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Using Automatic Duck to import Avid files to Final Cut pro

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Evan Smith
Using Automatic Duck to import Avid files to Final Cut pro
on Jul 27, 2012 at 8:42:04 pm

My client is getting started with his edit soon and we will be using my Final Cut Pro 7 equipment for a first time. Previously, we've done all the work (hours of final edits) in Avid Media Composer. I have heard that Automatic Duck's Pro Import FCP is the way to go here. I have a few questions about it before I begin the process, if someone is able to help me.

1, First, is Duck as good as they say it is? Does anyone have experience with it working?
2.The original footage was shot in HDV. The Avid edit was done in SD, thus the OMF files are all SD. If I don't import the media files, but just the clips intending to batch capture later, can I batch capture the original footage in HD? Or does it need to be captured exactly as it originally was?
3. Getting onto an Avid system to export the AAF file required for Pro Import is going to be expensive. Is it at all possible to import the Avid project files? Is there software that does that? I know that's reaching.

Any advice would be extremely helpful and appreciated, including any suggestions for other ways to bring my Avid sequences into FCP. Thanks.


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Richard Sanchez
Re: Using Automatic Duck to import Avid files to Final Cut pro
on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:41:02 pm

There is no way to use the project file, it has to be an AAF. You should be able to batch capture HD, since it will only be looking at offline master clips. How good is it? Considering what it does, it's amazing. If you're expecting your sequence to come in 1:1, it won't even be close. There are a variety of effects that simply don't translate, and if mixing of frame rates were done, those are incredibly problematic. I find in general, going from Avid to FCP was always less painful than from FCP to Avid. That said, my recommendation would be to start Avid and finish Avid. Switching NLEs mid project is a very labor intensive process, and from my perspective as an AE, it's a very difficult thing to control the expectation from producers who expecting it to magically convert everything with no hitches.

Richard Sanchez
Los Angeles, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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Evan Smith
Re: Using Automatic Duck to import Avid files to Final Cut pro
on Aug 28, 2012 at 1:25:29 pm

Thank you for your response. I am into the thick of this project now and have a slew of issues to deal with. I think I can handle most of them, but one is driving me crazy:
When this project was last worked on, the media was backed up (OMF and MXF), but apparently the project file was never properly saved. SO, I have all this media and no project file to go with it. I would like to either bring the media into Avid and export AAF for FCP, or I would like to bring it straight to FCP. Duck seems to allow me to bring them into FCP- but only one file at a time! And Avid refuses to import the media. What am I missing here? I know the sequences will be gone, but I'm hoping I can recover the already captured media and maybe even batch re-capture it in HD.



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