Recent years have seen big improvements to supporting dissolves, some (not all) effects, and of course zooms and pan & scan, by using AAF (advanced authoring format) or XML format. Compared to XML, the AAF format is not human readable and it’s not possible to open an AAF in a text editor. So, you cannot edit an AAF file.
All professional editing tools can export AAF, XML, or EDL files; some can even export all three. After exporting the AAF/XML/EDL file from the editing software, you can load this file back to your grading tool of choice. You will find more information about this procedure in the manual of your grading/mastering tool. When loading the AAF/XML/EDL in your grading tool, it is possible to relink back to your high-res OCN. If 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 it should be possible to avoid time-consuming errors and problems. A sensible double check is to test 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. For other issues that have nothing to do with the conforming process itself, such as color processing or visual effect shots, we refer you to our FAQs.
To ensure a smooth conform, we always suggest that the whole postproduction pipeline is tested from beginning to end (on-set, dailies, editing, conforming, and finishing).