Final Cut Pro X Update 10.4.4
We all know Apple dropped the ball back in 2011 when it launched Final Cut Pro X and pretty much lost all pro editors to Premiere or Avid. Steadily Apple has been winning back it’s share of the professional editing market as it adds more and more features to Final Cut Pro X.
Apple have just released version 10.4.4 bringing workflow extensions, timecode windows, noise reduction, batch export and a comparison window
These are third party extensions available through the App store or through the third party’s website. Once installed a new button appears on the Final Cut Pro interface on the top left near the background task button, it looks like a jigsaw peice. Alternatively go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and select Window. Go down to Extensions and a side menu appears listing the installed workflow extenstions.
Workflow extensions allow editors to access third party services from within Final Cut Pro. Three extensions have been released with the new update. Shutterstock, Frame.io and CatDV
The Shutterstock extensions links to your Shutterstock account and gives access to video, miusic and stills from Shutterstocks stock library. The extension will ask you to set a location for downloaded content and will create a Final Cut Pro library caled Shutterstock in you Movies folder in your home folder. You can then very easily add content to you project. Check it out – Shutterstock.com
The Frame.io extension gives you access to Frame.io collaborative system allowing you to upload projects to Frame.io straight from the project timeline and clips straight from the browser. Comments from clients and collaborators come back and can by synched to the timeline. You can even see when someone is watching an upload and writing comments in realtime (a bit creepy if you ask me). Check it out – Frame.io
The last of the three extension to launch to coincide with the Final Cut Pro update is CatDV, the photo and video assest managment system. As I have not seen it in action myself I will leave it to makers of CatDv, Squarebox, to explain.
“The CatDV workflow extension is designed to match the look of Final Cut Pro. It adds rich search and metadata management directly into the video editing interface, allowing editors to browse, search, and import media into their Final Cut Pro projects and libraries — without having to leave the app. The tight integration greatly streamlines creative workflows, saving time, money, and stress.”
Two new floating timecode windows have been introduced which are accessed under the window menu item. First is Project Timecode which just simple displays the project timecode based on the position of the playhead or the skimmer if you have it active. On the top right of the window is a small options icon that give you access to the windows opacity options. It has three levels of opacity – 50%, 75% and 100%.
Source Timecode Window
The second timecode window is far more useful as it shows source clip timecode as well as clip names and roles in top down order. The clip name and roles are colour coded based on assigned roles
Source Timecode Window Options
Clicking on the source timecode window options icon brings not only the opacity options like with the Project Timecode window but also allows you to choose to display project timecode, source timecode or both. You also get the option to turn on or off display of clip names and clip roles.
I have been a fan of Neat Video Noise Reduction Filter for years and it does a very good job of cleaning up footage. In the newest update to Final Cut Pro, Apple has introduced it’s own noise reduction effects filter. It is found in the effects section under Basic. The interface is very simple, there are just two pop up menus. The first is for amount of noise reduction and the second is for the amount of sharpening post noise reduction.
The results aren’t bad but it doesn’t touch Neat video. With Neat Video you can build camera noise profiles, customise the amount of noise reduction for different type of noise and the amount of sharpening on different colour channels.
For the cost and quality of Neat Video I think it is worth getting and using instead of the new Apple noise reduction filter.
A criticism levelled at Final Cut Pro since it’s launch has been the inability to easily compare frames between different parts of the timeline to assist in editing and colour grading. The new update addresses this with introduction of the comparison window.
The comparison windows has two modes, timeline and saved. In timeline mode the camparison window can show the last frame of the previous clip or the first frame on the next clip. Useful in doing edits like match cuts or match dissolves and when comparing previous graded shot to the shot you are currently grading.
The saved mode allows you compare the timeline to a saved frame. Up to 30 still frames can be saved in a seperate window called a Frame Browser and when selected are loaded into the comparison window.
These frames can be from the same project, clips in the browser or even different projects. However it does not work across different Final Cut Pro libraries.
This one has been a long time coming as well. Incredibly it was not possible for Final Cut Pro to batch export projects without third party solutions such as Command Post. Now project timelines, clips and clip ranges can be exported in one go. A massive time saver, especially for outputting something like graded dailies. Although project and clips cannot be in the same batch export.
Final Cut Pro update 10.4.4 brings a lot of useful functionality to Apple’s non linear editor. The update brings back traditionally features such as batch export that should have been there from the beginning. It leverages modern computing power and internet technology with the Shutterstock and Frame.io workflow extensions. A well needed update to what is still a powerful and unique editing application.