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:
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:
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.
deprecated legacy version for AE7
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