Change Project Frame Rates in FCPX the Easy Way?

Change FCPX project frame rates:
Edit the XML file

I have changed the frame rate of an FCPX project using this method successfully. It started after I learned how to alter a Motion project file (also XML) to change the frame rates of projects. I wondered: if I could do it for Motion, if I could also do it with FCPX. Turns out… I could. All assets are automatically conformed to the new project rate.

This is not a supported method and should be considered experimental. If you attempt to do this – you will be doing so at your own risk. [I’m not going to take any responsibility for it. AFAIK, nobody else has attempted this.]

Follow these instructions exactly, and you should get a working project with the new frame rate. (I imagine you can change the size as well, but you can also do that from within FCPX which would be safer.) No knowledge of FCPXML necessary!

Create an “empty” project with the size and framerate you need. Use Custom Settings and set the specific frame rate you require.


File > Export XML.

Export XML on the project requiring the frame rate change.

Open the two XML files in TextEdit (Text Only – no rich text format! I recommend TextWrangler, but TextEdit wlll do… I think.)

Copy the top <format> tag from the “empty” project and replace the tag in your active project.

Save As a different name.

The format tag looks like this in context [it’s at the very top of the file]:

fcpx xml start
FCPX fcpxml opening lines






Just replace the line that starts with <format and ends with /> (exactly! same indent) with the copy from the empty project.

As a warning – make sure you *respect* the original line spacing and indentation in the file. Change only the contents of the <format> tag exactly where it is. Indents are tabs not spaces and indicates “levels”, etc. Changed formatting will invalidate the file. On the other side of this warning, all of the content of the original project seems to work perfectly (I’ve only done this a couple of times.)

File > Import > XML (to a different Event is recommended) the altered XML back into FCPX… You might be asked if you want to replace assets – I recommend you “Keep Both”. You should end up with two distinct projects, one with the old frame rate and one with the new.

That’s all there is to it. If you already have a project with the frame rate (and size) you want to copy over to the project to change, you can skip creating an empty project. Export XML(s). Copy and paste the contents of one line. Save As and import — you’re done.

Good luck.

— Fox