Final Cut Pro X has come a long way since its introduction. No, seriously. Final Cut is used by many people these days in part due to a clean redesign that has since added plenty of legacy and new features to the table and because it is so well optimized for Macs that the performance is almost unmatched.
Apple continues to improve on FCPX with every update and version 10.7 is another major release. This also means changes for both Mac and iPad versions. Ripple Training has put together a nice overview of the new features, which include enhanced organization and even better optimization for Apple Silicon.
The first thing is relatively simple and that is a scrolling timeline. Now, when you hit play on your timeline the actual timeline will move under the playhead. This keeps your active clips right in front of you. FCPX will even keep this going if you zoom in or out of the timeline and will update the thumbnail previews in real time.
Apple’s implementation even allows for taking more control of the view. If you move forwards or backwards in the timeline, Final Cut will slowly migrate the playhead back to center and continue scrolling when it does.
You can jump forward with the L key and stop playback with K. You can turn it off if you would like. Head into the settings and uncheck scroll timeline.
Collapse to Connected Storyline
Organization is key to an effective editing workflow. Connecting clips and storylines is one way to keep related clips together. You can even use grouping to link them up.
What you may run into is that in order to use things like grouping you will need to properly trim your files and collapse them. Depending on the number of clips this can be quite a few steps. The collapse to connected storyline will do all that work for you.
The best part is that it retains the data in the background. An example of this is if you show the audio with the connected clips the overlap is retained. This makes it easier to do any crossfades or Tim’s that might be needed.
You’ll now be able to move these clips more easily as a group and benefit from a cleaner timeline.
Things like titles can cause a weird issue since they often have visual priority. They can overwrite the actual clip you want to see. So, best to leave them out.
Organize with Video Roles
Roles are used to organize your clips by keeping your tracks labeled to certain types of files. This has been immensely helpful in audio where you can set things like music tracks or voiceover.
Now, this is coming to video tracks independently of audio since before the video gained either the default or whatever audio role you had set.
As you expand and collapse your clips you’ll see how the clips now adjust their color to their respective roles. Audio will take precedence with collapsed clips, but when broken out the video will regain their independently set role.
This can be helpful for identifying a group of clips that may need a similar effect, such as color correction or noise reduction.
Enhanced Object Tracker
With Apple Silicon Macs the new Final Cut can take advantage of a new machine learning algorithm for object tracking. The biggest benefits seem to come from tracking subjects that become obscured throughout the clip.
The method for using the object tracker is essentially the same as before. The only difference is that as you set up your effect/edit you’ll head to the Analysis Method option under Object Track and select Machine Learning. This is the new tech.
M-series chips are getting all the exciting updates. H.264 and HEVC export has been improved by being able to use all available media engines in macOS Sonoma and later. You’ll edit and export as normal. Final Cut even has “Allow export segmentation” turned on by default. This means that many people will just be getting these faster exports right away.
This works for most H.264 and HEVC export options with the sole exception being the HEVC 10-bit Dolby Vision. You can see this in action by watching your export folder. Final Cut will make multiple intermediate files and then when they are all done compile them together into a single, final video.
On the M1 Max computer he is seeing improvements of 5-10%. Optimistically the later M2 and M3 chips may provide even more advantages. Even still, the biggest gain will be with larger projects and longer clips.
New Features for iPad
We can’t forget that Apple has finally brought Final Cut to iPad. Among the changes here is the ability to record voiceover directly using the internal or an external microphone. Set the playhead where you want the voiceover to start. Then you can hit the Mic icon in the toolbar and then hit record on the new control. If you want change the input or gain just hit the three dots on the meter.
You can also bring together connected clips into a connected storyline on map. You’ll do a tap and drag over the clips you need, tap and hold on one, and then select group. Keyboard shortcuts like Command + G will work as well.
In the Effects menu you’ll find 12 new color grading presets which can be previewed with a simple tap. These are fully adjustable in the Inspector.
The titles browser also has added a slate title and a timecode watermarking title.
Generators has an essential countdown that can be added to the project and is easily modified.
That’s a fair bit of new stuff in this update. If you haven’t tried out Final Cut in a while you might want to check it out.
What do you think? Going to download Final Cut now?
[source: Ripple Training]
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