Articles tagged with: Tool

Diagnose Final Cut Pro X plugin problems

Thursday, 04 December 2014

A common problem when moving Final Cut projects from Mac is that of missing plugins. Even if the plugin is on both Macs, it works on one, but the project can't seem to find it on the other.

A useful tool to aid in Final Cut Pro X detective work is Spherico's X-FX Handler application (Direct download). If you find it useful, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how to donate some money to show your appreciation.

Export the problem Final Cut Pro X 10.1.X project as an XML file and open it with X-FX Handler. It will show a list of all the effects, transitions, titles and generators in the project:

advent4-xfx

The listing shows where the project expects the find each plugin. The majority of problems occur when a plugin seems to be in the same place on the second machine, but isn't. This happens when two folders seem to have the same name. You might have two folders in the Finder named "Transitions" - if you use the Get Info command in the Finder you might find one is named "Transitions" and the other is "Transitions.localized"

For more information on how X-FX Handler works, use the Help menu to read the detailed manual. It shows how although a plugin seems to be installed on both Macs, there are different places where the plugin might be - which means a project moving from one Mac to another might not recognise that the plugin is installed on the new machine:

advent4-multiple-install-locations

 

New ClipExporter 2: Final Cut Pro X export to After Effects and Nuke

Monday, 10 November 2014

Clipexporter-header

New on the Mac App store: ClipExporter 2 for Final Cut Pro X. It takes Final Cut Pro X timelines and makes them editable in Adobe After Effects and Nuke. Although Final Cut has the best NLE real-time compositor, there are times when more complex problems need to be solved. Many high-end TV and feature films use After Effects and Nuke to create more advanced effects and compositions.

ClipExporter2 also exports media managed clips from Final Cut - useful for other post production tools that need the footage used on the timeline only. A useful tool for getting media managed RED footage onto an After Effects timeline.

ClipExporter 2 has been rewritten to take advantage of all the features of Final Cut's XML format - recreating timelines in After Effects and Nuke. You can even choose which clips to export by only converting clips with specific roles.

As part of the export process ClipExporter 2 also produces a clip log listing all the clips being converted (in a timeline or the clips with specific roles which will be exported). The list includes timecode information and Final Cut metadata and can be exported as a CSV file, which is useful for workflow administration.

ClipExporter works in four modes.

Export to Adobe After Effects

Timeline elements including blend modes, position, scale, anchor point, rotation, distortion, notes and markers are recreated as AE projects. ClipExporter 2 also translates keyframes of most of these parameters.

It even converts retimed clips, metadata and notes.

Here's a timeline in Final Cut:

01-fcpx

Including a note to the compositor on one of the clips:

02-note

Just the After Effects logo is selected - this is After Effects export mode - without media management.

03-CE-start

On export a clip report is shown which can be exported as a text file:

04-export

ClipExporter generates .jsx files. In After Effects .jsx files are script files that are run using the File:Scripts:Run Script command.

The timeline in After Effects including a marker and the metadata note appearing as a layer comment:

05-ae

 

Not Dynamic Link, but quick to update in Final Cut

As ClipExporter doesn't use Adobe Dynamic Link, you need to render your After Effects project as a QuickTime movie and import it as a clip in Final Cut Pro X (keeping it external to the library). However you can make changes ripple through to Final Cut easily. Once you have updated the After Effects project, re-export the QuickTime movie with the same name in a sub-folder of the location where you first exported. In the Finder then replace the first export with the second version. It will be updated automatically in Final Cut Pro - even if it is editing the timeline where the clip is used.

Media management

ClipExporter's Video Exporter exports only the video used in a timeline (with optional handles) as new clips - not re-encoding, creating new smaller ProRes, H.264, AVCHD and RED files. ClipExporter even adds Final Cut Pro X-specific metadata to the new smaller clips (on all formats apart from RED clips). Define which metadata is included by choosing the relevant metdata view when exporting the XML final from Final Cut. 

ClipExporter includes naming templates which name the new smaller clips to match the import specifications of other high end post-production tools.

Export media managed timeline to After Effects - including RED footage

After Effects 'linked mode' does the media management of the Video Exporter - creating copies of only the media used in a Final Cut Pro X timeline and makes a After Effects project that uses the new clips as a source.

In this mode not as many parameters of the Final Cut timeline can be recreated in After Effects due to limitations in the Final Cut XML format, but you can add notes to the clip metadata which will appear as layer comments in AE.

Export media managed timeline to Nuke

The used footage only (with optional handles) is copied into new clips using the source codec and each clip is converted into a Nuke file. All the clip metadata is included in a Backdrop node. If you need to export a After Effects project with the same timeline, that is also an option. Here are is the result of exporting the previous Final Cut Pro X timeline to After Effects and Nuke in the Finder:

06-finder

For more information, including a 30-day demo version visit ClipExporter. Download it from the Mac App Store at an introductory price until November 23.

Xto7 update

Sunday, 20 July 2014

If you need to share Final Cut Pro X work with those using Final Cut Pro 7 or Adobe Premiere, convert Final Cut Pro X XML exports using Xto7 for Final Cut Pro. Today's update is a bug fix:

Bug Fix for subclips when importing XML into Premiere Pro

 

PluralEyes 3.3.7 update

Sunday, 20 July 2014

If you run an older version of Red Giant PluralEyes 3 today, you'll be prompted that there's a new version. Version 3.3.7...

You can now safely download FCPX 10.1.2 for use with PluralEyes 3.

 

Final Cut Library Manager 1.5: Great new features

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Today Arctic Whiteness announced a very quick update to the Final Cut Library Manager application. Despite version 1.0 only having been launched on March 4th, version 1.5 adds quite a few new features.

Version 1.0 could list all Final Cut Pro X libraries on your system, provide useful information on their composition and launch Final Cut with only the libraries of your choice open. These features were free. If you paid a small activation fee, FCLM could also reduce the size of your libraries by safely deleting proxy media, optimised media and render files.

Version 1.5 is a big update - primarily Final Cut Library Manager can keep a record of every library it sees. That means libraries on external drives, mounted disc images and network locations. Even these drives, images and network locations are no longer connected to your mac, their Final Cut Pro X libraries (optionally) remain in the FCLM list. This is big news for the lone editor with tens of external hard drives and the facility manager keeping their eye on groups working on the same project.

FCLM v1.5

Here is Arctic Whiteness' list of what's changed in the most recent two updates:

1.51

Added a context menu item to show the contents of a library in the Finder.

Final Cut Library Manager now tries very hard to follow libraries and source directories that have been moved or renamed while it's not running.

Improved tracking of libraries that reside inside Disk Images, on USB keys, and on other devices that can't be uniquely identified. Note: You may need to remove and re-add these sources - sorry about that.

Visual feedback is given when trying to select a source that doesn't contain any libraries.

Improved the visual feedback when dragging libraries and sources to the main window.

Missing libraries no longer retain their size information and thus don't incorrectly affect the size display in the correspoinding sources.

Fixed a rare bug that would cause libraries on the system disk to be incorrently listed as missing.

1.52

Added a handy popup view that details the sections in a bargraph when you hover over it.

1.52-update

"Show Library Contents in Finder" didn't work correctly if the Finder was set up to display columns.

Fixed an issue and potential crash when using 2 or more identical harddrives from certain manufacturers.

New Final Cut features and third party developers

Final Cut Library Manager is an interesting example of how editors get new features for their applications. When a new third party application appears, sometimes editors ask why its features weren't already part of their main editing tool. Although Arctic Whiteness weren't asking for much money for their 1.0 library cleaning features, 'free' is always better.

If all goes well, many editors then download the 'missing feature' application. The developer can then improve their tool. They can then add features that the main application are unlikely to add. FCLM 1.5's offline library management system is a good example of this. 

Apple seems to be concentrating on making Final Cut Pro X the application for the lone professional editor. They might have considered including Acrtic Whiteness's advanced library management features in version 10.1, but they were either seen as not a priority resource-wise, or too complex for new editors. In practice, third party developers need to watch out for their apps being 'Sherlocked' by Apple (after seeing the success of third party app, Apple sometimes includes most of its features into a new version of the OS X for free).

Luckily for Arctic Whiteness and Final Cut Pro X users, Apple are unlikely to add the new v1.5 features of Final Cut Library Manager to a future version of Final Cut. Features involving backup management, workflow and group editing. That's where the Final Cut Pro API comes into play.

Over the years Apple have continued to update the Final Cut API (Application Programming Interface) - the way  third party software and hardware works with Final Cut Pro. As version 10.0 was a new application that Apple decided to Final Cut Pro X, the APIs had to built up from scratch. The unheralded feature of the 10.1 update was improvements to the API - whose benefits will become more obvious as third party software and hardware developers launch updates and new products in the coming months. 

Final Cut Pro X: the core of a modular editing system

For many years feature films and TV shows have been shot using modular systems. Panavision, ARRI and RED are modular systems with a camera at the centre. Attached to the camera would be a choice of lenses, film mags, batteries, viewfinders and support systems. 

Final Cut is the equivalent editing application. Although it can work on its own (as long as you have a Mac), editors have the option to add a variety of software and hardware to support their specific needs.

The editing app with the best software and hardware connections has a big advantage over the competition.

 

 

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:

fcpxdtd1.3elementinresolve10

[The view if you drop 'DaVinci Resolve.app/Contents/MacOS/Resolve' 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

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