In answer to A, I would highly recommend NOT grading until after the edit is done. There is usually a lot of wasted time. Transcoding your footage to an uncompressed format will not actually improve the footage since the data was already lost in the lossy h.264 compression. This means that you can just import it right into Premiere without any modification. As far as exporting from PP to into Davinci, you need to export your sequence as a FCP XML. Than import that file in Davinci Resolve. This keeps your edit while separating the individual clips.
B, Davinci handles H.264 just fine so there is no need to transcoding.
Does that answer your question?
But when exporting the graded clips from resolve as h.264 mov files for the roundtrip won't I essentially be doubling my compression and my data loss?
My understanding, flawed though it may be, is that you're right to be concerned. H.264 is a lossy CODEC. During capture, the conversion to H.264 in camera threw away some image detail during compression. This detail can not, by definition, be recovered.
Exporting from PPro into FCP XML may be either lossless or lossy, IDK. But exporting from Davinci into H.264 will certainly be lossy. And just like recompressing a JPEG still image, every recompression involves more losses.
So you might want to consider exporting from PPro into a lossless format that Davinci can handle, then keeping it in that format for the reimport into PPro, until the final export from Adobe. That way you incur a minimum of information loss. However, this is going to incur a considerabe file size penalty, so make sure you have enough disk space to handle the file size increase.
Thanks cfg. I was hoping I was wrong.
To second what cfg is saying, there is nothing you can do to get back the information lost in the H.264 codec you got from your camera. Your only option not lose information further is to use a lossless codec for all exporting until you finish.
Exporting an XML file does nothing to your footage. To explain it simply, it is just in the metadata instructions to assemble your edit in separate programs (like Davinci) and use your original footage. There is no rendering involved. This route is highly recommended becuase there is no need for even a lossless codec (due to the fact that there is no rendering).
Quick note. If you choose to edit first (which I highly recommend) and then render out your sequence using a lossless codec, Davinci will import the footage as one big clip. Not the individual clips that are actually there. If you go the XML route, Davinci will recognize the individual clips and there will be no need to "cut up" the sequence again. It's a big time saver if you choose to go that route.
Your only option outside of manually cutting up a render from PP is to use the cut detector built into Davinci. I haven't worked too much with it due to my clients always having the ability to give me an XML.
I've done the xml roundtrip and have had no problems with that the only reason I thought about doing the cc first was to cut out a layer of compression but since I see now that won't happen; I will definitely cut first.
I have been trying to go the xml route, but Premiere Pro can't seem to export a good xml to Da Vinci. Many clips don't show up in Da Vinci.
Seems the best way to go is to export a high res clip to Da Vinci, and then use the scene detection function.
However, I'm not sure which is the best codec for that prem-pro-to-Da-Vinci export.
I've tried Pro Res 4444, but it comes up as glitchy. Any other ideas out there?
Just to Clarify, Best method is to send the H264 edited sequence straight to Davinci through XML and then grade in Davinci and then export the graded sequence using something like DNxHD (windows) codec rather than another H264(more loss).
I'm also was wondering if its theres any benefit to Convert h264 8 bit canon footage to 10 bit DNxHD before color grading? If I go this route than Thease are the steps I would be taking : camera footage all convert to 10 bit DNxHD -->Edit in Premiere Pro--> export XML sequence to Davinci--> Color grade in Davinci--> Export using 10 bit DNxHD.