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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #12

Exporting to After Effects By Stephen Schleicher
Need to get a clip from your Final Cut Pro sequence into After Effects so you can perform some razzle-dazzle? Heres how.

One of the best things about Final Cut Pro clips is that the native QuickTime format is easily recognizable by After Effects. If you have raw footage you want to work with in After Effects, you can simply load it from your scratch disk.

If, however, you need to work with an edited clip in your sequence, youll need to take a different approach.

In your Final Cut Pro Timeline, set In and Out points around the clip(s) you wish to tweak in After Effects.

From the File menu select Export>Final Cut Pro Movie. The FCP movie will serve as a Reference Movie that After Effects will recognize. A reference movie is a file that contains a pointer to where the actual file resides, the In and Out points, etc. By making a reference movie, you keep from having to export the clip as a QuickTime movie, and potentially cause problems by introducing compression artifacts.

Select a directory where the FCP movie will reside, and in the options area, change the Quality to Hi Res and from the Include option select Video Only. By selecting Video Only, you keep Final Cut Pro from mixing down and embedding the audio file in the reference movie. By adding audio to the reference movie, it will take long to generate and the file size will be fairly large.

The render of the reference movie should only take a few moments. When complete import the movie as a regular file in After Effects and away you go.

When all the magic has been performed, you will need to render the After Effects composition. To keep from introducing too many artifacts, and to prevent Final Cut Pro from having to render the movie once it is added to the sequence, use the same codec as the original referenced movie file. If you are using FireWire DV, use the Apple DV/DVCPro NTSC codec.

It needs to be pointed out that the reference movie generated in the above steps is a single file when brought into After Effects. If you have multiple layers in Final Cut Pro and you create a reference movie, the tracks will be collapsed and will not import as separate layers in After Effects. If you wish to preserve your Final Cut Pro sequence and have the clips import into After Effects as separate layers, you will need to use the Automatic Composition Import Final Cut Pro Suite from Automatic Duck. It is a great program and one we will examine in the future.

Here is a current list of the Final Cut Pro Quick Tips to date:
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #1: Texture Treatments to Enhance Video Productions
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #2:
Using Markers to Quickly Edit a Music Video
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #3:
Import Your Music the Right Way
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #4:
Nesting Helps Manage Longer Projects
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #5:
Keying Explained
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #6:
Configuring Your Scratch Disk
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #7:
My Favorite Effects
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #8:
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #9:
Color Correction workflow tips
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #10:
Locating files in the Timeline
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #11:
Backing up at project end

When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at
schleicher@mindspring.com. You can also visit him on the web at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher

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Stephen Schleicher is a well known writer, visual effects artist and media guru! You can see more of Stephen at
www.majorspoilers.com and www.stephenschleicher.com
Related Keywords:Final Cut Pro, After Effects, schleicher

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