Today Apple is updating Final Cut Pro X with powerful new features designed to enhance remote workflows and speed up editing for content creators. Improvements in creating and managing proxy media provide editors with portability and performance when working with large resolution formats, or when collaborating remotely. New social media tools automate video cropping in square, vertical, and other custom sizes for popular social media platforms, and new workflow improvements enhance the versatility and performance of Final Cut Pro — making the Mac stronger than ever for all video editors and motion graphics artists.
Enhancements to Proxy Workflows
Now, more than ever before, users are editing remotely across a wide range of locations. Today’s update to Final Cut Pro includes major improvements to proxy workflows that make libraries more portable and streamline remote work with large, high-resolution files. For the first time within Final Cut Pro, video editors can create proxies in either ProRes Proxy or H.264 in dimensions as small as 12.5 percent of the original. They can also consolidate proxy media, images, and audio to an external or network-connected drive. A Final Cut Pro Library can even be relinked to proxies already created for added flexibility. Editors can now link to proxy media generated by third-party applications via XML. Examples include Frame.io, a cloud-based creative collaboration platform for review and approval, plus asset management tools like Keyflow Pro and PostLab. If proxy media is not available for some clips, users can adapt workflows to display either the original file or an optimized version.
Automated Tools for Social Media Cropping
Today’s update to Final Cut Pro makes the experience of delivering social media content easier than ever. Using machine learning, clips in a project can now be automatically analyzed for dominant motion and intelligently cropped with Smart Conform to convert them into square, vertical, or any other sized video — perfect for popular platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Transform Overscan reveals media outside the crop boundary when adjusting scale, rotation, and position, which allows storytellers to easily reposition the crop. Video editors can also add a Custom Overlay to guide them when placing text and graphics within a non-landscape frame.
Editorial Workflow Improvements
Video professionals can now work even more efficiently with a series of new workflow improvements in Final Cut Pro. ProRes RAW camera settings, such as ISO, color temperature, and exposure offset are exposed in the inspector for the first time. Editors can also apply audio crossfades on adjacent clips in one simple step, use a new context menu to close a project or clear timeline history, and sort clips and projects in List View according to the last date each file was modified.
This release also introduces significant performance improvements with new Metal-enabled plug-ins for RED RAW and Canon Cinema RAW Light. Transcoding 8K RED RAW video to ProRes 422 is up to two times faster on Mac Pro, and up to three times faster on MacBook Pro.1 And for the first time, Final Cut Pro editors can play and edit 8K Canon Cinema RAW Light.2
When working with 360-degree video, editors can quickly stabilize stereoscopic 3D video and view footage in the 360-degree Viewer with separate streams for each eye. They can also start working immediately with remote content while it is downloading in the background from web-based asset management applications, such as the Frame.io workflow extension.
Updates to Motion and Compressor
Motion now offers professionals a whole new range of possibilities for creating stunning effects and graphics. Creators can import third-party 3D models or choose from a built-in library of 3D models in the USDZ format for use in titles, generators, effects, and transitions. They can even use behaviors or keyframes to manipulate the position, rotation, and scale of a model, and take advantage of existing replicators, emitters, lights, and cameras for further creativity.
Also included in today’s Motion update is the new Stroke Filter, a tool that automatically outlines an object or text element using its alpha channel. Editors can customize outlines by animating their offset, applying multiple stroke filters to the same object, or using the gradient tools to create multiple strokes with different colors. This enables motion graphics artists to create dazzling animations and effects while avoiding the time-consuming work of outlining elements by hand.
Compressor is also updated today with support for custom LUT effects, the ability to use Camera LUTs to convert log-encoded footage to SDR or HDR outputs, and other workflow enhancements.
Pricing and Availability
Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 is available today as a free update for existing users, and for $299.99 (US) for new users on the Mac App Store. Motion 5.4.6 and Compressor 4.4.7 are also available today as free updates for existing users, and for $49.99 (US) each for new users on the Mac App Store. Education customers can purchase the Pro Apps Bundle for Education for $199.99 (US). All users can download a free trial of Final Cut Pro X. For more information, please visit: apple.com/final-cut-pro.
1. Testing conducted by Apple in August 2020 using 2.5GHz 28-core Intel Xeon W-based Mac Pro systems with 384GB of RAM and dual AMD Radeon Pro Vega II graphics with Infinity Fabric Link and 32GB of HBM2 each, configured with 4TB SSD; as well as 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9-based 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with 64GB of RAM and Radeon Pro 5600M graphics with 8GB of HBM2, configured with 8TB SSD. Mac Pro systems tested with an attached Pro Display XDR. Prerelease Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 with prerelease plugins from RED Apple Workflow Installer v16, and Final Cut Pro 10.4.8 with plugins from RED Apple Workflow Installer v15 tested on macOS Catalina, using an 11-second project with REDCODE® RAW 4:1 video, at 8192×4320 resolution and 23.98 frames per second, transcoded to Apple ProRes 422. Performance will vary based on system configuration, media type, and other factors.
2. Testing conducted by Apple in August 2020 using 2.5GHz 28-core Intel Xeon W-based Mac Pro systems with 384GB of RAM and dual AMD Radeon Pro Vega II graphics with Infinity Fabric Link and 32GB of HBM2 each, configured with 4TB SSD; as well as 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9-based 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with 64GB of RAM and Radeon Pro 5600M graphics with 8GB of HBM2, configured with 8TB SSD. Mac Pro systems tested with an attached Pro Display XDR. Prerelease Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 with prerelease Canon RAW Plugin 2.0 tested on macOS Catalina, using a 33-second project with Canon Cinema RAW Light video, at 8192×4320 resolution and 29.97 frames per second (as part of a transcode test). Performance will vary based on system configuration, media type, and other factors.