EDL to SubCap Converter

I've released a new version of this tool at shift-e.net/tools. Please start to use that, and let me know if you run into any problems. This site will remain online, but all future development will happen on the new site. Thanks!

This tool takes an EDL as input (paste it in), and converts it to Avid DS Subtitle format, which is one of the two formats you can supply to Avid's SubCap effect. Once you paste your EDL into the input field, you'll be presented with options to exclude certain locator colors, or to add a prefix or suffix to the title text for any given locator color. For example, if you wanted to add " - NEW" at the end of every green locator, you could do that.

There is an explanatory post for this called Automating VFX Sequence Titles, and that as with this owes its origination to George McCarthy.

Remember to Commit Multicam Edits before making your EDL!

If for some reason your EDL doesn't produce the expected results, please e-mail me a copy so I can take a look at it.


Fill Sample | Clear Correct for bug in Avid MC 8.3.1+

Locator Options

Combine consecutive events of the same shot ID into one caption



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  1. This is awesome! Great work. I had previously done a quickeys script to copy and paste from locators to subcaps but this is much much easier.

    Thanks so much. Will be using a lot.


  2. Great! In addition to the companion post that I still need to publish so other people know what this is, I want to add a couple features like the ability to include automatically calculated durations and newline separators for the prefix/suffix section.

  3. This tool is bloody brilliant! It saves so much time and the options that you’ve created are extremely useful! What’s truly amazing is that provide to all of us for FREE!!! Thanks again Evan, I will be using it for a long time to come!

  4. Awesome EDL-Sub-Cap Tool converter Evan!! I love this thing and I could not imagine doing 3D turnovers without it. It saves so much time compared with the alternative which would be manually making titles. You rock sir!!! Cheers Jules!

  5. You are a GOD!

  6. haha, you guys are the best. thanks!

  7. This is amazing and very helpful, thanks Evan!

  8. Hi Evan. Very cool tool. What’s the bug in Avid 8.3.1 you have to correct for? I haven’t upgraded to 8 yet; did they break EDL Manager (again)? Thanks.

  9. Well, there is the new List Tool that replaces both Filmscribe and EDL Manager. It’s been reprogrammed from the ground up it seems, so there are some growing pains as they replicate everything the previous programs did, but hopefully better this time. As for this particular bug, I haven’t checked in 8.4 yet to see if it was fixed, but in 8.3.1 a bug was introduced that displayed locator timecode without the first padded 0 on the hour (ie. 6:10:14:22 instead of 06:10:14:22). That threw off the converter just a little, so I put in that custom fix to correct it.

  10. Hey, I love this! Is there a way to convert an Avid EDL of the Markers to subtitles without making the subtitles all in capital letter? That would be super helpful

  11. When it was still EDL Manager there was a way to modify the underlying EDL template file to not uppercase everything, but in the new List Tool (MC v8 and up) the settings location has changed so I’m not sure if the same modification is possible.

    *10/29 pm: Edited comment for clarity

  12. I am only on Avid 7 still. Do you know where the option is in FilmScribe to not uppercase the markers text?

  13. It’s not really “in” EDL Manager (sorry, meant to say EDL Manager earlier, not Filmscribe), but I think if you find the location where EDL Manager keeps the templates for its settings, you can duplicate and modify the CMX_3600 template to not use all caps. I think. It’s been a while since I played around with that, so don’t hold me to it.

  14. Thanks for this amazing and time-saving tool ! It would be great to have a software version for this, as i’m always afraid you’re website could be down 🙂 I saw this great tool from Chris Conlee (http://www.chrisconlee.com/avid.htm), but it’s not as flexible as yours.

  15. For things like this I prefer a web app since I can make updates and bug fixes without everyone who’s using it having to download a new version every time I make a change. I’ve had very little downtime so far… crossing fingers it stays that way!

    If you do want to have a backup plan, you can try saving the whole page for offline use. I think most browsers have the option to save the page and all of its scripts, images, etc. Once the page loads nothing gets sent to my server unless you want to download the subcap file directly. But if you’re ok with just pasting the preview results into a new text file, then everything else should work in an offline state.

  16. Indeed, you’re right.
    And thanks for the tip, efficient as common sense !

  17. HOLY CRAP! What a life saver! Thank you so much for posting this!

  18. Evan! This is probably the a) most helpful thing ever and b) also just really badass and fun to use. One question: why can’t I use 0 words from the title? Right now I have my locators set up to look like VFX=1=001=001_004=ADD EMILY CLINGING TO LEDGE. The equal signs are so I can export my markers into a .txt doc and find/replace with tabs to make a tab delineated file to bring into FMP.

    In your converter, if I choose the option “use 1 word from title”, the result is “VFX=1=001=001_004=ADD”. And when I choose “0 words from title” it defaults back to all words. What I’d really like to do is just remove ALL the words so I’m left with only numbers.

    Maybe there is actually an easier to do things than the way I’m doing them. It’s how I was taught but it does seem like there should be an easier way to make VFX lists than from the marker/locator info… How do YOU generate your VFX lists?

  19. Hi Kaylee-

    The site parses words by spaces, as you’ve figured out, so the reason you can’t use 0 words from the title is because then there would be no text at all in the subcap. If you want just the VFX number and not “ADD”, then the space needs to be before “ADD”.

    In terms of your database, I can only make some educated guesses about the system you have in place, but I am sure that there is a more efficient way to import into Filemaker. I would check out string splitting functions (https://community.filemaker.com/message/145769, e.g.), so you can import your VFX list directly without doing any find/replace first and let Filemaker handle sorting your VFX naming scheme into separate fields.

    It’s been a while since I’ve been a VFX editor, but I generally entered shots into my database by hand, and then exported a bin containing shot elements as a tab-delimited file so I could automate that import and let Filemaker link the elements to the shots automatically. For that reason, and because I don’t like typing or saying more than I have to, I usually used the shot ID convention of 2 letters for a sequence ID followed by 4 numbers for the shot in that sequence. For example, ST0020 could be the second shot in a sequence I’d describe as Shooting Things. That way the shot ID is nice and short, it’s easy to type since there are no special characters to deal with, and it’s easy to search and to script, too. I don’t normally split out the different parts of my shot ID into separate fields, I’d leave ST0020 all in one field in the database.

    In your scenario above, for example, you’ll need to do a substitute function on the = character to get the different parts of your shot. In the other way, you can just do Left(2, shotID) or Right(4, shotID) if you need to programmatically isolate either the sequence or the shot number. Make sense?

    I should say I wouldn’t dare to presume that this workflow would work for whatever your needs are, but since you asked 🙂


  20. Wow! Thanks so much for your quick reply, Evan!

    You said that you “generally entered shots into my database by hand, and then exported a bin containing shot elements as a tab-delimited file”. I think this is the answer I needed.

    I’m essentially TRYING to do that by exporting my markers as a .txt with the equal signs. Once the equal signs are replaced by tabs, FMP can sort everything into their respective fields. But with this method I’m not easily able to give the VFX house frame counts, camera roll, or anything else that requires time to go digging for and manually add. Exporting a bin as a tab-delimited file makes a ton of sense!

    Thanks again, and good luck with all your exciting projects!


  21. This is amazing! So much time saved! Thank you for creating this!

  22. Just fantastic!

  23. Why don’t you submit this script to Avid to get it in the next version and try to get some dough for it? At the very least make an app and sell it for a $1. This has become absolutely essential in my workflow as well as many other scripted television Assistant Editors. I’m worried that when I start a new show I’ll come to this site and it’ll be gone.

    “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” – Babe Ruth “The Sandlot”

  24. I agree about the app! I use your website regularly because for some reason I cannot get the regex software I have to perform the find and replace the way I would like it!

  25. I dont understand how this saves time. If I have a sequence with 1000 Vfx shots to be named, I have to place marks on each one of those 1000 shots and then I have to follow this workflow, instead I can name them using subcaps directly, right ?

  26. Most people who have 1000 shots in their sequence use markers to label them when the shots are initially identified. Those markers then live permanently in the timeline, making it easy to jump to any given shot in the timeline when you need to. This workflow just takes advantage of those pre-existing markers.

  27. Has anyone figured out how to do mixed case EDL comments in List Tool, which superseded the EDL Manager in Avid Media Composer version 8.3.