One of the initial deal-breakers for me with switching to Final Cut Pro X was the inability to open Legacy FCP projects. This is a very real concern for me as I have several clients who like to re-purpose older projects on a fairly regular basis. Needless to say I was very excited to hear that Assisted Editing had released 7toX For Final Cut Pro, a plug-in that takes advantage of the recent XML 1.1 update in FCP X to import legacy projects. Yesterday I downloaded it and gave it a whirl.
The first thing I’ll say is that it was remarkable easy to use and I had one of my old FCP 7 projects up and running on a FCP X timeline within minutes. But don’t expect to just be able to just pick up on your projects where you left off – there are some things that just don’t translate. This particular project was a small corporate video that required color correction. As is often the case with my FCP 7 projects, the color correction was done with the FCP Color Corrector 3-way filter. Since the color correction tools in FCP X have been completely revamped, none of these filters made it into the new FCP X timeline. Ditto for some basic text on screen that I did with the Boris title tool. Neither of these was a complete surprise to me, however, which is why I chose this particular project to run the test.
Another issue was 7toX’s handling of the Event media. There is no way to select where the new project puts the Event - it simply places it in the default location, which is the Movies folder on your machine drive. You can move your project Event folder to an external work drive after the fact, but that’s an extra step and could take some time depending on the amount of footage in your project.
But none of these issues is a particularly big problem for me. The rest of the project translated perfectly, and within a couple of hours I had the project back in its original form. I even found that the new color correction tools in FCP X were able to take the color correction up a notch, and quickly.
As for what it does translate, the product website gives a list:
- 31 transitions are translated to matching transitions
- 72 video FxPlug and FxScript filters are translated to matching video filters
- 32 audio filters are translated to matching audio filters
- Layered Photoshop files are accurately translated to Layered Photoshop files in Final Cut Pro X
- Motion Tab settings (Scale, Rotation, Center, Anchor Point, Crop, Distort and Opacity) are translated to Transform settings (Scale, Rotation, Position, Anchor, Crop, and Distort)
- Composite Modes are translated to matching Compositing settings
- Constant speed changes are translated
For more detailed information, visit the product page.
Overall, I have to say that 7toX For Final Cut Pro delivers - enough to nudge me off the fence in terms of committing to FCP X as my primary editing tool moving forward.