Latest Posts

BlogBlackmagic Design’s new RAW codec family – Reading between the linesFriday, September 14 2018

Blackmagic Design have announced their new RAW codec family at IBC today. Possible interpretations of the press release:

Blackmagic RAW has been in development for years


We started on this long before we heard Apple was developing a post-focused RAW codec.

Blackmagic RAW…moves part of the de-mosaic process into the camera where it can be hardware accelerated by the camera itself


There is no margin in giving away free post software. We are a post production hardware company that makes cameras, not a computer maker.

Because the processor intensive partial de-mosaic is done by the camera hardware, software such as DaVinci Resolve doesn’t have to do as much work decoding the files


We want our software to be cross-platform. We need to make sure Resolve works on operating systems and hardware that might not be as good at working with media. Popular hardware and OS combinations aren’t powerful enough to work with ProRes RAW

Blackmagic RAW is much more than a simple RAW container format. Its intelligent design actually understands the camera and the sensor. This means the image data, along with the unique characteristics of the image sensor


Despite cameras not having huge differences in sensor and glass, we think Apple ProRes RAW doesn’t include enough metadata to capture their individual characteristics.

“Send me a Blackmagic”

Blackmagic Design is up against one of the biggest brands in post production. As much as people say “Can I look at it on the Avid,” they also say “Can you send me a ProRes.” It makes post-production adjacent people in TV and film feel like they are ‘in with’ the post process – even if those brands are all they know. They would be happy if you showed them you work on a Adobe Premiere Pro CC timeline, or if you send them an H.265 MP4.

I’ll be interested to see if Blackmagic gets people switching from Apple and Avid codecs for post. I’m looking forward to seeing how well ProRes RAW converts to Blackmagic RAW.

According to, the Blackmagic’s beta codec and sample media don’t work in Final Cut Pro X, but there’s no business reason why they shouldn’t. If Final Cut users liked it, Blackmagic could sell more cameras.

As regards Apple’s ProRes RAW working in Resolve, I’m sure they would like that, but they also like other applications being used as off-line editors while the online -the last 5% – is done in Resolve (if needed).

Overall: A reaction, not an instigation.

Read more
BlogAdobe Premiere can now edit IMF, wither Final Cut?Thursday, September 13 2018
Third-parties who develop Interoperable Master Format workflow tools don’t seem to believe that Final Cut Pro X is relevant.
At the end of many high-end productions comes expressing your feature film or TV show as IMF – a SMPTE standard for providing a single, interchangeable master file format and structure for the distribution of content. Each IMF database can be used to generate deliverables for multiple playback systems such as different projectors, sound systems, TV standards, Blu-Rays, spoken languages, subtitles and more.
Marquise Technologies is a Swiss company that have been involved in developing IMF. They have many high-end tools. Yesterday they launched an IMF import system for Adobe Premiere CC:
With the growing adoption of the Interoperable Master Format for content exchange it has become increasingly important for professional editing solutions to support this standard. Marquise Technologies and Adobe have collaborated to enable Adobe Premiere Pro CC to import IMF packages, including multiple CPLs packages. Editors are now able to review and process IMF Application #2 and #2e (Studio Profile) content.
The irony is that Final Cut Pro X is much more suited to thinking about media as a database that can be expressed multiple ways. Better than any track-based NLE.
What client need would convince IMF ecosystem developers to make tools that work with Final Cut?
Read more
BlogiPad Pro wish: eGPU for MacsTuesday, September 11 2018

Should Apple make an external display for Macs? One with a built-in GPU? How about the 2018 iPad Pros?

Apple’s September 2018 iPhone launch event didn’t mention the iPad Pro range. What might the future hold? The Apple rumour industry predicts a new look – inspired by the iPhone: smaller bezels, antenna lines around the edge. The iPad Smart connector may move to a different edge and the home button is removed to allow for Face ID to replace Touch ID.

If Apple start promoting another use for iPad Pros – as Pro accessories for Macs – then the iPad update may come in an event also promoting new Macs.

iPad Pro for MacBook Pro and Mac mini Pro

Many Mac users also have iPads. What if new iPads could improve Macs? My wish: that new iPads can act as external screens and eGPUs for Macs. This would be useful for MacBook Pro users who need more screen space and more power when on the move. The iPad Pro has a 2732 by 2048 pixel wide colour display. Its GPU can update the display 120 times a second. That graphics power could be useful for high-end applications.

Mac minis with a Thunderbolt 3-powered USB C connectors could get extra processing power and a display. For those who would like to manage multiple Mac minis, having a handy external screen to move from device to device would be very useful.

As many professional applications make extensive use of GPU processing, any help they can get from adjacent devices would be useful. I don’t know if the Lightning port on iOS devices can connect at Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth. Maybe the iPad Pro Smart Connector can.

Some professional applications could even add features that work on connected touchscreens like iPads and iPhones. For example a Lumberjack System-like keyword palette might be use for Final Cut Pro X.

If Apple did this, it would be very likely that I would seriously consider replacing my current iPad 2 with a new iPad Pro!


Read more
BlogFinal Cut Pro X plugins everywhere sells more MacsWednesday, September 5 2018

I think it would be a good move for the Motion playback system to be made available in macOS and iOS. At the moment, almost all the plugins in Final Cut Pro templates are made in Motion 5 – Apple’s motion graphics application. Motion can make effect, transition, title and generator plugins for Final Cut. If Motion’s features aren’t enough for plugin developers to make the plugins they want, they call FxPlug plugins in Motion to add features.

When Motion was first introduced, QuickTime could play back Motion files in any application. That meant you could use Motion documents as elements in After Effects projects. The current frame would be rendered very quickly in the GPU any time AE needed it. In many cases it was quicker to make complex animations in Motion and use them as layers in After Effects.

Imagine if that feature returned.

That would mean any macOS application would be able to use Motion templates. They are stored in the Motion Templates folder – not a ‘Final Cut Pro X plugins’ folder. If a plugin needs FxPlug extensions, those are stored in a standard OS folder. Timelines that use Motion templates would then be able to transfer from and to iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, Fusion, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Nuke and more on the Mac.

Mac-only workflows

Of course third-party developers would need to implement compatibility with Motion plugins. Compatibility that would not be cross-platform. Workflows that would not transfer to Windows and Linux: ‘Sorry, our render farm can’t work with your timelines – they use Motion templates. Our service isn’t Mac-based.’

For some developers, this would not be a problem – others might have a strategic direction that means that any feature that cannot be implemented on multiple OSes will not be implemented.

Motion templates available to all applications helps sell Macs.

iOS too

Also if iOS supported Motion templates, timelines could be moved to and from iMovie, Clips and any NLE running on iPhones and iPads. Not to Windows- and Android-based mobile devices.

An observation: If you attach Motion templates to emails in Apple Mail, once the email is sent, the icons are replaced by placeholders to show that these are video files that can’t be played in the current application:

Could this be in preparation for when Motion templates can be played in applications other than Final Cut Pro X? I hope so.

Read more
Blog20% off Summer Sale: Alex4D Animation Transitions and Alex4D 360° Effects for Final Cut Pro XTuesday, August 28 2018

For a limited time my two commercial plugin packs are on sale. They are available at 20% off.

Alex4D Animation Transitions


This pack of 120 transitions can be used to animate whole video clips, images, titles and logos on and off the screen. No need to use keyframes. Choose a few settings and your animation is done. Need to change the timing? Simply change the duration of the transition by dragging in the Final Cut Pro X timeline. No need to change the values and times for keyframes of multiple parameters.

Alex4D Animation Transitions also works in any aspect ratio. As well as traditional 16:9, they can be used to make super-wide animations in a 48:9 aspect ratio or wider. They can also add animation to square and vertical videos used in social media:

Find out more at

Alex4D 360° Effects


This toolkit helps you tell stories with spherical video. Final Cut Pro X 10.4 introduced 360° features. Alex4D 360° Effects makes Final Cut even better.

This pack of effects includes three free plugins that speed up 360° video production.

See the wide range of effects over at

Read more
BlogApple, Final Cut Pro X and ProRes RAW at IBC 2018 in SeptemberThursday, August 23 2018

Going to IBC 2018 in Amsterdam next month? IBC is the main European event where the TV industry get together to learn about high-end broadcasting technology.

As usual Apple won’t have a stand. The good news is that Apple will be giving presentations about their professional video editing application. The Final Cut Pro X focus point on the show floor is the Atomos stand – D.25 in Hall 11.

Atomos will demonstrate the Final Cut Pro X ProRes RAW workflow from capture to HDR monitoring.

They will have a Final Cut Pro X advanced broadcast workflows theatre: a series of presentations by international professionals about how well the recent updates to Final Cut Pro X support high-end workflows. This is being delivered by London-based Soho Editors.

Apple Product Marketing are presenting every day from Friday September 14th to Tuesday September 18th.

Some presentation titles:

  • Final Cut Pro X – A more powerful take on post-production – presented by Apple Product Marketing
  • Final Cut Pro X – Advanced colour grading
  • Closed Captions in Final Cut Pro X – presented by Apple Product Marketing
  • HDR Workflows in Final Cut Pro X
  • Shooting ProRes RAW with Pansonic’s EVA 1 Cinema Camera
  • Sony FS5 II ProRes Raw
  • Motion 5 – Motion Graphics in action

The full agenda is on the Soho Editors site.

You might also bump into Ronny Courtens and Sam Mestman from LumaForge. LumaForge make advanced workgroup servers for post production that connect to Macs using 10 gigabit and 40 gigabit Ethernet cables. Ronny writes:

Sam and I will frequently be on the Atomos booth. Special LumaForge demos will be in our off-site demo room on an invitation-only basis. If you would like to see the JellyFish at work with our brand-new management software, drop me an e-mail.

Lumberjack System is a method for making the most of information known while shooting when in the Final Cut Pro X edit. If you would like to schedule a one-on-one with the experts at Lumberjack System, they have a booking page on their site.

I’ll update this post when I hear about more Final Cut related activities at IBC 2018.

If you haven’t registered for IBC 2018 yet, be quick – the free exhibition pass deadline is almost up.


Read more