Automatic Duck founders Wes and Harry Plate are effectively re-launching Automatic Duck after a four year hiatus, and have begun developing and selling new timeline translation products for Final Cut Pro X and Adobe® After Effects® CC. Two products are being launched. The first is Automatic Duck Ximport AE, a brand new product that allows Final Cut Pro X timelines to be imported into Adobe After Effects CC. The other application is Automatic Duck Media Copy, which is actually a relaunch/update of the venerable utility for collecting and copying user media files from editing apps.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE has been in development for almost a year, driven by the increasing popularity and interest in Final Cut Pro X. It resides as a plugin in After Effects and reads FCPX XML files, allowing full timelines to be imported. It’s very similar to the previous FCP to AE bridge, but the software has been totally re-written from the ground up.

Operation of the plugin is easy. Simply export an XML from FCP X and import it using the plugin in After Effects. Timeline layering, element opacity, scaling, translation, and retiming values are all copied from FCP X. One nice feature is that for many plugins that work in both Final Cut Pro X and After Effects, parameters and settings for the plugin are copied as well so that effects don’t need to be built from scratch. For a full listing of settings compatibility, check out the supported features web page.

Imported timeline in After Effects
Timeline in FCP X

In a smart move, Automatic Duck has partnered with Red Giant Software to serve as the distributor/storefront for their products. This makes a lot of sense, as Red Giant is one of, if not *the* major site artists go to in search for plugins for desktop applications such as FCP X, Premiere, and After Effects. With a strong sales and support infrastructure in place at Red Giant, the father/son Plate team can concentrate on the software development.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE is available for $199USD at the Red Giant web site.

Automatic Duck Media Copy
Automatic Duck Media Copy

The second product being announced is the aforementioned Automatic Duck Media Copy, an update to the popular utility that adds support for FCPX XML files. Automatic Duck Media Copy reads AAF or OMF exports from Avid editing systems, XML files from Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier, or XML files from Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 and later, then it figures out which media files are referenced by the sequence(s) and copies those media files to a location the user specifies.

The software can read the following formats: Avid, Avid OMF 2.0 files, Avid AAF files, Avid project (.avp), Avid bin (.avb), Avid Project Folders, Final Cut Pro 7 or older: XML, Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 and newer: FCPXML.

Automatic Duck Media Copy is available for $99USD at the Red Giant web site. Check out the product page for more information.

Finally, Automatic Duck is also reviving its classic products, offering them at no cost to users. Automatic Duck classic products now available include Pro Import FCP and Pro Export FCP, the Company’s original timeline translation software for Final Cut Pro 7 users. Also available is Pro Import AE, a plug-in for importing Avid AAF and FCP7 XML files into After Effects CS5.5 and earlier (Pro Import After Effects is built-in to AE CS6 and later). These products were sold by the company before they entered the partnership with Adobe that was announced in 2011.

All three Automatic Duck classic products are available immediately and at no cost. For those customers who want to show their appreciation, Automatic Duck has added a “donate” button on its web site, encouraging users to contribute any amount they choose. Contributed money will go to support and further development of Automatic Duck products. For more information and to download please visit

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