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Apple unveils Final Cut Pro X with new UI, OpenCL

updated 10:25 pm EDT, Tue April 12, 2011

Apple confirms Final Cut Pro X

Apple used the FCPUG Supermeet at NAB to unveil Final Cut Pro X, a completely remade version of its pro video editing suite. The new version is designed for 64-bit and native Cocoa language from the start with support for OpenCL to accelerate video processing tasks. The new code is much more efficient and will render in the background, letting users edit even as they're importing a project.

Increased performance comes partly from improved core management and lets it take up to a 4K video stream natively, clean up audio automatically, and detect shots on import. Users shouldn't be locked into editing in fixed resolutions or even necessarily transcoding to harmonize formats.

The new app has non-destructive, automatic color balance using ColorSync and can merge different resolutions and codecs relatively easily. A fully floating point-based, linear light point system gives it precision sampling. Its interface takes some cues from iMovie with thumbnails of video in the timeline, image stabilization and even face detection, but with the precision timeline and controls of a pro app.

A handful of special specific features have come into play. Smart Collections are new and bring a playlist-like way of automatically pooling together certain clip types. Magnetic timelines prevent two items from conflicting with each other; they can automatically move into new layers. An inline precision editor, again partly influenced by iMovie, helps show the exact break between transitions and clips. Experimentation is also encouraged through auditioning, a feature that lets users make A or B decision options without having to create new sequences.

Footage can be organized through keywords and is given a visual aid through the filmstrip, which like in iMovie lets them wave over to quickly find video visually in all the footage associated with a project. A new Second Stories tool let videographers edit B-roll more simply.

Keyframes themselves have been improved and will now auto-keyframe for audio as well as motion effects.

Apple is making the app available in June and will let users download it directly through the Mac App Store. Pricing has also been simplified and greatly reduced: the stand-alone app will be available for $299.

Video via Rob Imbs

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    your comment

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    buh bye Premiere

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more questions than answers..

    1. Is the $299 for FC or FCS (Final Cut or Final Cut Studio)

    2. Will existing plug-ins work (I'm assuming not, but was it even discussed?)

    3. What about updates to the other Studio Apps? (iTunes Extras authoring support? distributed rendering/compressing over multiple macs?)

    That's just off the top of my head...

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I would guess

    $299 for standalone Final Cut, but at least you have that option now.

  1. aczeisler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Final Cut Express users out of luck!

    There is no upgrade path for us Final Cut Express users to upgrade to Final Cut Pro. If there is, let me know.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this will really help drive video content creation. More video content = better world for Apple.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: strategic!

    Yes, because, as we know, there is a dearth of video out there in the world.

  1. webraider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DVD Studio

    Okay but what about the rest of the package? Will DVD studio inherit BluRay capabilities???

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    FCPX is...

    ..alone for the moment. $299 for FCPX upgrade. I guess the team is slaving over the other components-- they weren't mentioned--so it's going on sale alone, like in the early days.

    As a pro editor for three decades, now heavily invested in Avid's and FCP's interface, I get *really* grumpy when I see Cool Demos of Eye Candy interfaces. But I have recently been informed that if you like, you can cut just the way you did in FCP7, which sounds like the saner elements at Apple holding sway over the "visionaries."

    And who knows, there may be value to working a different way. And I will surely investigate it when time pernits. Meanwhile, it sounds like you can upgrade and go to work and let those Cool Demo points slip into the workflow at your own pace, so you can enjoy multicore-aware 64-bit tastiness, real-time open format wonderfulness

    Just get rid of the iMovie thumbnails...

  1. erics

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AmaXing :)

    After a few days at NAB and trying out all the options (NLE/Finishing/Color,etc) I welcome the new FCP gui :)
    I was second row at SuperMeet and saw Randy work the interface flawlessly.
    Folks its the future deal with it.
    If your a real professional then you have experienced change for the the worse/better.
    For 299 you can forget about Express. If you feel you've been shortchanged then its time to get out of the biz.
    I bought Electric Image at 12k (eons ago) and I didnt even flinch when it died at 200$ (or close).

    The future looks bright folks :)

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