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Automatic Duck Pro Export 4.0 for Final Cut Pro"The Duck has evolved!"
As I have said in previous articles, there is no better tool on the market for FCP and Avid editors to invest in, then the Automatic Duck family of plug-ins. What they give editors on both platforms is not only a way to move between their editing program of choice and Adobe's After Effects (Pro Import AE), but the capability to move back and forth between editing applications (Pro Export FCP, Pro Import FCP) and post audio work stations alike. When I last reviewed Automatic Duck's Pro Export 3 (ADPE), I not only gave it an absolute buy rating, but I thought to myself "What can they do now to make this plug-in even better?" Well, believe it or not, they did it. Let's take a look at Automatic Duck's Pro Export 4.0 for Final Cut Pro.
Installation of the plug-in is fairly straight forward. Once installed, and you navigate to FILE>EXPORT>AUTOMATIC DUCK PRO EXPORT, you will be greeted by the licensing screen that looks like this:
Once you fill in your information with your license code, you will be given a Product ID that you will need to register on AD's website, so that you can receive your activation code. This is a great way for AD to keep piracy of its plug-in to a minimum, but it becomes a real headache when you have to re-install the plug-in for any reason, or you want to change your e-mail or any contact information. Thankfully, this has changed. Now, you can quickly and easily manage your AD plug-ins at my.automaticduck.com, with the ability to reset your license information (if you want to move the plug-in to a new computer), change e-mail information, or get details on your last activation.
You can even upgrade your plug-in from this tool, and you will be given a unique code to use in the AD store to give you a special upgrade price of $195.
Needless to say, AD has made good strides in not only keeping its plug-in safe from piracy, but also by making the user experience much, much easier. From start to finish, you should be up and running with ADPE4 in about 10 minutes.
WHAT YOU GET & HOW IT WORKS
I like to think of ADPE4 as two plug-ins for the price of one. First and foremost, ADPE4 is a way for Final Cut Pro editors to take their timelines and move them over to an Avid Media Composer (or DS, potentially) to finish. As I had said in the introduction, I wasn't sure what AD could do to improve this plug-in, but needless to say, I was impressed and surprised (and not necessarily in that order). When you have a finished timeline and want to export it for import into an Avid, as always, you navigate to FILE>EXPORT>AUTOMATIC DUCK PRO EXPORT. You are now greeted by the ADPE4 window, which has been streamlined a little from version 3. Unlike before, you had a choice between AAF Edit 1.1 Protocol, OMF Avid Compatibility Mode and OMF for Digital Audio Workstations. Now, your choice is simply AAF or OMF.
Let's take a look at OMF, as that is what most people will default to right away. OMF is a good, familiar starting point for FPC and Avid editors to move their timelines from Final Cut to Avid. Once you click "Edit Settings" with OMF selected, you are greeted by this screen.
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