Final Cut Pro X 10.4 launches with support for HDR, HEVC/HEIF, 360-degree VR editing & more

Ahead of releasing its new iMac Pro, Apple earlier this morning pushed a long-expected update to its Final Cut Pro X app on Mac App Store.

The new version brought support for high dynamic range (HDR) video, 360-degree video creation, the ability to compress your footage using the efficient H.265 codec, support for Apple’s new HEIF media format in iOS 11 and much, much more.

The new Final Cut Pro X was previewed in October.

The app had two million users as of April 2017. Final Cut Pro creator Randy Ubillos quit Apple two and a half years ago after spending 20 years with the Cupertino company.

The app ranked #10 on Upwork’s list of the top 20 fastest-growing skills.

Final Cut Pro X 10.4 changelog

Here’s what’s new in this edition of Final Cut Pro:

360º VR editing

  • Import and edit 360° equirectangular video in a wide range of formats and frame sizes
  • Output 360° video to a compatible VR headset (requires macOS High Sierra and SteamVR)
  • Open the 360° viewer to simultaneously monitor headset and equirectangular views while editing
  • Option to track movement of a VR headset in the 360° viewer in Final Cut Pro
  • 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
  • Use the Horizon overlay to easily change the orientation of 360° video right in the viewer
  • Edit 360° video into a non-360° project and animate the pan, tilt and zoom
  • Place any graphic, still or video into a 360° project, then reposition and resize to fit perfectly into the 360° scene
  • Support for monoscopic and stereoscopic 360° video

Advanced color grading

  • Dedicated color tab in the inspector provides one location for all color controls
  • Powerful new color wheels improve upon traditional wheels with integrated sliders to adjust hue, saturation and brightness
  • Color curves enable ultra-fine adjustments using multiple control points to change color and contrast
  • Hue/saturation curves let you select a specific hue or brightness level to make adjustments while leaving other parts of the image unchanged
  • Use the eye dropper in the color and hue/saturation curves to quickly sample parts of an image for adjustment
  • Balance Color command includes an eye dropper for manual white balance
  • Apply custom LUTs from popular color grading apps and sites
  • Adjust color corrections over time with precise keyframe controls
  • Speed through color correction using new keyboard shortcuts for color adjustments and role-based timeline navigation
  • Color presets are now located in the effects browser for skimmable preview and fast search

High dynamic range (HDR)

  • 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
  • Built-in waveform monitor indicates HDR brightness levels up to 10,000 nits
  • HDR Tools effect lets you easily tone map HDR to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) output as well as convert between PQ and HLG formats
  • Option to view HDR as raw values when working without an HDR monitor

Additional features

  • Send your iMovie for iOS project directly to Final Cut Pro for advanced editing, audio work and finishing
  • Import, playback and editing of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, also known as H.265) video clips and High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) photos from Apple devices (HEVC and HEIF support requires macOS High Sierra)
  • Send to Compressor to export video projects in the HEVC format
  • Adjust audio using effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces
  • Support for Canon Cinema RAW Light format with additional software from Canon
  • Faster Optical Flow analysis using Metal 2
  • Support for NFS-based libraries and media
  • XML 1.7 with support for new color grading controls, 360 VR effects and HDR

For the full list of issues fixed in Final Cut Pro X 10.4, see Apple’s support document.

The company also provides some useful guidelines for working with High HDR video in Final Cut Pro X 10.4 and Compressor 4.4.

This update is available free to existing users of the app.

Final Cut Pro X requires macOS 10.12.4 or later, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB is recommended for 4K editing and 3D titles, as well as for 360° video editing), an OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 or later, 256 MB of video memory (1 GB is recommended for 4K editing, 3D titles and 360° video editing) and 4 GB of free disk space.

Discrete graphics card is required for VR headset support. AMD’s Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card is recommended for best performance.

Final Cut Pro X is a $300 download from Mac App Store.