Waiting on the next Final Cut Pro X Update
October 2017

Final Cut Pro X professionals have been waiting to see what the FCPX team has up their sleeve with the next major feature update. Since FCPX 10.3 came out one year ago, we have not seen a feature update, only bug fixes and minor enhancements. We very likely will see what they've been working on this week probably around or before the FCPX Creative Summit in Cupertino. That's not 100% certain of course, since we're dealing with Apple and there has been no official announcement, but it is a strong possibility.

What about the next Final Cut Pro X feature update?

Those of us who are going to the Summit will be going to visit the FCPX team at Apple HQ on Friday. They most certainly have something FCPX related to show us. The FCPX Creative Summit is a few blocks away from Apple HQ.

A launch of a major update to FCPX would not get that much attention outside of current or would-be FCPX users. So it seems logical that they could do it this week at the FCPX Creative Summit. The Summit is a major once a year USA event that has some of the best FCPX professionals basically showing off FCPX for three days. There will be case studies, demonstrations and sessions showing FCPX workflows and techniques. It makes perfect sense to highlight a spanking new version of FCPX at this event.

FCPX's install base numbers are now at 2 Million+.


The FCPX Creative Summit will be the epicenter for Final Cut Pro on the planet this week.
before you install a new version of FCPX, visit our article on Getting Ready to Update to Final Cut Pro

The following is not a Final Cut Pro X feature request list or a wish list (that's here), but rather a list of features I expect to see included in the next FCPX feature update. We could also see updates for Motion and Compressor as well.


01) Audio, audio, audio.
Audio is at least 50% of good video. For example, where is a master volume control, busses, audio peak detection, the ability to apply a limiter to a role without enclosing it inside of a compound clip, effective audio mixing and keyframe recording?

Whether it's a roles-based mixing or some new way of working with audio and roles, I expect audio improvements that include features like a master and sub master volume control, master effects, effects role plugins, audio only fades and crossfades to multiple clips via keyboard shortcut, etc.

02) Compound clips expand for editing directly in the Timeline
instead of going back and forth, back and forth to yet another timeline.

03) Advanced preferences.
Professionals need more control over FCPX than perhaps a beginner does so Advanced preferences makes sense. Logic Pro X has an Advanced preference pane with multiple checkbox options. If you prefer FCPX to be simpler as a beginner might, you could uncheck its Advanced preferences or they could be turned off by default.


04) Timeline and timeline toolbar improvements.
The timeline should be optimized to be more efficient. Options for timeline markers (colors, dragging) tools, shortcut icons, a scrolling and paging option, source clip and project timecode and a lock clip or storyline in place command to prevent any accidental movement. Thin visual lane dividers, clip selection for copy & paste includes attached clips, batch export of individual clips or range selections, keyframable opacity bar with fade handles directly visible on a timeline video clip, etc.

There is lots of empty timeline toolbar space that could be put to good use. Logic Pro X's sophisticated timeline toolbar and ruler makes FCPX's look pretty spartan.



FCPX's and Logic Pro X timeline toolbar and ruler area.


05) Transition Auditions to stack and try out several transitions on an edit.

06) Color coding for libraries, events, clips, projects etc.
With FCPX 10.3 we got the ability to color roles but we lost color in the timeline index and the browser.
When you have many projects, events and clips in the browser, the ability to color code them would help immensely with visual organization and identification. Color clips in the timeline as well. As an example, Logic Pro X has a large color pallette.



07) Improved proxy workflow that includes proxy re-linking, a selectable proxy folder preference and proxy media consolidation.

Using a pure proxy workflow for offline editing, especially with 4K or higher resolution media, would be very beneficial. I've copied libraries to an external hard drive and the proxies are offline even though they were brought along and are in the exact same folder structure and file path as the original. There is presently no re-link proxies command like there is for original media. There should also be an option to re-link cache files. And bring audio files and graphic files along with proxy files when using a proxy specific workflow.

Right now, it's an all or nothing approach when working with proxies in a project. The option to work with UHD 4K proxies, which are 1920x1080, along with 1920x1080 original or optimized media in the same timeline is due. A pop-up warning would let you know if you are using any proxy files in the timeline when you are exporting. Also a few quality and frame size options when making proxy files would be welcome.

08) Master database that keeps track of every Library that has ever been opened in FCPX.
A searchable database that would keep track of Keywords, Favorites, Notes, location, and other metadata, even when a Library was offline.

09) Improved Import window media options.
Allow us to create a new Library and set media storage locations in the consolidated Import Media dialog window.

10) Allow the choice between an internal and external managed Library when creating a Library with a single checkbox like Logic Pro X has for Package or Folder. External media folder structure will be created automatically if you choose the folder option.


11) Slip audio and video out of and back in sync without detaching audio.
Currently you can slip sync if you open the clip in its own timeline but I expect to see this ability in a project timeline clip
Select a clip, right click and choose the sync option. Type a + or - followed by the number of frames to slip or use the < > keys to slip left or right one frame at a time. There should also be out of sync indicators for instant visual feedback and the ability to easily reattach and re-sync detached audio. A sophisticated database like FCPX's should be able to keep track of audio and video that was once synced.



12) Checkboxes to allow custom settings, such as Spatial Conform and dual mono/stereo, to be saved .



13) Project improvements.
Playback/scrubbing in the browser and the ability to add a project to another project. You can scrub a compound clip timeline and multicam clip in the browser, but not a project.



14) More attaching options like the ability to attach a clip or storyline to any other clip or storyline
or to completely disconnect and reconnect, rather than only attaching to the main storyline as FCPX does now.



15) Save, rename, make favorite and drag and drop organize customized Transitions, Effects, Generators.
There is some customized naming and saving for titles, color corrections and now effects but I'd like to organize favorite effects, titles, generators, transitions via drag and drop in the effects browser and from the timeline into customizable folders in the browser.



As usual, the best Final Cut Pro professionals from around the globe will be discussing FCPX on Final Cut Pro Radio. I'll be posting live and near live updates during the Summit on the Final Cut Pro Radio Blog. Follow along on Twitter @FCPRadio1 or on Facebook at Facebook.com/groups/FinalCutProRadio. If there is breaking FCPX news, especially if there is a feature update, there will be a show out within 24 hours. You can download and listen on iTunes here.



Copyright © 2017 Richard Taylor. All rights reserved.
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