How To Import Avid Projects Into Premiere (and Vice Versa)

Gone are the days when post-production pipelines relied on only one family of products to get the job done. With so solutions available, it’s not uncommon to find yourself working at a company that embraces aspects of both an Avid workflow and an Adobe one.

Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it used to be to migrate between the two. Using the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF), projects can be shared between Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro… with a few caveats.

How to import an Avid Media Composer sequence into Adobe Premiere Pro

  1. Right click the sequence in Avid Media Composer and choose Output > Export to File…
  2. In the File Picker dialogue that opens, choose Untitled as the Export Setting, then click Options
  3. At the top of the Export Settings dialogue window, choose Export As: AAF
  4. Uncheck Use Selected Tracks, and check Include All Video / Data Tracks in Sequence. Check Include Audio Tracks in Sequence and select All Tracks from the dropdown next to it. This will ensure all tracks are exported
  5. Avid offers a variety of Export Methods to create the AAF. You can copy all the required media to a new folder, you can consolidate the media by trimming it into smaller clips with handles into a new folder, or you can leave the media where it is and link to it. You can also optionally choose to transcode the media to a new format. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
    1. If some of the media in your Avid project is an AMA Link, Avid will not allow you to copy or transcode the media to a new destination. You will have to choose Link to (Don’t Export) Media for the audio and video Export Method
    2. If you choose Copy All Media, Avid will copy the media’s MXF files into your destination folder, but will keep the audio MXF files and video MXF files separate.
    3. If you choose Copy All Media and want to transcode the files into a new format, you can check the Convert checkbox in the middle of the dialogue and choose a new format
      1. For some workflows, it may be better to transcode the audio to WAV or AIFF so that Premiere will list separate files in the bins
    4. If you choose Consolidate Media, Premiere may not be able to interpret the footage correctly
  6. Under Media Destinations, choose Folder and check Use Same Folder As AAF File for both the audio and video.
  7. Hit Save to close the AAF options dialogue, and then hit Save on the File Picker dialogue to create your AAF file. It may take a while depending on your transcoding options.
  8. When it’s done, import the AAF file into Premiere. Here are some things to keep in mind:
    1. Premiere may not import filters and transitions beyond basic dissolves.
    2. Premiere does not do a good job of interpreting AAF files with consolidated media with handles.
    3. Premiere might not be able to import the AAF if you chose Link to (Don’t Export) Media. If that’s the case, one workaround is to open the AAF in Davinci Resolve, then export an XML to import into Premiere.
    4. Even though Avid may have kept the audio and video tracks as separate files, Premiere will automatically recombine them in the background during playback. However, they will only be listed as a single file in the Premiere bin, so managing them may be difficult. It may be better for your workflow to have Avid transcode the audio to WAV or AIFF when exporting the AAF so that the audio tracks are listed as separate files in the Premiere bins.

There are a lot of variables, and one workflow may be better for your project than others. Experiment with the settings to see what works best for you.

How to import an Adobe Premiere Pro sequence into Avid Media Composer

Going from Premiere to Avid is more straightforward in some ways, and more complicated in others. Avid won’t automatically relink the media, and differences in frame rate can prevent footage from being imported in some cases. Here are the steps:

  1. Select your sequence in Adobe Premiere
  2. Go to File > Export > AAF….
  3. Only check Mixdown Video if you have filters you want burned in and preserved. You can leave Breakout to Mono unchecked unless you see audio issues when importing into Avid
  4. Avid will not automatically relink the source footage. You will need to use the Batch Import option in Avid Media Composer to relink the media. If you have media of mixed rates, you’ll need to relink the media one at a time due to Avid’s restrictions.
  5. Make sure your Avid project frame rate and resolution matches the sequence exported from Premiere. Avid might prevent you from relinking the media depending on the formats

Evolphin Specializes in Bridging Adobe and Avid Workflows

If your company is looking to merge an Avid workflow with an Adobe workflow (for example, Avid video editors working with Adobe graphic designers), Evolphin can help. Reach out to us by clicking the button below!

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