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


Free Software for Video Production People using Macs (Part 1)

A good workman doesn’t blame his tools. Maybe so, but some nice apps on your mac can make life a lot easier. The first four here are all free and some are open-source so there is no reason not to!

Mpeg Streamclip

This is really popular amongst video people, it is very simple but very powerful. In essence, a video converter – it is useful for changing 5DMkii format (H.264) to a codec you could edit with more easily. This isn’t all though, it is compatible with many video types and I have used it on various projects. Definitely something to keep up your sleeve.


If you find yourself using more than one computer (or a mac plus iPhone), then sharing files is easy with this free software. I have my account set up on my main editing mac, my MacBookPro and my work mac – as well as on my iPhone. Generally I keep some basic Photoshop actions, colours, etc. and photos for projects, documents for projects etc.

At 2gb for a free account, it’s not really big enough for video footage but you can at least push it to 4gb through referrals or pay for some extra space if you want to.

Komodo Edit

If you are working on contemporary video contracts, often a knowledge and the application of some web coding is necessary. This free, open-source coding notepad is my weapon of choice, it just does everything I need it to (and much more).


If you are anything like me, you aren’t the best at keeping your source files and output files and random files in order and your massive external hard drive is full and you don’t know why. Probably because there is a lossless few minutes of video hiding away somewhere. This free app provides a visual and interactive representation of the files that are found on any drive and allows you to target them and re-arrange and tidy-up as you please. Essential.

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.