Final Cut Pro X 10.4 Tips, Tricks and Tutorials

Final Cut Pro 10.4 Tips, Tricks and Tutorials

Whats new in FCPX 10.4

  • All the new features in FCPX 10.4
  • Tips from professional editors on FCPX 10.4
  • Free FCPX 10.4 Tutorials and Paid Training

Final Cut Pro X is now updated to 10.4. Where as the leap to 10.3 brought with it some more radical changes to the app (e.g. Roles) this update focuses on 360 video and new colour grading functionality.

You can check out a full list of all the new improvements and features from Apple’s change log, or here’s a quick summary:

360 VR editing

  • Import and edit 360° equirectangular video in a wide range of formats and frame sizes
  • Output 360° video to a connected VR headset
  • Add 360° effects including blurs, glows, and more
  • Share 360° video directly to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo
  • Use the 360° patch to instantly remove cameras and rigs from the scene

Advanced colour grading

  • Dedicated colour tab in the inspector provides one location for all colour controls
  • Colour Wheels, Curves, Eye Droppers and more
  • Automatic Colour Balance
  • Keyboard shortcuts for colour adjustments and role-based timeline navigation

High Dynamic Range

  • Import, grade, and deliver High Dynamic Range (HDR) video as Rec. 2020 HLG or Rec. 2020 PQ for HDR10
  • Output video to third-party HDR monitors using third-party I/O devices

If you’re wondering what HDR really is and how it works, this episode of FCPX in Under 5 minutes has got you covered.

Additional Features

  • Import, playback, and editing of HEVC (also known as H.265) video clips and (HEIF) photos from Apple devices (requires macOS High Sierra)
  • Faster Optical Flow analysis using Metal 2
  • Support for NFS-based libraries and media
  • Press Ctrl-Tab to cycle through tabs in the Inspector when the Inspector is selected

how to back up FCPX

If you’re eager to update to FCPX 10.4 there are a few things you should do to preserve the integrity of your previous project data.

Richard Taylor has a helpful step by step guide of best practices here or you can check out Apple’s official back up guide here.

You will need to be running macOS 10.12.4 or later to update to FCPX 10.4.

In this short video from 9-5 Mac you can pick up 5 ‘lesser known’ features in the 10.4 update including an improved proxy workflow warning, animated gifs, and creating a project based on clip parameters.

Peter Wiggins over at talks in more detail about proxy workflows in this post, and FCP’s new ability to accept third-party proxies rather than creating it’s own.

He also highlights Ben Balser’s video (below) which demonstrates this and some other ‘lesser known features’.

It is early days with this workflow and it would be good to see third party software being clever enough to work out which high resolution files to send from an exported XML of the finished edit from FCPX. Sounds like another opportunity for Greg & Philip – compare XMLs!

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to learn about everything you could possibly want to know and more about FCP, then Peter’s site and the comments, are the place to be!

Tips and Tricks for FCP 10.4

Quite a few editors have been sharing tips and tricks on the new update, including a few important things you should know about what’s changed and what hasn’t.

Click on the date stamp of Scott’s Tweet to see a substantial thread of tweets in response!

Alex points out in his excellent write up on the 360 features in FCPX 10.4 that the following commands have been added to the custom keyboard shortcut panel.

Commands with unassigned keyboard shortcuts:

  • Add Color Board Effect
  • Add Color Curves Effect
  • Add Color Hue/Saturation Effect
  • Add Color Wheels Effect
  • Color Correction: Go to the Next Pane
  • Color Correction: Go to the Previous Pane
  • Toggle Color Correction Effects on/off

New commands:

  • Select Previous Clip – Command-Left Arrow
  • Select Next Clip – Command-Right Arrow
  • Extend Selection to Previous Clip – Control-Command-Left Arrow
  • Extend Selection to Next Clip – Control-Command-Left Arrow

Free Tutorials for FCP 10.4 New Features

In an usual move from Apple lots of editors were given a preview of FCPX 10.4 before it launched and where allowed to share things about it publicly online.

This has meant that training providers like Ripple Training have been able to release new training on the day of the update.

In this playlist above you can watch 10 free tutorials on some of the new features in FCPX 10.4, with 4 lessons on 360 video editing and 6 lessons on the new colour grading functionality.

Personally I’m not that interested in 360 editing (in any app!) but if you are then you should definitely read editor Alex Golner’s excellent write up here.

Ripple Training founder Steve Martin has also created a whole new series on editing 360 VR video in FCP too, which gives you an hour and half introduction to the whole process.

What is more interesting to me are the new colour grading tools inside of 10.4.  Ripple Training founder Mark Spencer covers these briefly in the following free tutorials.

Once I’ve had a chance to have a bit more of a play with these I may well write up a post comparing them to Colour Grading Central’s Color Finale Pro, which was also recently updated.

Beefy color update. It brings needed tools for almost everybody and other ones that maybe not a lot of people today (HDR).

It also brings some “Apple” approach for things making them vey simple and easy to use like the Orange/Saturation curve aimed to skin tones or the simplicity of the HDR conversion tool.  – Marc Bach

If you like to read your way through the new tools then editor Marc Bach has a very detailed write up on them here.

Richard Taylor shares this quick tip on how to use the White Balance Color Picker in about a minute. Richard is also the chap behind the ever entertaining FCP Radio podcast. Check out Episode 54 for the full low-down on all things 10.4 related.

Richard also maintains his own master list of FCPX resources here too.

Colour Grading in FCPX 10.4

Mark Spencer from Ripple Training has also created a much more in-depth training series on using the colour grading tools that runs to 4 and half hours of training.

You can check that out here, including 4 free mini-previews from the course.

I asked the team at Ripple as to what’s changed in their other training titles to keep up to date with FCP 10.4, and here is the deal:

If you have Ripple’s Core Training already you will likely have received an email about the free upgrade to the updated training. If you’re a new user then hopefully that will help you make more sense of what’s old and new.

Editing in FCPX for the First Time

Ripple Training have also updated their free, 10-part, tutorial series on getting started with Final Cut Pro 10.4 for the first time.

Final Cut Pro 10.4 Virtual User Group 9

The Final Cut Pro Virtual User Group had a timely new meeting (it’s 9th outing?) to discuss the new update to Final Cut in this nearly two hour live stream.

If you’ve got the time to listen to these guys have some valuable tips to share!

You can check out previous episodes of the Virtual User Group here.

More FCP 10.4 Tips and Tricks

FCP Editor Thomas Grove Carter, who has previously shared some really great tutorials that I’ve rounded up here, has been lucky enough to not only have had early access to an iMac Pro but also FCP 10.4.

Here’s what he had to say about the new features:


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