Need to restore a backup or import a project from another system into FCPX? It's not as simple as it seems at first glance. You would think that you could just double-click the project file but that produces the following error:
Final Cut Pro X is expecting projects to be contained in a folder inside your Final Cut Projects directory (or Final Cut Events if you are importing an event). The default locations of these folders are in ~/Movies.
To successfully import these files, you must create a new directory inside your Final Cut Projects or Final Cut Events folder and then copy the project to this new directory. FCPX will determine the project name from the name of the directory but the project file does not need to have the same name.
It's also worth noting that there is a difference between double-clicking an XML file and importing it via File > Import > XML.
Double-clicking seems to import the file without modifying it, so you will get errors if a project already exists with this ID or the event is not in the exact location as specified in the XML file. However, if you import it via File > Import > XML, it is more intelligent and will assign a new ID if necessary and find the new location of the event if it has changed.
Until recently, most of our users were still using Snow Leopard. Then suddenly a massive switch occurred and a majority upgraded to Lion. This may have been because applications like Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer now require Lion or it may have been because the MobileMe shutdown forced people onto iCloud.
Whatever the reason, here are some tips for making 10.7 or 10.8 more welcoming for a 10.6 user.
Works on: 10.7+
Works on: 10.7+
Works on: 10.7+
You can also set it to default to the home folder by going to the General tab and choosing your home folder in the "New Finder windows show" popup.
You may also like to show your hard drives and DVDs on the Desktop, which can be set from the General tab.
Works on: 10.7+
However, in practice, these options have never worked reliably for me and applications will often try to restore old windows regardless. I therefore close windows manually before quitting an application and this fixes the problem.
Works on: 10.7+
Works on: 10.8+
Works on: 10.8+
Here is a tip for removing the icon completely but you should do it at your own risk.
Works on: 10.8+
Works on: 10.8+
Today Apple released Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 which offers several new features such as multicam and broadcast monitoring (beta) that were previously missing.
Looking through the details, it's hard to find anything that would appeal to consumers and it is clear that this is an attempt by Apple to appease at least some of the pros. My first reaction (and the reaction of a lot of people on Twitter) was that this was the version Apple should have released back in June.
Here are some of the features I found interesting:
That doesn't make it a perfect tool for the professional broadcast / film industries of course. I really can't see EDL support ever being added, nor support for broadcast tape capture. But over time I think this will matter less and less. Case in point: I'm working on a feature right now and was very surprised when the post house asked me to deliver the Final Cut Pro 7 project for grading / mixing instead of EDLs and OMF.
I think Apple is very much gambling on the future here and I am definitely considering looking into it for short form work.
Update: Larry Jordan offers more info on the differences between FCP7 and FCPX's multicam implementation. Thanks Larry!
FCP 7 would LINK up to 128 cameras in a multicam clip, however you could only view 16 of them. FCP X links and allows you to view up to 64 clips at once, by switching between up to four banks of 16 cameras each. Also, edits can be made in real-time or by positioning the playhead.
There are widespread reports of problems with the latest version of QuickTime (QuickTime 7.7 on Leopard and QuickTime 7.6.6 build 1787 on Snow Leopard and Lion). This update is installed as part of Security Update 2011-006 for Snow Leopard and OS X 10.7.2 for Lion.
(The security update is the most likely culprit but it may alternatively have been caused by the iTunes 10.5 update that was released at the same time.)
The problems include:
Several people have been getting the message "An invalid public movie atom was found in the movie" when playing back in QuickTime Player. Final Cut Pro will either crash or display a white screen.
This seems to especially affect HDV files created by Focus Enhancements storage products. Focus has acknowledged the issue here (PDF).
The recommended solution is to downgrade QuickTime or restore an earlier version of your system from a backup or clone.
Matt Geller of Meta Media Creative came up with another way of solving the problem. Replace the following files with the versions from a computer without Security Update 2011-006 installed (or alternatively extract them using Pacifist):
Reboot your computer and the problem should be solved. Remember to make a backup of the files you replace, just in case.
Related forum threads:
Apple Discussions: Invalid public movie atom was found in movie
Apple Discussions: Help!!! Upgrading to iTunes 10.5 has destroyed all video in Final Cut Pro
Apple Discussions: Problems after QuickTime 7.7 update
DV Info: Public atom?
LAFCPUG: Invalid public movie atom was found in movie
Some people have had problems with Compressor, Cinema Tools, Final Cut Pro and QuickTime Player crashing at startup.
The crash log says:
Dyld Error Message:
Symbol not found: _ValidateAudioChannelLayout
Referenced from: /Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeComponents.component/Contents/MacOS/QuickTimeComponents
Expected in: /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickTime.framework/Versions/A/QuickTime
To fix this, copy /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeComponents.component to ~/Library/QuickTime, overwriting the existing file in that location. Backup the file before you do this.
If you are using Lion, your user Library directory will be hidden by default. Use System Toolkit to make it visible.
Because of these issues, I would recommend steering clear of the latest security and iTunes updates on your editing machine, especially if you're using Focus Enhancements products. Anyone with this issue should notify Apple so they understand how widespread the problem is.
Apple released a Final Cut Pro X update today which added several much-needed features, one of which was XML import and export. I've seen a lot of confusion on Twitter so I'm going to clarify some terminology.
XML is a format for ordering data within a file. XMEML is a subset that Final Cut Pro 7 and below uses for creating a plain-text version of a Final Cut Pro project or sequence that other applications can read. The data is ordered in much the same way as it is within the project file, with the browser contents at the top, followed by the sequences, tracks and the media within.
FCPXML is the new subset for Final Cut Pro X. It is organized in the way FCPX organizes its data internally, which is completely different from the Final Cut Pro 7 way. You have resources at the top (all files and generators within the project) followed by a single sequence with the storylines and clips inside. There are no tracks and each clip is organized into a parent-child relationship rather than chronological order. Timing information such as in and out points are expressed in time units rather than frame units.
So the two formats are completely different and there is no way to directly import FCP 7 XMEML into Final Cut Pro X or vice versa. Apple seems to be leaving this up to third-parties. DaVinci Resolve supports FCPXML and XMEML so it may be possible to convert one to the other (I haven't tested this). Some features will not translate back and forth because they don't exist in the other application.
Currently XML in and out exists only as a menu command. There is no way for applications to automatically communicate with FCPX at this time. Update: Apple just confirmed you can programatically send an XML file to FCPX but there is no way of receiving XML data yet. It is also not possible to update an existing project - importing or sending an XML file will create new projects and events.
Also note that for some reason, you can't export project-based XML when the project is loaded. You have to go back to the Project Library, select the project name and then export the XML.
As you may know, lack of XML in and out prevented us from granting feature parity with Final Cut Pro 7 users in Pro Media Tools and our other products. We're going to begin integrating support in stages, so expect updates very soon.
Update: It would appear that the XML export function in its current implementation doesn't preserve important information, which is a problem when roundtripping. We still aim to support it in our applications and hopefully these issues will be addressed by Apple very soon.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was released earlier today. I've heard a couple of people say they're not enthusiastic about it and, with features like Autosave and Launchpad, it's mainly geared at consumers. I completely disagree and here's my list of five features that are great for editors and video professionals (in no particular order).
Even in the 21st century, many people I know still use good old Sneakernet to distribute files between computers. People still use such a low-tech method of transferring files because the machines don't need to be networked to each other, there's no setup process and you're not opening yourself up to potential security issues (assuming the files and the drive are virus-free, of course).
AirDrop allows you to send files to people physically located nearby who are not necessarily on the same Wi-Fi network. When you want to send a file to someone, both of you click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar and you then drag the file onto the person's name. If they accept the file, it is encrypted and sent directly to their Downloads folder.
You only appear to other users on the network if you have the AirDrop folder open. This provides greater privacy and security than having regular file sharing running constantly.
Every Mac now has the potential to be a server for just $50, giving you a great deal of control over your system and the users that access it.
Lion now includes Xsan, a network file system popular with video editors. This used to cost $999 so it's a huge saving for large installations.
Love it or loathe it, you can't deny that Final Cut Pro X is built on a great technical foundation. AV Foundation ships with Lion and allows developers to utilize the same technology in their applications. It's something we plan to explore to improve future versions of Pro Media Tools.
It's also worth noting that the QuickTime 7 API is still there so existing QuickTime applications will continue to work. Final Cut Pro 7 runs just fine in Lion.
This feature has been part of Windows for decades and I'm surprised it's taken this long to make it to the Mac. If you drag a folder onto another folder with the same name, it now gives you the option to merge the two together. This is a huge timesaver.
We're big fans of incremental backups, which is why we created FCP Versioner. It's great to see something similar included in the OS for applications that support it.
Other nice features include the ability to encrypt an entire drive without a perceptible performance drop (according to Apple's marketing), OpenGL 3.2, Resume and Time Machine local snapshots, for recovering files when you're on the road without your Time Capsule or backup drive.
Lion seems faster too - I've seen noticeable performance improvements in all of our applications when run under Lion.
Of course, there are downsides too. Firstly, it's only available from the Mac App Store. If you are running OS X 10.5 Leopard, you will need to first upgrade to 10.6 Snow Leopard in order to access the store and download Lion. Apple will be selling Lion USB keys for $69 in August for users on Leopard or without broadband internet access.
Secondly, Rosetta is dead. This means that applications built for PowerPC computers will not work on Lion, including the Final Cut Studio 2 installer.
Thirdly, for some reason Apple decided to invert scrolling in Lion, meaning that dragging two fingers down scrolls up and vice versa. This would work well on a touchscreen but feels unnatural with a scroll mouse or trackpad. Fortunately it can be disabled in System Preferences but I don't know why Apple decided to make this the default.
Fourthly, features that some professionals have been demanding for a while, such as OpenGL 4.1, 10-bit monitor support and Blu-ray playback via third party drives still haven't materialized.
Overall, I think Lion is a step forward for professionals that provides much-needed additions to OS X. Driver and application support will likely take a while to catch up, despite the beta period, so as a rule I wouldn't recommend using it for professional use until the .3 or .4 update ships, even though I've actually found it to be quite stable in my testing.
A common problem on the Apple forums from Final Cut Pro X users has been the inability to hear audio from DV files imported from iMovie.
iMovie creates raw DV files (.dv) which contain video and audio data but no metadata or other information. It's essentially a DV QuickTime without the surrounding QuickTime structure.
This means that Final Cut Pro X can't find the audio because it's mixed in with the video data and there's no index or track structure to point it in the right direction.
To get around this, you must convert .dv files to QuickTime movies. Here's how to do it:
1. Open up the .dv file in QuickTime Player 7, which should be in your Applications/Utilities folder. If you don't have it on your system, you will need to install it from the Snow Leopard DVD.
2. Go to File > Save As and make sure the option to make a self-contained movie is checked.
3. Click Save. It shouldn't take very long because it is restructuring the data rather than recompressing it.
I have heard several people on Twitter say that they are thinking of switching to Adobe Premiere or Avid Media Composer after the release of Final Cut Pro X.
As we announced earlier this year, we will be releasing a new version of FCS Maintenance Pack soon called Pro Maintenance Tools. This will support Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro for Mac, so whatever decision you make we've got you covered.
And if you're an existing FCS Maintenance Pack customer who purchased the software on or after 1st February 2011, you will be eligible for a free upgrade to Pro Maintenance Tools upon release.
Are there features you like in Final Cut Pro X but wish they were in Final Cut Pro 7 or Adobe Premiere Pro? We've got you covered there too with Pro Media Tools.
Pro Media Tools adds support for Quick Bins (Apple calls these Clip Collections in FCPX) and you can see a complete overview of the media, effects and markers in Project Overview (Timeline Index in FCPX). Project Overview is more advanced than FCPX's Timeline Index because it allows batch modification of the data, printing, import and export to marker and Avid locator lists and more. A 15-day trial is available here.
We're interested to hear from anyone with requests for other Final Cut Pro X features they'd like to see ported to earlier versions or other NLEs.
I've already mentioned The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Final Cut Pro X but when it comes to developer features, there's a lot more to like.
Chris Kenny has been doing some delving and discovered that there are references to Python and AppleScript in the Final Cut Pro X app. This would be a big step up from the current method of sending commands via Apple Events.
There are also references to XML import and Final Cut Pro XML import, which implies that they will be two different formats. This makes sense, as the structure of FCPX projects has changed significantly (no more bins and no concept of tracks for instance) and there is a greater focus on metadata.
Neither of these are publicly accessible right now but they show that Apple has at least experimented with these functions and it is likely that they will be enabled in a future release. There has been speculation that import of FCP7 projects or XML may never come as the project formats are too different, but I think it's likely that we will at least see an FCPX-specific exchange format at some point in the future.
Final Cut Pro X now uses the Motion engine to render effects, which means that plugin output is now consistent between Final Cut Pro and Motion - something that was not the case in previous versions. Developers need to wrap their Motion plugins as Final Cut Effects in order for them to show up in Final Cut Pro X.
Other notable changes include more control over plugin user interfaces, support for multi-threading, keyframing, undo and bezier paths. These have been requested for a long time so it's great that they're now here. Thanks to Darrin Cardani and Paul Schneider at Apple for listening to the needs of developers.
Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 require plugins to be compiled as 64-bit so most users' plugins won't be compatible. This is only a temporary problem until plugin developers catch up and the benefits of a 64-bit environment and FxPlug 2.0 will make it worthwhile. (There are, of course, some bugs in the implementation as would be expected in a 1.0 release.)
Just before Final Cut Pro X was unveiled at NAB earlier this year, I wrote a post about my Top 5 Developer Requests for the Next Final Cut Pro.
Storing settings in preference lists was number one and, as expected, this was implemented. While the reasons for wanting it so badly (mainly for programmatically changing scratch disk locations) are less important in Final Cut Pro X, we can still do a lot of things with it.
Making the Final Cut Pro project format more open was second on the list. This one is a little more complex because on the one hand, it's in SQLite format which makes it readable by the sqlite3 Terminal command but on the other, Core Data assumes that no-one other than the owning application will ever touch those files and so it's very easy to corrupt it if you're not careful. Also, while the SQLite format offers some predictability, Apple are free to structure the database any way they see fit and change it without notice in future versions. I've written a basic filename parser but I'm going to wait for official documentation or an API before doing anything more substantial.
Third, fourth and fifth on the list were requests for more API control. This is not in the initial release of Final Cut Pro X and remains to be seen if it will be in future versions.
Of course, I wrote this on the assumption that FCPX wouldn't remove any developer features that were in the previous version. While the developer features are sparse in the current version, the future looks bright, especially as it appears that Apple is expecting third-party developers to fill in many of the gaps in FCPX's feature set.
This list will document the bugs in Final Cut Pro X as they become apparent.
This one is scary. There are several reports of people losing work due to FCPX's autosave function (which is the only way to save) not working.
When you add media from another drive and choose not to copy the files to your Final Cut Events folder, FCPX adds symbolic links to the Final Cut Events folder that point back to these files.
Some people have been reporting that they relaunched FCPX to find all of their media offline. When they looked in the Final Cut Events folder, FCPX had either deleted the symbolic links or failed to save them in the first place.
You can reconnect them by going to File > Import > Files but this causes another bug to surface: the files will always be copied to your Final Cut Events folder even if you deselect the option to do so.
Some people are reporting that Undo is disabled for them. What makes this an especially big problem is that FCPX saves automatically and so any mistakes they make are immortalized forever if they can't undo them.
There are reports of projects disappearing from the project library.
If you experience problems with media, I would recommend updating to OS X 10.6.8 which "Fixes an issue when importing certain media files into Final Cut Pro." I don't yet know if it solves these particular issues though.
Apple recommends only running FCPX on machines with one graphics card.
This can be caused by templates from previous versions of Motion residing in the ~/Library/Application Support/Motion folder. To get around this, move the templates from this folder. More info here.
This can happen if certain folders exist on the drive. The poster in this forum thread says folders called "private" and possibly "backup" can cause this issue:
I'd be interested to hear if anyone finds any other folders that can cause the drive to disappear in FCPX.
More bugs will be listed as they surface.