FCP X: Transfer Projects to Premiere Pro CC [u]

Posted on by Larry

[ Updated 10/24/14 with new information from Intelligent Assistance support team.  Updated 11/7/15 with a new product name.]

I’ve written about how to move:

So, in this article, I want to show you how to move a Final Cut Pro X project to Premiere Pro CC.

We do this in three steps:

  1. Export the FCP X project as an XML file
  2. Convert the XML file into something Premiere can read
  3. Import the XML file into Premiere

However, there are some cautions in this process: Not everything transfers perfectly. I’ll talk more about this at the end.

INSIDE FCP X

Here’s a typical project inside FCP X. There are several things to note here:

And, thinking about text, notice the text color and formatting in this lower-third.

UPDATE: Oct. 10, 2014

After this article was published, the support team at Intelligent Assistance (the authors of XtoCC) sent me the following note:

“If you are translating XML for import into Adobe Audition or After Effects, break apart any Compound Clips in your Project. Then select only that Project in the Event before exporting XML, so that the single Project will be translated into a single Sequence.
“The easiest way to locate Compound Clips is using the Timeline Index. In Final Cut Pro X select one or more Compound Clips and choose ClipBreak Apart Clip Items before exporting the project XML from Final Cut.”

 

To transfer a project to Premiere, select the FCP X project in the Browser. Then, choose File > Export XML.

Give the XML file a name and storage location. Here, I’m calling it “Interplanetary Internet” and storing it to the Desktop.

After a few seconds, the XML file appears on the Desktop.

NOTE: XML files are very small – generally, just a few hundred KB. They are only needed to transfer information from one program to another. Once the data has been transferred, the XML file can be deleted. For this reason, I tend to store them to the Desktop to make them easy to find and delete when this process is complete.

CONVERTING FOR PREMIERE

logo-xtocc

FCP X and Premiere use different versions of XML, so we need to convert the XML file so that Premiere can read it. This requires a utility from Intelligent Assistance called: “XtoCC” — it’s available in the Mac App Store for $49.99. Here’s the link.

NOTE: This utility used to be called “Xto7” which is reflected in the screen shots below.

Either start the application and select the XML file, or drag the XML file on top of the application icon.

Up pops a dialog asking whether you want to convert video clips, audio clips or both. In this case, be sure both options are checked.

NOTE: Sending only audio files is the best option when sending an FCP X project to Adobe Audition for audio mixing.

The translation process starts and, after a few seconds, you are prompted to name the converted XML file.

I generally just go with the default name and, again, store it to the Desktop. (This file, too, is only needed temporarily.)

IMPORT INTO PREMIERE PRO CC

Start Premiere and create a new Project.

NOTE: You could add this to an existing project, but I tend to want to put all transferred files into a New Project.

Once the Project is created, choose File > Import. Notice that Premiere instantly recognizes the converted XML file, but not the XML file exported out of Final Cut Pro X. Navigate to the correct XML file and click Open.

Premiere warns you that not all files may import properly and generates a document – which you will find in the Project panel – listing potential problems. Some of these you can ignore, others you may need to pay attention to.

After a few more seconds, the XML file appears as a Bin inside the Project panel, named with the same name you gave the converted XML file.

NOTE: All bin and project names can be changed at any time in Premiere. So, if you don’t like this name, simply change it.

When you open the Bin, you can see that all media and text clips successfully transferred.

NOTE: Here is the contents of the Translation Results report. The biggest issue reported here was that audio levels needed to be modified.

Here’s the transferred project – all the clips and edits made it safely.

However, while text clips are created, the actual text did not translate. This is because Premiere and Final Cut do not process text the same way. Also, the Hold frame did not make the transfer. (Clip speed changes do not, generally, transfer from one application to the next. This is due to the differences between the two applications, not a limitation of the Xto7 utility.)

SUMMARY

If I were doing this for real, rather than writing an article about the process, transferring files is very fast. Assuming all software is installed, moving large projects from FCP X to Premiere would generally take a couple of minutes, at the most.

In today’s interconnected world, moving edits from one application to another is fast and easy. The trick is knowing what transfers and what doesn’t. Media and edits are ALWAYS safely transferred – the issues are all in effects.

EXTRA CREDIT

As we’ve just seen, because of the differences between Premiere and Final Cut Pro X, not everything transfers successfully. We have similar problems when sending files between different versions of Final Cut, Avid and Premiere.

While all edits and most media transfer successfully between applications, most wipes, effects and color grading do not. This is because each application handles these differently which means that the best time to transfer files is when the edit is complete but effects are not yet started. Here’s a white paper from Intelligent Assistance on what transfers and what doesn’t.

Also, the following suggestions on media are taken from the Xto7 help files:

Carefully consider the media format of your video clips. For example, Final Cut Pro X can support R3D clips directly, whereas Final Cut Pro 7 needs RED QuickTime Wrapper versions of the clips. Black video usually means that your NLE is missing a plug-in. If you’ve installed a Final Cut Pro X plug-in to support your camera’s format, then you’ll need to download and install a version for Final Cut Pro 7 or Premiere Pro. (Import a clip directly into Final Cut Pro 7 or Premiere Pro to see if the camera format is supported.) The most reliable way to get media that works in Final Cut Pro 7, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X is to transcode to your favorite flavor of ProRes.


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28 Responses to FCP X: Transfer Projects to Premiere Pro CC [u]

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  1. Stephen says:

    My [old, corporately issued] iMac just died and it will be replaced with a PC. I have been able to retrieve the data from the hard drive of the iMac. Can I convert the Libraries from FCPX to Adobe CC on the PC?

    • Larry says:

      Stephen:

      Yes, but it takes additional software.

      First, and this may be the hardest step, you need to open your existing FCP X projects in FCP X and export them as an XML file. There is NO software that can read an FCP X project natively.

      Once you have the XML file, convert it for Premiere using XtoCC, which is available in the Mac App Store. This creates a different “flavor” of XML, which can be read by both Mac and PC versions of Premiere.

      Finally, open Premiere and IMPORT, not Open, the converted XML file. All of your media, transitions, audio settings and edits will transfer, however, because the two programs use different effects engines, most effects will not.

      Larry

  2. Matts Olsson says:

    Hi Larry!
    I’ve read some threads on this, but I am unable to find a solution to my problem. I turn to you, having helped me so many times before with your tutorials and texts.

    I am trying to transfer a project from FCPX, via DaVinci resolve (not XtoCC) to Adobe Premier Pro but are not successful to import xml, nor aaf.

    Trying to import the aaf-file, I first get this message on import issues: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2KXRc4szxpLYmxNYmRQR2ZaY00
    and the timeline simply doesn’t appear. Instead I am presented with the possibility to import again and when trying a get a error-message saying that the format ain’t supported.

    XML – Unable to import the xml-file. Davinchi Resolve reads the fcpxml, but is not able to find the source clips, but that is not critical to my understanding. The workflow should be to import fcpxml and to export the xml, overlooking whatever messages Davinchi Resolve presents. Premiere Pro gives the error-message “this project contained a sequence that could not be opened: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2KXRc4szxpLX1N5OVVBV0RZZTQ

    I’m in contact with the Davinchi Resolve team as well, but I would like to know if you’ve heard of the problem, and maybe the solution could benefit more people visiting your page.

    Kindly

  3. I used XtoCC for a project I was working on for a client who originally created the rough cut using Final Cut X. The project and media transferred across fine to premier pro cc. The only issue was most of the clips did not retain the names they were given and no bins were generated. I had to generate new ones and sort the clips accordingly.

    Can you recommend a method that will bring across all the clip metadata etc.

    • Larry says:

      Terry:

      I recommend you talk with the team at IntelligentAssistance.com. They wrote XtoCC and upgrade it actively. If this is a bug, they will fix it and if its a missing feature they can add it.

      Larry

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