By Larry Jordan (LarryJordan.com)
Yesterday, Apple announced free updates to their professional-grade video applications: Final Cut Pro X – to version 10.4.1, Motion – to version 5.4.1, and Compressor – to version 4.4.1. The new releases will ship on Monday, April 9.
There are two headline features with the update: an integrated closed-captioning system and a new codec – ProRes RAW – that is specifically designed to improve editing performance of RAW files for HDR editing.
Keep in mind that installing the new version of this software will replace the existing version and all libraries will be automatically updated when they are opened in the new version. This means that everyone on your production team will need to update at the same time.
- macOS v10.13.2 or later
- 4 GM RAM, 8 GB recommended
- 10 GB of storage space for a new installation
FCP X HEADLINE FEATURES
“ProRes RAW is a new format from Apple that offers the quality and workflow advantages of RAW with the stunning performance of ProRes. With ProRes RAW, editors can import, edit and grade pristine footage with RAW data from the camera sensor, providing ultimate flexibility when adjusting highlights and shadows — ideal for HDR workflows. And with performance optimized for macOS, editors can play full-quality 4K ProRes RAW files on MacBook Pro and iMac systems in real time without rendering. ProRes RAW files are even smaller than ProRes 4444 files, allowing editors to make better use of storage while providing an excellent format for archiving.” (Apple’s Press Release)
The second new feature is an integrated closed-captioning system.
“Final Cut Pro now includes powerful closed captioning tools…. Users can import closed caption files directly into their project or create them from scratch. Captions appear in the viewer during playback and can be attached to video or audio clips in the timeline, so they automatically move with the clips to which they’re connected. An all-new captions inspector makes it simple to adjust caption text, color, alignment, location and more. Users can even create captions in multiple languages within the same timeline and easily share captioned videos to YouTube and Vimeo. And in the share window, a new Roles tab displays titles, video and audio roles in a single consolidated interface, making it easy to configure roles and closed captions when sharing.” (Apple’s press release)
MOTION AND COMPRESSOR
Both these apps gain support for ProRes RAW files, and Compressor also includes support for closed captions.
Where this update really shines, though, is fixing bugs and improving stability. Much has been written about issues with XDCAM footage, interface elements that don’t work quite right and annoying crashes during compression.
This release contains an intensive and extensive bug fix for all three applications. Apple has worked hard to fix as many issues as possible.
As with all updates, unless you are experiencing crashes in your current system, it is wise to finish a project that is near completion before upgrading. Also, for critical systems, hold off updating for a week after release to make sure no unexpected issues crop up. Otherwise, this update is excellent news.
All updates are delivered through the Mac App store and will be available on Monday, April 9, 2018.
Larry Jordan has a comprehensive catalogue of video training for Final Cut Pro, including version 10.4 Complete. Larry also has a great tutorial on what settings to use in Compressor to make your video output the best it can be.