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Here It Is: Final Cut Pro X Now Available on the Mac App Store Alongside Motion 5 and Compressor 4

As promised, Apple today released Final Cut Pro X on the Mac App Store for $299. The completely-redesigned, much debated application clocks in at 1.33GB and requires a 64-bit processor and OS X 10.6.7 or later. Also debuting today are Motion 5 and Compressor 4 — both priced at only $49.99 apiece.

So much for the theory that each application formerly bundled in Studio will be $299 apiece — for $50, these apps (particularly Motion) become a no-brainer. Color, Soundtrack Pro, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Server seem to have been killed off in favor of the new, lower-priced apps. Full press release after some screenshots of the new interface for Motion (Compressor’s interface remains stuck in the old aesthetic).

Links (all to the Mac App Store):

Motion

Full Press Release

CUPERTINO, California—June 21, 2011—Apple® today announced Final Cut Pro® X, a revolutionary new version of the world’s most popular Pro video editing software which completely reinvents video editing with a Magnetic Timeline that lets you edit on a flexible, trackless canvas; Content Auto-Analysis that categorizes your content upon import by shot type, media and people; and background rendering that allows you to work without interruption. Built on a modern 64-bit architecture, Final Cut Pro X is available from the Mac® App Store™ for $299.99.

“Final Cut Pro X is the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped.”

“I’m blown away by what Apple has done with Final Cut Pro,” said Angus Wall, Academy Award-winning film editor. “Final Cut Pro X is incredibly modern and fast, but most importantly it lets you focus on telling your story in the most creative way, while it actively manages all of the technical details.”

At the heart of Final Cut Pro X is the Magnetic Timeline, a trackless approach to editing your footage that lets you add and arrange clips wherever you want them, while other clips instantly slide out of the way. You can use Clip Connections to link primary story clips to other elements like titles and sound effects, so they stay in perfect sync when you move them. You can even combine related story elements into a Compound Clip that can be edited as a single clip. The groundbreaking new Auditions feature lets you swap between a collection of clips to instantly compare alternate takes.

Content Auto-Analysis scans your media on import and tags your content with useful information. Final Cut Pro X then uses that information to dynamically organize your clips into Smart Collections, so you can easily find the clips you want by close up, medium and wide shots as well as media type and the number of people in the shot. You can also tag parts of clips with Range-based keywords to add custom search criteria to your media.

Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Final Cut Pro X is a 64-bit app that takes full advantage of the latest Mac hardware and software so you never have to wait for the next edit, even if you’re working with 4K video. Final Cut Pro X uses multi-threaded processing and the GPU on your graphics card for blazing fast background rendering and superb real-time playback performance. Additionally, a ColorSync-managed color pipeline ensures color consistency from import to output.

Final Cut Pro X also includes powerful tools for audio editing and color correction, and is complemented by two companion apps, Motion 5 for professional motion graphics and Compressor 4 for advanced media encoding, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 each.

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  • Looks like Color & Soundtrack Pro are bundled in.
    “Final Cut Pro X includes the key sound editing and color grading features from Final Cut Studio, so now you can use a single application for the entire post-production workflow. Do even more with Motion and Compressor, also available from the Mac App Store”

    • Yeah, that’s sort of what I was assuming. We’ll see how many high-end features make it into the integration…

  • No OMF export.
    No multicam.
    No ability to import previous FCP projects (but the ability to import iMovie projects).

    Apple really missed the boat with this one. Pros and serious filmmakers should steer clear.

    • Although easily google-able, could you enlighten us on how you use OMF export and multicam in your projects? What are they, and why the fact that they are missing is a big red flag in your opinion?

      • I’d be happy to oblige. I use OMF export for every product after a locked cut to give to our sound engineer for sweetening and audio cleanup in ProTools. I dare say that protools > FCP X in the sound department. As far as multi-clip goes, the sheer convenience of being able to manage footage from 3+ cameras from a large event sure does help. I’d say that, for me, those are pretty important features.

        Now, with those things said, I am not saying FCP X sucks like so many early naysayers. There are plenty of articles, http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/06/what-are-the-answers-to-the-unanswered-questions-about-final-cut-pro-x/ , being one of them, which state that these features, though missing from version 1.0 will be released in subsequent updates. I think everyone needs to keep their panties from getting in a twist and be patient for a bit. With every new product come issues, which are almost always resolved with future updates. Does the iOS copy & paste fiasco sound familiar to anyone? Yeah, my point exactly.

      • Multicam support is editing multiple camera angles of the same thing. Its used primarily for live situations but its really for anything with multiple camera shooting at the same time. I’ve actually used it for Music Videos where every shot is in sync with the audio too and it worked wonderfully. It’s a standard feature in every editor (Pr,FCP,Avid), soon as you multiclip/group your shots they will all show up in your viewer allowing you to see every available angle and edit as if you were using a live broadcast switcher, you can even edit on the fly with shortcuts. I am boggled by the lack of multicam support considering all the other fancy shot replacement things they showed in the NAB video. But it’s a HUGE red flag if you do multicam editing (concerts, fashion, realityTV) cuts the editing time down so immensely I wouldn’t even consider taking on anything live with more than two cameras without it.

        OMF is absolutely essential but it looks like thats been explained fairly well. Anyway, they are both big deals for me too and we will definitely not be updating at my work until those two features are at least implemented too. However, I am optimistic they will be implemented very very soon.

      • I’m not a hardcore video editing guru, but Sony Vegas Pro 10 (which doesn’t seem to get much credit in this industry) does multicam very well – as long as a bunch of other things like 5.1 sound mixing and 3D stereoscopic editing. I won’t be switching to FCP. It’s support for VST and DXi audio plugins makes it a no-brainer for sound mastering. It cames woth a slew of great plugins like audio compressor/limiter etc. When FCP catches up, then I might consider ditching Vegas Pro.

        I’d be more interested in Motion 5 than anything.

  • From what I can tell they didn’t do much to upgrade Motion (5). Even so, it is well worth the $50 for the new speed and interface changes. This also makes it pretty insane compared to After Effects, even though After Effects has a few things that shine over Motion (mainly the community plug-ins) anyone can now do HIGH QUALITY motion graphics. This is huge for the Motion Graphics industry and I’m very excited.

    As for Final Cut Pro X, people still use the old Final Cut Pro, including BIG movie productions. Apple made HUGE changes to the software making it much faster and easier to work with and gave it some really powerful tools. It makes the old Final Cut so much better and for $299 you would be an idiot not to upgrade.

  • Jef Gibbons on 06.21.11 @ 3:46PM

    Hey Newbie, OMF export is the ability to send all of the audio to an external editor like Pro Tools. I am a sound designer who now does video, and this kind of thing is absolutely essential. I’m guessing it will come in later, but still a big disappointment. Only second to the rumour that you cant use multiple monitors, and even more importantly that you can’t use it without a fancy new Graphics card!! (my “ancient” 2008 mac pro is gonna need a costly upgrade!)

  • There’s a lot of “PRO” features that are lacking in this initial release (as previously mentioned in other comments: lack of OMF export, lack of 3rd party hardware support, inability to open legacy FCP7 projects, inability to import from pro tape VTR’s, etc, etc.). While Apple MIGHT make those features available in future updates, they have a VERY LIMITED window of opportunity here. Their primary competitors (AVID, PREMIERE) both offer all of those pro features, and those competitors will most likely try to take advantage of Apple’s “less than PRO” release to market the benefits of their own products. My primary question is: if it is missing a lot of the pro features that the professional user expects, then why is it called Final Cut PRO X?

    Despite all the great new stuff Apple added, there’s a lot we’re still left needing. My company plans to wait until the end of the year to see if Apple can implement the Pro-level features we expect and need, but if they fail to deliver, we will be migrating to AVID instead.

  • No OMF export is a real deal breaker for me. All my tv stuff goes out for pro sound mixing before broadcast.
    Really hope it’s an update in x.1! Mind you I wasn’t going to upgrade until then anyway.

  • Not backwards compatible??? Thats ridiculous. Its not an extention of a series of programs then, its a stand alone. Apple’s view that editors wouldn’t upgrade mid project in completely wrong. I’ve just wrapped up the first cut of my film and was really excited to look at the new color correction options for the polished version that are going to be available in Final Cut Pro X, but turns out I’ve been flipped the bird by Apple and told I can’t.

    • No backwards compatibility is a pretty strange move Can you imagine if photoshop cs6 came out and it wouldn’t open cs5 files? Not trying to be a hater, but that’s just messed up.

  • I guess it’s been a massive overhaul and I’m sure everything will be addressed in time but seems an odd move to release a product that really isn’t ready for professional use. Maybe trying to stem the flow of editors jumping ship and give them something to hold out for?

  • Looks like this might be a great app, in a couple years

  • Lucas Adamson on 06.22.11 @ 7:57AM

    Anybody had any issues using FCP X on their Hackintosh?

    I hear that it may require one of the very latest video cards to work, for example.

    • It’s working great on mine so far (technically — getting used to the new interface is another matter). Post coming soon…

  • If I want to buy new software, learn a new interface, and not be able to open any of my projects from the last 12 years, why wouldn’t I just buy Premiere Pro?

    Only Apple would have the arrogance to release a product that isn’t backwards compatible.

    • it’s even worse than that

      Philip Bloom, who, being a long term FCP user, has also been learning premiere in the last few months, has said: “It really does feel like learning something from scratch rather than adjusting to a new system like I have with CS5.5″

  • You could still open your old FCP projects in Premiere Pro.

  • “Incredibly disappointed! Extremely buggy , overly simplistic.”

    Here is quick list of complaints from the Customer Review page on the Apple store as of June, 22, 2011

    - confusing
    - doesn’t create audio markers
    - the interface is big and chunky
    - oversimplification of the interface
    - Less precision and control
    - background processes are running (pretty much all the time).
    - Apple has lost contact the production environment
    - extremely buggy, and abnormally ended (blew up) within 20 minutes of working on a project.
    - Lots will have to change
    - good for very basic of projects. ( Imovie pro?)
    - NO MULTICAM!!!
    - no Viewer window,

    …and last but not least “Too Brutal. I’m SO bummed out by this.”

  • the video doesn’t seem to have a corresponding audio track when put into the timeline, so how do you do something like a basic L cut? or how do you delete audio channels 3 and 4 from an HVX file?

    i’m eager to see a pro workflow demonstration video, if its out there.

  • Cinepixtor Media on 06.22.11 @ 6:05PM

    I think everyone forgets this is a $299 program – I mean, come on, what did you expect? Apple to do everything right w/ the first release? Just like their hardware, they’ll add tid bits here and there and in a few years, it’ll meet today’s expectations LOL (Yes, I am a proud owner of an Ipad, Iphone 4, and Mac Book Pro)

    • Only thing to is this isnt really their first release, they have had multiple releases of final cut before this. We shouldnt give them the benifit of the doubt, the reality is, people needed an updated NLE from apple, and they offer something that seems to be taking a few steps back in development.

  • I think apple released this software prematurely because they felt they needed to release something before everyone switches to CS 5.5.
    FCPX just doesn’t seem done when they say multi-cam editing and other stuff will be added through updates.

    For me it’s not an option so far because I regularly need the keylight plugin for a weekly production, I also wouldn’t want a “pro” editing program without multi-cam editing. Just a few years back apple was going all crazy over this feature in FCP, and now it’s just missing? Well, they said it will be added later.

    What I expect from a pro editing program is that it supports mostly all formats and gives me every possible option. We have a huge archive of DVCAM footage – how am I supposed to use archive footage in the future when I can’t digitize the tapes? Also there’s still some people working with HDCam tapes, this is not an outdated format, and you can’t just ignore it in a so-called “pro” editing suite and tell people “it’s 2011, nobody uses tape any more”.

    Another step from Apple away from the pros (along for example with the decision to offer new cinema displays only with a reflective screen)

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