Automatic Duck Returns to The Editing Pond

What is an automatic duck, and how do you get it to quack?

Automatic Duck is one of those companies that needs a little bit of explaining. Founded in 2001 by father and son duo, Harry and Wes Plate, Automatic Duck fulfilled a need by creating software plug-ins that could translate edited sequences between a editing, motion graphic, and audio applications. The original need was for editor Wes to be able to bring edited sequences into After Effects for post-production work.

After quite a few successful years, Harry and Wes joined forces with Adobe to help them with their own interchange functionality between applications, Automatic Duck products were given away for free, and the company was no more.

Well, that was then, and this is now. Automatic Duck has risen from the pond and is ready to quack.

With their return, founders, Wes and Harry Plate, announced that they are re-launching Automatic Duck after a four year hiatus, and have begun developing and selling an all-new lineup of timeline translation products for Final Cut Pro X and Adobe After Effects CC.

To kick off their triumphant return to the post-production world, Automatic Duck is launching two products; Automatic Duck Ximport AE and Automatic Duck Media Copy. While Automatic Duck Ximport AE is a product that builds a communication bridge between Final Cut Pro X and ​Adobe After Effects CC, Automatic Duck Media Copy is a new update to the popular utility for collecting and copying sequence media files, now adding support for Final Cut Pro X XML files.

“Automatic Duck Ximport AE provides a direct path into After Effects CC, making it easier for filmmakers and editors to bring projects into their video workflows powered by Adobe Creative Cloud,” said Susan Skidmore, Head of Partner Relations, Professional Video at Adobe. “Automatic Duck has a proud history of supporting Adobe video tools and we welcome them back into the flock.”

While announcing all of this awesome news, they also let it slip that Automatic Duck has partnered with visual effects and filmmaking software developer, Red Giant, to market and sell both of their new products. While known for their own impressing visual effect and filmmaking tools, Red Giant has created a unique model of marketing products developed by post-production industry icons, such as Peder Norrby (Trapcode) and Stu Maschwitz (Magic Bullet).

“Automatic Duck is one of those iconic brands in post-production that has made a huge impact on the work of so many artists,” said Aharon Rabinowitz, Red Giant’s Head of Marketing. “Their workflow solutions have helped countless editors and motion graphics designers work faster so that they can spend more time on the creative aspects of their projects. We’re truly excited to work with Automatic Duck to create products that are best in their class, by addressing what artists truly need to get the job done.”

Here is a rundown of the new product features from Automatic Duck as of this writing:

The Automatic Duck (Re)Debut Products

Automatic Duck is marking its re-introduction to the community with two new products; Automatic Duck Ximport AE and Automatic Duck Media Copy. Both products will be available for sale, and supported exclusively through Red Giant.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE

Automatic Duck Ximport AE builds a powerful bridge between Final Cut Pro X and Adobe After Effects CC. As more professionals experiment with and adopt Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, the need has increased for a robust translation to After Effects CC. Automatic Duck Ximport AE is an After Effects plug-in that reads XML files from FCPX 10.1.2 and later directly into After Effects CS6 and later.
In addition to rebuilding the timeline and translating parameters such as position, scale, and opacity, Automatic Duck Ximport AE can also apply many third-party effects that work in both FCPX and After Effects CC. Check here for a complete list of features.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE is available immediately from Red Giant and is priced at $199.
Automatic Duck Media Copy

Automatic Duck Media Copy is 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.

It can be a real challenge to know which media files are used by a specific project, but Automatic Duck Media Copy makes it easy to copy projects from one computer to another or to backup media for a project.

Automatic Duck Media Copy is available immediately from Red Giant and is priced at $99.

Automatic Duck Classics

The company is also reviving its classic products, offering them at no cost to users. 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. 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).

All three Automatic Duck classic products are available immediately and at no cost at Automatic Duck's website.