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Apple granted a patent for 3D layout of clips - will we ever see this in FCPX?


Sick of skimming in Final Cut Pro X? Could Apple be planning on including a three dimensional CoverFlow in iMovie first and therefore FCPX? Who knows, but they got awarded the patent.

Our head is still spinning from trying to digest the patent document! Maybe patent documents get written in an abstract way but detailed enough to adequately cover the protected processes.

On the 23rd of August 2011, Apple were granted a patent that covers the three dimensional display of clips. The images stacked behind are not different clips, they are the same clip with a +- frame offset. A kind of filmstrip view meets CoverFlow.

The patent which was filed on June 8th 2007 does mention iMovie, but we know from recent events that the design concepts from iMovie are closely linked to FCPX. We are trying to rack our brains here on the FCP.co campus why you should want to do this. We said before the launch of FCPX that we would love to have a CoverFlow display in the GUI, but it would be stacked with clips and not frames of the same clip. Or could this be a new trimming method that would feature in the OS or QuickTime replacement?

All speculation of course and we have seen from the past that although Apple own a patent, it doesn't mean they are going to keep the feature going in future versions: Edit to Tape being a good example.

So if you can make head or tail of the patent, let us know.

#8,006,185 Three Dimensional Viewer for Video

"A computer-implemented method of presenting digital content can include displaying several arranged in a staggered formation in a user interface, wherein at least one of the several panes is entirely visible and adjacent panes are partially visible and displayed adjacent to the entirely visible pane, displaying a frame of an item of digital content comprising a sequence of frames in an entirely visible pane and displaying adjacent frames in corresponding adjacent panes, and displaying in the entirely visible pane successive frames of the digital content item by sequentially replacing the frame in the entirely visible pane with an adjacent frame."

Much more tekkiness in the patent document should you want it.  (via Patently Apple)

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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