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

Jun/14

27

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2

This morning Apple released a new version of Final Cut Pro X with a long list of new features and performance improvements. Top of the list for me is a new, unified Library XML that unlocks the power of Story Mode for Lumberjack System. But there are great new features for everyone in this release.

Library XML

With this release, Final Cut Pro X has a Library XML format that can contain any mix of Events or Projects, including multiple Events and Projects in the same XML file. While this has required changes to many of our apps, it’s a logical conclusion to the Event and Project restructuring into Libraries work started with 10.1.

Whatever is selected is what will be exported. If a single clip is selected, the XML file will contain only that clip. If an Event or Project is selected then that Event or Project will be exported. If multiple Events and/or Projects are selected that is what will be in the exported XML.

Observant folk will realize that this is exactly the way XML export worked in the classic version of Final Cut Pro. They might also realize that all developers – ourselves included – will need to make changes to apps that use FCP X XML.

I’m particularly excited by this update because it enables a great new Story Mode for Lumberjack System.

Library features

A couple of “nice to have” features:

Selecting a library displays key metadata in the Inspector, such as which Events are in the Library and where they are located.

In the Library list you can sort Events by date or name.

Dragging a media file to the Event Browser now imports the clip!

Media Management Matures

With 10.1.2, media management matures. When Final Cut Pro X was first released, it was clumsy (but possible) to store media outside an Event. With 10.1 media can be ingested through FCP X to any mountable location, but Optimized and Proxy media was still stored in the Event, making Libraries large to pass around.

With Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 media management has matured. Store you Original, Optimized or Proxy media anywhere you – the user – want it to be.

Now you can store all media in one location, and Libraries will become (optionally) much smaller without any media inside.

Along with additional control over media locations, there is now the ability to easily delete Optimized, Proxy and rendered media with the new Delete Generated Event Files command (so there’s no need for third-party apps to do this).

The Used media indicators now work with Compound clips, Multicam clips, and Synced clips, and a new option allows us to show only Unused Media in the Browser.

Cuts only XDCAM-based Projects will export faster, as long as there is only XDCAM media, and no color grading, transitions, titles or effects.

Custom 3D LUT’s from ARRI Amira cameras are added during import and supported as realtime effects!

Improved Speed and Accuracy Synchronizing Clips

I really noticed this one during the beta period. I’ve done some ridiculously long multiclips: a five hour one in November and this month a three camera, two audio sources shoot. The five hour shoot took about five minutes to synchronize; the 78 minute multiclip (with two extra sources) synch’d in 40 seconds. Remember that the 78 minute example has more sources, but with the same number of sources, I expected it to take about a minute and a half. Instead, it’s just over half that. Nice.

Automatic Auditions for Voice Overs

Thank you! A very logical thing to do and it will make multiple voice over takes so much easier. Adding a countdown is a nice bit of tidying up.

Other features

What would a new release be without a new codec. Apple ProRes 4444XQ is a new codec designed as a camera original. We should (apparently) be expecting an announcement from a camera company at the same time as the 10.1.2.

Importing media from Finder now adds Finder Tags (as well as Finder Folder names) as Keywords.

We can now adjust relative and absolute volume of a clip or range selection.

Delete preferences by launching Final Cut Pro with Option and Command keys pressed.

Share 4K video to Vimeo, if you really need it.

This release also fixes some anomalies and improves performance:

Faster opening, closing and copying of large libraries.

Eliminates unintended movement between smooth keyframes with the same position parameters.

Linear and smooth motion interpolation between keyframes applies to both time and distance.

When animating an object, if you create two keyframes with the same position parameter and the keyframe motion type is set to smooth, there will be no unintended movement between the keyframes.

If position keyframes are set to linear movement then both the amount of time and the distance they are moving will be animated as linear. Smooth keyframes are also smooth for both time and distance animated.

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27 comments

  • Ben Brodbeck · June 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Now that FCPXML is “coming of age” I’d love to see a way to Consolidate a Project with Clip Handles like the old FCP7 Media Manager tool. Philip, do you know of anyone that is working on such a tool? Would you like to create one? ;) That is honestly my companies biggest problem with FCPX and the last workflow issue I have yet to conquer.

    • Author comment by Philip · June 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I agree a trim with handles would be useful, although frankly the assumption for FCP X is that hard drive space is cheap and abundant. If you’ve been in the business when 2GB hard drives were $6000 then these days drive space is cheap and abundant.

      We are certainly not working on anything like this, and I’m not aware of anyone that is, although I do keep encouraging another developer that he should do it.

    • Carey Dissmore · June 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      This. PPro needs this ability as well. I don’t care if you don’t need it every day, timeline-level media trimming, with definable handles, and selectable transcoding (if desired) at the same time is a functionality that existed in FCP7 that seemed so entirely obvious that we all took it for granted. The world of post production is worse off for not having this capability in our toolbox today.

    • Marcus Moore · June 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      While I agree with Philip that trim handles aren’t nearly as important now with TBs of drive space available for hundreds of dollars. I’ve also largely abandoned media managing because it breaks links with the original footage. If I ever want to go back to a project- I want to have access to ALL the media, and not truncated offshoots of my original files.

      The other issue is that not all movie formats can be media managed like this. You definitely couldn’t do this with R3D files.

      • Marc Bach · July 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

        Yes, it’s possible to trim R3D files. RedCineX and DaVinci Resolve can do it.

  • allister Gourlay · June 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    thanks for this – but what the hell is: unified Library XML that unlocks the power of Story Mode for Lumberjack System

    • Author comment by Philip · June 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      It makes a feature we’ve been planning (and implementing) in Lumberjack System practical because you can now send multiple Events (logged in Lumberjack System or in FCP X) to the Lumberyard app for pre-edit string-outs. Full press release and links to explanations coming early next week.

  • Ben Brodbeck · June 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Hard drive space is indeed cheap & abundant. I wish that was the issue…passing just clips + handles to the finishing editor is part of our workflow. I’d also like to send my encouragement to your developer friend. This tool would solve my biggest problem. I’ve tried using Clip Exporter to do this but I don’t think it works right.

    • Author comment by Philip · June 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      One of the main reasons we let the opportunity pass, is that the total number of people who need this is quite small. We have enough loss leaders already :) (Change List X for FCP X and Change List Tool for Premiere Pro, for example.)

    • Souitch · June 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      @Ben Brodbeck:

      I do this using Resolve as a tool: FCPXML to resolve then straight to deliver page without coloring and roundtrip render to FCPX with handles..

      • Author comment by Philip · June 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        Clever

  • Carey Dissmore · June 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Progress.

  • Ben Brodbeck · June 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I’ll be trying the Resolve workflow first thing in the morning! Thanks for the idea!

  • BenB · June 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Not only does the audio recording to Auditions help, but once that Audition is created, you can break it apart, and it stays in sync, so you can range out segments of various takes, to combine them. Plus naming an audio recording BEFORE you record it, and muting timeline audio. As someone who records VO work daily, these are huge improvements.

    BTW, I selected 17 sizable Libraries in the Finder, opened them all at once into FCPX, it updated them in about 45 seconds, and has been super stable. Very nice.

    Although the Colorprofile Override function makes those plugins I’ve paid for obsolete. I should have held out… drat! But it is a function I’m finding super useful as a BMD production camera 4K user.

    • Marcus Moore · June 28, 2014 at 7:27 am

      It’s great to see expanded LUT support natively in X. But I wouldn’t feel too badly, Ben. The 3rd party utilities still offer interesting functionality in simulation of film stocks and the like.

    • Wolfgang Hershey · June 29, 2014 at 9:16 am

      From what I can see there is still a need for LUT plug ins…
      UNLESS SOMEBODY CAN HELP FIGURE THIS OUT….

      if you apply the NEW built in LUT in the clip settings… there seems to be no way to have it not apply to the source clip everywhere…

      SO – for instance if you use the LUT for most of a clip – but you have one part that you want the raw LOG color (for a different color correct…for instance)
      it seems you can not do that….

      normally you could make a compound clip – and then Clip->Reference New Parent

      but the log setting always stay with the source clip (even if its a copy — well because it’s not really a copy :-)) )

      to do this you would either have to stick with plug ins or you would have to manually make a new copy of the clip in the finder and separately import it…

      not the end of the world for sure but it does point out that Apple has not entirely fixed or decided how things are being referenced… It feels like they really want only ONE possible master for everything.. and no multiple instances of files (as you could have in the old FCP)

      yay for LUTs but boo for not being ably to change them in the timeline per clip…

      PS anybody hacked in to see where the LUTS are? and can we add them to FCPx?

      • Author comment by Philip · June 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

        Boy, what a complainer. Just because Apple haven’t implemented a great feature exactly how you want it you dismiss the whole feature. You do realize that the percentage of FCP X users who will ever use a LUT is so low as to be a rounding error, and yet Apple continue to put resources into the app to support the tiny part of their customer base that needs this. Maybe 1-2000 of the 1 million customer I’d guess. That shows a real commitment to these niche professional workflows beyond what would make sense in a pure business sense.

        • Wolfgang Hershey · June 30, 2014 at 8:19 pm

          hummm I think you misunderstand my point…

          rather than doing the LUT operation as a plug in
          they have made it a part of the metadata
          and thus linked to the file – which is good (esp for arri and sony)
          BUT
          this seems (from what I can figure) to break the FCPx “refer to new parent”

          One of the biggest changes from FCP7 is how files are referenced

          the only desire was to point out is that Apple is changing from a multi instance model for file reference to a “mono-instance” model…
          (e.g. no more being able to apply a color correct to a source file )
          the “refer to new parent” command is a way to work around that
          ( it explicitly creates a new copy of a source clip)
          but it does not work with the LUT setting
          (and yes I have submitted a bug report)

          The usefulness of the LUT is great.. thus I was asking for help figuring it out and how it might be expanded ..

          .. and I would beg to differ that the use of LUTs is not only useful to a small portion of the user base. Like the use of RAW in pro-photo, I would expect that in a few years everything will be either shot raw or some form of log. It’s is already true for at least 40% of all the work that comes in my door..

          thanks for hearing me out!
          WH

          • JPM Editor · July 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

            I agree that it is a great feature that will be used by many people. But there is still some room for improvement. Now it works kind of like the “Proxy vs Original/Optimized” switch: if you change this parameter, all instances of the clip will be referenced to the chosen media. This is good for the proxy workflow: you don’t end up with duplicated master clips (like you do in Avid) each of them pointing to their respective media files.

            But I think this approach doesn’t work so great with the LUT parameter. It would be better to be able to change this property (after the fact) so that it only affects the edited clip (not the original master clip, as well as every instance of that clip edited into every timeline). I find this a bit inconsistent with the rule that once a clip is edited into the timeline, a new instance of that clip is created which has independent properties from the original master clip.

    • JPM Editor · July 1, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Being able to Break Apart Auditions is another great feature. But for this case, choosing the best voice over take, I think I would prefer to:

      – Open the Audition in the timeline and start cycling through the takes.
      – Once you have your favorite take for the first line, select it.
      – Play through the Audition clip in the timeline, right passed the first line.
      – Blade the audition exactly at the point where the first line ends.
      – Open the Audition clip (after the cut) and start switching between the different takes so you can pick the best second line.
      – If the timing is not the same between the takes, you can always Slip the second Audition clip with the Trim Tool.
      …and keep repeating this process until the end.

      This way, you always have all the alternate voice over takes in the timeline at your disposal. I don’t know, seemes like a better workflow to me and a way to take more advantage of the auditions feature.

      • Author comment by Philip · July 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

        A much more useful place to post feature requests is via the feedback link in the application menu.

  • Pan · July 1, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I glad to read this article, and test 10.1.2 for all day. but one thing is how could downgrade to 10.1 version? or any application can do that? thanks

    • Author comment by Philip · July 1, 2014 at 9:35 am

      The only way to go back a version is to make sure you save the app zipped up. Then you can delete the current version and unzip the earlier one. Or if you have a time machine backup you may be able to restore from that. (I couldn’t).

  • Atiq Rony · July 6, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Can FCPX 10.0.2 independent their timeline as we do with FCP7. Can I make a independent layout like previous version ? Though I’m already done 100`s projects with fcpx 10.0.1. But I can’t move my timeline bigger. If FCPx do I want to know. Can you please help me to extend my edit timeline like bigger/ large which I can do with fcp 7.

    • Author comment by Philip · July 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

      The timeline controls are very flexible but there is no storage layout (yet). There’s much more timeline layout flexibility than with FCP 7. Perhaps I’m not understanding the question.

  • Crystal Culbertson · July 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for the informative article on Final Cut Pro X. I wonder if these new additions will be sufficient for editors who were reluctant to switch over from 7 to X. http://www.crystalculbertson.com

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