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FCP Users: How to use Dynamic Link

I’ve already talked about the benefits of adding Premiere Pro to your arsenal of video production. Here, I’m going to give you an example of why using Premiere Pro with your FCP project can save you a LOT of time.

Here’s an example of a Final Cut project with some green screen footage. I want to composite that footage in After Effects.

I COULD do this the old way – **TAKES DEEP BREATH** export the clip, create a new AE Project, Create a new comp, take time Cmd-tabbing between programs to get the settings of the new comp to match the FCP project, import the footage into AE, begin compositing, render a test shot, import the test shot into FCP, compare it to my other clips, Cmd-tab back to AE, make changes, render another clip, import new clip into FCP….**WHEW!!**

Here’s the easier way using Production Premium CS4, including Premiere Pro CS4.01:

Start by exporting your project from FCP using the File-Export-XMP command. This will save an XMP version of your project.

Open up Premiere Pro. Create a new Premiere Pro project. Premiere will ask to create a new timeline sequence – don’t worry about the settings. We aren’t going to use the empty timeline for anything. Just use the default settings and name.

In Premiere Pro, double-click on the empty space in the Project bin. This will open up an Import window. Find and double-click on the XML file you created in the previous step. This will import your FCP timeline sequence, and all necessary media.

To activate a Dynamic Link to After Effects, right-click (or Option-Click) on the green screen clip in the timeline, and choose Send to AE Composition. After Effects will automatically open, create a new composition matching the settings of the clip, and get you ready to start keying.

When you want to see your comp in action inside your timeline, simply switch back to Premiere Pro, and scrub the timeline. Thanks to Dynamic Link, you don’t need to go to the render queue first and create a file – it’s ready to scrub inside Premiere Pro. To make changes, go back to AE, make changes, and jump back to Premiere Pro. Your changes update instantly.

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