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Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users

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Franz BieberkopfTracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 7:05:36 pm

I'll approach this mortally-wounded horse rather carefully, but as the Primary Storyline seems to be central to the FCPX paradigm, and as this strikes me as antithetical to the way I work, I realized I don't really understand how other people approach it.

So here's the question (for all the FCPX users):

How do you decide what your Primary Storyline is? Does it change through your process?

I'm hoping to get a large number of responses as that would offer the best overview.


Franz.


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Steve ConnorRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 7:19:43 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "as this strikes me as antithetical to the way I work,"

Best way to illustrate might be for you to state a brief example of how you put an edit together in the timeline.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 7:24:32 pm

Steve,


I've discussed my process previously as well as the model for editing in FCPX, but I'm not looking for responses to that here - I'm genuinely curious about how people approach the Primary Storyline question.


Franz.


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Tom WolskyRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 7:52:43 pm

I use the primary storyline as the bed, very similarly to the way I did in earlier versions. Build the primary narrative, interviews, soundbites on the primary storyline with B-roll connected to it. For music videos, many people use the music itself as the primary storyline. For narrative fiction, it's mostly cut on the primary storyline, just as V1 was used in earlier versions. Cutaways and reactions can be connected as use like V2 in earlier versions. These were the techniques taught in Apple training programs, and they adapt quite well to the current version.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:02:17 pm

Tom,


Thanks, but I think your post sort of begs the question.

Part of it seems clear enough - you primarily structure work based on audio, if I understand correctly, so the audio (and accompanying video, if any) are your primary story line.

But when you talk of building your primary narrative, I want to know what you mean. Master shots? with rough edits. Are you following a script? Are you doing a paper edit and then rough execution? When you start a project, or a scene, what do you identify as your primary or how do you arrive at that decision?


Franz.


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Tom WolskyRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:38:33 pm

Sometimes there's a script or rough outline, sometimes there's not. Often it's simply making selects in the browser and then putting them in the timeline and then rearranging them in the timeline till the narrative makes sense and has the development and progression you want to tell your story. The primary is almost always audio driven, dialog, sound bites, narration, though by habit I don't put narration on the primary, though there is no reason you can't, and it probably would make more sense in some circumstances to do that. I've certainly never worked the way you do with hundreds of sequences. I only used sequences for two purposes in legacy FCP, to keep versions, and as containers for media for viewing and making selects. In FCP now I use projects for versions, and I've never made that many versions, 20 would be a lot for me. In an hour long program I usually have five to eight versions. As for containers to view and shift material, I use compound clips in the browser for that. I only tend to use them during the early stages and simply as a way to make selects, which get copied into a project. I don't often copy whole clips unless they're short. I really do not work the way you do, which seems to be putting masses of material in the sequence and cutting them there. My background is in film and tape editing and that was never an option. You edited in what you needed and then trimmed. With tape you had to edit the beginning tight and left the tail long to be cut by the next shot. I probably tend to still do that when making selects, though of course trimming is now much more flexible.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Steve ConnorRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 7:56:10 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I've discussed my process previously as well as the model for editing in FCPX, but I'm not looking for responses to that here - I'm genuinely curious about how people approach the Primary Storyline question.
"


Wow, I forgot about that thread, after re-reading your workflow I have to say again FCPX is NOT for you, it's not designed for your sort of workflow at all.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Mark MoracheRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:39:55 pm

Franz, Good question.

For me, I find that my fastest work can happen in the primary timeline. For example, you cannot use the I and O keys to set edit points on anything except the primary storyline. Likewise, the blade tool defaults to the primary storyline.

My edits are generally driven by audio: narration, interviews and natural sound. I put all of these into the primary storyline for my first assembly.

However, I don't like to keep the narration in the primary storyline, because I would rather put my b-roll there so I can edit more quickly using all the tools, including the keys to select my points.

My workflow includes lifting and dropping clips from and to the primary storyline as I need to. So after my sound is all laid out, I can select all of the narration clips and lift them from the storyline. This puts the audio clips below the primary storyline, and leaves a gap clip in its place in the timeline that I can fill with b-roll.

Considering how easy it is supposed to be with the magnetic timeline, I frequently find myself pulling clips out of the primary and sticking them back in.

The tools in FCX gives us many different ways to work, and it's a little challenging to find the best workflow for you, but it's happening more intuitively now that I've been working with it for awhile.

Is it faster than the legacy track-based timeline. Is some ways yes, in other ways no, but I believe it will get better.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Steve ConnorRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:55:58 pm

[Mark Morache] "For example, you cannot use the I and O keys to set edit points on anything except the primary storyline."

I'm worried this statement may lead to some confusion, Just to be clear you CAN use the i and o keys to place clips above or below the primary storyline. You are NOT restricted to editing directly INTO the primary storyline with the shortcut keys.

However you CANNOT mark an in and out in a secondary storyline!

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Mark MoracheRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:27:42 pm

Good catch. If I had taken the time to re-read my post before posting, I might have caught that.

I hope they figure out a way to use the I/O keys to make edits into secondary storylines, perhaps even a way to "lock" the primary, just like we lock tracks in FCP7.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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John MoffatRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 10:20:34 am

As a alternative technique you can still use the play head as an "in point" to perform a 3 point edit directly into a secondary storyline. As well as using the range select tool to set in and out in a secondary. You also use the timeline index to mark I&O on any clip to perform a replace edit.

Not as efficient as using I & O keys by any means but there are still options.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:41:22 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "How do you decide what your Primary Storyline is?"

As you said, it's the process of editing.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Does it change through your process?"

If you want it to, and most likely yes. You still have to edit in fcpx, it seems that people think that X makes editorial decisions for you. It doesn't.

Yesterday in fcp7, I was organizing a 2 person dialogue scene. A simple, 2 camera, relatively scripted back and forth.

There were many takes and pickups. I started to break all of the takes apart by line/groups of lines so I can watch all the takes from one particular angle/groupings at once. Both angles were stacked on the timeline, and I'd disable what I didn't want to see depending on which character was saying it.

I had to do this in a timeline in fcp7 to make any sense of it and get all the takes together. Its simply the best way to get this to work in fcp7 in a way that's easily viewable from a bird's eye view

It took the better part of 7 hours to get this all done, a lot of copying/pasting making markers/rearranging on the timeline.

That whole time I realized that I wouldn't need Projects in fcpx to do this, I would simply use the Event (which can include timeline like functions if you want, in compound clips). I could range select and keyword the lines and they would all fall in to place in the browser. I would have a group of all the necessary lines trimmed and ready, and could add all the necessary/best clips to an audition clip, each line being its own audition, then bring those auditions into a Project. After I make my first pass with the "best" takes and seek approval, all the additional takes will travel with the audition clips. If a client wants another take/variation, it's literally a couple of clicks to find the appropriate take in the audition and choose it. The rest of the timeline adjusts to the new length of the new take. This part would have all been done in the primary to get the most out of the audition clip functionality.

In the browser I have easily browsable copies of each individual clip as well that would be easy to find by the script numbering system I applied before.

Alas, I still dont use fcpx for paying gigs, yet.

The primary is whatever you want it to be. For me, it's usually what is driving the length (but not necessarily the pace) of the edit. It's not always video.


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Steve ConnorRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 8:57:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Alas, I still dont use fcpx for paying gigs, yet."

As a quick aside, why don't you? Is it the lack of broadcast monitor output

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 9:19:38 pm

[Steve Connor] " Is it the lack of broadcast monitor output"

That's one, but I think it's coming so it's not holding me back

Overall, it's stability.

I need reliable tools, and my comfort level isn't quite there yet.

Also, I'd like some better built in interchange, and I need a proxy workflow (reconnect). Not fcpx proxies, but being able to reconnect to higher resolution finish files from proxy files made elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to start using it for certain things, but it's still a bit young to me.


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David Roth WeissRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 9:24:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I had to do this in a timeline in fcp7 to make any sense of it and get all the takes together. Its simply the best way to get this to work in fcp7 in a way that's easily viewable from a bird's eye view

It took the better part of 7 hours to get this all done, a lot of copying/pasting making markers/rearranging on the timeline.
"


Jeremy,

It sounds as if you were working without transcripts. Is that correct?

If that's true, you should be using Boris Soundbite or the older GET.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 9:30:44 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "It sounds as if you were working without transcripts. Is that correct? "

The material was semi scripted.

I thought I mentioned that, perhaps not. Apologies.

I have a general script, no transcripts needed.

I'll post a pic of the timeline on Monday.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:23:44 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'll post a pic of the timeline on Monday."

Here's a timeline of the organization of one scene from my current project.



fcp7_organization.png

It's fine, it's works, it allows decent access to all the takes. Each one of those markers up top signifies different lines of dialog, I can right click on the top of the timeline and choose which marker from a drop down (or I can right click in the canvas time indicator) which helps when I need to find/search for different lines/variations.

But, this would be different in FCPX.

In X, I would have all of this organization in the Event. The Project would be the "Best" takes in audition clips below it (essentially, the edit)

This means I can watch selects and quickly add them to a timeline without having to go back and forth between two timelines as I will now in FCP7. So, in essence, I actually find it a bit better in X as I have more of a birds eye view of both the selects and the edit at once and can easily jump back and forth. It's rather fluid, although it does work differently and therefore takes a bit of getting used to.

I believe this is one of the ways FCPX is designed to work. In order to gain access to a lot of footage at once, we almost have to use timelines in FCP7 to gather all selects as the browser only shows us one clip at time via the Viewer (which you view by double clicking each clip), and have them all string out in a timeline with no reference to what's in the "Edited" timeline. In FCPX, I can skim a whole batch of organized selects in the browser, or skim what's on my timeline really easily and quickly and always see the relationship between the two. I know I am in the minority in this regard, but I do find FCPX to help me get a more encompassing view of my footage (both edited and selects) in fairly short order with minimal fuss/double-clicking/copying/pasting. I find this helps the creative process, but what do I know? :)

I know this doesn't have to do with Tracks vs Storylines per se, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway as I read your other post about how you use timelines in FCP7, Franz.

To me, FCPX defines the relationship of your clips very differently from any other NLE in both organization in the Event and on the timeline in Projects. I welcome it. Yes, it's needs a great deal of fine tuning for timeline actions (Mark's example of rolling a clip and keeping the connected clip in place is a fine example of that), but those types of fixes can be made and I believe will mature over time as long as we send feedback to Apple.

Jeremy


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Steve ConnorRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:29:20 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "In FCPX, I can skim a whole batch of organized selects in the browser, or skim what's on my timeline really easily and quickly and always see the relationship between the two. I know I am in the minority in this regard, but I do find FCPX to help me get a more encompassing view of my footage (both edited and selects) in fairly short order with minimal fuss/double-clicking/copying/pasting. I find this helps the creative process, but what do I know? :)"

For me this is part of the core advantage of FCPX, this is the part I find the most exciting but also something that is hard to get across without using FCPX in a real world situation.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:45:13 pm

[Steve Connor] "For me this is part of the core advantage of FCPX, this is the part I find the most exciting but also something that is hard to get across without using FCPX in a real world situation."

I agree. It seems to me the part that Apple really spent a lot of time on is really defining the relationship of your footage to the edit. Yes, it's not perfect (with the project bloat and other oddities) but all of that "bugginess" can and hopefully will be fixed. There are certain higher level functions (reconnect/interchange/connection-with-the-outside-world) that are simply not there yet. It's still very early. Some of the timeline functions can and probably will change over time. I can understand how people might not trust Apple at the moment and understandably so, but from my perspective, I am OK with this exploration.

At first blush, there are certain aspects of FCPX that make things "easier" or as some might say "not professional" there are other aspects that make things more creative, even if the process is a bit easier to execute. I am OK with creativity. We, as professionals will spend time leveraging that creativity. There are also other things that aren't quite as easy and you have to think about it a little bit, which is what this thread is about, really. Nice work, Franz. You brought up a great question.

Jeremy


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:42:43 pm

Thanks Jeremy - I think that's interesting as it relates to how you would work in FCPX with the same material.

What I immediately react to, however, is the inability to see certain relationships in the browser (or "event") that you can see in a timeline.

I have an example that is similar (I think) to your process of selection. Here is a timeline from a performance short (dance) that I did last year. It was a single camera shoot with playback, multiple takes. Note that this timeline is selects only (one iteration after raw sync).



What I have here is relationships of coverage that I think would be impossible to see in a browser.

I actually approach most material in a similar manner so what is true for me here (performance to playback) is also true for scripted performance and to a certain degree unscripted material.

Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:01:29 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "What I immediately react to, however, is the inability to see certain relationships in the browser (or "event") that you can see in a timeline."

You are right, FCPX can't do everything quite yet (the lack of sync markers would probably kill this project right away).

As an aside, multicam is coming. We don't know exactly what this is going to be, but my hunch is that it is going to allow to watch multiple angles/tracks/whatever, at once from the browser.

Right now, the way that you have that organized, you could actually still use a timeline in X, but that timeline would be in a compound clip in the Event (which is skimmable). Of course, you might have to "Open in Timeline" to see the different stacked takes that you have there in your FCP7 timeline. So it will be a bit of back and forth, similar to FCP7 now, but you will be able to skim that "collapsed" clip in the Event, and still have your Project open at the bottom. If you need to see another clip from it, you'd open in timeline and Enable/Disable what you need.

So yes, FCPX might not lend itself to this right at this moment, but my hunch is that it will.

You could also work something out with Audition clips the way you have it stacked now. Which means that you have one timeline with all of your clips in it, and you'd simply choose which angle to view. I'm hoping this will get even easier with multicam as you'd be able to watch multiple takes at once if you'd like, in context of the overall edit.

A question for you:

In your timeline example. Will that be the final length of the timeline (more or less)? Meaning, if it's a performance, you will probably have one long audio/guide track correct? I understand that you might trim some fat from the middle somewhere, but more or less the beginning/middle/end of your timeline
is the beginning/middle/end of the finished piece?


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:16:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As an aside, multicam is coming."

I actually don't use the multicam function in FCP - I have always built my timelines this way.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Of course, you might have to "Open in Timeline" to see the different stacked takes"

Right now, however, the tracks allow me to see at a glance which angle covers which section of the timeline - I think this would hard (though possible?) to achieve in X.

V2 and V3 are my wides - you can see where I like them. If I know that V6 was the best intimate handheld take (for dancers and camera) I can see pretty clearly where I can rely on that and where not. It's also apparent by glancing at the timeline, for instance, that I've only selected one take to cover a section just after the midway point. In other words - looking at the timeline (and remembering these are my selects) I have an overview of coverage (strengths and weaknesses) - the timeline is giving me information.

I think you're proposing a compound clip (with range selections?) as a possible way to replicate this? Can the one track per camera take be replicated somehow? with multiple small selects from one long clip?

[Jeremy Garchow] "you will probably have one long audio/guide track"

Yes - here V1 / A1A2 are my playback guide.

Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:33:17 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I actually don't use the multicam function in FCP - I have always built my timelines this way."

I hear you. I don't use it much in 7 either. I might in FCPX depending on how it's implemented.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Right now, however, the tracks allow me to see at a glance which angle covers which section of the timeline - I think this would hard (though possible?) to achieve in X."

No, it can still stack multiple clips up and down the timeline, and then you could use Roles to assign different takes/angles. I wish we were in the same room, this would be fun to work out and see if X could fit the bill. You could also use secondary storylines.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "It's also apparent by glancing at the timeline, for instance, that I've only selected one take to cover a section just after the midway point. In other words - looking at the timeline (and remembering these are my selects) I have an overview of coverage (strengths and weaknesses) - the timeline is giving me information."

In X, you'd simply have the best takes on top as the horizontal tracks aren't there. you could also throw everything you need in a secondary and resemble tracks if you'd like.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I think you're proposing a compound clip (with range selections?) as a possible way to replicate this? Can the one track per camera take be replicated somehow? with multiple small selects from one long clip?"

The compound clip would look similar to your FCP7 timeline, it would just be in the Browser. You can skim if from the Browser, but if you'd need to take a look at another take, you'd "open in timeline" and it would reveal a timeline similar to what you have in 7. You would then have a Project with what you see as the "best" takes along with your audio.

[Franz Bieberkopf] " Can the one track per camera take be replicated somehow?"

There's a few ways that I mentioned earlier. If we are going to take an FCPX approach, it would be through the use of Roles. You could also combine what you have as tracks in FCP7 as their own compound clips in X and stack those in a Project.

Jeremy


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 6:02:54 pm

Thanks Jeremy. All slightly off topic but interesting.

Wasn't there some issue with using compound clips in events? I'm probably getting that wrong but I do remember some warnings against using compound clips certain ways.

Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 8:30:00 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Wasn't there some issue with using compound clips in events? I'm probably getting that wrong but I do remember some warnings against using compound clips certain ways."

Event/Project size bloat. I alluded to it earlier. There's some inefficiencies in FCPX at the moment, and it's why I can't use it on the paying gigs.

I can't imagine this will go unnoticed or unfixed with multicam coming as I'm sure they will be compound clips in disguise.

Jeremy


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David Roth WeissRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 8:37:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Here's a timeline of the organization of one scene from my current project."

Of course, your post actually illustrates one of the very best attributes of FCP legacy, and it also points out what remains as one of, if not the, primary gripe of many who remain resistant to FCPX.

My initial reaction, when I look at your technique for breaking down your interview material, is that your method essentially turns a non-linear editing system into a linear editor. However, as they say, different strokes for different folks. But, the fact that you, and I, and Franz, and others, can probably come up with innumerable ways to accomplish the same thing in FCP legacy, is its true beauty, which has always been its incredible flexibility, allowing editors to work in whatever way they choose, or in whatever way the material itself dictates.

Much of that wonderful flexibility that editors always loved in legacy FCP has been lost in FCPX. And, while it can be, and often is, argued that X adds various new flexibilities that were never possible before, I continue to believe the major problem with X will always be that the software designers, rather than choosing to build upon the best of FCP, instead chose to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Of course this has all been said before, and I'm certainly not the first nor the last to say it, but it's the rigid rules of the magnetic timeline and the inherent inflexibility of X that remain the lingering issues that continue to drive the vast majority of disgruntled legacy FCP users away from X and toward other NLEs. And, whether X will ever regain the flexibility of its predecessor, or even surpass it, continues to remain one of the biggest question marks about its future.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:17:52 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "My initial reaction, when I look at your technique for breaking down your interview material, is that your method essentially turns a non-linear editing system into a linear editor."

OK. For maybe the third time now, this isn't an interview. It is a scripted piece, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. So in that regard, it's linear. At some point, I have to tie all the dialogue together in a line. That's why I don't need transcripts, or Soundbite, or Get.

The markers up top represent the lines of script in the dialogue. What follows in between the two markers is all the takes, then there's the two cameras which are the two tracks.

[David Roth Weiss] "Much of that wonderful flexibility that editors always loved in legacy FCP has been lost in FCPX. "

I don't buy it. You can use FCPX very similarly, or not. It also allows a different way of organizing that simply isn't possible in 7. As I mentioned, the way I had to layout these clips in order to see them all in one place is on a timeline in FCP7. I don't have to do that in X, (although I could), and I can also use the timelines (i.e. compund clips) differently than I can in 7.

[David Roth Weiss] "I continue to believe the major problem with X will always be that the software designers, rather than choosing to build upon the best of FCP, instead chose to throw the baby out with the bath water. "

Some people might say that they didn't.

[David Roth Weiss] "Of course this has all been said before, and I'm certainly not the first nor the last to say it, but it's the rigid rules of the magnetic timeline and the inherent inflexibility of X that remain the lingering issues that continue to drive the vast majority of disgruntled legacy FCP users away from X and toward other NLEs. "

I think people fear the unknown. There are things to keep in mind in the magnetic timeline, as there are in other programs, it's just that the rules of the FCP7 timeline so ingrained that you don't even notice them anymore. I've explained this before, and it's hard to put a finger on it. It is only truly apparent after using FCPX for a while (and you have to embrace it for what it is), and then going back to another track type system. As mentioned earlier in this thread, FCPX is redefining the relationships of clips. Some people like it, some people don't. If you don't, that's cool, there's other NLE's that follow similar rules, and some do it better than even fcp7.

Again, FCP7 gets a ton of overhyped credit. It was cheap enough to work, and that's essentially why it became so popular. People were willing to deal with it as the price was right.

I am not saying X's timeline is perfect. It's not, and I think I've been pretty balanced about that. But after using it for a while, it is clear that there are certain efficiencies that it does create and with some tweaking, it will be better than FCP7. But that's just the way I see it, other's may not and that's fine.

[David Roth Weiss] "And, whether X will ever regain the flexibility of its predecessor, or even surpass it, continues to remain one of the biggest question marks about its future."

Again, I've said this before as well. It's 6.5 months old. People seriously discount this fact, but it's true.

If Avid came out with "New Product v1" and Adobe came out with "We're going to rethink this v1" it would have bugs too. I know that X carries that Final Cut Pro moniker. It is not Final Cut Pro as we know it and arguably should have been called something other than Final Cut Pro, but here we are right where we stand. Final Cut Pro X is still an NLE, call it what you may. It is a redesigned and completely new model year.

Jeremy


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 11:30:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " It is a scripted piece, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. So in that regard, it's linear."

... though, as Godard would point out, that isn't an uncontroversial point.


Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 2:52:29 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "[Jeremy Garchow] " It is a scripted piece, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. So in that regard, it's linear."

... though, as Godard would point out, that isn't an uncontroversial point."


Thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath, but this project is not worthy!

It's OK. I'm comfortable with the mediocrity on this one.


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Gary BreeceRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:51:13 pm

Just cut my first project on FCPX. While I'm optimistic about what the program can be, I did run into one nagging problem that relates to this topic.

I was cutting a short documentary film. I selected interview bites and brought them into the primary storyline. Moved them around, cut them up, and laid them out in the order I needed for the narrative. Then I brought in the music under the primary storyline. Cut up the music, moved and repeated sections, etc., with an eye toward how the interview bites would sit within the music. Did a ton of work to get the music edited exactly right. Next I wanted to nudge the bites around to sit within certain sections of the music. But every time I moved an interview bite in the primary story line (using the position tool), it would move a connected clip from the music track. I tried making the music a separate storyline, but that didn't work. My workaround was to lift the interview bite out of the primary storyline, and then I could move it without affecting the music. I desperately wanted to be able to just lock the music track so that anything else I did would not affect the music track (not too much to ask from the program, I would think.) I understand the music video approach of making the music the primary track, but that doesn't make sense for a documentary, even if the music is very important to the flow of the piece.

Am I missing something?


Gary Breece
Public Address System
http://www.publicaddress.tv


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:58:51 pm

[Gary Breece] "I tried making the music a separate storyline, but that didn't work."

What do you mean by didn't work?

This is exactly the way to do it. Music in a secondary storyline.

Jeremy


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Gary BreeceRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:25:08 pm

I know, but it didn't work. THe music was already laid in under the primary storyline. Once I discovered the issue, and did a little research, I clicked on the music clips and selected "create storyline." They dropped down slightly and a bar appeared above each of the music clips. But they were still connected to the primary storyline. There were thin vertical lines at the head of music clips that showed a connection to the primary storyline. And when I tried to move clips in the primary, the connected music clip would move with it.

A bug? Freak accident? Or do you have to create the separate storyline before you drop the music in?


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:39:21 pm

[Gary Breece] "Or do you have to create the separate storyline before you drop the music in?"

Ideally.

If not, you should be able to select all the pertinent clips that you need, then hit command-g to put them all in a storyline at once. You can't have any overlapping clips, though, in this scenario. FCPX should add any gaps that you need. if you do have overlapping clips, you would need to compound them first.

Jeremy


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Gary BreeceRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:49:41 pm

You're right. The overlapping clips was the issue. Once compounded, I could create a new storyline unconnected from the primary. Thanks!


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Tom WolskyRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:29:44 pm

"I could create a new storyline unconnected from the primary."

You can't. Everything is connected to the primary at some point or another. An additional storyline is connected at only one point, usually at the beginning, but it can be anywhere.

Alll the best,

Tom

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand


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tony westRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 1:27:57 pm

Jeremy, what are you thoughts on the audio peaks in fcp x?

I find that when I'm cutting VO's I can get to the start of takes faster because I don't have to search as much.

I can see the peak drop off so I know the person isn't speaking. I can SEE the starts and go right to that point.

Am I in left field on this?

Sorry it's off topic but I thought about it looking at that timeline.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 4:23:58 pm

[tony west] "Jeremy, what are you thoughts on the audio peaks in fcp x?"

I find that audio is much more pleasurable when compared to FCP7.

I do find that the "half" waveforms are kind of weird. I wish they were full waveforms so we can see any hidden peaks that might look like a valley at first pass.

I do like the functionality, though.

[tony west] "Am I in left field on this?"

In my opinion, not at all. I'm sure there are people that will say that audio manipulation in FCPX sucks, and then follow that up with FCPX is terrible, so there's that.

Jeremy


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Christian SchumacherRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 5:52:53 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "In my opinion, not at all. I'm sure there are people that will say that audio manipulation in FCPX sucks, and then follow that up with FCPX is terrible, so there's that."

From the ashes of Soundtrack Pro, FCPX has incorporated some of its features, but still some will argue that it doesn't live up to its fellow "studio pro app". For example, reducing background noise is not as good as it was before. Had Apple developed an updated studio pack, we'd have the best of both worlds.


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 9:39:17 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As you said, it's the process of editing.


Jeremy,


I think you're sort of side-stepping the question. It actually isn't a hypothetical question, I really want to know how people work and how they use the primary.

I gather from your post that you're working largely with scripted material and you primarily use dialog to structure - so in the example you gave (hypothetically edited in FCPX) it would have been all dialog with audition alternatives.

(... if I'm understanding correctly.)


Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 10:25:19 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I think you're sort of side-stepping the question."

Of course. Perhaps this is better:

For me, there's no formula to my edit. It comes, it goes, it changes.

What ends up happening is the primary (for me) ends up determining the length of the piece, but does not necessarily determine the pacing.

If the piece needs to be a certain length, the primary reflects that. (Editing spots, for example, I might start with a 30/60 second gap and move things in to the primary later as I rearrange/try different edits).

It is mostly audio driven, but not always.

There's great keyboard shortcuts to move things in and out of the primary and leave a gap behind. The process is very fluid.

If it is a music based edit, I put the music in the primary.

I cut scripted and unscripted. For unscripted, interviews/dialogue would start in the primary as I shape the story to take advantage of the magnetism, but they might not remain in there the whole time.

There's no right or wrong way, and I change what I want. I am not thinking about "what needs to be in the primary now" anymore than I think about what video/audio track things needs to go on. If I need the magnets, it goes in there, if it's a secondary cutaway, it goes above as it usually tied to a word/sentence/part of music.

Also, before I edit, I preassign generic but separate Roles, even though they will certainly end up changing. I often edit as viewing the names as roles instead of clip name when editing in X. I start very basically with the Role, and get more granular as the edit becomes more refined. Interviews are interviews, nat sound, music, dialogue (when its not an interview setting) etc and so forth. This helps me when looking at the timeline and takes a few minutes and helps with even further organizing. It's very easy to do before editing in mass bunches and I find it saves time in the end.


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:06:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's great keyboard shortcuts to move things in and out of the primary and leave a gap behind. The process is very fluid. ... I am not thinking about "what needs to be in the primary now" anymore than I think about what video/audio track things needs to go on. If I need the magnets, it goes in there, if it's a secondary cutaway, it goes above as it usually tied to a word/sentence/part of music."

Jeremy,

Brilliant, thanks.

This sounds very fluid to me - more like the primary is a temporary work area where magnetism operates. Do you find you're often moving sections in and out or is it more shot by shot?

Franz.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:49:44 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "This sounds very fluid to me - more like the primary is a temporary work area where magnetism operates. Do you find you're often moving sections in and out or is it more shot by shot?"

It's usually multiple shots that are related to each other (maybe many clips that make one sentence/thought, or dialog that's related). Some times I move them out of there if I want to play with the length of that section, but keep the surrounding timeline in tact. The resultant gap that's left behind keep all timing in place while I can mess around with the clips above with no timing penalty.

It is certainly different than fcp7, but I liken the process of the magnetic timeline as sketching. I feel like I can try a bunch of different options faster without completely reworking the whole timeline.

It's certainly not perfect though, there are certain areas I'd like more control. I do think it's a decent start.


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Richard HerdRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:58:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I could range select and keyword the lines and they would all fall in to place in the browser"

Well done! This is how I finished an assemble edit.


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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 9:40:52 pm

[Tom Wolsky] "The primary is almost always audio driven, dialog, sound bites, narration, though by habit I don't put narration on the primary ..."

[Mark Morache] "My edits are generally driven by audio: narration, interviews and natural sound. ... However, I don't like to keep the narration in the primary storyline, ..."

Interesting consistency, ... Mark you talked about why you don't like to have narration in the primary. Tom, are there other (practical reasons) or is it really just habit?

[Mark Morache] "Considering how easy it is supposed to be with the magnetic timeline, I frequently find myself pulling clips out of the primary and sticking them back in."

Mark, do you feel like you're going against the grain of the software here, or is it really just the mechanics of dealing with the assumed hierarchy?


Franz.


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Tom WolskyRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 10:04:37 pm

Connecting the narration rather than putting it on the primary may only be habit. I haven't experimented with it much on the primary. The few times I've used music on the primary I started by connecting clips to the the primary, but when I wanted to fine tune the edits, I converted them to a separate storyline so I had all the trim functions. I think I'll try narration on the primary more.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Mark MoracheRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:59:06 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "do you feel like you're going against the grain of the software here, or is it really just the mechanics of dealing with the assumed hierarchy"

I don't feel like I'm going against the grain of the software at all. They make it very easy to pull and push a clip from/into the primary storyline. I figure it's there for a reason, so I tried making use of it.

For example, if I want to cover up the last 10 seconds of a soundbite on the primary, I can easily set the in-point of the range, the out-point will be set to the end of the clip, and then I hit Q to connect the clip. Now because I like to keep things in the primary as much as I can, I select the connected clip, and push it down into the primary storyline. This will automatically create an L-cut with the interview, with the audio of the soundbite extending under the b-roll. Now I have the freedom to use my keys to set the in and out points to edit a small sequence of shots in the space that I put the b-roll. I can replace ranges and mix the shots up to my hearts content.

My other reasons for lifting/overwriting has to do with pecularities of the interface. Since you can't "slip" a clip without affecting the connected clips, sometimes I lift a clip, slip it, then overwrite it back to the primary. Likewise, I can't "roll" to extend a clip, to the end of the clip it's next to. It will always leave one frame of a clip, (or a zero-length piece of gap). Here's where someone suggested that I lift, then extend, then overwrite to extend the end of a clip thereby replacing clips around it.

I expect that the one-frame remnant and the slipping issues will be taken care of in a future build of FCX.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Thomas FrankRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 12:34:53 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "How do you decide what your Primary Storyline is? Does it change through your process?"

Hmm my quick answer would be no different then FCP7
Storyline = Track 1
No change on my side.



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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 3:52:14 pm

Thomas,

Thanks, but it does lead to the question of how you treated V1 in FCP7.

Is it just another track (among many) or did you use it in ways you didn't use other tracks?

Franz.


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Tom WolskyRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:09:40 pm

For me V1 was the primary video track. Most of the program was laid out on that track. Trimming was much easier when clips were in line. the other tracks were used primarily for B-roll, cutaways, titles, effects. I rarely got above four or five video tracks. If I did for any effect I'd usually comp them into a nest.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Thomas FrankRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:55:43 pm

Well how do you use the first Track in FCP7?
It is the main track ,Main story, the Music track for Music Videos, Main Dialog track.
I use it for my foundation.

I never seen anybody to use Track 18 to start there project. I do hope see the option to color code/label the Media Stems in FCPX for a better overview in the Timeline.



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Franz BieberkopfRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 9:58:35 pm

Thomas,

See first post link for a discussion of how I use tracks.

I don't use the first track the way you do - that is why I am asking.

Franz.


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Richard HerdRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 9, 2012 at 7:11:50 pm

I read the whole thread first.

Depends what I'm cutting. The primary storyline for a narrative film is dictated by the script. Each scene is its own compound clip. I'll find the clip I want in the browser and set the I/O and then right click, add to compound clip. It is the primary. The next cut I find int he browser and cut it in, and so on.

Have you used the sync clip option?


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Michael CoxRe: Tracks and Primaries: Question for FCPX Users
by on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:57:59 pm

Primary for me is interviews, the A roll, and B roll is connected or intercut with primary. I have yet to create a secondary storyline. If you were doing fiction, I would think it would be the master shots, and then you'd work on the closer angles, reverses, inserts, etc as connected clips or intercut.


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