Utilities


fcpxfree.com

There are a ton of great free plugins for effects, transitions, generators, titles, LUTs, you name it, someone’s probably made it. The best site to find this and much more is fcpxfree.com. Click here to go to it. The site is supported by Roger Bolton of CoreMelt, who makes great plugins like SliceX and TrackX and Lock&Load and more. You can see what CoreMelt is doing here


Intelligent Assistance

If you are still a legacy FCP user, Intelligent Assistance has some useful tools for you, SendToX (formerly 7toX) and its companion XtoCC (formerly Xto7). The latter will convert an XML for use in either Premiere Pro CC or into FCP7. These are great tools for every FCPX user who is migrating from legacy FCP.

Philip Hodgetts and Dr. Gregory Clarke also make some of the best tools for high end production work, all based on FCP’s XML. Sync-N-Link X is used for syncing double system audio and goes beyond FCP’s audio sync capabilities. This is a sync tool for those use time coded, jam-synced devices, such as those used in feature films. Sync-N-Link X will process hundreds of video and audio files in seconds. 

Change List X compares the XML files from two projects and notes the differences, producing a PDF or a tab-delineated report. It will also create pull lists and discard lists. This is an essential tool were your edit goes into picture lock and then is subsequently changed after it’s gone to audio post. 

Broadcasters require detail reports of footage used in production, music usage, titles, transitions, stock footage. Producer’s Best Friend generates these reports for clips, markers, keywords, transitions, audio and video effects. It produces a comprehensive report that is in spreadsheet format for Excel or Numbers.

Lumberjack is Intelligent Assistance’s logging and organizational tool that starts in the field, on location, getting your production on track and ready for post. It starts with mobile devices, iPhones and iPads, to do real-time logging and information gathering, and moves to to two desktop applications, one to merge XMLs from FCP with logs from the field, and a web application to sync all the data, create Events for FCP, and manage your Lumberjack account. For every kind of production company working with non-scripted material, it’s an essential tool.


Marquis Broadcast 

Marquis Brodcast makes media handling utilities for a number of editing applications including FCP. For those who need to export to Avid Pro Tools for audio sweetening, there is X2Pro, which converts FCP XML to AAF for easy integration. It’s a great utility. If you need a media manager to trim your media for sharing or archiving, they also produce Worx4 X, which really everyione should have. It’s an essential utility. Read about it here in Articles. 


Final Cut Library Manager

If you’re working on more than a single production with one library, you have to get Final Cut Library Manager. FCLM organizes all your libraries, events, and projects, together with cache files and media files, both external and managed media. It also lets you create templates for your libraries, which many production companies are finding very useful. For productions that have repetitive formats, templates helps to make organizing your media plug and play. In addition FCLM is a great tool for seeing where your media is building up and clearly out those giant, unneeded render, cache, and proxy files. 


Versioning

FCP built-in backup function can be a bit erratic at times. There are two tools to help with this, Backups for Final Cut Pro, available in the App Store, and Pro Versioner, from Digital Rebellion. While Pro Versioner lets you automatically backup and save versions of your FCPX versions, Backups is a very robust, simple to use application that creates timed back ups of your projects and events. You can also annotate the backups to help keep it organized, and of course restore from your backups. 

Pro Versioner backs up your project files incrementally, and also allows annotation. Keeping back ups on separate drives of course gives additional redundancy and peace of mind while editing. 

Another utility that creates an archived vault of projects and events is X-Files Pro from Andreas Kiel. X-Files Pro is a more comprehensive package of utilities including mounting and unmounting disks, managing sparse bundles, event and project tracking, database management and repair. X-Files Pro allows you to see that media is in what project and what event. It’s a very powerful utility.


Spherico.com

Though you can selectively import segments of clip from a camera card or archive, you can’t import segments of a media file from a hard drive. This useful function is made possible with a small utility from Andreas Kiel called VirtualCamCard, which you can download from his web site. This lets you make the media you want to import into a sparse bundle so it acts as a camera card. Andreas is a world expert on subtitling and XML, and he has a number of great tools on his site.

Many people are still using sparse bundles (also called sparse disk images) to isolate events and projects, allowing you to open only relevant material at any one time, while hiding other events and projects. See my tip on working with sparse bundles on this page. Andreas has created a useful little piece of shareware to make this simple to do. You can also use the Disk Utility, but Andreas’ tool offer additional benefits like compacting. You can access it from here.


Preference Manager

Another useful utility to have is Preference Manager, for trashing, backing, and restoring your preference files. It’s free from Digital Rebellion. While you can now reset your preferences by holding Option-Command while launching the application, this does not allow you to backup and restore preferences, which Preference Manager does. In addition Preference Manager works with many other applications, Compressor, Motion, Adobe Creative Cloud, Avid editing applications, legacy Final Cut Studio,  Lightworks, Logic, and Pro Tools. You can get it here. Digital Rebellion also makes the Pro Maintenance Tools, which, if you’re in trouble, are a very valuable resource. Pro Maintenance Tools include Plugin Manager that lets you check for plugins that might crash your application at startup. Again this works with a variety of applications including FCPX. In addition Digital Rebellion makes the Pro Media Tools. This is an excellent collection of useful utilities for pro editors, including QT Edit, which allows you to incorporate chapter markers in your QuickTime files.


Other Professional Tools

A great tool developed for the movie Focus  is Shot Notes X, which lets you take CVS files used for production notes on set and convert it to XML for FCP to bring in metadata from the field into editorial.  

EDLs may be of fossilized format but it’s still used in some places. If you need to export an EDL from FCPX, you need EDL-X from XMiL. This creates standard CMX3600 EDLs.

Also from XMiL is Marker, which shows you lists of where all your media actually in on your hard drives, in which folders, highlights them, and lets you tag them. It opens all the folders that hold your media.

Another useful tool from Rainer Standke and XMiL is Keywords. This is an XML tool that allows you to export all your keywords from your projects or events, and list how often each is used. It can be displayed as tab-delineated text or in a spreadsheet.

All three of the XMiL products are available through the App Store.


Another useful utility is ClipExporter, which uses an FCP XML export file, to export each of the clips in a project as a QuickTime reference movie. Also from Thomas Szabo is Primaries Exporter, available from the App Store for free for testing, and includes in app purchases to activate its full potential. It can export the primary clips, together with still frames based on markers, as well as a metadata spreadsheet for the clips.


Because of the weak integration between FCPX and Motion 5, FCPX Send to Motion may of great value to you. It does exactly what it says. Using XML it sends your FCP project to Motion.


Here's a handy little tool if you need to export images from a timeline for reference purposes, which many editors like to do to keep a scene layout as they progress, especially for longer productions with multiple sequences. Use fcpImageExporter. Simply drop markers in the FCP timeline wherever you need to have an image and export an XML file. Drop the XML file on fcpImageExporter to generate the stills.









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