Premiere Pro CS6 and transcoding clips

Premiere Pro is very good at working with clips from all over the place all with the same name, and all with many differing codecs. All is well until you need to interwork with other applications such as Davinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro which work best with a single, edit friendly codec. Wouldn’t it be good if Premiere Pro could export each clip in a transcoded form, say ProRes, but it can’t. Wouldn’t it also be good to work with unique media filenames so when media becomes disconnected and asks for where say ‘clip20’ is, and you have 3 different clip20 file, you know exactly what to search for.

So this is where the script that I have developed comes in. It takes the Premiere Pro CS6 prproj file, goes through all the media and creates transcoded versions of each clip into a directory of choice, and updates the prproj file to point to the new clips. That’s right, updates the prproj file (or rather creates a new version) without any intermediate FCP xml steps.

Whilst doing this, if it detects that you have same named files, it will create the transcoded file with a unique filename meaning that all your media can genuinely be placed in a single location if desired, but mainly that if the media get’s disconnected, it will always prompt for a unique file.

I’ve been given so many projects where the media names are the same, but in different directories, which is handled so seamlessly by PP until media becomes disconnected because you can’t see where it should have been pointing, it completely loses the link, meaning a lot of manual checking. When it prompts for “Missing MVI_0020.mov” which clip? which “MVI_0020.mov”? Unique names really are a must.

Now I can take a CS6 edit with multiple clip formats and create ProRes versions of all the clips easily and have the project updated. This also means less burden on PP as edit friendly codecs are much better to use for that very reason. With a uniform codec, such as ProRes, this now means that integration with Davinci Resolve is much, much easier.

What I would suggest for a Davinci workflow is this.

1. Use the project manager to create a specific project for the sequence of interest.
2. Open the new project and clean up as necessary. If there are any nested sequences or AE compositions, render these to a ProRes codec and re-import so they take the place of the nested sequence / AE compositions. What you want is your main picture sequence having purely media clip edits, not nested sequences or AE compositions.
3. Save the project!

Normally at this point, you would export an FCP xml and import into Davinci Resolve, but if the media is in a codec that resolve can;t work with easily, then this will cause problems. This is where my script comes in. Running this will create ProRes versions of the media used, deal with duplicate named clips and give them unique names, then create an updated premiere pro project file.

When the updated premiere pro project file is loaded, at that point an FCP xml can be generated for Davinci Resolve.

Now although Davinci Resolve can indeed export XML project which can be imported back into Premiere, I have found that sometimes its more conducive to the edit and all the Premiere Pro specifics to just replace the media with the colour graded media files. Again, the script can handle this also.

In addition to video transcoding, the script will also transcode the audio files, such as MP3s to a standard format such as WAV.

When completed, I will post the script and a tutorial!
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