Final Cut Pro X
||This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (June 2012)|
Screenshot of Final Cut Pro X main editing window
|Stable release||10.0.9 / July 30, 2013|
|Operating system||OS X|
|Type||Video editing software|
|License||Commercial proprietary software|
Final Cut Pro X (pronounced "Final Cut Pro Ten") is a video production suite for OS X from Apple Inc. and the successor to Final Cut Pro. FCP X was announced in April 2011 simultaneously at the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group held at Bally's Las Vegas and at the NAB Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center and released in June 2011.
Although inheriting the name from its FCP predecessor, FCP X is an all-new application, written from scratch. It is a trackless 64-bit application with Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL support, allowing it to scale and use all available cores for processing such as rendering and transcoding. FCP X supports up to 5K resolutions. During import it can analyze footage and audio for automatic sorting into groups such as close-ups, medium shots, shots with two people or group shots. It can prepare the footage for quick, automatic fixes of defects such as camera shake, rolling shutter and color balance. Audio can also be analyzed in an attempt to automatically remove hums, pops or other noticeable defects and to assign channel configurations.
Particular features include:
- Magnetic Timeline: Edits footage in a storyline without knocking any other clips or audio out of place at other points of the Timeline. Clips now automatically slide in place of gaps. Clips are also now connected to each other; when one clip is moved, the other clip(s) move in sync with it.
- Multicam: The multicam tool, available from version 10.0.3, supports up to 64 angles of photos and videos. It also automatically aligns footage based on time of day, timecode, markers, or audio waveforms, individually or in various customizable combinations.
- Compound Clips: A new feature to FCP X that allows multiple video and audio clips to be combined into one for simplicity.
- Merged Clips: This process takes multiple video and audio clips and creates a new Compound Clip containing them all. It synchronizes them by comparing audio so that audio recorded on one device and video (also containing audio) recorded on another device can be merged. This is especially useful for those producing with DSLR video cameras.
- Database Engine: Apple's own Core Data database engine has been incorporated into FCP X, handling media and metadata management, helping to organize clips quickly with more extensive and customizable metadata abilities than previously.
As updates continue, FCP X has added features called broadcast monitoring output, Roles, Media Stem output, clip skimming, deinterlace setting for clips and XML support.
Since the initial release Apple has averaged a new update release every 3 months free of charge, adding new features, tweaking existing ones, and improving stability. Since these updates are handled by Apple's Mac App Store the development team are able to make them accessible to users faster and more often than previous software.
Apple has brought back the formerly missing "In Action" section of its Final Cut Pro site which features articles about industry professionals using Final Cut Pro X.
According to Apple's release notes:
10.0.9: This update addresses small bugs and issues including: issues resulting in green artifacts when using Sony XAVC media, several issues related to interlaced media and retimed segments which could cause exports to fail, and some stability improvements. (Released: July 30, 2013)
10.0.8: This update improves overall stability, performance, and compatibility, including: Support for Sony XAVC codec up to 4K resolution, option to display ProRes, Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec. 709 color and contrast levels, resolving an issue where some third-party effects generated green frames during render, resolving performance issues that could occur with certain titles and effects. Time reversed clips rendering in the background, ability to use key commands to adjust Clip Appearance settings in the timeline, ability to view reel number metadata located in the timecode track of video files, ability to export mono audio files in a surround project with correct volume levels, drop zones no longer resetting to the first frame of video after application restart, fix to a performance issue which resulted from selecting multiple ranges on a single clip, fix to an issue where the Play Around function did not work properly on certain clips when viewed through external video devices, the ability to enter numerical values for keyframes in Timelines. (Released: March 28, 2013)
10.0.7: This update improves overall stability, performance and compatibility including: The Letterbox effect "Offset" slider has been restored, fixes an issue when creating a single layer DVD, fixes an issue where some third-party effects could cause Final Cut Pro to hang during background rendering, fixes an issue where some third-party transitions would incorrectly use black instead of source media, adds support for editing MXF files that are still ingesting, fixes an issue rendering Motion Templates containing Image Units. (Released: December 6, 2012)
10.0.6: Dual viewers, native REDCODE RAW support, audio channel editing tools, unified import window, enhanced export workflow, MXF plugin support, new playhead behaviors, Compound Clip enhancements, new Connected Clip stem behaviors, new freeze frame tool, export range only option, new drop shadow effect, persistent range selection in Event Browser clips, multiple range selections per clip in the Event Browser, Blade All command, assignable default transition, chapter markers for Quicktime files and DVDs, chapter markers can trigger sub-titles in DVDs, all exports are now background processes and GPU aware, enhanced metadata support, FCPXML 1.2, enhanced FXPlug SDK, Text Edit markers in Motion templates, horizontal scopes window arrangement, Paste Attributes, and general unspecified bug fixes. (Released: October 23, 2012)
10.0.4: Improved compatibility with third-party hardware; improved multicam syncing; support for simplified Chinese language; broadcast output taken out of beta state; able to share 1080p video for iOS devices; bug fixes with audio settings, XML project export, alpha channel support, titling. (Released: April 10, 2012)
10.0.3: Multicam editing, broadcast output (beta), improved chroma keying, FCPXML 1.1, media relinking, PSD layer support. The related Motion and Compressor applications were also upgraded. (Released: January 31, 2012)
10.0.2: Stability issues addressed with titles, media file compatibility, and changing the time on a Compound Clip. (Released: November 16, 2011)
10.0.1: Added FCPXML 1.0 for importing & exporting projects for third-party workflows; support for SAN (block-level) Xsan network storage; enabled full-screen mode on OSX Lion; better GPU hardware support; and many bug fixes. (Released: September 20, 2011)
A third-party application called 7toX, made by Intelligent Assistance, offers an XML-mediated method of importing FCP 7 projects.
At the time of the initial release, a significant number of long-time Final Cut Pro users considered the new product to be an unsatisfactory product undeserving to be part of Final Cut Pro product line. While some FCP users considered the radical transformation of the product to be a positive step, many others were of the opinion that FCP X was an overly simplified version of the previous product. Critics of FCP X gave the software negative reviews on its listing in the Mac App Store; a day after its initial release, FCP X had twice as many 1-star reviews as 5-star reviews. As of October 2013 that has all changed with 78 4 - 5 star reviews, compared to only 15 for 3-1 star ratings, for the current version of 10.0.9. As well as a very large, thriving community of users.
Missing features and issues noted as essential to professional video production in FCPX included lack of edit decision list (EDL), XML and Open Media Framework Interchange (OMF) support, inability to import projects created in previous releases of Final Cut Pro, a lack of a multicam editing tool and third-party I/O hardware output, and videotape capture being limited to Firewire video devices only. The inability to import projects from obsolete versions of Final Cut Pro, lack of multicam editing, XML, and third party I/0, including capture with third-party hardware, was addressed within the first six months of the product's life. EDL export, a product of the early days of videotape editing, is now supported through third-party software and is OMF export for passing projects to ProTools through X2Pro.
Immediately after the release and its backlash, Richard Townhill, Senior Director of Applications Marketing at Apple, gave a public interview stating that Apple had a 10 year development plan for the software.
Jan Ozer, in an Onlinevideo.net article entitled “How Apple Took the ‘Pro’ Out of Final Cut Pro”, stated:
Of course, I understand how iTunes is ideal for inexperienced users, and that’s precisely the point. With iTunes and iPhoto, and the iPad and iPhone, Apple wasn’t selling to experienced users. It was opening new markets. In contrast, with Final Cut Pro X, Apple was trying to change the workflows of professionals who knew more about video production than any of the engineers who created the product.
You can only impose structure when a market is new or when the benefits of that structure are incremental. And the more structure you build into a product, the less it’s likely to appeal to experienced users of the product it replaces. That’s why most professional video producers jumped ship when FCPX was launched and why most won’t use it.
An online petition was started by a professional users of Final Cut Pro, demanding either the continued development of the legacy Final Cut Pro product or its sale to a third party by January 1, 2012. The initiator of the petition was banned from the Apple discussion forums. Conan O'Brien and his editing department lampooned some of the flaws of Final Cut Pro X in an edited segment for the Conan late night talk show on TBS.
Apple addressed several of FCP X's initial deficiencies in subsequent free updates provided via the Mac App Store, including XML support and broadcast monitoring support. Features such as EDL and OMF support and the ability to import legacy FCP projects via XML were provided by third-party software developers. Apple has since included native editing of REDONE and XAVC video as part of FCP X. Eventually, some users began to have positive reports of using FCP X,.
- "Apple Demos Final Cut Pro X at NAB 2011". Mac Rumors. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Pro App Certifications".
- "Final Cut Pro X In Action". Apple, Inc.
- "Final Cut Pro X: release notes". Apple. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Final Cut Pro X draws mixed reactions from consumers, professionals". Apple Insider. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "Final Cut Pro X: What's Missing for Some Pros". Creative Cow. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- Altman, Randi. "Apple's Richard Townhill discusses the latest FCP X release". Post Magazine.
- Ozer, Jan (10 April 2012). "How Apple Took the 'Pro' Out of Final Cut Pro". OnlineVideo.net.