Color Management For Preconformed Workflows With EDL Clip Names

March 21, 2022

Using Resolve's Edit Index and EDL comments, you can prepare a preconformed timeline for color management much easier than you think.


How to use EDL exports to splice and tag a single file clip for color-managed color grading

When your client or editor delivers to you a single file export from their non-linear editor for color grading in Davinci Resolve – that’s frequently called a flat-file export. When you combine that exported file with an EDL, also exported out of the NLE, then we call that Preconformed Workflow.

In today’s world of color management, the biggest challenge with a preconform workflow is that the colorist has no way of determining the correct input transforms to apply for each individual shot. File metadata is useless when the entire timeline is a single file.

Using EDL metadata to help you color-manage your shots

Thankfully, the same EDL you use to add cuts at edit points can also be used to help categorize shots. EDLs can be exported with comments including the source file name, and that information can be accessed and searched inside the edit index.

With source shot information available, the next challenge is to get that data from the edit page into the color page. Using a few tricks with markers and clip filtering, you can quickly group all your different sources for effective color management.

Learning Goals

In this Insight we cover:

  1. Why is color management in preconform workflows a challenge?
  2. How to export EDLs from editorial with extra information in the comments
  3. How to extract reel names from EDL comments
  4. Using the edit index to search for different types of camera sources

Related Insights

We’ve done many Insights on these types of workflows over the years. Here’s two places for further exploration:

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Homepage Forums Color Management For Preconformed Workflows With EDL Clip Names

  • Tony S

    Three best things to start off my day.
    1- hugging my cat
    2- exercising
    3- Reading another excellent insightful article from Joey D’Anna.


  • Joey D’Anna

    Thanks! There should be a video for this one too! Investigating why it isnt showing up

  • Evan A

    The video is not showing up???

  • Pat Inhofer

    I’m not sure what happened here but the problem has been fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Diover B


  • Troy Smith

    Not being able to see the reel names has been driving me crazy for years. My show comes from Premier and I’m not sure if this trick will work for me.

    However, you have influenced me to keep digging on how I can see the reel names with a flattened QT and EDL.

    I found something that helped me. In the color page, if you right click on a clip, at the bottom, there is a menu option to “view clip details”, If you click on it, a pop up menu will come out and there you will be able to see the reel name for the current clip.


    • Patrick Inhofer

      @troy Stay tuned. Next week we have one more Insight with another approach to this problem that may work for you.

      Also, don’t forget that you can double-click on the text under the thumbnail timeline in the Color Page to toggle the text between Reel Name | Version Name | Codec.

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