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# 2024

# February

# 22nd February 2024

Color Intelligence has just announced that Colourlab Ai 3 Final Cut Pro integration is now out in beta!

The developers write:

Unlock unparalleled speed and efficiency in your color grading workflow with the latest Colourlab Ai 3 integration for Final Cut Pro! This breakthrough update introduces the fastest grading capabilities yet, seamlessly blending Colourlab Ai’s powerful features with FCP’s intuitive interface.

Eager to see it in action? Watch our quick tutorial video to learn how this integration can transform your editing process, and then download Beta 21 to experience the future of color grading for yourself.

The future of fast, intuitive grading is here. Test it out now and make your projects shine like never before!

You can watch a demo video on YouTube here:

You can learn more here.

Discuss this news item



# 6th February 2024

George Edmondson from Seed Creative (and the guy from all the MotionVFX tutorials!) has discounted his Seed De-Flicker plugin to USD$10 for a limited time only.

Here's a YouTube video which explains the product:

You can learn more and buy here.


Producers Best Friend v1.4.68 is out now with the following fix:

  • Critical bug fix for a potential crash caused by decoding media security-scoped bookmarks when making thumbnails on macOS Sonoma

You can find on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# 5th February 2024

For those following Apple's Vision Pro, here's some videos and articles we found interesting:


X2Pro5 v5.0.31 is out now with the following improvements:

  • 32-bit floating point audio is converted to 32-bit linear audio to allow Pro Tools to import generated AAFs
  • Fixed missing audio data in AAF
  • Correctly using proxy audio rather than try to find the original audio
  • Corrected display of channel names within certain versions of ProTools

You can download on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# 2nd February 2024

You can watch Strada's Private Beta Launch on YouTube here:

This is of relevance to Final Cut Pro users, because Michael Cioni is a long-time hardcore Final Cut Pro user, with a huge amount of knowledge and experience.

He's also the king of Apple's Keynote - and creates beautiful videos seamlessly mixing Keynote and Final Cut Pro.

No doubt, Strada will be highly integrated with Final Cut Pro, as that's what Michael uses to edit all of Strada's video.


Apple Insider reports:

Cook 'incredibly excited' about generative AI coming to Apple gear later in 2024

You can read the full article here.

Hopefully at WWDC we see lots of AI announcements, and we'll see some of those technologies added to Final Cut Pro towards October/November in the next major Final Cut Pro update!

Discuss this news item



# 1st February 2024

EDL-X v2.12 is out now with support for FCPXML v1.11.

You can find on the Mac App Store here.


Producers Best Friend v1.4.67 is out now with the following bug fixes:

  • Critical bug fix for a crash caused by making thumbnails on macOS Sonoma
  • Bug fix for chapter markers on a transition

You can find on the Mac App Store here.


Random-X v1.5 is out now with support for FCPXML v1.11.

You can find on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# January

# 31st January 2024

Noise Industries has released a new plugin called Background Remover on FxFactory!

Quickly and easily lift subjects from the video background.

Background Remover automatically detects people, animals and objects that are the main focus of your videos, allowing you to extract a clean key from footage shot without a greenscreen or bluescreen. Background Remover is a quick, easy choice for masking the backdrop to a scene.

You can learn more here.


iJustine has released Apple Vision Pro - Unboxing, Review and demos on YouTube.

You can watch her using Final Cut Pro (on Mac) via the Vision Pro here:


The Verge has also released a detailed blog post titled, Apple Vision Pro review: magic, until it’s not.

They've also released this YouTube Video:


Capacitor is now available on Apple's TestFlight for beta testing!

It allows you to easily convert between FCPXML versions.

For example, if you're working on Final Cut Pro 10.7, but you have an online artist on an older Autodesk Flame, you can convert from FCPXML v1.11 to v1.9.

Or if you have an old FCPXML in your archives, you can upgrade from v1.8 to v1.10.

Because Capacitor ensures it outputs FCPXML following Apple's strict DTD rules, you can also use Capacitor to "clean" FCPXMLs.

You can learn more here.

Discuss this news item



# 27rd January 2024

RED Apple Workflow Installer v21.0.0 is out now.

Changes in this release:

  • Added: V-RAPTOR support
  • Added: V-RAPTOR Extended Highlights - BETA support
  • Changed: improved IPP2 demosaic edge interpolation on strong color transitions
  • Fixed: RED ONE clip UUIDs could be incorrect
  • Fixed: unclosed R3D files could split a clip into multiple parts
  • Fixed: HDRx clips could have undecodable frame at the end
  • Fixed: Legacy decodes will now ignore RGB gains metadata if they are all set to 0

You can download here.


Ripple Training have released RT Markups. It's on sale for USD$19 for one week only.

RT Markups is a set of 26 title templates for Final Cut Pro that gives you the ability to add customizable annotations to on-screen text, titles, or other elements that appear in web pages, newspaper and magazine articles, signs, posters, products, drawings, schematics, sheet music etc. Add them to any video, photo or illustration that has text or visual elements that you want to emphasize or exclude.

You can learn more here.

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# 24rd January 2024

MotionVFX has released a new product, mStoryboard.

You can watch a trailer on YouTube:

You can learn more here.


Metaburner v1.0.6 (34) has been released. It includes the following updates:

🔨 Changes:

  • Metaburner Presets now have the file extension metaburnerPreset (instead of mbpPreset).
  • The Metaburner Motion Template has been updated.

🔨 Improvements:

  • Lots of big under-the-hood improvements. Metaburner now can handle very complicated and long feature film timelines without dropping frames. Thanks for reporting Sam Pluemacher!
  • Added a new Open in Motion button to Controls. This allows you to easily create a new Apple Motion Template which you can customise however you want!
  • We've moved the Open User Guide to the top of Controls so that it's more obvious.
  • We no longer display "Text Layer 1", "Text Layer 2", etc in the Final Cut Pro Inspector to make it cleaner.
  • We now save and restore Empty Data, Filter by Video Role and Filter by Audio Role in Presets.
  • We've added a built-in Stabilisation Preset.
  • Improved the error messaging when a FCPXML fails to load.
  • Added a checkbox to Save FCPXML Internally within the Controls section. This is off by default. You'll only ever really need to turn it on if you want to access the FCPXML data via the Lua Scripting Engine.

🐞 Bug Fixes:

  • Metaburner now correctly renders when in Half Resolution in Apple Motion and Better Performance in Final Cut Pro.
  • Final Cut Pro now allows you to copy and paste the Metaburner Title. Thanks for reporting Sam Pluemacher!

You can learn more here.

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# 23rd January 2024

Robin S. Kurz has posted a new video on YouTube offering further insight into the Final Cut Pro Scrolling Timeline.

You can watch on YouTube:


Peter Wiggins is back and has just posted a blog post over at idustrialrevolution.

Interestingly he hints:

WE HAVE A NEW FAVOURITE NLE

You can read it here.


CommandPost v1.4.25 is out now with the following bug fix:

  • In Final Cut Pro 10.6.6, Apple merged the Masks and Keying Effects Categories into a single Masks and Keying Effects Category, which we never accounted for. CommandPost now correctly applies the Masks and Keying effects in Final Cut Pro 10.6.6 and later. However, if you already have a shortcut key or control surface button for any of these actions (such as Draw Mask), you may have to select the Scan Motion Templates button in the Final Cut Pro panel in CommandPost Preferences to re-scan all your effects, then reapply the action to your keyboard shortcut or button. Thanks for reporting Димитър Маратилов!

You can learn more here.


Frame.io has updated their Mac App Store App to version v2.6.1 with the following improvements:

  • Native support for Apple Silicon Macs
  • Support for the latest version of Final Cut Pro
  • Support for playing video and audio assets protected by DRM
  • Updated Keychain permission prompt to only show when necessary
  • Fixed a bug that prevented scrubbing asset thumbnails
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

You can learn more about Frame.io here.

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# 20th January 2024

Eric Lenz has released a video on YouTube called CUTTING EDGE, MOVING SLOW – The Final Cut Pro Conundrum | Documentary.

The description reads:

Everybody is switching to DaVinci Resolve, and a strange feeling is going through the Final Cut Pro Community. The lack of feature updates is the apparent cause – or is it? In this documentary, we will see that the underlying issue is something else entirely.

It contains all your favourite Final Cut Pro YouTuber's:

This was filmed before the Final Cut Pro Creative Summit in 2023.

You can watch on YouTube here:


CommandPost v1.4.25 is out now with the following improvements:

  • Increased the default number of banks from 15 to 30. Thanks for suggesting Daniel Rejowski!
  • Updated from csv2notion v0.3.9 to CSV2Notion Neo v1.2.1. Thanks Vigneswaran Rajkumar!
  • Added a new "Notion Workspace" field in the Notion & Shot Data Toolboxes. Thanks Vigneswaran Rajkumar!

You can learn more here.


Metaburner v1.0.5 (33) is out now with the following improvements:

  • Added a Global Setting for Empty Data. This allows you to customise what gets displayed when no metadata exists for that Content Field. Thanks for suggesting Sam Pluemacher!
  • Added seperate content fields for Markers with Marker Type. Thanks for suggesting Sam Pluemacher!
  • Added Stabilisation Content Fields. Thanks for suggesting Matthieu Laclau!

You can learn more here.

Discuss this news item



# 19th January 2024

Welcome to the first news post on FCP Cafe for 2024! Woohoo!

I know we're already 19 days into 2024, however rest assured, it's already been a very busy and exciting start to the year for the Final Cut Pro community!

For starters, we've just added a new case study about the Blood & Gold VFX Workflow.

We've also already released 32 beta builds of our latest app, Metaburner on FxFactory.

Why FxFactory? You can read more about our decision here.

For anyone who missed it, Metaburner is an Advanced Metadata Generator for Final Cut Pro.

It's a serious high-end professional tool, used by high-end feature film and television editors on projects for Netflix, etc.

You can access it via a Title in the Titles sidebar.

Metaburner gives you 25 text layers that you can populate with whatever metadata you want.

You can even stack multiple Metaburner Titles on top of each other for unlimited metadata fields!

To begin, simply drag your Final Cut Pro Project from the Browser into the Metaburner Title Inspector via a drop zone, and then Metaburner has full access to everything that's in the FCPXML.

There's also a Lua scripting environment built-in, so you can even "code" your own text for unlimited possibilities.

You can even share Lua variables between multiple Metaburner titles for some crazy cool workflows!

Metaburner is currently in a public beta testing phase. You can download a free watermarked version from FxFactory, and you can also purchase to remove the watermark.

We've also started building another application called LUT Robot.

The above icon was designed by the amazing Matthew Skiles.

Unlike Final Cut Pro's built-in Custom LUT and Camera LUT tools, LUT Robot allows you to "link" to a LUT stored in any folder.

It also allows you to apply LUTs in bulk to clips - for example, if you have a unique LUT for each of your rushes files.

LUT Robot is currently in active development. We hope to release a beta on FxFactory in the coming weeks.

Looking back at 2023, it's pretty amazing to see what we've achieved...

On 26th May 2023 we decided to repurpose our Final Cut Pro Bug Tracker into FCP Cafe.

We launched the site with an awesome case study - Turn of the Tide.

We've since added a HUGE amount of information to FCP Cafe, including awesome case studies, developer case studies and highly technical information that you can't find anywhere else.

Our Bug Tracker has become the go-to resource for reporting and fault finding bugs in Final Cut Pro. We've been able to fix and solve several Final Cut Pro issues via this site, and have allowed Final Cut Pro users to connect with the Apple ProApps team - something that never really happened until now.

On 25th October 2023 we were very sad to learn that fcp.co had disappeared from the Internet, making FCP Cafe the new home for professional Final Cut Pro Editors.

Peter did such an incredible job with fcp.co, so it's quite a weight of responsibility for FCP Cafe. However, we're up for the challenge!

We've started slowing bringing back some older fcp.co articles - for example, today we're bringing back the Neighbours - Erinsborough High case study written by the incredible Ronny Courtens.

One of the best things about FCP Cafe, it's that's it's an open, community driven site. Anyone can contribute.

11 other video editors so far have taken up the challenge to learn GitHub and have contributed directly to FCP Cafe.

I've personally made over 801 commits to FCP Cafe so far.

Powered by Retype on GitHub, all the "back end" stuff is also completely open - you can even "fork" the site, and take our design and GitHub scripts for your own purposes!

For example, Sequence's Docs website is a fork of FCP Cafe.

In 2023 we attended the FCP Creative Summit and documented our adventures on FCP Cafe:

We're hopeful that the FCP Creative Summit will come back in 2024, and we'll be able to cover it again.

In other exciting news CommandPost has now been downloaded over 200K times!

We've already pushed out two CommandPost updates in January 2024, and managed to do 8 updates in 2023. We'll continue to build-on and improve CommandPost this year.

It's pretty amazing to think that 2023 was also the first year we took the plunge into developing paid applications.

On 30th January 2023 we released BRAW Toolbox onto the Mac App Store - our first paid application.

There were LOTS of very smart people that told me that adding native BRAW support to Final Cut Pro would be impossible, but we made it happen, and BRAW Toolbox has now been downloaded over 1.98K times.

Next up, with the support of the incredible AdrianEddy, we brought Gyroflow Toolbox to the world. It's now been downloaded over 1.36K times.

We then brought Marker Toolbox to the world. It's now been downloaded 112 times - which is a shame because it's so darn handy! If you haven't already tried it, please look into it.

Recall Toolbox is a Final Cut Pro Workflow Extension that acts as a Shared Pasteboard. Anything that you can copy and paste in Final Cut Pro, Recall Toolbox can store. It's only been download 24 times, however those 24 users are extremely passionate about it, and seem to really love it.

Fast Collections is a Final Cut Pro Workflow Extension that allows you to quickly create a Smart Collection from a list of Keywords.

When you're working on massive long-form projects, such as feature-length documentaries with hundreds of clips and thousands of keywords, the Final Cut Pro interface can grind to a halt when using the built-in Smart Collection panel.

This simple Workflow Extension allows you to create a new Smart Collection, using a list of supplied keywords within seconds, rather than minutes.

If you have thousands of keywords across many events, it can take a long time to create a new Smart Collection with your preferred keywords directly within Final Cut Pro - but with Fast Collections, it can now take seconds.

You can also Generate a list of sequential numbers, for example, Scene 01, Scene 02, Scene 03, etc. This is very handy for long-form projects.

To be honest, we originally only built this application, to help out a single documentary filmmaker, but it's since been downloaded 19 times.

To make it cheaper and easier to purchase our Mac App Store Apps, we also introduced a bundle.

For only USD$100 (save USD$49.95!), you can now buy BRAW Toolbox, Gyroflow Toolbox, Marker Toolbox, Recall Toolbox & Fast Collections as a bundle!

The Mac App Store also supports Complete My Bundle - which credits customers for apps they’ve already purchased within a bundle. You only pay the balance for the remaining apps.

You can find the bundle on the Mac App Store here.

In addition to our paid apps, we also updated Transfer Toolbox.

Transfer Toolbox allows you to convert Final Cut Pro 10.7.1 (for Mac) Libraries into Final Cut Pro 1.3 (for iPad) Projects.

Transfer Toolbox has been downloaded over 579 times.

We also made a free little helper tool to Rename Avid MXF Files.

So what's in-store for the rest of 2024?

We'll continue to grow FCP Cafe into the go-to resource for professional Final Cut Pro editors.

We'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest Final Cut Pro related news.

We'll continue to teach and educate people on how to use Final Cut Pro technologies such as FxPlug, and Custom Share Destinations - as there's no other resources out there really to learn this stuff.

We'll continue to push Apple to fix and improve Final Cut Pro. We're in active discussions with them constantly over a range of things.

We'll continue to make tools to make your professional editing work easier, such as Metaburner and LUT Robot. We also have plenty more apps on the roadmap.

Thanks for your continued help and support!

Onwards & Upwards!


BretFX now allows you to try their Power Tools Pro for free.

A watermarked trial of Power Tools PRO is now installed with the free Power Tools LITE.

You can learn more here.


LenoFX is currently offering a 30% discount on all plugins until the 21st January.

Use the coupon code: WEEK30

You can learn more here.


evrExpanse v4.2.0 is out now!

Here's their press release:

evrExpanse 4.2.0 Ushers in a New Era of Media Management with Enhanced Offload Engine Milan, January 9, 2024 – EVRapp, a leading innovator in metadata-centric applications for videomakers, proudly announces the release of evrExpanse 4.2.0, a groundbreaking update that transforms the landscape of media management.

What's New in evrExpanse 4.2.0: 🚀 Enhanced Transfer Engine: Our Offload function is now turbocharged, delivering significantly faster file transfers compared to previous versions. Experience a speed boost that will revolutionise the way you manage your media and files. 📊 Genuine Multicore Experience: Harness the full power of your Mac, whether it's Intel-based or Apple Silicon. The enhanced transfer engine intelligently utilises all available cores, ensuring optimal performance for a seamless workflow.

Key Features of evrExpanse 4.2.0:

  • Efficient Offload Process with Secure Data Transfer: The introduction of the Offloading Data Process ensures a streamlined and secure transfer of media files. The Offload function, empowered by the xxh64 hash function, guarantees comprehensive checksum verification, providing users with confidence in data integrity during transfers.
  • Comprehensive Metadata Support: evrExpanse 4 boasts enhanced metadata workflow support for a wide range of cameras and file types, including MOV, MP4, MXF, and NEV. This compatibility ensures a seamless import of metadata into various NLEs, streamlining the post-production workflow.
  • Smart Transcoding and Metadata Integration: The Smart Transcoding mode analyses audio and video streams, deciding whether to apply transcoding or passthrough based on the codec type. This ensures optimal quality preservation, and metadata integration facilitates a smooth editing experience.
  • Process Plus© - Streamlined Workflow for NLEs: Process Plus© integrates transcoding, offloading, and metadata export into a single, cohesive operation. This streamlined workflow not only enhances efficiency but also ensures seamless integration with popular Non-Linear Editing systems (NLEs) like Final Cut Pro®, DaVinci Resolve®, and Assimilate SCRATCH®.
  • Seal Processed Folders with ASC MHL or MHL v1: Users can seal processed folders using either ASC MHL or the legacy MHL v1. This feature ensures the creation of Media Hash List (MHL) files, tracking the integrity of all media files and providing a reference for digital motion picture production.

Note: The demo version of evrExpanse 4.2.0 has no limitations on the Offload function, allowing users to experience its full power before making a purchase.

Existing evrExpanse 4 users can upgrade to the latest version free of charge.

About the Developer: Antonio Marogna is one-man band in photography and multimedia production. Founder, antoinedelaroche - Photography and Multimedia Production. Founder, evrApp.cloud, an innovative software project dedicated to improving the accessibility and utility of metadata for media files within video editing platforms.

You can learn more here.


CSV2Notion Neo v1.2.0 now supports selection of different Notion workspaces and adding multiple image attachments!

You can learn more here.

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# 2023

# December

# 26th December 2023

MotionVFX writes:

35% OFF STOREWIDE, 6️⃣0️⃣ mCredits CASHBACK and a FREE mLUT Vibrant! 🤩 Check out end-of-the-year deals👇 🎉 25% OFF STOREWIDE for all users, and 35% OFF for the CineStudio crew! Use the code: GREAT2024 👉 Don’t have it yet? Buy it now, and get a higher discount! 🎉 $60 in-store credit for buying a yearly CineStudio plan 🎉 FREE mLUT Vibrant for all who spend min. $100 in one order!

You can learn more here.

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# 25th December 2023

The Metaburner Pro beta period continues the excitement with new awesome new features in each TestFlight release.

Beta 14 introduced Lua scripting - allowing you to programatically generate whatever text you want!

It's still very much a work-in-progress, with the aim to release on the Mac App Store by end of January.

You can learn more and join the TestFlight beta here.


Arctic Whiteness has confirmed that Final Cut Pro Library Manager v3.98 works "awfully well" with Final Cut Pro 10.7.1.

You can learn more here.


Builder NLE v4.1.11 is out now with the following bug fixes:

  • Critical bug fix for loading new clips into the preview player (introduced in version v4.1.10)

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.


Simon Says Transcription v3.9.5 is out now with improved performance and bug fixes.

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.


Color Intelligence writes:

Season's Greetings, Colour Graders!

Big news: Colourlab Ai V3 Creator for Windows and Mac has landed! It's not just an update – it's a game-changer, rebuilt from scratch with a new Ai Color Engine, offering 10x more precision than ever.

Grab Your Gift! Download it free and enjoy a 15-day playtime. Current Colourlab users, you've got a free upgrade waiting in your account.

Quick Notes:

Syncs with DaVinci Resolve (more compatibility coming soon). January: Adding Premiere and FCP support. February: Pro Release with RAW support, SDI, and Tangent. Requirements: OS13+ or Windows 10.

Happy Holidays and Happy Grading!

You can learn more here.


Carsten Kurpanek posted this really interesting Tweet on his Twitter feed:

It's worth having a look through the entire thread, as Carsten gives a lot of interesting insights into this fun workflow.

It reminds me when I was back in film school in 2008, working on my SAKOOZ feature film proof-of-concept, which we shot on an early RED ONE.

Inspired by this Tweet, here's an old blog post I wrote back in December 2008:

When we first started thinking about the best way to put together the Sakooz trailer, we originally thought that Super 16mm and a film scan route would be the most appropriate option given our budget, and the “Hollywood trailer” look that we were after. However, after various camera tests (we’ll post some further information on these tests another time), and a bit of number crunching, it became clear pretty quickly that shooting on the RED ONE was going to achieve better results, cost less and make the post production just that little bit easier (at least in theory) by keeping everything digital. And so, after getting in touch with Cail & Pete from Inspiration Studios, and doing some tests with their brand new toy camera – we decided to shoot the Sakooz trailer on RED.

In terms of Principle Photography, everything pretty much ran exactly the same as if we were shooting on film. We lit it exactly the same way, and Ben (our DOP) still had his light meter by his side. Because we needed to shoot so much very quickly (time wasn’t on our side), I decided against setting up a “video village” and even a directors monitor – preferring to be there in the action, behind Ben, peaking over his shoulder to watch the on-camera LCD. This worked really well.

Although the plan was always to shoot to card for safety reasons (we’ve all got disaster stories to tell about Firestore’s dying and hard drives being dropped!) – we decided to gamble and record straight to the RED-DRIVE (a special drive designed for the camera which can store 320GB in a RAID 0 configuration). Not only that – but we decided to leave the dumping to the end of the day. This was a HUGE risk, because if the drive died at the end of the day, we’d potentially loose a whole days worth of shooting. However, we didn’t have the crew available to have a dedicated “data technician”, nor did we have the hardware to dump the cards on a regular basis. This may seem really silly (I mean seriously – all you need is a Mac laptop and a card reader!), but we had neither of those things at the time, and it was just easier to use what we had available. Luckily – nothing went wrong, and the RED-DRIVE was faultless – it never dropped a single frame! However, to anyone else planning to shoot on RED – I strongly recommend you do the complete opposite to what we did! Record to CF card and dump as soon as the card is full.

Although in the end we didn’t end up using any of the sync audio – we recorded audio separately to a Sound Devices 744T, which was synced to a Smart Slate. Originally we had planned to sync the camera to the 744T as well, but for some reason we couldn’t get it to work on the first day of shooting, so we gave up. I believe the problem has since been fixed with one of the RED ONE Firmware Updates. We only had one microphone on set – a Sennheiser 416 on a boom. We basically just recorded sound to use as a guide track for when it came to adding sound effects later on.

At the end of each shooting day we dumped the RED-DRIVE and the 744T to two seperate 1TB SATAII drives. For the duration of the shoot we managed to borrow a brand new MacPro Tower from Julian at Eidolon Creative and used this machine to do all the dumping as well as the transcoding. We put the two 1TB drives directly into the MacPro. We ended up with 508.34GB of camera footage, and a couple of GB of audio. We ended up purchasing two additional 500GB SATAII drives to make another backup of all of the R3D files – which we then stored at two separate locations away from our master edit suite, just in case. We called the drives Pinky (Master Edit), Bluey (Backup of Master Edit), Tumbles (R3D Master) and Splash (backup of R3D Master), because that’s what the names of the Sakooz creatures are called. Anyway… Now normally, on a “proper” production, you would have RAIDs and RAID 5 protection, etc. But unfortunately, we simply didn’t have the money for that, so we just had to make do with what we had. We had to manually copy and paste the files for backup purposes – we basically did this at the end of each day. We also kept a copy of the Final Cut Pro project on two USB thumbdrives just in case. Just for laughs, here’s a photo of some of the drives from our rather odd-ball collection. The top right one is Pinky. We ended up taking the covers off the enclosures as we found they got too hot when in use all day and night long.

After principle photography was wrapped we set the MacPro to work trancoding the R3D files using REDrushes (a free application which can be downloaded from the RED site). We were transcoding the R3D files to Apple ProRes 422 HQ files at 1920×1080. We were using the full debayer quality, and REDSpace for both the Colour & Gamma spaces. This took a HUGE amount of time (almost two weeks of none stop processing), but at the end of the day we ended up with some terrific Quicktime files that we could throw into Final Cut Pro and start editing, plus we could also send these clips to the visual effects kids so that they could start playing. We did run into one slight problem after we THOUGHT that everything was done. On inspection of the transcoded files, we realised that all the Quicktimes for Day Two of shooting were EXACTLY the same as Day Four. I’m still not sure whether that was human error or REDrushes being annoying – but either way we had to re-transcode all of the day four footage. Unfortunately at this stage we had to give back the MacPro, so we had to do all of this on a stock standard first generation MacBook. It wasn’t quite as fast as the MacPro, but it got the job done. Eventually.

Offlining using such high quality media may seem a little silly – I mean, really, we could have done a quarter res transcode to DV, and save a huge amount of time and disk space. Also, considering we were doing the offline on a bunch of eMac’s over Firewire 400 drives (that’s right… really old school eMac’s!), it would have also made the whole editing process a lot more fluid. However! By editing at such a great quality, it meant that whenever we did test screenings or had to show potential investors or sponsors, we could easily burn off a high-quality 1920×1080 Quicktime Movie that looks simply gorgeous even before grading. Here is a photo of our main editing machine.

...and the other babies:

I’m not even sure how this is possible, but we were able to play one video track of 1920×1080 ProRes on the eMac over Firewire 400 in realtime without any issues. And so, we basically edited away for several weeks in Final Cut Pro 6. We ended up doing a very rough grade using the 3-way Colour Corrector just so that when we showed other people to get opinions, they were looking at something that looked half decent. We tried a huge amount of different things in terms of the edit – we used a lot of different music as guide tracks. We even copied the audio from other big Hollywood trailers (such as the Dark Knight) and cut our footage to their soundtrack just to see what we could come up with. It was a very painful, long, but fun and creative process that I certainly won’t forget any time soon!

Whilst I was trying to lock down the picture, others were playing around with the visual effects. Initially, tests and trials were done by the various VFX artists using the ProRes Quicktime files. However, once we had locked down the trailer in terms of the edit, we used REDCINE to export out 4K TIFF sequences and 2K/1K DPX sequences for the visual effects people to work on. Ashley Smart (who did the effects for the Shed Explosion Sequence) was using 4K TIFF Sequences in After Effects on a laptop (which is quite incredible). James Otter used 1K DPX sequences in Nuke, and After Effects to achieve a lot of the effects shots, on a PC. And I used a good old MacBook, running After Effects and Shake to do the remaining shots. I ended up using After Effect’s own tracker for most of the tracking work, although I did use PFTrack for one of the shots. I also used Syntheyes on an old Dell Laptop for a small section of another shot. For Pinky eyes, I ended up brining in 4K DPX sequences into After Effects – which was fairly interesting on the poor old MacBook! But it worked, and the shots came out OK considering…

We ended up with 16 visual effects in total (including graphics). Once a visual effect shot was completed it was exported as a 1920×1080 DPX sequence ready for grading. For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of After Effects genius James Otter, working away! I have no idea what the cardboard cartons are for, or where he got them. Needless to say, these photos were taken at some ridiculous early hour of the morning, after James and I had been stuck at uni for AT LEAST forty hours STRAIGHT!

Once the offline edit was complete, we tidied up the timeline so that everything was on the one track (where possible) and printed off an EDL. This then became our bible. At this stage, all the audio had been done in Final Cut Pro, with the occasional effect being done in Protools LE and Soundtrack Pro, and then exported out as an AIFF. We were still using guide track music.

By printing off the EDL we now had a hard copy of the trailer’s edit – which is always a good thing! But more importantly, it allowed us to easily track and manage everything. Because we couldn’t afford to purchase software such as Crimson Workflow, and we didn’t have time to write up our own proprietary software, we ended up doing a lot of things manually. For instance, we ended up going down the EDL line by line, and exporting a 1920×1080 DPX sequence from REDCINE. We made minor adjustments in REDCINE to get the most clean image and exported away. We put each shot in a different folder based on the EDL number assigned to the shot. For example, the first shot in the trailer was called 001_000001.DPX. This kept things nice and simple. Once every shot was exported out of REDCINE as DPX sequence (which took a night), it was ready for grading!

Originally we had planned to do the grade at one of the major post houses in Melbourne, but due to a lack of time and money, we ended up getting a very talented film school graduate called Nick Reid to do the grade in Apple’s Color. Getting the DPX files into Color proved to be a bit more tricky than anticipated! We ended up purchasing yet another 1TB SATAII drive (called Gizmo) for the colour grade.

What we ended up doing was wrapping all the DPX files as Quicktimes manually using AJA’s free DPXtoQTTranslator utility. Once all of the DPX’s were wrapped (including all the visual effects), we manually re-created the Final Cut Pro timeline based on the printed EDL using the newly wrapped Quicktime files. We then exported out a XML file from Final Cut Pro. This XML file was brought into Color and grading could commence. Nick took a couple of days to do the grade, and once completed, he handed back Gizmo, ready for the final stages!

With the grade now completed, we exported out AJA 10-bit Uncompressed RGB Quicktimes. We then used the AJA QTtoDPXTranslator to unwrap the Quicktime Files back to DPX files. As the AJA tool simply “wraps” the files – it doesn’t transcode them or anything like that, this process is really fast, although you do have to do it manually. For me, that means I have to do everything 69 times which isn’t too bad. The only annoying thing is that you have to rename all the clips again, as Color names everything sequentially, and we wanted everything named as per the bible (i.e. the EDL).

Now with a whole heap of beautifully graded DPX sequences, it was time to do the online. I ended up doing this at University on a nice and speedy MacPro in After Effects CS3. I imported all of the DPX sequences, and then manually put them all in the correct places based on the printed EDL. Once that was complete I simply rendered out a Quicktime File using the Animation Codec. Here is a photo taken at about four o’clock in the morning after I’d been at uni for about fourty hours STRAIGHT working on Sakooz. You can see the insanity in my eyes.

The only thing left to do was sound! Once Frank (our composer) finished, he simply gave us a 24-Bit 48KHz Broadcast Wave File, which we threw into Final Cut Pro. After a bit of tweaking – adjusting the sound effect levels to suit the new score, the sound was ready to rock and roll! Originally we had planned to do a quite complex 5.1 mix just for fun – but at the end of the day, no one was ever going to listen to it in surround sound anyway, so we decided to skip on that idea (for now at least). Once the sound was done, we exported an AIFF and then merged the Animation Codec video and AIFF together to create the Final Quicktime Master!

From that Quicktime master we than could do any DVD, web, Blu-ray, etc. encodes using Compressor.

And that is the workflow we decided to use for Sakooz! At the moment we are just archiving all the project files to DVD, and keeping all the media on the SATAII drives. At some stage we will eventually put everything to LTO drives as a final backup – but we don’t have the money at the moment.

This wasn’t exactly the quickest workflow in the world (we did a lot of things manually that could have been easily avoided by using software such as Crimson Workflow, plus we used extremely old Mac’s and PC’s in a lot of cases), but a lot of it came down to money vs time. In some cases money won out, but more often than not, we decided to save money and do things the manual way. To be perfectly honest, it actually felt really nice to have a printed out EDL on which to direct everything! It felt much the same as the good old days with film!

If you have any questions about the workflow or how we did anything, feel free to post a comment. At some stage in the future we also hope to post some more detailed information on the various visual effects that featured in the trailer, so stay tuned!

Chris!

It's terrible, but you can watch the SAKOOZ trailer here:

Merry Christmas Team!

Discuss this news item



# 22nd December 2023

Final Cut Pro 10.7.1 is out now!

This release includes:

  • Improves stability on Intel-based Mac models when using Color Wheels or Color Curves on H.264 video clips (reported on FCP Cafe here).
  • Fixes an issue with some default keyboard shortcuts working incorrectly on non-English keyboards.

Thanks for the fast turnaround Apple!

We'll test it over the coming days and weeks to see if there's any other undocumented changes/fixes.


Builder NLE v4.1.10 is out now with the following bug fixes:

  • Bug fixes for syncing the preview player with the selected text block after spliting or merging paragraphs
  • Bug fix for offline media warning dialog

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# 21st December 2023

MotionVFX has pushed out some bug fixes for some of their products to make them work more reliably on Final CUt Pro 10.7:

  • mFlare 2 v3.0.5: Improved stability and robustness when using multiple instances of the plugin
  • mTracker 3D v2.0.5: Improved stability and robustness when using multiple instances of the plugin
  • mTracker 3D Area v1.0.6: Improved M3 support and stability when using multiple instances of the plugin

You can learn more here.


It's finally here!

Hedge PostLab is now out in public beta!

If you're interested in joining the beta you can complete this form here.

You can learn more about the public beta here.

We're super, super excited to put it through it's paces!


The amazing Jenn Jager has just released a video titled Plugins for FCP | Four Must See Plugins from FCP Experts.

The description reads:

Today I wanted to take a second to highlight some members of the Final Cut Pro community who make plugins for FCP. These creators are always lending a hand in the Final Cut Pro facebook groups, so let's return the favor and support their small businesses!

You can watch it on YouTube here:

Discuss this news item



# 19th December 2023

BRAW Toolbox v1.3.7 (65) is out now!

It includes the following changes:

🐞 Bug Fix:

  • Fixed white balance control for Panasonic GH5S and BGH1 Blackmagic RAW clips.

🔨 Improvements:

  • Updated from Blackmagic RAW SDK v3.6 to v3.6.1.

You can learn more here.

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# 18th December 2023

Metaburner Pro is now up on Apple's TestFlight for early alpha testing!

It's an advanced Metadata Generator for Final Cut Pro. You can access it via a Title in the Titles sidebar.

It gives you 25 text layers that you can populate with whatever metadata you want. You can full control over the text formatting.

You can even stack multiple Metaburner Pro Titles on top of each other for UNLIMITED titles!

You can import your Final Cut Pro project/timeline back into the Metaburner Pro Title via a drop zone, so Metaburner Pro has full access to everything that's in the FCPXML.

You can learn more here.


Builder NLE v4.1.9 is out now with the following bug fix:

  • Bug fix for the Transcript player loading and playing certain types of multicam clips

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# 16th December 2023

Gyroflow Toolbox v1.1.4 (Build 18) is out now!

It includes the following changes:

🔨 Improvements:

  • We've updated to the latest Gyroflow Core Renderer. HUGE thank you to the amazing AdrianEddy for all his ongoing help, assistance, genius and support! There should be a minor performance improvement to playback, and slightly lower memory usage.
  • Updated from FxPlug v4.2.7 to v4.2.9.
  • 3156 lens profiles have been added from the hero Gyroflow project. Thanks to EVERYONE who has submitted lens profiles and another HUGE thank you to AdrianEddy for all the work that goes into managing them.
  • We now load all lens profile when the FxPlug first starts, for faster importing later.
  • We now show a loading popup when a Gyroflow project is being imported or generated for Final Cut Pro, so it's obvious that something is busy behind the scenes.
  • We've added a Grant Sandbox Access and Reset Sandbox Access menu items to the Settings button in the Inspector, so that you can grant Gyroflow Toolbox access to an entire drive, for faster importing.

🐞 Bug Fix:

  • Fixed a potential crash that we've been trying to solve for ages. On SOME systems (specifically systems with Mac2 family GPUs), Apple's Metal Framework would generate a Metal Texture that the Metal Performance Shader in the Mac couldn't actually work with, causing a crash deep within Apple's code. It was very hard to reproduce, as it only happened on certain systems - and none of ours. HUGE thank you to Apple Developer Technical Support, the Final Cut Pro Team, AdrianEddy and Warren Moore for all their constant and on-going help, assistance, guidance, patience and support!

You can learn more here.


Builder NLE v4.1.8 is out now with the following bug fix:

  • Bug fix to improve the accuracy of time stamps during speech-to-text transcriptions

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.


Picture This... v1.0.4 is out now with the following improvement:

  • Code refactored to remove the optional use of non-XL Stable Diffusion models.

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.


Simon Says Transcription v3.9.4 is out now with improved performance and bug fixes.

You can download the latest version on the Mac App Store here.

Discuss this news item



# 15th December 2023

Dylan Bates - aka The Final Cut Bro - now has 50K subscribers on YouTube!

On Friday 15th December @ 1100 PST he will be doing a giveaway with over USD$9,000 worth of products and services!

Make sure you like and subscribe over at YouTube here.


Color Finale v2.7.3 is out now!

The release notes simply say:

Updated to the Latest FxPlug4 SDK for FCP 10.7

You can learn more here.

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# 12th December 2023

CoreMelt has released CoreMelt Manager v1.1.4.

You can learn more here.


MotionVFX has released mFilmLook v2.0.6 with the following fixes:

  • Improved stability and robustness when using multiple instances of the plugin.

You can learn more here.


Scott Simmons has updated his ProVideo Coalition article:

It's worth a read to hear more details about how to speed up exports with simultaneous processing in Final Cut Pro for Mac.

You can also read about it in the Final Cut Pro manual here.


One of the things I really LOVE about CommandPost is how quick and easy it is to build automation tools.

For example, last night Nguyễn Quốc Hoàng contacted me asking the following:

Hi Chris, wanna ask if you know any app that can transfer / copy tags-metadata from original clips to trimmed clip (based on filename).

My problem is, after the project is finish and I trimmed all the project video files into a smaller segments to archive.

My metadata, finder tags are lost.

This is the perfect problem for something like CommandPost to solve, via it's powerful Lua scripting.

Here's the solution I quickly came up with (which was posted here on the CommandPost GitHub Discussions):

-- Get a the Source Folder Path:
local lastSourceFolder = cp.config.get("tagCopier.LastSourceFolder", "")
local sourceFolder = hs.dialog.chooseFileOrFolder("Source Folder:", lastSourceFolder, false, true, false)
local sourceFolderPath = sourceFolder and sourceFolder["1"]
if not sourceFolderPath then return end
cp.config.set("tagCopier.LastSourceFolder", sourceFolderPath)

-- Get a the Destination Folder Path:
local lastDestinationFolder = cp.config.get("tagCopier.LastDestinationFolder", "")
local destinationFolder = hs.dialog.chooseFileOrFolder("Destination Folder:", lastDestinationFolder, false, true, false)
local destinationFolderPath = destinationFolder and destinationFolder["1"]
if not destinationFolderPath then return end
cp.config.set("tagCopier.LastDestinationFolder", destinationFolderPath)

-- Get a table of Source Files:
local sourceFiles = cp.tools.dirFiles(sourceFolderPath)
if not sourceFiles then
    hs.dialog.blockAlert("Tag Copier Cancellled", "No source files could be detected.", "Cancel")
    return
end

-- Get a table of Destination Files:
local destinationFiles = cp.tools.dirFiles(destinationFolderPath)
if not destinationFiles then
    hs.dialog.blockAlert("Tag Copier Cancellled", "No destination files could be detected.", "Cancel")
    return
end

-- We'll store our Source File Tags in here:
local sourceTags = {}

-- Save all our Source File Tags for future reference:
for _, filename in pairs(sourceFiles) do
    if filename ~= "." and filename ~= ".." then
        local currentFile = sourceFolderPath .. "/" .. filename
        local currentTags = hs.fs.tagsGet(currentFile)
        if currentTags then
            sourceTags[filename] = currentTags
        end
    end
end

-- Count how many files we apply Tags too:
local fileCount = 0

-- Apply our Source File Tags to any matching Destination Files:
for _, filename in pairs(destinationFiles) do
    if filename ~= "." and filename ~= ".." then
        local currentFile = destinationFolderPath .. "/" .. filename
        local currentTags = sourceTags[filename]
        if currentTags and type(currentTags) == "table" then
            hs.fs.tagsSet(currentFile, currentTags)
            fileCount = fileCount + 1
        end
    end
end

-- Show Competition Alert:
hs.dialog.blockAlert("Tag Copier Complete!", "Tags were applied to " .. fileCount .. " files.", "OK")

You can literally just paste this into the CommandPost Debug Console, and away you go!

You can learn more about CommandPost's Lua Scripting here.


Alex Raccuglia is the genius behind Ulti.Media, based in Italy. He's a commercial director and software developer.

If you haven't already, you can read his INCREDIBLE Developers Case Study about Transcriber on FCP Cafe here.

Whilst you're there, you should also read Demystifying Final Cut Pro XMLs by Philip Hodgetts & Dr Gregory Clarke from Intelligent Assistance.

Alex makes some incredible tools such as:

If you haven't already subscribed, Alex has been doing an super fun and entertaining YouTube series, called The Morning Rant.

You can find all the previous episodes on his YouTube Channel here.

He recently just posted this great rant:

The YouTube description says:

The main focus of the video is on my exploration of integrating automatic ducking into Final Cut Pro. I reflect on my past app, FCPX AutoDuck, and express the desire to enhance its functionality by making it work within Final Cut Pro. I detail the complexities of the task, involving parsing FCP XML and dealing with intricate timelines, nested timelines, and various editing techniques. I acknowledge the difficulty of achieving automatic ducking within Final Cut Pro, emphasizing the absence of this feature even in the latest versions.

I highlight my commitment to this project as a side venture while prioritizing the release of FCP Pause Cutter in 2024. Despite the challenges and doubts, I share my progress on Twitter, showcasing a potential icon for the app. I express skepticism about the feasibility of creating a seamless and efficient automatic ducking feature but remain dedicated to personal research in this area.

The video concludes with a mention of a pre-production meeting in Milan and my reluctance to take on low-budget, demanding projects. I express concerns about the future of Final Cut Pro, hinting at a possible decline.

Here's a full transcript of the video, created using Transcriber (so if there's any typos - Alex can only blame himself, haha):

Hi there, welcome to the morning rant.

I know that I treat this show as a podcast because you know this should be a YouTube show but I talked to this strange camera on my car as I will talk to a microphone to a simple microphone doing a podcast and that's a problem because this is not a podcast but I treat it as a podcast because I'm a podcaster since 2011 and so after something like more than a thousand episodes I recorded sometimes even longer than one hour so this is my comfort zone.

A podcast is my comfort zone.

Doing video is something like I do to force myself to look into a camera and try to do something not so ugly.

So today I want to talk about what happened yesterday and because it can be interesting for everybody who's trying to understand why something happens and something doesn't happen in the realm of a Final Cut Pro.

Okay so yesterday was a very strange day because the night before yesterday I couldn't sleep because my son had a little problem trying to sleep and so it was a blank night.

I don't know how to translate this into English but me and my wife didn't sleep almost anything and yesterday was a strange day because I couldn't go to the office.

I took one day off because you have to do a lot of things related to my son.

We had to do vaccination, having a meeting with the teachers of the kindergarten.

So doing a lot of stuff and I didn't have much time to focus on anything.

I spent something like one hour in the office with my wife in my wife's office trying to produce something but I couldn't focus on anything and so I started doing a little research and considered that I spent one hour but it was segmented in maybe three parts because twice we had to go to the bar and take some coffee.

In Italy, Espresso is something like a religion and we like coffee.

I like coffee and then we took a lot of coffee yesterday because we needed to stay awake.

I tried to do some research because I created many apps that communicate with Final Cut Pro in the sense of passing data to Final Cut Pro.

You know, you prepare something into my apps and then the apps prepare something and send the data to Final Cut Pro and then you can finish the work on Final Cut Pro.

So the workflow works on my app and then after computation, decision making and something like this, the final work can be done, should be done and must be done in Final Cut Pro.

There are a lot of apps that work inside of Final Cut Pro or using Final Cut Pro data and so they can take data from Final Cut Pro, computate them and then send them back to Final Cut.

Okay, there are a lot of stuff like this.

I think that Bitmark Pro can work like this.

Choose one music, you choose a lot of clips and then you can send all the stuff to Bitmark Pro to create a new timeline with the beats in sync with the music and then edit it in sync with the music and send the final result back to Final Cut Pro.

Now Bitmark works all in one direction.

You create all the documents, you load the music, you load the assets into Bitmark Pro and then Bitmark Pro creates this timeline and then it sends it to Final Cut Pro.

And I say to myself it would be nice to understand, to learn how to send data from Final Cut Pro to my app, to my apps and then send them back.

And so I started doing a little research.

Everything started because I needed to do an automatic docking.

My first app was FCPX AutoDock.

It does automatic docking outside Final Cut Pro because you load the speaker track and then the audio, the music track and then it produces a new timeline with the audio, with the music track, with keyframes that lower the music and raise it up to make automatic docking.

So when there's someone speaking or talking, the music goes down and then after the speech, after the talking, the music returns up in a very elegant and seamless way.

It's not an automatic docking that works in one direction because it goes backwards.

It analyzes the clusters of the talking and then starts lowering the music before the talking.

It's something like it goes backward in time.

It can do this because it works on files and not in real time.

And I needed to do something like this and then I said to myself "Ok, this is an app that is out since 2017.

I don't know.

It's one of my first apps I ever developed.

The interface is old, maybe ugly.

It works.

It still sells today because it's useful.

But it will be super, super, super, super, super, super, super useful if it can work inside Final Cut Pro, take in a timeline with many dialogues, stuff and many musics and then do automatic docking on the complete timeline.

And I said to myself "Ok, let's try to research this as a side-side project because I'm very focused to put out on the market FCP Postcutter that will be my super big app of the 2024 because it's a super big app.

It's super powerful.

But I said to myself "Ok, let's do this some kind of side-side project while I'm working in the office of my wife." Doing this kind of stuff is hard.

It's very, very hard.

I tried to understand if there's some library, some framework on GitHub to parse the FCP XML because Final Cut Pro communicates with other apps via an XML.

A subset of an XML or an extension of XML, that is FCP XML.

Something like a complete and total description of what happens in the timeline, in the event, in the library.

Almost everything that you can think about can be described in this XML.

It's a very huge and complex file.

It's something like an old kind of file because today everything is done by a JSON.

But once, a lot of time ago, before the introduction of JSON, we used XML.

It's beautiful that today we have JSON because XML is a pain in the I know what and you know what.

So I start trying to understand if there's someone who developed something like a parser for doing this.

And then I said to myself, "This thing is very complicated." Because think about a simple timeline, okay? You have a lot of dialogue.

You're doing something like an interview and then you have 10, 20, 50 little clips or segments of dialogue.

And then you have a background music.

So the music starts and then after 10 seconds of music, after the introduction, you have the first dialogue.

And then the music should go down and then should go up and that should go down to not interfere with the dialogue.

Then the dialogue finishes and then the music goes on for other 10 seconds.

The music goes up and then it fades out.

This is a very simple timeline.

To produce something like an automatic dacking, you have to do tons of stuff.

You have to recreate inside your app.

Inside my app I have to recreate the structure of the timeline with all the segments because you don't take a full clip without an in point or an out point.

You have to take dozens, hundreds of segments, shift them in time, understand if there's dialogue in this segment and then doing the same for the music or the musics, parsing what is dialogue and what is music but this can be done by other roles.

And then recreate a very complex structure of dialogues, segments of dialogues and music segments of music to produce this unique dialogue segment and a unique music segment, add keyframes and then send it back to Final Cut Pro.

It's not complex, it's almost impossible.

It's very, very hard and that's the reason nobody ever done an automatic dacking inside Final Cut Pro because it's hard.

And this is one of the easiest way of having a timeline.

What if you have a nested timeline, some compounds, secondary storylines, compounds with compounds of compounds, synchronized clip or if you do fade in and fade out of the music, crossfades.

There's a ton, a ton, a super ton of way of doing a single simple timeline, a common timeline, a normal timeline that you will do in your project.

And doing an automatic dacking for this is... it's a pain in the ass.

I don't know how to do this.

I'm trying to do this as a personal research, to do dacking with maybe one or two, let's keep it simple, one or two musics and a bunch of clips in the main timeline without compounds, without synchronized clips or without multicam.

Trying to understand if this is feasible as a personal research.

Yesterday I put on Twitter "okay I'm researching this kind of stuff with a version 2 of FCP Autodack" and I showed the ideal icon of the app, an icon that I developed for an episode of my podcast, TechnoPills.

It's in Italian, sorry for everybody who doesn't understand Italian.

And because I developed an autodacking feature for my app Ultimedia Converter and it works, it's cool, it's powerful, it's... yeah! Using artificial intelligence Firefly by Adobe I created this icon with a dack with a lot of speakers and it's beautiful.

And so I said to myself if I'll ever do an automatic dack, a version 2 of autodacking, I will use this as an icon.

So I think this is a some kind of a joke because I'm quite sure that I will never do an app that can do this in a seamless way, in an efficient way, in some way, because it's too hard to produce an automatic dacking.

Think about it, even Apple didn't do an automatic dacking for Final Cut Pro because there's so much you have to understand, to learn, to figure out.

It's almost impossible.

But they should do this.

I expect this is an upcoming version of Final Cut Pro but I'm working with an automatic dacking feature since 10.4 and now we have 10.7.

A huge improvement with the scrolling timeline for you! And no automatic dacking.

I don't know, sometimes I think that FCP is a die-hard platform but I keep it to myself because I base all my business on Final Cut Pro.

Well, I think that's all for today.

Now I have to run in the rain in my car towards Milan because I have a pre-production meeting for a very very very super strong low-budget product production that I don't want to do.

And I said to myself, you know, never accept this kind of works anymore because working with so little margins and with clients is so demanding, with an arrogant way.

It's something that hurts my stomach and then I need a lot of malox to survive.

Ok, that's it, now I run to this meeting and cross your finger for me and I'll keep you updated with the things that I will discover in my research trying to understand how Final Cut Pro thinks using XML.

It's 2023 and everybody should not use XML anymore.

That's all for today and as always I say... Ciao! Oh, remember to comment this video, like this video, subscribe to the channel, blah blah blah, all the stuff that all the good YouTubers do.

I don't do this because I'm not a YouTuber, I'm a podcaster.

This is just a video podcast.

I know that it will be more, more, more interesting doing this as an audiophile but you know what, I'm trying to experiment.

Ciao!

It's a great video, and it's inspired me to reply in more depth, here at FCP Cafe...

I absolutely love all of Alex's tool - I have personally bought them all, and use them all the time - especially Transcriber, BeatMark Pro and FCP SRT Importer 2.

However, one complaint I've always had is that Alex's tools don't use Workflow Extensions.

A Final Cut Pro Workflow Extension is a feature in Apple's Final Cut Pro that allows third-party developers to integrate their tools and services directly into the Final Cut Pro interface, enhancing the functionality and efficiency of the editing process.

They provide seamless integration as they appear as panels within the Final Cut Pro interface. This means editors can use third-party tools and services without leaving Final Cut Pro, maintaining a smooth and uninterrupted editing workflow. Their window position also gets saved in any saved Workspaces.

There is a diverse range of applications, and can vary widely in function, including tools for media asset management, stock footage libraries, music services, transcription services, and more. This variety allows editors to tailor their workflow according to their specific needs.

You can find Workflow Extensions on the Mac App Store, but they can also be released outside of the Mac App Store.

FCP Cafe keeps track of all the available Workflow Extensions here.

By having these additional tools integrated directly into the editing environment, editors can save time and effort. Tasks like searching for media, managing files, or transcribing audio can be done quickly and efficiently within Final Cut Pro.

I personally have a LOT of Workflow Extensions installed:

From a developers perspective, a Workflow Extension is basically just a custom view that you can put whatever you like inside it.

When you drag something from the Final Cut Pro Browser to any text box (i.e. TextEdit), what it's actually dragging is FCPXML data (try it yourself to see).

Because of this, you can easily drag objects from the Final Cut Pro Browser to your Workflow Extension, and vice versa.

For example, in Marker Toolbox you can drag your markers from the Workflow Extension back into your Final Cut Pro timeline as a Compound Clip (drag the green icon):

In BRAW Toolbox once you've imported all your BRAW footage, you can drag an Event from the Workflow Extension back into your Library:

You can also drag Libraries, Events and Projects back into the Workflow Extension via the Toolbox at the bottom of the user interface, for doing things like exporting a FCPXML for DaVinci Resolve.

You can also trigger a limited number of things via the Workflow Extension API.

For example:

We use this API to allow CommandPost to programatically move the playhead via the CommandPost Workflow Extension:

This Workflow Extension is super simple - it's just in Objective-C, and uses web-sockets to communicate back and forth between the Workflow Extension and CommandPost.

You can check out the source code on GitHub here.

Controlling the playhead via the API is a lot smoother and reliable than pressing virtual shortcut keys, or triggering menubar items.

But aside from that - that's really all Workflow Extensions can do. They're just a dumb window that a developer can control essentially.

In fact, we decided NOT to use a Workflow Extension for the CommandPost HUD - because there was really no advantage:

However, jumping back to Alex's video - I'd LOVE for Transcriber and BeatMark Pro to be quickly accessible from directly within Final Cut Pro.

I'd love to be able to just drag in an music track from the Browser into a Workflow Extension, do the processing, then drag the clip back into my timeline with markers added.

This is all possible, and somewhat easy to do.

You can learn more about Workflow Extensions on FCP Cafe here.

But Workflow Extensions are only one technology that third party Final Cut Pro developers get access to...

There's also Custom Share Destinations, which is something I've been digging into deeply recently, to help out Vigneswaran Rajkumar for his exciting upcoming app, Marker Data.

Sadly, Custom Share Destinations are terribly documented.

Essentially they're a way to "trigger" external apps once a render/export is complete - for example, this shows how Xsend Motion is triggered:

Final Cut Pro sends Apple Events to the third party application - and there's back and forth communication between Final Cut Pro and the third party app.

Thankfully, I happened to have a very old Apple sample project saved in my backups that demonstrates how this works - which has since sadly disappeared from the Internet.

I've uploaded the Objective-C example here.

I've also started attempting to port this example to a more modern Swift - but it's early days. You can track my progress here.

You can learn more about Custom Share Destinations on FCP Cafe here.

And last, but not least, we have FxPlug.

FxPlug is a powerful plugin architecture designed by Apple, specifically tailored for Final Cut Pro and Motion.

At its core, FxPlug enables third-party developers to create advanced effects, such as custom filters, transitions, and generators, expanding the capabilities of Final Cut Pro beyond its native features.

One of the key advantages of FxPlug is its support for high-bit-depth rendering, ensuring that the effects and transitions maintain the highest image quality without degradation. This is particularly important for professionals who require precision and high fidelity in their video projects. Additionally, FxPlug offers real-time performance, a crucial aspect for efficient workflow, allowing editors and motion graphic designers to preview effects without the need for time-consuming rendering.

Another significant aspect of FxPlug is its compatibility with Apple's Metal framework. This integration leverages the full power of modern Mac hardware, delivering accelerated performance and smoother playback, even with complex effects and high-resolution footage. The use of Metal also means that FxPlug plugins can harness the capabilities of the latest graphic processors, further enhancing the efficiency and speed of video editing tasks.

It provides a wide range of customizable parameters for each plugin, giving users complete control over the look and feel of the effects. This level of customization allows for greater creative freedom, enabling editors to achieve unique visual styles tailored to their specific project needs.

FxPlug is a robust and versatile plugin architecture that significantly enhances the capabilities of Final Cut Pro and Motion. Its support for high-bit-depth rendering, real-time performance, integration with Apple's Metal, and customizable options make it an essential tool for video editing professionals seeking to create high-quality, creative, and visually stunning projects.

Essentially though... FxPlug is basically just Filters & Generators for Apple Motion:

You can't directly use a FxPlug in Final Cut Pro - you need to make an Apple Motion template that uses it.

BRAW Toolbox and Gyroflow Toolbox both use FxPlug under the hood.

Here's a look at the BRAW Toolbox Motion Template:

Here's a look at the Gyroflow Toolbox Motion Template:

Gyroflow Toolbox is open source, so you can view the source code on GitHub here.

FxPlug is fairly flexible in that you can add your own custom parameters, and basically do whatever you want to the image.

I'm currently building a new app called Metaburner Pro which is using FxPlug on Swift:

You can learn more about FxPlug over at FCP Cafe here.

You can find a list of third party Motion Templates (some of which use FxPlug) here.

Ok, so you have Workflow Extensions, Custom Share Destinations, FCPXML and FxPlug.

There are third party frameworks for dealing with FCPXML too...

Pipeline Neo is a Swift framework for working with FCPXML files easily.

Originally developed by Reuel Kim and it is no longer maintained. Pipeline Neo was created as a spin-off project to fix and update the library when necessary.

You can learn more here. I've personally never really used it.

There's also DAWFileKit - a Swift library for reading and writing common import/export file formats between popular DAW and video editing applications with the ability to convert between formats.

DAWFileKit is made by Steffan Andrews, who is an absolute genius.

I've never personally used DAWFileKit, but I intend to play soon.

You can learn more here.

You also have Audio Units - which are basically system wide audio plugins that work in ProTools, Adobe Audition, Logic Pro, etc. You can use Audio Units on both Mac and iPad/iOS, which is interesting.

I've never personally played too much with Audio Units, as it's a GIANT rabbit hole, as you can see from the documentation.

Finally going back to Alex's video...

I totally think that Transcriber and BeatMark Pro could easily be ported to a Workflow Extension and improved to make it simpler and easier for Final Cut Pro editors.

In terms of bringing FCPX AutoDuck to a Workflow Extension, that's definitely possible too, but as Alex explains, you'd basically need to recreate Final Cut Pro's entire audio pipeline to mimic what Final Cut Pro does in FCPX AutoDuck.

One potential workaround could be to create a Custom Share Destination, allowing you to export AIFFs of dialogue, music and effects separately, and then the Workflow Extension uses these mix downs for the processing, and then applies the audio adjustments to a Compound Clip of all the audio clips in that role.

Because you can create a Custom Share Destination that can export roles as seperate audio files, the user would just need to export to a single Share Destination, then at the end of the export/render, you could programatically send these files to the Workflow Extension for processing. Once processing is complete, the user could drag a new project from the Workflow Extension to their Final Cut Pro Browser, which would have Compound Clips of the individual audio roles, and levels/effects applied to those compound clips.

It's slightly complex - because you need to communicate between the Custom Share Destination and the Workflow Extension, but certainly achievable.

But I totally agree with Alex in that CMTime is really hard and FCPXML can get insanely confusing.

For example, this is how we get the "current frame number" in Gyroflow Toolbox and BRAW Toolbox:

//---------------------------------------------------------
// Load the timing API:
//---------------------------------------------------------
id<FxTimingAPI_v4> timingAPI = [_apiManager apiForProtocol:@protocol(FxTimingAPI_v4)];
if (timingAPI == nil) {
    //---------------------------------------------------------
    // Show error message:
    //---------------------------------------------------------
    NSString *errorMessage = @"Unable to retrieve FxTimingAPI_v4 in pluginStateAtTime.";
    NSLog(@"[Gyroflow Toolbox Renderer] %@", errorMessage);
    if (error != NULL) {
        *error = [NSError errorWithDomain:FxPlugErrorDomain
                                     code:kFxError_FailedToLoadTimingAPI
                                 userInfo:@{
            NSLocalizedDescriptionKey : errorMessage }];
    }
    return NO;
}

//---------------------------------------------------------
// Load the Parameter Retrieval API:
//---------------------------------------------------------
id<FxParameterRetrievalAPI_v6> paramGetAPI = [_apiManager apiForProtocol:@protocol(FxParameterRetrievalAPI_v6)];
if (paramGetAPI == nil) {
    //---------------------------------------------------------
    // Show error message:
    //---------------------------------------------------------
    NSString *errorMessage = @"Unable to retrieve FxParameterRetrievalAPI_v6 in pluginStateAtTime.";
    NSLog(@"[Gyroflow Toolbox Renderer] %@", errorMessage);
    if (error != NULL) {
        *error = [NSError errorWithDomain:FxPlugErrorDomain
                                     code:kFxError_FailedToLoadParameterGetAPI
                                 userInfo:@{
            NSLocalizedDescriptionKey : errorMessage }];
    }
    return NO;
}

//---------------------------------------------------------
// Create a new Parameters "holder":
//---------------------------------------------------------
GyroflowParameters *params = [[[GyroflowParameters alloc] init] autorelease];

//---------------------------------------------------------
// Get the frame to render:
//---------------------------------------------------------
CMTime timelineFrameDuration = kCMTimeZero;
timelineFrameDuration = CMTimeMake( [timingAPI timelineFpsDenominatorForEffect:self],
                                   (int)[timingAPI timelineFpsNumeratorForEffect:self] );

CMTime timelineTime = kCMTimeZero;
[timingAPI timelineTime:&timelineTime fromInputTime:renderTime];

CMTime startTimeOfInputToFilter = kCMTimeZero;
[timingAPI startTimeForEffect:&startTimeOfInputToFilter];

CMTime startTimeOfInputToFilterInTimelineTime = kCMTimeZero;
[timingAPI timelineTime:&startTimeOfInputToFilterInTimelineTime fromInputTime:startTimeOfInputToFilter];

Float64 timelineTimeMinusStartTimeOfInputToFilterNumerator = (Float64)timelineTime.value * (Float64)startTimeOfInputToFilterInTimelineTime.timescale - (Float64)startTimeOfInputToFilterInTimelineTime.value * (Float64)timelineTime.timescale;
Float64 timelineTimeMinusStartTimeOfInputToFilterDenominator = (Float64)timelineTime.timescale * (Float64)startTimeOfInputToFilterInTimelineTime.timescale;

Float64 frame = ( ((Float64)timelineTimeMinusStartTimeOfInputToFilterNumerator / (Float64)timelineTimeMinusStartTimeOfInputToFilterDenominator) / ((Float64)timelineFrameDuration.value / (Float64)timelineFrameDuration.timescale) );

//---------------------------------------------------------
// Calculate the Timestamp:
//---------------------------------------------------------
Float64 timelineFpsNumerator    = [timingAPI timelineFpsNumeratorForEffect:self];
Float64 timelineFpsDenominator  = [timingAPI timelineFpsDenominatorForEffect:self];
Float64 frameRate               = timelineFpsNumerator / timelineFpsDenominator;
Float64 timestamp               = (frame / frameRate) * 1000000.0;
params.timestamp                = [[[NSNumber alloc] initWithFloat:timestamp] autorelease];

HUGE props to Dr Gregory Clarke for all the INSANE work he does with FCPXML - again, another absolute genius. It's a LOT of work - just look at how many updates XtoCC and SendToX have had over the years!

Hope this extended "rant" is useful! Any questions, please leave them in the Discussion below. Thanks team!

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# 11th December 2023

Vigneswaran Rajkumar spotted this cool video on YouTube:

Thanks for sharing!

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# 9th December 2023

Chris Hocking at LateNite has started developing his next product, Metaburner Pro.

Metaburner Pro is a Motion Generator that accepts a FCPXML, and "writes" the FCPXML metadata over the top of your Final Cut Pro timeline.

Think of it as basically the same as the Data Burn-In tool in DaVinci Resolve.

It's incredibly early days - however we hope to have a early alpha on TestFlight in the coming weeks.

We are working closely with the professional Final Cut Pro Community, to make sure it's useful for high-end productions - especially long-form projects with big VFX deliverables.

It will be released on the Mac App Store for USD$100.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to post them in the GitHub Issues for Metaburner Pro.

Here's a sneak peak of the early development (with a placeholder icon):

Thanks to everyone who's already offered ideas and suggestions!

Onwards & Upwards!


LateNite's The Future of Everything has been nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best Online Drama or Comedy!

The series was animated in Adobe Animate, and edited in Final Cut Pro by Kevin Luk.

If you haven't already, you can read a Case Study about the series on FCP Cafe here.

You can watch the series for free on YouTube here:


Joshua Meyers writes:

Hi all! We’ve finally been able to release our latest documentary “To My Father” on YouTube this week now that it’s completed its primary festival run.

It’s a short biographical documentary about Academy Award winning actor Troy Kotsur which illustrates how he drew inspiration from his relationship with his father.

We were inspired to make it based on his touching speech he gave as he won the Oscar in 2022 (the first for a deaf male actor) for his performance in the movie CODA (AppleTV).

Our hope in making this film was to honor Troy and his father, but also to present the piece in a way that was accessible to a hearing and deaf audience at the same time.

Troy’s story is told in American Sign Language (ASL) with open captions on for the duration of the movie.

This was a truly challenging piece to edit and we had to consult with a lot of deaf experts to make sure we were accomplishing our accessibility goals. I think we did what we set out to do and I’m very proud of the finished work.

I hope to do a longer case study in the future now that I can reflect on the project in its completion. I appreciate all the help and support I received from the FCP community in the editing process and will pass along what I’ve learned. Please watch if you get a chance. Thank you!

You can watch on YouTube here:


Dylan Bates - The Final Cut Bro, has released an awesome update to his Picture in Picture plugin.

It includes the following improvements:

  1. Increased amount you can scale video Inside of PIP from 200% to 800%
  2. Added 4 Animations for introducing your PIP. More to come!
  3. Added Long Shadow Effect
  4. Added Gradient colors to outline
  5. Added Glow Effect with Animation Capabilities
  6. Added Sharpening Option to PIP video
  7. Added Flip Option for PIP Video
  8. Added Gradient option for background
  9. Minor tweaks and fixes
  10. Improved thumbnails
  11. Overhauled the installation process, making updating even easier!

You can watch a video explaining the new feature on YouTube here:

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# 8th December 2023

Deyson Ortiz has released a new service:

Final Cut Pro Mastery: Learn How To Create Templates, Titles, Transitions, Effects & More

It's personalised 1-On-1 Training.

Afraid of Apple Motion like I am? This is the training for you!

You can learn more here.


Just a friendly reminder that third party FxPlug4 plugins can't crash Final Cut Pro - only Final Cut Pro can crash Final Cut Pro.

This is explained in more detail on the Bug Tracker page.

For example, Threefold Films recently tweeted:

Simon Says Transcription is crashing #fcpx and making my day harder today….

However, as explained on the Bug Tracker, this is a Final Cut Pro bug - nothing to do with Simon Says.

There is also a workaround, as documented here.


BRAW Toolbox v1.3.6 (64) is out now!

This release contains the following bug fix:

  • Fixed a potential crash that we've been trying to solve for ages. On SOME systems (specifically systems with Mac2 family GPUs), Apple's Metal Framework would generate a Metal Texture that the Metal Performance Shader in the Mac couldn't actually work with, causing a crash deep within Apple's code. It was very hard to reproduce, as it only happened on certain systems - and none of ours. HUGE thank you to Apple Developer Technical Support, the Final Cut Pro Team, AdrianEddy and Warren Moore for all their constant and on-going help, assistance, guidance, patience and support!

Gyroflow Toolbox also contains this same code/problem, which we've fixed - however, we're currently waiting for one more fix in Gyroflow Core before pushing publicly - hopefully soon.


Introducing IF Motion!

I'd like to introduce you to a new plugin creator for Final Cut Pro.

Itallo is a former employee of LenoFX, he's now behind IF Motion.

He is launching his paid plugins and is offering a 20% discount when you use the code: LENOFX20

Leno says:

You can also download the freebies to try them out, they are great. Especially the Basic Transitions.

You can learn more here.

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# 7th December 2023

The amazing Thomas Grove Carter has just released a new YouTube video:

You can also find this video on Twitter.

If you haven't read Thomas' case study on FCP Cafe - do it now!


Tangent Hub Beta v1.8.6 is out now!

For those Tangent Panel users out there...

They've added a great new feature to their Warp Engine which now allows you to simply record actions performed on the application’s GUI, and associate those recorded actions to a control on the panel.

The control can be a button, knob, dial, trackerball or ring.

Moving or pressing the control will trigger the playback of the recorded actions.

This means that there’s no longer any need to code Warp Scripts by hand (although you can still do this if you prefer).

Actions that can be recorded are:

  • Mouse moves.
  • Mouse drags. Note only a single drag can be performed in a recording.
  • Mouse button clicks.
  • Mouse scrolls. This is useful if sliders accept a scroll input.
  • Keyboard keypresses.

You can learn more and join their beta program via their website.

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# 6th December 2023

We've brought back Philip Hodgetts & Dr Gregory Clarke's amazing blog post, Demystifying Final Cut Pro XMLs originally written back in 2017 for fcp.co (which has sadly since been retired).

You can read it here.

Philip & Gregory are the geniuses behind Intelligent Assistance - please check out all their amazing tools!

We will also be bringing back some of Ronny Courtens's amazing case studies over the coming weeks! Stay tuned.


BRAW Toolbox v1.3.5 (63) is out now!

It includes the following changes:

🔨 Improvements:

  • Added support for Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K G2.
  • Added support for Panasonic Lumix G9II Blackmagic RAW clips.
  • Updated from Blackmagic RAW SDK v3.4 to v3.6.
  • Updated from FxPlug v4.2.8 to v4.2.9.

🐞 Bug Fix:

  • Fixed a potential crash when pressing the Remove Selected button in the Workflow Extension.

You can learn more here.


evrExpanse 4 is out now with Offload functionality.

It's now equipped with xxh64 hash, ensuring rock-solid data integrity during your media transfers.

Streamlined and secure – because your files deserve the best!

You can get 25% off using the promo code: MU8SNH9

This offer ends 24th December 2023.

You can learn more here.

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# 5th December 2023

X2Pro5 is out now on the Mac App Store at a discounted introductory rate (USD$50 off) for two weeks only!

The original X2Pro will remain on sale, as X2Pro5 only works on macOS Ventura & Sonoma.

It's been completely re-written and redesigned with the following new features:

  • Native Apple silicon support
  • Expanded roles
  • Enhanced media management
  • Simple workflow via redesigned UI

Marquis’ new X2Pro5 software has been designed to integrate Final Cut Pro projects into a professional audio workflow, enabling Avid Pro Tools to be used for audio finishing. It works by converting the exported Final Cut Pro XML into an AAF file, which Avid Pro Tools can then open as a session, delivering seamless integration between the two applications.

X2Pro5 is a complete rewrite of Marquis’ popular X2Pro Audio Convert software, bringing with it native Apple silicon support and a redesigned user interface.

X2Pro5 takes advantage of the innovative metadata-based organising features in Final Cut Pro X, with expanded role management allowing unlimited numbers of audio roles in Final Cut Pro X to be converted into Pro Tools tracks for further audio processing and finishing by the audio engineer.

X2Pro5 has a simple, straightforward interface and is easy to customise; for example, you can decide if you want to include disabled or inactive clips in the export, and you can choose the length of frame handles. The software provides a fully professional audio workflow for Final Cut Pro editors, enabling a very complex audio timeline to be sent to the Pro Tools audio engineer with ease.X2Pro5 faithfully translates your audio timeline along with L-cuts, J-cuts, transitions, levels, automatic gain and fade handles, as well as the incredibly powerful FCP X compound and multicam clips. Transitions are converted into linear cross fades. Audio media can be any QuickTime supported audio, non-PCM audio is converted to PCM at either 16 or 24 bit.

With immersive audio technology continuing to grow in popularity, X2Pro5 provides a quick way for FCP users to be able to deliver a project to an external Pro Tools audio editor, sharing the FCPXML file so they can mix – and deliver – multi-channel audio.

R3D media is supported.

We recommend rendering an off-line or proxy version of the flattened video and exporting that if a reference is needed within Pro Tools. Only audio media is translated by X2Pro5.

System Requirements:

  • Final Cut Pro X, and FCPXML from v1.7
  • macOS 13 Ventura and later. X2Pro5 is tested on the latest release macOS and the previous release.
  • Pro Tools v7.0 or later for AAF import (not LE versions, v7 and v8 require Digitranslator for AAF import)

You can purchase on the Mac App Store here.


Final Cut Library Manager v3.98 is out now!

It now supports Final Cut Pro 10.7 libraries.

You can learn more here.

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# 3rd December 2023

Transfer Toolbox v1.1.0 is out now!

We've updated Transfer Toolbox so that it now works with Final Cut Pro 10.7 and Final Cut Pro 1.3 (for iPad).

You can now transfer Final Cut Pro libraries from your Mac to your iPad for free!

You can learn more and download here.

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# 2nd December 2023

Since its release yesterday, we've been busy testing and exploring Final Cut Pro 10.7.

So far we haven't found any issues or problems with Final Cut Pro 10.7 and CommandPost, BRAW Toolbox, Gyroflow Toolbox, Marker Toolbox, Recall Toolbox or Fast Collections.

If you haven't already, you can read all the release notes in yesterday's post.

It's worth noting that Pro Video Formats & FxPlug SDK also got an update. The Workflow Extensions SDK did not.

There's lots of great videos out there talking about this update, such as:

If you've found any other Final Cut Pro 10.7 videos you've really liked, please let us know in the comments!

Rather than just recapping what the above people have already covered in depth, we instead wanted to discuss some more of the niche/more technical things...


FCPXML:

There have been no changes/updates to FCPXML in this update - it still uses FCPXML v1.11.

Sadly this means that FCPXML is still broken with certain text parameters - for example, Tracking, All Caps Size, Z Position, etc. don't translate properly in FCPXML:

This has been reported to Apple many times over the years. If this bug annoys you, please file feedback via Feedback Assistant referencing FB13434162.


Scrolling Timeline:

The most exciting change to Final Cut Pro 10.7 is the addition of a Scrolling Timeline.

CommandPost has had a scrolling timeline in Final Cut Pro since 2016.

FWIW - the CommandPost scrolling timeline still works in Final Cut Pro 10.7, so you can still keep using it if you prefer it to the official scrolling timeline.

Funnily enough, in an very early version of CommandPost, we also had a feature called Timeline Playhead Lock, which locked the timeline playhead to the centre of the timeline - but this feature was removed at some point as very few people actually used it.

You've also been able to turn on Enable Rendering During Playback so that Final Cut Pro keeps rendering, analysing, and generating thumbnails and waveforms even during playback - which works great in combination with CommandPost's scrolling timeline.

The new Scrolling Timeline in Final Cut Pro 10.7 is definitely a big improvement from what CommandPost can offer, and is a really nice implementation, as you'll see in the various videos linked to above. Richard Taylor is VERY happy.

What's interesting though is that when you enable the scrolling timeline, it also enables Final Cut Pro's ability to generate thumbnails and waveforms during playback - and when you turn off the scrolling timeline it disables this ability.

It's also interesting that the scrolling timeline is disabled by default.

A scrolling timeline has been referenced inside Final Cut Pro for years now. My GUESS the reason it's taken so long for Apple to enable and release publicly is because they've been waiting for the hardware to catch up.

This also explains why it's disabled by default (along with generating thumbnails & waveforms during playback), as it runs pretty slow/laggy on very complex projects/timelines, especially on older Intel hardware, and Apple don't want new users to experience that straight out of the box - hence scrolling timeline is "hidden" in the preferences, and not with a simple toolbar button.

I'm sure eventually, once you can no longer install the latest macOS and Final Cut Pro on Intel machines, then Apple will make generating thumbnails & waveforms during playback always on - not just when you have the scrolling timeline enabled.

Once this happens, maybe they'll add a Scrolling Timeline toggle next to the Skimming button in the Timeline Toolbar.

In the meantime, CommandPost's Enable Rendering During Playback preference still seems to work on Final Cut Pro 10.7, which is great.

Alternatively, if you never want to use the new scrolling timeline, but still want to generate thumbnails and waveforms during playback without CommandPost, you can also use this Terminal command:

defaults write com.apple.FinalCut FFGenerateThumbnailsDuringPlayback -bool true

However, if you turn on the scrolling timeline and then turn it off again, FFGenerateThumbnailsDuringPlayback will also be disabled again.


Library Database:

The Final Cut Pro Library Database version has also been updated to 1090, compared to 1071 in Final Cut Pro 10.6.10.

This means that any Libraries created prior to Final Cut Pro 10.7 will need to be updated to the latest format, and you can't go back from 10.7 to earlier versions of Final Cut Pro.

Whilst Final Cut Pro does always do an automatic backup of libraries prior to updating them, we also strongly recommend manually creating a ZIP file of your library before updating too, so that you can roll back to an older version of Final Cut Pro if a major bug or regression is found.

The Backups for Final Cut Pro application is also highly regarded for automating library backups.

Interestingly, Final Cut Pro for iPad v1.3 also uses the 1090 database format - so Final Cut Pro for Mac and iPad are once again in version parity.

Unfortunately for us, Final Cut Pro for iPad has become less interesting after Apple prevented Transfer Toolbox from working - which was our solution to get from Mac to iPad.

We've since stopped developing Transfer Toolbox for now - you can read more about this decision in more detail here.

UPDATE (3rd Dec 2023): After writing this news entry, we've since brought back Transfer Toolbox to life with Final Cut Pro 10.7 support. You can learn more here.

Our big hope/dream with Final Cut Pro for iPad was to use it for doing director/client/agency selects, and then send those selects to the Mac, but ideally we want to do all the prep work on Mac - i.e. syncing everything with Sync-N-Link, etc.

You can easily get from Final Cut Pro on iPad to Mac, so we're now exploring ways to take the selects from iPad and translate them across to Multicam Clips created in Sync-N-Link (for example).

The fact that you can now import iMovie for iOS projects into Final Cut Pro for iPad might be a hint that native Mac to iPad is also on their radar/wish-list.

Apple still publicly advertise that Third-party Content is coming soon to Final Cut Pro for iPad - so we should see third party MotionVFX Motion Templates on iPad at some point in 2024:


Command Sets:

The only two Command Editor items between Final Cut Pro 10.6.10 and 10.7.0 are Collapse to Connected Storyline and Timeline Scrolling.

They did however follow the more recent macOS naming conventions, and renamed the Preferences item to Settings.

They also replaced a lot of OS X to macOS in various warnings and error messages.

The built-in default Command Set also has had a few changes:

  • Collapse to Connected Storyline has been added as COMMAND+SHIFT+DOWN.
  • Set Monitoring Angle has changed from SHIFT+V to SHIFT+OPTION+M.
  • Start/Stop Voiceover Recording has changed from SHIFT+OPTION+A to SHIFT+OPTION+R (same as Final Cut Pro for iPad v1.3).
  • Record Voiceover has changed from COMMAND+OPTION+8 to SHIFT+V (same as Final Cut Pro for iPad v1.3).

Reveal in Browser:

It's worth noting that the enhanced Reveal in Browser feature allows you to locate a clip in the Browser without losing your selected Keyword Collection or Smart Collection.

However, if no Keyword or Smart Collection is currently selected, it will still just match back to the Event.

For a number of years now, CommandPost has had a Reveal in Keyword Collection action:

If you trigger Reveal in Keyword Collection on a clip in the timeline that has multiple keywords applied to it, it will prompt you for which one you want to reveal to:

This feature still works great on Final Cut Pro 10.7, and can be handy when you want to quickly match back to a Keyword Collection, rather than an Event.


Faster HEVC & H.264 Exports:

Faster HEVC and H.264 export will only happen if you're using macOS Sonoma and a Mac with Apple M1 Max, M1 Ultra, M2 Max, M2 Ultra, or M3 Max.

It works by simultaneously processing video segments across available media engines, but it will only split up video to the different media engines if the content is long.

For example, you won't get faster exports if you have a 30sec or 1min timeline, but a feature length film you'll see improvements.

Because an export is essentially "split up" into multiple chunks for different media engines, there's also some time spent at the end of the process to "combine" the chunks again. Whilst this is all done in the hardware, there's still some overhead, which is why it won't split things up for shorter clips (as you'll waste time combining them at the end).

As an example, on my 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Max, 64GB RAM, 8TB SSD), a 1 hour and 35 minute timeline was split up into three chunks for HEVC export.


Undocumented Fixes:

The Command Set Import window now only accepts .commandset files! This was reported as FB12868396. Thanks Apple!

The relink progress bar has been improved, so that the progress bar doesn't "block" the Relink panel interface. This means that as things relink in the progress bar, you can visually see things get removed in the matched files list.


Bugs:

Whilst so far Final Cut Pro 10.7 has been pretty stable and reliable, I've still seen it do some funky things.

For example, random red lines in the Timeline for no apparent reason:

If you see something similar, please report it in FB13434993.

The Scrolling Timeline sometimes misbehaves at certain Zoom Levels. This is discussed in FB13436367.

Some users have reported that Final Cut Pro thinks a QWERTY keyboard is attached, when instead a AZERTY keyboard is.

If you're using a AZERTY keyboard, we would suggest backing up your custom Command Sets prior to updating to Final Cut Pro 10.7, so that you can import them back in.

I've been able to make it crash using third party Audio Units, even after selecting Settings > General > Audio Units > Validate on Next Launch.

Also, since at least Final Cut Pro 10.6.10, Send To Compressor doesn't correctly render any third-party audio effects.

If you can reproduce, please report it in FB13435050.

The Inspector button tooltips have disappeared - it now just says:

If you can reproduce, please report it in FB13435003.

When first installing Final Cut Pro 10.7 it had the code name for ProRes Proxy in the Rendering Dropdown:

Since seeing this, ProRes Proxy is no longer an option in the Rendering Dropbox.

When trying to change a font, the font variation popup menu would sometimes loose it's text, and you couldn't select a different variation.

Interestingly, when this is happening and you hover over the empty popup menu items, the render bars above the selected Title go crazy.

This could prove to be a major regression - but we need to do some more testing to confirm exactly what's going on. So far some other users have been able to reproduce this, so it looks like a bug sadly.

If you can reproduce this issue, please let us know in FB13434977.

However, generally speaking, it's been pretty rock solid - even when enabling the Scrolling Timeline on our massive Blackmagic RAW test timeline, which is full of all kinds of weird and wonderful BRAW clips in all different types of frame sizes, frame rates and aspect ratios.

We'll continue to test and explore Final Cut Pro 10.7 over the coming weeks and report any findings on FCP Cafe.

If you spot any bugs or issues, please make sure you report them on the Bug Tracker. Thanks team!

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# 1st December 2023

Final Cut Pro 10.7 and Final Cut Pro for iPad 1.3 are out now!

This was the version demonstrated at the Final Cut Pro Creative Summit. Whilst there was no new feature surprises, it does have some very welcome bug fixes!

Final Cut Pro 10.7 includes the following enhancements and fixes:

  • Automatically scroll the timeline to keep your clips in view under the playhead during playback.
  • Increase editing efficiency by combining a selected group of connected clips into a connected storyline.
  • View both video and audio role colors to easily see the organization of the timeline at a glance.
  • See improved results when using the Object Tracker’s all-new machine-learning model to analyze the movement of faces and other objects on Mac computers with Apple silicon.
  • Use the enhanced Reveal in Browser feature to easily locate a clip in the browser without losing your selected Keyword Collection or Smart Collection.
  • Export HEVC and H.264 files faster by simultaneously processing video segments across available media engines (requires macOS Sonoma or later and a Mac with Apple M1 Max, M1 Ultra, M2 Max, M2 Ultra, or M3 Max).
  • Fixes an issue that caused an offline media badge to remain on an event after reconnecting.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause video to be cropped in the multicam angle editor.
  • Improves performance when upgrading a library that contains many markers.

Final Cut Pro for iPad 1.3 includes the following features and enhancements:

  • Record voiceover and live audio directly in the timeline using the built-in iPad microphones or external microphones.
  • Dial in the perfect look with stunning new color-grading presets.
  • Choose from a selection of new titles and generators.
  • Increase editing efficiency by grouping connected clips into a connected storyline.
  • Control stabilization in the pro camera mode.

New keyboard shortcuts:

  • Group clips into a connected storyline: Command-G
  • Ungroup clips from a connected storyline: Shift-Command-G
  • Show or hide the voiceover controls: Shift-V
  • Start or stop recording audio from the voiceover controls: Shift-Option-R
  • Play full screen: Shift-Command-F
  • Enter or exit Picture in Picture: Command-3

Improvements and fixes:

  • Adds a skin tone indicator to the vectorscope.
  • Adds color gradients to controls in the Color Adjustments effect and color-grading presets.
  • Adds the Sharpen effect to the content browser and inspector.
  • Increases the Volume Offset maximum to 20 dB.
  • Allows dragging anywhere at the top of the timeline to resize it.
  • Fixes an issue that caused resetting Format settings for a Live Drawing clip to remove its contents.
  • Fixes an issue that caused Live Drawings in an HDR portrait project to show an unexpected border.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented nudging of the last animation keyframe for clips in a connected storyline.
  • Improves reliability when reimporting missing media files.
  • Improves reliability when copying and pasting color conversion and rate conversion settings.
  • Improves reliability when undoing a copy and paste of Audio settings.
  • Improves reliability when importing iMovie for iOS projects.
  • Includes stability and performance improvements.

Motion 5.7 includes the following enhancements and fixes:

  • See improved results when using the Object Tracker’s all-new machine-learning model to analyze the movement of faces and other objects on Mac computers with Apple silicon.
  • Title template backgrounds are now disabled by default.
  • Fixes an issue that caused FxPlug-based plug-ins to stop responding when you cancel an analysis.

Compressor 4.7 includes the following enhancements and fixes:

  • Export HEVC and H.264 files faster by simultaneously processing video segments across available media engines (requires macOS Sonoma or later and a Mac with Apple M1 Max, M1 Ultra, M2 Max, M2 Ultra, or M3 Max).
  • Create, configure, and build stereoscopic packages for the iTunes Store.
  • Preview Log encoded video with or without Log applied.
  • HDR content now displays in the correct color space in the viewer.
  • Improves performance when enabling or disabling audio tracks on long multi-channel ProRes clips.
  • Adds support for JSON and XML output to batch submissions when using the command line.
  • Fixes an issue where creating a Watch Folder would prevent the “Enable audio pass-through” setting from being selected.

Pro Video Formats 2.3 is also out now. The Pro Video Formats package provides support for the following codecs that are used in professional video workflows:

  • Apple ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ*
  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Avid DNxHD® / Avid DNxHR® decoder
  • AVC-Intra 50 / 100 / 200 / 4:4:4 / LT
  • AVC-LongG
  • XAVC
  • XF-AVC
  • XF-HEVC
  • DVCPRO HD
  • HDV
  • XDCAM EX / HD / HD422
  • MPEG IMX
  • Uncompressed 4:2:2

For developers, FxPlug SDK 4.2.9 is also out now with the following:

  • A new -projectAspectRatio:error: method in FxProjectAPI_v2.
  • The FxBrightnessAnalysis example has been updated to optionally perform backward analysis, image well analysis, and GPU analysis.
  • Improved overall stability.
  • Improved the speed of analysis cancellation.
  • Fixed an issue in -timelineTime:fromImageTime:forParameterID: that had caused an incorrect time to be returned as timelineTime.
  • FxColorGamutAPI can now be instantiated from within -parameterChanged:atTime:error:
  • FxProjectAPI can now be accessed during a push button callback.
  • Fixed a leak in the FxSimpleColorCorrector example plug-in.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause a hang in Motion when multiple instances of the same plug-in were applied to an object.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause generated output to be composited on frames requested by the FxAnalysisAPI and FxTimingAPI when a plug-in was applied to a title template’s Title Background layer.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a crash when analyzing very large inputs in effect templates that had relatively small project dimensions.
  • Xcode 15 is now required to build FxPlug plug-ins.

As usual, Ripple Training have released an awesome detailed video explaining all the new features:

The incredible Jenn Jager has also released an awesome video:

And of course, the The Final Cut Bro, Dylan Bates is also on the case:

We'll be testing Final Cut Pro 10.7 and Final Cut Pro for iPad 1.3 in detail over the coming weeks, and we'll keep you posted if we discover any unexpected bugs or issues.


New Case Study!

Sebastian Leitner has written an incredibly detailed and technical case study on the film Women of Resilience: Tales of Kurdish Identity, discussing Broadcast Versioning and Mastering.

You can watch the trailer for his project here:

You can read the case study here.

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