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Chris Fenwick: After Effects in a Final Cut Pro X Workflow

Need to integrate FCPX with Adobe's After Effects? Chris Fenwick runs through his workflow when using the two apps together and gives us some great tips in the process.


After Effects. Why would someone need After Effects if they already have Motion? Isn't the point of Motion to make doing graphics for Final Cut Pro X super easy? In many ways, yes. However, there are many instances where After Effects is still useful to your workflow 

In 2014, I was working at a creative firm in Burbank. I was freely able to work in Final Cut Pro X as often as I wanted. However, there were sometimes complex particle effects or faux 3D effects that were easier to accomplish in After Effects. At the time, I would simply export Quicktime videos from After Effects and overlay them in my FCPX timeline.

A few years later, I developed a number of self-animating titles in Motion for the documentary "Challenger Disaster: The Lost Tapes." David Tillman cut the titles in within FCPX without a problem. However, when we turned the documentary over to the network, they needed an After Effects Composition for every single title. It took me a few days, but I was able to re-build all 200+ titles in After Effects.

However, both at the creative firm and on the documentary, I did things the hard way. Our friend Chris Fenwick uses After Effects and Final Cut Pro X together all the time.

Chris uses After Effects to animate graphics delivered to him in an Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop file. This ensures that the animated graphic exactly matches the client's branding. In his presentation at the Faster, Together Stage, Chris demonstrated how Finder is the key to making FCPX and After Effects work together seamlessly.


patrick southernPatrick taught FCPX as a Trainer at an Apple Store in Tulsa, Oklahoma when it came out in 2011. He in now an Editor and Assistant Editor in Los Angeles and is Chief Workflow Officer at LumaForge.

You can follow him on Twitter @jpsouthern


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