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Automatic Duck Pro Import AE 4.0

Easily move projects from one program to another By Kevin McAuliffe
I was probably one of the first users of Automatic Duck Pro Import way back in the day of version 1.0 on an Avid Media Composer and alot of things have changed since then. I rarely edit on an Avid anymore. Final Cut Pro has become a true contender in the Post world, and Automatic Duck has come out with their latest and greatest version of Pro Import AE, and to be perfectly honest, it completely blew me right away with its ease of use, and its import functionality.  
Installation of Pro Import AE 4 (PIAE4) is quick and easy. Just make sure that you have an active Internet connection (or one close by) to activate your plug-in. The exporting of your timeline from Final Cut Pro is just as quick and easy. Simply select your timeline in your project, navigate to FILE>EXPORT>AUTOMATIC DUCK XML EXPORT, give your XML a name, and save it. The process is so quick and easy that the product activation should take you longer to do than it should take to export your timeline.   

Once exported, switch over to After Effects, and you will now notice that there is a new feature in your IMPORT window called AUTOMATIC DUCK PRO IMPORT AE, and once selected, your IMPORT window will open. As a return user to Pro Import AE from an Avid (from a long time ago), I was pleasantly surprised to find a settings window with some very handy tools in it.  
I love the fact that I can now preselect timelines based on how I work. If I only work in HD at 1920x1080i with upper field dominance, I can have Pro Import always open a timeline with those properties. If you are a "speed demon" (like me), and don't want to go through all the trouble of FILE>IMPORT> you can simply take your XML file, and drag and drop it into your project window, and PIAE4 will take the settings you previously imported, and apply it to your new timeline and imported footage. For me to take a short timeline from FCP, and move it into After Effects took less than one minute. Unbelievable! I also like the fact that I can select how I want my footage to appear in After Effects (layers step up, or step down depending on how I like to work), and just the fact that I can also move my Motion projects across to After Effects as well, is an added bonus that can't be overlooked. 
Some of the main supported features from Final Cut include Multiclips, Dissolves, Dip To Color Dissolve, Flops and Flips, Basic 3D, Speed Changes including Time Remapping, Video Strobe, Freeze Frames, Composite Modes, Clip Markers, Sequence IN and OUT Markers set After Effects Work Area, Sequence Markers, Text (basic) and support for ALL Final Cut Pro Media Files.   Also, from the Motion Tab, you can export Opacity, Position, Rotation, Scale, and Distort parameters. Some of the supported features from Motion include Opacity, Position, Scale, Rotation, Blend Modes, Four Corner, Crop, Markers and Text. One thing to keep in mind is that the Motion functionality was designed with Motion 2 in mind, so who knows what's to come with Motion 3.  
Moving between programs is easy.
For any post production house, or independent producer/editor who uses After Effects and Final Cut Pro/Motion or Avid, this tool is an absolute must. You will increase your productivity substantially, and blow your clients completely away with the ease at which you can move their projects from one program to another. This product is an absolute must have, and I strongly recommend that all Final Cut Pro Users who use After Effects purchase the "Full Suite" bundle which includes Pro Import FCP 2.0, Pro Export FCP 3.0 and Pro Import AE. It will be the best $1095 you have ever spent.
Purchase Recommendation: Absolute Buy!

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Kevin P McAuliffe is currently a Senior Video Editor working in HD post production in Toronto, Canada. He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days onlining on a Final Cut Pro HD. Kevin's high definition onlining credit list includes concerts for Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Sum41, Paul Anka, Il Divo and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. Also, Kevin is an instructor of Advanced Final Cut Studio 2 at the Toronto Film College. If you have any questions or comments, you can drop him a line at [email protected]

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  • Automatic Duck Pro Import AE 4.0 by DMN Editorial at Jun. 12, 2007 7:13 am gmt (Rec'd 5)

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