Confused about where XML round-trip problem lies

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Michael Tiemann

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Confused about where XML round-trip problem lies

PostSun Jan 12, 2014 4:40 am

I have a 5-camera project (3 of which are Black Magic) that I time-aligned and did basic grading in Davinci Resolve. To make the project more friendly for Premiere Pro, I made proxy files of all the BMCC clips (some of which were shot RAW 2.5k and some of which were shot ProRes but BMD Film gamma). My directory structure looks like this:

/Volumes/Video/Projects/Project X/Project clips (all uniquely named)
/Volumes/Video/Proxies/Project X/Proxy clips (all uniquely named)

When I export my timeline to Premiere Pro (individual source clips, but no extra-special unique names, because the names are aleady unique), I get an XML file that knows nothing about my proxy files. Instead it tries to reference my DNG sequences, or it references the MOV files that are not color corrected. I can easily solve this problem by editing the XML file, and indeed when I do, Premiere Pro seems to see all the right files and do all the right things.

In Premiere Pro I can do a multi-cam edit, flatten the result, and export that XML for Resolve to process further. However, when I import the XML that Premiere Pro exports, all kinds of things are wrong.

There are warning triangles (with ! characters in them) in some of the clips. Some clips are spot-on and some clips are wildly wrong, as if either Premiere Pro or Resolve are flat-out guessing which clip to load from.

Since I'm editing XML, I know I'm doing something wrong. But what's so great about XML is that it's supposed to be edited. Why does these seem to work so well just until the last import back to DaVinci Resolve?
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Michael Tiemann

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Re: Confused about where XML round-trip problem lies

PostSun Jan 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Following up on my own post, it appears that DaVinci Resolve 10 has some strange notions about how to choose which clip to select when importing XML. I've learned that the little triangle with the "!" character begs for conflict resolution. When I right click that triangle, I'm offered some choices, one of which is correct.

For an hour-long multicam timeline where there can be dozens of such conflicts, there must be a better way to resolve conflicts then to step through the PPro timeline in one workspace to make sure that conflicts are properly resolved in the Resolve workspace. Anybody know what that better way might be? I cannot believe that Resolve would imagine that there is some global timecode which qualifies *any* clip that contains that timecode to be a potential clip for that slice of timecode in the import. Why does it not pay attention to the filename that PPro is trying to give it?

(And no, I don't want to import my proxy files into the project, I want to stay with the full-res and often RAW clips that I started with.)
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Michael Tiemann

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Re: Confused about where XML round-trip problem lies

PostSun Jan 12, 2014 6:15 pm

Looks like viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7928 answers my question.

I've made some further progress on this and have learned the following:

Adobe Premiere Pro has this annoying "feature" (many call it a bug) that when exporting to XML, if a project's sequence is selected, it won't export <reel><name></name></reel> metadata. However, if nothing is selected in the project (i.e., the whole project, not just the main sequence) is exported then it does. Except for three additional problems...

1. DaVinci Resolve does not honor the exporting of <reel></reel> metadata when the initial project has these fields filled in. Thus it is *entirely* dependent on the program at the other end of the round trip to magically populate this metadata according to what Resolve is expecting. If it did export such metadata, then programs like Premiere Pro would ingest it, leave it alone, and it could be re-exported. But it doesn't, so that metadata has to be generated downstream.

2. Premiere Pro has no easy way of generating metadata downstream. It is possible to use the Metadata Window to copy the filename to the "Tape Name" (in XML, <reel><name></name></reel>) field. But that's a pain when one has 20+ clips in a project. And it doesn't entirely work...

3. Even when the clip file contains both audio and video, it's written in XML as two entirely separate components: video and audio. The audio portion seems to have no way to communicate it's <reel></reel> info to Resolve, or Resolve is flat-out ignoring it. It's lucky that typically in a multicam project, there's just one long audio file across a large number of camera cuts, meaning that it's feasible to manually conform the audio track to its corresponding file in the original media bin. But it's damn annoying that after doing so many other things to get the video right, the audio bit cannot also work.

Looking at the totality of this disconnect, I would say that on balance, it's Resolve that is the worse actor in this comedy of errors. It is annoying that Premiere Pro won't export <reel></reel> metadata except as a "whole project". But it is worse that Resolve won't (1) emit its own version of that metadata that it already knows ahead of time. And it is FAR WORSE that Resolve doesn't offer an easy way to bounce back and forth between Quicktime proxies and whatever combination of DNG and Quicktime files the cameras recorded in the first place.

Anybody on the Resolve team listening? Thanks!
MacOS Sierra Version 10.14.3
iMac Pro (2017)
3 GHz Intel Xeon W
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Radeon Pro Vega 64 16 GB
Red Rocket-X in Sonnet III-D via Thunderbolt 3

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