Final Cut Pro X is a professional non-linear video editing application published by Apple as part of their Pro Apps family of software programs. It was first released on June 21, 2011 exclusively through the Mac App Store as the successor to Final Cut Pro. On November 12, 2020, it was renamed back to "Final Cut Pro" with the release of version 10.5, which was updated to support macOS Big Sur and Apple M1-based Macs.
- Event Browser: Replacing “bins” in other NLEs, the Event Browser is where the original media is found and can be searched and sorted by various forms of metadata. Keyword Ranges, Favorite and Rejected Ranges, and Smart Collections allow for faster sorting of a large number of clips.
- Magnetic Timeline: Inventing an alternative to track-based timelines found in traditional NLEs, Final Cut's Magnetic Timeline uses Clip Connections to keep Connected Clips and Secondary Storylines in sync with clips located on the Primary Storyline. By default, clips move around each other “magnetically” filling in any gaps and avoiding Clip Collisions by automatically bumping clips out of the way vertically. The magnetic connections are also user-definable.
- Roles: In order to separate and organize different audio types on the magnetic timeline, editors can designate what "role' each clip plays. Introduced in version 10.0.1, Roles can be assigned to clips as an alternate way of creating organizational functionality. A Role (or Sub-Role) gets assigned to clips to identify what it is (for example Video, Titles, Dialogue, Effects, Music). Upon Sharing a Master File of the Project the various Roles can be split out as stems or in a multitrack file for broadcast delivery or other distribution needs.
- Content Auto-Analysis: Found in the Import Window and Event Browser is the option to analyze media for shot type and facial recognition or fix potential problems like audio loudness, audio hum, channel grouping, background noise, color balance, pulldown removal, and stabilization. This process generates metadata that can automatically be organized as Keywords and can be grouped into Smart Collections.
- Synchronized Clips: Video and audio clips recorded on separate devices can be synched automatically by timecode, audio waveforms, and markers together as a single clip.
- Compound Clips: Nested Sequences from the original Final Cut Pro have been replaced by Compound Clips. A selection of video and audio clips can be nested into a single Compound Clip. This Compound Clip can be opened in its own timeline or broken apart for further editing. It can also be reused in different projects.
- Closed Captions: Introduced in version 10.4.1, closed captions can be created right in the timeline or imported into the timeline from an external file.
- Multicam Editing: Introduced in version 10.0.3, multiple camera angles can be synchronized automatically and combined into a Multicam Clip. Once in the timeline, a Multicam Clip can be cut up into different angles by using the Angle Viewer. A Multicam Clip can be opened in the Angle Editor where new angles can be added, synched, relabeled, and rearranged at any time.
- Auditions: Clips can be grouped together in the Event Browser or on the Timeline as Auditions. Once in the timeline, an Audition allows the user to choose between different clips in their edit while the timeline ripples automatically in order to preview two or more different versions of a cut.
- 3D Titles: Introduced in version 10.2.0, text can be extruded, textured, lit, and shaded with materials and environments in 3D. This allows users to create titles like those found in Hollywood blockbuster movies directly in the application.
- 360 Degree Video Editing: Introduced in version 10.4. Import and edit 360° equirectangular video in a wide range of formats and frame sizes.
- Advanced Color Grading
- High Dynamic Range
While inheriting the name from its predecessor, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X is a completely re-written application. As a native 64-bit application it takes advantage of more than 4GB of RAM. It utilizes all CPU cores with Grand Central Dispatch. Open CL support allows GPU accelerated processing for improved performance for playback, rendering, and transcoding. It is resolution-independent, supporting images sizes from SD to beyond 4K. Final Cut Pro X supports playback of many native camera and audio formats. It can also transcode video clips to the Apple ProRes codec for improved performance. Many tasks are performed in the background such as auto-saving, rendering, transcoding, and media management, allowing the user an uninterrupted experience. Final Cut Pro X was developed for macOS and is not supported on the Windows Platform. Training and Certification is available by Apple for Final Cut Pro X.
- Motion 5
- Titles, motion graphics, effects generated in Motion 5 can be published to Final Cut Pro X. Inside the Final Cut Pro X, editors can modify the parameters and contents of the effects, as long as the permission for such modifications is turned on in the Motion 5 project file.
- Adobe Photoshop
- In Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 and later, the editor can import Photoshop projects onto the storyline similar to a still image. A Photoshop project with layers is treated similar to a compound clip and the layers are preserved after being imported into the Final Cut Pro X. Individual layers of the Photoshop project can be toggled on or off inside the Final Cut Pro X by double-clicking the imported project and going into the compound clip editing panel. Other adjustments to the Photoshop project should be performed on the imported Photoshop project using Adobe Photoshop program with updates happening in real-time inside Final Cut Pro X.
Final Cut Pro X was made available for purchase and download on the Mac App Store on June 21, 2011 along with new versions of Motion and Compressor. Since then the application has been updated a few times each year with new features, bug fixes, native codec support, and overall improvements with stability.
Many features found in Final Cut Pro 7 that were missing in Final Cut Pro X on its initial release have subsequently been added such as: XML import and export, server support, multicam editing, chapter markers, and broadcast monitor support.
Because Final Cut Pro X abandoned a track-based timeline in favor of the Magnetic Timeline initially there were limitations in exporting audio stems for Broadcast and Distribution needs. On September 9, 2011 version 10.0.1 was released with a new solution to this problem, the introduction of Video and Audio Roles. Clips are assigned Roles and upon Sharing a Project the user could export Multitrack Quicktime Files or Stems. AAF export is done with a third-party app X2Pro which uses FCPXML. Another method is to use Logic Pro X to make an AAF.
With version 10.0.6 released on October 23, 2012, Apple introduced native Redcode Raw support as well as MXF support through a third party plugin. MXF was eventually natively supported by version 10.1.4.
Prior to the introduction of version 10.1.0 Project and Event Libraries were separate folders. Events contained all the original media and Project Libraries contained the actual edited Projects on timelines. The Project and Event Libraries were stored in a user's Movie folder or on the root level of an external hard drive. These Libraries automatically opened in Final Cut Pro X depending on which hard drives were mounted. That all changed on December 19, 2013, when Project and Event Libraries were merged into a new Library model. Libraries contained Events which in turn contained Projects. And unlike before Libraries could be opened and closed by the user. Media could be stored internally in the Library or kept outside the Library. On June 27, 2014 media management was further refined with the release of version 10.1.2.
During the NAB Show 2015 Apple released version 10.2.0. 3D Titles were introduced directly in Final Cut Pro X as well as its companion application, Motion. The Color Board merged with a new Color Correction effect to allow for more flexibility in stacking layers of effects. The ability to apply a Keying or Shape Mask directly to any effect was also introduced.
Version 10.3 introduced an entirely new interface and an improved magnetic timeline. Support for iXML metadata when importing audio. Audio editing vastly improved. Audio roles can be shown in lanes. REC 2020 color import, edit, and export. MXF support.
During the NAB Show 2018 Apple released version 10.4.1. Closed Captioning was introduced as well as support for ProRes RAW. Version 10.4.1 requires Mac OS version 10.13.2 High Sierra.
|10.0.0||June 21, 2011||
|10.0.1||Sept. 9, 2011||
|10.0.2||Nov. 16, 2011||
|10.0.3||Jan. 31, 2012||
|10.0.4||Apr. 10, 2012||
|10.0.5||June 11, 2012||
|10.0.6||Oct. 23, 2012||
|10.0.7||Dec. 6, 2012||
|10.0.8||Mar. 26, 2013||
|10.0.9||July 30, 2013||
|10.1.0||Dec. 19, 2013||
|10.1.1||Jan. 16, 2014||
|10.1.2||June 27, 2014||
|10.1.3||Aug. 19, 2014||
|10.1.4||Nov. 25, 2014||
|10.2.0||Apr. 13, 2015||
|10.2.1||May 14, 2015||
|10.2.2||Sept. 4, 2015||
|10.2.3||Feb. 4, 2016||
|10.3||Oct. 27, 2016||
|10.4||Dec. 14, 2017||
|10.4.1||Apr. 15, 2018||
|10.4.4||Nov. 15, 2018||
|10.4.5||Jan. 17, 2019||
|10.4.6||Mar. 21, 2019||
|10.4.7||Oct. 7, 2019|
|10.4.8||Dec. 10, 2019||
|10.4.9||Aug. 25, 2020||
For a complete overview of the changes made, see Apple's release notes.
Final Cut Pro X was announced in April 2011 simultaneously at the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro Users Group held at Bally's Las Vegas and at the NAB Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center and released in June 2011.
The reaction was extremely mixed, with veteran film editor Walter Murch initially saying, "I can't use this," citing a lack of features compared to Final Cut Pro 7. In a 2015 interview, Murch was much less critical of the tool and suggested that he was interested in using it.
Missing features and issues noted as essential to professional video production in FCPX included lack of edit decision list (EDL), XML and Open Media Framework Interchange (OMF) support, inability to import projects created in previous releases of Final Cut Pro, a lack of a multicam editing tool, third-party I/O hardware output, and videotape capture being limited to Firewire video devices only, including capture with third-party hardware, were addressed within the first six months of the product's life. EDL export, a product of the early days of videotape editing, is now supported through third-party software and creating an AAF (a newer version of OMF) for passing projects to Pro Tools through X2Pro.
Apple announced in April 2018 that there are more than 2.5 Million users of Final Cut Pro X.
Since its release, FCP X has supported the construction of Effect, Title, Transition, and Title plugins by publishing custom built effects from Apple Motion. This has led to a third-party ecosystem of developers building effects from simple color corrections to complex templates. Third-party plug-ins can also be created through Apple's FxPlug SDK. As Projects, Events, and Libraries are stored in a database format; this has allowed many third party developers to build workflow tools by utilizing FCPXML.
Films and TV shows edited with Final Cut Pro X
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- Final Cut Pro X update introduces ProRes RAW and advanced closed captioning. Apple, Inc.
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- Final Cut Pro X - In Action - Detective Dee - Apple.
- Wiggins, Peter. Loreak, Spain’s official submission in the 2016 Oscars’ best foreign language film category was edited on Final Cut Pro X (en-gb).
- Final Cut Pro X - In Action - Focus (en-US).
- Final Cut Pro X resurrected: Focus’ advanced workflow | postPerspective - Randi Altman's postPerspective.
- SAG-AFTRA Foundation (2016-05-13). The Business: Q&A with WELL WISHES. Retrieved on 2016-07-11.
- Wiggins, Peter. Post Production on "What Happened, Miss Simone?" An Oscar Nominated Documentary Edited on Final Cut Pro X (en-gb).
- Courtens, Ronny. Hollywood veteran Lance Bachelder explains why he has chosen to use Final Cut Pro X on his latest feature film "Saved By Grace" (en-gb).
- ART OF THE CUT: JAN KOVAC CUTS "WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT" ON FCP-X by Steve Hullfish - ProVideo Coalition (en-US) (2016-03-09).
- Wiggins, Peter. Post producing the budget feature Saturday's Warrior on Final Cut Pro X (en-gb).
- Steve, Hullfish (2016-05-30). ART OF THE CUT – CLAYTON CONDIT CUTS "VOICE FROM THE STONE" ON FCP-X.
- X2Pro Audio Convert - Zealous Pictures is Enthusiastic about Marquis’ X2Pro for First Feature Film: Bokeh.
- Courtens, Ronny. "Organising and Managing 480 Hours of Footage in FCPX, Editing One of Europe’s Major Feature Films of 2017", FCP.co, 27 November 2016. (in en-gb)
- How the Prime Time BBC1 Series 'Have I Got News For You' was Edited on Final Cut Pro X During Lockdown’.
- The BBC adopts Final Cut Pro X for news gathering - Marquis’.
- X2Pro Audio Convert - Marquis’ X2Pro is Big Hit with Trailer Park Boys.
- Final Cut Pro X - In Action - Electric Entertainment - Apple.
- Wiggins, Peter. How Emmy winning George to the Rescue gets cut on Final Cut Pro X for NBC (en-gb).
- Southern, Patrick. Final Cut Pro X cuts the major A&E documentary O.J. Speaks: The Hidden tapes (en-gb).
- Paramedics: Emergency Response (en-ca).
- Wiggins, Peter. How I learned to stop worrying and love Final Cut Pro X (en-gb).
- Courtens, Ronny. Cut With FCPX: The Prestigious Period Mystery-Thriller 'La Peste' Surpasses 'Game Of Thrones' To Become The Most Watched Television Series In Spain (en-GB).