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Xsend Motion - Automatic Duck's New App to Restore "Send to Motion" From FCPX

Back in the days of yore, when things were simpler, one could easily "Send to Motion" from Final Cut Pro and do whatever effects and compositing work their hearts desired. Once FCPX was released in 2011, the "Send to Motion" command that many took for granted, was mysteriously missing without explanation.

Obviously, many things changed when FCPX replaced FCP7, but while FCPX was a new app from the ground up, it certainly seemed to be much more of a "blood relative" to Motion 5 than the previous iterations of both apps.

As has been stated by many experts, FCPX literally has a version of Motion 5 running underneath its "skin". This is demonstrated in the many similarities in form and function between the two apps, as well as things like the "Open a Copy in Motion" option when an effect is right-clicked in FCPX as well as the "Publish to Final Cut Pro" option that is present in Motion for creating templates for use in FCPX.

This is why it continues to blow my (and many others) minds that there is no direct "Send to Motion" command, even 5 years after the release of FCPX.

Just the other day, Automatic Duck (Wes Plate) announced that this void left by Apple was going to be filled, at least to some extent, with the new companion app Xsend Motion. It's not available yet, but is said to be debuting shortly.

It will work in a couple of ways...

 

Xsend to Motion


1. Export your entire project from FCPX to Motion using the Share Menu. This will basically translate your whole project to Motion. This method will use equivalent effects like crossfades, as well as feature support for some third party effects like Colorista, etc.


2.  The other option will be to export a single clip or section. Since exporting XML of regular clips is not supported in FCPX, you will create a compound clip of the clip/section you wish to bring in to Motion 5, and then export that as an XML file to then be translated to Motion in the Xsend Motion app.


There is no way (currently) to "send back" or round-trip to FCPX, a la Adobe's "Dynamic Linking", although a re-import of the clip in to a FCPX timeline, is easy enough.

Obviously, there will be people who argue that this is something Apple should have taken care of on their own a long ago, as a basic part of the app's functionality. Especially since it already existed for years prior to FCPX!

I personally prefer not to hold my breath for Apple to get around to these things, so it's nice to be able to rely on the many third party developers that create these "How have I lived without this?" kind of apps and add-ons that make up the massive Final Cut Pro X eco-system.

 

Check out the demo video here for more information:

 

FCPX TIP: Doing a "Clean" Clip Delete WITH The Magnetic Timeline

At any one time I'm generally editing at least 1-3 real estate films. I've been able to get the workflow streamlined to almost robotic precision over the years, but there are some small editing issues that still cause me to have to do more mouse clicks and keystrokes in FCPX than I feel are actually necessary.

A prime example of this, is when you're client says, "Everything looks perfect, just delete __________ clip and have the clip after it fill in that space - thats it!"

Sounds simple enough, right?

Before (Note Alignment Markers)

Well, in FCPX when you deleted that (middle) clip the client specified, the magnetic timeline kicks in and slides every clip after the deleted clip leftwards down the timeline, which in turn throws every other edit point after that out of sync with the music, creating quite the clusterf&%k that will need to be re-adjusted and aligned to get back to how it was.

After (Note Un-aligned Markers after Middle Clip Was Deleted)

This isn't an extremely difficult process, its just a little time consuming and messy. I don't DO messy - so I figured out another way! (with the help of Ronny Courtens at FCP.co)

 

The Process

 

1. Shift+Delete the desired clip - this will leave a gap clip in the place of the deleted clip.

2. Delete the transition between the gap clip and the third clip.

3. Select the Position Tool (P) and simply drag the edge of the third clip in to the transition where the first clip meets the gap clip.

 

You now have that third clip's front handle extended into the space the second clip once occupied, with absolutely no shifting in the timeline! Magic

Note the third clip's front handle has now been extended in to the space of the second clip, seamlessly, with no timeline sync shift.

This ability to drag a clip IN TO a transition (not just butted up against it) is apparently a behavior that is unique to FCPX.


DEMO

Key to Remember: The key to this trick is to use the (P) Position tool when doing this, and you can then avoid having to completely realign your timeline to the music if you have to delete a clip out of the middle of the timeline.

Awesome.

In The Wild: Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

Sigma's 18-35mm f/1.8 blew people's minds when it burst on the scene a couple years ago. Both the price and performance were unprecedented, as it was (and is) the fastest zoom lens ever created to that point. All the while also being priced at well under $1000. It has no stabilization, but the crystal clear image, along with the wide constant aperture, certainly garnered much respect and attention.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

The only problem was, that it's just a bit on the wide end of things. Realistically, to have all your bases covered you would probably need something longer, possibly in the 50-XXXmm range to go along with it, even if you're utilizing both a Speedbooster and dummy adapter on smaller sensor cameras like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and (Super 16) Pocket Cinema Camera. This two adapter method allows the user to get two different fields of view out of the single lens, which is pretty handy.

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8

Those who saw the lens first hand from CP+ seem to think it's very similar in build quality to the previously released 18-35mm lens, and the image characteristics should dovetail between the two lenses very nicely. The internal focusing and zooming mechanisms will have the video shooter very pleased as well, especially when dealing with rod systems and matte boxes that require cinema style internal mechanics.

Also, I'd imagine this new lens will be "cinevised" with re-housings, lens gears, clickless apertures, etc. almost immediately upon release by people like cinemaglass.com, Duclos, and other lens modification services.

 
Cine Version of Sigma 18-35 f/1.8

Cine Version of Sigma 18-35 f/1.8

 

While these lenses not yet officially released yet, it stands to reason that this could possibly be best 1-2 punch combination of lenses for most people, period. Paired with Speedboosters or regular adapters, the focal range available from just these two lenses is pretty unbelievable. Throw in the fact that they are on par (image-wise) with many top of the line prime lenses and it appears to be the makings of an unbeatable combo.

All for under $2000!

The Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens will be available at the end of April 2016, in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma SA mount. It will retail for $1099.


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Canon EF Mount/APS-C Format
  • 80-160mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/16
  • One SLD and Three FLD Elements
  • One High-Refractive Index Element
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor
  • Internal Zoom and Focus; MF Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Polycarbonate Diaphragm
  • Fixed, Rotating Tripod Collar



 

New Footage: Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera (Training Day)

Last year Blackmagic Design unveiled a few new cameras at NAB 2015. While most people obviously gravitated towards the 4.6k Ursa Mini with it's high resolution Super 35 sensor, high frame rates, and many other pro level features, the Blackmagic Design Micro Cinema Camera with Super 16mm sensor seemingly slipped under the radar, in comparison.

With us now nearly in to the month of March, and NAB 2016 right around the corner, the customer anger (or RAGE?) is building day after day over the epic delays for these cameras that were promised to begin delivering back in July. Per usual, there is next to no communication from Blackmagic Design as to why any of this is happening, but finally some sample footage has begun trickling out from behind the "iron curtain" through it's secret network of beta testers.

This beta footage from the Micro Cinema Camera looks great, and shows just how amazing a feature like 60p can be. I'd say it's probably the most sorely missed capability of the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, at least for us. That, and the horrific battery life - now seemingly fixed with the implementation Canon LP-E6 batteries in the Micro Cinema Camera.

I'm still not sure about the design of this diminutive camera, although I do like the "cube" form factor for cameras in general, as you can easily cage and bolt things to it, similar to RED cameras - known for their flexibility and modularity.

As it comes with no screen of any kind, you essentially need to have it rigged up with some kind of viewfinder or monitor to even see what your filming or what settings you are in, thus sort of defeating the purpose of the small form factor - sigh...

Although, it should be perfect for all instances you would of otherwise HAD TO use a GoPro, and get stuck with trying to mix that garbage image quality in with your other footage (yuck).

Even a small overall size increase, to add a simple display (similar to GoPro's tiny screen?) of some kind to show what settings you're in, would probably be welcomed by most.

NAB 2016 is looming large, and Blackamgic will surely look to grab all the attention again this year, as its kind of "their thing" now. So, who knows what they will introduce this year...

Maybe the mythical combination of:

  • Pocket Sized Camera
  • Super 35 Sensor
  • High Frames Rates (even modest ones)

Also, notice how I said "introduce" and not "ship"? Why would they ever want to do a thing like that!?  

;-)