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FCP Users: here’s a better way to use PSD’s!

For those who prefer to edit with FCP, one known challenge has been working with PSD files from Photoshop. The PSD importer in FCP sometimes causes some, well, unpredictable results.

Because of this, most FCP users settle for exporting out PNG files, but this can create problems down the road if you need to modify the graphic, update text, etc.

Now, there is a better way! Adobe just recently introduced a way to import your FCP project into Premiere Pro. This is a great way to still do the bulk of editing in Final Cut, AND take advantage of the powerful integration Premiere Pro enjoys with apps like Encore, After Effects, and, of course, Photoshop.

Here are a couple of examples:

I started with a lower 3rd PSD template that was made for an NLE shootout last year. In Photoshop, I made a modified version of the file, changing the font a little bit, and updating the text. I tried importing both the original file, and a modified version of the file, into FCP:



Completely different results for each file, even though the only thing I modified was the text and the fonts used!

I then exported my edited FCP project using the Export-XML command, and imported it into Premiere Pro. (There’s no special command to import the project into Premiere Pro. Just create a new Premiere project, and use File-Import, and point at the FCP XML file. Premiere Pro will do all the rest.)

Then, in Premiere Pro, I imported the same 2 PSD files. In Premiere Pro CS4, there’s a new PSD import dialogue box with several different options.


For this example, I just used the “Merge All Layers” option. However, if I wanted to, I could pick and choose the layers out of the PSD file, or import the PSD into a new timeline for layer-by-layer animation.



As you can see by the pix, both PSD files import with proper transparency and text. Using Premiere Pro as a tool to import PSD files means no concerns how the PSD will look on the timeline – what you see in Photoshop is what you’ll get in your project.

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