Post Production

Final Cut Pro X 10.4 announced and demoed at the FCPX Creative Summit

New VR features and proper color grading tools highlight the new features

If you happen to be in Cupertino at the Final Cut Pro X Creative Summit then you were the first to see the brand new Final Cut Pro X 10.4. I wasn’t there so I learned about it via Twitter. If you’re surprised by this you are not alone. While this isn’t the first time Apple has shown a new version of FCPX before it ships it’s the first time that Apple has showed an unreleased version of FCPX publicly while allowing people to take pictures and … gasp … tweet about it.

And so via the magic of Twitter and the wonder that is the internet we can all have a look at what’s to come in this new version of FCPX that is supposed to ship this year. Thanks to all those tweeting from the event and thanks to WordPress for making it easy to embed them.

What new features do we get?

UPDATED 10/30/17: More info on the new curves for color grading

There’s a ton of tweets below from Marc Bach who was at the Summit and answered a lot of questions. One thing we were tweeting about over the weekend was this rather unique feature that is coming to the curves in FCPX 10.4 that will allow for curves beyond the usual Red, Green and Blue curves. Depending on your eyedropper color selection the curves apparently can change color beyond RGB to reflect that color. This image below shows a MAGENTA curve.

The will come in quite handy and make the overall understanding of how curves work easier for most who haven’t used curves. And it reenforces this idea that Apple isn’t just adding back in “legacy” features to FCPX but rather rethinking things a bit and updating them with that new thinking. There are many examples of those types of things all throughout FCPX.

UPDATE 10/28/17: New timeline keyboard navigation controls

As nice as new color tools and VR might be this new bit of timeline navigation is the type of thing that craft editors working day-in, day-out in FCPX 10.4 will come to appreciate. I hope there are a lot more of these little, not-so-flashy features in this update. I’m kind of doubting it as I’ve been searching and asking Twitter but haven’t found much. Maybe we’ll need the official launch to dig deeper. Thanks to Iain for this bit of info. Check out his great write-up from the FCPX Summit on MacPro Video.

IMHO the biggest and most surprising feature will be the new, more advanced color tools.

Those are some proper looking color wheels right there. A welcome addition to those of us who always found ourselves stumbling around the Color Board. I’ll have to admit I’m quite surprised that Apple has made this addition to FCPX. I thought they were all in on the Color Board … which isn’t gone.

Is this an admission from Apple that the Color Board just couldn’t cut it? Some might see it that way but I see it more of Apple’s continued work listening to customers and polishing FCPX into a very usable tool, which it has been for quite some time. I do wonder about the internal meetings where these new color tools were finally approved. And it looks to be more than just color wheels.

Those are HUE vs HUE, HUE vs SAT, HUE vs LUMA and LUMA vs SAT curves built right in (Are you seeing this Adobe Premiere Pro?). I love that we can set a preference for which control appears first as that was a great frustration with the Color Board since Exposure wasn’t the default control when going to it. The downside … it looks like Color Finale and Chromatic have been sherlocked.

VR tools are the other big part of this update and one that is expected after Apple hired Tim Dashwood who developed 360 VR tools for FCPX. VR video is a big buzz right now so this is something Apple had to do given what seems to be Adobe Premiere Pro’s lock on that market right now. VR is being cut in FCPX as we saw the other day with a post here on PVC but with built in VR tools there’s bound to be more.

I’ve never seen the Dashwood VR tools in action but I am familiar with the Mettle Skybox tools that Adobe bought and added to Premiere Pro and those are some good tools so it’ll have to keep pace with what Mettle has done. The Dashwood tools are held in very high regard so I’m guessing they’ll be comparable.

And a good list of other little things thanks to Marc Bach.


What features did we not get?

I don’t think the focus of this FCPX 10.4 sneak peek was to focus on what features Apple didn’t add but since the internet allow for two was communication a lot of people we asking the Summit attendees what else don’t we get in 10.4. Myself included.

And the iMac Pro!

If you look closely at some of the pictures from these tweets you’ll see an iMac Pro running the demos. This is going to be a nice machine and it looks like they’ve got them up and running with plenty of power.

That’s what’s going on at the Final Cut Pro X Creative Summit. And that’s what we know about FCPX 10.4. FCP.CO has a bit more info on this preview and a bullet point list of some of these new features including “Role based forward/back clip selection (i.e. it can ignore titles).” That might be one of the bigger features right there as it’s a further expanding of Roles functionality which has so much potential but seems underutilized at this point. While we don’t know when this new version will ship word is that it will be out by the end of the year.

Thanks to all those who are at the Summit, tweeting away and answering questions!




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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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It’s now hard for me to believe that FCP was actually giving media composer a run for their money…prior to fcp x….oh how the mighty have fallen……more i phones!!!!!!!