Automatic Duck Products FREE for a Limited Time

Automatic Duck make have been hired by Adobe, which is great news. It could see Adobe’s integration with other products become even more seamless than it already is, with Premiere Pro. For those who don’t know, Automatic Duck make/made import plugins, the most relevant of which was their Final Cut Pro to After Effects.

As someone who has been using AE a lot over the past 12 months, jumping between it and my NLE, Final Cut Pro – I have looked into a way to have After Effects import my projects without just exporting a Quicktime video from FCP. I came across Automatic Duck’s Pro Import AE – but the $500 price tag wasn’t justifiable at the time. There was also Popcorn Island’s effort: Final Cut 2 After Effects, which had similar features, but wasn’t as advanced – but was free. I downloaded this months ago, but never got round to using it.

However, Adobe’s buy-out has led to Automatic Duck’s expensive products being released for FREE – perhaps for a limited time only. I’ve just downloaded the Pro Import AE, but they have other plug ins for Pro Tools, Avid etc. too. Grab them while you have the chance, it might speed up (post)production!

Automatic Duck Free Downloads

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Safe Editing Practices

One major trap of video production happens near the end. After all the planning of a project, shooting it superbly, capturing perfect audio and editing it into something special, it is all too easy to forget about some of the little things – which seem inconsequential, but can devalue a project. They are the things that other people might notice right away or maybe just you notice and once you do, it’s all that you can see.

A few of the important considerations are covered in this very helpful and clear guide: How to keep your job as an editor by Jon Chappell. He covers broadcast-safe images with luma levels, broadcast-safe audio with peaks marking and field dominance with field shifting. I, for one, have encountered all of the issues/mistakes covered in this guide.

I’m currently looking at making a quick guide to create mobile phone-style video, to be composited into a video for a “contemporary” effect. I am facing the challenge of devising different and new styles for many of the videos I make, which suits me as it keeps me on my toes and allows me to learn and use different techniques in post. Hopefully the guide will be available within the next week.

Editing Set-Up: Hardware and Software for Macs and Final Cut Suite

For creative computing, I prefer to use Macs. I was originally taught to edit video on a Mac and use them for photo editing, web development and so on. However, I was also taught Avid and my previous job was all PCs, where we used Avid Media Composer to create broadcast television. I found there were some things I preferred on Avid, that Final Cut Pro just did differently. The way they handled files, the way you would control it and other things that I forget after a Christmas break.

But I am running this show and prefer Final Cut Studio for the whole package of software, as well as using it for my own projects so am comfortable with updating it and adapting it to suit my needs. I am sure I would achieve the same results whether I had chosen FCS, Avid, Vegas, Premiere etc.

Now that I have chosen Final Cut Studio, getting a Mac is the way to go.

I know I haven’t discussed camera equipment yet and there is a reason for this: the editing suite is going to be okay-ed and installed first. You’d maybe think the post-production hardware would follow the production hardware, but really neither is of much use without the other. I could start shooting and just keeping all the footage on a hard drive, but I want to test everything out and create a workflow that I am happy with, from start to finish. The main reason, though, is that getting a computer around here is much easier than all the production equipment I want, from lots of different sources.

I know I am likely to be shooting a lot of hefty HD footage, which will probably need transcoded and edited without bogging down the system. Deadlines are going to come pretty rapid around here and I don’t want to be held back with a machine that has difficulty doing what I need it to on a day-to-day basis.

So, the economics of the situation have led me to the following basic set up:

  • Mac Pro (mid-2010 model), dual quad cores with 6GB memory.
  • Dual 22” monitors.
  • Final Cut Studio
  • Abode CS Production Professional

Now, as I am unfortunately not in control of what precisely gets bought, I will have to wait until I am sitting using the Mac before I can be more specific about anything. That’s just the way things go. If I run into any obstacles with this, I will document as I go – but I think this set-up should suit my purposes.