Project X27

In the ongoing saga of Final Cut Pro X comes one of the first third-party tools based on the newly released FCPX XML format. XML came to FCPX in the version 10.0.1 update just a month ago. Project X27 is a $50 translation tool that comes from Intelligent Assistance. The company is no stranger to XML and has produced many helpful workflow tools for Final Cut Pro 7 (as well as Premiere Pro). Project X27 moves Final Cut Pro X timelines into Final Cut Pro 7. You might ask why someone would want to move an edit to FCP7. The short answer is there are a lot of places you can move a full project, or parts of a project, once it is in FCP7. For example, you can import FCP7 XMLs into Adobe Premiere Pro … and that means an easy link to After Effects from there.

The tool’s operation is simple: export an FCPX XML, run it through Project X27 and you get the FCP7 compliant XML. A decent number of things are translated in the process:

  • Titles at the start and end;
  • a mixture of primary storyline and connected clips;
  • a mix of active and inactive clips;
  • large numbers of J and L cuts;
  • to-do markers and regular markers;
  • spot audio effects; and
  • cross-dissolve transitions.

There’s a full list of what works and what doesn’t work, as well as known issues in the Project X27 pdf help. Regardless of one’s opinion of FCPX, XML for FCPX has ushered in tools like this and workflows that help bring FCPX into a more professional world.

All you have to do is Export an XML from FCPX, open it in Project X27, and you’re offered this option:






There’s a before-and-after timeline translation example on the Project X27 website, but here’s an example I tried myself:

My Final Cut Pro X sequence


The FCP7 sequence after the Project X27 conversion

That’s not the most complex edit but it looks spot on. If you’re wondering why this conversion doesn’t go the other way, from FCP7 to FCPX, then read what Intelligent Assistance has to say about that particular question at the bottom of this blog post. I’m sure there is a Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X translation tool in the works, and we’ll try that one out too when it ships.