The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Sep/11

22

Announcing Project X₂7

At LAFCPUG’s special meeting at DV Expo we showed, for the first time a brand new app from Assisted Editing (my day job): Project X₂7 (10 to 7), which takes the brand new FCP X Project XML export and converts it through a simple drag and drop applet to FCP 7. FCP 7 sequence XML is generated and loaded directly into FCP 7.

This allows you to take your FCP X timeline (Project) to FCP 7 or directly to Color, Adobe Premiere (and via dynamic link to After Effects) or other FCP 7 XML workflow.

Via FCP 7 you can then link to Soundtrack Pro (sadly Soundtrack Pro’s project format has never been published), to Motion 4, or to OMF output for ProTools.

We still have a little work to do, but right now we support most features: connected clips, primary storyline, transitions (currently all are replaced by a cross dissolve but we’ll do better than that before release) but any time we can’t accurately reproduce something we’ll tell you in a report.

Tonight I demo’d a Project with:

  • Titles at the start and end
  • a mixture of primary storyline and connected clips
  • a mix of active and inactive clips
  • large numbers of J and L cuts
  • To do markers and regular markers
  • Spot audio effects
  • And limited transition support.

All transfer without problem.  Unfinished To Do markers appear as red markers in FCP 7, done to Green and the blue FCP X markers to blue markers in FCP 7.

Before the comments go crazy asking why we didn’t do the opposite, since that’s what every really wants, let me explain.  Back in my initial briefing for FCP X I asked about the transfer and got the distinct impression that someone was already working on it (perhaps even Apple, it was vague). We’re a small software developer and can’t run the risk of spending considerable development effort to discover that a better funded competitor will come out with a similar product and kill our sales. Imagine if we announced this today, and three weeks from now Apple releases a tool. Obviously we’d get no sales.

Doing this type of conversion too is incredibly difficult and from our experience going 7 to X would be even more of a challenge. I wish whoever takes it on the best of luck.  In the meantime, if you need to integrate Final Cut Pro X into some existing workflows, Project X₂7 will get you there sooner.

Apologies if you got the unfinished version of this post.  Early starts and long days teaching at DV Expo takes its toll.

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20 comments

  • Alan Seawright · September 22, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Guess I’ll be the troll:
    Release date?

    Seriously, sounds like a great product, something I’d be interested in building a workflow around for a reality show we’re starting next week.

    I’m really excited to cut some reality/doc material in FCPX, the metadata possibilities make me salivate.

    • Author comment by Philip · September 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      Hoping for next week but it means juggling other work. If you need early access (aka beta testing) email me direct Alan philip @ intelligentassistance.com (take out the spaces of course).

      • Diego · October 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

        Hi Alan been trying to to send you an email, would love to do some testing, but the mail keeps bouncing back. Is there a different address I can try?

        Thanks

        Kind regards

        • Author comment by Philip · October 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm

          Who were you trying to contact Diego? Which Alan

      • Geoff · October 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

        Also trying to email you at the above address and getting bounced back.

        • Author comment by Philip · October 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

          philip @ intelligentassistance.com (take out the spaces of course) is the correct address. You need to manually take out the space before and after @ otherwise it will bounce, but with those spaces removed that is my current, functioning email address.

  • Art Bell · September 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Well Apple is the same company that promised us in the post community ‘awesome’ stuff then dump out the toy FCP X – so why would anyone trust them to deliver any more on their promises.

    You start a Kickstarter for what we all need – the inverse – I will contribute a hundred bucks today.

    Thanks,

    • Marcus R. Moore · September 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      If you don’t feel you can trust them, then don’t trust them.

      Either show an interest in learning the new program or move to another one, but this line is getting old.

  • Chribbe · September 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Philip!

    Nice that you are working on this backwards app… Is there any chance that you could make the app export OMF or AAF directly? I know Automatic Duck have this feature but i think its too pricey since it is more expensive than FCPX.

    Good luck. Please bring your app to the app store.
    Thanks!
    /Chribbe

    • Author comment by Philip · September 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Export OMF and AAF isn’t really within our expertise area as they’re very different from XML, so probably not. However, once you open the Sequence in FCP 7 you can export OMF from there. Note that the FCPXML from X does not contain audio levels so we cannot reproduce them until that gets added to a future version of the FCPXML. Our FCP X apps are heading for the app store but Project X27 will initially be available on AssistedEditing.com. Because we’ve been doing for a while it’s quick and easy for us to get it up there. The App store requires some learning and it’s low priority in the face of other projects.

  • Ben Balser · September 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    If I can go from X to Color, I’d be thrilled. But what about going from Color back into FCPX?

    • Author comment by Philip · September 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Color to FCP X requires the reverse translation, which I believe someone else is working on.

  • Art Bell · September 25, 2011 at 4:31 am

    The line may be ‘old’ but thats because the problem remains in the real world.

    What people like Phillip are doing in using the power of XML to match up disparate toolsets will prove invaluable in helping those of us who made their living with Final Cut 7 projects, and have hundreds of thousands of dollars in those archived projects, move to X sometime in 2012 when it actually starts to be a productive tool.

    As there seems to be no one in any professional post facility we know who has learned the new tool and then successfully left the old tool, I’m not sure its legitimate to characterize the discussion as old.

  • Don "D2" Lewis II · October 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Very impressive presentation at the LAFCPUG meeting at the DV Expo. Thank you! It’s good to know somebody is trying, in some way, to bridge the gap between FCPX and FCP7 being able to cross communicate.

  • Roland · October 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Where can I download this?

    Many thanks for all hints…

    • Author comment by Philip · October 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      We’re aiming for Monday October 17. It will be then or close. $49.99. Will be at http://assistedediting.com

  • derek woods · October 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hey Philip,
    I love motion 5, but i will be using fcp 7 for a long time to come. Is there any possibility for an “export to Motion 5″ from fcp 7?

    • Author comment by Philip · October 19, 2011 at 8:57 am

      It’s unlikley we could do an Export to Motion 5 from FCP 7 because the Motion 5 project format is unpublished and undocumented. Sorry/

  • Andy · October 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Philip,

    what is your reckoning of FCP7’s stability going forward in Lion as an EOL product? Do you feel it’s 24 month secure?

    • Author comment by Philip · October 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      At least 24 months more. Apple have specifically stated that FCP 7 is fully supported on Lion, so I take that to mean for the full life of Lion, so yes, 24 months is very reasonable, and if you don’t upgrade hardware, until the hardware dies!

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