Apple Upgrades Final Cut Pro X With Major New Features

Apple just released version 10.4 of Final Cut Pro X, a major upgrade that features 360-degree VR video editing, advanced color grading tools and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.

Optimized to take advantage of the performance capabilities of the new iMac Pro (also released on Dec. 14), Final Cut Pro users can now edit full-resolution 8K video for the first time on a Mac. Apple is also extending 360-degree VR video support to Final Cut Pro companion apps, Motion and Compressor.

With more than two million seats, Final Cut Pro X is used by professional video editors in broadcast television, feature films, commercials and independent videos.

The upgraded Final Cut Pro enables editors to create VR content with the ability to import, edit and deliver 360-degree video and view the project in real time through a connected HTC VIVE headset with SteamVR. Users can add 360-degree titles in 2D or 3D; apply blurs, glows and other immersive effects; and use visual controls to straighten horizons or remove camera rigs from equirectangular videos.

Standard photos and videos can also be added to VR projects and 360-degree video can be shared directly to popular websites including YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. Advanced color grading tools including wheels and curves offer precise control over hue, saturation and brightness.

Unique color wheels improve on traditional controls by combining hue, saturation, and brightness into a single, simple interface. All color grading tools and scopes support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.

Unique color wheels improve on traditional controls by combining hue, saturation, and brightness into a single, simple interface. All color grading tools and scopes support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.

The update also includes tools for professional color grading. Color wheels feature built-in controls to adjust hue, saturation and brightness. Color curves allow for ultra-fine color adjustments with multiple control points to target specific color ranges, and eye droppers let users sample specific colors and apply manual white balance.

Users can also apply custom lookup tables (LUTs) from popular color grading apps like DaVinci Resolve and websites including PremiumBeat and Color Grading Central. Color curves allow video editors to select and adjust specific hues to create images from within Final Cut Pro.

With support for the most popular HDR formats, Final Cut Pro X provides access to an expanded range of brightness levels to deliver realistic images. Editors can output video to HDR monitors using I/O devices from AJA and Blackmagic with brightness levels up to 10,000 nits. The new color grading tools support both HDR and Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) video, and with tone mapping, users can easily change HDR to SDR output for broadcast.

Additional features in Final Cut Pro 10.4 allow the import of iMovie projects from iPhone and iPad into Final Cut Pro for advanced editing, audio work, motion graphics and color grading.

Also supported is HEVC and HEIF for importing and editing high efficiency video and photo formats from Apple devices, updated audio effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces and faster, higher quality optical flow analysis built on Metal, Apple’s graphics technology.

Final Cut Pro companion apps — Motion and Compressor — add support for 360-degree VR video creation plus a number of other new features. Motion 5.4 enables users to create immersive 360-degree VR titles and effects that can be instantly accessed in Final Cut Pro. The update also makes it easy to convert between any type of Motion project at any time, create realistic spring-loaded animations with the new Overshoot behavior and apply photographic-inspired looks with new filters.

Compressor 4.4 lets users deliver 360-degree video with spherical metadata. Compressor also lets users export HEVC and HDR video, while adding a range of new options for delivering MXF files.

Final Cut Pro 10.4 is available as a free update today for existing users, and for $299.99 for new users on the Mac App Store. Motion 5.4 and Compressor 4.4 are also available as a free update today for existing users, and for $49.99 each for new users.

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