FCP X 10.4.9 running on a MacBook Pro with the Frame.io Workflow Extension

Frame.io Explained: Remote Proxy Editing in FCP X 10.4.9

These day’s we’re all doing a lot more work with people who are nowhere near us. It’s now more plausible (and more necessary) to build a smooth remote workflow, and FCP X and Frame.io make that easier than ever.

So let’s take a look at how the brand new features in FCP X 10.4.9 and Frame.io 3.7 can help you work smarter and faster.

ProRes RAW Metadata Controls

In FCP X 10.4.9, we now have camera settings for ProRes RAW media from supported cameras and devices. Now can make changes to your exposure, ISO, and color temperature from within the FCP X Inspector.

Smart Conform

If you’re creating non-landscape media, Smart Conform analyses your project and automatically crops it to fit square, vertical, or custom aspect ratios. This is especially useful for digital signage, event media, and social media content.

To make this even easier, FCP X has a new transform overscan feature, which reveals any areas of your footage that fall outside of your viewer. This lets you reposition anything that’s been conformed to ensure you get exactly what you want in-frame.

1-step Audio Crossfade

This hidden gem is one of my personal favorites. With one key, you can extend the audio on both sides of an edit, and create a fade. Finally!

HDR in Frame.io

HDR video is now viewable in our iPhone and iPad apps. And it looks amazing.

And if you want to watch Frame.io content on a big-screen TV, you can Airplay from your iPhone or iPad to an Apple TV-connected device.

Frame.io Watermark ID

Frame.io 3.7 also brings updates to Watermark ID, our session-based security tools. Now you can embed name, email address, and IP address of the person watching the video. It’s a powerful deterrent for would-be pirates.

Frame.io Transfer

We also introduced the full version of Frame.io Transfer, which now allow lightning-fast uploads and downloads. Now you can quickly share massive amounts of footage with your team from anywhere, all inside from Frame.io.

Frame.io Workflow Extension in FXP X

We’re also thrilled to introduce an update to our FCP X workflow extension. Between the updates of Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 and Frame.io 3.7, there are all-new ways to work with proxy media.

This is going to be huge for teams working from home, or on the road.

Why you need a proxy workflow

If you’re not already aware, there are lots of reasons why you’d want to work with proxy media.

Primarily, proxy files are smaller and require fewer compute resources, so you can edit faster. Working with 8K raw footage requires a high-performance overhead, especially on a laptop, so proxy files of that media will reduce that bottleneck.

Proxies are also way more portable. We’ve all probably been asked to deliver terabytes of data on external drives before, especially now with our teams working from home. But the size of original camera files requires more storage hardware than we might have on hand. That’s why delivering the media as lightweight proxy files makes sense.

New playback modes

In earlier versions of Final Cut Pro X, there were only two playback modes: Original and Proxy. If you couldn’t playback Original, your system defaulted to Proxy.

The caveat for proxy playback was that you had to generate proxy files for every single file to work in proxy mode. That took a lot of time, which many of us don’t always have.

Fortunately, FCP X 10.4.9 now has a “Proxy Preferred” mode. Now you can playback a mix of media, both proxy and original, when you don’t already have proxy files generated for every clip.

For anyone working with mixed media, that is super-helpful.

Generating proxies

FCP X offers up a few new ways for you to generate the proxies you need from inside the application.

Previously you could only generate ProRes proxies at a quarter of their original resolution. Now you can generate ProRes or H.264 proxies at scales of 12.5%, 25%, 50%, and 100%.

Or you can choose a specific resolution of 960 x 540, 1920 x 1080, and 3840 x 2160.

This flexibility lets you pick just the right proxy setup that fits your workflow.

Import from other sources

In addition to creating proxies from within FCP X, you can now import them from other sources. For example, the Frame.io workflow extension for Final Cut Pro used to only import proxies as Originals.

Now, if you import both Originals and Proxies, Frame.io will import the Originals as Originals, and the Proxies as Proxies. You can change the Import settings if you want to download the Original media, or high- and low-resolution proxies.

You can also download entire folders of original and proxy media using Frame.io Transfer. Once you’ve imported the Original footage, you can then link to the Proxies that Frame.io generated.

Relinking proxies is extremely useful if you’re dealing with dailies generated by a film lab, or if the camera you’re working with records both raw and proxy files internally. It’s also handy if you use Apple Compressor to set up render farms.

Creating a Proxy Library

Next time your editor asks for terabytes of original media, hand them a drive with proxy media instead. Here’s seamless fit that into your FCP X workflow.

First, create a proxy library. To do this, right-click on the original library, and select Copy to Library, then New Library.

This will give you new media management options.

Make sure you select Proxy media and deselect both Original media and Optimized media. (Don’t worry about your stills and audio – they’ll make the trip, too.)

Next, make sure that your media destination is set to a folder on the external drive you want to hand to your editor.

If you have any external media, make sure to enable Copy media stored in external locations. This ensures your editor goes home with everything they need.

If there are any files that don’t have a proxy representation, FCP X will take this opportunity to generate those proxies for you.

And these new media management tools aren’t just useful for creating proxy libraries. They’re also great for copying events, clips, and projects between libraries.

What’s Your Favorite?

Overall the new media management toolkit in Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 is extremely flexible. We’re excited to start using these new features to work faster, from anywhere, with whomever, without sacrificing performance.

Patrick Southern

Patrick is a Workflow Architect at Frame.io.