Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor

Posted on by Larry

logo-Apple[ Updated April 24 with additional info on Compressor.]

This morning, Apple Inc. updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor. The updates are free and available via the Mac App Store.

Apple gave me early access to the software, which allowed me to create new training for it, which I also released today:

Here’s an initial look at the new software. I’ll have much more to say about these new versions over time.

FINAL CUT PRO X (new version 10.2)


Here are Apple’s Release Notes:

3D titles

Advanced effects

New Camera formats

Additional features

Final Cut Pro version 10.2 also addresses the following issues:



The new 3D titles are lovely and I really like the new Materials section, which allows you to specify what material and texture covers the six faces of a 3D character:

The 3D text effects, as implemented in Final Cut, are fun, fascinating and flexible. But they come into their true power when you use them in Motion. In fact, you’ll be seeing third-party 3D text effects from Ripple Training, FX Factory, and Motion VFX released in conjunction with this new upgrade.

The new masking tools are amazing – everything you want in a mask:

Other new effects that I really like include:

COMPRESSOR (new version 4.2)


Here are Apple’s Release Notes.

New features

Compressor version 4.2 also addresses the following issues:


The big news, from Apple’s point of view, is the direct support for creating iTunes Store Packages. (Keep in mind that even after the Store Package is created, you’ll still need to use a delivery partner- such as Juice Worldwide, Quiver Digital, Walla or Zoo Digital.) This means that filmmakers can use Compressor to prepare their films directly for sale within iTunes, while only needing a third-party to verify and deliver the Package to Apple.

From my point of view, though, the BIG news with this update is that compression is now GPU-accelerated and compressing H.264 files- even multi pass compression – is now hardware-accelerated. While I have not had time to do speed tests – but BELIEVE ME I’m planning on testing this as soon as I can – Apple’s notes indicate compression speeds could be up to 3.3 times faster than the current version.

This would be great news, because I now compress all my YouTube and MPEG-4 videos using Adobe Media Encoder because it is multiple times faster than Compressor. It will be fun doing some speed tests between these two apps in the near future to see how they compare for speed, image quality and file size.

MOTION (new version 5.2)


Here are Apple’s Release Notes:

Introducing 3D titles

New Camera formats

Additional features

Motion version 5.2 also includes the following:


I haven’t had time to play with Motion, yet, except a little bit with the 3D Text. Here, Motion provides additional tools for animation, keyframing, lighting and position control far beyond what Final Cut itself provides.

The new masking tools are more flexible than those provided originally in Motion, and new generators are always welcome.


The new features add a lot of power, flexibility, and sheer fun to all three applications. Even better, there is still lots more to discover, because Apple made both major and minor tweaks throughout the entire application, which I’m looking forward to showing you in my latest training, as well as upcoming webinars and articles.

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19 Responses to Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor

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  1. Dick Osso says:

    Larry….bless you from my end and painful HATE you from my wife. She now knows I will be purchasing your tutorials and lots of NEW TOYS. I am like a kid at XMAS……and you are the SANTA that brightens up my day.

    Thanks Larry…can’t wait to play !!!!

    Dick Osso

  2. It’s nice to see that Apple listened to requests for an improvement in Text in FPC X.

    Now all I have to do is convince Larry Jordan he should start paying attention to
    production with FCP X and drone footage.

    Specifically I shoot 2 and 4 K but most clients want 1080 can I create a template moving
    cropping box which gives me the 1080 aspect ratio from 2 and 4 K in FCP X.

  3. Richard Harvey says:

    Thanks Larry for this quick-draw round-up. One important point to emphasise: the update only works with Yosemite.

  4. Chris t. says:

    Any word from Apple about H.265 licensing? Kind of expected that in this update.

  5. Chris says:

    Some really cool stuff and it does seem a bit snappier on my system too but…Audio , Audio , Audio..why is Apple ignoring this? Still no integrated .aaf or mixer support, as much as i love FCPx its amazing that this is still missing. If the guys at X2pro can write software to implement it why won’t Apple? I would trade 3D text for this any day of the week…

  6. Adam W. says:

    Some nice updates here but still no built-in round-tripping with Motion is a little disappointing. Any word on if or when this feature will be added? I’m sure this is also on your list of features to discuss with Apple. Thanks for all your helpful information Larry!

    • Larry says:

      Apple never shares future plans. Smoother round-tripping is on my list, but it would require changing how Apple links Motion projects to clips in the timeline.

      This is a useful feature, but improved audio mixing is higher on my list.


  7. Steve Hardesty says:

    Larry, I have not yet upgraded to yosemite because of the problems FCPX had with it. Can I confidently do that now so I can get this upgrade to The latest FCPX without wording its going to do something crazy to my old projects like it did the first time they did this kind of thing?

    • Larry Jordan says:


      I have not found FCP X to be particularly unstable with Yosemite – if you continue to have problems, then there is a larger stability issue with your system.

      FCP X 10.2 requires OS X 10.10.2 or later.


      • Robert Griffiths says:

        The only “instability” I’ve seen has been with some of the FXFactory plug-ins, like Simon Ubsdell’s excellent Hawaki Keyer. The workaround is to open the FxFactory app, go to prefs/apple apps and click on Clean-up Motion Templates. Then restart FCPX a couple times and you should be good to go.

  8. Steve Hardesty says:

    i meant to say worrying…sorry

  9. Steve Hardesty says:

    I run on a 2011 MacBook Pro…will I need an upgraded Video card now to run the new version of FCPX?

  10. Matt Maguire says:

    With the new Motion update, all my existing projects now appear “dull” and lacking color depth/sharpness. I use Photoshop layers and cannot find any help for what is causing this. I verified it is the new version, as everything looks fine with 5.1. Do you have any insight as to why? Maybe Apple overlooked something?

    • Larry says:


      No insight. Based on what I’ve seen in the New Features list, image quality should not be affected.


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