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FCPX and skeuomorphism

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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John HeagyFCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:32:55 pm

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670760/will-apples-tacky-software-design-philo...

An interesting article about software UI philosophy, that Jobs was a fan of, where computer UI is designed to reflect real like objects i.e. the iBook book shelf. Apparently Ive and others are not fans of this philosophy.

I mention this here because Apple's Pro Apps team seemed eager to move away from the familiar when it comes to editing, and while FCP 7 is not an example of skeuomorphism, it at least stuck to time honored familiar conventions.

So why was Pro Apps able to move away from the familiar and counter the skeuomorphism doctrine if only in spirit?

Do they think the time honored conventions are not familiar/easy, and this is an attempt to simplify things by redefining the editing process?

I have to admit I'm a bit obsessed with trying to understand Apple's end game with FCPX. My number one request for FCPX is a very modest one: Read the embedded "Reel/Tape" ID in movies. I fear that despite how utterly simple/obvious this would be to implement, Apple has some anti-legacy doctrine that will prevent them from doing this based on the fact that reel/tape has it's roots in tape.

John


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 10, 2012 at 10:01:02 pm

We talked a little about it at the end of this thread:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/41500

Jeremy


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 12:14:34 am

[John Heagy] " My number one request for FCPX is a very modest one: Read the embedded "Reel/Tape" ID in movies. I fear that despite how utterly simple/obvious this would be to implement, Apple has some anti-legacy doctrine that will prevent them from doing this based on the fact that reel/tape has it's roots in tape."

I don't think there's any conspiracy here. Merely unfinished software. You can currently enter manual reel numbers. My guess is that this has something to do with camera SDKs and how it's implemented between Apple and camera manufacturers. That's a "work in progress" at this point.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 9:21:00 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I don't think there's any conspiracy here. Merely unfinished software."

I certainly hope you're right. I have high hopes reading embedded "reel/tape" ID in .mov files will be in the next version. I spoke directly to Apple multiple times on this request and, given it's utter ease of implementation, seeing it missing in the next version would really dash my hopes that Apple is still interested in the Pro customer.


John


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 11, 2012 at 11:50:00 pm

Time moves on. I once cared about Reel and Tape IDs - but now I don't.

I know others still do - but I just don't.

I know there are people who MUST still work with them - even if they don't physically use reels. And I certainly can understand how it's a comfortable convention for many. But the truth is that in file based workflows - it's an arbitrary construct that I think will continue to have diminishing importance.

I first started getting an inkling of this when I first started adopting X - well before I developed my present "finder level" numbering system for my disk images. I had created probably 40 "reels" (cards actually) that ALL had exactly the SAME finder level name. Know what? That didn't bother FCP-X a bit. It didn't USE those finder level names for ID so it didn't care that I had cards with the same names. It was using deeper metadata to keep things organized.

It's increasingly a world of varied digital storage devices and cards, and pre-numbered downloaded stock video clips, or iPhone files etc, etc, etc. The vast majority of which simply don't necessarily have "reel names" associated with them.

So I don't want to build a workflow based on them - but rather one where Reel IDs are just something that you can append when or IF needed.

I get that people who are accustomed to having them, miss them.

But as you learn X, ask yourself what they're ACTUALLY doing for you. If you're working in a shop that requires them, by all means. But if you just use them personally because you always have - consider whether or not thinking in "reels" is actually important for you anymore as you come to learn how X accesses and links footage data. And how the program might let you NOT bucket things in virtual reels.

After all, a card is NOT a reel. A video stream from a stock video clip might not even HAVE a "reel" ID attached - but it STILL might live in my project and need to be managed. So the card (reel) is just one kind of a bit bucket. If you want to base your workflow on on that ONE form - fine. But in the new world, I think more in terms of creating and managing cloned buckets of the DATA that reel originally contained. With that attitude, I see it as a virtual data arrangement that I can label and store and move and re-name and ALL the foundational metadata about date, time, image IDs, etc, etc, etc, remains attached.. So the Reel Name is just a reflection of how I USED to store things. I couldn't clone a physical reel. I CAN clone a disk image. It's a different beast. So I want an ID system that reflects that new reality.

Your mileage WILL vary - this is just me.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:45:28 am

[Bill Davis] "Time moves on. I once cared about Reel and Tape IDs - but now I don't."

I think you're overlooking the point a bit. Reel IDs and/or Source IDs (even when we are talking about SxS cards) are the same thing. They are essential if you need to work outside of FCP X in a lot of other applications. The insult on top of things is that FCP X doesn't even read the embedded info within QuickTime media files - Apple's own format. Reel/Source ID info is part of the metadata used by most professional cameras.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael GissingRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:46:53 am

Bill, although reel numbering seems redundant in your workflow, drama with double system sound requires audio files to be autoconformed to guide audio. This is true when multi channel audio devices record polywav files but send a rough mix to camera or that rough mix is a stereo file used to sync rushes.

In this common scenario an EDL is required to conform the broadcast polywav files in DAW. An EDL requires both timecode and reel numbers. So foundation formats like EDLs are still a solid part of sophisticated long form drama workflows.

Any NLE that is to be used in this workflow must have reel numbering and timecode base that can be used to create an EDL. So for many of us in the data wrangling world still see value in reel numbering both for organisation and critical autoconform. If Apple make a choice to leave out foundation formats that many of us rely on, without a viable alternative, then complaint is to be expected. Frankly EDL and source code/reel info is trivial. If it stays out of FCPX then that signals priorities to many of us that continue to erode trust in FCPX being a part of our workflows.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 1:20:53 am

[Bill Davis] "But the truth is that in file based workflows - it's an arbitrary construct that I think will continue to have diminishing importance."

Bill, I know that you posit yourself the Ray Kurzweil of the debate forum sometimes, but what in the actual f*ck are you talking about? And I say that with all due respect.

It's not an arbitrary construct. As file based organization keeps growing and growing, reels, in my mind, will be absolutely important, even if the definition of what a "reel" is needs to change. Sometimes, that reel number can point to one very specific file on a server of thousands (millions?) of video files, regardless of location, file name, whatever. A reel does not have to be a folder, and probably shouldn't be.

When you have something like P2 which records op-atom MXF files (video and audio separately) a reel number is extremely important in keeping those files together in the case of mistake or disaster.

Since 'Reel', at this point, is a universally understood metadata field, we should put it to good use. It is a thankfully generic term that can be transferred very easily between differing systems.


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Walter SoykaRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:13:38 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not an arbitrary construct. As file based organization keeps growing and growing, reels, in my mind, will be absolutely important, even if the definition of what a "reel" is needs to change."

I think I get Bill's point, and I do think it's largely that the definition/terminology of "reel" should change.

A reel ID, taken in conjunction with timecode, uniquely identify individual frames, helps you conform EDLs across systems, and helps you match back to the original source media.

We still need to uniquely identify frames from pools of files, and we still need to conform, but the tape metaphor is no longer relevant for many, and now there's no physical piece of media to catalog. A single field for reel may also be needlessly restrictive. (Look at your kick-ass P2 metadata system -- how much information do you cram into the one reel field?)

Basically, we used to think in units of reels, and now with file-based recording, we can think in units of shots. Whether there's a practical distinction between shot ID and reel ID is debatable, as long as there's some kind of portable unique identifier.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:41:50 pm

[Walter Soyka] "We still need to uniquely identify frames from pools of files, and we still need to conform, but the tape metaphor is no longer relevant for many, and now there's no physical piece "

The lack of a physical reel frees us to assign reel how we want. For us a reel is essentially a camera-day that may span many cards. It's a way to group shots from a specific camera with a single ID. We are generating less reel numbers this way than we did with tape where we'd have multiple reels for a camera-day.

[Walter Soyka] "Basically, we used to think in units of reels, and now with file-based recording, we can think in units of shots. Whether there's a practical distinction between shot ID and reel ID is debatable"

I agree as long as shot ID is passed to a file extracted from a master file. If it's a UUID it typically is not.

John


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Walter SoykaRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:43:28 pm

[John Heagy] "The lack of a physical reel frees us to assign reel how we want. For us a reel is essentially a camera-day that may span many cards. It's a way to group shots from a specific camera with a single ID. We are generating less reel numbers this way than we did with tape where we'd have multiple reels for a camera-day."

Sure -- and a lot of other people are currently using reel this same way. But the reason to do it is interchange with other apps which require reel/TC information moreso than because "camera-day" is a useful construct.

With all this fancy metadata, you should be able to track your cameras and your days separately, by serial number and by date -- as well as any other collected metadata you choose, like location, time, or lens data, and sort footage accordingly. You'd get everything you could get from "camera-day" and more.

Again, I'm with you that this a sensible way to work today; I just think that Bill's right that we're not using "reel" the way we used to.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:20:18 pm

[Walter Soyka] "the reason to do it is interchange with other apps which require reel/TC information moreso than because "camera-day" is a useful construct.
"


We would still use reel even if interchange was moved to other metadata. We maintain unique reel IDs from the first tape we created starting at 1000 and continuing today past 270000. It's really part of our production lexicon. Any shot whether it's from camera footage, graphic elements or edited maters, can be found from two numbers, reel and TC.

[Walter Soyka] "With all this fancy metadata, you should be able to track your cameras and your days separately, by serial number and by date -"

Everything starts with reel, and things like you list are added on top. Reel can be applied to any media whereas camera specific information like location, serial, cannot be applied to edit masters or elements. For us it's one size fits all.

Somebody at Apple thinks Reel is important because it's in FCPX's basic metadata view. Just finnish the job and read your own embedded metadata for Pete's sake!

Going one step farther, I'd like to see FCPX have the ability to embed a user defined reel when exporting movies.

John


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Walter SoykaRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:54:19 pm

That all makes a lot of sense, John!

I'm certainly not arguing against "reel" in the sense of an asset tracking ID -- such an ID is just too useful to get rid of -- I'm just saying that I think I see Bill's point that "reel" used to relate clips together in a meaningful and physical way, and now there's no such thing anymore. We used to overload a couple different elements of metadata into the reel field (a tape or set of tapes usually did correspond with camera-day), and with more metadata-aware tools, we can break them out separately and use reel only for ID and tracking.

Bill, please do correct me if I'm misrepresenting your view!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 3:57:34 am

[Walter Soyka] "Bill, please do correct me if I'm misrepresenting your view!"

Walter,

You're not misrepresenting it. You're just going farther in the analysis than I did. For me, I just mentally started rejecting using "reel" as a tag when I found myself starting to source program footage from a variety of places rather than exclusively physical tapes.

I suppose I could have built a mental construct where whether it was an actual tape, a card, a thumb drive, a disk image, a hard drive based file downoaded from a web site, or a piece of stock sourced footage that already came pre-labeled with a 30 character ID string - it would still get a REEL tag appended them to fit my old thinking. But that just seemed silly.

So I found myself facing a term that was getting farther and farther from describing my reality.

Simultaneously, I started last years deeper look at taxonomy, and spent some time trying to figure out what kind of ID system would be actually useful in the new world of file based editing.

In that consideration, the term "reel" just felt disconnected and old fashioned.

I tried to be careful to note that people who need to or just prefer to use the classic term should be completely free to do so.

It's just not what I use for editing anymore. So I don't use the term.

Nothing more complex than that.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Franz BieberkopfRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:39:14 pm

[Walter Soyka] "A reel ID, taken in conjunction with timecode, uniquely identify individual frames, helps you conform EDLs across systems, and helps you match back to the original source media."

The labs I'm dealing with are using Reel ID as a crucial part of the conform - this is with RED, C300, 5D, etc., likely because it is well integrated into XML and EDL workflows (even if its meaning or use has shifted slightly from the original purpose).

I don't really care if it is referred to a tape, card, drive, folder or whatever, it's a useful bit of metadata pipe. Certainly one can imagine better implementations of conform workflow - but I don't think Apple will be the one filling that need.

[Bill Davis] "So the card (reel) is just one kind of a bit bucket. ... I think more in terms of creating and managing cloned buckets of the DATA that reel originally contained. With that attitude, I see it as a virtual data arrangement that I can label and store and move and re-name and ALL the foundational metadata about date, time, image IDs, etc, etc, etc, remains attached."

It'll be interesting to see if Apple ever gets serious about metadata, Bill. You were mentioning Lightroom recently - that's not a bad aspirational model for Apple in terms of metadata.


Franz.


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:06:34 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "It'll be interesting to see if Apple ever gets serious about metadata, Bill. You were mentioning Lightroom recently - that's not a bad aspirational model for Apple in terms of metadata."

It's not just an issue of Apple. The point of a proper source/reel ID is that it can be embedded into the media file itself, just like timecode. That was the beauty of things with FCP 7. If the camera defaulted to giving everything an ID of 001, I could alter the media files to something more valuable inside FCP 7. That ID was embedded in the QT file, so that when I sent the same media file to a colorist using Baselight, he was able to read the same source ID information as I did in FCP 7.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:26:19 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "It'll be interesting to see if Apple ever gets serious about metadata,"

What do you mean by serious?


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:26:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "When you have something like P2 which records op-atom MXF files (video and audio separately) a reel number is extremely important in keeping those files together in the case of mistake or disaster."

You should join me in asking Panasonic to include "reel" as part of the MXF metadata then. ;)

It's a shocking omission IMHO.

John


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:13:58 pm

[John Heagy] "You should join me in asking Panasonic to include "reel" as part of the MXF metadata then. ;)

It's a shocking omission IMHO."


Well.

This, of course, is where the conversation gets interesting.

While Panasonic doesn't offer a "reel" section in the XML, it does offer a tremendous amount of other data, some user assignable, some not, as you know.

GlobalClipID (which is different from UUID) is what I think of as a reel. As a matter of fact, it's what is my reel in FCP7 when using p2 MXF media:


themodernreel.png

Using the folder name as a reel doesn't quite give enough information. What if that folder changes or in the case of P2, you separate out a few clips in to a new P2 structure, and that folder is now different?

If the material is transcoded, shouldn't the reel match the original?

The hardest part will be getting NLE developers to agree on how to use "Reel" interchangeably.

Jeremy


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:06:51 pm

Panasonic's GlobalClipID is better than the typical UUID only approach, but it's not very human friendly if one needs a way to refer to groups of clips. We apply our in house "reel" to the "Program" mxf field and then map that to QT Reel via CatDV.

We could use the GlobalClipID and/or an in house number as a per clip "reel" but our organization communicates very effectively using our in house reel numbers to refer to groups of clips. In the end we may use both as long as the per clip ID is preserved and not reset.

Right now we don't see any down side with our camera-day reel assignments.

John


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:25:42 pm

[John Heagy] "Panasonic's GlobalClipID is better than the typical UUID only approach, but it's not very human friendly if one needs a way to refer to groups of clips. We apply our in house "reel" to the "Program" mxf field and then map that to QT Reel via CatDV.

We could use the GlobalClipID and/or an in house number as a per clip "reel" but our organization communicates very effectively using our in house reel numbers to refer to groups of clips. In the end we may use both as long as the per clip ID is preserved and not reset.

Right now we don't see any down side with our camera-day reel assignments."


Yes, that sounds like a great system.

And yes, The GlobalClipID is not human readable friendly, but it is highly accurate. I can spotlight search that number and all of the resulting files would come up. It's rather handy.

Some of our stuff gets repurposed, so the reel might change. We might give two clips from a card of 150 to someone else.

It's all in how you use it, I guess.

I too, tend to group using Program, but also "Location". This is even better vetted with Panasonic camera that have GPS tc in them. Then, even the Location is taken care of. What is necessary is NLEs to take advantage of this information. The camera serial numbers are another good way to group footage from mutlicamera shoots.

What I like about GlobalClipID is that it doesn't change. That information is stored with those clips virtually forever, similar to a piece of footage would live on a tape/reel which is why it seems to be a logical choice for reel replacement, even if it means not being able to read it easily.

Jeremy


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 4:07:41 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "GlobalClipID (which is different from UUID) is what I think of as a reel. As a matter of fact, it's what is my reel in FCP7 when using p2 MXF media:"

Jeremy's post conforms precisely with what I was trying to say.

The actual "reel" info in a modern NLE is actually already ID'd by deeper level tags than any of us would care to wrangle. That's how the software searches for stuff.

That means the user is free to append (or ignore) whatever reel, card, or file ID that they want to make their workflow operate to their tastes.

The important thing in X to my thinking is the agile "rename" functions and how keywording is so robust.

Applying something like REEL A, Card 10504, BUCKET A-18, or whatever to your functional clips in X is beyond trivial.

So if you want reels - have at it. I just can't see the point in building that particular tag into the permanent UI since while it certainly reflects the past, it decreasingly reflects the future.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 6:01:53 am

Reel, to me, is a physical entity.

With film, it was an actual reel so you could go find what you needed when the time came to reassemble a master.

With offline/online NLE tape workflows, it was the tapes you needed to recapture to complete the job. The reel describes which physical entity you needed to load, the tc describes where on that physical entity it is located.

With massive storage pools, physical location is trivial, so almost by default the "reel" will be redefined. Let's face it, if we can think just a few more minutes in to the future, all storage will most likely not be physical for us, but rather another folder on our "desktop". Sure, there will be uses for local hard drives, but we will be able to, using today's terms, edit "in the cloud" fairly soon.

So, in the cloud, since I don't need to hold the reel in my hand to get the job done, I still need to track down a file's "location" and that location could very well be a moving target. Reel 270000 isn't sitting on the shelf in John Heagy's storage room. File names of todays' camera are duplicitous. Just look at DSLR or AVCHD, (and even P2, although it's more rare) it's pretty silly.

I could have a file with the same name, and the same timecode, but different content. This means we need another differentiator to describe that footage, and preferably, a differentiator that is common to many of the popular languages of interchange. "Reel" fits nicely here.

Even if I had two clips with same tc, same file name, but different content, a reel number (or a most likely unique identifying number that was inherent to the file itself) would direct me to the proper location. Hence this would be the proper reel, as a reel closely resembles a location. With files, the location is the file itself.


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 1:00:42 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Reel, to me, is a physical entity......
.....Even if I had two clips with same tc, same file name, but different content, a reel number (or a most likely unique identifying number that was inherent to the file itself) would direct me to the proper location. Hence this would be the proper reel, as a reel closely resembles a location. With files, the location is the file itself."


The nice thing about human-readable reel/source IDs is that they can be designed to mean something. For example, I can use simple 8-digit alphanumeric mnemonics for day and location. Add the creation date of the file for year, which is already embedded. A year or two later, I can read the file itself, independent of any NLE or database software and know what that file relates to. Pretty impossible with a software-generated, UID.

If you want to relate it to the physical world, then it seems to me that this is the digital equivalent of the guy going through the studio film vaults and finding that long, lost negative by reading the tape on the side of the cans.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 3:22:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The nice thing about human-readable reel/source IDs is that they can be designed to mean something. For example, I can use simple 8-digit alphanumeric mnemonics for day and location. Add the creation date of the file for year, which is already embedded. A year or two later, I can read the file itself, independent of any NLE or database software and know what that file relates to. Pretty impossible with a software-generated, UID."

It's true, and I understand. It is one of the reasons why I love P2 so much because that metadata is portable and in a searchable format, even through spotlight.

With duplicitous file names, and file locations and folders who's names will change, and as storage grows in capacity, we will need more descriptive numbers.

There are plenty of other human readable fields to assign alpha numerics, and this is what I was getting to earlier, there's probably no way to "unite" the differing NLEs and get them to agree on some sort of standardization.

I know that Adobe uses XMP (and IPTC, FCPX also has IPTC fields), but the implementation isn't really all that great, at least in my opinion. I think it is time to really start putting this stuff to good use and allow control over clip metadata.

Jeremy


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 4:40:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There are plenty of other human readable fields to assign alpha numerics, and this is what I was getting to earlier, there's probably no way to "unite" the differing NLEs and get them to agree on some sort of standardization."

Correct, so we use a metadata field currently included in all NLEs, is embedded in a great production format (ProRes QT), is immunue to filename/path changes, and passes thru the transcode process.

It's called "Reel" !!!

Sorry Jeremy, that was a slow ball right over the plate and I couldn't resist ;)

John


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:29:19 am

OK, I'll bite.

You still believe you want is a "reel" field. Fine. X will be OK with that.

What *I* want - is a way to find "the shot" I need.

With X's database, I'm WAY more likely to need to find "the teacher from UofA explaining fractions in the red dress that I shot 3 years ago." That's what I'm likely to remember.

And with keywording plus auto metadata, I have ample and expanding ways to do that inside X.

I don't really CARE what the ID on the thing, or virtual thing, or network thing, or the cloud based thing is.

If my NLE can bring sift out that shot via a search of - 2009 UCLA RED - every single one of my needs are met. Period.

If I have to go to a bucket to get the clip - and if you want to arbitrarily call that bucket a "REEL" then fine. Who cares? If you want to call it a ZEBRA thats totally cool as well. Just give me a way to find the clip and I get to do what I really need to do. Keep working.

You feel you MUST have a field that says REEL. Ok. If you're in a shop that demands you put a REEL ID on every card, folder, and download, that's perfectly fine too - whether or not those things have any "reel nature" whatsoever. I just don't want to slap a name that doesn't descirbe the thing ON the thing just because it's someone elses tradition. Which should be equally OK.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:47:06 am

[Bill Davis] "With X's database, I'm WAY more likely to need to find "the teacher from UofA explaining fractions in the red dress that I shot 3 years ago." "

Actually that's only true if you still have the Events from 3 years ago loaded. That's highly unlikely. It also assumes the FCP X has not been changed so much in three years that the database format is no longer fully compatible. There is currently no actual database functionality across Events outside of the FC Events folder. FCP X is NOT FC Server. Even so, you are still dependent on having access to the NLE itself in order to be able to read this. Much of this info is not in the FCP X XML either, so it's not "human readable".

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:27:27 am

[Oliver Peters] "Actually that's only true if you still have the Events from 3 years ago loaded."

Not so fast, Oliver.

A keyword search is ONE way to search for and find visual info in X.

If you prefer, theres' another way. Export iPhone size versions of your program masters and store them as their own Projects. Then you can find the red dress by scanning through multiple disconnected projects visually. Once ID'd, you can mount the appropriate original host drive and switch to it to get editing access.For visual learners like many of us, it would be easy and fast to find the correct project out of thousands by just scanning for the red coat in the appropriate Project Library folders.

The provides a way for those blessed with massive storage operations (big users) and those with much smaller systems (individual users)

It just requires the organizational step of making a reference iPhone export of your finished work. And slapping it in a new project.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:31:09 am

[Bill Davis] " Export iPhone size versions of your program masters and store them as their own Projects. Then you can find the red dress by scanning through multiple disconnected projects visually"

I get what you are saying, but that's hardly a database. It's something I could have done 10-20 years ago with any NLE. Heck, it's something I could have done for the last 100 years with nearly any media format (except maybe quad tape).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 2:10:51 am

[Oliver Peters] "I get what you are saying, but that's hardly a database."

Why not? It's a collection of visual "tags" if you will that allow the user to search a collection of data (projects) and identify and separate that which we we need from that which we don't.

Broadly that IS pretty much a database no?

I'm really just having some fun playing around with this thread. And I appreciate where you're coming from, Oliver and we don't actually disagree on this. And of course I completely agree that the Project Library is no where near a realized database like the one built into the Event Library in X.

Still, I hope perhaps my silly little description about alternate uses of the Project Library might let some without network level budgets think about ways they can use the tools in X to do some very useful things in ways that might not be obvious at first.

If my rambling accomplishes that, then I'm content.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 2:19:32 am

[Bill Davis] "Broadly that IS pretty much a database no?"

Hmmm... I guess.

[Bill Davis] "And of course I completely agree that the Project Library is no where near a realized database like the one built into the Event Library in X"

I work routinely with actual databases like FC Server, so it makes it very tantalizing to think that X could turn into something like that. I just doubt that Apple will take it that far.

[Bill Davis] "If my rambling accomplishes that, then I'm content."

OK. OK. I'll settle down now ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:19:01 am

[Bill Davis] "You feel you MUST have a field that says REEL. Ok. If you're in a shop that demands you put a REEL ID on every card, folder, and download, that's perfectly fine too - whether or not those things have any "reel nature" whatsoever."

You're really stuck on the whole media container idea with reel. I'm not... I need a way to identify content within files, and I need it embedded in the file and have it survive encodes in QT.

As far a feeling I must have... I already do have... and just don't want to lose it. If you don't want to use it... don't.

John


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:31:27 am

[John Heagy] "You're really stuck on the whole media container idea with reel. I'm not... "

Not quite sure how exactly it's being "stuck" on a thing one is actively arguing against the need for - particularly when I'm constantly acknowledging that there are plenty of legit reasons for those who WISH to use it. I'm just asking that Apple not spend a world of effort building in an inflexible way to track a particular term that's becoming less relevant over time.

But whatever.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 3:33:56 am

[Bill Davis] "Not quite sure how exactly it's being "stuck" on a thing one is actively arguing against the need for"

You keep associating it with a container or folder and rejecting it because you don't care what container it originally was imported from. I don't really care about the container either but do value it for grouping a camera-days worth of clips, enabling accurate communication, and for content ID along with TC. You can't see past the physical container thing.

[Bill Davis] "I'm just asking that Apple not spend a world of effort building in an inflexible way to track a particular term that's becoming less relevant over time."

Again... Apple's FCPX has the field, Apple's QT format contains the data. I can't imagine anything that would take less effort than to read the data and populate the field considering Apple created both.

John


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 3:23:07 pm

[John Heagy] "Again... Apple's FCPX has the field, Apple's QT format contains the data. I can't imagine anything that would take less effort than to read the data and populate the field considering Apple created both."

I don't understand it either. Even when using 7toX, "reel" is now put in the "notes" column.

This must mean the FCPXML isn't quite ready for this type of transfer yet.

Or AVFoundation isn't ready.

Or the world, the world just isn't ready.

Something.


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 7:11:21 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't understand it either"

Reading "Reel" in QT is really my "Canary in the coal mine" test for Apple that will tell me Apple has listened and responded by adding a seemingly super obvious and simple to implement ability that pros require.

Fingers crossed the Canary survives.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Or AVFoundation isn't ready."

Thankfully AVFoundation can create QT files with embedded "Reel" or as it's called in the QT API "tcsource". This opens up the ability to export movies with a user defined "Reel", which I also requested. If Apple and people like Bill, are hung up on the original physical container Reel has traditionally meant, then refer to it as tcsource if that will help shake it's legacy baggage.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't understand it either. Even when using 7toX, "reel" is now put in the "notes" column."

Unbelievably "Notes" is the only metadata field that is exported in a FCPX xml.

Apple may be concerned about "flooding" an xml export with all the metadata available in FCPX. Our recommendation to Apple was to include an option that only exports metadata in a specific Metadata view. Users could create custom metadata views and add metadata fields they what, much like columns, and then select that group to be exported in the xml.

John


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Jeremy GarchowRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 3:16:16 pm

[John Heagy] "Correct, so we use a metadata field currently included in all NLEs, is embedded in a great production format (ProRes QT), is immunue to filename/path changes, and passes thru the transcode process.

It's called "Reel" !!!

Sorry Jeremy, that was a slow ball right over the plate and I couldn't resist ;)
"


I aim to please. ;)

I think we are both sating the same thing in that Reel is essential, and should be immune to filepath/filename changes. The way that I have been using it with P2 material has been working great. FCP7 tracks the footage and reconnects so much easier as the Global Clip ID points to a specific file, not just a nebulous folder. This means that file could be anywhere.

Your reel system sounds fantastic, and I am not saying that it's nebulous.

I just need it to work differently for our needs as day and date lose meaning over time for our projects.

I think this gets in to a broader conversation about metadata. FCPX has great taxonomy type of metadata, but it lives in the FCPX environment. What I love about P2 is that the metadata travels with the footage itself. (I just wish they'd dive deeper in to the single chip camera market a little more quickly).

This means that as long as an NLE understands P2 metadata (and Panasonic has recommendations on how to do this) it will travel with the clips anywhere they go.

Jeremy


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 6:33:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "This means that as long as an NLE understands P2 metadata (and Panasonic has recommendations on how to do this) it will travel with the clips anywhere they go."

Yes, there needs to be an ID that travels with the file and identifies content whether it's per clip or per group with unique TC.

So you only work with P2 files? If not, how do assign a Global ID to non P2 media? Does Adobe Media Encoder transcode to a P2 CONTENTS folder?

John


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:20:11 am

[Bill Davis] "ask yourself what they're ACTUALLY doing for you"

It can be boiled down to UUID vs Reel. UUID is what a computer needs "Reel" is what people need.

To answer what it does for us specifically. Reel, along with TC, identify content while UUID identify files. How is this different. If I have a 1hr interview and I select a sound bite and save it off preserving reel and TC. A UUID based system see these two as completely different as they will have different UUIDs, that's the universal part of UUID. If I look at reel and TC I can easily determine that the1hr interview contains the select and they have content in common. This enables advanced workflows like linking to small files that used to be a large file. This is necessary when doing partial file restore. It can also link disparate media, as mentioned before, like linking video and audio from different recordings.

[Bill Davis] "After all, a card is NOT a reel."

And a file is not a piece of celluloid hanging in a bin but everyone still calls them "clips" including Apple.

John


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 4:16:44 am

[John Heagy] "It can be boiled down to UUID vs Reel. UUID is what a computer needs "Reel" is what people need. "

I absolutely agree with the first part of this. And disagree with the second.

SOME people feel comfortable with the tag REEL. Others might not.

Look, I also lived with REELS as a basic truth of production for 20 years plus. But I'm trying to be open to the possibility that the term might not as relevant to me today as it was when I was working with 1" type C as a newbie.

If someone in a shop I was visiting told me to go find "REEL 105" - I'd immediately start looking for a physical something. So would you. If "REEL 105" is now a file on the server, a thumb drive, a space on an HD or a node on the network - perhaps it would be useful for me to think about changing a bit of my more traditional thinking?

That's all I'm saying.

I'm not arguing for anyone else to change what THEY do at all. I'm just offering an alternate possibility.

One that is starting to make more sense to me as I change how I work.

Nothing more than that.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 4:29:04 pm

[Bill Davis] "If someone in a shop I was visiting told me to go find "REEL 105" - I'd immediately start looking for a physical something. So would you. If "REEL 105" is now a file on the server, a thumb drive, a space on an HD or a node on the network - perhaps it would be useful for me to think about changing a bit of my more traditional thinking?"

Yes it would... Your associating "Reel" with something physical and therefore rejecting it is akin to rejecting the use of "Bin" and "Clip" as valid terminology because they physically don't exist . We have moved past that and use "Reel" as simply another useful metadata field, very useful as others mentioned i.e. EDL, audio, grading.. etc, that works for both old and new media.

The old and new is really key. Our productions don't allow for "old media" to wither away. Old media must be included, this includes tape and film. We also don't have a single digital acquisition format so we can't rely on any one camera's media ID, this includes GoPro and the like.

We also transcode everything to ProRes and "Reel" is the only metadata that can be passed to a QT file. Avid still uses "Reel" or as they call it "Tape ID" that is still embedded in their mxf files and Avid's media management is highly regarded.


"[John Heagy] "It can be boiled down to UUID vs Reel. UUID is what a computer needs "Reel" is what people need. "

[Bill Davis]I absolutely agree with the first part of this. And disagree with the second."


You prefer to remember and type in an email to point someone to a shot:

0x060A2B34401010105010D431300000003A2AFAA938520FS0080458230D5C007 @ 1:01:12:00 whew!!

as opposed to 264320 @ 1:01:12:00

Note Jeremy wasn't willing to type that long ID in his post and chose to include a screen shot link. Certainly not very human friendly by all accounts.

[Bill Davis] "Applying something like REEL A, Card 10504, BUCKET A-18, or whatever to your functional clips in X is beyond trivial."

Yes crap metadata is not useful, we enter meaningful metadata. Don't trash a metadata field based on what's entered.

"Reel" is current and time honored metadata that is far from trivial or silly!

John


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 13, 2012 at 4:46:02 pm

This back-and-forth is premature as it pertains to X. I believe we are talking about is Apple's (current) incomplete implementation and assigning some sort of UI design and motives to that. Apple clearly includes "reel" as a metadata item and it reads other camera file metadata, like EXIF from stills. It might simply be a matter that the video side isn't done yet.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:34:08 am

[Oliver Peters] "This back-and-forth is premature as it pertains to X. I believe we are talking about is Apple's (current) incomplete implementation"

Premature after the first two releases... yes, but not after five. FCPX has been out for over a year and they haven't "finished" the Reel implementation? I can't think of an easier "feature" then reading a metadata field created by Apple in a file created by Apple.

This back and forth is useful to understand how people use reel and why some dismiss it as "old fashioned". Apple hates old fashioned and we all know Apple loves to drop legacy tech. Given how they redefined the language of editing in FCPX, I fear Reel is on the chomping block.

I hope my posts about how we use reel will convince others of it's usefulness and help Apple make the right decision.

John


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:48:46 am

[John Heagy] "Premature after the first two releases... yes, but not after five. FCPX has been out for over a year and they haven't "finished" the Reel implementation? I can't think of an easier "feature" then reading a metadata field created by Apple in a file created by Apple."

I didn't mean to imply there was no value in the discussion. The reason I say premature, is because some of this is dependent on full implementation of the camera SDK and I don't believe that's done yet.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:36:56 am

See my post above at

Bill Davis on Oct 13, 2012 at 5:29:19 pm

I've never said reel names are silly or useless. I just said that I find them wanting when I haven't touched anything that I've understood as a "reel" for years now.

I'll figure it out when someone uses the term REEL to describe a card. That's what human brains do. They also tend to think that just because it's the way it's been done in the past, that also means they should figure out how to preserve the terms of the past when moving into the future.

Proven jargon is not always smart to trash arbitrarily - but it's ALWAYS worth questioning when the underlying reality beneath the old terms has inarguable changed as in the reels-cards-files transitional days we're presently navigating.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:52:41 am

[Bill Davis] "I'll figure it out when someone uses the term REEL to describe a card."

Actually camera manufacturers have been doing that for a while. The ARRI Alexa embeds a REEL ID into the ProRes files it records and uses the camera card as part of the identifier. The ID is read AS A REEL in FCP "legacy".

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:01:47 am

[Oliver Peters] "he ARRI Alexa embeds a REEL ID"

So does the the Red Epic/Scarlet and recorders from Aja and Sound Devices.


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 1:57:30 am

And a Canon 5d does NOT mark a card as a REEL.

Want to guess which of the three, Alexa, RED or 5D is being used more to generate video around the world today?

All I'm arguing is that in a world where it's an everyday likelihood that a video clip MAY be created by a DSLR or an iPhone - as by a $25,000 plus camera - it's fair to discuss what term is best to use to describe the digital data container.

Not sure why this is generating such angst.

It kinda reminds me of how people got so riled when X changed its fundamental terminology from Timeline into Storyline. It seemed very arbitrary at the time. But I'd argue that it actually helped many like me focus our thinking about what the construct in the software was. It's wasn't a line fixed in time any longer. It WAS lines of stories, primary and secondary, that elevated internal over external construction logic. And the change of term helped me come to understand that a bit easier.

Eventually, all the editor on the planet may come to call any original footage collection a "REEL." and if so fine. But we may not as well. I'm fine with leaving it as an open question.

I also enjoy doing some exploring as to whether that particular term is the best one we can find for the largely virtual footage containers we use TODAY in the real world of file based workflows.

YMMV.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 2:12:34 am

[Bill Davis] "And a Canon 5d does NOT mark a card as a REEL."

If you're going to use that argument, why not go straight to the bottom and talk about iPhones and other cell phone cameras or GoPros? ;-)

I'm sure more video is generated by those than 5Ds. I've been cutting 5D stuff since right after "Reverie" hit the world. I can assure you that left unaltered, the 5D files are useless outside of FCP X or within a single application. No TC, so every clip starts at 0. I have a very specific routine and that involves embedding TC and Reel ID just so I can use these files across a wide spectrum of applications and for years later. In fact, as I recall, X doesn't even read the TC that the Mark III now embeds.

[Bill Davis] "Not sure why this is generating such angst. "

Because you're the one arguing that it's unimportant for Apple to care, while the rest of use are involved in workflows where it's essential. We are arguing for an adherence to standards, while it doesn't seem to matter in your workflows.

[Bill Davis] "It kinda reminds me of how people got so riled when X changed its fundamental terminology from Timeline into Storyline."

Utterly stupid as well.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 3:42:54 am

[Bill Davis] "And a Canon 5d does NOT mark a card as a REEL."

Now's it making sense... How can someone appreciate Reel if they don't need TC from their camera.


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Michael GissingRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 14, 2012 at 7:04:18 am

[Bill Davis] "And a Canon 5d does NOT mark a card as a REEL."

Now's it making sense... How can someone appreciate Reel if they don't need TC from their camera

In FCP legend using Log & Transfer you get time of day translated to time code and the folder defaults to being reel so you can do an offline/online workflow even with a 5d. Indeed for many of us the thought of not having a path back to camera originals is untenable and that requires both code and reel.

Personally I am used to making the card folder the reel. Doing double system sound I make the sound folder identical to the camera plus an A for audio. So it dead easy to associate the sound folder to the picture folder via the reel name. This becomes critical for auto reconform with cameras that do timecode.


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:14:33 am

[Michael Gissing] "Personally I am used to making the card folder the reel. Doing double system sound I make the sound folder identical to the camera plus an A for audio. So it dead easy to associate the sound folder to the picture folder via the reel name. This becomes critical for auto reconform with cameras that do timecode."

Aha! Exactly as I suspected.

You have a specific vision of how you want to ID your clips. The video clips and the audio clips need to be set to YOUR specifications. So you need to take a moment and set the ID in the fields where it's of most use to you.

So what you want is a system that lets you do it your way. Not how the camera MFG determined is should be. Use REEL if you like. - but also don't use Reel if you don't.

But those with traditional workflows are arguing that EVERYONE needs reels such that software is somehow "crippled" if that field isn't baked into the workflow such that no matter what camera, from what manufacturer, shooting to what media - it must present everyone with a lonely REEL field (even if bereft of content) to be worthy.

I suspect that what REALLY hurts is that Apple probably simply prioritized managing REEL data lower than, for example, managing card ID data. X rocks at managing card ID data. It's essentially flawless, not caring a jot if the user screws up and mislabels, duplicate lables, doesn't at all label, or uses a Prince like typographic glyph to label a disk - It' just keeps working using the embedded IDs that makes the system shrug off human error and keep operating sensibly. Dev team mission accomplished.

Anyway, I've probably WAY over beaten this REEL subject to death. Moving on...

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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John HeagyRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 4:09:42 am

[Bill Davis] "But those with traditional workflows are arguing that EVERYONE needs reels such that software is somehow "crippled" if that field isn't baked into the workflow..."

Nobody insisted EVERYONE use reel in their workflow. Just think of reel the same as you do all the other metadata fields in FCPX you don't enter data in.

It's clear reel is used to facilitate interchange and custom workflows. One man "bands" that don't interchange with other processes or devise custom workflows have little need for reel. That's all fine, nobody's forcing you to use it.

Please don't insist it's useless because you don't use it or understand how others do.

Apple clearly targeted FCPX, at least initially, to the one man bands and pajama editors of the world. I for one hope Apple wants to have FCPX used in high end professional "facilities" where "out of the box" workflows and hand holding just don't cut it. Responding to the needs of pros who use time tested workflows will help FCPX make in roads into "pro facilities".

John


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Michael GissingRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 4:26:13 am

[Bill Davis]"Anyway, I've probably WAY over beaten this REEL subject to death. Moving on..."

Amen brother. We get that you don't get it so lets all move on.


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Bill DavisRe: FCPX and skeuomorphism
by on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:16:24 am

[John Heagy] "Now's it making sense... How can someone appreciate Reel if they don't need TC from their camera."

Well to be completely fair, I only had about 20 straight prior years working with camera tapes - so you can presume that I "appreciate" the place that REEL ID used to have in ones workflow.

I just don't miss it now that it's finally gone from mine.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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