Apple’s pro-grade video editing tool Final Cut Pro X is getting a big update today.
While much of FCPX is getting polished up in this release, the biggest change is what it allows for moving forward: workflow extensions. These extensions allow third-party apps and services to hook right into FCPX and build on top of the native interface and functionality.
Apple partnered with three companies to build out extensions for launch day:
- Frame.io: Frame.io lets video producers share in-progress edits, allowing collaborators to view the project as it comes together and drop comments, frame-by-frame annotations and ideas directly into the relevant, time-synced section of your timeline. Frame.io has been building out this functionality within their own app for quite a while now — this new workflow extension just brings all of it right into FCPX to keep you from having to constantly switch back and forth.
- Shutterstock: Need some b-roll you didn’t think to shoot? The Shutterstock extension lets you drag watermarked photos/videos/music into your project for temporary use, then handles swapping in the licensed/unwatermarked stuff later.
- CatDV: If your team uses CatDV for handling/tagging its assets, the new extension lets you connect to your content catalog, search for tagged content and pull it right into a project.
While FCPX has had plug-ins for a while, these new workflow extensions are able to more tightly integrate into the app’s built-in interface. Third-party extensions will come straight from the Mac App Store. Apple says that anyone will be able to build an FCPX workflow extension through a newly built SDK, though it’s asking interested parties to reach out to them directly for now.
Meanwhile, some of the other changes coming to FCPX:
- A Comparison Viewer that lets you pin clips side-by-side (or drag in references from the web) to help with color correction and grading.
- A batch-sharing tool to help export multiple clips (or export into multiple formats) at once.
- A newly built video noise reduction effect for helping to cut down on grain while maintaining sharpness.
- A fancy “Tiny Planet” feature that can convert 360º video into a trippy spherical view
Apple is also pushing updates for Motion and Compressor, two apps it sells separately from FCPX on the App Store. Motion, Apple’s tool for building titles and transitions, is getting deeper color management tools to help get all the grading just right, along with a new comic book-style filter and a tiny planet feature similar to the one now built into Final Cut. Compressor, Apple’s dedicated tool for encoding your videos and prepping them for distribution, is being shifted over to a new 64-bit engine (though it’ll still work with 32-bit file formats). It’s also picking up the ability to burn subtitles directly into a video, and will at long last offer support for handling SRT subtitle files — particularly useful for anyone trying to upload straight from FCPX to Facebook, which will only accept SRTs.
All of the updates are free to existing users. For new users, Final Cut Pro X costs $300, while Motion and Compressor go for $50 each.