Just a few days before NAB 2018, Apple has announced a long awaited update to FCPX, Motion and Compressor. The headlining features in the new 10.4.1 version update of the software include the ProRes RAW codecs and robust Closed Caption support built right in to the FCPX interface.
ROBUST CLOSED CAPTION SUPPORT
Closed captioning in Final Cut Pro now includes tools to add captions to projects without the need for third-party software or services. You can now import closed caption files directly into your project, or create them from scratch as you edit. They will appear in the viewer during playback and can be attached to video OR audio clips in the timeline, so they automatically move with the clips to which they’re connected.
The fact that they can be attached directly to audio clips in the timeline is a new and welcome change to the way FCPX works, as it makes much more sense if there is voice over or some other similar situation where the audio wouldn't necessary be attached to a video clip. You can edit all captions from the inspector as well, including the location and look of the text. The addition of captions is also greatly enhanced by FCPX's unique Roles features, as you can create multiple version for different languages and turn them on and off with a tick of a box.
PRORES RAW CODECS
The new ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ formats allow you to import and edit from the camera/recorders just like regular ProRes, while also still providing flexibility when adjusting highlights and shadows like RAW. According to the release, the ProRes RAW performance optimization for macOS will allow editors to play full-quality 4K ProRes RAW files on even the MacBook Pro and iMac systems in real time without rendering, not just the iMac Pro. Another amazing aspect of this new codec is the fact that ProRes RAW files are even smaller than ProRes 4444 files, which helps to save a ton of hard drive space!
You can work natively with ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ files created by Atomos recorders, who Apple has partnered with. I don't generally like external recorders, for their added bulk and messy additional wires, but this is definitely something to consider now.
FINAL THOUGHTS - The small things...
The update is due to be released in the Mac App Store on Monday, but as per usual with FCPX updates, there are at least a few nice "easter egg" features hidden in the update, released without any fanfare. I think my personal favorite I've seen so far is that the app will respect each Roles on/off check box in the timeline index upon exporting your project. Basically, whatever Roles you have enabled in the timeline, is what you get on the export.
Previously, if you had certain Roles turned on or off in the timeline, and went to export the project, they would all export as "on" unless you manually went in to the Share settings and disabled them for that particular export. This was simply a waste of time and a very unintuitive, backwards way of doing it. Now its a WYSIWYG or "What you see is what your get", which is great and how it always should have been.
Here's to hoping there is more where that came from!