What Is an EDL? How to Export an EDL From Premiere Pro

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What Is an EDL? How to Export an EDL From Premiere Pro

An EDLis like the genetic codethat forms the backbone of your film project. It’s an ASCII file that you can send to a third-party program,allowing you to work with a dynamic version of your project without starting from scratch.

Two editors working from the same pool of source material can easily share this tiny text file to exchange versions remotely or across different platforms.

Let’s take a closer look at what an EDL is and how you may utilize it.

What Is an EDL?

We often find ourselves working jointly or cross-functionally in the film business. It may be advantageous to have some form of common, pidgin-style manner of sharing each version of the project amongst various programs and with the rest of the team while engaging in these sorts of projects.

That’s where the EDL comes in.

EDL is an abbreviation for “edit decision list.” If you have two clips on your timeline that are connected by a single edit point, your EDL will capture the clips that are being utilized, their durations, ins and outs, and even any transitions or audio level changes that you’ve made.

Each asset instance and edit point is converted into a text-only list of executions that may be used to reconstruct the project elsewhere from the same set of source video using an EDL.

Back in the day, when analog media was the only choice, you required a tangible copy of your video to edit the production. Offline video editing kept the original from getting damaged or useless for final reproduction.

The duplicate batch of material was often of poorer quality, requiring the technician to recreate their final edit from scratch using the original, higher-quality run of film or tape.

There was no computer or software available at the time to automatically record each film break and superimposition. The work was entirely done by hand, and the editor would have to manually record these details so that the cut could be finished.

Now, video editors don’t even have to consider this, particularly if their demands are basic or informal. Anyone who has ever attempted to climb a mountain, on the other hand, understands that video projects of any magnitude have numerous moving pieces that must be kept track of at all times.

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Ways to Keep Adobe Premiere Pro Projects Organized

EDLs are used by many digital video editors as a universally compatible inventory of what their project includes. After being processed by Premiere, this sequence is reduced to a text-only ASCII file that includes every frame and input.

Can you modify this file using a text editor? Absolutely. Should you do it? Don’t even consider it. These files are intended for computers to read, and machines do not tolerate errors. It would be much simpler to make changes to your project from inside Premiere.

What Are EDLs Used For?

The observant among us may ask, “Why bother with EDLs when you can just share a full Premiere project with a collaborator?”

Premiere project files are tiny and may be distributed just as simply as text files. Your partner would be able to access the file on their end and repopulate the project with a local copy of your full-resolution video.

This is good if all you need to do is, say, give a version to a colleague who also works in Premiere. However, you would be unable to access this project in DaVinci Resolve.

A Premiere Pro project cannot be read or interpreted by DaVinci Resolve. It will, however, accept an EDL without question. The ultimate objective of an EDL is interoperability across all sorts of computers and applications.

Let’s go over a few possible applications of EDLs.

Working with proxies is quicker, but you can’t utilize them for your final render. Some applications keep a dynamic relationship between every proxy and its full-scale equivalent, changing the video automatically when the time to renderthe project out has come.

Other programs, however, do not. Using an EDL for your final output will be particularly beneficial for individuals who depend on a more powerful, secondary machine for this last stage.

2. Recreating Your Project in Other Programs

You can surely load a flat, lossless version of your project into Resolve and split it down using the scene cut detection tool. Even high-quality codec-encoded video will be compressed to some degree, which is inevitable when transferring any form of media file.

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Keeping just one functional copy of the original footage reduces this impact. Each software you use refers to the film as little as possible, giving you the most recent version each time. Color painters who want their work to sing must do this.

3. Identifying an Asset

Each mentioned photo will have its location in terms of its unique timecode identification. If you need to rapidly remember the source file, you may use the EDL to accomplish so.

4. Working Long-Distance

Your colorist is now in New York. You’re all the way in Seattle. When passing the baton, EDLs may be used to transfer projects without exchanging large assets or a vast wad of produced media.

Collaboration becomes immediate and considerably more time-efficient if they have their own disk with all of the essential assets. Exporting an EDL takes significantly less time than producing a whole version to distribute.

5. Preparing a Project to be Archived

Transcribing the complete Premiere production into an EDL is typically a more cost-effective method of keeping the project. An EDL is more stable than a Premiere Pro project or, for that matter, a video file.

Work in this format is far more likely to survive in the long run, ready to be resurrected from assets stored in pristine shape. This removes the requirement for future versions of legacy projects.

Premiere Pro generates EDL files in the CMX3600 format. Each CMX3600 file may handle one video track and up to four audio channels. If your project includes more than one video track, we suggest exporting an EDL file for each one.

How to Export an EDL From Premiere Pro

When you have a sequence that you are happy with, click the file option and choose Export.

Instead of choosing Media, as is customary, you should pick EDL. Before you do this, make sure your Timeline panel is chosen and active, otherwise the option will be ghosted out.

You can access your EDL Export Settings from here. You may choose which tracks to target, as well as your naming scheme, audio processing preferences, and if the EDL should contain transitions, markers, and blank events.

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How to Open an EDL in Premiere Pro

You may open the resulting ASCII file in your computer’s file management by passing it to a simple text-editing tool like Notepad or TextEdit.

Once you’ve broken in, the EDL should appear like this. So, how do we go from here?

All you have to do, as with any other asset, is import the EDL using a bin, the Media Browser, or the File menu.

After that, Premiere will ask you which video standard your EDL adheres to—NTSC, PAL, or 24p in one of three flavors. The next window will be a popup that will enable you to configure the new sequence’s settings inside the application.

After re-linking any media that may have been knocked offline, you’ll see a folder with the same name as the EDL file in your bin. The original sequence will be there within, in all of its natural magnificence.

This folder also contains all of the assets that appear in the imported EDL sequence. You should be good to go from here.

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The artists among us may wonder whether we are indeed nothing more than the sum of our parts. Is it possible to break down and outline every aspect of a project on paper?

What are our thoughts? Yes, it certainly can. EDLs, like the traditional Pokéball, hold the beast’s anger, allowing you to release it anytime you choose. EDLs, like the hard, outer kernel that protects the wonderful piece of popcorn inside, maintain every precious detail in order until it’s time to turn up the heat.

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