Apple’s Final Cut update shows why we still need a truck now and then

Apple continues to push into the places where so many ideas get made, announcing the introduction of a range of powerful new features for Final Cut Pro X

Macs are for pros

I think Apple’s release of its update to its professional video app reflects the company’s understanding that the best future for the Mac platform is in the high end tasks that don’t yet lend themselves to mobile alternatives.

I suspect its decision to put a little focus on the release also lends evidence to the company’s understanding of the needs of its most demanding users, especially among pro video makers.

What’s inside the update?

Interestingly the release illustrates Apple’s move to embrace third-party devs who can bring unique solutions to boost the company’s core products: The update brings extensions from Frame.io, Shutterstock and CatDV.

These extensions match the look of Final Cut Pro and integrate tightly into the app, allowing editors to drag media into Final Cut Pro libraries, sync playback between extensions and timeline, add clip markers and more.

The update also gives video editors access to other features, such as batch sharing, video noise reduction and a new comparison viewer.

Highlights include

  • Batch sharing: allows a user to export multiple clips or projects in one step.
  • The Comparison Viewer window lets editors view reference images while color grading to help them create a consistent look across their project.
  • A new floating timecode window.
  • High-quality video noise reduction minimizes artifacts in low light or archival footage.
  • Editors can now create and deliver closed captions in SRT format or choose to burn them into their video.
  • Improved marquee selection makes it quick to select individual clips or the entire secondary storyline.
  • Motion was also updated with comprehensive color grading tools including color wheels, color curves, hue/saturation curves and custom LUTs.
  • Encoding solution, Compressor has been moved to a new 64-bit engine in order to exploit the 64-bit power inherent inside Apple’s Macs.

Here’s the press release:

‘The latest update to Final Cut Pro X, available today on the Mac App Store, introduces workflow extensions that enable professional video editors to use third-party apps and services directly within the editing interface.

Workflow extensions match the look of Final Cut Pro and integrate tightly into the app, allowing editors to drag media into Final Cut Pro libraries, sync playback between extensions and timeline, add clip markers and more. These extensions make it easy to use popular tools that enhance post-production including review and approval with Frame.io, stock footage browsing and purchasing with Shutterstock and media asset management with CatDV. Workflow extensions can be downloaded free from the Mac App Store starting today. Additional third-party extensions for Final Cut Pro will be available on an ongoing basis.

“The new version of Final Cut Pro also includes a number of features that are highly requested from pro video editors. Batch sharing allows a user to export multiple clips or projects in one step and is especially useful when transcoding dailies on set for quick turnaround or delivering multiple versions of a project. A new Comparison Viewer window lets editors view reference images while color grading to ensure a consistent look across their project.

“A new floating timecode window makes it easy for video editors and others in the editing room to follow along by displaying color-coded clip names, roles, project timecode and source timecode in a customizable, resizable display. High-quality video noise reduction minimizes artifacts in low light or archival footage. Editors can now create and deliver closed captions in SRT format or choose to burn them into their video for compatibility with a wide range of video websites. And improved marquee selection makes it quick to select individual clips or the entire secondary storyline which saves valuable time for common edit operations.

“Motion, the powerful motion graphics companion to Final Cut Pro, also gets an update today that adds a comprehensive set of color grading tools including color wheels, color curves, hue/saturation curves and custom LUTs. These tools match the professional color correction features found in Final Cut Pro and can now be used in Motion to fine-tune the look of titles and motion graphics. New filters in Motion include a customizable comic effect that instantly turns any image or video into a color or monochrome comic book illustration. And the new tiny planet filter lets motion graphics artists transform 360-degree video into beautiful spherical animations that can be keyframed to change over time.

Compressor, the advanced encoding companion to Final Cut Pro, moves to a new 64-bit engine that takes advantage of all the memory in a user’s Mac for improved performance when encoding high resolution, high frame rate video. Compressor maintains support for 32-bit codecs, so editors can continue to work with key legacy formats. And the app now supports SRT closed captions, which is an important format for delivering captioned video to the web and international markets.”

Pricing and Availability

Final Cut Pro 10.4.4, Motion 5.4.2 and Compressor 4.4.2 will be available on the Mac App Store as free updates for existing users. New users can purchase the apps for $299.99$49.99 and $49.99, respectively. Education customers can purchase the Pro Apps Bundle for Education for $199.99, which includes all three pro video apps plus Logic Pro X and MainStage. For more information, visit apple.com/final-cut-pro.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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