An FCPXML document contains multiple references to shared resources, such as media files, video formats, and effects. You define references to shared resources in the <resources> element, a child of the <fcpxml> element.


The <resources> element can include the child elements in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1  Resource elements




A reference to a media file managed by a library.


A reference to an effect plug-in (for example, FxPlug, Motion document, or Audio Unit).

The src attribute specifies the location of a Motion template, when templates are managed in the library or another external location.


A reference to a Final Cut Pro X video format definition.


A reference to a new or existing media definition in a library. The child element, either <multicam> or <sequence>, specifies whether this is a multicam or compound clip.

Each resource has an id attribute that specifies a local identifier for use within the FCPXML document. For example, an asset resource with a local identifier of r1 might be declared as follows:

<asset id="r1" name="MyMovieFile" src="file:///path/to/"/>

The src attribute is expected to be a string that specifies an absolute file URL conforming to RFC 2396, or a relative URL based on the location of the FCPXML document itself (for example, ./Media/

Later in the same FCPXML document, a video or audio element that uses the asset can refer to it by its local identifier.

<video ref="r1" ... >

For most resources, Final Cut Pro X also assigns a lengthier unique identifier that it writes when exporting the FCPXML document. This unique identifier is stored as a uid attribute in the resource.

Final Cut Pro X has both a local identifier and a unique identifier so that it can distinguish between resources that already exist and resources that are imported for the first time. Exported FCPXML documents that refer to existing resources have unique identifiers assigned by Final Cut Pro X, whereas imported FCPXML documents containing new resources only have local identifiers. A local identifier provides an identity for a new resource in an FCPXML document before Final Cut Pro X assigns it a permanent unique identifier.

Media Assets

The <asset> element specifies a reference to a media file.

Table 3-2  Asset element attributes




The unique identifier of the asset. It is recommended to use a UUID or a string with a reverse DNS prefix to ensure uniqueness.

Note: Final Cut Pro X reserves strings containing only uppercase hexadecimal characters for internal identifiers. A third party tool must not use these strings when assigning its own asset identifiers.

Some <asset> element attributes are optional (or implied) because their values can be derived from the respective media file. However, the asset file may be offline when Final Cut Pro X tries to access it, therefore, it is recommended that you specify the attributes listed in Table 3-3 for all assets.

Table 3-3  Asset element offline attributes




Specifies whether the asset has video.


Specifies whether the asset has audio.


The number of audio sources (or tracks) in the asset.


The number of audio channels in an audio source (or track).


The asset’s audio rate.

The <asset> element has the attributes listed in Table 3-4 that you can use to override the information in the asset file.

Table 3-4  Asset element override attributes




Specifies the color space to use. Color space is described in terms of its three components, as discussed later in this section. See Well Known Color Space Triplets for the list of valid values.

For still images, the value can be sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or Adobe RGB (1998), in addition to those described in terms of components.


Specifies a combination of color primaries and transfer functions specific to a particular camera manufacturer. The value can be one of the following:

  • A built-in custom camera Log or processing mode. For example, 64 (Panasonic_VLog_VGamut).

  • A custom LUT. For example, LUT:f9814a42eb75c58d9d9dc2a5344bd423 (FilmConvert-Justine-3D-LUT).


Specifies the projection type for the asset. Valid values are none, equirectangular, cubic, fisheye, and back-to-back fisheye.


Specifies the stereoscopic mode for the asset. Valid values are mono, side by side, and over under.

Third party tools can assign a unique identifier with the uid attribute of the <asset> element. This allows you to reference the same asset in a subsequent XML import, even if the URL specified by the src attribute is different. Final Cut Pro X locates the asset using the uid attribute value and relinks the media. The asset now uses the media file at the new URL.

This enables a workflow where the initial XML import uses the proxy media that is currently available to allow the editor to start working. Then, when the respective high resolution media becomes available, a second XML import can be used to replace the proxy media with the high resolution media. For this to work, the proxy and the high resolution media must be compatible, meaning their frame rates match and the high resolution media covers the time range of the proxy media. If desired, you can also go back from the high resolution media to the proxy media, as long as the two medias are compatible.

There can be a situation where an importing XML includes a media asset with its unique identifier assigned by a third party tool, yet the media asset has already been imported manually into Final Cut Pro X by the user. In such a case, Final Cut Pro X finds the asset through the URL specified by the src attribute and assigns the unique identifier from the importing XML to the asset already imported into Final Cut Pro X overriding the unique identifier generated by Final Cut Pro X. This is only possible when the media asset imported has a unique identifier assigned by Final Cut Pro X. Refer to Table 3-2 for unique identifiers that can be assigned by a third party tool.

Media Formats

The <format> element specifies the video format for a timeline. This element has a reference to one of the predefined video formats listed in Video Formats through the name attribute, or it can describe a custom format using the attributes in Table 3-5.

Starting in FCPXML 1.7, format attributes in Table 3-5 override the values of a predefined format identified by the name attribute.

Table 3-5  Format element attributes




The field order for interlaced (upper first or lower first), or progressive video (progressive).


The frame duration as a time value.


The video frame height, in pixels.


The relative width of a pixel when video is encoded with non-square pixels.


The relative height of a pixel when video is encoded with non-square pixels.


The video frame width, in pixels.


The asset’s color space, as discussed later in this section.


The projection type, none for a traditional project or media, equirectangular or cubic for a 360 project or media.


The type of stereoscopic mode: none, side by side, or over under.

In FCPXML 1.7, color space is described in terms of its components (color primaries, transfer function, and YCbCr matrix). Each component is encoded as an integer value, and combined in a triplet with a hyphen (-) as the delimiter. For example, 1-1-1 represents the standard Rec. 709 color profile, and 9-1-9 is the standard Rec. 2020 color profile in SDR with the traditional Rec. 709 transfer function. For specific encoded values consult ISO/IEC 23001-8.

When Final Cut Pro X exports FCPXML, it appends the name of the color space in parentheses to the triplet above for well known color spaces. For example 1-1-1 (Rec. 709) or 9-1-9 (Rec. 2020). On import, Final Cut Pro X only uses the triplet and ignores the name within the parentheses.

The color space of a project or a multicam sequence can be one of those listed in Well Known Color Space Triplets.

The colorSpace attribute of the <format> element and the colorSpaceOverride attribute of the <asset> element use this syntax for specifying the color space.

Still image color spaces cannot be represented in terms of components, so the triplet syntax isn’t valid. Instead, you can use one of following values for the colorSpaceOverride attribute:

Bookmark Data

A security-scoped bookmark, associated with an <asset> element, is required for sandboxed applications that need to access a media asset (file-system resource) outside the sandboxed environment. Refer to the Security-Scoped Bookmarks and Persistent Resource Access section in the App Sandbox Design Guide for more information.

Because of this requirement, Final Cut Pro X creates a document-scoped bookmark (see Table 3-6) for each media asset the user grants access to, and includes this bookmark data in the <asset> element when exporting an FCPXML document. See Using Bookmark Data for more information.

When your application exports an FCPXML document, it is recommended that you add bookmark data to each <asset> element. See Creating Bookmark Data for more information.

Table 3-6  Bookmark element




A Base64-encoded string that represents security-scoped bookmark data. It is used by a sandboxed application to reference an asset outside the sandboxed environment.

A bookmark is associated with an <asset> element.

Using Bookmark Data

Follow these steps to use a security-scoped bookmark in a sandboxed application:

  1. Decode the bookmark data.

    The bookmark data in the bookmark element is Base64-encoded so you must first decode the bookmark before it can be used.

  2. Resolve the decoded bookmark data into a security-scoped URL that points to the media asset.

  3. Indicate that you want to use the security-scoped URL to access the file-system resource.

  4. Access the file-system resource using the security-scoped URL in your application.

  5. Release the file-system resource.

These steps are outlined in the following code snippet (refer to NSURL Class Reference for details on the NSURL methods used):

// Decode the Base64 bookmark data
NSData* decodedBookmark = [[NSData alloc] initWithBase64EncodedString:bookmark options:NSDataBase64DecodingIgnoreUnknownCharacters];
// Resolve the decoded bookmark data into a security-scoped URL.
NSError* err = nil;
NSURL* url = [NSURL URLByResolvingBookmarkData:decodedBookmark
if (url) {
    // Indicate that you want to access the file-system resource.
    [url startAccessingSecurityScopedResource];
    // Use the resolved security scoped URL.
    // Release the file-system resource when you are done.
    [url stopAccessingSecurityScopedResource];
// Release the decoded bookmark data
[decodedBookmark release];

Creating Bookmark Data

When you export an FCPXML document as a file, you create a security-scoped bookmark relative to the containing document. When you export an FCPXML document for drag-and-drop, you create an unscoped bookmark.

Follow these steps to create bookmark data:

  1. Start accessing the security-scoped resource. This ensures that the relevant operating system resources are available.

  2. Create the bookmark data for the media asset URL.

    Use the NSURLBookmarkCreationWithSecurityScope option if you are generating a security-scoped bookmark for an FCPXML document stored in a file. The URL for the containing document file is required. For drag-and-drop there is no containing file, so set the option to 0 to generate an un-scoped bookmark.

  3. Stop accessing the security scoped resource. This releases the relevant operating system resources required to create the bookmark data.

These steps are outlined in the following code snippet (refer to NSURL Class Reference for details on the NSURL methods used):

NSURL* assetURL = myAssetURL();
NSURL* documentURL = useSecurityScopedBookmark ? myDocumentURL() : nil;
NSURLBookmarkCreationOptions options = useSecurityScopedBookmark ? NSURLBookmarkCreationWithSecurityScope : 0;
NSError* err = nil;
// Start accessing security scoped resource
[assetURL startAccessingSecurityScopedResource];
// Create bookmark
NSData    * bookmark = [assetURL bookmarkDataWithOptions:options
// Stop accessing security scoped resource
[assetURL stopAccessingSecurityScopedResource];

Multicam Media

You can use a <multicam> media element to assemble footage from multiple cameras, or angles, that are synchronized in time. A <multicam> element contains one or more <mc-angle> elements that each manage a series of other story elements.

Table 3-7  Multicam media elements




A root container for angles of related media, organized as <mc-angle> elements.


A container of story elements organized sequentially in time.

The <multicam> element appears as a child element under a <media> element (as a resource).

Listing 3-1 shows a multicam definition with two angle definitions, a1 and a2:

Listing 3-1  Multicam definition with two angles

    <media id="r1" name="MyMulticamClip">
        <multicam format="r2">
            <mc-angle name="MyMovie1" angleID="a1">
                <asset-clip name="MyMovie1" offset="0s" ref="r3" duration="10s" audioRole="dialogue"/>
            <mc-angle name="MyMovie2" angleID="a2">
                <asset-clip name="MyMovie2" offset="0s" ref="r4" duration="20s" audioRole="dialogue"/>
    <format id="r2" name="FFVideoFormat1080p30"/>
    <asset id="r3" name="MyMovie1" src="file:///Volumes/Media/" start="0s" duration="10s" hasVideo="1" format="r2" hasAudio="1" audioSources="1" audioChannels="2" audioRate="48000"/>
    <asset id="r4" name="MyMovie2" src="file:///Volumes/Media/" start="0s" duration="20s" hasVideo="1" format="r2" hasAudio="1" audioSources="1" audioChannels="2" audioRate="48000"/>

Using Multicam Media

To use the multicam media as a clip, add an <mc-clip> element that references the media in the timeline.

Each <mc-clip> element can use audio and video from the same angle, or combine the audio and video from separate angles from the same <multicam> container. You use <mc-source> elements to specify which angle the audio, video, or both come from.

Table 3-8  Multicam source element




Specifies which angle a particular part of the clip comes from. This element has the following attributes:

  • angleID—Specifies the angle.

  • srcEnable—Indicates which source to use, if any, from the angle (one of audio, video, all, or none).

The following example references the multicam media defined in Listing 3-1:

<mc-clip ref="r4" name="MC Clip" duration="10s">
    <mc-source angleID="a1" srcEnable="all"/>

Audio Components and Multicam

When you use a multicam clip in your project timeline, you can also specify the configuration of audio components, such as:

  • Enabling or disabling the component

  • Mute ranges

  • Volume and other audio adjustments

  • Audio filters

Listing 3-2 is an example multicam project based on Listing 3-1, with two multicam clips whose audio components are reconfigured. The first clip has its audio trimmed at both ends as a JL cut. The second angle in the second clip has its audio muted for 5 seconds in its middle section.

Listing 3-2  Multicam project with two multicam clips and reconfigured audio

<project name="MyProject">
    <sequence duration="40s" format="r2">
            <mc-clip name="MyMulticamClip" offset="0s" ref="r1" duration="20s">
                <mc-source angleID="a1" srcEnable="all">
                    <audio-role-source role="dialogue.dialogue-1" start="1s" duration="18s"/>
            <mc-clip name="MyMulticamClip" offset="20s" ref="r1" duration="20s">
                <mc-source angleID="a1" srcEnable="video"/>
                <mc-source angleID="a2" srcEnable="audio">
                    <audio-role-source role="dialogue.dialogue-1">
                        <mute start="5s" duration="10s"/>