Articles tagged with: Detective

Apple WWDC 2015 and post production

Tuesday, 09 June 2015

Here's my take on the announcements at the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference 2015.

OS X El Capitan

First came details on the next version of OS X, named El Capitan. El Capitan is one of the mountains in the Yosemite National Park in California. This naming is smiliar to how OS X Mountain Lion came after OS X Lion and OS X Snow Leopard came after OS X Leopard. It signals that this update isn't as big from users point of view. OS X Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard and El Capitan have less big new features that most Mac users will get excited about.

These updates give developers that chance to catch up on new Apple technologies and Apple the chance to introduce innovations that developers can use to do new things. An example could be that if Apple have added more features to AV Foundation, the code that lets application developers (inside and outside of Apple) to do more with movies and audio. Apple Marketing won't tell the public about AV Foundation updates this year, but will hope that new OS X (and iOS watchOS) abilities will mean better AV applications in the coming months.

Spotlight improvements

El Capitan adds natural language searches "The pictures I took last year in London." This should also work for searches based media metadata, and eventually metadata added within applications such as Final Cut Pro X: "Select favourites from the second half of the concert in Manchester featuring the drummer and the bass guitarist shot on a GoPro." Apple haven't yet announced links between media metadata and Spotlight searches, but natural langauge searches in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X would be useful.

In iOS apps can make their content available to Spotlight so that an iPhone- or iPad-wide search will find content in a specific part of the app.


[20:30 into main keynote] Last year Apple introduced Metal - a way for iOS gaming applications to better access the power of iPhone, iPad and iPad CPUs and GPUs. Last year the emphasis was on how this would make iOS games better. This year Apple had a demo of how well a game worked with Metal on OS X.

Metal has also evolved to speed up more of OS X. In El Capitan Metal improves the speed of Core Animation and Core Graphics. Compared with when these libaries executing OpenGL commands, they now render 'up to' 50% faster on the same hardware.

[21:20] Interestingly for post production people, Apple also said how Metal would speed up 'high performance apps.' It does this by replacing OpenGL graphics code and OpenCL distributed processing code (for sharing work between CPUs).

[21:45] The first developer story of the WWDC keynote was from Adobe. They've been able to speed up After Effects CC rendering by 8x using Metal for OS X. Animations can be rendered in real time. Instead of waiting for Illustrator CC to rerender complex graphics when zooming, now rendering happens in real time. This brings the power of interactive graphic changes - no waiting for rendering in Illustrator.

“We are committed to adopting Metal on our OS X apps. With performance increases of up to 8x, we are excited about what Metal can do for our Creative Cloud users.” - David Wadhwani, Sr. VP & GM, Digital Media, Adobe [22:08] 

David McGavran of Adobe Systems demoed the speed improvements in After Effects CC and Illustrator CC during the ‘Platforms State of the Nation’ session [1:32:15 into this video]. He said that Adobe apps like Premiere Clip already benefit from Metal on iOS.

“Pro app makers are seeing the benefits of Metal like The Foundry and Autodesk. I think were going to see pro users, gamers and all of us benefiting from the performance advantages of Metal” Craig Federighi, Apple [26:55]

AV Foundation

AV Foundation is the part of OS X (and iOS) that applications use to manipulate video and audio. The Editing Movies in AV Foundation developer session has the following description:

Learn how to use the new AVMutableMovie class to modify media files and simplify your editing workflows. See how to support segment-based editing and discover the power of sample reference movies.

The developer documentation for the version of AV Foundation in El Capitan hasn't yet been updated to include AVMutableMovie.

Speed improvement

According to Pedro Santamaría on Twitter, the current version Final Cut Pro X runs faster on his 2012 MacBook Air - as tested using my BruceX benchmark:

This is impressive given that operating system betas aren't tuned for speed. I'll add any update he gives on how much faster the Mac Pro is running El Capitan.


In each keynote Apple likes to show slides that list ‘too many features to go into right now.’ Some that are relevant to post production are:

File copy resume - could mean that the Finder (or other applications) will resume copying files after a crash or other interruption

Photos editing extensions - could be possible to make changes to photos within video and motion graphics applications. No ‘Movie editing extentions’ yet

Airplay Video - OS X users can already play videos on Apple TVs on the same network, perhaps this mention means that other Macs will be able to play back video.

Should I install OS X El Capitan?

No. Not today.

Unless you are developing Mac software. Although Apple hope it won't cause any problems on your Mac, it wouldn't suprise exprienced developers if a fault wipes all hard drives. At the moment there are reports ranging from "No problems" to "Final Cut Pro X crashes constantly." If you must try it, I suggest you wait for the version Apple releases as part of its public Beta programme.

As regards compatibility, if a Mac can run OS X Yosemite today, it will be able to run the release version of OS El Capitan tomorrow.

Apple ecosystems

Other keynote announcements show that Apple want to maintain and create new ecosystems. As well as supporting big players, their ecosystems include support for small companies and individuals to do well. This makes sense to iOS and OS X developers selling through Apple's App Stores.

Apple Pay

As well as adding more banks and the UK to Apple Pay, Apple mentioned that Square will soon introduce a terminal that will allow anyone to accept ApplePay payments.


The News iOS app is a place for syndicated content from news and media organisations. Apple is also considering content from smaller sites and individuals. For now they need to set up an RSS feed of their stories and apply to Apple stating which kinds of content they create:

News brings together high-quality news, magazine, and blog sources in a single beautiful content experience. Whether you’re a major news organization or an individual blogger, you can sign up to deliver your content to millions of iOS users.


Topics are created and assigned by Apple’s expert editors and sophisticated algorithms.

News Publishing Guide - Apple

This means that if you can demonstrate that you provide relevant content on a subject of interest to just a few thousand people, Apple's News app might be able to help you connect with the iOS users amongst them. 

As well as being able to monetise your content with 100% from any advertising you include, you optionally get 70% of income from Apple's iAd system.

Apple Music

During the launch of Apple Music, Apple made a point of including unknown musicians. As well as being able to have their music included in Apple Music, Connect helps them maintain their community of fans by adding text, audio, pictures and video to their Apple Music page. Apple Music also takes into account how individuals within families have different music preferences by offering a good value family plan.

At the moment Apple’s Beats 1 worldwide radio station seems aimed at a limited demographic - those interested enough in current and new music to want to hear well chosen music. Those willing to pay for a music subscription. Hopefully Apple will be able to create more advanced radio experiences in future.

Future media ecosystems

This prompts the question of where video, TV and film fits into Apple's plan. If Apple is consistent with what they are about to do with News and Music, people, small groups and large content creators will be able to share their video content in the same way.

If Apple Movies was built in the same way, there would be an iOS application which would provide a single place to consume and discover video content. It would combine human curation with algorithms that would learn your preferences. If you are a producer, Apple would provide simple tools to make your content available (News) and build audiences (Apple Music Connect).

A similar ecosystem could be built around podcasts - perhaps supported by a worldwide Apple radio station that features presenters and excerpts from podcasts, audio books and radio drama.

The Apple Music family plan prompts me to point out that some media - music, TV, movies - is fun to share with others. Perhaps Apple should find a way for software to create combined streams that would entertain groups of people: A family playlist for everyone until 10pm, then content for the parents. "Stick with this 15 minute short that only your brother likes, something you really like will be on next." This could work for any group of people - including groups not gathered in one place: hanging out across the internet.

If your media has to fit in a shared customised stream, the methods you use to tell stories might change.

If Google and Apple will eventually meet in a battle of software on hardware vs. software in the cloud, Apple might need to change the field of battle. If hardware devices become so ambient as not needing to be associated with an individual - apart from an earpiece running Siri - Apple's hardware integration edge will become irrelevant. What survives will be Apple's ability to maintain and support media ecosystems. 

iMovie 10.0.7 update

Monday, 09 March 2015

At the same moment Apple were launching the Apple Watch and the 2015 MacBook, they quietly updated iMovie.iMovie10.0.9

As well as the features listed here, 10.0.7 also updates the format for iMovie libraries. Once you open an old library with 10.0.7, it will not open in earlier versions.

Here are the new buttons added below the viewer:

iMovie10 0 7new-buttons

New text

Within the application there are a few bits of text not found in 10.0.6:

A tooltip explaining the new Photos features:

Choose to view projects, albums, and more from your Photos Library

Instructions to deal with errors:

Select a local storage device or SAN.

Select a local storage device.

Copy the document to a local storage device or SAN, then try again.

Copy the document to a local storage device, then try again.


This document cannot be opened from iCloud Drive.

This document cannot be saved to iCloud Drive.



Final Cut Pro X 10.1.4

Tuesday, 02 December 2014

The 10.1.4 update appeared on December 2nd 2014. It was a maintenance release, not a feature update. As well as the usual bug fixes, Apple added very useful import and export features in the form of MXF handling through the separate Pro Video Formats 2.0 installer.

Both should be available in the Updates pane of the App Store application. You can download MXF support directly from Apple as well.


Ripple Training's MXF introduction and how it works in Final Cut Pro X:

Need MXF export but don't want to update Final Cut Pro X?

If you are in the middle of a project it is inadvisable to update Final Cut Pro X, but you can still produce MXF files if you have Compressor or Motion. Apple's Final Cut Pro X, Compressor & Motion MXF FAQ mentions that you can  use Apple's new Pro Video Formats 2.0 MXF export with versions of Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor.

MXF Options


For AVC-Intra you can choose between 720p, 1080i and 1080p, 50Mbit/s and 100Mbit/s. You can also choose between 2 and 16 even numbers of audio channels at either 16 or 24 bits. You can also start timecode at the native value or force it to start at 10 hours or 1 hour.

As well as MXF working in Apple's ProApps, you can also use QuickTime Player 7 to open and play MXF files:


MXF is a wrapper format for different codecs, so you'll find that in some cases although you can export a flavour of MXF, you won't be able to import it back into Final Cut or play it using QuickTime Player 7:


AVC intra HD formats and IMX SD format show as greyed out in the import window. Uncompressed either doesn't export properly or play back properly.

Final Cut Pro X is now UK DPP-compliant

Since October 1 UK broadcasters have required that programmes be submitted as files - not on HD tape. The format they chose MXF OP1a with specific metadata which is known as the AS-11 standard. Alex Snelling (who wrote the standard work on Final Cut Pro X 10.1 Library workflows) has written a new document on how to prepare programmes for broadcast using Final Cut Pro X.



Download it from the 10dot1 website. The same page also includes specialised Compressor presets that aid AS-11 export.

This is good news for Final Cut Pro X users outside the UK because the AS-11 delivery standard was created in conjunction with the US-based Advanced Media Workflow Association. This means there is a good chance this standard will be adopted elsewhere in the world.


Don't forget that although recent updates haven't caused too many problems, it is best not to update Final Cut while in the middle of a project.

CoreMelt reported that all their plugins work with 10.1.4.

Philip Johnston reports that MXF AVC Long GOP files from Panasonic cameras now work with Final Cut Pro X, but XAVC-L footage from Sony's PXW-X70 didn't work.

Not updated

It is rare that Apple Motion isn't updated at the same time as Final Cut Pro X. This implies that Final Cut's effects and compositing didn't changed between 10.1.3 and 10.1.4.

It is odd also that the ProApps team didn't update the UI to match OS X Yosemite - unlike Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

A little bit more 'Pro'

With this maintenance release Apple added a feature that is useful for broadcasters, but not any other features for the wider constituency of Final Cut editors. In July 2014 I compared 10.X with Final Cut Classic using graphs showing which markets each update supported. The last major update was 10.1.2:

10.1.2 update compared with previous versions

Here's where 10.1.4 fits into this progression:



As I said in July, it looks like the next major version of Final Cut will shore up the middle markets: those using Final Cut Pro X for important and/or paid work and people working in smaller production companies. As well as features that demonstrate OS X Yosemite continuity and extension capabilities alongside Apple's replacement for iPhone and Aperture.

Apple's 'Magnetic Timeline' Final Cut Pro X patent

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

This week Apple was awarded a patent related to the Final Cut Pro X timeline. It is available as text and 95 page PDF. It was applied for on June 6, 2011. Most of the abstract covers only part of the patent:

A media-editing application of some embodiments allows a user of the application to group media clips displayed in the timeline into a single clip representation. A composite display area of the media-editing application often displays numerous clips at various instances in time and at various levels in the compositing hierarchy. To reduce the number of media clips in the timeline, the media-editing application of some embodiments allows the user to select several media clips and combine them into a one media clip representation. In this manner, the media-editing application reduces the congestion in the timeline. These single clip representations are referred to as "compound clips." Compound clips can be viewed as containers that can include several media clips of the same type in some embodiments, or that can include several media clips of several different types in other embodiments.

Although the abstract mainly covers compound clips, most of the ways a non-track-based magnetic timeline works is described in the patent itself. A little 'smuggling' by the patent lawyers?

Here's a list of contents to show what editing software features Apple now has a patent for. Instead of reading the text, use this list of figures with some interesting quotes from the relevant sections. Remember that the phrase "in some embodiments" doesn't mean that Apple planned to add that feature to Final Cut Pro, these clauses are included to make the patent cover a wider range of possible editing software features.

Fig 1: Main UI


Connected clips in secondary storylines are referred to as "anchored clips in anchored or secondary lanes."

Instead of, or in conjunction with, having several levels of media clips that anchor off the central compositing lane, some embodiments allow media clips to be placed in these anchor lanes and to be anchored off of other anchored media clips placed in these anchor lanes.

Skimming within clips with the option to see skimmed clips in the viewer:

In some embodiments, the playback (or skimming) is not shown in the timeline clips, but rather in the preview display area

Fig 2: Selecting ranges in clips before reducing audio volume of range

Fig 3-4: Expand Audio/Video clips and Detach Audio

Fig 5: Change appearance of clips in the timeline

Some embodiments may also allow the user to directly manipulate the media clips (e.g., by expanding or contracting the audio or video portions using a cursor) to change the appearance.

Fig 6: Zooming timeline horizontally

Fig 7-9: The playhead and the skimmer

Fig 10-11 Clip skimming

Fig 12 Insert edit

Fig 13 Adding a selected event clip to the end of the timeline

Fig 14 Connecting a clip

Fig 15-18 Replace edits

Gap clips to maintain duration:

When the second media clip is shorter in duration than the first media clip, some embodiments replace the first clip by placing the second clip at the point that the first clip starts. This will cause a gap to close or to be filled with a position clip after the second clip.

Fig 19-20 Gap clips

Known here as Position clips

Fig 21 Trimming connected clips

Including the fact that if connected clips are audio only, they can be trimmed down to the sample level instead of being limited to whole frames.

Fig 22 Slipping clips

Fig 23 Connection point

Including an option to use the point dragged from in the event clip as the connection point when dragging to the timeline i.e. if the mousedown is 1/3rd of the way along the clip or selection when you start dragging, then the connection point is set to 1/3rd along the clip.

Fig 24 Changing the connection point

Fig 25 Creating a secondary storyline

Some embodiments allow the user to create a container first in an anchor lane and add media clips into the container from the timeline or the clip browser.

Fig 26 Extend edits

Fig 27-31 Editing and moving the playhead using timecode entry

Fig 32 Editing with video only, audio only or both audio and video

Fig 33-35 Two Up view

The media-editing application in some embodiments displays two frames in the viewer  for other types of editing as well. Some of different types of editing include a ripple edit, a slide edit, a slip edit, etc.

Fig 36 Making compound clips

Fig 37 Navigating Timeline History

Fig 38 Bookmarking a timeline history view

Fig 39 Timeline history state diagram

Fig 40 Retiming a compound clip

Fig 41-46 Importing clips into a database

Including transcoding and proxy generation

Fig 47-50 How timelines are represented in the database

Fig 51 Application architecture


It might be possible to associate some of the internal frameworks in Final Cut Pro X and iMovie with elements of this diagram. For example, the Rendering Engine could be implemented by 'Ozone.framework' - the 'headless' copy of Apple Motion 5.X in Final Cut and iMovie. You might be able to guess what 'TLKit.framework' does.

There's an interesting hint about how the application defined in the patent might not only be a traditional application running on a computer: 

In some embodiments, the media editing application is a stand-alone application or is integrated into another application, while in other embodiments the application might be implemented within an operating system. Furthermore, in some embodiments, the application is provided as part of a server-based solution. In some such embodiments, the application is provided via a thin client. That is, the application runs on a server while a user interacts with the application via a separate machine remote from the server. In other such embodiments, the application is provided via a thick client. That is, the application is distributed from the server to the client machine and runs on the client machine.

Fig 52 Computing device

All software patents need to include a description of a computing device for the software to run on.

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 update - all you need to know

Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Today Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.1.2. Nearly all the new features and refinements Apple announced seem to be about supporting high-end workflows:

  • More control over optimised media, proxy media and render files
  • Apply LUTs to HDR and wide-gamut media from high-end cameras - Apple calls this 'Log Processing'
  • A new ProRes flavour: 4444 XQ
  • Faster export of cuts only XDCAM media (good for TV news and DaVinci Resolve workflows)
  • Fine-grained control over XML export - from individual clips, multiple clips, projects, events or whole libraries
  • Library metadata view
  • Automatically apply keywords based on tags assigned in the Finder - the advantage over folders is that the same media can have multiple tags - such as camera name, location and scene number
  • The ability to search for or create smart collections of used or unused media in the current project, compound clip, synchronized clip or multicam clip.
  • A 'Share to Vimeo at 4K' destination

As well as these features for TV, movies and live events, there are new features useful for a larger range of Final Cut users:

  • Unused range indicators for compound clips, multicam clips and synced clips
  • Tools to support voiceover Audition clips
  • Adjust relaive as well as absolute audio volume of a clip or range within a clip
  • Option to sort events by date or name within libraries list
  • The ability to import a clip by dragging directly to the browser (before you could import by dragging a clip to a specific event in the libraries list)

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 information not promoted by Apple

  • The format for Final Cut libraries has changed, if you update them with version 10.1.2, any 10.1.1 or 10.1.0 systems will not be able to read them any more.
  • New 'Basic Surround' audio preset makes panning surround sound easier
  • Break apart Auditions to see the individual clips on the timeline (using Clip > Break Apart Clip Items or Shift-Command-G)
  • 10.1.1 could run on OS X 10.9.0, Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 requires at least OS X 10.9.2. This also applies to Motion and Compressor.
  • Using the , and . keys to nudge clips in the timeline now acts as a slide edit
  • Updated version of Final Cut Pro X XML - so a wider variety of information can be exported to or imported from other workflow applications
  • You can close all libraries - one does not have to remain open
  • More control of how synchronised clips are generated
  • Much better relinking of missing files. Select the parent volume or folder and Final Cut will now search all sub-folders until it finds the correct files
  • New text format presets
  • There are many new effects, transitions, titles and generators 

Library properties

The inspector can show information about the selected library (also available using the new Control-Command-J shortcut)


When you are modify Storage Locations settings, tooltips pop up to show where media, cache and backups are currently stored:


When preparing to backup or transfer a library, you now have more control over whether optimised or proxy media is included: 


Delete 'Generated Files'

In addition to being able to delete render files, you can now delete proxy and cache files associated with projects, events and libraries:



XML Export

XML export can now include one or more clips only and one or more projects. Final Cut lists the elements to be included in the export at the bottom of the export dialogue box:


Volume control

Using a pair of new commands, you can set new volume values without using the audio tab of the inspector:


Then, with one or more clips selected, you can change audio volume amounts by typing a number into the timeline:


If you use Modify > Adjust Volume > Absolute, the audio level of the clips you selected is set to the new value. If any clips had audio level keyframes assigned, these will be deleted.

Sort events by…



Record Voiceover

The former 'Record Audio' command has more features:


You can name the resultant clip, hear countdown beeps to aid timing, combine different takes into an audition and choose into which event the audio clips are stored.

If you want to use the keyboard to start voiceover recording, press Option-Shift-A. To stop recording, press the space bar or press Option-Shift-A again.

ProRes 4444 XQ

4444 XQ is a new flavour or ProRes has data rates approximately 50% higher than 4444. Apple have updated their ProRes white paper with more information. ProRes 4444 XQ works on MacOS X 10.8 and newer. To use XQ, you may need to download the ProApps Codecs v1.0.5 installer. This should appear in the Mac App Store when you check for updates after installing Final Cut 10.1.2. If not, you can download the installer direct from Apple.

Apple will promote it as being as good as uncompressed at much lower data rates and good enough for storing camera original media:


ARRI have announced that the next software upgrade for their cameras will support ProRes 4444 XQ recording.

Surround Sound

A new audio panning mode: 'Basic Surround'


Basic Surround positions the signal in its default channels, with a stereo signal in the right and left channels, and a mono signal in the center channel. The Pan Amount slider setting distributes portions of the signal to other channels and can be adjusted from –100 (left channels) to 100 (right channels).

Import preferences

As imported media can be copied to a location defined by each library (within the library or elsewhere), the file location option is to follow the library setting or to leave the source clips in place.

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 defaults to adding keywords to clips based on the tags assigned to their source media files in the Finder (and perhaps using other metadata manipulation applications one day). If you use REDCODE RAW media, the keywords assigned to the clips are based on the tags assigned to the parent folder of the media.


Those options are also available when importing specific clips. In this case the new clips will be imported to the storage location for the "Window Cleaner" library, which is currently set to 'relink test':


Final Cut Pro X XML version 1.4

Once again Apple has updated their data interchange format so more information can be exported from and imported into Final Cut.

  • Libraries and events can be encoded in XML files - but XMLs can no-longer refer to objects in other libraries
<!ELEMENT library (event*)>
<!ATTLIST library location CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ELEMENT event (clip | audition | mc-clip | ref-clip | %collection_item; | project)*>
  • A clearer way of encoding animated values
<!-- A 'keyframeAnimation' element describes an animation curve using the contained 'keyframe' elements -->
<!ELEMENT keyframeAnimation (keyframe*)>
<!-- A 'keyframe' element describes an point along an animation curve -->
<!ELEMENT keyframe EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST keyframe time %time; #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST keyframe value CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST keyframe interp (linear | ease | easeIn | easeOut) "linear"> <!-- interpolation type for point. -->
  • What was encoded in version 1.3 of FCPX XML as a 'shot marker' is now an 'analysis marker'
<!ENTITY % marker_item "(marker | chapter-marker | rating | keyword | analysis-marker)">
  • Analysis markers can encode what kind of shot is in a clip (or range of a clip) and also encode how shaky the shot is
<!ELEMENT analysis-marker (shot-type | stabilization-type)+>
<!ELEMENT stabilization-type EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST stabilization-type value (excessiveShake) #REQUIRED>
  •  Sequences (projects and compound clips) can now be assigned audio layouts and sample rates
<!-- A 'sequence' is a container for a spine of story elements in a sequence project. -->
<!ELEMENT sequence (note?, spine, %audio_comp_items;, metadata?)>
<!ATTLIST sequence %media_attrs;>
<!ATTLIST sequence audioLayout (mono | stereo | surround) #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST sequence audioRate %audioHz; #IMPLIED>
  • Individual multicam clip angles must include basic transform settings (intrinsic-params-video) and not applied to the whole clip
<!ELEMENT mc-source (%audio_comp_items;, %intrinsic-params-video;, filter-video*)>
  • Text in a title can now be set to 'justified'
<!ATTLIST text-style alignment (left | center | right | justified)

'Break Apart' Auditions

If you have created an audition in an event or by dragging multiple clips to a timeline, you can now exchange the audition elements with the individual clips.

Previewing first audition pick:


Previewing third audition pick:


After choosing 'Break Apart Clip Items' from the Clip menu:


The current (third) audtion pick is now in the main storyline and the other picks are attached to it in order.

Search for used or unused media in current item

A hidden feature of Final Cut Pro X 10.1 was when looking for media in the browser you can choose to find clips based on whether they are used in the current project, compound clip, synchronized clip or multicam clip - you could get this view using the Control-U keyboard shortcut. In 10.1.2 you can carry out more complex searches or create smart collections based on whether media is used or not. 

For example you could find all the synchronized clips not used in the current timeline - be it a project, synchronized clip or a multicam clip being edited in the angle viewer.


Nudging clips in the timeline defaults to slide edits

If you change the position of a clip in the timeline by entering relative timecode (e.g. typing '+15') or use the ',' and '.' keys to move a clip forwards or back along the timeline, Final Cut now does a slide edit - the neighbouring clips are trimmed to allow for the change.



Pressing Shift-. a few times slides the audition further along the timeline:


The '06c-14:5' clip duration is increased and the start of the '04-13:1 1' clip is trimmed off to allow for the change.

Note that as this slide movement depends on the unused parts of the neighbouring clips, if there is no more media to reveal in the earlier clip ('06c-14:5' in this case), the selected clip will not move forward in the timeline.

To get the clip nudge result in previous versions of Final Cut, use the Position tool (press the 'P' key) to either drag the clip, or if the position tool is the current tool, nudging will insert a gap clip before the clip you are nudging:


More control over synchronized clip generation

In 10.1.2 when you synchronize selected clips in an event, you get a dialogue box that gives you multicam-like controls over how the new synchronized clip is generated:


Editing clips between libraries warning

For editors who regularly use clips from one library in another, there is now the option not to show this warning every time:


Interesting that Apple have spent time on the kind of change that a few editors must have asked for - that hopefully was a task that a single programmer spent a few hours on.

New Plugins

It is interesting that Apple didn't mention the many new effects, transitions, titles and generators included in the 10.1.2 update - it is almost as if they don't want this version associated with any consumer-friendly improvements.

New Effects


Found in the Blur effects category

effect focus

Graduated Mask

Found in the Keying effects category:



Found in the Light effects category:



Found in the new Nostalgia effects category:



Also found in the new Nostalgia effects category:



Found in the Stylize effects category - the checkerboard background shows where the effect made the clip transparent - when rendered, these areas export as black:



Found in the Stylize effects category. If defaults to using a wood texture, but you can apply your own using the drop zone:



Found in the new Text Effects effects category - designed to be applied to connected Titles with underlying video being used in the drop zone:



Found in the Text Effects effects category also:


Visual Echo

Found in the Tiling effects category:


New Transitions


Found in the Dissolves transition category:



Found in the Movements transition category. Each clip swings as if it is hanging on a clothes line:


Color Planes

Found in the Movements transition category:



The outgoing clip falls forwards. Found in the Movements transition category:



Although already as an option in the Slide transition, it is now also to be found in the Movements transition category:



Scales the incoming clip or the outgoing clip up or down. Found in the Movements transition category:



In the Movements transition category:



From the Movements transition category. Choose from Arrow, Round, Square, None and Bevel end caps:


3D Rectangle

From the Replicator/Clones transition category:


Combo Spin

From the Replicator/Clones transition category:



From the Replicator/Clones transition category:



From the Replicator/Clones transition category. Choose from Arrow, Round, Square, None and Bevel end caps:


Color Panels

From the Stylized transition category:


New Titles


From the Bumper/Opener title category:


Bold Fin

From the Bumper/Opener title category:



From the Bumper/Opener title category:



From the Bumper/Opener title category:



From the Credits title category:



From the Lower Thirds title category:


New Generators


From the Backgrounds generator category:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically with a choice of dust, spark, puffball, moth and spark particles:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically:



From the Backgrounds generator category - animates automatically:


Here are the new transitions, titles and generators in action:

In the Divide, Arrows, Color Panels transitions there is a small fault in the built-in Motion template which means the incoming clip is moved to the left by one pixel (when the resolution of the project is 1920 by 1080 pixels) during the transition (In Motion terms: Transition B's anchor point is set to 1,0). Perhaps we'll see version soon!

Commands and keyboard shortcuts

New keyboard shortcuts for the new and modified commands:

  • Open Library - Command-O
  • Library Properties - Control-Command-J
  • Adjust Volume Absolute - Control-Option-L
  • Adjust Volume Relative - Control-L
  • Record Voiceover - Option-Command-8
  • Start/Stop Voiceover Recording - Option-Shift-A (when Record Voiceover window is open)

The new 'Sort Event in Library list' commands can have keyboard shortcuts added using Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize 


These commands are described as 'Sort selected items...' - perhaps in future other items than events will be able to be sorted using these commands.

New text format presets

Most of the text presets that were included with previous versions of Final Cut have been replaced by more flexible options:


Appply these using the pop-up menu above the text box in the Text panel of the Title inspector.

Big improvement in relinking files

Since the reintroduction of the ability to relink missing files to Final Cut Pro X, the search aspect of feature has been limited. In 10.1.2 when relinking you don't have to directly find one of the missing files. You can now select the volume or  folder within which you think the missing files are now stored. Final Cut will search all its subfolders until it finds the missing files.

To test this I copied 8 files stored outside a library to a different drive and deleted the originals. When I restarted Final Cut, the media was marked as missing. I chose File > Relink Files and selected the parent folder of the parent folder where I'd copied the missing files. Final Cut searched through 44,621 files and found the correct 8 copies I made earlier.

Last library can now be closed

Final Cut no longer needs to have at least library open:


Consumer camera option

If you have video and stills on the camera you are importing from, you can now choose whether Final Cut displays one, the other or both:


Better camera colour processing

Higher-end cameras now record colour information using Logarithmic number ranges. This makes it possible to record a much larger range of colour brightness values in the same number of bytes in the media file - a higher dynamic range. Most camera manufacturers use their own way of storing this 'log' information - but some don't encode the metadata in the clips they record to indentify which method they use. In 10.1.2 there is a new menu to tell Final Cut which log encoding to use for a clip.

If clips recorded on high-end cameras aren't displayed using a logarithmic transfer curve, they can look very 'flat' - a milky low-contrast look. All the information for full colour and a full range of brightness from inky black to brighter than the sun is stored in the clip and available for grading. Log Processing is useful to reassure directors, producers and clients that the colour and brightness levels were all captured on location.

Select a clip or clips in an event or on the timeline. Go to the Info tab of the clip inspector. Make sure the metadata view popup (in the bottom-left corner of the inspector) is set to 'Settings' - choose the correct value from the 'Log Processing' parameter menu:


Changing the setting of a clip or clips on a timeline changes the value of the source clips in the event and vice versa.

Pasting transitions 

I read in Tom Wolsky's 10.1.2 rundown that transitions that you have copied can now be pasted to the ends of one or more individually connected clips.

You can also paste a copied transition to multiple clips:


Note that the transition wasn't pasted between the first and second clip of the secondary storyline - that's beacause there wasn't enough media in the clips for the transition to work.

Bug reports

Sadly no software updates are bug-free. Some problems happen on specific setups, others are more widespread:

The good news is that various versions of Final Cut Pro X can work on the same machine with few problems. Whenever the library (or project and event) file format changes, before using Software Update to get the new version, zip the 'Final Cut' on your computer (Control-click it in the Finder and choose 'Compress "Final Cut Pro"' from the context menu). If you move that .zip archive to an external drive, you can expand the archive and run the older version of Final Cut when you want to access older projects.

Compatibility with 3rd party products


Final Cut Library Manager from Arctic Whiteness has been updated to work with the new library format, as long as users don't store render, optimised media or cache files outside their libraries. Arctic Whiteness are reviewing how to update the utility to take into the account the new library flexibility in Final Cut 10.1.2.


Backups for Final Cut Pro by NP Associates works with 10.1.2. They plan to release a small update that doesn't back up sync files.


X2Pro Audio Convert and X2ProLE Audio Convert from Marquis Broadcast have been updated to support Final Cut Pro X XML version 1.4 - these applications converts XMLs into Avid Pro Tools audio sessions.


Pro Maintenance Tools from Digital Rebellion has been updated to support 10.1.2.

Red Giant have reported that most of their Final Cut products work with 10.1.2, now including Magic Bullet Looks and PluralEyes 

7toX iconXto7iconChange-List-XiconSyncnlinkXiconProducers-best-Friend-icon

Philip Hodgetts of Assisted Editing reports that 7toX and Xto7Change List X and Sync-N-Link X have been all updated for 10.1.2, Producer’s Best Friend has been updated but there's more to do.


The Lumberjack on-location real-time logging system has added a new mode enabled by the new version of Final Cut XML that 10.1.2 uses


In the case of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, version 10.1.5 cannot read XML 1.4 exported from Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2. A workflow that worked for me was to import the XML into DaVinci Resolve 11 Beta 1. 11b1 exports as FCPX XML 1.3 - which can be read by Resolve 10.1.5 (and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and 10.1.1). 11b2 is supposed to be more compatible with XML 1.4.

shotnotes X

Shot Notes X - the application that combines logged on-set information with Final Cut Pro X XML - has been updated to support FCP X XML 1.4. 

10.1.2 feature demos and tutorials

Here are some videos that demonstrate some of the new features: (9:45)

Novedades de Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 (14:34) -

What's New Final Cut Pro 10.1.2 (12:48) - VideoEditOz

FOCUS: FCPX 10 1 2: Le Tour complet des nouveautés ! (54:27)-

FCPX-Update10.1.2 (6:54) - Und wieder gab es ein Update von FCPX und Motion5 ein kurzen Einblick in die Neuerungen seht Ihr hier

FCPX 10.1.2 First Look and Impressions - Karl Reith


Media management - Guidelines & Operations (16:45), Library Model Overview (8:38) and Choosing a Storage Location for Your Media (17:33) -  free excerpts from Ripple Training's two hour Media Management in Final Cut Pro X tutorial.

Final Cut Pro 10.1.2 Media Management Changes (11:21) - MacBreak Weekly

File Management in FCP X 10.1.2 (9:42) - MacBreak Weekly on how file renaming and relinking have improved

10.1.2 Interesting reports

John Davidson of Magic Feather is very happy with the new 10.1.2 library media management - very useful for workgroups sharing media elements.

Ryan Velin reports in a post at that while editing a 1 hour show for Danish TV, he found that 10.1.2 was noticably faster and that XML 'really works'

Larry Jordan on how keyframe editing has changed in 10.1.2.

Alex Snelling (@slackalicefilms) has updated his comprehensive Final Cut Pro X in a Share Environment workflows primer for 10.1.2.

Updated Apple documents

Online help

PDF version of 10.1.2 User Guide

Final Cut Pro X: Version 10.1.2 release notes 

Apple Media Management White Paper - June 2014

Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later: Back up libraries and archive projects

Hiding Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 has a delay on external display

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2: Updating and working with libraries FAQ

About Apple ProRes

ProRes white paper

PDF of Motion 5.1.1 User Guide - very few changes, mainly repagination

PDF of Compressor 4.1.2 User Guide

Apple developer documentation for those wanting add tools to Apple application ecosystems - including Final Cut Pro X


Final Cut Pro X XML 1.4 clue

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Today saw the first beta release of Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve 11. Hidden in the executable are some references to as yet unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X's XML format:



Future Final Cut Pro X hidden in iMovie 10.0.3

Friday, 20 June 2014

iMovie and Final Cut Pro X are based on the same code. They are updated out of sync. Final Cut Pro X was last updated in January 2014, iMovie in April 2014. As new features were added to iMovie, there’s a good chance the common code was updated as well.

I took a look inside iMovie 10.0.3 to see if there are some non-iMovie elements we might see in a future version of Final Cut.

As iMovie and Final Cut are designed to work all over the world, user interface text is stored in different languages in a part of the application seperate from the code. Here’s text I found in iMovie 10.0.3 that is probably associated with the Final Cut Pro X part of the app.


Hinting at LUT management

BMD Film
Canon Log
Sony S-Log2
Sony S-Log3

More control of library element locations

Choose locations to store your Media, Cache, and Backups. Existing Media and Backups will not be moved; Cache can be migrated.
Would you like to migrate your cache from its current location to the newly selected location?
Migrating Cache
Some storage locations (Media, Cache, and/or Backups) must be reset.

More feedback during XML export and import

Exporting %@ - %@
Importing Resources
Resource %@ element “%@” is invalid for the attribute “%@”.
Anchored items were ignored because this item does not support them.
This param element was ignored because it does not support the interpolation attribute on its keyframes.


A link between metadata added to files in the Finder and elsewhere in Mac OS:

Select to create Keyword Collections named after Finder tags
Auto Add Spatial Effects
Auto Add Temporal Effects
Deleting the preferences will reset all application settings to their defaults. Libraries will not be affected.
Media is Growing
DNG Backward Version

Apple are strongly encouraging developers to make applications more accessible to people with disabilities. Apple is making their apps more accessible too - which is good news for application automation because Automator workflows, Applescript workflows (and Javascript workflows in OS X Yosemite) can use accessibility descriptions to remotely control apps.

Accesibility descriptions:

Completed Marker
Standard Marker
ToDo Marker
Moment Marker


The copy of Motion built into iMovie 10.0.3 is very similar to the version in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1. There are two interesting possibilities for Motion though - an improvement for those who create text animations and also a link from Final Cut to the Mac App Store to buy Motion 5.

Text Sequence Behavior Subselection
Text Sequence Behavior Subselection Start
Text Sequence Behavior Subselection End
Motion Effect Requires Motion 5 Buy Now Button


Secret Final Cut Pro X - Movable Markers

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

As I've written before, there are many elements hidden within Final Cut that give hints about possible future directions the application might take.

One feature implemented but not enabled in version 10.1 and 10.1.1 is the ability to move markers along a clip:

It is possible to modify an installed copy of Final Cut to turn this feature on.

Note that there might be a good reason why Apple didn't enable this feature - perhaps beta testers suffered mysterious crashes due to an odd clash of code when the feature is enabled. Maybe they want to make the feature better before making it public (selecting multiple markers, making markers draggable to other clips). I don't know. I made the modification in February on my main Mac with no problems, but I can't guarantee all will be well on your system.

The preference is hidden in a property list document hidden within the application - that means to enable it, you will need to use another application to directly modify your copy of Final Cut Pro X.

How to turn on Final Cut's Movable Markers feature

If you have enough disk space, install Apple's development suite - Xcode. It is available for free from the Mac App Store. If you don't want to use over 2GB of storage, search the internet for applications that can edit .plist documents or 'Property List' files. An example is 'Pref Setter' from Night Productions.

Quit Final Cut Pro X if it is open.

In the Applications folder, control-click (or right-click) the Final Cut Pro icon and choose 'Show Package Contents' from the context pop up menu.

Navigate to Final Cut

Find 'EventDescriptions.plist'

mm where

Drag a copy of 'EventDescriptions.plist' out of Final Cut to another folder or the desktop.

Duplicate 'EventDescriptions.plist' in the Finder using the Duplicate command in the File menu (or option-drag it to a different folder). This unmodified version will help you restore Final Cut if needed.

Open 'EventDescriptions.plist' by control-clicking (or right-clicking) its icon. From the context pop up menu, choose 'Xcode' (I need to do this on my Mac because I have multiple applications that can modify .plist documents).

In Xcode, expand the 'TLKMarkerHandler' section by clicking its grey disclosure triangle.

Expand 'Configuration'

Change the 'NO' to 'YES' by clicking the pop-up control to the right of the 'NO'


Save the file to keep the change to 'EventDescriptions.plist' and quit Xcode.

Drag the modified 'EventDescriptions.plist' into Final Cut

You are likely to get an alert stating that 'Modifying “Resources” requires an administrator name and password.' - Authenticate using your password.

When you next open Final Cut Pro, you'll find that you can drag markers along clips and also drag them off clips as shown in the video above.

Please remember MODIFYING THE INTERNALS OF FINAL CUT PRO X CAN DAMAGE IT - be careful with the changes you make. Make original copies of any elements you change in case things go wrong. As a last resort you can delete your copy of Final Cut and go to the Mac App Store and reinstall a fresh copy if needed. To save that time, be careful as you make changes.

Bonus Tip - Less rounded corners in the timeline

Sharp-eyed Final Cut users will notice that the timeline shown in the video looks subtly different: the clip corners are less rounded than in the stock version of Final Cut Pro X. I got this result by changing values in the 'CornerRadius.plist' file listed above in Final Cut - using width settings of 0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4 for items 0 to 8.


WWDC 14 and Final Cut Pro X: Handoff

Monday, 09 June 2014

During the keynote presentation at Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developer's Conference, they announced that they want to create better continuity between OS X and iOS.

'We believe you should be able to use the right device for the moment' (34:54 into Apple's WWDC keynote presentation) - a task started on one Apple device should be able to be continued on another and perhaps concluded on a third. Apple group together OS X and iOS features that support this idea under the 'Continuity' heading.

The first kind of continuity Apple mentioned was AirDrop. Currently OS X users transfer files easily between nearby Macs using AirDrop. New in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite is the ability to do the same between Macs and iOS devices and also between iOS devices. 

The bigger news is 'Handoff.' Handoff allows users to use nearby Apple devices that are signed in using the same Apple ID to continue working in the same application. If you are browsing a page in Safari on a iOS device near your Mac, a separate Safari icon will appear past the end of your dock. Clicking that icon will open a Safari window on your Mac showing the web page that is on your iOS device. As well as the icon appearing in the dock, if you press Command-Tab you'll also find the web page represented as an icon amongst the icons of applications running on your Mac.

Conversely, if you are writing an email in Apple Mail on your Mac and double-tap the home button on your iPad to bring up the multi-tasking switcher, you'll see a pane to the left of the home screen that represents the email you are writing in Apple Mail on the Mac. If you tap that pane, you can continue working on your email in Apple Mail running on your iPad (if your iPad is asleep, you'll see an Apple Mail icon on the lock screen, you can swipe up to go to Apple Mail).

Handoff uses Bluetooth LE to transfer information about the task; the information can include internet URLs and links to documents in iCloud.  

More than email editing and web page viewing

How will complex Mac applications support Handoff? Mac apps are likely to be more complex that iOS apps. Opening a web page or editing an email is straightforward. On the Mac, applications will be able to specify a subset of what they can do as being able to be handed off to another device. 

In practice a single Mac application will be able to Handoff activities to different iOS apps. One iOS app could be used to modify images, another could be used for editing text, another for audio waveform editing.

As well as being able to hand activities over so they can be completed on another device, applications can opt to stay connected between devices to work on an activity together. That means an iPhone and iPad can work together on the same data, or an iPad and a Mac can share information live. This is big news for post-production people who like to use iPads and iPhones to control applications on their Macs. All the information you need can be passed to the iOS device - such as current timecode or metadata associated with a piece of media, while tapping UI controls on the iOS device will be able to control the application on the Mac. Current remote control apps running on iOS are limited to simulating key presses on the controlled Mac’s keyboard - Handoff allows iOS apps to be able to directly manipulate the media being edited in your Mac application.

Currently Apple plan that only applications from the same developer will be able to collaborate using Handoff, perhaps if the wider Apple community comes up with enough exciting use cases, Apple will allow cross-developer handoffs.

Most editors don't want to do complex timeline editing on their iPhone, but imagine group of people watching a Mac play out an edit in a screening room. With Handoff, an assistant could make text corrections on an Apple 'Final Cut Pro X Inspector' app running on an iPad, and the text being displayed over full screen video by Final Cut Pro X could change instantly.

Handoff is the current star of Apple's Continuity plans - I'm looking forward to what developers and Apple will do with it, and I'm also excited by what Apple might do next to make Macs, iPads and iPhones work even better together.

Keynote 6.2 update: Applescript not dead - in Pro Apps next please

Wednesday, 02 April 2014

Most post-production professionals don't use application scripting. Scripting is very useful if third party apps want to control NLEs to solve workflow problems.

Apple updated Keynote, their presentation application yesterday. One of the many features is Applescript improvements.

Now you can use an Applescript or an external application to do things like this:

set the transition settings of the current slide to {transition effect:confetti, transition duration:2.0, transition delay:0, automatic transition:false}

Imagine using this kind of scripting in iMovie or Final Cut Pro X.

Ad spots or TV series could be given 'themes' - which could include titles, bumpers and lower thirds. Applescript can make a new presentation using a theme, or have the current design changed by applying a different theme:

make new document with properties {document theme:theme "Gradient", document width:1920, document height:1080}

set the document theme of the front document to theme "White"

You can also use Applescript in Keynote for versioning:

tell the front document to set skipped of (every slide whose contents of its default title item contains "CLASSIFIED:") to true

...a script that sets the presentation not to show any slide that contains the word 'CLASSIFIED' in the title.

The new Applescript elements allow scripts or external apps to create and specify settings for text, graphics, tables abd graphs.

If you want to know more about what Keynote's new Applescript features, download the update and then drag the new version onto the AppleScript Editor application (in the Utilities folder).

Good news for those worried that Apple aren't interested in Applescript any more - and possibly for those who want to have more control over Apple's Pro Apps.




Final Cut Pro X 10.1 update: New features, commentary and resources

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Apple updated Final Cut Pro to version 10.1 today.

What's new

The list from Apple's Final Cut Pro X 10.1 online help (my commentary in italics)

Performance and Mac Pro optimizations

Optimization to take advantage of multiple GPUs in the new Mac Pro

- Hidden inside Final Cut: code that distinguishes between CPUs and different GPUs:

* HOpticalFlowAnalyzer2, oflow v1, use display GPU only
* HOpticalFlowAnalyzer2, oflow v1, use aux GPU only
* HOpticalFlowAnalyzer2, oflow v1, use CPU only

HDMI and Thunderbolt output at frame sizes up to 4K (UltraHD and DCI 4K)

Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Mac computers capable of viewing 4K resolution via HDMI

Better playback and rendering performance, plus faster opening of the application and projects

- 10.1 seems to open much faster than before

Improved performance when modifying or keywording large numbers of clips at the same time

Selected titles, effects, and other media content scaled for 4K projects

- You can choose to only show elements scaled for 4K when you are editing 4K timelines:


Project and media management

Improved media management with the introduction of libraries, a new way to organize multiple events and multiple projects in a single container

- Apple's white paper on using libraries includes this image:



- For a very interesting PDF on 10.1 workflows for multi-user projects, visit 10 dot 1. Here's a sample illustration:

FCPXInASharedEnvironment FINAL

Project snapshots: on-demand backups that allow you to quickly return to an earlier version of a particular project

Media file storage on disk locations external to the Final Cut Pro X library, making your media accessible in specific folders on a wide range of SANs

- The Consolidate command moves all the files associated with an event (or a library) to an external folder which can be stored anywhere

consolidate files

Direct importation of MTS/M2TS files into Final Cut Pro

- At the request of Seth Hardwick I attempted to import a folder from a Sony MRC1 into 10.1. It didn't work.

Used clip range indicators that show you at a glance which clips are already in a project

Direct import of photos from iOS devices using the Media Import window

Support for portrait/landscape metadata in still images

Playback and effects

Significant improvements in the Final Cut Pro playback interface and powerful new effects features will empower your workflow.

Improved retiming lets you set custom speeds easier than ever—by typing frame rates directly in the interface. You can also create jump cuts at specific frames, replace and retime in one step, and retime clips without rippling the Timeline. For more information, see Retiming clips overview.

A new stabilization method called Inertiacam has been optimized to smooth video footage containing camera moves such as pans and zooms. Tripod Mode creates the effect of a static camera, as if it were mounted on a tripod.

An improved optical flow algorithm makes retiming and frame rate conform speedier than ever. In addition, for Macs with two GPUs, the optical flow algorithm now makes use of both GPUs, providing a more than 2x speed increase over a single GPU.

You can now create custom project resolutions for web video, digital signage, and other nonstandard frame sizes.

- I successfully created a 10,557 by 1080 29.97fps project. The frame rates are currently limited to standard ones, and if you have any clips on a timeline, you cannot change the project frame rate

- Here you can see a timeline that renders ProRes 422 LT and is 102,032 by 1080 pixels:



Doesn't look like there's a limit!

New controls in the Viewer menu let you switch between better playback quality and better playback performance. There’s also a control to switch between proxy media and original or optimized media.

- Very useful for editing 4-5K content in proxy format on less powerful MacBook Pros

And you can now view all pixels of a 2K frame on a MacBook Pro with Retina display.


Through edits are now supported in all types of clips. The new Join Clips command removes cuts from bladed Timeline clips.

- Some commands have been moved to a new Trim menu - maybe to make space for more trim-related comands in future versions:


The Trim to Playhead command does different things depending on where the playhead is. If it is in the first half of a clip, it trims the start to the playhead, if in the second half, it trims the end to the playhead.

If you use the Range tool to select a range in a timeline clip, the command returns to 10.0's Trim Selection, trimming the clip to match the selection:


You can detach the audio portion of multicam clips in the Timeline to manipulate audio and video separately. You can also make video-only or audio-only edits into the Timeline with multicam clips as sources.

You can blade audio cuts in J and L cuts separately from the video. And you can now roll the audio in open split edits.

If no clips are selected in the Timeline, a white dot now appears on the playhead to indicate the clip whose attributes are shown in the Inspector.

Moving clips with transitions is now easier.


You can share 4K finished videos directly to YouTube.

You can share videos directly to the Chinese video sharing websites Youku and Tudou.

And you can receive notifications on the status of items you shared.

- You can also use Compressor 4.1 to set up a Share Destination that runs an Applescript-based Automator workflow once your movie is transcoded


Audio fade handles have been added to individual audio channels in the Timeline. For more information, see Fade audio in or out.

Third-party support

Developers can utilize a new API for customizing Share operations.

- Other apps can send an 'Open Document' event to Final Cut Pro to make it import using XML and custom metadata fields to metadata views

- Final Cut Pro can send Apple Events to Asset Management applications during export

If you have an Apple Mac developer account (free from Apple):

- More on third-party application developent for Final Cut Pro workflows

FXPlug 3 has been updated to include the ability to design custom effects interfaces.

- What's new in FxPlug 3.0

- Plugins Human Interface Guidelines

Effect parameters, fonts, and text size information are now preserved in XML files.

About Final Cut Pro X XML Version 1.3

Apple have also defined what metadata stored in MP4 files it recognises.

For Apple developers: Final Cut Pro X - Metadata in MP4

Last but not least

You can now hide the Browser to free up more screen area for color grading and other operations that are improved by larger video images. 


There's at least one new title: Date/Time, which appears to support iMovie 10 projects. It shows the time and date the clip it is attached to was created:


It is odd - no controls apart from fade in and fade out. You can't change the typeface, size, colour or position in Final Cut Pro. It is designed to give that 90s 'X-Files' look (as inspired by 'Silence of the Lambs') to a clip.

When opening this title in Motion, there doesn't seem to be a way of getting any clip information from the clip a title is attached to - Final Cut Pro X must modify the title content to show the clip date and time.

To change the time displayed by the Date/Time title, select the clip it is attached to, use the 'Reveal in Browser' command (from the File menu or press Shift-F) to select it in the browser, and use the 'Modify:Adjust Content Created Date and Time…' command to pick a new date and time to show in the connected title.

No special treatment for SAN locations

There is no longer is an "Add SAN location" command in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.

Libraries can be anywhere, including on Storage Area Networks.

Apple on updating from 10.0.X to 10.1.X:

If you’ve been using SAN locations on an Xsan volume, you can click Locate to navigate to and then update SAN location folders. You can select a volume, a SAN location, or any folder containing a Final Cut Projects or Final Cut Events folder, and update it. This creates a new library next to the folder where the original projects and events were located. This manual update can be done at any time; for example, a SAN location may not be connected when you first open Final Cut Pro 10.1

Read only locations

Final Cut Pro X 10.1 will not open libraries that are stored on locked storage locations:

read-only file system

iMovie to Final Cut Pro X 10.1

Final Cut Pro X cannot open iMovie files directly any more. If you run iMovie and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 on the same computer, a new command appears in iMovie 10's File Menu: "Send Movie to Final Cut Pro" - it sends an editable timeline and the required clips to Final Cut Pro. Final Cut creates a new library for the event and project:

New commands

Better Playback Performance
Better Playback Quality

Consolidate Library/Project/Event Files - ?

Cut / Copy / Paste / Delete Selected Keyframes - Shift-Option-X / Shift-Option-C / Shift-Option-V / Shift-Option-Delete


Custom Speed - Control-Option-R

You can type in a speed or required duration, and choose whether to ripple the timeline or not. If you don't ripple, the sped up section is followed by a gap clip of the required length not to change the overall duration of the project:


Looks like 10.1.0 has a slight fault when it comes to displaying the custom duration control in the right place.

Duplicate Project as Snapshot - Shift-Command-D - ?

The Duplicate as Snapshot command creates a self-contained copy of a project containing compound clips or multicam clips. Specifically, duplicating a project as a snapshot makes copies of the compound or multicam “parent” clips and embeds them in the project so that any changes to other instances of the clips do not affect the snapshot.

Exit Full Screen - You can choose which key stops full screen playback. Perhaps useful for remote control applications that simulate key presses

New Folder - Shift-Command-N - ? - You can organise event keywords and smart collections into folders:

New Library - There is no menu command to create new libaries (to create a new library you go to File:Open Library:Other… and click the New button), but you can add a keyboard shortcut to do this using the command editor.

Open Library

Show Unused Media Only - Control-U - Shows which parts of clips in the event aren't used in the event's projects:



Useful Apple links

Final Cut Pro X 10.1

Final Cut Pro X: Version 10.1 release note

Final Cut Pro X 10.1: How to back up important Final Cut Pro X 10.0.x files before updating

Final Cut Pro X: Apple ProRes White Paper

- Very few mentions of QuickTime

Final Cut Pro X 10.1: How to remove and reinstall Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X 10.1, Compressor 4.1: Adding a "Apple Devices 60fps" destination

Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Adding a destination to Share 4K to YouTube

Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: Graphics card compatibility


Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Updating and working with libraries FAQ


Full online help system for Final Cut Pro X 10.1


Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors white paper


Other Apple professional applications

Motion version 5.1 release notes

Not many new features in Motion - no new behaviours or filters to support new kinds of Final Cut plugins

Compressor 4.1: Release notes

Logic Pro X 10.0.5: Release notes


Full online help system for Compressor 4.1 

Transition to Compressor 4.1 White Paper from Apple

Compressor 4.1 can spawn multiple instances of itself on multi-core Macs


Full online help system for Motion 5.1



Apple ProRes White Paper

Apple ProRes Authorized Products



Other useful links

Pro Video Coalition: Final Cut Pro 10.1: A Detailed First Look by Steve Martin and Mark Spencer

10 free intro movies to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 from Mark Spencer and Steve Martin of Ripple Training

- In depth Final Cut Pro X 10.1 video training course from Ripple Training 

1 hour 45 minute MacBreak video podcast: Final Cut Pro X 10.1 Overview featuring Marck Spencer and Steve Martin of Ripple Training:

They kindly mentioned me a few times. One mention was about clip timecode.

Clip timecode in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 still doesn't work. We'd like to be able to add an effect to a clip, but timecode effects can only show the timecode of the current project. The previous workaround remains: you need to make each clip you want a timecode burn for into a compound clip. In the compound clip add a timecode generator for clip timecode.


Philip Hodgetts' review of Final Cut Pro X 10.1 - based on two months' use

Philip's 10.0 event organising application is now free - use it for the smoothest transition from 10.0 to 10.1

Kicking the Tires on Final Cut Pro X 10.1 by Scott Simmons

Scott praises the new version, points out some important gotchas and details what's still missing

The first 24 hours with Apple's new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro 10.1 on using Final Cut Pro X on the new Mac Pro. How many real time effects can be applied to 4K RED footage?

The Final Cut Pro 10.1 cheat sheet at by Sam Mestman of FCPWorks









FCPX Grill podcast - Episode 3 - featuring Alex Gollner

Monday, 02 December 2013

Episode 3 of the Final Cut Pro X Grill podcast featured an interview with me. It was a wide-ranging conversation on plugins, Final Cut Pro X, Avid, Adobe and what it means to be an editor.

(0:00) Introduction

(6:15) Alex and Macs 1984-

(8:30) First edits in After Effects

(9:15) 'What kinds of videos do you make'

(10:00) Motion graphics using Final Cut Pro and Motion

(13:00) 'How did you start making plugins'

(17:45) 'Your plugin ideas come from needing them in your editing work'

(19:00) My 'Grow-Shrink' plugin

(20:30) 'Do you make money from selling Final Cut Pro plugins

(22:00) 'What was your first impression of Final Cut Pro X'

(23:30) Why insecure editors were threatened by Final Cut Pro X

(24:30) Editors can no longer rely on high barriers to entry for their competition

(26:45) Editors aren't wrong for not using Final Cut Pro X

(27:15) 'What was your a-ha moment when using Final Cut Pro'

(28:30) Final Cut Pro X was great new for Adobe and Avid's marketing people…

(30:00) Adobe and Avid weren't putting enough pressure on Apple from 2007-2011 - Final Cut Pro X could afford to be behind for almost two years

(31:45) 'Do you prefer to cut in Final Cut Pro X'

(32:45) Final Cut Pro X is as different from previous NLEs as motion graphics apps are different from NLEs

(33:15) People like to pile on Apple whenever they seem to stumble

(34:45) Why Final Cut Pro X will succeed

(36:40) Apple would rather take longer to introduce features in order to get them right

(37:30) Possible multi-user editing timelines coming in Final Cut

(39:00) 'What have you found in iMovie 2013 that hints as to the future of Final Cut Pro X?'

(41:15) iMovie can run Final Cut Pro X plugins

(43:30) The relationship between versions of iMovie and Final Cut Pro X

(45:45) Apple have relented on hiding the file system from Final Cut Pro

(47:30) 'Is Mac OS X evolving into iOS?'

(48:30) OS X Mavericks 'Tags' are the OS equivalent of Final Cut Pro X keywords for clips and ranges within clips

(50:30) Editing is organising

(50:45) Versioning for Final Cut projects

(51:15) Tim Cook = Willy Wonka

(52:30) Final Cut Pro is right for me

(53:45) Wrap-up

Website link · iTunes link

The case for a new Apple professional application

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

If Apple were to launch a new professional application to showcase the power and flexibility of the new Mac Pro, what would it be like?

Professional sofware is part of Apple's corporate definition. This definition appears at the end of every Apple press release. At the moment the definition includes the following:

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software…

Apple say that they're making a new version of Final Cut tuned to the 4K possibilities afforded by the new MacPro. Some new MacPro features are already in October's MacBook Pros. They have fast 1TB SSDs (1.1GByte/second read and write) and Thunderbolt 2 (and probably HDMI 2 with a firmware upgrade).

Final Cut Pro is a valuable application that works very wall on all new Macs (especially if you have at least 16GB of RAM). The only feature Final Cut might have that would show off something that only the Mac Pro could do is the ability to have seven 4K displays attached at once. Final Cut Pro X 10.0 only uses up to two displays without much flexibility. A Mac Pro-supporting 10.1 update would therefore include for flexible window and display options.

So how can Apple demonstrate a post production workflow that specifically requires the extra power in the GPUs and CPUs of the new Mac Pro? 

How about a colour grading application?

When Apple acquired Silicon Color in 2006, their Final Touch HD grading application cost $5,000. A year later they released Apple Color (a only slightly modified version of Final Touch HD) as part of the Final Cut Studio bundle. This huge effective price cut immediately lowered a big barrier to entry for better quality colour in post production.

The catch was Apple Color never felt like an Apple application - its user interface remained obscure to new users, and Apple didn't invest any time or money into making an editor-friendly version of Color. One of the aims of the 2011 Final Cut Pro X reset was to open up the world of post production to more creative people. There was no place for Apple Color in 2011. It was all Apple could do to build a workable version of Final Cut from scratch on top of the new post-QuickTime OS X frameworks.

An upside of the fall of Color as a grading application is the rise of DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic Design. They took Apple's 'very low pricing to sell Mac hardware' policy and applied it to their business model. Resolve sells their control surfaces, cameras, and video I/O devices - promoted by the very low or even free prices for Resolve. 

In practice, there's no need for Apple to revive Color, DaVinci Resolve fills that gap nicely.

A high-end compositing application would be a good candidate to promote the new Mac Pro. Nuke by The Foundry for example. Nuke eats up CPU and GPU cycles, loves multiple screens and benefits from fast IO and storage. That sounds like the new Mac Pro.

Nuke pricing starts at £2,500 ($4,100). The newest version of Nuke, version 8, is being launched next week.

Will Apple acquire The Foundry? Even if they wanted to, the combination might not be a good mix. It didn't seem to work out well when they acquired Nothing Real.

Apple bought Nothing Real in 2002 for their technology, applications and post industry links. In the following years Final Cut users benefitted from Nothing Real's image stabilisation and optical flow retiming technology. Shake, the Nothing Real high-end compositing app, was one of Weta's main tools for the post production of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In 2005 Apple charged $3,000 for Shake 4 (whereas Shake 2.1 cost $9,900 in 2000). They eventually cut the price of version 4.1 to $500. Sadly it seems that Apple didn't want to maintain the support structure required by effects houses who want quick developer responses in return for expensive annual maintenance licenses.

Apple Insider, June 2006:

The latest release of Apple Computer's Shake compositing software may be the last of its breed, as the company reportedly plans to shift gears and focus on developing the next-generation of the application around a different codebase.

Apple made the revelation alongside the release of Shake 4.1 this week, telling customers that it "will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake" as "no further updates" to the application are planned.

Instead, Apple said it has begun work on the next generation of the software, which reports target for a release in 2008.

In the event, Apple didn't release Smoke X in 2008, they didn't update it for years, discontinuing it in 2009. Commentators said 

Will Apple add Shake-like 3D and node-based editing to Final Cut Pro? Perhaps - Autodesk are going the other way: adding and editorial timeline to the Smoke 3D and node-based compositor.

Many editors have called for more advanced grading, effects and compositing tools in Final Cut Pro. Some would like all the features of Apple Color, Motion, Shake, Logic, Soundtrack Pro and a Blu-Ray version of DVD Studio Pro available in a single Final Cut timeline.

It is unlikely that Apple will go in this direction. Even though hidden in every copy of Final Cut is a full version of Motion, only a small part of the Motion UI is accessible in Final Cut Pro X.

Plugin makers use the retail version of Apple Motion to make effects, transitions, titles and generators for Final Cut editors. When Apple combined Motion filters and behaviours into the plugins bundled with Final Cut, they seemed to make a point of not making every filter and behaviour control available to editors. Apple followed Einstein's maxim when developing plugins: "Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler." Although node-based post production can work well in applications such as Smoke, DaVinci Resolve and After Effects, I think Apple consider the steepness of the learning curve for all editors not worth the benefits to compositors and motion graphics designers and editors who think like them.

Tomorrow's customer stories drive today's new features

If Apple want to use the Mac Pro and associated software as proof that iMacs and MacBook Pros are part of a range of computers than can support highly complex and demanding projects at the high end, they'll need some inspirational case studies. Even if your company memo doesn't need to be edited a computer with mulitple CPU cores and GPUs, some consumers like to buy from a company that makes the technology used to make the biggest movies in history.

That means that although Apple probably won't have a Mac Pro launch event, they'll want Mac Pro stories out that Apple supporters can quote in a single line. In 2002, fans were able to say "Apple's Shake app was used to make Lord of the Rings." Despite the fact that the hardware Weta probably used was PCs running Linux, the Shake aquisition made some Final Cut users happy. HP have probably benefitted from courting post production facilities.

The good news for Apple is that there are many blockbuster movies gearing up for release in 2015, so now is a good time for Mac Pros to get more involved in film post production. In practice that means that the radical nature of the Mac Pro must be seen to be an advantage when it comes to producing 4K, high frame rate, mostly computer animated tentpole feature films.

If Apple wants these kind of customer stories, they'll need to have the tools that fit. For Final Cut Pro that means improved versioning, media management and media sharing. When Apple do collaborative editing they will want to move far past what Avid do today - or at least create hooks so that third parties can deliver new kinds of solutions.

As regards Motion, although the 5.0.X series has slowly impoved as a plug-in development tool over the last 29 months, it hasn't had many motion graphics feature improvements. Does its very low price and its marketing as a Final Cut add-on denote that Apple has ceded the motion graphics app battle to After Effects?

This points to the possibility that a Apple will launch a new combination professional application with the new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X 10.1. To fit the bill, it would be used to

  • Create plugins for Final Cut Pro, iMovie and perhaps Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve and Autodesk Smoke (running on OS X only)
  • Design motion graphics that can be generated in rendered in real time and controlled using external devices and applications (for use on-set and artistic performances for example)
  • Combine complex 3D content with footage and other media in a node-based procedural editing system - with live links to Resolve or Smoke node trees.

In practice this would be Motion X, Quartz Composer X and Shake X combined in a single application. 

I'm looking forward to seeing 'Apple ShakeComposerMotion X' in December - it'll change the world of post production forever!




I don't expect Apple to launch Apple ShakeComposerMotion X - it is a fantasy application idea that shows there is a lot of space for modern professional applications by Apple to fill.




iMovie and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 part 4

Monday, 25 November 2013

In this series I've written about features in the new version of iMovie that would be interesting to have in the the next version of Final Cut Pro X.

I then summarised evidence that iMovie is primarily a unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X with a user interface that implements the features of iMovie 9. Although the version of Final Cut that iMovie (2013) seems to be based on seems to be newer than the release version, the built-in copy of Motion hasn't been updated, but there's evidence that iMovie themes were created using an internal template development tool codenamed Mica.

The new workflows supported in future versions of iMovie and Final Cut Pro are hinted at in the new version of Final Cut Pro X XML which is defined within iMovie and is referred to inside the new version of Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve application.

More elements hidden inside the new version of iMovie that hint about developments in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.X.





Despite having been recently written, Final Cut Pro X 10.0.X hasn't had much support for subtitle importing, desiplay, in-app editing and export. OS X subtitle expert Andreas Kiel told me that that he was asked to join Apple's Pro Apps development team in California. Although he decided not to accept, their offer is a good sign for the future of subtitles and time-based metadata.




This is probably related to supporting and displaying location information in the same way as in Aperture.


In a previous part of this series I listed features in the unreleased version of the Final Cut Pro X XML format. The file that describes what Final Cut elements can be encoded in XML exports and imports is stored in

A few days after Apple announced the new version of iMovie, RED updated REDCINE-X, their footage processing app, to version 20.2.0 for OS X and Windows. One of the changes listed in this new build is 

Updated: FCPX XML now compatible with version 1.3.

As well as what can be found in the XML DTD, there is more text within

...that reveals more about what can be exported and imported as Final Cut Pro X XML.

[FFXMLExporter addOrientationElementForMediaComponent:element:]
[FFXMLImporter setOrientation:toObject:]

Looks like Final Cut Pro will be able to handle the orientation of a clip explicitly. There were 12 mentions of 'orientation' in 10.0.9 (mostly to do with handling standard metadata fields for common video and stills formats), 33 mentions in 10.?.?.


As OS X and iOS evolve, Apple add more and more features for users who use software and hardware tools to operate applications. As well as being good news for those who cannot use their fingers, keyboards, mice and trackpads to control their Apple devices, the same features can be used by those who can use traditional control methods, but would like to control apps using other devices or workflow tools.

[There's an introduction to Accessibility for OS X developers on the Apple site]

In Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9, NSAccessibility attributes include:


They show how accessibility switch or other assistive device can simulate button, checkbox, menu and window clicks. New accessibility attributes hidden in the Final Cut Pro part of iMovie include:


['Role' here are related to the OS X accessibility framework, not Final Cut Roles]

The nature of these object methods gives accessibility devices (and possibility workflow and scripting tools) more control over Final Cut plus the ability to get useful values from Final Cut which can be displayed in assistive devices and used by workflow software logic.


These new elements allow Final Cut to 'notify' accessibility apps that user interface objects have been created, that values associated with them have changed and that the UI element is no longer relevant. 'Notification' is used 176 times in 10.0.9, 331 times in 10.?.?

If these attributes do appear in Final Cut Pro X 10.1, external applications such as a remote control app running on an iPad might be able to update their displays to reflect changes in Events, Projects and Libraries.

Word counts

Some words appear  more often in Final Cut Pro 10.X.X than 10.0.9:

  10.0.9 10.X.X
Proxy 276 357
OSC (On-screen controls) 1364 1959
Node 2132 3336
Gamma 65 194
Music 20 567
AudioDuck 2 118

The differences in counts may be to do with the Final Cut Pro X base implementing iMovie(2013)-only features such as automatic ducking (reducing in volume) of some tracks based on the volume of others.

In 10.0.X but not visible

Remember that although I've found all this Final Cut Pro-related content in iMovie, these elements might not appear in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.X.

For example, the code and text associated with flexible window layouts has been in Final Cut since 2011, hasn't appeared in the user interface and remains in 10.?.?:

"Different window layouts can be saved to suit different working environments or styles."
"Name your current layout:"
"Layout already exists. Do you want to replace it?"

"The name '' is an invalid name. Please use a different name"
"Revert to Original Layout" "Cancel" "Tear Off Tab"

"No Layouts Available"

"Save Window Layout"

"Couldn't Save Layout"
"Edit Window Layout"
"Untitled Layout"


Import Final Cut Pro X projects into iMovie using hidden workaround

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Editor and plugin maker Andy Mees has discovered that you can import Final Cut Pro X exported XML into the new version of iMovie. Here you can see the source timeline in Final Cut. It was exported as an .fcpxml file and imported into iMovie. 


The reason why the timelines don't match up is because iMovie timelines have variable scale. Although the faint grey vertical lines are equally spaced, the times they mark aren't equally spaced (in this case some are marked as denoting 9.4, 10.9, 15.8, 20.3, 24.4, 27.2 and 32.1 seconds).

iMovie doesn't implement all Final Cut Pro X features such as multiple connected video clips at the same time or auditions. Despite this, you can see iMovie displays an audition icon on one of the audio clips in Andy's timeline. If you attempt to edit the audition in iMovie, you'll see an imcomplete UI:


iMovie doesn't have an 'Import Final Cut Pro X XML…' command. Andy discovered a simple workaround.

1. Control- or Right-click the iMovie icon and choose 'Show Package Contents' from the shortcut menu

2. Open another window that shows the iMovie icon and drop your .fcpxml file onto the icon.

3. In iMovie you'll see a dialogue box that asks which iMovie library you would like to import your XML file into:


As well as reading his blog, keep up with Andy by following him on Twitter.


DaVinci Resolve 10 is Final Cut Pro X 10.1 compatible

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Using the same techniques that I used to have a look inside iMovie and Final Cut Pro, I've found that the recently released version of Blackmagic Design's colour grading application DaVinci Resolve 10 already handles the next version of Final Cut Pro X XML.

Seeing as Final Cut Pro X will be able to export colour grading information in projects as XML, it makes sense that Resolve can read and write these settings.

For example, here's a new Final Cut Pro X XML element:

<!-- The 'adjust-color' element modifies the color adjustments for a clip. -->
<!-- This element contains adjustments for color balance, color match, and color corrections. -->
<!ELEMENT adjust-color (colorBalance?, colorMatch?, (cb-correction | filter-color)*)>

Inside Resolve 10:


[The view if you drop 'DaVinci' onto TextEdit and search for 'adjust-color']

As well as references to Final Cut Pro X' new colour correction XML elements, Resolve also refers to 'adjust-stabilization,' 'adjust-rollingShutter' values for video clips, 'adjust-noiseReduction,' 'adjust-humReduction' and 'adjust-matchEQ' for clips with audio and 'text-style-,' 'ShadowBlurRadius' and 'baseline' (but not 'tab-stops') for text.

More about Final Cut Pro X 10.1

New iMovie features that might appear in Final Cut Pro X

Unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X built into iMovie (2013) - including news on the next version of Final Cut Pro XML

The future of scripting and plugins in Final Cut Pro X 10.1

iCloud collaboration for more Apple applications?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Today Apple released an update to their iWork for iCloud beta service. 

iWork for iCloud enables OS X and iOS users share design documets, presentations and spreadsheets on the internet so that collaborators can make changes using web browsers running on OS X, iOS X, and Windows devices.

Here are the new collaboration features:

Collaborator list: View the list of collaborators currently in a document.
Collaborator cursor: See cursors and selections for everyone in a document.
Jump to collaborator: Instantly jump to a collaborator’s cursor by clicking their name in the collaborator list.
Collaboration animation: Watch images and shapes animate as your collaborators move them around.

[for a list of further new features visit Apple's support site]

iWork apps aren't productivity apps any more

Although Apple calls this service iWork for iCloud Beta, they no now longer refer to iWork as a product on their website. now redirects to a page named 'Apple - Creativity and Productivity Apps' that page includes information on the three apps that used to be part of the iWork suite: Keynote, Numbers and Pages. It also lists the three apps that used to be part of the iLife suite ( The address of the combined page: (which defaults to the iOS versions).

Perhaps the iWork brand survives in the service name because it was named earlier this year. When the service goes out of beta it might get a name change. The only other place Apple mentions the iWork and iLife is in the corporate definition that appears at the footer of every Apple press release:

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

[More on Apple's evolving corporate definition since 1995]

Grouping iLife and professional software with iWork in this definition prompts the thought that Apple's online collaboration service might expland to include more Apple applications.

iCloud collaboration services

The new features show that iCloud can share collaborator events with very fine granularity. Instead of seeing the results of a colleague's edit once they've finished, you can see animation showing them making the change. You can also jump to the part of the publication, spreadsheet or presentation a collaborator is working on - so you don't miss their work if it is distant from where you're editing.

iWork for iCloud collaboration was big news in the Summer - it was seen as a catchup to Google Docs and a threat to Microsoft Office. It got the biggest demo at Apple's October announcements.

Apple doesn't act as if it is interested in people's work life - they don't court corporate purchasing. They want individuals to drive the adoption of their hardware, software and services. They leave corporate integration to others. 

Instead of treating iCloud as a big Google-like computer and filing system, Apple may see it as a conduit for making individual apps and tools work better.

I'm looking forward to iCloud for iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie, Aperture, Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X...

Final Cut Server: December resurrection?

Saturday, 09 November 2013

Although the most release note for Final Cut Server was archived in July, Apple are still making changes to FCS support documents. Hopefully to prepare for a December resurrection.


Up until Friday the introdcution of Apple's 'Final Cut Server Resources' support document said:

In the United States and Canada, all new registered users of Final Cut Server receive complimentary software support via telephone for 90 days from the date of purchase. In addition, Apple offers a range of professional support options:

Final Cut Server Discussions
Final Cut Server Support Page
Final Cut Server Help
Pro Application Online Help Library
AppleCare Help Desk support
AppleCare OS Support
Apple Pro Training
Apple Consultants Network
Independent Apple Value Added Resellers

At the time of writing the introduction reads:

Final Cut Server has the following resources for learning.

Final Cut Server Discussions
Final Cut Server Support Page
Final Cut Server Help


iMovie and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 part 3: Scripting and plugins

Thursday, 07 November 2013

Here's more of what I've found inside iMovie (2013).

As I wrote in part 2, the new OS X version of iMovie is based on an unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X. Previous versions of Final Cut Pro X have UI-less versions of Motion and Compressor. In that case have the Motion framework and the (313 MB) Compressor plugin also been updated as much as Final Cut Pro X?


Oddly enough, alothough there are new elements in the 'Final Cut Pro X' part of iMovie, the version of Compressor that is included is older than the version available on the Mac App Store or via software update, and there doesn't seem to be anything new in the Motion framework.

The Compressor code supports the background encoding features and sharing to online services features of iMovie.

As well as US-based services, iMovie 2013 has presets that encode and upload files to Youku and Tudou. There also presets for DVD, BluRay, Compressor, Image Sequence and HTTP Streaming - but these are probably left over from Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.X.

It is odd that Motion doesn't seem to have been updated. For seven out of the nine Final Cut Pro X updates from version 10.0.0, Motion was updated in lock step. Over the last two years I'd guess that bugs that seemed to be in Final Cut were in the built-in Motion framework, so the standalone Mac App Store version was updated at the same time. Although Motion's file format didn't change with each update, each edition of the Motion app stored its version number in the documents it saved.

In previous versions of iMovie, most of the effects, transitions, generators and titles were implemented using Quartz compositions (small files used to create UI animations in OS X and iOS apps). iMovie (2013) replaced these with Motion templates - the files used to implement plugins in Final Cut Pro X. That's why it is possible to place Final Cut plugins inside iMovie (as I showed in Final Cut Pro X plugins work in iMovie 2013).

Some of the Motion plugin templates in iMovie seem to have been created using Motion version Here are the first few lines in the template that implements one of iMovie's Titles that isn't yet available in Final Cut Pro X:


Motion's version number hasn't incremented in this way before - adding '.1' as a fourth number. Even when an update was a maintenance release with no new features, the third number increased from 5.0.0 up to 5.0.7 (released in March 2013).

If not Motion...

If the future of Motion as a tool for creating Final Cut plugins is in doubt, what could be the alternatives?

Although some people are worried at the lack of AppleScript support in recent Apple applications, there's a possibility that future versions of Final Cut will be more controllable using a scripting language.

There are already some references to scripting in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9. The appear in iMovie with these additions:


Quartz Compositions were used to implement effects, titles, transitions and generators in previous versions of iMovie. Quartz Composer is an Apple developer tool that can create these node-based animation files. FxFactory from Noise Industries was introduced as a system that allowed Quartz Compositions to implement advanced plugins in Final Cut Pro Classic (It now also acts as a plugin management system).

iMovie (2013) includes Quartz Composition handling libraries. The Sports theme uses Quartz Compositions to animate team names and member names:


There's also the chance that Final Cut Pro X 10.1.X will be able to use plugins created in the free Quartz Composer developer application.

Here are some of the Quartz Composer references in iMovie:


...implies a difference between Quartz Composer effects and Quartz Composer iMovie effects.

[FFQCEffect compositionName]
[FFQCEffect backgroundCompositionName]
[FFQCEffect compositionDirectoryName]
[FFQCEffect setCompositionParameterValuesAtTime:]
[FFQCEffect setBackgroundCompositionParameterValuesAtTime:]
[FFQCEffect compositionInputKeys]
[FFQCEffect inputParameters]
[FFQCEffect valueForInputKey:]
[FFQCEffect setBackgroundRenderValue:forInputKey:required:]
[FFQCEffect setValue:forInputKey:required:]
[FFQCEffect setString:forInputKey:required:avoidEmptyString:]
[FFQCEffect percentDoneForTime:]

[FFQCScheduleToken setInputValues:]
[FFQCScheduleToken time]
[FFQCScheduleToken setTime:]
[FFQCScheduleToken frameCompleteSemaphore]

A new Pro App?

As well as Quartz Composer, there are references to another graphics development system in iMovie. 'Mica' is mentioned very few times in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9, around 100 times in iMovie 9 but over 600 times in iMovie (2013):







ANIMATION IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH AVFOUNDATION. Open the file with Mica, and manually set the beginTime to zero.
KEYFRAME ANIMATION HAS BAD KEYTIMES. The first keyTime must be 0.0
EXPENSIVE LAYER. It has filters, or a non-rasterized shadow, or a non-rasterized complex font such as SketchBlock or Shababa.
The Mica document '%@'; has an unknown published layer '%@'. Please check your spelling.

[MicaAnimator bestURLForUserInterfaceFileName:]
[MicaAnimator bestURLForProjectContentFileName:]


It seems that Mica documents also work in iOS. It is possible that Mica is used by Apple to create plugins that work in iMovie on iOS as well as on the Mac. Mica might not be made available to users and third-party plugin developers.

I couldn't find any internet references to 'Apple Mica' as an OS X animation tool. However, here's a recent Twitter conversation:

@Alex4D: Has anyone heard of an animation/compositing tool from Apple called 'Mica'?
@BroadreachMedia: that was the code name of Shake/Motion combo.
@Alex4D: 'was' not 'is'?
@BroadreachMedia: well there were rumours of another app joining fcpx et al. Would make perfect sense with new Mac Pro OpenCL power to have RT Shake. 

On the other hand, this is not to say that Motion won't be updated when Final Cut Pro X 10.1.0 is launched - it might be that the Motion code they plan to release wasn't ready to be included in iMovie.

Whatever happens, at least we don't have long to find out...

Final Cut Pro X 10.1 revealed?

Wednesday, 06 November 2013

iMovie (2013) is an unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X with a consumer UI

In July 2011 I took a look inside the newly released Final Cut Pro X 10.0.0. I found text and graphics that hinted at unimplemented features. These features could have have missed the cut for the first public release. I guessed they would be more fully developed in future versions or dropped.

The evidence suggested that Apple might be working on features such as the reintroduction of Multicam, XML import and export, AppleScript integration, flexible window layouts and multi-user editing. Some of these appeared in later versions of Final Cut, some didn't.

A new version of iMovie was launched as part of Apple's October announcements. Here is some of what I've discovered inside iMovie (2013).

iMovie (2013) isn't an updated version of iMovie '11 (version 9), it is Final Cut Pro X with additional resources to implement the iMovie consumer editing interface.

It looks like there are new features in this unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X that many professional editors have been looking forward to for a long time.


In OS X, applications are stored as specialised folders that contain code, text, images, sounds and videos. To see inside any app using the Finder, Control- or Right-Click its icon and choose  'Show Package Contents' from the shortcut menu.

If you do this with the previous version of iMovie, you get a folder that looks like this:

Operational parts of apps are divided up into 'frameworks' and some UI images, sounds and videos are stored in a Resources directory. 

Here's what is inside Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9:


Here's iMovie (2013):


Although iMovie (2013) and Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 share many of the same frameworks, who is to say there's a whole copy of Final Cut built into every copy of iMovie? Apple could have used the elements of Final Cut that implement video editing and overlaid the iMovie UI. It turns out that a large amount of the graphics, text and code in iMovie isn't currently visible when you run the app.

Compare the resources folders in the same framework in both Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 and iMovie (2013):


The documents and folders are very similar - including icons and Adobe Photoshop files. There are extra resources to implement the new iMovie Theatre feature. There are also resources that aren't seen in the current iMovie user interface: The Audition Spotlight that appears when switching between clips in an audition and icons for surround sound speakers for example.

Image resources in iMovie (2013) not yet visible to users include:



Final Cut Pro X 10.?

iMovie (2013) isn't based on Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9. I've found elements that show that the version of Final Cut is newer than the one released earlier this year.

Here's a list of Final Cut elements inside the iMovie (2013) application that don't yet appear in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X. I'm listing them here because they point to a possible direction for Final Cut Pro. Although I can find these references using a simple text editor, I don't have a way of confirming that any of this content will be available in a future version of Final Cut. I'm sharing what I've found in a free application I recieved with OS X Mavericks.



Fractured Twirl, Fractured Shatter, Fractured Extend, Fractured Flyback, Fractured, Fractured Radial, Fractured Wave, Fractured Flip, Fractured Confetti.

Here are the Fractured transition parameters: Animation Type, Backface Color, Delay, Density, Density Scale Start, Density Scale End, Dissolve In Out, Dissolve Point, Double Sided, Ease In, Ease Out, Extrude, Face Shape, Bulge Center, Fog, Fog Intensity, Fragment Aspect, Implode, Lighting, Mode, Multi Sample, Output Expansion, Randomize, Reassemble, Reassemble Point, Specular, Specular Color, Transparency

Final Cut Pro X libraries

Text inside iMovie associated with a new method for storing clips, projects and events [More on libraries and iMovie (2013)]:

"In Final Cut Pro 10.1 and later, projects and events are contained in a library.

" Click Update All to create a new library for the projects and events on each connected hard disk."
" Click Update Later to skip the update process for now."
" Click Locate to manually create a library for a specific hard disk, folder, or SAN location."

"Review the newly created libraries and confirm your projects and events are intact before emptying the trash."
"To skip copying your Projects and Events into the Library, click Ignore. (You may import them later.)"

"Copied Projects and Events can still be opened in earlier versions of %@. To copy your Projects and Events, click OK." [parts of text that include @ characters can be replaced by the app depending on the context. In this case the text would be 'iMovie' or 'Final Cut Pro']

"You are editing clips between libraries."
"You are editing compound clips or multicam clips between libraries"

"The Library must contain at least one Event"

File management

"Consolidate Library Files "
"Consolidate Library Media"
"Consolidate Library Files will copy all of %@'s  external Media into your library."
"The selected events refer to files outside the library bundle. To copy external media into the library bundle click Continue. You cannot undo this command._"
"Choose the current library or an external folder to consolidate the files into"

"Duplicate Project as Snapshot"
"Duplicate Open Project as Snapshot"

"Open Library Backup"
"To open this library backup, click Save and choose a new location to save the library"
"Opening a library backup will create a new copy of the library and attempt to restore its original media. The current version of library will not be affected."

"You have projects and events that refer to media on missing hard disks"
"To play back the missing file "%@," connect the hard drive "%"

"This Clip Uses the Following Missing Effect(s):"

"%@" could not be removed because applications are using it."


"This timeline contains Music Markers"
"%@ can align your clips to the music markers to time them to beats"
"Align Clips at Music Markers"
"Align to Music Markers"
"Edit to Markers"
"Ignore Markers"


"Add a new keyframe at the playhead"
"Smooth End Transition"
"Retime Set Transition FallOff"
"Set Smooth Transition Retiming"
"Set Smooth Keyframe Retiming"

"persistent playhead"
"Trim To Playhead"
"Retime Blade Speed"
"Blade at Skimmer"

"The item is not on an edit frame boundary"


"Search your Aperture library"
"Choose to view projects, albums, and more from your Aperture Library"
"Double-click to open this smart album" 
"Double-click to open this photo stream"
"Double-click to open this slideshow"
"Double-click to open this gallery"
"Double-click to open this faces group"



"Use proxy playback by changing the Media setting to 'Proxy' in the Viewer Options pop-up menu. (Requires proxy media.)"

"Replace Transition"
"Apply to All Transitions"
"Delete Everywhere"

"Flash and Hold Last Frame"

"To better fill titles"

"Reset All Tools"

"Transform 3D"

"The file format you requested does not allow for sizes of more than 4GB"

"Cannot Send to Compresor"

Bundling effects

"This snapshot is incompatible with the effect bundle part."
My Effect Bundle
"The selected clip has no %@ effects."
"Please enter a valid name for the bundle."
"Could not save bundle" 
"Could not save the effects as a bundle."

[This might still apply to audio effect bundles, which have been inside Final Cut Pro X for a while, but might one day include video effects]

iMovie to Final Cut Pro

"To send your movie to Final Cut Pro, you must have Final Cut Pro version 10.1 or later installed."
"Send Movie to Final Cut Pro"
"Sending To Final Cut Pro"
"A compatible version of Final Cut Pro cannot be found."

Multi-user editing

"Some SAN locations are in use. To update these locations, make sure they are not in use, and try again."

There are no longer any 'Guards' text strings designed to be used in dialogue boxes to as found in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.0.

However, within the code inside Final Cut Pro 10.0.9, there are 14 references to Guards. In iMovie (2013) there are many more in the equivalent file:


FFUndoGuard addGuard
FFUndoGuard addToHandler
FFUndoGuard guardAction
FFUndoGuard redoFinished
FFUndoGuard undoFinished
FFUndoGuard initWithLibraryItems
FFUndoGuard dealloc
FFUndoGuard updateItems




Final Cut Pro X 10.1 XML 

New aspects of Final Cut Pro X XML determine what features of Final Cut Pro Projects, Events and Libraries that third-party applications can manipulate.

In iMovie (2013) but not visible in the current UI:

"Export Event XML…"
"You can use the error log below to resolve issues in your XML file and try to import again"

"Select a library from the list of recent libraries. To import your XML into a different library, click Locate. To import your XML to a new library, choose New Library."

The format for the flavour of XML that Final Cut Pro X uses to export and import has been updated to version 1.3 from version 1.2. The new version can now store colour correction, title, audio and smart folder information.

Libraries and smart collections

<!ENTITY % collection_item "collection-folder | keyword-collection | smart-collection">


<!-- Element that contain options on how the import should be conducted (e.g. whether to copy assets, etc.) -->
<!ELEMENT import-options (option*)>

<!ELEMENT keyword-collection EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST keyword-collection name CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT collection-folder (%collection_item;)*>
<!ATTLIST collection-folder name CDATA #REQUIRED>

Final Cut Pro X XML v. 1.3 will be able to store smart events that constantly list clips and projects that have specific attributes such as role, sample rate and timecode.

<!ELEMENT smart-collection ((match-text | match-ratings | match-media | match-clip | match-stabilization | match-keywords | match-shot | match-property | match-time | match-timeRange | match-roles)*)>
<!ATTLIST smart-collection name CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST smart-collection match (any | all) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-text EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-text enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-text rule (includes | doesNotInclude | is | isNot) "includes">
<!ATTLIST match-text value CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-ratings EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-ratings enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-ratings value (favorites | rejected) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-media EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-media enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-media rule (is | isNot) "is">
<!ATTLIST match-media type (videoWithAudio | videoOnly | audioOnly | stills) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-clip EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-clip enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-clip rule (is | isNot) "is">
<!ATTLIST match-clip type (audition | synchronized | compound | multicam | layeredGraphic | project) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-stabilization EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-stabilization enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-stabilization show-excessive-shake (0 | 1) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-keywords (keyword-name*)>
<!ATTLIST match-keywords enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-keywords rule (includesAny | includesAll | doesNotIncludeAny | doesNotIncludeAll) "includesAny">

<!ELEMENT keyword-name EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST keyword-name value CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-shot (shot-type*)>
<!ATTLIST match-shot enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-shot rule (includesAny | includesAll | doesNotIncludeAny | doesNotIncludeAll) "includesAny">

<!ELEMENT shot-type EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST shot-type value (onePerson | twoPersons | group | closeUp | mediumShot | wideShot) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-property EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-property enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-property key (reel | scene | take | audioOutputChannels | frameSize | videoFrameRate | audioSampleRate | cameraName | cameraAngle) #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-property rule (includes | doesNotInclude | is | isNot) "includes">
<!ATTLIST match-property value CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-time EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-time enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-time type (contentCreated | dateImported) #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-time rule (is | isBefore | isAfter) #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-time value CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT match-timeRange EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST match-timeRange enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-timeRange type (contentCreated | dateImported) #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-timeRange rule (isInLast | isNotInLast) #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-timeRange value CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST match-timeRange units (hour | day | week | month | year) #IMPLIED>

<!ELEMENT match-roles (role*)>
<!ATTLIST match-roles enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST match-roles rule (includesAny | includesAll | doesNotIncludeAny | doesNotIncludeAll) "includesAny">


Colour Correction

<!-- The 'adjust-color' element modifies the color adjustments for a clip. -->
<!-- This element contains adjustments for color balance, color match, and color corrections. -->
<!ELEMENT adjust-color (colorBalance?, colorMatch?, (cb-correction | filter-color)*)>

<!ELEMENT colorBalance (data)>
<!ATTLIST colorBalance enabled (0 | 1) "1">

<!ELEMENT colorMatch (data)>
<!ATTLIST colorMatch enabled (0 | 1) "1">

<!ELEMENT cb-correction (cb-values?, cb-values-outer?, cb-shape*, cb-isolation?)>
<!ATTLIST cb-correction enabled (0 | 1) "1">

<!-- The 'cb-values' element describes the colorboard adjustments for a color correction. -->
<!ELEMENT cb-values EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST cb-values global CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values shadows CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values midtones CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values highlights CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!-- The 'cb-values-outer' element describes the colorboard adjustments outside of the shapes for a color correction. -->
<!ELEMENT cb-values-outer EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST cb-values-outer global CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values-outer shadows CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values-outer midtones CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST cb-values-outer highlights CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!-- The 'cb-shape' element describes a shape used for a colorboard correction. -->
<!ELEMENT cb-shape (param*)>
<!ATTLIST cb-shape origin CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST cb-shape softness CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST cb-shape curvature CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST cb-shape rotation CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST cb-shape scale CDATA #IMPLIED>

<!ELEMENT cb-isolation (data)>

<!ELEMENT filter-color (param*)>
<!ATTLIST filter-color ref IDREF #REQUIRED> <!-- 'effect' ID -->
<!ATTLIST filter-color name CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST filter-color enabled (0 | 1) "1">

Clip adjustments

<!ELEMENT adjust-stabilization (param*)>
<!ATTLIST adjust-stabilization type (automatic | inertiaCam | smoothCam) "automatic">

<!ELEMENT adjust-rollingShutter EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST adjust-rollingShutter amount (none | low | medium | high | extraHigh) "none">

<!ELEMENT adjust-loudness EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST adjust-loudness amount CDATA #REQUIRED>
<!ATTLIST adjust-loudness uniformity CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT adjust-noiseReduction EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST adjust-noiseReduction amount CDATA #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT adjust-humReduction EMPTY>
<!ATTLIST adjust-humReduction frequency (50 | 60) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT adjust-EQ (param*)>
<!ATTLIST adjust-EQ mode (flat | voice_enhance | music_enhance | loudness | hum_reduction | bass_boost | bass_reduce | treble_boost | treble_reduce) #REQUIRED>

<!ELEMENT adjust-matchEQ (data)>


<!ENTITY % marker_item "(marker | chapter-marker | rating | keyword | shot-marker)">

'Rating', 'Keyword' and 'Shot-marker' markers haven't been able to be exported or imported in XML files before.

<!ELEMENT shot-marker (shot-type)+>
<!ATTLIST shot-marker start %time; #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST shot-marker duration %time; #IMPLIED>


<!ATTLIST sequence keywords CDATA #IMPLIED>

Final Cut Pro X storylines are stored as 'Sequences' in Final Cut Pro X XML.


<!-- A 'filter-video' defines a video effect that's applied to its parent element. -->
<!-- Video filters are concatenated in the order in which they appear. -->
<!ELEMENT filter-video (data?, param*)>
<!ATTLIST filter-video ref IDREF #REQUIRED> <!-- 'effect' ID -->
<!ATTLIST filter-video name CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST filter-video enabled (0 | 1) "1">

<!-- A 'filter-audio' defines an audio effect that's applied to its parent element. -->
<!-- Audio filters are concatenated in the order in which they appear. -->
<!ELEMENT filter-audio (data?, param*)>
<!ATTLIST filter-audio ref IDREF #REQUIRED> <!-- 'effect' ID -->
<!ATTLIST filter-audio name CDATA #IMPLIED>
<!ATTLIST filter-audio enabled (0 | 1) "1">
<!ATTLIST filter-audio presetID CDATA #IMPLIED>

Time remapping

It will be possible to control the smoothness of the transitions between time remap segments:

<!ATTLIST timept inTime %time; #IMPLIED> <!-- transition in-time for point (used only with smooth interpolations) -->
<!ATTLIST timept outTime %time; #IMPLIED> <!-- transition out-time for point (used only with smooth interpolations) -->


Transition information now can include seperate audio filters and video filters. This implies more control in Final Cut about which audio transition is applied with a video transition. This XML encoding could store a transition between two clips with no audio transition applied during a video transition.

Is this Final Cut Pro X 10.1?

I have no way of knowing if the unreleased version of Final Cut Pro X that iMovie is based on is version 10.1. It might be where 10.1 was a few months ago - iMovie (2013) might get an update at the same time at Final Cut Pro X for compatibility reasons.

iMovie Trojan?

Trojan Horses have negative connotations: benign presents that hide malignant intent. In the case of iMovie, it seems that Apple wants the maximum number of people to get comfortable with editing while providing a direct connection to the world of professional post production. 

Although Apple are unlikely to make Final Cut Pro X 10.1 a free upgrade, the sting of a full-price update might be reduced by full format Final Cut to iMovie and back roundtripping. Video editors, sound editors, photographers, colour graders and visual effects people can work in the $299 app while passing timelines and footage backwards and forwards to writers, directors, producers and others who can run iMovie (2013) for OS X at very low cost, or even for free. I don't have the tools to reverse engineer the code, so I don't know if such round-tripping will be possible, but as both applications might run on the same foundations, there's no technical reasons why this wouldn't be possible.

The future of storytelling will change a great deal if Apple convice more people that they can manipulate videos they shoot on iOS devices as easily as they've learned to take, modify and organise photos. I think the iMovie (2013)/Final Cut Pro X combination will help bring many more people to editing and visual storytelling all over the world.