[Updated Nov. 13, with comments and screen shots from Apple. Nov. 12, added illustrations of existing features.]
Late this afternoon, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, as the first day of the Final Cut Pro Creative Summit drew to a close, Apple announced updates to Final Cut Pro for the Mac and iPad, both coming later this month.
New features are always good – but this press release confuses me.
Why? Because many of these features exist already; at least according to how they are described in Apple’s release. (Read it here.)
FINAL CUT PRO – MAC (v 10.7)
Final Cut will add support for automatic timeline scrolling! Yay!!! This feature has been a top request for at least the last ten years.
Apple also said that this “update will also allow editors to see the organization of their timeline at a glance and easily differentiate clips by assigned role, improving the experience of viewing video and audio role colors. The distinct colors also let users identify and highlight clips by role using the timeline index.” (Press release)
NOTE: I’m not sure what’s new about this. We can already custom color clips by role in the current version of Final Cut. The custom color button (red arrow) is available for all roles.
As well, the Timeline Index allows grouping, selecting or highlighting clips by role.
APPLE REPLIES: In addition to being able to highlight the roles from the timeline index, you can now see the actual colors in the timeline for clips that have different video and audio roles. This is achieved by expanding the audio components- the quickest way to do this for an entire timeline is by clicking “Show Audio Lanes” under the Roles tab of the timeline index, as shown in the Before and After (below).
“Editors can now work more efficiently than ever by quickly cleaning up complex sections of the timeline, and can fine-tune the edit by combining a selected group of overlapping connected clips into a single connected storyline. To further streamline organization, editors can also combine connected clips with existing connected storylines.” (Press release)
NOTE: This paragraph requires careful reading. We can consolidate multiple clips on multiple tracks now using compound clips, but this implies that the new feature in FCP removes overlaps and moves clips into a single layer in the timeline, similar to Simplify Sequence in Premiere, without bundling it into a compound clip.
As for adding clips to an existing connected clip, we can do that now by selecting both the clip and the connected storyline – which need to be next to each other on the same layer – and choose Clip > Create Storyline (shortcut: Cmd + G).
APPLE REPLIES: This is slightly different than a compound clip, and much closer in functionality to the Overwrite to Primary Storyline feature in FCP. You can select connected clips, connected storylines, transitions, etc. and combine them into a new connected storyline. It’s a really useful way to keep your timeline neat and organized. Any audio trimming you’ve done prior to using this command is kept, so J and L cuts are retained even though the video clips are trimmed to only show what was visible in your edit.
Export is faster by allowing editors to select which media engine to use to output a timeline. This requires macOS Sonoma or later, and a Mac with Apple M1 Max, M1 Ultra, M2 Max, M2 Ultra, or M3 Max.
NOTE: I’m surprised this is necessary. I would have thought Final Cut would allocate export based upon which media engine is free.
Object tracking now uses machine-learning to “analyze the movement of faces and other objects on Mac computers with Apple silicon. Final Cut Pro will choose the most suitable analysis when the analysis method is set to automatic.” (Press release)
APPLE ADDS: We hope that users will appreciate these thoughtful updates to the editing experience in Final Cut Pro. The scrolling timeline has been a top request, and the additional features should make a difference in terms of organization and efficiency. We will be watching closely to see how editors use these tools, and we are also listening for more update requests going forward.
FINAL CUT PRO – iPAD (v 1.3)
Apple’s press release also detailed the new features in the iPad software:
Here’s Apple press release with more pictures and details.
NEW & Updated!
Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.