and superimpositions (called key edits). EDLs date from a time when all video came from tape. Each edit in a sequence is called an event and is represented by a separate line in the EDL that contains the reel number and timecode information necessary to relate each video clip to the source tape it came from. Additionally, EDLs generated by nonlinear editing applications like Final Cut Pro usually include the name of the clip as an optional comment.

Despite their age, EDLs are still widely used for moving basic projects between applications, and either recapturing the source media from tape or converting the media using a third-party utility for relinking.

Additionally, EDLs are often used after the offline edit has been locked to reconform a project on another system for color correction and finishing. In Final Cut Studio, EDLs are used to conform an offline edit to the originally scanned DPX or Cineon image sequences in Color when following a digital intermediate workflow.

Import XML projects

The Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format was designed to describe every element in a Final Cut Pro project in an XML-based format. Because XML is an easily decipherable format for programmers, the Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format facilitates the processing of Final Cut Pro projects using external utilities (if you’re ambitious, you can develop your own methods for editing and processing XML projects using text editing tools) and enables more sophisticated project interchange with third-party applications. Final Cut Pro can import and export this format, and there are an increasing number of third-party utilities for processing and exchanging XML project files in different ways.

XML is also used extensively among Final Cut Studio applications to move project data around. For example, when you send a Final Cut Pro sequence to Color, XML is used to translate the project data from one application to the other.

Import projects using third-party utilities

There are dedicated third-party utilities designed to facilitate project interchange, such as software from Automatic Duck. Also, many third-party editing and color correction applications are developing the means to import Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format files to better facilitate project exchange.