Final Cut Pro X 10.4.1 is released almost four months after the significant 10.4 upgrade. It contains two primary new features: support for the new ProRes RAW codecs and support for importing, creating, and sharing Closed Captions. Another significant change is the minimum system requirement has been raised to macOS 10.3.2. The application will no longer run on Sierra. 

ProRes RAW & ProRes RAW HQ

Apple has created two new acquisition codes ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ. These can be demosaiced on the fly in real-time in FCP with a fast enough system. They offer RAW image control, giving the user great flexibility, while maintaining performance. 

Every camera shots video in clusters of four pixels, one red, one blue, and two green in what’s called a Bayer pattern. RAW formats record theseBayer patterns in their raw form. They rely on the playback software to demosaic or debayer these clusters. This gives the format the greatest luma and chroma dynamic range. Non-RAW formats demosaic the RAW format in real-time in the camera and then bake the RGB values into the recording, giving the user much less control and smaller latitude in luma and chroma values. 

The ProRes RAW codecs allow much better multi-stream playback performance than other RAW codecs, especially when the FCP Viewer is set to Better Performance. The data rates are variable, but on average ProRes RAW should be only slightly higher than ProRes 422, and ProREs RAW HQ on a little higher than ProRes 422 HQ. The latter will produce image quality that can match ProRes 4444.

For comprehensive information on these codecs see the Apple white paper on the ProRes RAW codecs. 

These codecs are ideal for creating wide gamut HDR content. When creating SDR Rec 709 content the PR RAW output needs to be restricted by using LUTs or by grading.  FCP will automatically apply a LUT conversion on import. The RAW to Log Conversion setting can be changed in the Info inspector in General, Extended, or Settings.


Choose the log format your want and select it in the RAW to Log Conversion popup and the choose the appropriate Camera LUT below it. When color setting for the project is set to Rec. 709 the LUT will apply a tone map for SDR output. Change the color processing Wide Gamut HDR for Rec. 2020 processing. The other option is to leave the Camera LUT on None and use FCP’s grading tools without any automatic tone mapping. This gives the user full dynamic range for any output desired.  You can of course also apply any LUT you want using the Custom LUT effect to a RAW clip in the Timeline. The Custom LUT should be the last effect in the Effects list in the Video inspector. 

You can also grade without any LUTs at all. Set both the RAW to Log Conversion popup and the Camera LUT popup to none, and you get the original ProRes RAW demosaiced by FCP for you to grade however you wish regardless of the library or project color process setting. 

To start two Atomos recorders and a DJI drone will offer recording in Apple’s ProRes RAW acquisition formats, more will certainly follow. 

Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning is now supported directly in FCP 10.4.1 and Compressor 4.4.1. This new feature has meant a number of interface changes in the Timeline, Index, and Share dialog. There is also a new Role for Captions, separate from the Titles role, and a new Captions inspector. Closed Captioning works with two standards: CEA-608 used in the US and on all DVDs, and iTT (iTunes Timed Text) used by Apple of course, and also by Amazon Prime video, and YouTube. You set the Captions type in the updated Roles editor.


Here you can also add a Caption Language subrole.


Captions can be imported appropriate text files using File>Import>Captions. They can also be extracted from video files that contain Closed Captioning from the Edit menu using Captions>Extract Captions.


Captions can also be created in FCP and Compressor In FCP a new caption can be added from the Edit menu, or called up with the shortcut Option-C, which brings up the Captions Editor. Use Control-Option-C if the Captions editor is already open.

When working in the Caption Editor, where you can enter and change text, you can still use the Timeline controls. J, K, L, I, and O by holding the Control key. This keeps you from typing the letters into the captions.

You can open an existing Caption by double-clicking it in the Timeline. The Captions themselves can be adjusted in a new Captions inspector.

Here Caption position, color, and background can be controlled. Here you can also save a style as a default using the popup at the end of the Display line. Different options will appear depending on the Caption format, iTT or CEA-608.

Normally captioning is one of the last steps in post before output. FCP’s ability to connect layers gives the application great flexibility in moving content in the primary storyline together with associated Captions. A feature of Captions, which is unique to them, is that they can be connected to items that are not on the primary storyline, such as connected audio clips. To connect a Caption to a Connected Clip, select the Caption first and then Option-Command click the Connected Clip, similar to changing the Connected Clips pin to the primary storyline. 

Captions can be searched for and edited in a new Captions section of the Timeline Index.


In FCP Captions can be creating in a great many languages and appear in the Timeline as separate Captions having a separate language subrole. You can create a language by selecting the Captions and using Edit>Captions>Duplicate Captions to New Language. You choose which Captions and language is visible in the Timeline Index. You can also hide captions. The Index changes only effect the display in the application and not any export functions. The Index will also display the caption content and validate it. Captions with validation problems like overlaps will appear in red in the Timeline.You can select in the Index to only display Captions with errors  Validation confirms the text is correctly formatted, without an incorrect characters, and without overlapping. Because of FCP’s trackless architecture, Captions can overlap in the Timeline. The overlap can be fixed automatically from the Edit>Captions menu. You can also split Captions if they’re too long from the Captions menu or with Control-Option-Command-C. There is also a Join Captions command if you want to combine Captions. Splits divide the Caption in half, regardless of playhead and Skimmer position, splitting the text at line breaks. 

FCP Captions can be exported in tracks or in separate stems. You can export the Captions by themselves from the File menu to either a .itt file or a .scc file depending on the format you're using. You can of course also export with the video using the Share button. There is now a separate Roles tab in Share settings.

The Roles tab isn’t simply for Captions, but add new capabilities to what was previous possible with Role exporting. You can select and audio channel format for a track, combine Roles in a track, remove Roles from a track, and of course add Captions. You can also select the Caption language. You can export Captions as part of the video or as separate files in the two supported standard formats. You can also save Role presets to speed your workflow.

Finally, to accommodate the new features in 10.4.1 there is a new version of XML, now 1.8. Export to 1.7 is still available.

In addition there is a new Send iTMS Package to Compressor option, which of course includes Caption options 

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