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Re: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Charlie AustinRe: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?
by on May 27, 2012 at 2:55:50 am

Interesting thread. :-) Just thought I'd chime in here with some thoughts…This may end up being really long, so I'll apologize in advance.

A bit about me… I cut trailers and TV spots for features. I've been editing full time for around 15 years, and for 5 years or so previous to that was a sound editor and post production mixer. I also was a beta tester for versions 2 and 3 of FCP and was one of the first, or maybe even the first person, in Hollywood anyway, to finish a TV spot cut on FCP (Version 1 point something - I like taking risks lol). I think it was for Duece Bigelow. :-) But I digress…

First, to answer the original question… Yes, my opinion has changed. I was among the multitude of "pro's" who eagerly opened X when it first appeared, stared at it in horror, pressed a couple buttons, it crashed, and then I quickly downloaded the latest offerings from Avid and Adobe to see what I'd eventually be working with. They hadn't changed much really :-) Some months later I downloaded the free trial of 10.0.3. Same process, but it took a while longer for it to crash. Then .4 came out, and with it 7toX, so I figured what the hell, and bought it. Got a spot that I had cut in 7 imported to X and started to mess with it…

That was around a month ago and I've gotta say, it's pretty awesome. It's got some quirks but when this thing gets dialed in it's gonna be a killer. Yeah, it's sometimes sluggish, is currently missing a few key things, and a bunch of things FCP 7 users are used to, but that'll change. FCP 2 was just as clunky, if not more so, and look where we are now. :-) I'm still cutting in 7, but I've got 2 projects… uh… events… living in X right now. Real ones, with lots of sequences… er, projects, and clients and deadlines etc. It's a little scary since they're close to finishing… that'll be fun ;-)

I won't rehash all the missing things we all know about, I'm confident they'll reappear in time, I'll just note some stuff on which my opinion has changed, since that's what this thread is about… Now, if you believe Apple will abandon the "pro" market, which I don't, then nothing I say matters, but...

The skimmer… awesome. Searchable, range based keyword collections/favorites, all the metadata stuff… really cool.. goodbye "selects"! Storylines? Don't really get it, reminds me of old skool Avid cutting. Here's my solution… I don't use them. Well, I try not to anyway… at least 'til I figure them out a bit better. Trackless timeline… LOVE it! Seriously, I've always hated having to carefully assign my audio and video when I cut something into a sequence, and playing "Track Tetris" when I wanted to slip/copy a chunk of clips from one place to another. In X… just do it. F*ck tracks! And I'm originally an audio guy… lol Oh, and Roles… really, really, really cool… It does crash now and again, not that often, but it does. I have not lost a single edit. If I was trimming and it crashed, that trim was still done when I reopened it. *That* is amazing.

... There's more, good and bad, but I'll stop writing this novel now. Having actually used the app though, I realize how much FUD is floating around regarding X. It's ridiculous. In a recent Variety article, the head of the ACE *tech committee* said; "Pros need dedicated dialogue, music and sound effects tracks, and Final Cut Pro doesn't support that yet." Yes, pro's do need them, and …he's wrong. Take a couple minutes to assign roles to your clips, and it doesn't matter where they are in the timeline. There's no reason to waste time carefully arranging (audio) tracks anymore. Soloing is super easy, and you can highlight, mute, export roles so easily it's sort of mind boggling. This coming from someone who typically has between 16 and 24 tracks of audio in my timeline for a basic cut. And you can pile up as many video tracks as you want, create adjustment layers, really cool stuff.

Don't listen to internet opinions though, even mine. ;-) It's not all roses and kittens but give it a chance and you might be surprised. Playing with it on a fake project for a week doesn't count though, dive in ya chickens! lol If you don't like it, don't use it. But if you think it's not a pro app… you're totally, completely, unequivocally wrong. IMHO of course…


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