There are a few things I have to do every day as part of my regular routine. One of them is make sure that videos sound and look as good as they can before going out on YouTube and other various channels. After having used iMovie primarily, and pushing it to its technical limits, I decided to upgrade to Final Cut Pro X. Having worked on previous versions of Final Cut in the past, this seemed like a logical step toward creating better video content.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as smooth of a ride as I had hoped. With the latest update (10.0.1), I began noticing a very strange and annoying bug in how the program saved font selections for lower-thirds and other text overlays. I’d select a font, set the size and transparency, and send it over to Compressor. After the video had been rendered, the font itself for each overlay changed. Sometimes, the font would change entirely while other times it would make itself italic or bold. This meant that no matter what I did to the front-end of the project, the results were always unpredictable.
This problem has continued despite countless font library validations, reinstallation, and virtually every other troubleshooting method in the book. Hour after wasted hour was spent toiling over what I have now discovered to be a problem with Apple’s latest patch of FCP X. I came across a discussion thread on Apple’s official forums filled with other users that have been experiencing this very problem.
So, what’s the workaround? You can try setting your font to one step above or below the font you intend to use. There’s a roughly 25% chance that the resulting render will match your intended selection. You can also shut down FCP X and reopen the app to see what font FCP X has selected for you to use.
Alternatively, you can create a transparent still image and place that over the video on your timeline. Motion, if you have that installed, still works as it did before, which should allow you to create a moving lower-third or text overlay without much of a problem. The one big drawback is that your selection of available graphics and effects is different under Motion.
Until Apple resolves this bug, and it’s a very significant one, FCP X is a hard editing program to recommend to anyone who relies on being able to create lower-thirds and text overlays on the fly.
Have you experienced this issue? Do you know of a better workaround that works in most cases?