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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #1
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FCP/ After Effects Workflow

Hello all,

I've done some searching, but I haven't run across this issue. I'm working in Final Cut Pro to do my editing and I need to go into after effects to effect what I've cut. I used to work in Premiere which went right over to After Effects, but ever since I got this Intel Mac, working with After Effects has been one problem after the another.

I know I can't export my FCP timeline to After effects without Automatic Duck, which is ridiculously expensive seeing as how I'm not getting paid to do this.

I thought I'd just open up the footage from my capture scratch, work on it, then render that off and point to that new file from the timeline. At first it wouldn't work because I didn't render the whole thing, now I'm getting errors because I'm told : File Attribute Mismatch: The attributes that differed are as follows: reel, rate. I was able to correct it when it didn't have sound and wasn't the right length, and I went into After Effects and corrected the time code to drop frame like it is in Final Cut, but still the rate is wrong and I don't know where to tell it to look for the reel!

I tried importing it anyway and it just jumps around. Any help that could be given would be greatly appreciated!
Elliot Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #2
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You might want to try this if you've got a hankering for scripting:


Another option would be to render out a Quicktime reference file to open in AE. Finally check out:

It's a great book, and there's a chapter dedicated toward getting your edit out of FCP and into AE without scripting or Automatic Duck.

To live a creative life, we must first lose our fear of being wrong.
- Joseph Chilton Pearce
Paul Cuoco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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Thank you for the tips. I tried the scripting thing a few days ago, when my brain began to melt out of my ears I decided I needed a new tactic with what was left.

I've heard that reference files are a huge pain. If you know differently I'd love to hear about it. Basically I never found a site that told me how to do it without first scaring me off by telling me how complicated it is.

I just ordered that DV Rebel's guide. Can you give me any previews as to how it works? I'm kind of going on faith out of desperation right now.
Elliot Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #4
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I faced the same dilemma going from Avid to AE in a documentary I was doing. I used quicktime reference over 200 times, and they were all successful. Never had any issue with it. Extremely efficient space wise, and you gain one generation of loss since you're not compressing an output out of your timeline. Quicktime reference are the best.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #5
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If you are just working on individual clips, use quicktime references. File --> export --> FCP movie
uncheck self-contained.

From AE, export a file back into FCP. Throw it on top of the original clip. Check that your colors didn't shift, check that the top clip has opacity of 100% and no composite mode.

2- If you need to export a FCP timeline into AE without Automatic Duck:

Export your entire FCP timeline as a *self-contained* movie.

Join all through edits. Export an EDL. Make sure audio info doesn't get into your EDL, because you won't need it. The right-hand column will show where all your cuts are.

In AE, manually type in the numbers from the right-hand column of the EDL. Use the shortcut for splitting a clip into two diff. layers. crtl alt D or something (sorry, I think of shortcuts in PC terms). Check the manual.

This will break clips onto its own layers. Pg up / pg down to see the cuts are where they should be.

2b- Beforehand, check to see what effects you have applied to your clips. i.e. select everything, remove attributes, and see what shows up in that window. All of these effects (distort, filters) will get burned into the movie you export from FCP. So will any dissolves.

You may not want to have some of these effects burned in. You'll need to remove these effects before exporting to AE.

Take paper notes about these effects (start and end points) if they don't show up in your EDL export.

The EDL process is extra work compared to automatic duck, but it doesn't take that long.

2c- Cross dissolves will need to be checkerboarded. Put the video onto two different tracks, and export two different movies and two different EDLs.

3- When exporting to and from AE, do a test clip with no effects to see if there are any color changes. Sometimes this will happen due to QT bugs; you don't want that obviously.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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That's an insane amount of messing around. I would just export the sections I want to manipulate as self contained QT files and be done with it. If you're working on a DV project export 'em for AE as JPEGs to avoid another nasty hit from the DV codec. Good news is that it won't be long before you can get the Adobe software updated for your machine, and if this is still a problem, you can use Premiere instead of FCP on projects that'll get a lot of AE.
Mark OConnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #7
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Mark, it's actually less messing around / faster if you need to get your entire project into AE.

2- In FCP, if you export a FCP movie (i.e. not with quicktime conversion), it won't recompress DV.
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