The last years there were big improvements for supporting dissolves, some (not all) effects and of course zooms, pan & scan by using todays widely used AAF (advanced authoring format) or XML format. Compared to the XML, the AAF format is not human readable and it’s not possible to open an AAF in a text editor. So, it’s not possible to somehow edit an AAF file.
All professional editing tools can export AAF, XML or EDL files, some can even export all three files. After exporting the AAF/XML/EDL file from the editing software, you can load this file back to your grading tool of first choice. More information regarding this procedure you will find in the corresponding manual of your grading and mastering tool. When loading the AAF/XML/EDL in your grading tool it is possible to relink back to your high-res original camera files (OCN). As long as the source timecode and clip or reel name in the AAF/XML/EDL file matches the high-res OCN files there should be no problem in relinking back the files. Rebuilding the whole movie in your finishing system is really a technical job and mostly there is no room for time-consuming errors and problems. There should always be done a double-check with an offline reference export from the editing room and if necessary, fix things (effects, repositions, etc.) that won't make it through the conforming process. Of course, there are other questions, that have nothing to do with the conforming process itself e.g. color processing or visual effect shots. In this case we refer to our FAQs.
To ensure a smooth conforming, we suggest always to test the whole post-production pipeline from start to end (on-set, dailies, editing, conforming and finishing).