Final Cut Pro to After Effects Scripting without the hassle

With the release of Automatic Duck as a free product there really isn’t a great reason to use this script except as an example of XML parsing and Comp creation from parsed properties. For general FCP to AE workflows I’d recommend downloading Automatic Duck Pro Import AE 5.0. Depending on what happens with FCPX and After Effects I may write new tools for import from FCPX.

One of the most popular pieces of content here is Moving Between Final Cut Pro and After Effects: The Scripting Option. I think the idea of using scripting to move between Final Cut Pro and After Effects resonated with people working in a production environment.

Unfortunately, the post was more of a tech demo of the kinds of things that were possible with After Effects scripting and less of a practical demonstration for non-technical users. I still urge non-technical folks to dip their toes into the scripting waters, it can be really rewarding, but the challenges presented in “rolling your own” in this situation may be a bit much. So, I decided to write a small application to provide a way for readers who don’t want to deal with the scripting hassle to use some of the techniques I described in the article.

FCPToAE (working title) is an application for OSX 10.4 and above designed to create a .jsx file from a Final Cut XML file for import into After Effects without the hassle of scripting the different parts yourself.

How to use FCPToAE

1. Download and run the application2. Open a valid Final Cut XML file exported from a sequence with File:Open. It’s important that you export a sinqle sequence from FCP and not a project or you will get an alert when you run the .jsx file. Any version of Final Cut XML (1-3) is fine.You should end up with something that looks like this:

FCP To AE Interface

For this version, the only column that is editable is the first column which allows you to make an individual clipitem active or inactive in After Effects. This is handy for not importing FCP native items like Bars and Tone and Slug, although there is rudimentary support for placeholder images for those items.3. Click the Export to After Effects button and save the exported .jsx script4. In After Effects, select File:Scripts:Run Script File and navigate to your exported script file.5. When I run from the above, I get something that looks like this:

FCP To AE Interface

In After Effects:Preferences make sure that “Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network” is checked and “Enable Javascript Debugger” is unchecked. “Enable Javascript Debugger” being unchecked allows us to substitute placeholder images if we are unable to get a valid path to your footage. You might want to enable it if you want to troubleshoot a path problem.FCPToAE is designed to work on the same machine that the project was created. If you run the exported .jsx file on another machine the script will attempt to use a placholder image which you can replace with File:Replace Footage in After Effects. If you run the script from Windows you will also need to replace the placeholderImagePath variable in the script with a valid Windows path and substitute the correct image and path in var placeholder in the import section of the script.

I’m not sure where this application will end up. I’m contemplating producing some shareware workflow applications and functionality from several of the small utilities I’ve released will definitely be wrapped in. I’m working on improving my Cocoa interface design and programming skills and slowly but surely feel like I’m approaching the point where there might be a product in there somewhere. I’d love to hear from readers about the kinds of workflow problems they’d like solved in creative workflow applications.

I do know what it is not. It’s not a replacement for Automatic Duck. Wes Plate has put years of work and effort into his product and it shows in the polish and constant new feature introduction with each version. If you use this functionality daily, you owe it to yourself to not try and cut corners and buy Automatic Duck. It’s really worth it.

UPDATE 10.11.2007 Today is the first public release of the AE CS3 stand alone version of FCPToAE. This version uses the native E4X xml parsing in AE CS3 to handle xml parsing. Move the unarchived .jsxbin to the scripts folder, run from the Scripts Menu and point the script to your exported FCP-XML file. New experimental features in this version include Cross dissolve support, and keyframed values for Scale, Rotation, Positon, and Anchor Point (keyframed ease is due in the next version). Since this is the first public release I would expect bugs and would appreciate bug reports.

CS3 and above script

deprecated legacy version for AE7

zip archive of FCPToAE(AE 7 )

Since my updates on this script have slowed dramatically I’m posting the source to the CS3 version of the script. If you make any improvements send them my way and I’ll integrate them. I’m also open to contributing to an open-source project for Final Cut to AE scripting if anybody wants to get the ball rolling on a code depository, etc.

01.30.2009-Chris Roe from croe design contributed sub-clip support and text layer importing.

Please send beta feedback and bugs to dale(at)creative-workflow-hacks(dot)com.
changelog of previous bug fixes and changes


  1. […] I’ve posted a small application and tutorial at Final Cut Pro to After Effects Scripting without the hassle for those that find the scripting presented here a little daunting. The following article covers the steps and ideas encapsulated in the application if you’re more interested in the process for learning to script After Effects and Final Cut Pro yourself. […]

  2. […] FCPtoAE es una aplicación que, a la manera del Automatic Duck, permite transferir un proyecto de Final Cut Pro al Adobe After Effects. Su desarrollo está apenas en sus fases iniciales —es una versión alpha—, aunque tampoco es que se trate de algo muy complejo puesto que se vale de las funcionales del FCP para exportar data en XML, y de la capacidad del AE para usar scripts de Java. […]

  3. Waffle said

    It works. Thank you so much.

  4. espe said


    The whole thing is going well until I click on export to after effects. I get a wrong chime from the mac. And it does not export.

    Am I the only one ?

  5. Dale said

    Hey espe,

    Why don’t you send me the xml file and the jsx export and I’ll see if I can figure out what’s going on?


  6. Dale said

    Hey espe,

    Just re-read your comment and realized that it wasn’t exporting at all. Is it possible that you’re using 10.3 or below. This app is 10.4 and above. If not, just send the xml file, it’s possible that it had some data I wasn’t expecting.


  7. paul said

    when can we expect the next beta? are you updating for use with AE8?

  8. Dale said

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve uploaded a new beta. Changes and additions are minimal because I’m overwhelmed with some projects at my day job (as you may have noticed from the lack of site updates). I’ve definitely got AE CS3 compatibility on the agenda.



  9. nico said

    This works like a dream! You’re going to save me a lot of hassle, and my company loads of money. Thanks alot dude.

  10. Pat said

    i’ve exported my XML but when i run the script in AE my sequence is all over the place. things are missing or not in the right order. i’ve tried with XML 1, 2, and 3. I’ve also included master clips and not. Nothing seems to work with it.

    I’m on a PowerMac G5 Quad, FCP 5.1.4, AE7. Any thoughts?

    I’d really appreciate the help. This is an awesome hack and would greatly assist me in some upcoming projects.


  11. Dale said

    Hey Pat,

    Why don’t you send me a copy of the xml and the jsx file and I’ll see if I can figure something out.



  12. Eran said

    Is it possible to use a similar approach for a Avid to AE workflow ?

  13. Dale said

    Hey Eran,

    Sure, the concept would be the same. I just don’t have daily access to Avid workflows. I’m sure there is somebody out there who could tackle that problem.


  14. mrsclean said

    This looks promising for us infrequent transformers, although I think I might be doing something wrong. I export an XML file from FCP, and try to open the file from FCPToAE and nothing shows up. Odd.

    Using AE CS3 and FCP 6.01, tried all 4 XML formats.

    Am I just not following the instructions well?


  15. Dale said


    Why don’t you send the final cut xml and the jsx file from the program to dale(at)creative-workflow-hacks(dot)com and I’ll take a look.



  16. […] FCPToAE Please make sure you Digg it! digg_bgcolor = ‘#ff9900’; digg_skin = ‘compact’; […]

  17. Oskar said

    Hi first I would like to thank you for your effort to solve a very annoying problem (FCP to AE transfere).

    When I follow your step by step instructions the move between FCP an AE works very well when I transfer DV-sequenses.

    When I try to transfere a HDV sequense into AE all the files and the composition gets transfered the problem is that the composition lacks references to the clips (eg. it is empty). Do you have any idea what I do wrong?

    FCP 5
    AE 7

  18. Dale said

    Hi Oskar,

    No, it’s probably not anything your doing wrong. I’ve had some issues with HDV sequences, can you send a sample XML & JSX file and any other info that you have so I can take a look?



  19. Rob said

    Hi mate,

    I have just tried the above with HDV sequences and it finds the files etc but when I open in AFX the comp is empty… (tried with DV and fine)
    I turned on the de-bugging as you said and it came up with an error fist time but wont now.

    Great product though!

  20. Dale said

    Hey Rob and others working with HDV sequences,

    I’ve also gotten other reports with problems with HDV sequences, can one of you guys send me the problem XML, the JSX from the export and any error messages from AE and/or FCP.

    Thanks, I’ll try to get to the bottom of this.


  21. James P. said

    Amazing work! You’re onto something here for those of us who don’t need the bells and whistles (or pricetag) of Automatic Duck’s comprehensive list of features. However, I have a question.. I get up to the step where I import the jsx file — all o the assets come through just fine but the sequence is converted into an empty composition (although it’s the right length, there’s just nothing in it).
    Any suggestions? You can email me at and I’ll forward you all the files so you can check it out..

  22. Dale said

    Hey James,

    thanks for the kind words. Yes, there seem to be a few sequences that are exhibiting the problem you’re having. I’ve a got a few leads on what’s causing this bug, but please send your files my way and I’m sure it will add to the info to get things working correctly.



  23. Tom D said

    I dont have HDV files but I get basically the same as above, unable to execute script at line XXX, AE error: Unable to call “layer” because of parameter 1. The range has no values.

    I will send you the script and xml files.

    thanks for your work, td

  24. deborah barkow said


    I have had to move my project from a g5 / fcp 6.0 to a G4 / fcp 5.0.4
    So I selected all of my most recent sequence and made an xml 3

    When I try to open it up into fcp 5.0.4 I am asked for a “translation file.”

    I don’t know where to find this, and am therefore not able to open the sequence at all.

    Any advice?
    Thanks so much.


  25. Dale said

    Hey Deborah,

    The translation file is an XSLT file that allows you to translate the xml file into something Final Cut understands. So it sounds like it doesn’t understand something in your file. I’d try going back to version 2 XML, I think FCP 5.1.2 was the first version that supported version 3.

  26. […] a quick heads up that I’ve decided to focus my efforts on FCPToAE and related tools to the CS3 Suite only. With a strong subset of ECMA-357 (E4X) (pdf link) parsing […]

  27. Steve Kirby said


    This is great! Thanks for your generosity in sharing this with everybody. I’ve never owned Automatic Duck because I only need this kind of thing once in a while so its perfect for me. This will be up there with BGRenderer or CSTools for me – I only wish I had the time to contribute more myself. Thank you again.

  28. Kai Pradel said

    Great app and EXACTLY what I was looking for. Definitely consider marking this into a real application. Automatic Duck is just a little steep at $495 for the kind of stuff we need it for and your app did the job just fine.


  29. Todd in Arizona said

    I’ve been fighting a project all day, trying to get some fast moving sports footage (DVCPRO HD) out of FCP into AE7 without losing a bunch of quality and getting the “jaggies”. Pulling my hair out! I downloaded your app in in five minutes have a problem solved that’s plagued me all day!

    I’m doing more and more in AE so I can see your app being indespensible! I too choked at the Automatic Duck price, but this is definitely worth a contribution…let me know if there’s a place I can send a donation so you can keep up this great work.

    Thanks a ton.

  30. Dale said

    Hey Todd,

    Thanks for the kind words. At this point, the biggest contribution you can give is detailed bug reports. grin. In all honesty, I’m uncomfortable asking for donations while the script is still in beta, maybe a bit down the road.

    Thanks again,


  31. Edward said

    Are there still problems with HDV? When I run my jsx script in AE there is nothing in the timeline. All the clips are on the left column… any ideas? Thanks

  32. Dale said

    Hey Edward,

    There has been a lot of error correction added, but if After Effects is not able to place the footage in the layer you can get an empty sequence. One workaround, is to place the footage in a temp folder and when the script runs it will place placeholders which you can then do a replace footage on. A bit of a hassle, but probably worth it.

    By the way, are you using the AE CS3 native version db_FCPToAE.jsx ? or the older AE 7 version FCPToAE ? I’m putting a lot more effort into the AE CS3 version these days. Also, I’d love to see your FCP-XML file to see if they’re is anything I’m missing.



  33. […] Effects CS3 hey ho – für alle User von CS3 ist der Automatic Duck Terror vorbei. Hier findet ihr ein Script, mit dem ihr über XML Daten aus Final Cut in After Effects […]

  34. Alan Hatchett said

    I just downloaded the new CS3 version and it works mostly well but there are a few instances I’ve encountered that arent right.
    I’m using a 720p DCVPROHD timeline and it comes into AE with the incorrect pixel ratio. Not huge.
    Also, I routinely use subclips inside Final Cut to make it easier to work with long captures, but the timecode seems to get completely fuzzed in the transfer to AE.

  35. Dale said

    Hey Alan,

    Can you send me a copy of your xml? I’d love to check the pixel ratio, I thought I had DVCPROHD covered, but I must have missed it.

    Subclips… yep, still unsupported. It’s on the list, up after Shape layers, and general plugin support, hopefully I’ll be getting to it soon.

    Thanks for the feedback,


  36. beni said


    thank you very much for this fantastic script, as dale said in the previous post i working with DVCPROHD aswell and the pixel aspect ratio is not right apart fron that i haven’t notice anything.

    thank you very much.

  37. beni said

    the import works fine but it does;nt import the audio tracks, it comes with the original audio in the video.

    in my editing i have clips of several size adjusted in fcp in the timeline, i explain myself.

    my sequence is 720p 50 but i have several clips bigger, hd for instance and several pal scaled to the sequence settings, when i import the xml in AF all come in the original size and not the size in the sequence in fcp.

    great work anyway it saves lot’s of renders.


  38. Dale said

    Hey Ben,

    Are you using the db_fcpToAe.jsx? That version supports scaling and basic attributes.

    And you’re right, Audio tracks aren’t supported and is actually pretty low on my dev list. The vast majority of feedback is that it is a fairly low priority for the kinds of things folks are trying to do with it.

    Thanks for your feedback

  39. Tim said

    Great tool. One question, does this support slomo’d clips? I’ve got a music clip I’m doing right now where just about every clip is slowed down and I would love a way of pushing it all over for comping in AE without the substantial cost of alternatives.



  40. beni said

    hi dale.

    i am using db_fcpToAe.jsx. i’ve done it a few for times, still imports some clips in diferent sizes and some clips are out of of the comp in after, it’s a long comp in FC, around 4 minutes and 6 or 7 come in diferent sizes, for me it’s not a mayor problem to fix them, it saves me lots of time, but if you want me i can send the xml file.


  41. Dale said

    Hey beni,

    Yes, please send your XML. It’s the part of the project I’m working on right now, and it will be helpful to see anomalies.

    Hey Tim,

    Time remapping is on my dev list but is currently unimplemented. Hopefully, you can keep up with the beta cycle and send feedback when we get there.

    Thanks for the feedback guys,


  42. beni said

    hi dale.

    where is the email address to send it to.


  43. beni said

    ok, no worries i have sent it already

  44. Lucas Negrao said

    hey dale, your script has always worked for me with small sequences but now i am trying it with a 70 minute and it keeps saying the xml is invalid. i am with final cut 6.1 and after cs3.

  45. Dale said

    Hey Lucas,

    Are you using the db_fcpToAe.jsx since you’re on AE CS3? Either way why don’t you send me the XML and I’ll take a look dale(at)creative-workflow-hacks[dot]com


  46. Postscript said

    Hi there,
    tried the Script for CS3 – worked like a charm
    except on several clips that were out of time.
    (the only way they differ from the other clips is that the “Master Clips” are longerL 3.30 min compared to 20-30 sec on the other Master clips).

    Hope I was clear enough ..
    Is this a known issue ?

  47. Dale said

    Hey Postscript,

    I’ve got a few issues with subclips that I need to address. Want to send your xml file and I’ll take a look?


  48. Chris Upton said

    Beta has expired! Please post new version! Thanks so much.

  49. Dale said

    Hey Chris,

    I’ve updated the AE 7 version and I’ll check on the CS3 version tomorrow a.m.

    Thanks for the heads up,


  50. apo said

    hi Dale,
    thanks for the script, but i can’t use it..
    it only imports clips in after effect, but doesn’t put the clips in the timeline
    i’ve even tried with simple sequence, with just 3 clips.
    i’ve tried xml 1, 2, 3 and 4 but it doesn’t works..
    i’m using fcp 6.0 e ae cs3..
    any ideas?
    maybe i’ve done something wrong.. i don’t know
    thanks a lot

  51. Dale said

    Hey apo,

    Sometimes After Effects doesn’t seem to be able to place the footage in the timeline after importing. I’ve especially seen this on HDV sequences. A workaround is to place the footage in question in a temp folder different then the footage location in the XML, then run the script and the script will place a placeholder in the timeline you can then select the placeholders in the project window, right click, hit replace footage and point it to your temp footage folder. It’s a bit of a workaround, but that usually works.



  52. apo said

    ok i’m tring 🙂
    i’ve already red this in another post, but i’m not working with HDV just dv.. but now i’ll try and report the result
    thanks a lot again

  53. apo said

    hi Dave,
    it doesn’t work 🙁

    now i’ve all my placeholder in place of my clips but the sequnce is already empty.
    i’ve used xml 3
    any suggestions?

  54. Dale said

    Hey apo,

    Why don’t you send me your xml file? dale{at}creative=workflow-hackscom


  55. Rick said

    Can you update, or add more details on how to use the new version with CS3. The old beta worked perfectly, now I don’t know what to do with the new CS3 file. What is the Script Menu?


  56. Dale said

    Hey Rick,

    Sure, no problem.

    1. first download and unzip db_FCPToAE.jsxbin
    2. move the .jsxbin file to the scripts folder in the AE CS 3 app folder
    3. launch AE CS3
    4. under the File Menu you should see a Scripts Menu Option with a list of available scripts
    5. select db_FCPToAE.jsxbin
    6. point to your exported sequence FCP-XML in the next dialog

    that should do it. I’m also working on a GUI Script panel, but that part isn’t ready for release yet. Give me a shout if you have problems.

  57. da espe said

    I got the same problem as Apo

  58. Dale said

    Hey espe,

    I was able to help Apo out. Why don’t you send me your xml file?

    What kind of format are you using? Are you using subclips? So far, this problem seems to be either a format or subclip issue.

    Have you tried the placeholder workaround above?



  59. Michael said

    If you can email me back, after i pose these questions, i would so appreciate it. I am running fcp2 and after effects cs3, I have this running on a imac. Transporting in my video to fcp, then sending a uncompressed avi, to after effects, once I do my effects, then render out to dvd, I am getting a still distorted look on my video, can you help me on this.
    Thanks michael

  60. Tony Rain said

    Hello Dale,

    First off, GREAT app! I’ve been searching for an app that can achieve getting my FCP timeline into AE so that I can effect each shot. This appears to be the best that I’ve found. This is really great! I’m cutting a DVCPRO HD, 23.976, low budget music video in FCP using multiclip to keep several clips in sync. I’ve expoted the xml and imported using db_FCPToAE into CS3. All clips import and populate the comp. The issue I am running into is that every few clips the wrong clips appear for a few shots then the clips become in sync again, then the wrong clips appear for s few shots, then back to in sync etc. I’m wondering if the multiclip is affecting the outcome of my db_FCPToAE import? If you have any pointers or work arounds to overcome this issue I’d greatly appreciate it! One thing that I haven’t tried is to locate the shots that are incorrect then go back to FCP duplicate my sequence delete all shots that did come across correct leaving the shots that didn’t come across, then xml that sequence and try the import?? But if you have a better more efficient fix I’d love to hear.

    Thanks so much!


  61. Dale said

    Hey Tony,

    Thanks for the feedback. Your hunch was right, multiclips aren’t supported right now. There are some commands to “collapse” sublicps into a single sequence as a workaround, but I”m not sure if there is the same for multiclips. I’ll have to do some research.



  62. Tony Rain said

    Hey Dale,

    thanks for your response. So, it was either get rid of multi clips or not use db_FCPToAE.jsx. Bye Bye multi clips! Your app is way more valuable for what I am trying to do. So, I over cut my original clips without using multi clip and everything is lining up now. Thanks so much! This is going to really help me concentrate on the effects and what I’m trying to achieve rather than how do I get my clips into AE and make sure I have the correct handles, for transitions, etc.

    I know in an above post you said you did not want a donation but please email me if that changes!


    Tony Rain
    Strive Films

  63. Dale,

    This is just awesome! I just used it and for what I do, color grading footage with either straight cuts or cross dissolves, it’s perfect! I often work from proxy files so it doesn’t matter if the footage links don’t work. I just reload footage to the originals and presto!

    I agree with Tony. For what I do I’d pay for this to not have to pay for Automatic Duck. $500 is a bit steep for my indie budget.

    Thanks for all the great work!

    Brett A. Noe
    Director of Photography

  64. Tony Rain said

    Hey Dale,

    Everything worked perfect on a MAC but now I’m attempting to import via AE on a windows system because there are several useful plug-ins on the windows system. When I run the script place holders import and populate the comp. Is there a way to have the media import from going cross platform or do you recommend just reconnecting to the original media? I’m thinking because I’m going cross platform the script doesn’t interpret the correct path to locate the media?

    Thanks MUCH!

  65. Dale said

    Hey Tony,

    Yes, the best way to work with Windows is to run the script with placeholders and reconnect the footage. If you work from a single media folder it’s not to much of a hassle because AE will reconnect the rest of the footage once it finds the first file. It’s more of a hassle if you have lots of media folders, but all of the workarounds I’ve tried to coerce Windows paths have not been too effective.


  66. Dale,

    Everything ran fine last night on my system at home (AE CS3, G5). I’ve been trying this morning on two different machines. One is identical to my home system, the other is an 8-core. It creates a comp, but nothing else. I tried it using the same XML file as last night.

    Any ideas?

    Brett A. Noe
    Director of Photography

  67. Dale said

    Hey Brett,

    I’ve been having a few issues with import into comps. Can you send a copy of your troublesome XML?



  68. Dale,

    I just tried to run FCPtoAE and it says it is expired. What should I do?

    Brett A. Noe
    Director of Photography

  69. Dale said

    Sorry Folks,

    I’ve re-uploaded unexpired betas.


  70. Berto said

    Dear Dale

    Thanks for the hard work on this program. Adobe should buy it from you and make it part of the next cs release.
    Now to my problem. I imported and got an error massage saying {“Could not set layer Attribute, with error” Because of parameter 2. Value “undefined” of element 0 in the array is not a valid float.}

    When I open the comp the files are there and the sequence is intact. I am editing in fcp 6 with AE CS3, I did only strait cuts, but did have some pan and scan , I am only editing storyboard tif photos. When I look at the time line non of the pan and scans came thru or the zooms. But every thing else seems to be there. The audio did not come thru but that not to much of a big deal. If I did something wrong please let me know. If pans and scans and zooming are not supported the that would be good to know so I can plan head. thank you.

  71. Dale said

    Hey Berto,

    Thanks for the feedback. Things have been brutal at my day job, so I haven’t made as much progress on the script as I’d like. Why don’t you send me your xml file so I can take a look and see if I can figure out what kind of problems you are having.



  72. Hi Dale,

    I’ve got a class full of thankful students who are using FCPtoAE, but the current version (specifically the AE7 version) has expired. Any chance of re-upping a new beta?

    Thanks for all your work!

  73. Dale said

    Hey Jeremy,

    Sorry about the beta expiration, I’ve uploaded a new AE7 version. My dev setup for the AE CS3 version is at work and I’ll upload a new CS3 version first thing Monday. Again, sorry for the lack of development and blog updates while I claw my way out of the weeds on some big projects.



  74. No worries Dale.
    1) It’s free.
    2) It works.
    3) You’re responsive.
    4) It’s free *and* it works(!).

    Rock on.

  75. Tim said

    Hey Dale, does this tool work with 25p and 50i projects? I’m trying to transfer across a project with XDCAM EX 1080p25 and the the clips are in the right place in the AE timeline (in terms of cut points) but the footage is all wrong.

  76. Dale said

    Hey Tim,

    That’s weird. I’m not sure if it’s a frame rate problem, sounds more like an internal naming problem in the xml file. Why don’t you send me an example xml with the problem and I’ll see if I can figure out what’s going on.


  77. flo said

    hey his seems to work really great i just face one major problem i cant render he project i get the failure -54

    you have no permission to open this file

    and the rendering stops

    any idea?

  78. Big super thank for this script!
    We’re proud owners of the Auto Duck plug, but haven’t upgraded to the CS3 version yet. Under the deadline knife I decided to test this script.
    Lo and behold! It worked like a charm for my cuts only edit.
    One shot that was time speeded in FCP went out of whack, but that was expected and easily corrected.

    Again, thanks, and let me know if I can help with testing etc.


  79. Bob Flood said


    just for Yucks, I took about 5 shots that i had layered on three tracks in FCP (5.1.4 on dual core intel) and exported an xml of the sequence.

    then I tried your current version of the strictly CS3 “converter” and kept getting messages like “main is busy” and “main cannot complete” in the extenda script window.

    sooo I tried running the AE7 and CS3 version, and even after I download the latest I get “Beta expired”

    Do i need to export an XML from a sequence that only has video on one track?
    ie, does the converter, or XML, deal with multiple video tracks?

    hope this helps and or can get me an answer, please? 🙂

    thanx for doin this!

  80. Dale said

    Hey Bob,

    Sorry about the AE7 version, I let it get out of sync with the CS3 version and it expired. I’ve reuploaded the AE7 version and it should be good.

    As far as the “main cannot complete” it sounds like scripting engine is locked, does it go away when you quite AE CS3 and the Extendscript editor?

    The scripts are designed for one sequence which can have multiple video tracks.

    Hope that helps,


  81. Bob Flood said


    I am pretty new to this “scripting” thing, but i am a quick learn, so i am probably missing something obvious.

    It seems all the other files in the AE Scripts folder, the onse that come with CS3, have the extension .jsx, whereas your has .jsxbin. Is this file an archive? do i need to change the extension(s) to say .jsx.bin and then Unstuff that?

    and the specific error messages i get is:

    Target engine ‘main’ is busy!


    Cannot execute script in target engine ‘main’!

    thanx again for your patience

  82. Bob Flood said


    tried latest version of “FCP to AE – AE7 to CS3”. it generated a .jsx from my XML
    but when AE CS3 imported it, nothing seemed to happen. I did the same process with a larger sequence, and this time I got a timer indicating something was happeneing, but then nada.

    oh well I am gonna tray a restart and some other simple stuff, and see if anything changes.

    bee eph

  83. Dale said

    Hey Bob,

    It sounds like the scripting engine in AE CS 3 is locking up some how. You’re able to run the other scripts in the scripts folder without a problem?

    The AE7 version is for AE7, it won’t work in its current state in CS3.


  84. Jon said

    I keep getting the message “Beta has expired” and there is no new update here on the site. Anyone help?

  85. Dale said

    Hey Jon,

    The links above should be current betas. I haven’t done release notes since there have been minimal changes. Are these versions still giving you expiration problems?


  86. Bob Flood said


    man do i feel stoopid. I did not have the CS3 “project” window open, so i did not see that in fact i did import some clips. However it does not look complete. I will endeavor to research this further

    am using the CS3 only version

    more to come

  87. Bob Flood said


    man do i feel stoopid. I did not have the CS3 “project” window open, so i did not see that in fact i did import some clips. However it does not look complete. I will endeavor to research this further

    am using the CS3 only version

    more to come

  88. Bob Flood said

    2 things:
    first, when i use the CS3 version i only get 2 of the 5 or so files involved, so i only get 2 layers

    second, the AE7 version works Better w CS3 than the CS3 version. The only issue i see is that one or 2 of the layers are in the wrong place.

    The sequence I am using for export consists of one still, a tif, and about 4 shots from the same videotape.

    would it help to sedn you the XML and both of the CS3 projects ie the AE7 conversion and the CS3 conversion?

    bee eph

  89. Dale said

    Hey Bob,

    sure, why don’t you send me your files. I’m in the middle of a big project at my day job, so my dev time is limited right now, but I”m hoping to get bug fixes and new development started up again soon.



  90. Jon said

    Hey Dale,
    Just tried downloading the current link again and it works. Odd…for some reason for the past couple of days it wouldn’t work. Kept telling me it had expired and I needed to download a new version. Thanks for the quick response.

  91. […] now. -Automatic Duck: Don’t know if I can justify the cost for the times I would use this. -FCPtoAE: A small application to take the XML file from FCP and create a .jsx that AE can import. It’s […]

  92. Dave Smith said

    Just wanted to say thanks for the script. I’ve been using it on some 2 camera shots that I needed to color match the shots and couldn’t get the results out of FCP. I have to say the script worked great. I did notice it didn’t bring in the extra audio clips but that’s easy enough to fix and has been mentioned here.

    One problem I ran into was when I ran the script it opened up the ExtendScript Toolkit 2. I thought it hadn’t done it’s job until I looked at the project panel. Don’t know what that’s all about.

  93. Dale said

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the feedback. The Extendscript Toolkit is launched because I’m writing debug specific info to the Console during beta. So, if you have a problem I can ask what did the Console report, where did it fail, etc. Ideally, I’d make that a UI option so that you’d have the option for debug info, but honestly I just haven’t gotten to that point in the dev cycle. Sorry if it was confusing.


  94. Jimmy said

    Hi Dale.

    First thank you so much for the wonderful work, FCPtoAE is very helpful and a real money saver for a broke person like me (:

    second, I wanted to ask – is there any chance that the “Speeded video” issue will be fixed anytime soon?

  95. Dale said

    Hey Jimmy,

    Thanks for the feedback. By, “Speeded video” do you mean Time Remapping? If so, yes, that’s on the dev list. I’ve just had to slow down my development schedule on the script due to time constraints at my day job.

    You might take a look at what Ross Gerbasi is up to at

    I think his script is dealing with time remapping.



  96. Logan McMillan said


    Can’t unzip the jsxbin file – what is the way to do it?


  97. Dale said

    Hey Logan,

    Should be just an ordinary .zip file that would unzip via winzip or mac zip utility. I’ll take a look to make sure it didn’t get corrupted in my site hacking fiasco.


  98. Logan McMillan said

    Hey Dale – no worries – its working!

    Brilliant piece of software!!

    Good job. 🙂

  99. Bigred said

    I love you.

    Sitting here at 1.34 am trying to work out how to shift my sequence of 100+ shots to AE (doing some funky pan and scan stuff) and found your site…

    Scratched my head as to what to do (new to mac, new to scripting). Found your instructions about half way down this page (move them to the top of the page for numptys like me). Click, click, footage in AE.

    Just shouted out loud and clapped at my machine. Feel a bit of a saddo but this is ace. Going to save me a LOT of time.

    If we ever bump into each other in RL I owe you a few beers! I may well have to be buying my neighbors some to apologise for the noise…

    Thanks again! Top chap!

  100. et said

    does this software work on leopard operating system

  101. Dale said

    Hey Ed,

    I haven’t put much dev time into the AE7 version, but I wold think it would run fine on Leopard. Are you having any issues?


  102. Melissa said

    This is wonderful! Great work. You are a life saver. It worked great for me. I just have a quick question (I began to read all of the comments but didn’t get through them all so if its already been answered please ignore me). None of my final cut generated text clips translated to AE. Is that just the way of things or did I do something wrong?

    (OSX 10.4.11 AE CS3 FCP 6.0.3)


  103. Dale Bradshaw said

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for the feedback. You’re right, text clips aren’t supported in this version. They are on the feature list to implement, but since this is a side project it may take me a while to get it in place.



  104. Jon Walker said

    Tried updating latest version of FCP to AE and it keeps telilng me beta expired and redirecting me to the site. Has the link been updated?

  105. Dale said

    Hey Jon,

    All of the files should be updated now. Sorry about that.


  106. Jerry Witt said


    Took me a little while to figure out because you made the process even simpler. The new documentation should be:
    1. Download db_FCPToAE. Place this in the Scripts folder where your After Effects CS3 application is located.
    2. In FCP export your cut sequence as XML (I used version 2)
    3. Launch After Effects CS3, go to the Preferences>General tab. Check the box “Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network”. (Allow “Enable Javascript Debugger” should be unchecked by default)
    4. Under the File menu select scripts and then hi-light db_FCPToAE. In the dialog box, point to the XML file you exported earlier.

    That’s it!

    Like I said, Fantastic. I have used Automatic Duck in the past and I have spoken to Wes on a few occasions. He’s a great guy and it’s a great product. Just a bit too rich for my blood. I didn’t export video enough for it to get a ROI from it. I would instead make notes of my cuts and chop them up manually. This is SO much better and SO SO much faster.

    Thank you Dale. You should put a PayPal donate button up here. The first paying job I use this on, I would be inclined to send a little cash your way.

  107. Jon Walker said

    Hey Dale, I’m still getting the same message even from today’s download that the beta has expired. Any suggestions?

  108. Dale said

    Hey Jon,

    I just downloaded both versions to a fresh machine and they run fine on my end. Are you sure you’re not getting a cached version or something?


  109. Jon Walker said

    Will try again had the same thing happen last time until it finally worked. I’ll give it a shot. Thanks.

  110. Jon Walker said

    Trashed old version restarted and downloaded again from the link to no avail. Still getting same message of beta expiring.

  111. Dale said

    Hey Jon,

    I tried to email you the latest versions, but your email bounced. Why don’t you send me an email and I’ll see if I can get you fixed up.


  112. Jon Walker said

    Can’t find your email…can you post it for me?

  113. Dale said


  114. mcplop said

    this looks great.

    can this script be reveresed so that AE comp layers can be imported into FCP as a set of clips?

    this would be awesome for a specific archiving project I am working on.

  115. Jonathan McGaha said

    Using the AE7 version and I’m getting the beta expiration notice. I can set my computer back a month and it works fine but that’s pretty annoying. Thanks.

  116. Dale said

    Hey Jonathan,

    I took the beta expire out. Since I’ve had a hard time finding the time outside of my day job I need to devote to this project I’m looking to open source the project and hopefully somebody can pick up the baton on development. It’s going to take me a bit to get the project set up but for now I’m going to take out the beta expire stuff on the AE7 project and next set it up for the CS3 script . More to follow.


  117. Gav said

    Following your intrustions and a little help your script worked great.

    Though I am having a little trouble with somthing unrelated to it, but i hope you dont mind me asking as someone else might have come across the same problem.

    The timeline appears after i import the xml into AE3, but there is no picture, even when i click on one of the video files nothing shows up. There is sound, which makes me belive that it is probably a quicktime or codec problem.

    Anyone able to offer advice? Im using FCP 5.0.4, quicktime 7.5, AE3. When I import the file seperatly it works. but not when i go through FCP first. the clips are also HD and im using a panasonic hvx200 camera with a p2 card.


  118. dermessie said

    Hey folks,…

    got stumbled over a little thing which should be taken account of.
    I got trouble logging some clips in FCP caused by drop frames. In the end I got two Clips with different in-/out-points (same media content) . FCP shows the wrong media length.
    So after exporting to AFX the media in-/out-points are messed up.

    Clipname_01 (length in FCP 2 min, original file on hd app. 22 min)
    Clipname_02 (length in FCP 12 min, original file on hd app. 22 min)

    Clipname_01 + Clipname_02 are the same source files on tape, but 2 different captured files on hd.

    yes, i know, confusing 😀
    but as so often, I recognized it first after the cut 🙁

    In FCP there no problem relating file management.

    If sb got a work around,..let me know…


  119. fulgencio said

    i have tried the software, but can get it worrking
    when i do it the clips are imported but not the timeline
    am i doing something wrong?
    i´m not an expert on AE

  120. Dale said

    Hey fulgencio,

    You want to make sure you have a sequence selected when you export the XML so you don’t get an import of just the browser. Hope that helps.


  121. fulgencio said

    hi Dale
    i have tried selecting everything.
    and selecting only the sequence but not the clips
    the results are always the same
    i get the clips imported and a sequence file (wich appears as a black video clip)
    but no timeline
    same thing with db_FCPToAE
    FCP 5.1.4 DVCpro HD 25p (non-native) and AE (i gues it is just 8.0)
    i´m trying with just a 3 files editing, no effects, no text…
    maybe i could send you the xml and export file to see if you find out
    my email is or
    thanks for all


  122. Martin Roe said

    Hi Dale,

    AMAZING work. Thank you so much! I have one (huge) project to send through and didn’t want to buy a product for one gig, and you just saved me days and days of work!

    Thank you so much.

    Having read the comments, I gather you know that it tells me the beta has expired and to get the latest version, even though I downloaded it today – i think from reading the notes that i have the latest version nonetheless – which is awesome!

    Anyway, thanks again!


  123. Drew said

    DALE! Yeehaw! Your script is zippy, it works, and I love it. Dale for President! I owe you beers.

    PS you just saved me 6 hours of really annoying work – and untold hours in the future! SWEEEEEEET!

  124. annoyed said

    sorry dude but neither of both programs is working. the cs3 only script beta period has expired, why dont you post a new one?
    the other script causes AE to crash all the time.

  125. Dale said

    hey annoyed,

    The CS3 script has the beta expired message, but continues to function rather then quit. I’ll take a look next week and dig out the expired message, but it should work for you in the interim. It definitely makes the bad usability hall of fame in the mean time. grin.

    The AE7 program doesn’t have any active development and works in AE7/Tiger and I haven’t tested it in any other environments.


  126. […] Benassi – Satisfaction Red Digital Camera Company Twixtor Apple Final Cut Pro Adobe After Effects FCP to AE Scripting Automatic Duck Nikon D90 Share This Post Hide Sites Related […]

  127. Karl said

    thats fantastic,
    thanks heaps. ive been learning AE on my own, mostly through forums, and this really has helped me get through some shonky workflow problems.

  128. Txus said

    Yo man, thanks ever so much..
    For people as skint as i am.. this has really made a difference..
    i was looking for the duck on the cheap side, u know what i mean.. and found this and think its tops…
    Don´t get me wrong, I tend to buy programs once i used them, learned and if i make money w them… so i really think u should put a paypal cheap inn..

    thanks again an in advance for this piece ond for further ones


  129. wesley said

    I have shot a show on the new Sony Ex1 cameras, format XDCAM EX 1080p25 (35mb/s VBR). I edit my program in Final cut 6. When I am done I have exported a quick time movie, self contained. Imported this in after effects, worked it, and then exported it with the XDCAM codec as above. When I import it to final cut it does not need a render but it does not play correctly, it either freezes or strobes as if though it is dropping frames, infact I assume that is exactly what it is doing. Further I have exported an xml in final cut, imported a jsx in AE worked it, and then exported using the XDCAM codec and ended with the same issue. I don’t know if there is a way to export an XML or JSX in AE, this might help, not sure though.

    Please I really need help.


  130. TankU Man said

    Karl, get some dvds man, the usual suspects are all good. (TT, Lynda, VTC, FXPHD, A. Kramer) I wasted 3-5 years learning AE in forums b/c the Adobe books were lame to me and I kept reading my Meyers 30X to get the concept of an alpha channel. I learned in 1-4 weeks with dvds what I spent 5 years in and out of with other methods. Oh, lovely script btw, just back for a refresher version. I rocked out a green screen music video last Spring with this, or was it Popcorn Isle, can’t remember. But I’m using this for some speed editing gs content and it rocks.

  131. ben said

    wow just saw this.

    anything new going on with it?

  132. leo said

    Grande, veramente grande lavoro…
    ho un poco di problemi con fcptoae esporto in xml da final cut 6.0.3 ma in after effect 7.0 ho un sequence vuoto ed i file video ma non è corretto quando li metto sulla timeline.

  133. sweet works great! been looking for this for ages! thanks a lot from a VJ in mexico city.

  134. Derek said

    Thank you! I’m using it to transfer to AE on windows, and this saves a lot of time.

  135. What a great bit of scripting works a treat.
    Have had Automatic Duck on a couple machines we setup in 2005.
    But this is just fantastic – works just as well.

    O for Awesome !

  136. jeff said

    Can this script be modified to take into account using subclips within final cut? When subclips are used, the starting point of the imported clip is modified, and the subclip inpoint value is not read and the clip starts at the incorrect frame. A few of us in our shop have an idea on how to fix it, but it would require modifying the script. If it’s possible, shoot me an e-mail and we can give you a better idea of the problem.


  137. Dale said

    Hey Jeff,

    Yep, definitely a short coming of the current script. I’ve posted the source above, if you make any improvements can you send them my way so I can integrate the changes?



  138. leonardo said

    multilayer please for fcptoae versione after effect 7

  139. Dale said

    Hey leonardo,

    The AE 7 version has stopped active development and is unlikely to change much from its current state. The CS3 and CS4 versions are much more robust.


  140. Makana said

    Hi Dale,

    First off, thank you for this great script! It blows my mind how you were able to achieve this and it is much appreciated.

    I am having some issues. I first used the script in November and I was having problems similar to what Westley said on November 6th 2008 that my picture of was strobing and freezing on RAM Preview and rendering. I noticed that when I purge all of the system memory, video memory, etc in After Effects the problem goes away. I’m not sure what the reason is but I have noticed this one two separate formats for HD: DVCPRO HD (720p 60fps) and now HDV (1080-24pA).

    I’ve tried to use the version of the script on this website but it gives me an error when I select the script in the File>Scripts menu:

    Unable to execute script at line 1. Expected: ;

    I am able to run the previous script from November but I’m getting those problems with select clips. The one thing I think it may be is that in this case now (HDV 1080-24pA) is that the footage is actually in 29.97 but Final Cut is removing the advanced pulldown, where AE and the XML file may not know what to do with those remaining 5 frames in limbo each second.

    My previous project was shot at 60p, and I was editing in a 23.98 timeline.

    I realize these are two different problems, but I’m hoping the new script will fix the issue… i just cant get it to run. Can you think of anything that may have affected it?

    Thanks again! -I really appreciate everything you’re doing to help the community


  141. Dale said

    Hey Makana,

    I’ve definitely had issues with HDV import. It seems to flake on footage import for some reason I haven’t been able to figure out. I’ve tried wrapping it in a try{}catch structure which allows the script to run usually, but still doesn’t import the footage. Hopefully I’ll come up with something.

    On the current version not running, are you trying the .jsxbin or the .jsx file? If you’re using the .jsxbin why don’t you try the .jsx file, which may also give me more debugging info that you can send my way.



  142. Makana said

    Hey Dale

    Wow! Fast response, you really do have Super-Hero status! – Thank you!

    I tried the .jsx version and though it did run, and it did import the footage I am still getting the same problem. I would hate for this problem to persist because I captured the footage incorrectly, but I have only noticed the strobing/repeating for some certain layers consistently on RAM Preview and Render.

    I did check one of my strobing cuts and it is in fact on frame 26 of the original footage. I’m attributing it as my fault since it’s a 23.98 fps sequence in FCP and I’m trying to cram 29.97 source footage. The whole HDV 24pA/24p conundrum has been killing me for almost a year.

    I really appreciate the support for this script. AD is great but the personal attention to your script is phenomenal! Much appreciated!

  143. stig said

    Where is the download link for the app? I can´t find it.

  144. Dale said

    hey stig,

    yes, I need to clean up a bit around here. The best link to use for CS3 and above is

    db_FCPToAE.jsx, that is the source .jsx version.


  145. hi!
    i’ve been trying and trying and im very new to this scripting thing.
    but if i double click the db_FCPToAE.jsx, extended script toolkit 2 sarts up and nothing else, nothing seems to look like the examples given in your article. am i a complete dumbass? maybe there’s a tip you can give me?
    thank you in advance in anyway!!!


  146. ok
    i needed to try all options, not just 9 out of 10.
    i got it to work!
    fabulous. thank you so much, this saves sooooo much time!!

  147. kayopes said

    Got problems..i can see the clip exported in AE but not the timeline….
    Can you just tell me why?

  148. Dale said

    hey kayopes,

    Sometimes the script has problems with the media. A workaround is to hide the media in a different folder or run the script on a different machine and let the script place placeholders. Then reconnect the media and it should work fine. If you continue to have problems, you can send me your XML file and I’ll see if I can figure out what’s up.


  149. Travis said

    When I try and run the script in CS3 it just says:

    Unable to execute script at line 1. Expected: ;

    How can I fix this…? What’s it hanging on?

  150. Dale said

    Hey Travis,

    Are your running the .jsx version of the script?


    Try that first.


  151. Travis said

    oh got it! WOW this is amazing. Although a lot of my edits are off a frame or two…

  152. Hey Travis,

    glad you got it working…

    // Although a lot of my edits are off a frame or two…

    really? want to send my your FCP XML so I can take a look at why that might be?


  153. Will FCP to AE for CS4 coming soon

  154. Dale said

    Hey Gopal,

    Have you run into any AE CS4 specific issues? I hadn’t heard of any to this point and would consider the current script AE CS3+. I’m hoping to get back into active development soon so hopefully new features will appear soon.



  155. Jon Auten said

    OH THANK YOU! You just saved me from 3 days worth of work.

  156. Jonas said

    I’ve been trying, but can’t seem to make this work right. Whatever I do I end up with an empty composition. It has the correct name and resolution, but no contents. The project is DVCProHD – P2 files.

    I’m sending you the XML files now, in case you will take a look. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Been using to latest .jsx script.

    Maybe I’m just doing something wrong.

  157. Dale said

    Hey Jonas,

    I took a look at your xml, and it looks like it is missing a element to the media source files. I’m working on a work around using placeholders, check your email and see if we might be able to work something out.



  158. Arnfinn said

    Hey. Had a look and this looks really interesting. Just wondered if there is supposed to exist an object model/object library/type library for after effects cs3. It does not show up in the help menu of extendscript toolkit and I haven’t been able to find any information of it online.

  159. casey said

    Works great, exceept it doesnt bring in aif audio files — i use it all the time! Thanks, plus way better than the duck!

  160. Andrew said

    This is a great script! Keep up the awesome work!!!

  161. Rino said

    Works great
    and easy!

  162. […] blog-entries, posting in forums about it and making a video tutorial today I accidentally found FCPToAE. It is a script for After Effects that does the same as my method but without the need to start […]

  163. Andrew said

    Especially after sifting through the many enthusiastic comments following your article, I’m slightly embarrassed that I can’t get this to work. When I download the zip archive, I get a file which is a .jsxbin. When I double-click, it opens in ExtendScript Toolkit 2 and asks me to select a language. Whatever language I select from the list ends up looking nothing like your examples. Similarly, I’ve also tried to run it in After Effects to no avail. What is it that I’m doing wrong?

  164. Andrew said

    Ok. Now I used the source of the script from your site in ExtendScript Toolkit 2, and it seems to work, provided I haven’t done anything to complicated in Final Cut. I’m still slightly confused how I can the .jsxbin file to work as intended. Regardless, the fact that I successfully imported a Final Cut Sequence into After Effects is kind of amazing. So, thanks.

  165. Dale said

    Hey Andrew,

    My apologies, I need to clean things up around here. As you noted in your follow up there is really no reason to run from the .jsxbin when the .jsx is a much better option to just run from the script menu in After Effects. I’ve got a lot of clean up and updates planned for when I can spare some extra cycles so thanks to you and all of the readers for your patience.


  166. Andrew said

    Dale, the script is the thing–it’s awesome. Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out. The DV Rebels guide, a really great resource by Stu Maschwitz, lays out a method of “onlining” an edit in After Effects, but it requires reassembling your FCP edit in After Effects–a nice theory, albeit a slightly less nice workflow, unless, of course, you were willing to purchase Automatic Duck. The FCPtoAE script has some difficulty with translating a retimed clip along with some other limitations that a plug-in like Automatic Duck would likely overcome (I think), but if you use FCP to concentrate on nailing your edit and not rely on its capable but not entirely satisfactory FX, it’s actually feasible to do all that FX and color correction in AE. Many, many thanks.

  167. Paul said


    great script, got all my video in AE but i´m not sure how to get it back from there to FCP…


  168. Daniel said

    Have you ever ben able to fix the subclip issue? I haven’t seen any update. Is there a workaround? I have MANY subclips in my sequence which makes FCPtoAE unusable for me in this project.

    I wish I had known before I started in FCP.


  169. Dale said

    Hey Daniel,

    Chris Roe added subclip support in the current version.

    Are you still having issues?


  170. Daniel said

    Thanks so much Dale! That got my clips coming in with the right timing and placement. I have a new problem now. I am not able to import any sound only clips…only clips with picture and sound.

    Any thoughts?

  171. Dale said

    Hey Daniel,

    Can you send me the problem xml file? I’ll take a look, but it might be a little bit…watching some football today. grin.


  172. Daniel said

    Hey Dale,

    I sent the file but I haven’t heard from you. Any thoughts on why I can’t import the audio clips?


  173. Hey Daniel,

    Thanks I got your stuff. Just haven’t had a chance to dig into it.



  174. gbtvswzq said

    Thanks for a lot!
    It work very well.
    If it can contain speed date ,will be perfection.

  175. Daniel A said

    Hi Dale..!

    Thanks a lot for your script..! It is very useful for me. I dont know if I could use it to communicate FCP and After Effects in a PC. I’ve been trying and I have some problems. Should I have to modify file paths or anything else in the jsx file..?
    Any clue will be usuful.

    Regards from Spain,


  176. Dale said

    Hey Daniel,

    I’ve put some failsafe stuff that is supposed to work on PC’s by importing placeholders where you can just reconnect the footage, but I haven’t done extensive testing. What kind of problems are you having?


  177. Daniel A said

    Hi Dale,

    Thanks for your response..!

    I execute the script generated by the xml file with FCPToAE in my PC After Effects and I receive a message “This version of FCPToAE only supports Mac filepaths. FCPToAE will use AE placeholders” Then I have a composition in the proyect but no files added. In addition, the composition is empty. On the other hand if I execute the script db_FCPToAE, I select the xml file obtained in FCP, I dont receive any message, and as a result I have the same empty comosition and the source files are named in the proyect but with a broken link (the color bars are shown) If I replace the file with the original source, the composition is still empty.
    What should I do..?

    I guess I could try to modify the code of the script in placeholderImagePath and in the clips path of the var “decoded_data”, but I am not really sure. And what is AE expecting from the filepath as a windows path..? “X:/folder/folder…/”, for example..? or some kind of different nomenclature? I’ll be trying, please any help will be great..

    I will tell you when I obtain any result..


  178. Dale said

    Hey Daniel,

    The idea is to get the composition to have placeholders like you’re getting in the project window, but in the comp.

    A workaround I’ve used in the past, is to stay on the Mac but change the containing footage folder for the duration of the import so that it imports placeholders into the comp, save the AE file with placeholders, move that to the PC and replace footage, then of course change back the containing footage folder on the Mac. This works best when you have a single footage folder, and don’t have things scattered in your projects.


  179. Blaise said

    Hi Dale,

    Works great !
    But… I don’t succeed in importing a nested sequence with all its material from an FCP timeline into AE.
    Is it possible or not ?


  180. Selah V said

    Hey Dale

    I’ve been trying to use the FCP to AE application, using CS4 and Final Cut Pro 6.

    I have no issues exporting the XML or opening that in the FCP to AE application you created, or to export that into a script for AE.

    I do however have two problems in After effects.
    When I run the script, it opens all the clips and a created composition.
    The problem is that when I open the comp, I notice that some clips are missing, or they start shorter than what they should be.
    In an effort to deal with this, I wanted to use a reference video that would run underneath the sequence in the comp from your program, so that I could spot the mistakes, but the video that I import refuses to be longer than 9 seconds, while my total comp is 1m22.

    Any suggestions? Your application seems to be the best alternative to Automatic Duck, and the roundtrip through Premiere to make an AE composition crashes the premiere, so I’m a little stuck right now having to do my effects and grading the super long way, which will chew up too much time.

    Thanks for your help.


  181. Dale said

    Hey Selah,

    hmm. not sure what’s up. maybe a frame rate mismatch? That could cause issues if it was being mishandled somewhere.

    Have you tried the Popcorn Island guys stuff to see it might work a little better for how your project is set up?

    You can also send your XML stuff as a bug report, but I’m in the middle of a big project right now and I’m not going to be able to look at it right away.

    Best of luck,


  182. Selah V said

    Thanks heaps Dale

    Their script worked brilliantly. Sorry not to use yours, but kudos for recommending someone else’s product.



  183. Georgie said

    I´m following the steps and and it all goes fine except the sequence is empty in AFX,
    all the files are there but no sequence, I´m sure I´ve missed something as when I
    import the xml into FCPToAE there dos´nt seem to be a sequence either..

  184. Georgie said

    Hi Dale,
    The xml I sent you was just a test to see if it works.
    The process I followed is as follows, let me know if I´ve missed something.
    1. Right click on the sequence in Final Cut and export as XML, save.
    2. Open your clever FCPtoAE script program, open the XML from that program
    3. The files appear, click export to After Effects, saving a jsx. file
    4. In after effects file/run scripts and locate the jsx file and select.
    5. The files appear but without the sequence..??
    When u have a mo could u let me know if I´ve got it right, I´m using AFX CS4
    and Premier v 6
    Many Thanks

  185. Dale said

    Hey Georgie,

    You are using an older version of the script for AE7. Try running this version and see what happens.



  186. Georgie said

    Thanks Dale,
    I ran this script in the source section of ExtendScript tool kit of AFX,
    When i hit play it asks me for my XML and loads it all perfectly into afx
    but when I double click my sequence in AFX it is still empty?.. no layers..
    Don´t get it…

  187. Dale said

    Hey Georgie,

    that’s interesting. Sounds like AE is having a problem importing the clips to the timeline. I’ll take a look at the xml you sent and see if I can see what’s up.



  188. Georgie said

    Thanks soo much Dale,
    This is twisting my melon, thank god fro super brains like you!..

  189. Charles said


    I am having the same trouble that you are. Everything loads, then I double click the sequence, and there is nothing there. I tried the latest script posted above. Please let me know if you and dale come up with a solution.


  190. Colin said

    Just tried this out and it appears to be working great! I tested it out once. the only thing I encountered is once I run the script is AE and open the composition it not only has layers which are all the original edit points from FCP but it also shows all the clips unedited on the top layers. At first I thought something was wrong but then when I realized what was going on I just had to delete the top few layers to get to the editing clips.

    Anyway, that is beside the point I just wanted to say thanks so much for this!!

    It’s a huge help!

  191. Simon said

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to configure the script so that it reads an XML (that points to image sequences instead of mov) and imports image sequences as sequences instead of just the first still? Maybe I need to change something in the XML? This would be truly fantastic!

    • Dale said

      Hey Simon,

      Have you considered using Quicktime Player to make a .mov out of your image sequences?


  192. Simon said

    Hi Dale, yes I have, but that doesn’t fit into my workflow. I need to use DPX image sequences. Do you think it would be possible just by changing something in the script or maybe in the XML itself?

  193. Mike said

    The link “CS3 and above script” does not bring me to an application but rather to a detailed script. I am having trouble using this in any way. I have my XML exported in a single sequence and I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate this script into the process. I was under the impression that I was downloading an application from you… is this not the case? Any help would be very appreciated.

  194. Dale said

    Hi Mike,

    The original version designed for AE CS2 was an application. The version for CS3 is much more full featured and is a script designed to run from the scripts menu in After Effects. If you move the script to the AE script folder and run the script from the FIle>Scripts menu it will direct you to point to your exported sequence and import it into your After Effects project. Hope this helps.



  195. Fobia said

    Hi Dale,

    I have the same doubt as Mike… how do I save that text in the link as a script so I can move it to the AE script folder?

  196. Dale said

    Hi Fobia,

    On the mac, you can control-click over the link and select “Download link File” or on a PC right click and select “Save Target As”. Download the file and then move the file to the AE script folder.

    Hope that helps,


  197. Fobia said

    It works like a charm! Thanx a lot.

  198. Dean said

    Hey Dale,

    Have you experienced any sound sync problems, using this script?
    I have a sequence (not nested) in FCP 6.0.6, i export to XML.
    I use your script to import the XML into AE CS4.
    Everything works great, except all my sound (on every layer) is out of sync by a couple seconds. Any ideas why this is happening?

    Thanks man,


  199. Dale said

    Hey Dean,

    I haven’t run into that problem. Is it consistently out of sync throughout the comp or is it randomly off?


  200. bradley said

    You just saved me years of life. Thank you!!

  201. Ryan said

    Hi there,

    Great looking app and a fantastic idea but i have an issue that is most likely me being really really stupid or has been answered already. I created the XML file no problems and your app just ate it up and the After effect transfered it over fine. But the aspect ratios are completely off and the composition settings for AE are not changing anything.

    Does the original working footage need to be all the same, i.e codec and aspect, as i am working with a mish mash of footage that other people have shot that i have, in some cases, needed to crop.

    I am in no way an AE whizz, especially when it comes down to settings etc.


  202. hiamovi said

    Just great…. Thank u a lot!

  203. Lauren said

    Hey Dale,

    In the near future, do you plan on making this script work on CS5? If so, please let me know!


  204. Dale said

    Hey Lauren,

    Have you had any specific issues in CS5?. I realize this post has gotten out of date with the AE7 and CS3 references and I need to reorganize the site and update features and omissions etc. , but I wasn’t aware of CS5 specific problems. If you can detail the issues you are having when running the script it’s quite possible I can address them.



  205. Clara said

    Hi Dale!

    So far I’ve used the Premiere work around but I’m quite interested in exploring other options.

    I downloaded the jsx file and when I try running it, it automatically opens After Effects C5. What am I doing wrong?


  206. Dale said

    Hey Ciara,

    You should be able to download the .jsx file and place it in the script folder of AE CS5 and then run the script from within AE.

    If you’ve explored the Premiere option, that is likely to be the most robust as far as keeping all properties, etc. This script is more of a quick and dirty way to move an FCP edit into AE, although it does attempt to do a few more things then just cuts.


  207. Abe said

    Is it possible when you make some changes/additions in AE to go back to fcp? Or do you have to render it in AE?

  208. Dale said

    Hey Abe,

    There are a few attempts in scripting to get the edit back to FCP, but most folks choose to render in AE because of the fine grained image control, basically visual sweetening. So you’d nail your edit in FCP and finish in AE.


  209. Simone said

    Thank you very much!! I’ve passed from FPC to PrPro by AE!! Perfect!

  210. Collin said

    Used this on a recent project & it was a big help. It worked with CS5 & FCP7.

  211. Justin said

    Hi Dale,

    First, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for you having put in the work for this. You’ve saved countless hours of people’s lives, I have no doubt.

    Currently I’ve been working on a documentary project in efforts to have it finished in time for a film festival submission, but I’m having difficulty with getting the timeline to work once I import the .jsx file into AE.

    After looking through some of your previous posts, I noticed other people working with HDV were having a similar problem and that you recommended changing the footage folder to a temporary folder so that AE would put in placeholders. I did that, but there was still no timeline, just the files in the project bin with the placeholder status. I then tried running the newer version of your script ( but then I got the following error message after I tried to open my converted XML (now .jsx) file:

    tracks = fcpRoot.sequence[0].media[0].video[0].track.length();
    alert(“Can’t coerce video track from FCP sequence with error r” + e.toString() + “r Did you export a valid sequence from Final Cut?”);
    tracks = false;

    Any ideas?

  212. Dale said

    Hey Justin,

    You should definitely be using the newer version of the script. Not sure if you are familiar with running scripts, but a quick rundown of how to run a script might be. 1) Put the script in “Scripts” folder of the Adobe After Effects version you are running. 2) Launch After Effects. 3) Then under the File Menu, select Scripts and select the db_FCPToAE script. 4) At that point you would point to the XML file generated from FCP.

    If I was mistaken and you are clear on how to run scripts, why don’t you send me the XML file from FCP and I’ll see if I can figure out where things went awry.



  213. Michaela said

    I love this! Thank you so much. Worked like a charm.

  214. owen said

    I’m having a bit of trouble making this work.

    Are there limits on what types of edits you can do in Final Cut? I know this doesn’t work with nested sequences, but are there limits on how many clips you can have stacked? composite modes? adjustments to things like opacity & position? Any FCP effects? Are there specific video file types that need to be used? Do the clips have to be ingested into FCP a specific way? eg. Log and transfer?

    When I follow the steps, After Effects just hangs. I just get the stop watch, then the spinning color wheel.

    I’ve even tried sequences with only 3-4 short clips with no effects.

    I’m running After Effects CS4 & Final Cut Pro v7.0 on Mac OS X v10.5.8

    Here’s the steps I’ve followed:

    1- generate the XML file from FCP
    2- download
    3 – Put the script in “Scripts” folder of the Adobe After Effects
    4 – Launch After Effects.
    5 – Then under the File Menu, select Scripts and select the db_FCPToAE script.
    6 – select the XML file generated from FCP.


  215. owen said

    ooooohhhhh WOW WOW WOW!


    Thank you soooo much for this script! It looks like everything is working so far.

  216. owen said

    It still hangs in AE when importing some XML files (not all files though).

    What are the restrictions on how you edit in FCP before creating the XML file?

  217. Dale said

    Hey owen,

    There should be a log being written when the script tries to import footage etc. Can you spot the clip being worked on right before it hangs and then see if there are any special properties on the clip in which AE is having difficulty? If you can figure out the problems I can possibly alter the script to work around it.



  218. owen said

    Hey Dale!

    I think it’s time remapping and reversed clips that mucks it up. An easy work-around was to export the time remapped clips separately then add them in to the After Effects timeline manually.

    Thanks for the help though!

  219. Thanks for the info owen. I’m due for a maintenance release and I’ll make sure to test time remapped and reversed clips in the next rev.


  220. Dejav said

    Hey Dale
    Im stuck as can be. Im trying to utilise your script but its just not working with CS5.5 and FCP7. I created the XML for the sequence and ran the script in AE, but it recognises some files then hangs with the dredded colour wheel.
    I tried the PremP way and the info goes in but clips are out of sync and some are the wrong size.
    Could you offer me some advice as i cannot afford the Auto Duck alternative.
    Thanks in advance

  221. Dale said

    Hey Dejav,

    Want to send me your xml file so I can take a look and see if anything jumps to the front? I’m especially surprised Premier Pro round tripping is not working for you.


  222. Gabi said

    Worked like a charm from FCP7 to AE CS5. Now if I can figure a way to import it back to FCP from AE… Any suggestions??


  223. Fernando said

    Hi Dave!

    Thanks for your app mate! It is absolutely awesome!

    I am just experiencing a little problem that never had before. When I import the scrip from FCP to AE seems to work right, imports every clip just fine and the length of the timeline seems ok. However, the comp with the name of my FCP timeline doesn’t start at the beginning of the original, but seems to start further back and I can’t get the first part.

    Is that something you explained here before? In that case I could not find it.

    I am so close to love your app! hahahaha

    Cheers Dave!

  224. Ale S said

    Hi.. thanks for plugin and the tutorial.. i experiencing some problems .. i cant get ae to recognize the AD plugin .. I have AE CS3 dont know what to do..
    Also i tried it with fcptoae. and every clip gets gets imported but in the wrong place and without the effects .. FCP 7 and AE CS3 .. need help please

    Thank you in advance

  225. admin said

    Hey Ale,

    I think Automatic Duck is going to be your best bet. Any chance you can upgrade to a more modern AE?


  226. Ale S said

    thank You Dale for your quick response ..

    I did upgrade to CS4 .. is that better ??
    I’ve been trying with AutoDuck but i get this error when I open AE: After Effects error: Couldn’t find main entry point for AutoDuck Pro Import AE.plugin

    How can I solve this ..

    Again Thank You for you time

  227. Ale S said

    thank You Dale for your quick response ..

    I did upgrade to CS4 .. is that better ??
    I’ve been trying with AutoDuck but i get this error when I open AE: After Effects error: Couldn’t find main entry point for AutoDuck Pro Import AE.plugin

    How can I solve this ..

    Again Thank You for you time

  228. admin said

    Hey Ale,

    Sounds like you’ve got a problem with your AE installs. Not sure what’s up. Best of luck.


  229. brett said

    I have the FCP to AE down just wondering how to get it back in to FCP from AE

RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.