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


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.





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.



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!


FCPX TIP: Export Clips With Handles From FCPX

I'm often asked to send clips with handles to other editors that I'm working with. Final Cut Pro X somehow still doesn't support exporting a clip with handles directly from the timeline, which hopefully will be fixed soon.

Until then, I've been using a method that can "Resolve" this problem!



Step 1.
Complete your edit as you would normally, export the project FCPXML from Final Cut Pro X.

Step 2.
Fire up DaVinci Resolve and import that FCPXML by going to FILE>IMPORT AAF/EDL/XML from the top menu bar.

This will prompt you with some settings windows, just click OK.

Step 3.
Now your timeline should be open in Resolve. In the edit page you can select the clips you'd like to export with handles most easily by using markers.

Step 4.
Once you've marked your clips you want to export with handles, you can go to the Export page and select the "Clips" drop down menu to filter for the clips with markers. Make sure to set your Export Destination and choose "Individual Clips".

Step 5.
Choose the codec, resolution, etc that you want to export the clip(s) as, and at the very bottom of the "Advanced" drop down tab you can choose to add your desired length of handles. Once you do this, add the job to the render queue and export as normal.

Your selected clips will be exported with handles, easy as that.

Please go here and ask Apple to implement this much needed feature:



FCPX + Apple App Store 2.0 - New App Subscription Model

Just a few days before WWDC 2016, Apple has revealed that there are some major changes coming to the various App Stores. (iOS, tvOS, watchOS, OS X)


One could argue that this has been a long time coming, especially with many software creators (e.g. Adobe) turning to subscription based models to keep their cash flows steady.

What this change ultimately means for general purpose "consumer" apps is unknown, although it does appear to give developers more options for how they would like to monetize their apps, which couldn't be a bad thing from their perspective. The better profit share splits being offered from Apple should appeal to developers as well. (From 70/30 to 85/15 split after 1 year of a customer's subscription)

The more interesting (worrisome?) question is what will happen with Apple's own Pro Apps like Final Cut Pro X, Compressor, Motion 5, Logic Pro X? On one hand, its kind of mind blowing that with all the updates and improvements to Final Cut Pro X since it's 2011 debut, that Apple hasn't charged for a single update.

Could this change bring a new monthly charge to get the next version of Final Cut Pro X? Or perhaps not a full blown subscription, but will this simply put in place a method for Apple to charge an upgrade fee when there is a significant update to FCPX? Both are somewhat plausible, although the latter seems to be more so, in my opinion.


With a new update of Final Cut Pro X rumored to be coming some time next week during WWDC 2016, it would stand to reason that any changes to the way it's being priced and sold will be revealed at that point as well. I personally doubt that Apple will start charging a subscription price for any of the Pro App's, simply because they have no track record of doing that in the past, and its relatively "small potatoes" in the grand scheme of their vast business.

I've always thought of Apple's hardware as being "the cars" that they sell and their software as being "the road" on which you can "drive" the car on. Basically, they stand to make more money, more often if they have a good ecosystem (highway system?) of software on which to run their very profitable hardware on.

Also, while the Final Cut Pro X user base continues to grow as more people come to understand its power, it's still hasn't completely shaken the stigma it unfairly earned when it debuted back in 2011. It seems that it would be in the best interest of Apple to continue to make it readily accessible to the masses at its incredible one time price, and it will continue to permeate slowly outwards to the Youtubers, students, bitter FCP7 die hards, old-timer AVID fogey's, anti-subscription Premiere users, and to the masses of other post production professionals who may now be willing to give it another chance.

Who knows, maybe you'll even be able to get an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription through the Apple App store before you know it? Stranger things have happened...


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: