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With the recent update of Final Cut Pro X to 10.0.1, an XML import & export feature became available.This article might be a very good place to start from to get an understanding of this flexible tool.

Jonathan Eric Tyrell writes a dam fine article and he has put a lot of time into this post about the new XML for FCPX, it's called FCPXML.

Hopefully he won't mind us reproducing the first paragraphs of his article. Make sure you read the full text over on his blog as he gives step by step instructions on how to write FCPXML to automatically build a simple edit in FCPX.

"The ability to export and import XML (Extensible Markup Language) files is a key component of many existing workflows and something a lot of Final Cut Pro editors rely on today. In large part, the foundation of the Final Cut Studio ecosystem was built on the interchange of XML files between different applications. For those of us who were startled by the omission in June release of FCP X, the absence will perhaps become notable for how short-lived it was. It seems clear Apple would like us to view the 10.0.1 update to Final Cut Pro X as a signal of intent.

Before we consider the function(s) of XML in contemporary workflows, it may be useful to understand where the impetus to transfer projects originates and identify the issue XML attempts to address. As we all know, historically the film and television industries have relied on dedicated technologies for specific tasks. For years the fabled Edit Decision List (EDL) has been the tool used to recreate projects on different systems — to the grade the picture or mix the sound, for example. The EDL has been around for a long time and is regarded by many as antiquated, but it’s survived and is featured in a whole host of current applications you’ll be aware of, including ResolveScratch and Smoke. By design an EDL is intended to reduce a project to its core components — reel and timecode data. It’s intentionally minimal, restricted to the essential information necessary to describe and recreate the edited timeline. It may seem blunt, but by and large it works. Its longevity is rooted in its simplicity."

XML on the other hand is far more sophisticated in what it is able to describe. As a result we can use it to transfer all sorts of data. Indeed anyone who has experienced the Final Cut Pro 7 to Color 1.5 round-trip workflow will have marvelled at the depth and complexity of information that flows between the two applications. Alongside the Final Cut Studio workflows, third-party developers like Automatic Duck,Digital Heaven and Intelligent Assistance have created numerous products to augment our toolset by utilising XML in clever and powerful ways."

At the end of the article Eric says he has been learning the apps that support FCPXML such as Smoke, Resolve and CatDV. Hopefully he will write a follow up article with his experiences of exchanging material in between those and FCPX.

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