Today is a pretty big day for Apple. Besides releasing their newest workstation, the iMac Pro, they also have released a major update to Final Cut Pro 10.4 that could make it so more useful to videographers. The update gives Final Cut 360° VR and HDR, along with new color grading tools.
Final Cut Pro 10.4 gives you the ability to upload and edit 360° video in either monoscopic or stereoscopic formats, so if you want to view your video to be view on a flat screen or a VR headset, you can do that. And Apple says that the program can handle VR projects with resolutions of “4K, 8K, and beyond” meaning you don’t have to worry if the program can handle your footage’s resolution. Additionally, Apple’s incorporated 360° motion graphics into the update, which should allow you to add things like 2D or 3D titles to you 360° video. There’s also options for adding other effects like blurs or glows and Apple’s updated Motion, now letting you to get “even more advanced 360° motion graphics” says Apple, which includes creating effects like titles, transitions and generators.
Also Final Cut Pro 10.4’s color grading has gotten a real boost. Apple says that they have built in new “professional color grading tools” into the program, adding color controls that include color wheels, color curves, and hue/saturation curves. There’s a number of new color tools that seem like they speed up color grading in Final Cut Pro, like for instance you can create key shortcuts for the wheels and curves and enabling/disabling color effects. Additionally, the program can manually white balance footage when you sample pixels in the Balance Color feature.
Final Cut Pro also now offers support for HDR. “With support for the most popular HDR formats, Final Cut Pro gains access to an expanded range of brightness levels to deliver incredibly realistic images,” says Apple. “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.”
“With new features like 360° VR editing and motion graphics, advanced color grading and HDR support, Final Cut Pro gives video editors the tools to create stunning, next-generation content,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Apps Product Marketing. “When combined with the performance of Mac hardware, including the all-new iMac Pro, Final Cut Pro provides an incredibly powerful post-production studio to millions of video editors around the world.” With Final Cut Pro 10.4, you should be able to create video in the standard HDR10 format and HGL, a format that is mainly for broadcasting.
Other features added to Final Cut Pro include the ability to import projects from the iOS version of iMovie, HEVC format export, and audio effects plugins from Logic Pro.
Many competitors like Premiere Pro already offer a lot of these features, so it’s good to see that Apple adding what they are to Final Cut Pro 10.4. They are very much needed. You can get the Final Cut Pro 10.4 now for only $300 or if you already own Final Cut Pro you can update for free. If you just want to try it out for free first, there’s a free trial option for 30 days.