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Final Cut and Premiere Pro together

The title is provocative, interesting or imflamatory depending on your perspective.  What fun!

One of the things that users everywhere like is interoperability.  Of course, I believe Adobe is the best at interoperability between our own apps (INTEGRATION, INTEGRATION, INTEGRATION!) but obviously, I’d be living in a cave if I didn’t recognize that there are a lot of products out there including Apple’s Final Cut.

So, how do you get from Final Cut to Premiere Pro?  The answer is via a plugin(s) from Automatic Duck.  Wes Plate was kind enough to provide me with copies of FCP export and AE import from Automatic Duck and over the weekend, I gave them a quick spin.

First off, I watched a video from DMN about FCP to Premiere Pro from Dave Basulto. I like Dave’s tutorial because he really understands the value of Production Premium to a Final Cut workflow.  The fact that he gives some great props to Premiere Pro is just a bonus! 😉

Dave’s FCP to Premiere Pro tutorial

David’s website

One thing that puzzled me was that Dave used Dynamic Link to bring the timeline into Premiere Pro which is fine well and good.  However, I wondered if you could export to a Premiere Pro project from Adobe After Effects.

Experiment #1: I took four raw clips stuck them on the timeline in Final Cut, exported with Automatic Duck and brought them into AE.  Exported as a Premiere Pro project and opened it up in Premiere Pro.  Looks good.  Right order of clips.

Experiment #2: Trim the clips up a bit.  Same as before – looks good

Experiment #3: Add some dissolves.  Here, when I brought it into Premiere Pro, I had four video tracks and the dissolves translated into opacity controls on each clip.  If I had 50 or 500 clips, this would be a problem. 

Experiment #4: Remove the dissolves and take one of the clips and throw it above the other tracks to see if it would track multiple tracks. Again, it worked like a charm.

I haven’t had time to fiddle with it to see if I can preserve the timeline structure of FCP to Premiere Pro with dissolves through AE but I’ll let you know if I can make it work.  Still it’s good news for most people that you can move FCP projects over to Premiere Pro either via Dynamic Link or through After Effects>Premiere Pro.  If you needed to online, finish or move a project to Premiere Pro, it would initially seem that your worst scenario would be a cuts only timeline, which is what most editing is anyway.

Hopefully, this is useful for some as we continue to demand more connectivity and integration between all of the apps at your (my) disposal. Just knowing that I can move something from A to B without much loss of data is a great thing in this day and age.

Wes emailed me this morning to also mention that there is another way to move from FCP to Premiere Pro (Windows) which is via AAF export from FCP to AAF import on Premiere Pro.


Hello! Very interesting to hear how to move from FCP to Premier, but I want to edit in Premier and then move my project to FCP. How can I do this?

I’m on a W2K PC.

Also, if I import footage direct from the Canon 5D mk2 it is very jumpy and jarry – is there any way to import virgin 5D .mov files? or do I have to wrap them in a .mp4 file first?


[DR – There is no FCP export feature from Adobe Premiere Pro right now, but it’s been a common request. Right now, you would have to export your AVI’s or QT’s and then import them into FCP. The other thing you could look at is automatic duck]

Hey Dennis, what about exporting video from FCP for later use in Premiere – just the video clip, not the whole project? What’s the best output setting from the FCP side in terms of quality/lossless/limiting artifacting.

[DR – ooh, nice. Hang tight on this one and I’ll have something for you in a while…but a couple of months. ;-)]

Hi – is this method a one-way ticket? What about transferring a Premiere Pro project to FCP? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

[DR – Hi Gyorgy, to what comment or thread are you referring to? Please give me some context and I’ll try to help out…]

Hi Dennis — I work with Wes, so was happy to see your post. Looks like you’ll be at NAB this year, so please stop by Automatic Duck’s booth and say hi and see what’s new. See you in Vegas!

[DR – absolutely. I’ll try to look you up. Thanks for the comment and cut hard…]

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