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Addressing editors’ concerns, Apple enhances Final Cut Pro X

Apple last week released a major free upgrade to its Final Cut Pro X video editing software, adding multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos, advanced chroma keying for handling complex adjustments and enhanced XML for a better interchange with third party apps and plug-ins.

The Final Cut Pro v10.0.3 update came after a flare-up from professional editors when the software was released seven months ago. Apple has now delivered on its promises, giving the $299.99 application most of what its users wanted and promising to continuously improve the software.

One of the most requested features was support for multi-camera projects. Users can now select video and photos, and then create a Multicam Clip by automatically syncing different angles based on time of day, timecode, markers or audio waveforms. They then can play back multiple angles at once in the customizable Angle Viewer, and use the new Angle Editor to dive into any Multicam Clip and make precise adjustments.

Users can change, add or delete camera angles at any time and work with different codecs, frame sizes and frame rates without conversion. When it’s time to edit a multicam project, the operator clicks in the Angle Viewer or uses keyboard shortcuts to switch between angles on the fly.

The new version also features advanced chroma keying. In addition to using the one-step chroma key in the earlier version, users can now access advanced keying controls for color sampling, edge adjustment and light wrap. Users can address complex keying challenges without exporting to a motion graphics application. Playback results now show instantly and in context to making edit decisions.

A new Media Relink feature allows the connection of media and exchange files with third-party applications. Operators can select the media that has been moved or modified, or locate clips that have been transcoded, trimmed or color graded by third-party tools. Then they can relink to the project or event.

Users can also import and keep all the object layers from a Photoshop file in a single Compound Clip to animate, colorize and add effects to individual layers while editing in Final Cut Pro X.

The XML 1.1 feature includes support for exporting basic primary color grades to third-party applications like DaVinci Resolve. The user can import and export audio keyframes and intrinsic effects parameters such as opacity and scale.

Finally, a broadcast monitoring feature labeled as “beta” allows output video to be sent to an external monitor that use third-party PCIe cards or Thunderbolt I/O devices. These can be connected to waveform displays, vectorscopes and calibrated broadcast monitors to ensure that a final project meets broadcast specifications.

Video can also be sent to large HD screens and projectors so everyone in the edit suite can see the creative process at work. Apple said it is working with third-party developers to continue to improve broadcast monitoring over time.