Archive for the ‘ Video Editing ’ Category

Final Cut Pro X update: 10.0.6

The new Final Cut Pro X update, 10.0.6

As if the new iMac, Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, plus the 4th generation iPad and the iPad mini weren’t enough, us FCP X pros got a ‘one more thing’ surprise when Philip Hodgetts tweeted that Apple has finally released the biggest update to Final Cut Pro X since January 31, 2012! Sure, we had some updates before NAB and in June when the 15-inch MBP with Retina display came out, but this is a big one! So what’s new?

Final Cut Pro X multichannel audio editing


  • Multichannel audio editing: Apple discussed this prior to NAB with Philip and Larry Jordan, and now it’s here! This is incredible: quickly expand or hide the audio control options right in the timeline, to help edit and mix your sound.
  • Dual viewers: We’ve been asking for it, and it’s here, the ability to pull up a second monitor whenever you wish, so you can see your raw footage, and still view your edits. Just like in FCP 1-7, the Viewer and Canvas, though I don’t believe they’re called that.
  • Unified import: This is awesome, because in today’s world, we’re shooting on different formats, like RED, Sony, Panasonic, DSLR, GoPro and more, plus from other drives and the network, all in one window.
  • Tons of RED support: Apple doesn’t just give us more RED support, they give us direct import and edit of native .r3d, convert it up to ProRes 4444 or down to ProRes Proxy, the ability to work with the new RED Meizler Module and ProRes, REDCODE RAW, RED ROCKET for faster renders, trancodes and encodes and more.
  • Extremely awesome (and streamlined) share options: This is just incredible, because while I do like the share options, this makes it easy and still powerful and customizable, to share your video projects just about anywhere!
  • MXF support: Works with third-party apps to allow you to edit native MXF.
  • The return of copy and paste attributes (!!): One of my favorite features in the previous versions of FCP, I loved to copy and paste specific attributes, like filters, settings, etc., then paste to specific clips.
  • And more!

The new share window in Final Cut Pro X really is streamlined

I highly recommend checking out Apple’s page on the major new updates, and also the full specs. FCP X 10.0.6, Motion 5.0.5 (open multiple projects and switch, copy and paste easily, better anti-aliasing, faster load times) and Compressor 4.0.4 (enhanced share for MBP with Retina display, stability improvements) are free updates for existing users. You can still try FCP X for free for 30 days by clicking here. Be sure to read Philip’s review here.

How to Get Great Audio in iMovie ’11

I have a new article at Macworld about using iMovie ’11 to get better audio in your video and film projects. There are plenty of great sound tools in iMovie ’11, and good audio is very important. If you decide you want to step up to better audio mixing, then take a look at Final Cut Pro X. Check out my article on getting great audio in iMovie ’11 at Macworld!

Hellevator, My New Short Film Written By Comic Book Legend David Michelinie

Greg Nappo as Jordan

It’s my first film in over 5 years, Hellevator is finally done! A little backstory: I asked David Michelinie (comic book creator on Iron Man — with Bob Layton, Amazing Spider-Man and more) if he’d like to write a short film for me. He sent me the script for Hellevator, a film that takes place mostly in one location, an elevator. Greg Nappo, a fantastic actor I’ve worked with in several films, took the lead role as high-strung sales executive Jordan Marley, and we shot the film in a studio, in front of a green screen.

Jeremiah Hall handled the visual effects (Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Boris FX), I cut the short film in Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5, and Grant Balfour composed the music score and provided sound effects. Check out the Facebook page here.

Here’s a clip from the film, which I hope to get into film festivals and some local, South Florida screenings:

Happy Birthday Final Cut Pro X!

Editing Hellevator in Final Cut Pro X

It was one year ago that Final Cut Pro X launched (along with Motion 5 and Compressor 4) to hype and, yes, controversy. Even I was hesitant, but with each update (including the biggies like 10.0.1 and 10.0.3), FCP X got more and better features, and of course 7toX made our lives easier, helping us translate FCP 6 and 7 projects over to FCP X. Even the latest update, 10.0.5, adds more stability and allows you to edit in full HD 1080p on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, without going to fullscreen.

I have been using the app pretty much exclusively since 10.0.3 and 7toX came out, and I won’t go back to FCP legacy. I recently finished editing my latest short film Hellevator (more on that soon) in FCP X (which helped me learn this great app), and I’m really excited about the upcoming features Apple talked about in special NAB meetings. FCP X is a professional non-linear editing app that has changed everything I do when I cut. The features are incredible, including the meta data, keywords, smart collections, skimmer, magnetic timeline, Roles, multicam, third-party apps and more. Editing, sound and color, all in one app! And Motion 5 and Compressor 4 aren’t half bad.

Check out’s timeline of FCP X history since it changed everything on June 21, 2011. And download and try out FCP X today, you’ll be surprised!

Apple Details Final Cut Pro X 10.0.5 Update And MacBook Pro With Retina Display

Apple updated their Final Cut Pro X page, and under the “What’s New” section, they offer some details on the 10.0.5 update, and how it works with their new MacBook Pro with Retina display. In addition to beautiful, 2880 x 1800, 5.1-million pixel screen, you’ll be able to edit and view in full-resolution 1080p video in the viewer, without having to open it for full screen playback. You can view it while in your normal FCP X workspace.

Thanks to the standard flash drive, fast RAM (up to 16GB), and faster Intel Core i7 processors, up to 2.7 GHz, this baby is lightning quick, so it can handle multistream and multicam smoother and faster than on other systems. According to Apple, the throughput is up to 500 MBps, so you can edit up to 9 streams of ProRes video at 1080p resolution, or four streams of 8-bit uncompressed 1080p video. Wow! This system is a BEAST! The rest of the details go back to the 10.0.3 update in late January 2012.

I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, with 16GB of RAM, and put it through its paces with FCP X 10.0.5, along with Motion 5.0.4 and Compressor 4.0.4. Check out all the “What’s New” details on Apple’s FCP X page.

Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 Updated

As I speculated, Final Cut Pro X is getting an update to 10.0.5, and Motion 5 and Compressor 4 are getting updated, too. Looks like a minor update, to add stability and allow Apple’s NLE and motion graphics apps to be viewed on the new Retina Display MacBook Pro. It’s a pretty cool update, if you think about it — how about full-resolution 1080p video display in FCP X?! iPhoto is also being updated, so I’m sure we’ll see some other Mac apps getting updated, too, for the Retina Display MBP. Also, the Compressor 4.0.4 update also “resolves a stability issue that could occur when selecting the Publish to YouTube job action from the Inspector.” The iPhoto update now supports AVCHD, how about that?!

What the Mac App Store Showed Me (Click for larger)

The Mac Pro Isn’t Dead, But It Only Gets Small Update

Looks like the rumors were slightly true about a new Mac Pro, but not entirely. Apple has updated the processors to the latest Xeon Intel E5 technology (check out the specs):

  • The option to get two six-core processors now at 3.06 GHz X5675, up from 2.93 GHz.
  • Dual six-core Intel E5645 Westmere-EP 2.4 GHz processors, or you can go with 2.66 GHz or the above-mentioned 3.06 GHz.
  • Single quad-core is an Intel Xeon W3565 at 3.2GHz, up from 2.8 GHz if I’m not mistaken, or you can choose a six-core processor at 3.33 GHz.

Unfortunately, the graphics cards are the same, an AMD Radeon 5770 or 5870, but you can buy a new one, if you’d like, from a third-party vendor. However, there isn’t a Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 option available… But it’s still the fastest Mac, and one of the fastest desktops available. I’d love to try one out with Final Cut Pro X.

My friend Paul (a film and TV editor) speculates that Apple could be using the processor updates to help get rid of stock hanging around, which might explain the lack of additional hardware updates. They can probably add the processors without much of a change, if at all, to the logic board. But part of me thinks MAYBE there will be a bigger update, perhaps in 2013. Or maybe a major iMac update with a retina display soon? For now, Apple introduced its new .71-inches thin MacBook Pro with Retina display. Now that’s a pro machine!

Source: The Verge, Apple’s Store

New Apple Hardware Includes New Line Of Thin MacBook Pros With Retina Displays

Today at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple did some major updates to its line of hardware, updating the MacBook Air (and dropping the price), the standard MacBook Pro line, and introducing a brand new, thinner MacBook Pro line with Retina display, which Apple is calling their new ‘flagship line.’ Editing in Final Cut Pro X at 1080p on this 15.4-inch laptop will look great, as will photos in Aperture (both apps will be updated to the Retina display of 2880 x 1800, nearly 5.2 million pixels). The laptop will be pricey, starting at $2199, so this is a workstation-style laptop, aimed at the video editors, Photoshop and Aperture users and graphics/animation designers. All on sale as of today! By the way, looking at Apple’s MBP page, it’s appearing that the 17-inch MBP is history…

This new, thinner MBP also features up to a quad-core i7 2.7 GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, next-gen graphics (Kepler graphics, GeForce GT 650M with 1GB VRAM), HDMI out, two (!!) Thunderbolt adapters, USB 3 and 2, great speakers, and more. It’s .71-inches thin! Solid State Drives, too (SSD), up to 768GB, battery life up to seven days, 30 days in standby mode. Check out more photos and video at doddleNEWS.

Apple is teasing that a ‘major’ update to Aperture is coming, and we’re coming up on the first anniversary of FCP X’s release. Larry Jordan got some inside scoops from Apple on the next FCP X update, including a built-in audio mixer, dual-viewer, RED support and more. I’m guessing this FCP X update with higher resolution for the retina display will include the new features and improvements Apple talked to Larry about.

Yes, there was a Mac Pro update, but it was VERY minor, blink-or-you’ll-miss-it. Basically, according to The Verge, they bumped up the option of two six-core processors from 2.93 GHz to 3.06 GHz. No Thunderbolt, etc. And some other, minor processor updates, too, bringing the tech to the latest Intel processors.

Apple also introduced some adapters, including a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt, and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet. iOS, hardware-wise (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Apple has sold 365 million units up to March 2012. Think about that for a minute, just astounding!

They previewed more of Mountain Lion which will debut on the Mac App Store July 2012 for $19.99 (!!), and the upcoming iOS 6 (Siri is improved AND can launch apps and will run on iPads, YES!), both of which look great. iOS 6 will debut this fall 2012, likely when the rumored iPhone 5 will be released. I’m pumped about these new, thinner MacBook Pros running Mountain Lion, I bet editing in FCP X will be a dream! Also, there are 125 million iCloud users, which is stunning. Notifications (like Growl, which I love), dictation coming to Macs, new version of Safari (I quickly adopted the beta back in 2003, that’s how much I wasn’t interested in Internet Explorer), tighter integration with Twitter, Facebook and other services, and more. Plus, their new and amazing maps/Flyover app, with 3D city models and turn-by-turn navigation.

Final Cut Pro X Third-Party Plug-Ins And Apps

Richard Townhill, Apple’s senior director of applications marketing, told me that Final Cut Pro X has a great number of developers onboard, and the floodgates have truly opened, and there are a growing number of fantastic third-party plug-ins and apps for Final Cut Pro X. They specialize in utilities, sync tools, color grading and effects, video effects, video transitions and audio effects and titles. I wanted to create a place to find out more information, along with links. I’ll be adding to it as the number of supported plug-ins and apps grows, and if I miss any, please leave a comment and I’ll add them in. Without further delay:

It’s always best to start at the official Apple Final Cut Pro X resources page, which has links to training, more information and, of course, third-party plug-ins and apps. Be sure to visit here often to see what’s new.

FCP X Utilities

1. 7toX, Intelligent Assistance: An affordable third-party app that will successfully take your FCP 7 and 6 projects in FCP X.

2. Xto7, Intelligent Assistance: A third-party app that will move your FCP X projects to FCP 7 and later versions. It’s a bit pricier than 7toX.

3. Event Manager X, Intelligent Assitance: Hide and show your FCP X Events and Projects.

4. Pro Maintenance Tools, Digital Rebellion. This is the entire suite of Final Cut Pro utilities, now optimized for FCP X. They include Autosave Manager, Compressor Repair, CS Repair (for Adobe Premiere Pro), FCS Remover (easy way to remove FCP and Final Cut Studio from your system), Housekeeper, MC Repair (for Avid Media Composer), Plug-ins Manager, Preference Manager, Project Repair, System Toolkit, XML Repair and more. Much more. Make sure you visit their site for information, plus some of the apps are available separately.

5. CatDV, Square Box Systems: Manage your media assets, especially when you’re dealing with different types of media and multiple platforms.

6. ClipExporter, MindTransplant. A very affordable app that allows you to export projects or specific clips as reference movies, for visual effects work. You can save them as QuickTime reference movies, Nuke files or Syntheyes files. Check out for more info.

7. Cut Notes for iPad, and Cut Notes Marker Importer, Digital Rebellion. If you’re handwriting timecode (“paper edits”), this is pretty awesome, plus you can take notes and much more. The free Cut Notes Marker Importer plug-in will import the timecodes into FCP X (click for details).

8. Disksomnia, Digital Heaven. Stop your hard drives from spinning down and going to sleep while you’re editing in Final Cut Pro X.

9. Pro Versioner, Digital Rebellion: I love Digital Rebellion’s utilities, and this professional back-up software will keep versions of your FCP X, FCP 6/7, Avid, etc., project files with a screen capture, so you can easily see which version is which, Cover Flow-style.

Sync Tools and Dialogue Search

1. PluralEyes, Singular Software: The best way to sync multicam clips of video and audio, making it much easier to edit. Check out my review here.

2. DualEyes, Singular Software: A stand-alone app that will sync your DSLR video and audio recorded externally.

3. Boris Soundbite, powered by Nexidia, Boris FX: This is the app EVERYONE needs if you’re transcribing interviews, dialogue, etc. Don’t spend hours going through footage, marking timecodes, etc., when Boris Soundbite can do it for you, and import an XML file into Final Cut Pro X, 7/6 or Premiere Pro. Read my review here.

Color Grading and Correction

1. Levels and Curves Filter Pack, Nattress: I love Graeme Nattress’ filters, and this is only the beginning of his support for FCP X. This plug-in allows you to adjust the levels and curves of your footage, and it’s flexible, powerful and professional. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to try and purchase. Also works with Motion 3-5 and After Effects.

2. DaVinci Resolve and the free DaVinci Resolve Lite, Blackmagic Design: It really is the pinnacle of color grading. Find out the difference between the two here. Please note that you’ll need a quality graphics card to use either version.

3. Magic Bullet Looks 2, Red Giant Software: One of the absolute best set of color grading and effects tools, designed by the Red Giant team and legendary filmmaker and colorist Stu Maschwitz.

4. ToneGrade, CrumblePop: Easily add in HDR tone mapping to your video.

5. Finisher, CrumblePop: A quality image finishing tool, to correct skin tones, latitude and more.

6. Planiotype, CrumblePop: Add a platinum photographic look to your footage.

7. Noire Moderne, CrumblePop: The name says it all, and Noire Moderne makes it easy to create stylized, atmospheric looks for your video.

8. Tonalizer/VFX PRO, Irudis: Excellent tonal enhancer and fine-tuning tool. They also have a free version, too, Tonalizer/VFX Lite.

9. Yanobox Moods. A color correction plug-in that features a heads up display (HUD), also works with Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.

10. White Balance Plugin, FCPeffects: A nifty and affordable plugin to easily white balance your footage if it’s too blue, orange, etc.

11. Beauty Box 2, Digital Anarchy: Easily and professionally smooth out the skin and features of your cast and models, especially with the latest high-resolution cameras debuting in all their digital sharpness glory. Can you say 6K?!

Video Effects and Film Grain

1. Sapphire Edge Video and Visual Effects, GenArts: Over 350 image presets, transitions and more.

2. ShrinkRay X, CrumblePop: Make landscapes and other shots look miniature. It’s pretty popular in photography these days, and is also known as tilt-shift.

3. Lumineux, CrumblePop: Light leak effects.

4. SplitScreen X, CrumblePop: Create some cool split screen effects in FCP X.

5. Paul Imimiter’s Dacar, CrumblePop: Light leaks and lens flares, created with an old lens. Pretty cool and a must-have for JJ Abrams’ next film!

6. Twixtor, Re:Vision Effects: Perhaps the most famous way to control the speeds and change frame rates (including the difficult 30p to 24p) of your footage, now available for FCP X.

7. DH_BoxX, Digital Heaven: Create split-screen effects in FCP X and Motion 5.

8. DH_ReincarnationX, Digital Heaven: Dead pixels show up with any camera, including DSLR. This plug-in will fix up to two dead pixel areas, for FCP X and Motion 5.

9. Damage v2.5, Digieffects: You can do a lot of “destruction” of your project in FCP with Damage, including putting in scratches, overexposure, film grain, interference and more. Works with FCP X and Motion 5.

10. Delirium, Digieffects: Create all sorts of cool visual effects for your video projects, including rain, fireworks, color effects, distortion, moods (like lighting, glow, etc.) and a set of compositing tools.

11. bounceIt! and springIt!, ReelPath: These two plug-ins were designed exclusively for Final Cut Pro X, by one of the guys who used to work on the FCP team (read the details here). You can use these plug-ins to create bouncing or springing effects to photos and video. I’d even argue that they’re good for video transitions between photos, too.

12. ParticleMetrix, Idustrial Revolution. Transform video or text into particles, including fire, burn, snow, trail and more. Uses FxFactory.

13. Volumetrix 2, Idustrial Revolution. A lot of really cool video effects, including light effects, transitions, titling and more. I have used Volumetrix in the past and enjoyed it. Uses FxFactory.

14. Grunge Collection, Luca Visual Effects. Cool overlays and transitions, with some cool, funky textures and more. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.

15. Film Leaders, Luca Visual Effects. Pretty cool film leaders and grungy titling. Uses FxFactory.

16. IndieScans. Add in film grain to your project in FCP X, including 35mm, 16mm and Super-8mm. (I would’ve loved the Super-8 back in 1999-2001 when I was cutting my film Skye Falling; I was aiming for a Super-8 look, or reverse black-and-white and color 16mm.)

17. LightPack, SUGARfx. Very cool lens flares and other lighting effects. Uses FxFactory.

18. Viewfinder HUD, SUGARfx. Create cool heads up displays (HUD) and other FX, like night vison goggles’ POV. Uses FxFactory.

19. LensPack, SUGARfx. These are really cool effects that look like you’re using different types of lenses, such as a soft lens, broken lens and more. Uses FxFactory.

20. Light Kit, Luca Visual FX. Create light leaks in your footage. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.

21. Sprokets Slip, Luca Visual FX. Make your footage look like it’s film having trouble going through a projector. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.

22. Light Leaks, Luca Visual FX. Create different styles of looks with your footage. Uses FxFactory. Also for Motion 5 and After Effects.

23. 3D Perspective Plugin, FCPeffects: An affordable 3D video manipulator, so you can manipulate your video to a variety of angles and perspectives.

24. Cinema Film Grain, FCPeffects: An affordable 35mm film grain solution for your film.

25. Better Black & White Plugin, FCPeffects: FCPeffects argues their black & white plug-in is better than any others, and judging from their sample videos, it is pretty cool.

26. Miniaturize, FCPeffects: An affordable tilt-shift plug-in that will make your video look like miniatures. Very popular in photography, and only getting more popular in video production.

27. BPM Plugin, FCPeffects: It will make your video cut and even move to the music you add in.

28. Pan and Zoom Plug-in: Pretty cool plug-in that doesn’t require keyframing, so you can do some fancy photo and image movement in FCP X (Motion 5 and After Effects, too), much like the Ken Burns Effect, but it’s pretty cool. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to use the plug-in, which is free at the moment.

29. Keynotopia: iPhone, Facebook, iPad, Android, etc., graphics that you can edit, so you don’t have to pain-stakingly create these graphics for a client. Since they’re graphics, they work with FCP X, Motion 5, After Effects, etc.

30. Callouts, Ripple Training: That’s right, Ripple Training, who I use to learn FCP X (along with Larry Jordan), have created a plug-in. Callouts lets you easily create arrows, pointers, etc., in your project without having to resort to creating it by hand.

31. Film Stocks, Digital Film Tools: Tons of awesome film stocks to add grain, etc., to your project.

Video Transitions

1. Film Transitions, Nattress: Recently announced, film-quality transitions to enhance your project in FCP X. You’ll need FxFactory from Noise Industries to try and purchase. Also works with Motion 4 and 5, and After Effects.

2. Transimatic Transitions, SquidFX and CrumblePop: Quality video transitions for FCP X.

3. FCP X Transitions Pack 1, Digital Heaven. Their first set of cool transitions, including lens flair, camera shutter and more. Only five, but very affordable.

4. XEffects Tech Transitions, Idustrial Revolution. A set of really cool FX transitions. More are coming soon. Uses FxFactory.

5. FxTiles, Boinx and Noise Industries. Cool tile transitions and video effects, also for Motion 5 and After Effects. Uses FxFactory.

6. Patterns, SUGARfx: Create cool transitions that, as wrote, are like the old A/B deck editors from years past.

Video Titles

1. Punchline Titles and Transitions, SUGARfx: Professional titling and transition plug-in, to create dynamic, animated titles.

2. Titler Pro, NewBlue: A pretty nice and professional titling plug-in, though it’s priced a bit high. But it is an impressive titler.

3. Crawling Text Plugin, FCPeffects: An affordable and easy way to create a professional end credits crawl.

4. Rolling Credits, SUGARfx: Another quality plug-in to easily create end movie credits. Check out a tutorial here.


1. Stereo3D Toolbox, Dashwood Cinema Solutions: My old friend and colleague Tim Dashwood’s plug-in suite of 3D tools for FCP X, Motion 5 and After Effects is outstanding. He offers other great products, tutorials and more on his website.

2. Stereo3D Toolbox LE (Lite Edition), Dashwood Cinema Solutions: A “lighter” version of Tim Dashwood’s plug-in 3D suite.

Video Encoding

1. Squeeze 8, Sorensen. Now supports Apple’s excellent ProRes format. It’s pricey though…

Audio Effects and Tools

1. X2Pro Audio Convert, Marquis Broadcast: Convert your Final Cut Pro X projects to finish your audio in Avid’s Pro Tools. A must-have app for the major audio editors out there, using FCP X and Pro Tools.

Motion 5 Plug-Ins: These are mainly or only for Motion 5. Some of the plug-ins above work in Motion, as well, but I didn’t want to double-post, so I made sure to indicate if it’s supported.

1. motionVFX Motion 5 Templates: A whole bunch of high resolution, animated templates for Motion 5. Very professional work here.

Big hat tip to for posting up links and info to many of these plug-ins and apps.