How To Fix Hiero XML Export For Premiere… Sort Of

Some time ago, if you ever tried to export XML from Hiero to Premiere, you got a generic importer error message and that was it. This issue – audio related – was thankfully fixed in later versions of Hiero. However, another hydra reared its ugly head, and this time attempted XML interchange resulted in something along these lines:

xml hiero

Hiero XML imported to Premiere – weird sequence settings, clips scaled to “nan” and a black program monitor.

There is a way to fix it, although it requires you to edit the XML file manually. I recommend getting a decent text editor for this purpose, like Text Wrangler or Notepad++. When you have the tool installed, simply open the XML file that Hiero generated for you, and look for the <media> <video> <format> tags. Somewhere – it doesn’t really matter where – within the <format> tag you have to insert a single line of code:

<pixelaspectratio>square</pixelaspectratio>

The result will be that the clips will finally scale correctly, though you still end up with the preview codec and resolution set to DV NTSC 24p. To partially fix it you can add the following lines within the same <format> tag:

<codec>
   <appspecificdata>
      <appname>Final Cut Pro</appname>
      <appmanufacturer>Apple Inc.</appmanufacturer>
      <data>
         <qtcodec/>
      </data>
   </appspecificdata>
</codec>

And suddenly you are going to end up with this:

Weird sequence settings after adding codec information to Hiero XML.

Weird sequence settings after adding codec information to Hiero XML. Better than DV 24p though…

How Premiere comes up with these settings, especially the weird pixel aspect ratio, is beyond me. You can tell it to your heart’s content that the pixels are square, and that the resolution is 1920×1080, it knows better. The only solution to this problem I came up with was to change the sequence settings within Premiere itself, after the XML is imported. Why, oh why?

This unfortunately speaks to my frustrations to get Premiere to import the sequences and files correctly. The ball here unfortunately seems to be in Adobe’s court, because the very same issue – except perhaps the missing <pixelaspectratio> tag – troubles XML exported from Resolve. Premiere simply does not respect the information that is in the file.

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