Why there is no perfect timeline format

1 minute read

It might seem that a timeline is a very simple thing to store in data—it’s just a series of clips, one after another, right? Why then are there data compatibility issues between programs?

One of the main reasons why is because a timeline actually contains a lot more data than just the order and length of clips. There are dozens of properties and effects that can be added to clips in a timeline, and each piece of software has its own options.

You may have added a blur effect, for instance, to a clip. There are dozens of different ways to calculate a blur, so if you send your project from FCP X to Resolve and tell Resolve to add a blur to that clip, Resolve’s blur may look a little different from FCP X’s blur, depending on which blur settings you used.

Or you might have added a plugin to your copy of Premiere Pro, and that plugin may not be available for Media Composer. In that case, it’s impossible to send that project from Premiere to Media Composer and keep it looking exactly the same.

So while timelines seem simple, the sad reality is they are not.

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