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Final Cut Pro X update brings 8K speed, social media crop tools, better proxy workflow

Final Cut Pro on the iMac and MacBook Pro

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Apple has updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.4.9, with many workflow improvements, proxy workflow enhancements, and tailored templates with machine learning cropping for social media.

Apple says that Tuesday's update to Final Cut Pro X includes "major improvements to proxy workflows that make libraries more portable and streamline remote work with large, high-resolution files." Specifically, video editors can now create proxies in either ProRes Proxy or H.264 in dimensions as small as 12.5 percent of the original.

Users can also consolidate proxy media, images, and audio to an external or network-connected drive. A Final Cut Pro Library can now be relinked to proxies already created for added flexibility.

Editors can now link to proxy media generated by third-party applications via XML. If proxy media is not available for some clips, users can adapt workflows to display either the original file or an optimized version.

Final Cut Pro X social media optimization

Using machine learning, clips in a project can be automatically analyzed for dominant motion and intelligently cropped with Smart Conform to convert them into formats and proportions suitable for Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Special crop tools in Final Cut Pro X for social media video publication
Special crop tools in Final Cut Pro X for social media video publication

Transform Overscan reveals media outside the crop boundary when adjusting scale, rotation, and position. Video editors can also add a Custom Overlay to guide them when placing text and graphics within a non-landscape frame.

Final Cut Pro workflow improvements

ProRes RAW camera settings, such as ISO, color temperature, and exposure offset are exposed in the inspector. Audio crossfades on adjacent clips can be applied in one step. Apple also notes that this release also introduces significant performance improvements with new Metal-enabled plug-ins for RED RAW and Canon Cinema RAW Light.

Using the new version, Apple says that transcoding 8K RED RAW video to ProRes 422 is up to two times faster on the Mac Pro, and up to three times faster on a MacBook Pro.

When working with 360-degree video, editors can stabilize stereoscopic 3D video and view footage in the 360-degree Viewer with separate streams for each eye. Users can also start working immediately with remote content while it is downloading in the background from web-based asset management applications, such as the workflow extension.

Motion and Compressor improvements

Creators can import third-party 3D models into Motion, or choose from a built-in library of 3D models in the USDZ format for use in titles, generators, effects, and transitions. Also included in today's Motion update is the new Stroke Filter, a tool that automatically outlines an object or text element using its alpha channel.

Import of existing 3d objects into Apple's Motion
Import of existing 3d objects into Apple's Motion

Compressor has also been updated with support for custom LUT effects, the ability to use Camera LUTs to convert log-encoded footage to SDR or HDR outputs, and other workflow enhancements.

Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 is available today as a free update for existing users, and for $299.99 for new users on the Mac App Store. Education customers can purchase the Pro Apps Bundle for Education for $199.99.

Motion 5.4.6 and Compressor 4.4.7 are also available today as free updates for existing users, and for $49.99 each for new users on the Mac App Store.