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I just got off the phone with Apple’s Richard Townhill, senior director of applications marketing, who took the time to update me on the latest major update to Final Cut Pro X, ver. 10.0.3. Apple is delivering multicam support, broadcast monitoring via third-party cards and boxes (in beta), advanced chroma keying features, XML 1.1, the ability to import layered Photoshop graphics (PSD), and media relinking.
Apple has been listening to us and have introduced their second big FCP X update since the app “shipped” via the Mac App Store in late June 2011. We had the first update in September 2011 (which brought XML, media stems and more), a minor bug fix in November and now another major update for January 2012. I mention this first, because Apple usually released major updates to past versions of FCP every year or so. I believe FCP 7 only got two major updates and a minor one after it shipped in August 2009. So we’ve had just as many in seven months, and everything comes through quickly via the Mac App Store!
The big feature is Multicam, and as usual, Apple doesn’t just add in the feature to FCP X, but they make it better and easier to use. You can mix up to 64 different camera angles and sources, using mixed formats, codecs, frame rates and frame sizes, and also you can mix stills with the video. Syncing has always been tricky with multicamera editing, but FCP X makes it simple with their auto sync feature, which will sync up video and audio based on timecode (all cameras have to have matching timecode) or a time-and-date stamp (again, all cameras must match). You can also sync based on metadata, along with customizing that information. FCP X also goes a step further if you’re using the GoPro, HDSLRs or cameras that don’t match timecode or time-and-date. They use the audio from the cameras and match up the waveform and then sync the footage up that way. That’s pretty incredible! So if you’re shooting a three-camera production of an interview, FCP X will sync according to the audio waveforms of the person talking, or if you’re shooting a live event, like sports, it will find the similar audio waveforms and sync them up! read more...