As part of the MacPro preview at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple mentioned that “The Final Cut Pro team is hard at work on a version of Final Cut Pro X that will support all the performance and graphics capabilities of this machine.”

The current version of Final Cut Pro is 10.0.9, so it looks like Apple is numbering Final Cut updates in the same way as OS X. Free updates are numbered in 10.X.1, 10.X.2, 10.X.3 format, major paid updates will numbered in 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 format. So Final Cut users expect the 10.1 update to be at least as radical as the difference between OS X 10.0 and 10.1. Also like OS X, non-users don’t expect Final Cut Pro X to be ready for prime time until version 10.2 at the earliest.

So the 10.1 update needs to

– Reassure current users that Final Cut Pro X is evolving quickly enough and is following the right path

– Convince users of other editing applications that Final Cut is a better solution than their current systems

– Sell the new MacPro (also a controversial product – because of upgradability and compatibility issues)

Since Final Cut Pro X was launched in July 2011, people have been pointing out missing features. More recently lists of missing features have become feature requests. For the canonical list, visit Richard Taylor’s FCPX.TV site for the Top 101+ Requests for Final Cut Pro X 10.1.

Beyond specific features, I’m also interested in four themes for 10.1:

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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: http://assistedediting.intelligentassistance.com/ProducersBestFriend/

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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My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday is three new free Final Cut Pro X plugins: Alex4D Pull Focus, Alex4D Transparent Blur and Alex4D Wide Angle Fix.

For more information and download links, visit my website: Alex4D.com


Here are videos showing some of what they can do:

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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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For the last 19 days I’ve been regularly tweeting using a new Twitter account: Plug4D.


I’m using the account to post information on free Final Cut Pro X plugins: free effects, titles, transitions and generators. My 72nd tweet links to a 100th plugin.

I don’t know how many free plugins there are out there for Final Cut, but at this rate, I’ll be tweeting for at least another month before I need to repeat myself.

Thanks to http://fcp.co for providing a forum where many plugin makers post links to free software for Final Cut Pro.

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 NeedCreative.com


My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday free Final Cut Pro X plugin is a graphic generator: Alex4D Shape Grid.

It draws a grid of shapes and animates the colours over time.

Here are the controls:


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My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday free Final Cut Pro X plugin is a lower third title: Alex4D Leaves.

It blows the letters onto the screen to form the title, and then blows them off.

Here are the controls:


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When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone 4 in March 2010, one of the big new features was a much higher resolution screen. The iPhone 3GS 3.5″ screen displayed 320 by 480 pixels. The new phone displayed 640 by 960 pixels in the same space. The number of pixels displayed per inch increased from 163ppi to 326ppi.

Developers didn’t have to change the layouts of their applications to run on the new phone. Instead of displaying 320 by 480 apps at half the size on the 640 by 960 screen, the new version of iOS used twice the pixels horizontally and vertically to show the same content. Since then developers have designed their iPhone apps to work on 320 point wide screens even though the vast majority of users will see them on 640 pixel wide screens.

Apple marketed this new screen as a ‘Retina display’. Apple later said that the definition of a  Retina display is a screen where individual pixels cannot be distinguished at a normal viewing distance. In the case of the new phone, it would have to have a screen resolution of at least 300ppi when used at a distance of 10-12 inches. The combination of figures is summarised as ‘Pixels per Degree’ – the number of pixels per degree as seen from a specific distance. 300ppi at 10″ equates at a PPD of 53. The iPhone resolution of 326ppi at 10″ has a PPD of 57.

Minutes after the launch, Apple fans started speculating when other products would get a Retina display update. The top of the range iPod Touch followed in September 2010. The iPad got a Retina display in March 2012, followed soon after by Retina MacBook Pros in June 2012.

With every new launch event, may hope for a Retina display as part of the specifications for new Apple products. But what does Retina mean for iMacs and desktop displays?

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