Final Cut Pro X for Pros: New Features Expand the Editing Experience

Creative Planet Network by Oliver Peters

Final Cut Pro X is steadily gaining support among professional editors as Apple integrates more features in response to users’ needs. Unlike the previous iterations of Final Cut Studio—where everything was integrated into a bundle of Apple applications—FCP X relies to a greater extent on an ecosystem of outside developers who have brought a number of useful tools to the table. This means that you buy only what you need and build out your toolkit according to your own specific workflow. Here are some tips on getting the most out of FCP X.

Motion and Compressor

Apple sells Motion 5 and Compressor 4 as standalone applications through the Mac App Store. Although not essential for running FCP X, each adds useful functionality. Motion 5 is an advanced compositor that’s optimized for the design and animation of motion graphics. It also has become an effects creation tool for Final Cut Pro X. Many of the filters, transitions and generators found in FCP X are actually Motion templates. It’s easy to open a copy of an effect from FCP X in Motion and customize it. Likewise, you can create your own effects plug-ins from scratch and “publish” them back to Final Cut. Many of the free or low-cost filters available for FCP X were created exactly this way.

Compressor 4 is an updated version of Apple’s encoding software. The new version is faster, better optimized for current hardware and includes new presets for Apple devices. Since DVD and Blu-ray creation has been integrated into the FCP X Share menu, as well as Compressor, this will be the tool you need for separate production of “one-off” review discs.

Moving Between the Final Cuts

Final Cut Pro X introduced a new version of XML that differs greatly from the XML used by Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro, yet this is the core method Apple provides for interchange with other applications. If you need AAFs, OMFs, FCP 7 XMLs, EDLs and so on, you first have to go through the new FCPXML format. To date, only a handful of applications, like DaVinci Resolve, can natively read/write FCPXML; therefore, general interoperability will require one of several third-party translation utilities. read more...

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