Exporting XML project package to FCPX

We've designed the Export to FCPXML feature to be as seamless as possible, but there are a few things to know in order to get the best results.

Because every editing system uses a different structure for editing and effects, not all of the features found in LumaFusion will translate across to FCPX.  This page details what features are supported and how to manage unsupported features once you get your project into FCPX.

Tap here for a complete tutorial on using the Export to FCPXML feature.

What Features Will Transfer from LumaFusion with FCPXML?

Some features do not have an equivalent in Final Cut Pro X and are currently not supported during the XML transfer from LumaFusion to Final Cut Pro X. In future updates, export to FCPXML will support more of these features.

LumaFusion Area Feature Supported in FCPXML Transfer?
Timeline Multi-track timeline with audio, photos, videos Yes
Transitions Yes
Video Cut / Audio Crossfade transition Yes*  (See note)
Fade-in and out (at head and tail of timeline)  Yes**  (See note)
Timeline Mixer Audio Track Mixer Levels and Mute No
Timeline Track View, Lock and Mute No
Frame and Fit Mirror No
90° Rotate No
Fit Mode (Fit and Fill) Yes
Fit Mode (Focus and Stretch) No
Basic Cropping and keyframes Yes
Edge Softness and Corner Radius No
Size / Position / Rotate and keyframes Yes
Blending (Opacity) Yes
Blending (Blend Mode) No
Speed Speed Forward and Reverse  Yes
Maintain Audio Pitch No
Titles  Yes*** (See note)
Audio Audio Effects No
Audio Configuration No
Audio Levels and Keyframes Yes
Audio Panning and Keyframes Yes
Color and Effects Color Corrections and Effects  No
LUTs No
Chroma Key No

* The Video Cut - Audio Cross transition does not have an equivalent in FCPX, so the audio cross fade is represented as a ramp in the audio waveform. This can be hard to see, unless you increase the height of the audio waveform. Alternatively, you can detach the audio tracks in FCPX, to see the audio tracks overlap.
** Fade-in and fade-out transitions (cross dissolves against black) that are located in the middle of the timeline rather than at the head or tail of the timeline do not have an equivalent in FCPX, so those transitions will be replaced with black clips so that you can easily add crossfades in FCPX to create the fades.
*** Titles are transferred as images only and are not editable in FCPX.

A few other things to know

  • Transcoded video clips (clips that started as ProRes and were transcoded to h.264 for use in LumaFusion) from GNARBOX v2.0 will not relink to original source media in FCPX. GNARBOX is looking into this issue.
  • Different project frame rates may not show exact frames when comparing the LumaFusion timeline to the Final Cut Pro X timeline. There may be some occasional one frame discrepancies. Exporting from any editor to any other editor is unlikely to be 100% equivalent. In particular mixing clips with different frame rates within a project may produce extraneous single frame clips near the end of the FCPX timeline.  Just delete those single frames from the end of the timeline.
  • Frame & Fit - Fit Modes - 'Focus' and 'Stretch' modes don't have an equivalent in FCPX and so these fit modes are not reflected in your FCPX timeline.
  • FCPX does not support transitions with a duration of 3 frames or less and so transitions shorter than 4 frames will not be present in your FCPX timeline.
  • Occasionally some media in the zip file will cause the FCPXML project to not open in FCPX. You will may see a message that states: 'Cannot perform this operation: The application detected an error that prevents changes from being saved'. In this instance we suggest looking for any media in the unzipped folder that doesn’t show a thumbnail on macOS and then replace or recompress that media if possible. This is not an issue caused by LumaFusion but by the original media and it's compatibility with FCPX or MacOS.
  • Push and Slide transitions placed at the end of clips on overlay tracks in LumaFusion will require some re-editing in FCPX since these transitions are handled quite differently between the two systems.

Using the 'VideoCut-AudioCross' transition in LumaFusion.

There is no equivalent transition in FCPX, so instead we automatically create audio keyframes to create the audio cross fades in FCPX.

In this example our LF project is using 4 clips on the main track with 'VideoCut-AudioCross' transitions.

Here is what the Timeline looks like in FCPX; note that there are no transitions between the clips.

But if you expand the audio on the clips, you will see that the audio overlaps and that they have keyframes creating the crossfades from clip to clip.



Transitions from or to black on the main track.

Transitions in LumaFusion that end on a cut to black (or anything else) or start at a cut from black (or anything else) on the main track will need to be attended to in FCPX. Take a look at these screen shots:

On the main track there are two clips separated by black. There is a fade to black and a fade from black.  

This is how the same timeline will appear in FCPX. Notice that the transitions are represented by the video clips media, but are called by the transition name.  They are separated by a match frame cut.

To convert these clips to transitions we cannot just drag a transition on to them.  First we have to change these transition clips into compound clips.

Select a transition clip, right click on it and select 'New Compound Clip. . .' from the menu.  You will be promoted to give the compound clip a name since it's going to appear in the library.

You'll then see something like this in the timeline

Double click on the compound clip in the timeline to open it, then add your transition. 

Place the transition at either the start or end dependent on wanting a fade up or fade out, then trim to the correct duration. In this case, a fade to black, so the transition is placed at the end of the compound clip.

Click on the left arrowhead button to return to the Timeline.

Now you will see your compound clip that has a transition inside of it.

Working with Relinkable Media

There are typically two reasons why you might choose the ‘No Relinkable Media’ option. Either a) you are working with proxy media or b) you want to avoid exporting very large FCPXML files. In either case you will want to be able to relink the clips in FCPX to the original media.

If you plan on exporting an XML file using the ‘No Relinkable Media’ option, then please follow these guidelines:

XML Export has three options, export with Full Media, export Trimmed Media and export No Relinkable Media.

With the first two options, 'Full' and 'Trimmed', the resulting FCPXML file will contain media copied from LumaFusion and you will not have to consider how to relink media in FCPX. When you open this file in FCPX it will use this media to populate your timeline and allow you to continue to edit. However since you are sending media with the FCPXML file, the file itself could be several GBytes in size.

Using the 'No Relinkable Media' option will only send media that cannot be relinked in FCPX. This keeps the FCPXML file size to an absolute minimum. But there are a few things to know before using this particular option.

How does LumaFusion define relinkable media?

LumaFusion will ‘flag’ media as being relinkable as long as it is imported properly.

  • Always import SSD, USB-C and SD card media into LumaFusion either via the Import media dialog or by adding a link to a folder from the Files Library, then dragging the media to the timeline. This will ensure that this media is recognized by LumaFusion as ‘relinkable’ media.
  • If you manually copy media into the LumaFusion ‘UserMedia’ folder, this media will NOT be recognized by LumaFusion as ‘relinkable’, and so exporting your project with this media using the ‘NRM’ option will have no advantage over the ‘FULL Media’ option.

In general all media imported into LumaFusion will be regarded as relinkable, however, there are a few exceptions to this:

  • Media from Photos, Storyblocks and the Titles libraries
  • Media imported from other apps using 'Open In' or 'Copy to'. In these cases, when you make the FCPXML file in LumaFusion, it will also contain the media for those non-linkable files.
  • If your media has timecode on it, then Consolidating or Optimizing your project will produce new media that will not be relinkable.
  • If your media has timecode on it, then Archiving your project with trimmed media will remove the ‘relinkable’ flag on the media and will not be relinkable after restoring that project.  Archiving the project with full media will not remove the 'relinkable' flag.
  • If the timecode of a clip is altered or removed, then it will also not relink its media in FCPX.
  • When creating proxy files care should be taken not to change the media type, frame rate, audio channels and timecode.

How does Final Cut Pro define relinkable media?

In Final Cut Pro, clips represent your media, but they are not the media files themselves (see Media files and clips in Final Cut Pro). Final Cut Pro keeps track of the links between clips and media files automatically.

However, there are times when you need to manually relink clips to media files: 

  • When files are altered or re-created outside of your copy of Final Cut Pro: For example, if you send files out for color correction, you may need to relink the clips in your event to the color-corrected versions of the files when you receive them.
  • When media files are missing: If you move or rename externally linked files in the Finder, or if you move an event or a project to a different location, you need to relink the event or project clips (which appear as red frames with yellow alert triangles) to the files.

In either case, manually relinking connects the clips in Final Cut Pro to the correct files on your Mac or storage device. Metadata in the relinked clips remains unchanged.

The relinked files can have a different resolution and codec than the original files, and they can be trimmed versions of the original files, but the relinked files must include all the media in the referenced clips. Otherwise, the relinked files must share the following qualities with the original files:

  • Same media type (for example, video or audio)
  • Same frame rate
  • Similar audio channels


Workflow Example 1

Using four different cameras, two DSLR type cameras, and two drones. None of the cameras allow for assigning unique identifiers for each camera. It's is important then, to keep each cameras media in individual folders.

  1. After the shoot, copy the media from the cameras to a USB-C drive, placing each camera's media into separate folders to avoid duplicate names.
  2. Connect the external drive to the iPad Pro and copy the media, including the folders to the iPad using the Files app. This is best done by creating a specific top level folder in 'On My iPad', such as 'On My iPad > My footage.'
  3. In LumaFusion, open the Files Library and link to the specific top level folder, 'My Footage', then edit as normal, selecting your clips from the subfolders.
  4. Export XML typically via airdrop to your Mac using the 'No Relinkable Media' (NRM) option.
  5. Open the zip file on your Mac, then double tap on the FCPXML file which will open FCPX. 

The XML file that is created by LumaFusion will auto relink to your media if you have the USB-C drive connected to the Mac and it has the original folder structure.  Or you can manually relink the media.

You can also connect the USB-C drive to the Mac and copy the media including the folder structure to the internal or other connected drives which provides redundancy for your footage as well as the ability to continue to edit in LumaFusion and export incremental XML files to FCPX relinking each time.

Workflow Example 2

  1. Import media from Dropbox and other cloud storage (not iCloud)
  2. Edit with this media as normal adding VO, titles and music from story blocks.
  3. Export XML as No Relinkable Media

The resulting FCPXML will include any media that is not considered 'relinkable'.  This will be the voice over, titles and music tracks.  All media from Dropbox will be considered as relinkable.

On your Mac ensure that you download your media from dropbox to your SSD or HDD and relink manually.

If you have Dropbox setup correctly on your Mac, Final Cut Pro can auto relink to this media.

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