A step-by-step tutorial guide to a Premiere Resolve round trip workflow using 4K CinemaDNG RAW media.

Software Versions:

DaVinci Resolve 11
Adobe Premiere CC 2014

Media:

4K CinemaDNG RAW 3:1 media (Blackmagic Design URSA)

Step 1 – Create ProRes Proxies (DaVinci Resolve)

Create a new project and import CinemaDNG media into Media Pool.

PremiereResolveStep1

Check and set correct Camera RAW settings in Project Settings for CinemaDNG.

PremiereResolveStep2

Select all clips in Media Pool and apply 3D LUT – “Blackmagic Production Camera 4K Film to Rec709”.

PremiereResolveStep3

Edit Page:

Select all clips in Media Pool and “Create Timeline Using Selected Clips” and ensure “Use Selected Mark In/Out” is unchecked.

PremiereResolveStep4

PremiereResolveStep5

Delivery Page:

Set Render Timeline as Individual Source Clips.
Set Video Format as Quicktime.
Set Codec as Apple ProRes 422 LT.
Set Resolution to HD 1920×1080.
Check Export Audio.
Set Save As Use Source Filename.
Set Render To.
Add to Render Queue.

PremiereResolveStep6

Step 2 – Premiere Import

Import ProRes proxy media into Premiere bin.

Step 3 – Premiere Export XML and Reference Video

Export “Final Cut Pro XML”.

PremiereResolveStep7

Select the sequence and “Export Media”.
Set Format to Quicktime.
Set Video Codec to H264.
Set Quality to 90.
Set Field Order to Progressive.
Export.

PremiereResolveStep8

PremiereResolveStep9

Step 4 – DaVinci Resolve Conform

Create a new project and import CinemaDNG media into Media Pool.

PremiereResolveStep10

Check and set correct Camera RAW settings in Project Settings for CinemaDNG.

PremiereResolveStep11

Import Reference H264 Quicktime into Media Pool as Offline Reference Clip.

PremiereResolveStep12

Edit Page:

Import Final Cut Pro XML and uncheck “Automatically import source clips into media pool”.

PremiereResolveStep13

PremiereResolveStep14

Right click conform timeline and “Link offline reference clip” to imported reference clip.

PremiereResolveStep15

PremiereResolveStep16

Check conform shot by shot, cut by cut.

Step 5 – Render ProRes 422 HQ (or format of choice) of Graded Shots for Round-Trip back to Adobe Premiere

Delivery Page:

Set Easy setup: Final Cut Pro XML Round-Trip.
Set Render to.
Add to Render Queue.

PremiereResolveStep17

Step 6 – Premiere Import

Import Final Cut Pro XML file created by Resolve from the directory where the graded media files were rendered.

Notes:

Speed effects such as Posturize Time will not be imported. Supported transitions will be applied and multiple tracks are supported.

17 Comments

  1. Premiere cc doesnt open the xml created by resolve 11 or 12

    I film with Canon 5DIII MagicLantern
    I convert my dng files to Proxy so as to edit in Premiere cc2014 (works fine)
    After editing i save an xml which i open in resolve to link the RAW files for grading (works fine)
    After grading i export out using the “Final Cut Pro XML Round-Trip” option and “individual source clip”
    In Premiere cc2014 I try opening the xml created but it doesn’t recongnize it

    Please how do you do it? I use an imac 5k

  2. i just thought i should let you know, this post works 100%. it is detailed and very helpful. i shot short film in raw and because of playback issues, the footage sat in my hard drive for months. but this post changed everything. thank you very much Rich Larkey and i’m from Accra, Ghana.

  3. awesome, will you make a tutorial for that too?

  4. Hi Rich: thank you so much for sharing your time and knowledge. I’m working in Windows 8.1, and therefore can’t export clips as Prores 422 LT. Can you recommend an alternate proxy format?

  5. Lucas Maraal

    Great!

    what do you about resizes and another things like it?

  6. thank you for the tut!

    it’s really helpful,

    Btw I just wonder about step5

    why don’t use prores 4444xq instead of prores hq? is there not that differences between two?

    I just thought it’d be best if export the highest quality format after grading in Davinci.

    thank you in advance!

  7. Jared Kovacs

    Hey Rich this workflow is great! Thanks.

    I do have questions regarding a couple things…

    After colouring in Resolve and bringing my colour graded footage back into Premiere, immediately I notice that the footage darker/contrasty-er. Somewhere between delivering from Resolve to Premiere this happens I’m not sure why it does that, the only way to avoid this is to make my grade in Resolve, generate a 3D lut for every clip I grade and load it into my clips in premiere, which is very cumbersome when you have a lot of footage to grade…I’m delivering in ProRes 422 HQ with the Premiere XML option on Resolve 14 Beta.

    Also, I have a few clips that have ghosting, I’ve been using the dynamic link feature with Premiere and After Effects to remove these artifacts. Now since those were done before the grade, my raw clips that had the artifacts have been replaced with AE compositions due to me working in AE to remove that stuff. When I import my xml from Premiere to Resolve, those clips don’t appear properly, in fact they just come up as media offline, I’ve tried to import the AE projects into my media pool in Resolve with no luck. i’m thinking I should be colouring first and then once I export my xml from Resolve back to Premiere I then link my AE comp to the clip, hopefully it retains the colour grade, if not I’ll have to export individual luts for those clips to be applied individually in Premiere.

    Cheers

    • Hi Jared, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I really need to update this workflow for Resolve 12.5 and 14. I haven’t really spent time with 14 yet, I’m waiting for the first public release, still I don’t think the steps have changed that much. The principle at least is the same.

      For your first question, I think I know what might be causing this. Are you on Mac or Windows? I suspect you’re on Mac, in which case there is an option in Resolve project settings, under color management called “Use Mac Display Color Profile for viewers”, uncheck that (you may need to adjust your grade) and see if your rendered clips import into Premiere looking how they should. If not, or if you’re on Windows, hit me up again and we’ll dig a bit deeper.

      For the second issue, Resolve won’t import AE files, there’s no dynamic linking. The file that comes into Resolve needs to be the final finished (fixed) clip rendered out of AE. It’s time consuming, but you’ll probably have to bring these clips in and drop them in your Resolve timeline manually, or first make a duplicate timeline in Premiere specifically just for prepping an XML for Resolve, and drop those rendered AE clips into your duplicate Premiere timeline, then make an XML. That XML should work in Resolve and link to those rendered AE clips.

      Color is usually the final step, so if I were you I’d do the AE work ungraded, render those clips, drop them in and grade them in Resolve like any other clips. They just won’t be AE project files anymore, but, if any changes or modifications to the AE projects are needed, you just render over the same files and the Resolve timeline will automatically update, the grade will stay.

      I wouldn’t bother exporting LUTs out of Resolve to import into Premiere, that kind of defeats the purpose of finishing in Resolve, but I get why you’re doing it since you’re seeing a difference between Resolve and the clips imported in Premiere. Hopefully unchecking that “Use Mac Display Color Profile for viewers” box does the trick.

      If not, let me know.

      • Jared Kovacs

        Unchecking “use mac displayy color profile for viewers” did not resolve the issue. XML’s coming from Resolve delivered to Premiere are still showing crushed blacks in Premiere… hm

        • Jared Kovacs

          I’ve figured it out… In Resolve the first thing I would do is set all my clips’ attributes to be instead of the default “auto” or “video”, I changed them to “full”. So from now on I’m just leaving it as is versus changing the clip attributes to “FULL”.

          Cheers, I really do appreciate your time and how quick you dug in!

  8. Hey Ricahrd, thank you for your tut!

    I just want make sure if i know right.

    I just wonder about step5

    why don’t use prores 4444xq instead of prores hq? is there not that differences between two?

    I just thought it’d be best if export the highest quality format after grading in Davinci.

    thank you in advance!

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