compressor

Apple Updates FCPX to 10.4.1 - ProRes RAW and Closed Captioning Support

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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.

 

10.4.1

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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.

 
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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.

 
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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!

 

Updated: Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3 (Motion 5 & Compressor too!)

Apple has released Final Cut Pro X version 10.2.3, Motion version 5.2.3, and Compressor version 4.2.2. Sadly, this is another "maintenance" (bug fix) style update and doesn't introduce many "features" to the Final Cut Pro X ecosystem.

The upside to this rather underwhelming update is that the timing of it seems to point to the likelihood of a "feature" update to be coming out around NAB 2016 time, in April. This was the case last year,  just in time to "WOW!" everyone at the most important film and video trade show in the world.

While this software is already fantastic, and fully capable of almost all workflows and scenarios you can throw at it, there are still so many directions Apple could be headed towards as far as improvements and feature implementation in the next update.

FCPX 10.3?

Some popular requests amongst the FCPX community are audio improvements, including a proper mixer and more integration with Roles, true round-tripping with Motion 5, a more robust keyframe editor, true background rendering, etc. The list is somewhere between very long, and endless!

I think all of those previously mentioned features would be fantastic, much needed additions, although I'd equally like to see a few "How is this not already in FCPX?" kind of features added. For example, you can copy and past attributes between clips, but there is no way to remove attributes at this point, besides manually going through and deleting all the effects off the clip. What an epic time waste!

I can understand the challenges of adding new features to an application from scratch, and greatly appreciated the addition of Paste Attributes, but why would it have been released without some way to remove attributes to go along with it? it just seems kind of crazy...or maybe just half assed?

Another seemingly simple one is that currently FCPX is the only editing application that doesn't feature a scrolling timeline. The playhead simply starts sliding down the timeline after you press PLAY, and continues off the edge of the screen, leaving you guessing where you are in the project. Even other Apple apps feature this basic "DUH!" functionality, such as Logic X and the "amateur" focused iMovie! Yes, even the one for your iPad and iPhone... This one seems pretty inexcusable going on 5 years after the initial release of FCPX. Maybe just a toggle switch to turn this function on and off, if for some reason Apple really thinks its better in it's current way?

You've got to wonder what's taking so long for these "low hanging fruit" type of fixes to be dealt with by Apple, especially when they go 6 long months between mere "bug fix" updates...but hopefully all this "under the hood" work can allow them to start adding in real features more frequently, and continue progressing the application forward.

 

Here's what's new in the updates:

Final Cut Pro X

What’s New in Version 10.2.3

• Customizable Default Effect lets you choose both a video and audio effect that is assigned to a keyboard shortcut

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Improves speed when opening libraries on a SAN

• Resolves an issue that could affect the timecode display in the Dashboard on OS X El Capitan

• Import Canon XF-AVC including video files from the Canon C300 Mark II

• Ability to share video to multiple YouTube accounts

• Resolves an issue in which a disabled video effect could appear as Missing Effect when opening the project or when sharing to Compressor

• Addresses an issue in which black frames could appear in imported iPhone video clips that were trimmed on iPhone

• Fixes an issue that could cause the playhead to jump ahead when editing short titles

• Fixes an issue that could cause the timeline to stop playback when switching views in the Browser

• Fixes an issue in which points on a Bezier shape could incorrectly switch from Linear to Smooth

• Fixes an issue in which some objects within Motion templates render with soft edges

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list in the share window

Motion

What’s New in Version 5.2.3

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Improves stability when adding Photoshop files to a project

• Improves stability when searching in iTunes and photo libraries

• Improves stability when using the Undo command after ungrouping a parent group

• Correctly saves percentage-based parameters in the Checkerboard generator after closing and reopening a project

• Correctly saves the preview movie for Motion templates created in German, Japanese, and Chinese

• Fixes an issue in which points on a Bezier shape could incorrectly switch from Linear to Smooth

• Fixes an issue in which some objects within Motion templates render with soft edges

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list in the share window

Compressor

What’s New in Version 4.2.2

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Fixes an issue in which Closed Caption files could be incorrectly labeled as SDH subtitles when creating an iTunes Store Package

• Fixes an issue in which the Navigation window fails to display the source clip when the Preview Window is zoomed

• Launch screen displays correctly on OS X El Capitan

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list


You can find the update in the app store now, or learn more about FCPX at Apple.com and the forums at fcp.co.

Also be sure to check out the Ripple Training guys (Steve Martin and Mark Spencer), where they produce the best educational content on FCPX, et al - just down the street from us in downtown Petaluma, CA.