XML Resolver

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* Built for use with Blackmagic Design’s Davinci Resolve v9 *

So I had some time a while back to revisit one of my favourite pastimes .. that being establishing a workflow to allow Edius and Resolve 9 to play a bit more nicely together.

Obviously a lot of the issues are outside of any possible user control (for example we can’t force Edius to start embedding/retaining more edit metadata in it’s AAF files, nor can we force Edius AAF files that reference copied media to just describe dissolves rather than render and embed that media too … and it goes both ways as we can’t force Resolve to better interpret these Edius AAF files) but with a fair amount of trial and error I’ve found some things we can work around, like using a free translator app (AAF Converter) to translate Edius AAF files directly to FCP XML files which can then be imported into Resolve without issue.

All this has served well for getting otherwise complex project references out of Edius and into Resolve … but getting projects back into Edius has been a bit of a sticky issue.

So I had a look at using Resolve’s XML export function (for FCP) to bring graded edits back into Edius … comparing FCP’s native XML exports with Resolve’s XML export formatting and seeing if anything looked hopelessly wrong (because if you try and import one straight into Edius you just get a vague “Project import went wrong” error). Well I couldn’t see anything “hopelessly” wrong … but I got extremely lucky with the tests I tried and it turns out I might have figured out the incompatibility anyway.

Resolve, it seems, only uses a the basic “” identifier to denote sequence elements within it’s XML file export format, and whilst it’s a simplified syntax it’s still fully adherent to the FCP XML spec, and imports without issue into FCP … even if its not how FCP itself describes a element, the latter always using the more fully formed “” identifier.

So, we edit the Resolve generated XML file and manually add in that extra formatting … and hey presto, the dreaded “Project import went wrong” message disappears. Which is great .. but … thats all that happens. The file no longer throws an error but no sequence magically appears either. In fact, nothing seems to happen. No sequence, no error log, no crash, nothing … the import process just completes without actually importing or creating anything. Odd.

Delving a little deeper into the Resolve XML export there’s another potential inconsistency that stands out. It seems that FCP always defines something called a element for a clip, which tells the host which track within the clip to use. When reading an XML on import, FCP takes the source’s video track as the default designation unless otherwise defined … and consequently it works just fine when encountering XML files that don’t define this explicitly … but as noted, FCP itself never generates an XML file that doesn’t define it. Resolve, it turns out, does not define this element.

So I edit the Resolve generated XML file again and manually add in the appropriate element to each clip item … and bingo, it works! The XML file imported, a new sequence is created that replicates the cut as it was inside Resolve, and all media links correctly point to the graded render files from Resolve.

Happy happy joy joy. Just need to recombine it with the final audio mix, add the supers … and put it on telly 🙂

After an afternoon of quality time banging my head inside Visual Studio, and I had a tiny app that reads in Resolve generated XML files, does a rough and ready text based search and replace for the missing info noted above, and which then spits back out an XML that Edius can handle. And it works a treat.

You can download it here : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/59082689/XML%20Resolver.zip

For what it’s worth, I’m hopeful that the Edius developers will tweak their XML import code so that in a future version we won’t need this little pre-flight utility to prepare Resolve’s XML export files before bringing them into Edius .. but until that happens (or until the Blackmagic Design Davinci Resolve team tweak their XML export formatting to make it more Edius friendly, which may already have happened for version 10, now in pubic beta) then this little applet should do the trick.

Cheers
Andy

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4 responses to “XML Resolver

    • I don’t have PluralEyes on my system here Dan, but if you want to send me a sample of a (preferably very simple) PluralEyes XML output (for FCP 7) then I’d be happy to take a look and see if theres anything obvious that could be easily fixed … that said, bear in mind I have a day job so it may not happen quickly.

      Cheers
      Andy

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