After months of intense anticipation, Apple today unveiled Final Cut Pro X, the most recent version of its widely-used editing suite. The software is available immediately for $299.99 through the Mac App Store.
As with most things Apple, the software is “revolutionary,” with magic powers capable of transforming the entire movie industry. Plot lines will now always make sense, actors will never give a bad performance, and the good guy will always win.
Ok, we kid. But Final Cut Pro X does have some truly impressive new features that will change the way editors work — or at least make it easier for them to work the way they like.
First up is the Magnetic Timeline, which replaces the standard timeline with a new format that allows editors to easily organize and rearrange clips however they like. Another handy feature, Clip Connections, links story clips to other elements, like tiles and sound effects. This makes it easy to keep the elements related to a specific clip connected when the clip is moved around. Compound Clips allows editors to group multiple clips together, and move them or apply effects as a single unit.
Another immensely helpful addition to Final Cut Pro X is background processes. Lik Content Auto-Analysis, for example, which uses the metadata taken from the camera that shot the imported media and applies useful tags, like shot type (e.g. wide, medium, close), to the files. Using the automatically generated keywords, the clips are automatically assembled in the “Smart Collections” section of the “Event Library,” where all clips are store for new project. Not only is this supposed to make it easier to keep things organized, it takes out a massive amount of time-consuming work involved in editing large projects.
Perhaps the most-needed upgrade to Final Cut — an absent feature that we know made some editors stop using the software — is background rendering, which means editors don’t have to stop working just to wait for their software to sluggishly apply changes.
Other useful additions, include Auditions, which allows for quick clip comparisons, plus a wide range of post-production goodies, like customizable effects and improved audio editing.
In addition to the totally overhauled design and functionality, Final Cut Pro X is a completely “rebuilt from the ground up” app, Apple says. The massive software is 64-bit and requires the use of a high-end Mac with some heavy-duty hardware, so check to make sure your system meets the minimum requirements before dropping the cash.
Apple also offers Motion 5, a companion app for creating professional motion graphics, and Compressor 4 for advanced encoding. Both apps will cost $49.99 each through the Mac App Store.