Happy Birthday #4 Final Cut Pro X


Final Cut Pro X is four years old today, Sunday June 21, 2015. Do you remember the launch? Did you use FCPX 10.0 like some of us or wait for a later release? I started using 10.0 for basic projects and to learn it but I also used FCP7 for awhile.

Final Cut Pro X is a forward-looking NLE. It doesn't have much of a rear view mirror. That has both helped and sometimes limits Final Cut Pro X. Things like FCPX's magnetic timeline is very unique and useful, but Apple did make a shortcut to turn it off.

By releasing FCPX10.2 at the beginning of NAB 2015, Apple once again has acknowledged that NAB is an important industry-wide pro video event. There is a Bay Area Supermeetup and Apple has a two hour presentation at the FCPX Creative Summit on June 26 that reads "Update on Final Cut Pro X from Apple". I don't expect Apple to just rehash their NAB FCPX presentation, but rather present something new (an update?).



The Final Cut Pro ILLuminati will be celebrating with a special FCPX Birthday video hangout today, Sunday, June 21.



There is an ever growing FCPX community, over one million installs and many Final Cut Pro X resources, including 3rd party developers. Many developers offer free templates and tutorials. And there are many professionals using Final Cut Pro X including the producers of 2015's "Focus", a major Hollywood film starring Will Smith.



Mike Matzdorff, 1st assistant editor on Focus, wrote a book on the FCPX workflow that they used for the film.



At this point we know that Final Cut Pro X has more than one million separate installations (and maybe more than two million). Apple has released specific numbers for Final Cut Pro since the beginning, but they haven't updated FCPX's numbers for over a year.


Apple (2011) Las Vegas Supermeet - Final Cut Installed Base hits two million

Apple (2013) via Larry Jordan - "The installed base of FCP X users exceeded that of FCP 7."

Apple (2014) via Larry Jordan - there are "More than one million separate installations of Final Cut Pro X"

Final Cut Pro X was introduced at the 2011 Las Vegas Supermeet. Thankfully someone recorded most of the main event which you can watch (or rewatch) below.

Las Vegas Supermeet NAB 2011 Apple announces Final Cut Pro X (part1)


Las Vegas Supermeet NAB 2011 - Apple announces Final Cut Pro X (part 2)


Final Cut Pro X is having the birthday, but as FCPX editors, we should soon be receiving some presents, wrapped in a feature update. I'm sure that the FCPX team has some surprises in store for us. Here are some improvements I'm expecting in the next FCPX update.

Audio, audio, audio.
Audio is at least 50% of good video but FCPX hasn't paid 50% attention to it in the first 4 years. For example, where is a master volume control, audio peak detection, the ability to apply a limiter post fader, effective audio mixing and keyframe recording?

Recallable customized window layouts.
Right now there is a single default window layout that you can reset with "Revert to Original Layout" under the Window menu. There should be customizable window layouts that you can save and recall like there are Keyboard Command Sets. There already is a Layouts folder so we should have multiple window layouts available. I use completely different layouts for editing in the timeline, tagging clips in the browser, multicam, color correction, etc. I'm constantly resizing the timeline, viewer, inspector and browser windows for different jobs. Being able to save and recall window layouts is something that everyone else has and is 4 years overdue.



Remove attributes.
We can copy and paste effects and other attributes in FCPX, but they forgot the remove attributes panel.



Timeline improvements including thin lane dividers (or special lanes for organizing clips in the timeline), clip selection for copy & paste includes attached clips, batch export of indiviual clips or selections, keyframable opacity bar with fade handles directly visible on a timeline video clip, etc.

Colors for clips, projects, events, storylines, roles etc.
When you have dozens of audio clips on random lanes and many projects in the browser, the ability to color code them would help immensely with visual organization and identification.


Congratulations to the FCPX team at Apple for doing a good job over the last four years.
Happy Birthday
Final Cut Pro X. Here's to a great year five.


Copyright © 2015 Richard Taylor. All rights reserved.
Apple and Final Cut Pro X are registered trademarks of
Apple Inc.
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