Top: FCP X keywording, favorite buttons, etc. Bottom: iMovie keywording, favorite buttons, etc.


Left: FCP X effects palette. Right: iMovie clip video effects.


Left: FCP X keyword dialog box. Right: iMovie keyword dialog box.


Left: FCP X precision editor. Right: iMovie precision editor.


Top: FCP X audio fade handles. Left: iMovie audio fade handles.


Left: FCP X title, effects, etc. buttons. Right: iMovie title, effects, etc. buttons.

And finally:


A timeline from Final Cut Pro X.


A timeline from iMovie (that doesn’t come to look like this without a bit of work).

There’s a lot in iMovie that’s decidedly FCP X like. To see how I arrived at that iMovie timeline I grabbed a screen capture:

The iMovie magnetic timeline from Scott Simmons on Vimeo.

And if you haven’t seen the FCP X demo from SuperMeet, here’s that too:

Full Demonstration FCPX Supermeet NAB 2011 from Cam Cornelius on Vimeo.

While I knew instantly the FCP X interface had many similarities to iMovie I had no idea that at least the visual elements of the timelines would so closely resemble each other. Granted it’s a whole lot more work to get the iMovie timeline to look that way but you can certainly see where the inspiration has come from. That is unless FCP X has been in development for years and this stuff has trickled over to iMovie. This post does a nice job discussing FCP X and iMovie’s shared DNA. I would disagree with a comment I saw in another post that says iMovie is a “freaking joyful to use ‘consumer’ product” as it seems mighty frustrating if you’re used to the freedom of a regular NLE.

In order to answer the question of exactly how this new FCP X is going to combine these features from a consumer based iMovie with professional features that editors are going to need we have to have FCP X in our hands. That’s pretty much a no brainer but until June rolls around we’ll still discuss FCP X ad nauseam because it’s one of our primary tools … and because it’s Apple.

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