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After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow

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Chris Tarroza
After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:53:20 pm

Like many I assume, I work between FCP and AE a lot: edit in FCP, create the graphic in AE, then import that graphic into FCP. As with any client work however, changes and revisions are just as certain as paying taxes. Though the changes may be little, I'd have to render out the whole graphic again which nibbles away little bits of my time throughout the day, adding up to huge amount of time wasted waiting around for a render to finish, not to mention having to re-export the sequence from FCP.

I've also run into some problems when updating a render from AE. If I need to re-render a graphic, usually I delete the original video file in the Scratch (or wherever the file is in the Finder) and then render from AE with the exact same file name to the exact same place so that FCP still sees the file. For the most part it works though I I usually cross my fingers. However, if I change something like the duration of the video, FCP doesn't pick up on it. Sometimes quitting and reopening FCP works, sometimes it doesn't. Having to constantly close and reopen FCP is another time waster.

Maybe I should do it the other way around and export the edited sequences from FCP and bring that into AE. Usually the changes need to be the graphic anyways. I work with ProRes 1080p footage so the graphics I render from AE are the same to save me from render times in FCP though I usually render out half-res or lower until its ready for distribution where I then render the full-res.

The time killer is the constant rendering from AE. The headache is replacing the clip in FCP. You'd think that since the updated graphic has the same file name and is in the same folder, FCP could just pick up on the changes and off you go (the 'Reload Footage' in AE does just that) but no. Hopefully FCP X will have an easier way in dealing with this (unless there already is a way that I am unaware of).

So experts, what is your workflow when working between the two? Looking for tips on efficiency and time-savers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:04:57 pm

[Chris Tarroza] "If I need to re-render a graphic, usually I delete the original video file in the Scratch (or wherever the file is in the Finder) and then render from AE with the exact same file name to the exact same place so that FCP still sees the file."

I usually just render over the the graphic right from AE, when AE asks to overwrite, I say yes. You can't toggle back to FCP, while this process is happening as there won't be a file to link to. You have to wait until the render is complete before returning to FCP. Once the render is complete and you return to FCP, the graphic will update.

[Chris Tarroza] "Hopefully FCP X will have an easier way in dealing with this (unless there already is a way that I am unaware of)."

If you have toggled back to FCP before the render is complete, right click the offline clip, and choose reconnect media, and click search.

If you want a "for real" workflow between AE and an NLE, look to using Premiere, or using Motion for FCP. Either way, you are going to have to render, there's no getting around that.

Jeremy


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John Kaley
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:59:16 pm

Is there any trick to this? I've wanted to do this type of thing FOREVER, but AE sends an error message: "unable to delete existing file"

If I actually quit FCP, then AE renders fine. I'd love know your secret.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:07:08 pm

[John Kaley] "Is there any trick to this? I've wanted to do this type of thing FOREVER, but AE sends an error message: "unable to delete existing file""

Make sure the file is not selected in the Finder/close all Finder windows.


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John Kaley
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:38:18 pm

Thanks Jeremy, still no go. You must have some secret mojo with your computer.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:54:50 pm

[John Kaley] "Thanks Jeremy, still no go. You must have some secret mojo with your computer."

Here's my process.

In AE, set the file to render, click on the file name in AE, navigate to the file in the Popup window, click on that file to accept the same file name. AE asks if it's OK to overwrite, I say yessir. Render. Wait.

AE render chime, toggle back to FCP and the file refreshes.

Jeremy


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John Kaley
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:17:47 pm

Thanks Jeremy, There simply must be a difference in how you're set up. Is your AE and FCP on a different machine by chance?

I'm on one machine with an 8TB Caldigit HDOne. This sounds like a permissions thing, but I'm glad to know that it's possible to do this somewhere in the world.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:33:47 pm

[John Kaley] "Thanks Jeremy, There simply must be a difference in how you're set up. Is your AE and FCP on a different machine by chance?"

I'm setup just like you, just a Sonnet raid, not CalDIg.

Could be some sort of permissions thing, I guess.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:20:25 pm

What version of AE do you have, John? I have seriously been doing this all the live long day, today.


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John Kaley
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:31:27 am

Jeremy, I've had every version of FCP and AE back to version 3 in 1995 and have never been able to do your process. Now that I know it's possible, I'm really interested in making it work.

My process is to make the AE clip offline in FCP, go to AE and render the new clip, then relink in FCP.

I'm currently using FCP 7 and AE CS5.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:33:49 am

[John Kaley] "I'm currently using FCP 7 and AE CS5."

Yep, that's what I have too.

I don't touch the file in FCP first, though, I simply blast over the current file out of AE. I have seriously done this about 25 times today for both movies and text graphic stills.

Jeremy


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Rafael Amador
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:11:38 pm

You can just click-Copy de new file and "Paste Attributes: Content" to the old graphic in the time-line.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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David Heidelberger
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:28:52 pm

Hi Chris,

What version of AE are you using? I've been working on a program that may help with this. I just added you as a cow-friend. Message me and we can discuss it.

- David



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David Prum
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:50:08 pm

Automatic duck makes an exchange program between FCP and AE. I don't know if its worth the couple hundred bucks as i've never tried it. I guess if its good and you have the money and high enough volume of work/revisions then it would be.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:54:50 pm

Just to clarify, you can go FCP to AE, but not AE to FCP.

I have auto duck and it's great to get to AE, but you always have to export a flattened movie out of AE. You cannot get back to an FCP timeline with the duck.

Jeremy


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Hillary Knox
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:59:49 pm

I haven't torture-tested it yet (and not to take anything away from Automatic Duck, which, in all fairness, I've never used)...but, I have had some pretty good success in the FCP > AE direction by using Premiere as an intermediate step. Export an XML from FCP, Import the XML into Premiere, save the Premiere project, go into AE, Import Premiere project. And viola, more or less. You might have to re-order or sort your layers based on in-point to give you something more like what you want, but maybe, maybe not. So far, for me, it's worked pretty great.

Don't ask me about getting stuff back into FCP by the reverse method. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I haven't tried it.


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Jamie Pickell
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:26:10 pm

I use a free script from Popcorn Island that you drop in your AE scripts folder. You can find it here:
http://www.popcornisland.com/2009/03/final-cut-2-after-effects/
I drop the shots I want to send to FCP on a new timeline, export an XML and then run the script in AE to interpret the XML into an AE timeline. This allows you to see the original media so you have handles. Once I do my graphics work, I export a QT in the matching codec of my FCP timeline and drop it on a layer above the shots I sent to AE. This way I always know which shots I sent to AE and it helps the poor AP or AE who has to create an Annotated EDL or Shot Sheet. If I have to make revisions, I just export a new QT from AE and replace the one on my FCP timeline. I always keep my various exports and AE timelines.

Hope that helps.



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Ian Corbin
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Nov 16, 2011 at 6:14:48 pm

Hey Chris,
I am having the exact same problem you explained in your initial post. I'm starting to think it's a permissions problem as well. I used to be able to render a file out of AE and them it would dynamically relink in FCP, but within the last year I often have to quit FCP and restart so it won't link up to the old file in the trash. I'm trying to solve this.

Ian


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Ernie Geefay
Re: After Effects to Final Cut Pro Workflow
on Dec 28, 2013 at 9:25:43 am

I'm no expert but I was having the same problem trying to overwrite a file in after effects for a Final Cut Pro project.

I found that if I tabbed away from my FCP project sequence.... over to an empty sequence (or a different sequence) BEFORE trying to render my after effects clips, After effects would let me overwrite the old movie file with the new one.
Then when I went back to FCP I would just tab back to the sequence for my project and the clip would automatically update....just like in the good old days


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