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 who 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 detailed 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 on 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 Broadcast 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 everyone should have. It’s an essential utility. Read about it here in Articles. 


Arctic Whiteness

If you’re working on more than a single production with one library, you have to get Final Cut Library Manager from Arctic Whiteness. 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 clearing out those giant, unneeded render, cache, and proxy files. 

Arctic Whiteness also produces Final Cut Library Opener. This is a fantastic utility for a collaborative environment. It allows users on a network to open any library, even a library that’s already open and being worked on by another user. FCLO opens what it calls an ephemeral library, an exact copy of the library in use. You can then move whatever you want into your library and close it. The ephemeral library disappears, and everyone is up to date with the latest changes.


CommandPost

CommandPost is Chris Hocking's toolkit for Final Cut Pro editors. It has something for everybody. It lets you do a great many little things that improve the applkication. It sits in the Finder menu bar and does a ton of things: timecode overlays in the Viewer; batch exporting; scrolling timeline; watch folders; customizable Touch Bar buttons; clipboard history; timeline zooming with the mouse; Color Board controls on the Touch Bar or Duet; Color Board shortcuts with control surfaces; moveable markers; mobile notifications; toggle rendering; change the backup interval; ignore camera cards, and more.


Versioning

FCP's 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 libraries, Backups is a very robust, simple to use application that creates timed backups of your projects and events. You can also annotate the backups to help keep them organized, and of course restore from your backups. 

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


spherico.com

Another utility that creates an archived vault 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 what media is in what project and what event. It’s a very powerful utility.

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.


Preference Manager

Another useful utility to have is Preference Manager, for trashing, backing up, and restoring your preference files. It’s free from Digital Rebellion. While you can reset your preferences by holding Option-Command while launching the application, this does not allow you to back up 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, is 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 them to XML for FCP to bring metadata from the field into editorial.  

EDLs may be a fossilized format but they're 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 of frame.io 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. This became the basis of frame.io, the internet-based production collaboration and sharing site. 


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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