Automatic Duck For Free

The Original Port Huron Statment. (Not the compromised 2nd draft)

I’ve recently found myself finishing in After Effects more and more. Anything to do with motion graphics is just easier to use in AE than in FCP7 and much more intuitive than Motion. Not to mention there’s the weirdness of After Effects created titles rendering really badly in FCP7. Anyone else notice that? Automatic Duck recently made free their industry standard plugins Pro Import AE, Pro Import FCP, and Pro Export FCP. Co-owner Wes Plate was hired by Adobe (good news for Premier Pro users I’ll wager!) and can’t offer enough support to justify charging for his plugins.

You mark that frame an 8, and you're entering a world of pain.

Here’s the link to his customer thank you. These plugins used to cost ~$500 each. Trying out the Pro Import AE plugin was a breeze. Simply export your FCP7 (or FCPX) project into XML format. Then open up After Effects and click Import Automatic Duck Pro Import AE. It references all the media from your FCP project file without creating any new media. This is a boon for those of us still using FCP7 or FCPX with After Effects. It should be noted this will only be good through AE 5.5 after which I can’t imagine it will be updated, but who knows. FCP7 is certainly a dead end anyway. I’m gearing up to take my Premier Pro training at Future Media Concepts here in DC as I think it’s poised to take the place of FCP in the Professional NLE Wars.

In related news Popcorn Island released the latest version of their Final Cut 2 After Effects script for After Effects. Now this is a script and not nearly as simple to use as Automatic Duck plugins. However, it does provide for some nice control over how your FCP project displays in the After Effects timeline. For instance, the default setting is to hide all of the audio tracks and filters. This really cleans up your timeline in a big way. And, this one will probably continue to receive updates and support. However, according to one commenter on Popcorn Island’s web site, the script is still a bit buggy. Use with caution.

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