Investigative Colorist: Why is the PremierePro to Resolve 8 Roundtrip Broken?

FCP XML v5 is the key to the Resolve 8 kingdom


NOTE: This article is deprecated. The issue discussed has been solved by recent versions of Premiere Pro 5.5 and later. For that reason the Vimeo video has also been removed!

For the past few days I’ve been hunting down problems when attempting to do a roundtrip between Premiere Pro 5 & 5.5 and Resolve 8.

On the surface, it looks completely do-able.

Premiere has an “Export to FCP XML” command. Resolve 8 is specifically designed for a FCP to Resolve roundtrip. You’d think it works, right?

Think again.

Here’s the problem: Resolve is designed for FCP XML Version 5. Premiere can only import and export FCP XML Version 4 (or earlier).

DaVinci Resolve 8's XML v.4 dialog box

This Resolve 8 dialog box alerts you to the XML version mis-match

Here’s the work-around: It *is* possible to move between Resolve and Premiere… but only if you own FCP which can translate up and down between FCP XML Versions 4 & 5!

That’s the short of it.

If you really want to dig into specifically what works, what doesn’t, and get a sense of the power when the XML Roundtrip does work – watch this 18 minute video where I bounce between all 3 apps to figure out what exactly is going on and what’s getting broken when.

And if you’re Adobe – I’d love to help you guys fix this problem and open up the world of XML integration between Resolve and CS5 users. I can be reached from here.  😉

UPDATE: If you’re a CS5 or CS5.5 user and would like to see Resolve 8 and Adobe integration – here’s the link to Adobe’s feedback page. Enter a feature request for ‘Export to Final Cut Pro XML v.5’ to enable Resolve 8 & Adobe CS5 / CS5.5 integration. Hat Tip: Tom Daigon

Special thanks to all the Tao Colorists who responded to my call for help: with a specific thanks to Clay Asbury and Pepo Klijs for working through the Premiere 5.5 XMLs!

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  1. Maurico de Oliveira July 7, 2011 at 11:56 PM #

    well, let’s see if Adobe is aiming to pro-users and add, in response to this dead roundtrip conclusion, a fast update to its export xml functionality.
    This would be pretty well received I would say.

    • James Tucker-Robbins March 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM #

      Premiere Pro can also export an .AAF which works better than .XML to Resolve but there are still issues to be resolved.

  2. Tom Daigon July 8, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    Since fixing this with Adobe is important and these days I find they are very responsive to input, here is the official bug report link to make sure they are aware of the problem.

    • Patrick Inhofer July 8, 2011 at 1:42 PM #

      Yup. Done.

      Thanks for the link. I didn’t find a ‘Request a feature’ menu item inside PP5.Technically – this is not a bug… unless it’s a bad implementation of FCP XML v4 (which it seems to be mostly fine… except maybe the additive dissolve thing).It’s a feature request to add FCP XML v5 to make it compatible with Resolve 8 roundtrips. If other people reading this would like to see this feature implemented – click on Tom’s link…In fact – I’ll update the post.

      • Tom Daigon July 8, 2011 at 2:13 PM #

        Not that it matters, but under the Name, Email and Company lines are 2  a radio buttons …Feature Request and Bug Report. Im sure what you files will get the proper attention. Good luck!

  3. Todd Kopriva July 8, 2011 at 4:37 PM #

    I’ve passed a link to this post on to some folks here at Adobe so that we can look into this.

  4. Julian July 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM #

    How about EDL? Is that a viable option from Premiere Pro to Resolve?

    • Patrick Inhofer July 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM #

      Yup. EDL is viable. PP exports CMX 3600, which is what Resolve 8 requires (although I haven’t specifically tested it, yet).

      But I prefer to spoil my clients with the benefits of the XML / “Render Clips with Handles in Resolve 8” workflow. They get very happy – which makes me very happy.

  5. Patrick Inhofer July 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM #


    I’ve got several meetings today… but I’ll give this a try as soon as I’m back in my room!

    That would be terrific.

    • Ray T July 25, 2011 at 2:18 PM #

      What I have had success with is exporting XML from Premiere Pro. Import into Final Cut. Export a new Final Cut XML (v5 XML). Import into Resolve 8 and it seems that it works correctly. Lots of steps for sure. Will keep testing other workflows.

      Ray T

      • Patrick Inhofer July 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM #


        Correct – The Premiere round-trip requires the Premiere XML be ‘washed’ through Final Cut Pro 7. Jon’s suggested trick of opening the XML in a text editor and changing the 4 to a 5 does NOT work.

        Note: DaVinci’s latest update (8.0.1) now supports direct export from Resolve into Premiere – without stepping through FCP a 2nd time… which is 1/2 of the equation for native PP -> Resolve -> PP XML roundtrips. Now we just have to wait for Adobe to update their XML exporter.

  6. Glenn July 27, 2011 at 9:26 PM #

    didn’t work for us, but was worth trying 🙂

  7. Camron Crouse September 7, 2011 at 3:09 AM #

    My first Resolve project (Resolve Lite)… Helped the client at her studio copy the media files to my hard drive,  and we exported an XML of the project – the pull-down menu only went up to XML 4, no XML 5 available (not sure which build of FCP she is using, must be an older version).  I do not have FCP at this time, is there another workaround to convert this XML 4 file to XML 5?

    • Patrick Inhofer September 7, 2011 at 3:29 AM #

      Camron – If she could only export XML 4 then she’s on FCP 6. Anyone with FCP 7 can import that XML and then re-export as XML 5.

  8. Camron Crouse September 7, 2011 at 3:36 PM #

    Thanks, Patrick, for the info. Looks like I’ll finally have to get FCP7. The project was shot on XDCAM HD, a codec not supported by Resolve without FCP integration:

  9. premiere pro training October 26, 2012 at 5:08 AM #

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