Logic Pro x

Links covering Final Cut Pro X 3D, Final Cut running on odd devices, Motion 5 animation, 4K, end credits …a Simon Ubsdell special.

3D competition

Last week I posted a link to some FxPlug test movies showing 3D model manipulation in Motion 5. This week it looks like motionVFX have upgraded their planned mExtrude plugin to do much more than extrude 2D text and logos.

This image shows a plugin working in Motion 5, it would take minutes to turn this into a plugin working in Final Cut Pro X:

Run Final Cut on your camera?

The problem some filmmakers have with DSLR rigs is that they are very unwieldy.

Here’s the tale of building a camera that pays homage to the revolutionary portable 16mm cameras of the 60s and 70s by incorporating a surprising ingredient:

Applifying Final Cut Pro X

With a subscription to Parallels Access, you can operate a copy of Final Cut Pro X on a remote Mac  using an iPad. Most reviewers say that it is better than previous remote access applications, but it is expensive – it is being sold as an $80 a year service instead of as a $25 iOS app.

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Links covering a new application from Intelligent Assistance, legacy Final Cut Studio tools, a 3D future, Final Cut Pro X 10.1 update price, the Amsterdam Supermeet, a step towards black level understanding and a free plugin maker for Final Cut Pro X who is known for his unconventional plugin names…

Producer’s Best Friend

Intelligent Assistance have launched a new tool: Producer’s Best Friend – which is secretly an editor’s best friend too.

It extracts lots of useful information from Final Cut Pro X projects and events. Timelines are stored in projects, content is stored in events.

Although Producer’s Best Friend can report on the majority of information manipulated by Final Cut Pro, it is limited to the information that can encoded in Final Cut’s XML format.

One of the features I’m looking forward to in 10.1 is an update the the XML format to include much more timeline information. That would support lots of interesting third-party applications:

Don’t forget Final Cut Studio!

Oliver Peters wrote a post reminding us that as well as pushing Apple to improve Final Cut Pro X, we shouldn’t forget the tools still available to us in Final Cut Studio.

We can still make advanced DVDs in DVD Studio Pro, fix many problems with Soundtrack Pro, do advanced colour grading in Color. We can even use Final Cut Pro 7 to save GB of disk space using its still more advanced media management tools. Every once in a while I like to have a little more control over my audio that X can provide, so I turn to Soundtrack Pro to sort things out – even now that Logic Pro X has arrived.

I’ll deem Final Cut Pro X a full success once we never need to turn to Final Cut Studio again!


SceneKit is the part of Mac OSX that can be used to create, modify and display manipulate 3D models. Apple provides kits like these to make it easier for developers to add 3D animation to their Mac applications (this article shows some of what it can do – in iOS apps as well).

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Links covering Logic Pro X, animation editing, Final Cut Pro X porn, Thunderbolt 2, XSan, plugin sharing, iMac video cards and the most prolific free plugin maker for Final Cut Pro…

Logic Pro X

Apple isn’t resting when it comes to updating Logic Pro X. The music production app was launched on July 16, even after a big bug fix  a couple of weeks ago, the 10.0.2 update has already appeared. To get the update, run the Mac App Store application.

The list of problems fixed so far:

Editing TV animation

Even amongst editors, the work of animation editors is mysterious. We know that in animation each frame counts, so we understand that editors must determine how shots will work together before they see the actual performances.

Judith Allen, who recently edited a children’s animation series for the BBC and worked on Aardman Animations Pirates! feature, is writing a series of blog posts going into detail on the workflow and responsibilities associated with editing a animated TV series.

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Recently Ben Consoli of Anticipate Media asked me to take part in the NeedCreative podcast.

My episode was published this week. My interview includes a brief history of my Final Cut Pro plugin creation adventures. Ben asked me to comment on what the launch of Logic Pro X means for users of Apple’s Pro Apps.

The episode also includes an interview with someone with much more Logic experience: Dot Bustelo – the author of books on music production using Logic Pro.

If you’d like to hear my interview, learn from Dot and hear up-to-date post production news,

subscribe to the podcast using iTunes

subscribe to the podcast using Stitcher Smart Radio

– or listen direct at


In April 2011 Apple surprised the world of post production when they showed a sneak peek of Final Cut Pro X at the NAB Supermeet. It was obvious that the next version of Final Cut Pro after version 7 was going to be a completely rewritten application – thowing out all previous code and many of the concepts that had worked well for Apple over the previous 12 years.

iMovie Pro?

When Final Cut Pro X was launched in June 2011, there were many shocks in store which included an inability to open previous projects, no tracks, many missing features, strange colour correction tools, no ‘source monitor’ and hardly any connectivity with other post apps. After looking at screenshots – which seemed to show much less complexity in the UI, much less congurability and clips that looked like friendly rounded corner tiles – many people dubbed Final Cut Pro X as iMovie Pro.

Although Final Cut was launched with updates for Motion and Compressor, many pros were left in limbo when it came to how to interpret what this change in direction meant.

Was Apple still interested in people using their software to produce broadcast TV and feature films? Had they conceded that market to Avid and Adobe? Did it show that Apple was going to be happy with prosumers. The huge market of talented people with small businesses who sometime might need a very easy to use but capable video editing software, but not for those that support themselves primarily by editing videos, TV shows and feature films.

As 2011 went on, there were few clues from Apple. However much Apple used the word ‘professional’ when promoting Final Cut Pro X, there were many that were unconvinced. How could ‘professionals’ consider an application that doesn’t fit into established workflows? Apple never properly explained the problem they seemed to have with track-based editing.

Eventually Apple broke with convention and previewed some of the features that they were planning in the next major update. The implementation of Multicam turned out to be more powerful and simpler to use than any other editing app. The source viewer wasn’t as full featured as many would like, and the updated XML import and export was a disappointment to many third-party developers.

The rate at which Final Cut has been updated has reduced in 2013, but the fact that they previewed a new Mac Pro in May gave some people hope that Apple were still interested in making hardware for ‘professionals.’

GarageBand Pro?

The launch of Final Cut Pro X also worried the users of Apple’s professional music app: Logic Pro. Many thought that if Apple followed the ‘Final Cut’ strategy with Logic, they would end up with Garageband Pro X: an dumbed down app for prosumers – which would make life easier for people who only need to work on music very once in a while.

An alternative possibility was that Apple would let Logic Pro wither and die – the last major version of the app appeared in July 2009. Was Apple happy with people buying old MacPros, putting them in studio racks and using four year old software?

Logic Pro X and what it might mean for Final Cut Pro X

Last weeks’ Logic Pro update provides us with some  clues about the future of Final Cut Pro. Remember that although features appearing in Logic Pro X may show that Apple aren’t against them in principle, the same features may never appear in Final Cut Pro X.

1. The Final Cut Pro UI is for professionals

Given that the early reviews of Logic Pro X  say that the user interface may have been redesigned, but it still gives users access to all the power that was available in version 9.1.X and more – while being easier to use. Video editors and motion graphics designers will find Logic easier to use.

This clue tells us that as well as supporting prosumers, the ‘Pro X’ apps are designed to be easier to use by post professionals who don’t spend all their time editing video (Final Cut) or making music (Logic). Perhaps Apple doesn’t believe in making apps hard to use so that only established pros in a discipline will want to use them.

However Apple still needs to show how not having track-based video editing provides so many advantages that it makes sense for editors who have trained how to edit over the last 25 years to learn a new editing metaphor (I wrote a post on this last year: Final Cut Pro X: Apple’s bet against track-based editing)


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