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Automatic Duck Electrifies Workflow for Sesame Workshop's Revival of the 'Electric Company'

Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE Plays Key Workflow Role for the Revived, Critically Acclaimed Children s Series (October 16, 2008)

DMN Newswire--2008-10-16--This January, PBS will turn the lights back on for the revival of the highly acclaimed 1970s era literacy series, The Electric Company.  Many of us may remember the array of stars and characters that emerged from that show -- Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, that seemingly every-present guy in a gorilla suit.  But this time around, there is a new addition to this cast of characters; The Duck.  Automatic Duck, that is.

Well, while we may not see The Duck waddling through scenes in the show, Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE was one of the shining stars for the post-production crew of The Electric Company based at Sesame Workshop, the Animation and Visual Effects department headed up by Graphics Producer Todd Rutt and VFX Lead Peter Gagnon, with the talents of VFX Artists Michael Burgoyne, Ed Mundy and Gloria Lau.

"We have a small crew here in The Sesame Workshop; five people with limited gear and tremendously tight deadlines.  So with everything we do on The Electric Company, time is of the essence.  Our workflow is very tight and very streamlined," said Peter Gagnon, VFX lead for The Electric Company.

The Electric Company is shot in HD and brought directly into Apple Final Cut Pro and leverages Apple's ProRes 422 codec to move things around.  While all editing and basic effects are done in Final Cut Pro, all of the VFX and 3D composites are done in Adobe After Effects.  And with extremely tight deadlines, the need to move content from Final Cut Pro to After Effects, quickly and easily, is paramount.

"Everything is shot in HD and the scenes come directly from the shoot to post," continued Gagnon.  "One problem we hit right away was, After Effects seems to have a problem with the ProRes 422 codec; this is an immediate slow-down.  So we brought in Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE, and not only did it negate that issue immediately, it allowed us to stay native all the way through the production pipeline -- a huge time time saver for us.  In addition, we have five people in our group working simultaneously.  This means I have a group of people all pulling sequences off my single FCP machine and bringing the content into various VFX stations; Automatic Duck gives us huge time saving there too."

"As part of the public television system, our budgets are tiny, the requirements are huge and the stakes are very high, so we all take our jobs very seriously.  And we need serious tools.  We would not have been able to pull off a crazy workflow like this without Automatic Duck and we certainly would never have made our deadlines to create such a great new show!"

About Pro Import AE 4.0

Pro Import AE 4.0 from Automatic Duck is a plug-in for Adobe After Effects 7.0, CS3 or CS4 and imports XML files from Final Cut Pro or AAF files from Avid editing systems allowing users to translate sequences from these NLEs into After Effects.

For more information, please visit

Pricing and Availability

Pro Import AE 4.0 is available immediately and is priced at $495.

About Automatic Duck

Automatic Duck is the pioneer of Timeline Integration Engine technology and leads the content creation marketplace with powerful solutions for seamless, comprehensive timeline translation capabilities between Avid, Adobe After Effects, Combustion, Discreet Smoke, Final Cut Pro, Motion and Quantel via XML, OMF and AAF.  For more information on Automatic Duck's unique Timeline Integration Engine technology, please visit



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Related Keywords:Automatic Duck, timeline translation, post production, editing


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