Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Are we there yet?

The promised 'upgrade' for FCP X made a stealthy appearance, as promised for early 2012, in the App Store yesterday (UK).   There's also an upgrade for Motion - both are free,  (or rather, included in the price you've already paid for them) and both are hefty upgrades, weighing in at well over 1GB each.  So don't try this on a limited broadband tariff!
Promised features include FCP X 10.0.3 are multicam editing and, in beta form only, video output for monitoring - using one of several interface cards/boxes (AJA, Matrox).  The multicam looks promising - the FCP description page has links to a couple of videos, here.  If camera toys are your thing, then you'll enjoy the 'Multicam Demo Video' - I did.
I like the look of the multicam tool, especially the manual choice of sync mechanism (marker, timecode, audio etc).   Too early for me to have tried it, but it promises to be a distinct improvement over the previous method for syncing multiple tracks of audio.  (Which I found unintuitive and disappointing on a project this month).
Two caveats about the video monitoring output:  it'll only work when the manufacturer of the interface box has finalised their driver (currently no statement from Matrox for instance) and it'll be OS X Lion only.   This will delay my adoption for several weeks, while I finish off the current batches of work.  And do remember these are flagged as beta product.
Also in the mix is a rework of the XML that FCP X uses - we are promised a richer set of descriptions, which will make it possible to export a project to DaVinci Resolve for colour grading - and who knows, to Soundtrack Pro (or whatever next) for audio dubbing?   They haven't promised that, though.
This change to the XML means that existing FCP X projects (and I believe events) will have to be updated when opened in the new app - this will be a one-way trip of course.  Echoes of previous FCP version changes, of course.
And the upgraded XML means there's now a convertor app, 7toX, for importing FCP 7 projects (or at least their XML) into FCP X.   The app is available at the app store, it's from Philip Hodgett's company Intelligent Assistance and is a very reasonable £6.99 download.   It won't answer all your prayers, and may lead to a lot of time spent chasing and relinking media - but fills a vital need for just about everyone, I'd think.  Thanks to Nick btw, who was the first to spot the appearance of this app.
So the work continues to bring FCP X up to speed.   More chat and personal reviews no doubt at our next meet, Monday next (6th Feb) 13th Feb*, if you can make it through the streets of Bristol, currently twinned with Omsk, as far as the weather is concerned.

*We've had to postpone a week because of illness.