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Ralph WatsonFinal Cut Pro > AE
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:08:19 am

Hi there, I realise that there are many posts on this and I have read every one. I wanted to post up a new topic as I have a specific question related to my situ'.

I have an FCP project and it is fully edited; there'll no longer need to be any more editing. I simply want to bring the whole finished edit into AE for some effects and then export from there as the finished article. My questions are..

1) I hear about SheerVideo and AutomaticDuck but these are only useful when going back and forth between FCP and AE, am I right? ... in other words; the fact that I have my finished edit in FCP, I can just export from FCP as FILE > EXPORT > QUICK TIME MOVIE > (CURRENT SETTINGS) EXPORT ... and import into AE. Correct? Any loss of quality?

2) When I come to render / export the finished article, what is the best option, straight out of AE or back into FCP or Compressor for any reason?


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David JohnsonRe: Final Cut Pro > AE
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:33:41 am

1) I don't use SheerVideo or AutomaticDuck regularly and its been years since I've tried either so I can't speak on them other than to say that what you described is in fact what they're for, but it doesn't sound like either is necessary. If you're using a lossless codec in your FCP sequence, export from FCP as you described using that lossless codec, then render from AE using that same lossless codec, correct, there will be no quality loss.

2) Do not "export" from AE ... always render using the render queue ... for explanations as to why, search the forum for posts with both terms. You didn't mention what your final output needs to be, but there's no need to go back to FCP (or any other software) unless you need to do something AE can't do or doesn't do as well as some other software (i.e., master to tape or convert to web video).


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Dave LaRondeRe: Final Cut Pro > AE
by on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:46:48 pm

[Ralph Watson] "...I simply want to bring the whole finished edit into AE for some effects and then export from there as the finished article..."

That's a LOT of needless rendering. Simply concentrate on the parts of the edit that need AE work. And by the way, don't export: Render using AE's Render Queue.



[Ralph Watson] "1) I hear about SheerVideo and AutomaticDuck but these are only useful when going back and forth between FCP and AE, am I right?"

Sheer Video is a set of codecs, having nothing to do with round tripping between FCP and AE. The Duck is useful for XML export of entire FCP edit timelines into AE. As long as you use AE on your FCP machine, you'll have access to all the effects you used in FCP, and you can trim in & out points.
You still have to render out of AE: ain't nothin' "Automatic" about that!



[Ralph Watson] "...what is the best option, straight out of AE or back into FCP or Compressor for any reason?"

Back into FCP. Heck, you cut the whole project there. It sounds like you're just fooling with a few shots in AE, and that's all you should render.



And since you mention nothing about the nature of this footage, I offer this admonition:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David JohnsonRe: Final Cut Pro > AE
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:00:46 am

Dave makes a very good point about needless rendering ... unless you want to color grade the entire edit in AE, want to decide where you'll add effects on-the-fly or something similar, you really don't need to bring the entire edit into AE. If you do choose to do that, just know going into it that you may face a very long render time (depending on what you do in AE, the format you're working with, how much footage you're working with, the horesepower of your machine, etc.).


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