Apple just added 360-degree VR video editing (and more!) to Final Cut Pro X

Apple is adding a few new features to Final Cut Pro X, including 360-degree VR video editing, advanced color grading tools, and support for HDR video.

Apple announced in a press release this morning that a major update to its professional video editing app Final Cut Pro X is rolling out today. The update is free to all existing Final Cut Pro X users, and includes a plethora of cool tools that Susan Prescott — Apple's VP of Apps Product Marketing — guarantees will make the most of your shiny new iMac Pro:

With new features like 360-degree VR editing and motion graphics, advanced color grading and HDR support, Final Cut Pro gives video editors the tools to create stunning, next-generation content. When combined with the performance of Mac hardware, including the all-new iMac Pro, Final Cut Pro provides an incredibly powerful post-production studio to millions of video editors around the world.

360-degree VR video editing

With Final Cut Pro X 10.4, users can now import, edit, and export 360-degree VR content, all while viewing the project in real time through a connected HTC VIVE headset with SteamVR to make sure everything is looking like it should. In addition, users can further enhance their project by adding 2D and 3D titles, applying blurs and glows, and importing and adding advanced 360-degree motion graphics. You can even insert standard (that is, 2D) photos and videos into your VR masterpieces. Once you're finished and are ready to share your art with the world, your 360-degree video can be uploaded directly to pretty much any video-centric social media platform, including YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo.

Advanced color grading

In addition to adding 360-degree editing capabilities, Apple has upped Final Cut Pro X's game in regards to professional color grading: users can now adjust hue, saturation, and brightness with controls built into a set of "unique color wheels." The company has also added a color curves interface that allows for extremely meticulous color adjustments, featuring multiple control points to target specific color ranges as well as eye droppers for sampling specific colors and applying manual white balance. If you use color grading apps like DaVinci Resolve or color grading websites like PremiumBeat, you can also choose and apply custom lookup tables from those resources to your work.

HDR Support

Rounding out the list of big changes to Final Cut Pro X is added support for popular HDR formats. The program is now able to access "an expanded range of brightness levels," delivering exceptionally rich and realistic images. According to Apple's release, editors can output video to HDR monitors using I/O devices from AJA and Blackmagic with brightness levels up to 10,000 nits. However, users can also easily change HDR to SDR output for broadcast.

... and more!

In addition to everything mentioned above, Apple has also added the following features to Final Cut Pro X:

  • [The ability to] import iMovie projects from iPhone and iPad into Final Cut Pro for advanced editing, audio work, motion graphics and color grading.
  • HEVC and HEIF support for importing and editing high efficiency video and photo formats from Apple devices.
  • Updated audio effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces.
  • Faster, higher quality optical flow analysis built on Metal, Apple's advanced graphics technology.

If you don't already have Final Cut Pro X, you can test it out free for 30 days by heading to Apple's website. If you dig it (or if you like to live on the edge and just want to take the plunge already), you can purchase it on the Mac App Store for $299.99.

Thoughts? Questions?

If you're a Final Cut Pro X user, have you tried any of the new features yet? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Tory Foulk

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.