How to Migrate Timelines Between Video Editing Applications

Updated: May 2


Move your video editing sequences from one application to another using these quick workflows.


In an ideal world you would be able to open any video editing project file in any program, but it’s not that simple. Each video editing application has it’s own set of tools, workflow and effects, so the round tripping process is somewhat convoluted. This is where AAF and XML files come into play.


AAF and XML files are designed to help migrate sequences between video editing apps. They make it possible to go from FCPX to Resolve to Avid to Premiere and anything in-between. However, there is a specific workflow that should be followed for each migration to ensure success. In the following post we will take a step-by-step look at the migration process between the big 3 editing softwares: FCPX, Avid and Resolve.



Migrating Timelines To FCPX

Avid to FCPX



  • With your sequence or master clip selected in the bin right-click and hit “export”.

  • When the box pops up select “Untitled” from the dropdown menu and click the box that says options.

  • Under the ‘Export As’ dropdown you can select AAF and click save.

  • FCPX can’t read AAF files so you will have to use DaVinci Resolve Lite, but don’t worry it’s free. You will now be able to import the AAF file into Resolve.

  • In Resolve go to Session>Export.

  • In the dropdown menu Select “Final Cut Pro XML Round Trip”.

  • Now select all the clips you want to send to Final Cut Pro and hit “Start Render”. Your new .fcpxml file should be made.

  • Now jump back into FCPX and go to File>Import>XML. You can now import the .fcpxml file in FCPX.



Migrating Timelines To FCPX

Resolve to FCPX



Exporting to FCPX is easy in Resolve.

  • Go to Session>Export.

  • In the render settings dropdown menu labeled “Easy Setup” select “Final Cut Pro XML Round-Trip”.

  • Now select all your clips in the timeline and hit “Start Render”.

  • Resolve will create a .fcpxml file that you can now import into Final Cut Pro X.

  • To do this in FCPX go to File>Import>XML and select your new .fcpxml file. You should now see your video clips in the timeline.



Migrating Timelines To Avid

FCPX to Avid



To export from FCPX to Avid you have to use Resolve Lite. Unfortunately this is the best workflow for going from FCPX to Avid.

  • In Final Cut Pro X go to File > Export XML where you will be asked to name and save a new .fcpxml file format. The new .fcpxml file can be imported into Resolve.

  • In Resolve click Load and select your FCPXML file.

  • A dialogue box will pop up, click Ok.

  • You will now be able to see your clips in the timeline.

  • Inside of Resolve go to Session and Click Render.

  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip.

  • After selecting your desired export codec you can simply hit render. Your clips will now render.

  • Once completed you can jump into Avid and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

If you have multiple timelines you will need to export multiple AAF files. The clips should automatically pop up in Avid. It’s a long process but it works.



Migrating Timelines To Avid

Resolve to Avid



Inside of Resolve go to Session and Click Render.

  • Under the Easy Setup tab select Avid AAF Round Trip.

  • After selecting your desired export codec you can simply hit render. Your clips will now render.

  • Once completed you can jump into Avid and import the AAF file which will pop up as a single sequence.

If you have multiple timelines you will need to export multiple AAF files. The clips should pop up in Avid.




Have any other tips for migrating sequences between editing software? Share in the comments below.




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