Final Cut Pro X 10.2.2 Update: Codecs and workflow

Friday, 04 September 2015

Today Apple updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor. Here is what the Final Cut 10.2.2 release note says about what’s changed:

  • Native support for Sony XAVC-L and Panasonic AVC-Intra 4:4:4 up to 4K resolution
  • Import Canon XF-AVC 8-bit video files with Canon plug-in
  • Export interlaced H.264 video
  • Asset management systems can include a library backup file when sharing from Final Cut Pro
  • Fixes render errors that could occur when using reflective materials with 3D text
  • Improves stability when swapping materials on 3D text with published parameters
  • Improves performance when loading text styles
  • Motion Title templates with published text layout parameters now export correctly
  • Fixes an issue that could cause 3D text to appear dark when rendered
  • Addresses issues with timing on certain animated effects

Motion 5.2.2’s note lists a subset of the Final Cut features. Compressor 4.2.1 adds:

  • Fixes a crash that could occur after migrating a user account to another system
  • Restores the ability to use markers for i-frame placement in H.264 exports
  • Improves audio and video sync of closed captions and subtitles

For many Final Cut users, the biggest news with this update is that the text entry field titles is now resizable:

resize-text-field

Peter Wiggins reported on Twitter that some plugins that have been broken since the 10.2 update now work:

As regards

  • Native support for Sony XAVC-L and Panasonic AVC-Intra 4:4:4 up to 4K resolution

There is a slight wrinkle for those dealing with media from the Sony X70. ddixon writes on the fcp.co forum:

Yes! Works fine for me. The 2.0 firmware for the camera is required, and once applied you must reformat the SDXC card in-camera, then record new clips. The last FCPX update fixed this for HD - today's update fixes it for 4K.

Note that the memory card must also be reformatted in-camera after the firmware update. However, if you have 4K clips that were shot by a 2.0 firmware upgraded camera, those now magically work with 10.2.2. And, before today you could not mix HD and 4K on the same card, but I assume this limitation is no longer the case - although that's an assumption, have not tested it.

Looks like for media compatibility, you need to check if there is any other software you need to update. For now the Canon XF-AVC software hasn't been udated.

An IBC-friendly update

As well as better 4K camera compatibility, a feature seems designed to support developers presenting at next week’s IBC show in Amsterdam:

  • Asset management systems can include a library backup file when sharing from Final Cut Pro

Part of this feature is a settings file inside Final Cut that third-party applications can use to make libraries using Final Cut. Some users are more comfortable with library .fcpbundle files than .fcpxml files:

Library bundle

Looks like this isn’t designed for users to be able to do from within the normal Final Cut interface yet.

Perhaps we’ll learn more after product announcements at IBC soon. Maybe during a presentation at the FCPWORKS/Soho Editors FCP EXPO

OS X El Capitan compatibility?

This update has appeared only weeks before the expected launch of OS X 10.11. There are various possibilities here:

  • This version of Final Cut has been updated for OS X compatibility as well
  • There was no time for this version to include OSX compatibility
  • Due to buggy new features in the release candidate of OS X El Capitan, it wasn’t possible to make Final Cut Pro X 10.2.2 compatible with what will be an initially feature incomplete version of OS X

I went into why this is so in the last post here: ‘OS X updates and Final Cut Pro X: A false sense of security?

These compatibility possibilities may also apply to third-party products and services in the Final Cut Pro X ecosystem, so unlike recent OS transitions, we might have to wait a few weeks before updating to OS X El Capitan.