How to transfer translation edits with subtitles from FCP7 to Avid

Today I was given the task of transferring a 10 minute translation sequence with subtitles from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Media Composer. I had half a day to complete the task and I knew I could use Automatic Duck to transfer the edit but not the titles. So, instead of laboriously manually creating titles in Media Composer and copying the text between the two programs I thought there must be a more efficient way of doing this. There is.[reveal title=”read more” ]

First you must transfer your sequence to Avid.

Make sure your project is all connected in Final Cut Pro 7. I would recommend media managing your project first in order to simplify the transfer. If you don’t have it, download Automatic Duck’s Pro Export FCP.

Follow the directions here.

In addition to the Relink window settings, most times you will also have “Allow relinking between tape and file based media” selected (this is not selected in the video). I believe this is necessary when you have tape-based media that has been transcoded to Prores.

Remember this will only work natively with Quicktime material. For other formats you are required to download the individual codecs for AMA functionality in Avid – Available at www.avid.com

Now that your sequence is across and relinked. You’ll notice that your titles will still be offline. This is because there is no equivalent text generator in Avid. It’s a good safety measure to leave the offline titles there as timing place-markers.

To move the subtitles over you have to download the trial version of Title Exchange.

The trial version only lets you do 50 titles at a time. So, back in FCP7, if you have more than 50 titles, then you’ll have to break them up and move them into a new timeline. However, keep the titles starting at the same sequence timecode as they were on the old timeline. So if you cut them at 01.09.31.00 then you’ll want to paste them into the new timeline starting at 01.09.31.00.

Export an XML by selecting a sequence and right-clicking Export > XML. Do the same for each set of 50 adding an incremental number to help keep things organised. This will make XML files for you.

Open the Title Exchange app within the Title Exchange bundle. Double-click on the area above the “Import Subtitle File”. Set “In Format” to FCP XML and “Out Format” to Avid DS Caption. Make sure Use source file TC is ticked (not the default Use zero based TC).

Import each of your XMLs. You’ll have to choose a track from the pull down menu, there will only be one track available if you only have one track of subtitles. This will make .txt files for you.

Go back to your relinked Avid project and select an empty track of filler above the offline titles. Make sure only that track is active. In the Effects Palette, go to Generators and double-click Subcap to apply it to the filler.

Go to the Effects Editor > Subcap > Edit Global Properties > Synchronize. Make all the variables “Track”. Back in Effects Editor under Caption Files select “Import Caption Data”. In the “Files of Type” dropdown menu select Avid DS Caption File (*.txt) (not the default EBU N19 Caption File (*.stl)) then select your .txt file.

This will create individual filler sections with Subcap titles, you can double-check the timings against the offline place-holders on the track below and then delete those place-holders. If you had more than 50 titles then select the next section of empty filler on the same track and repeat the process from “Import Caption Data” and choose your next .txt file. The next 50 titles will write to the same time on the timeline that they were in your sequence, so if you timed them correctly in FCP they will retain that correct timing, and therefore won’t overwrite the titles you have on the track already.

Then you can set the look of the title using one title and that look will sync to every other title on the track. This is a major merit of using the Subcap Generator; it allows you to change the look of your titles globally rather than individually. Which, for subtitles, makes a lot of sense.

And there you have your sequence with titles.[/reveal]