Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X, Motion & Compressor

Posted on by Larry

Apple continues the evolutionary growth of Final Cut Pro X releasing its 33rd free update – to version 10.4.9 – this morning, along with updates for Motion and Compressor. While none of these features are revolutionary, all are useful and include:

AVAILABILITY

Updates are rolling out through Software Update, so it may take some time for the updates to show up on your system.

Additionally, the Pro Video codecs were updated. To upgrade these, go to System Preferences > Software Update. All updates are free.

NOTE: The following text is taken from Apple’s press release. I’ll have separate articles that look at each of these in more detail.

PROXY WORKFLOW ENHANCEMENTS


(All images courtesy of Apple, Inc.)

Today’s release includes major improvements to proxy workflows that make libraries more portable and streamline remote work with large, high-resolution files. For the first time within Final Cut Pro, video editors can create proxies in either ProRes Proxy or H.264 in dimensions as small as 12.5 percent of the original. They can also consolidate proxy media, images, and audio to an external or network-connected drive.

A Final Cut Pro Library can even be relinked to proxies already created for added flexibility. Editors can now link to proxy media generated by third-party applications via XML. Examples include Frame.io, a cloud-based creative collaboration platform for review and approval, plus asset management tools like Keyflow Pro and PostLab. If proxy media is not available for some clips, users can adapt workflows to display either the original file or an optimized version.

UPDATE: This new proxy workflow helps with sharing libraries and media between editors, but the basic collaboration process for Final Cut remains the same.

AUTOMATED SOCIAL MEDIA CROPPING

Using machine learning, clips in a project can now be automatically analyzed for dominant motion and intelligently cropped with Smart Conform to convert them into square, vertical, or any other sized video — perfect for popular platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Transform Overscan reveals media outside the crop boundary when adjusting scale, rotation, and position, which allows storytellers to easily reposition the crop. Video editors can also add a Custom Overlay to guide them when placing text and graphics within a non-landscape frame.

WORKFLOW IMPROVEMENTS

ProRes RAW camera settings, such as ISO, color temperature, and exposure offset are exposed in the inspector for the first time. Editors can also apply audio crossfades on adjacent clips in one simple step, use a new context menu to close a project or clear timeline history, and sort clips and projects in List View according to the last date each file was modified.

This release also introduces significant performance improvements with new Metal-enabled plug-ins for RED RAW and Canon Cinema RAW Light.

When working with 360-degree video, editors can quickly stabilize stereoscopic 3D video and view footage in the 360-degree Viewer with separate streams for each eye. They can also start working immediately with remote content while it is downloading in the background from web-based asset management applications, such as the Frame.io workflow extension.

MOTION IMPROVEMENTS

Motion creators can import third-party 3D models or choose from a built-in library of 3D models in the USDZ format for use in titles, generators, effects, and transitions. They can even use behaviors or keyframes to manipulate the position, rotation, and scale of a model, and take advantage of existing replicators, emitters, lights, and cameras for further creativity.

Also included in today’s Motion update is the new Stroke Filter, a tool that automatically outlines an object or text element using its alpha channel. Editors can customize outlines by animating their offset, applying multiple stroke filters to the same object, or using the gradient tools to create multiple strokes with different colors.

COMPRESSOR IMPROVEMENTS

Compressor is also updated today with support for custom LUT effects, the ability to use Camera LUTs to convert log-encoded footage to SDR or HDR outputs, and other workflow enhancements.

EXTRA CREDIT


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12 Responses to Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X, Motion & Compressor

  1. Constance says:

    So helpful! Thank you

  2. Richard says:

    Thank you Larry,
    Should we update the Pro Video codecs even if we are not going to update the apps at this time?
    Best
    Richard

    • Larry says:

      Richard:

      If you are not upgrading FCP X and you can edit your materials successfully now, you don’t need to upgrade.

      I don’t think upgrading the codecs would hurt, I just don’t think it is necessary.

      Larry

  3. Tim says:

    Thanks for the overview.

  4. A couple of the MacPros in our office were inadvertently set to automatically update apps. Both of these computers (FirePro D300 and D500 models) now have issues with color correction using either the color board or the color wheels. As adjustments are being made, the levels flicker and jump. The waveform monitor shows the jumpiness that seems to be random and makes color correction very challenging. The workaround we have found is to create proxy media and color correct using the proxy files. Then there is no flickering. When going back to native files, there does not seem to be any issue when playing back or exporting the color corrected project. We would be very curious if others are seeing this issue as well.

    • Larry says:

      Christian:

      My apologies, I didn’t see your note immediately. Hmm… I have not heard of this from others.

      Be sure to contact Apple Support about this – the developers need feedback that this problem exists.

      Larry

    • Carsten Orlt says:

      Just saw this and can confirm this is happening here too. C300 mkII footage shot with Log2/cinema gamut. Also the LUT settings in the inspector disappear when in proxy only mode and disconnecting the original media (stored on external drive).

      Also can’t get Compressor to ‘enable audio pass through’ when choosing a duplicated and modified ProRes Proxy setting.

      I’m on Mojave 10.4.6 and did upgrade all Pro apps and codecs. Something is going on…

      • Larry says:

        Carsten;

        Good to know. I’ll pass this up to Apple.

        Thanks,

        Larry

        • Thank you for passing this along to Apple. We own the C300 MkII camera and use it for most projects these days. Maybe the issue is specific to Canon footage. We typically shoot CLog3/Cine Gamma.

          • Carsten Orlt says:

            Addition: I just noticed that FCP allows now for XF-AVC log footage to be optimised, meaning you can select the clips and choose Transcode>Optimised. This was not possible before!
            AND after you do this the brightness jump is gone because FCP now uses the ProRes version which doesn’t have the problem.

            It seems that Apple changed the way XF-AVC log footage is processed, but still don’t understand why? Would be nice to get a word from Apple or Canon on this.

            I experimented with workarounds and I worked out 3 options:
            Ignore the brightness jump because the exports use the correct values.
            Optimise all original clips – doubles storage so not ideal and a short term solution.
            Transcode all to Prores using compressor and then relink to those and delete the XF-AVC Quicktime files.

            Will be interesting to see how this issue develops. Might be one that never gets explained and you just learn how to live with it 🙂

  5. Piet van 't Zelfde. says:

    For a long life Apple user, I regret I’m not able to buy me a new 27″ iMac as my “old” one can’t handle the latest updates.
    Pity for I am a real FCPX lover.
    As a pensioner, with a little income it’s no longer a posiblity for me.

    Please go on loving all the Apple updates…

    Best regards.

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