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Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?

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Oliver Peters
Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 17, 2018 at 5:32:37 pm

Here's a good read. Check out Alan Bell's thoughts about other ways an NLE could be developed to use visual, rather than textual, organizing methods and cues. It starts about halfway or more down into the article.

https://www.provideocoalition.com/aotc-red-sparrow

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 17, 2018 at 7:59:25 pm

I only have time right now to skim the section you referenced, but wow.

Some of this would be AWESOME for a feature style editor using X. For Apple to allow the editor to attach virtual “cards“ directly into storylines that would hold pasted reference graphics and similar visuals slonwith notes - perhaps in conjunction with X’s “to do” markers? -would be amazing for many, many editors.

Then in other places it felt like he was describing wantin EXACTLY what Auditions do right now.

It’s still odd that many Pros seem to have only the vaguest idea of how X actually works - seeing a concept like “keywording” as somehow a non-visual approach - rather than how interconnected it can be into the visual display of selects in a storyboard-like array.

Interesting read.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 19, 2018 at 7:55:11 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Mar 19, 2018 at 8:04:09 pm

[Bill Davis] "It’s still odd that many Pros seem to have only the vaguest idea of how X actually works - seeing a concept like “keywording” as somehow a non-visual approach - rather than how interconnected it can be into the visual display of selects in a storyboard-like array."

One factor, is that Bell cuts on PCs, unlike a lot of other feature editors, who tend to prefer Macs. He also extensively uses other tools outside of Media Composer, like Fusion. Some more here from an older interview:

http://www.avidblogs.com/filmmaking-cutting-imax-and-35mm-with-alan-e-bell-...

Watch the video inside this link for a clear explanation.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Apr 8, 2018 at 11:57:07 am
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Apr 8, 2018 at 12:12:41 pm

[Oliver Peters] "One factor, is that Bell cuts on PCs, unlike a lot of other feature editors, who tend to prefer Macs. He also extensively uses other tools outside of Media Composer, like Fusion. "

I spoke with Alan at some length about this in an article on editing the third and fourth The Hunger Games pictures at the same time, A Tale of Two Mockingjays: The Hunger Games Epic Finale(s). It's a terrific piece, if I say so myself, not because of me, but because of Alan. As Tony notes above, Alan is a very friendly, articulate, generous guy, who's also one of the sharpest dudes you'll come across.

He's also every bit as accomplished in that part of VFX we call "invisible effects" as editing, and in fact tends to think of that kind of VFX and editing to be so closely related as to be indistinguishable at times.

One of the keys to delivering on these kinds of deadlines wasn't just the occasional week of 24-hour editing. It was efficiency, and for Alan, that has always meant having the option to use compositing to solve problems that cutting alone can't.

"I'm a big believer in enhancing performances with compositing when necessary," he says. "I usually try to cut my way around whatever my issues are, but once I have the scene working the way I want it to, I can go back and at the very least fix things that don't match.

"Sometimes not having to cut is the solution. When you want to drop a line, or when you want somebody to react to something and it's not happening – maybe one of the actors has finished the line, but the other actor hasn't finished landing in position, or you want to drop a line without introducing a cut – you can make the cut more efficient if you can composite."

Also efficient: not having to wrangle a lot of round-tripping. The Avid Connection plug-in for Fusion (originally developed at eyeon; since acquired by Blackmagic Design) creates a drag and drop, resolution-independent, node-based compositing environment inside Avid.

Although the free version of Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 is now available as a public beta, the $995 Fusion Studio is the one with the Avid plug-in. At this is written, the latest version, Fusion Studio 7, is still Windows-only.

"I insisted that everybody use Windows systems because I like Fusion for compositing. You've got this great plug-in, and I wanted to not have to jump around, to do my compositing right there in the cutting room. If I want to drop a line without cutting away, I can do a face morph, or I can pick a section of their face from somewhere else in the take and morph it onto itself, so that I lose the line without cutting away and losing an emotional moment.

"These are things that over the years that I've taught myself to do. I'm also pretty good at estimating how long it's going to take me to do something, so for the most part I composite as I work. I can do it much more powerfully with access to Fusion's node-based compositing inside Avid."


If I can once again recommend the article as a whole, Alan does a fantastic job framing the emotional context of editing too -- maybe the best discussion of it that I've ever read. We too often speak of the technology that artists can use without discussing the heart that enables it. Here's the link again.

This was 3 years ago, of course, and Fusion Studio is now available on Mac. I'm not sure if this makes any difference to Alan himself or to his feelings that the rest of the team also needs to be on PCs if indeed he still is. Also of course: Fusion has dropped in price to $295....although your guess is as good as mine what the price will be after Monday. LOL

Anyone going to NAB can feel free to ask Allan about all this. He'll be in the Blackmagic booth talking about his use of Fusion as part of his editorial process. Even if this isn't necessarily your cup of tea, I guarantee that meeting him will be one of the highlights of your NAB experience -- not just for this year, but of ALL your NAB experiences.


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Gabriel Spaulding
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 17, 2018 at 11:40:58 pm

HULLFISH: FCP-X is very into this metadata model of finding stuff.

BELL: You’ve lost me there. This is a visual medium. If I was a word processor and a writer maybe. But I’m cutting images and sounds and affecting those images and sounds and I’m a visual beast. What I need are tools that support that. For me personally.


He has some cool ideas that if implemented would improve any NLE, though neither Avid nor Adobe have chosen to implement his feature requests. FCP X is not exactly what he is looking for, but being the sole NLE that breaks away from bins, and arguably the most fluid and dynamic at organization, you'd think a bit more curiosity than "you've lost me there" would be warranted. At least give it a good go before you so casually disregard it.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Cinematographer | Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 18, 2018 at 1:52:55 am

[Gabriel Spaulding] "though neither Avid nor Adobe have chosen to implement his feature requests. FCP X is not exactly what he is looking for, but being the sole NLE that breaks away from bins"

That's not entirely true. After all, events are more or less what bins are. But, with Avid for example, the developers took a different approach to bin than other NLEs, which are more tied to standard programming architecture/limitations for bins. For example, in an Avid bin in the icon view, you can freely re-arrange the order of the thumbnails. Much like you would do with an actual storyboard. So, for example, all circle takes can be moved to the top of the bin and everything else below.

Secondly, there is a second frame view, that includes a thumbnail, some basic metadata and then an open text box where the editor can add any info they want. For example, notes, or script lines.

In the list view, bin sorting does not automatically occur whenever a textual change is made. Clips are only sorted when the operator manually initiates an update to the sort. In addition, the sort can be two level. So if you had two separate columns for scenes and takes, the primary sort would sort the clips according to scene numbers and then the secondary sort would arrange takes within the scene groupings.

Finally, there's a show/hide function much like in X (though not range-based), except any criterial can be used for show/hide, not simply favorites/rejects.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 18, 2018 at 4:31:20 pm

And let’s not forget all other NLEs have multiple browser windows. So I can have interview selects open in list view on one part of the screen, and b-roll as thumbnails in another window. GFX perhaps in another window. So when I need an asset there’s not all this mucking about resorting, switching to favorites, switching to list view for VO for a good waveform then back to large thumbnails to view graphics. And to be able to manually sort and edit to timeline like Avid or Premiere would be a big plus.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCPX Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists
Hang Tag http://bretfx.com/product/hang-tag
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Clock Maker http://bretfx.com/product/bretfx-clock-maker/


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Neil Goodman
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 19, 2018 at 12:16:10 am

[Bret Williams] "And let’s not forget all other NLEs have multiple browser windows. So I can have interview selects open in list view on one part of the screen, and b-roll as thumbnails in another window. GFX perhaps in another window. So when I need an asset there’s not all this mucking about resorting, switching to favorites, switching to list view for VO for a good waveform then back to large thumbnails to view graphics. And to be able to manually sort and edit to timeline like Avid or Premiere would be a big plus.
"


Thanks for pointing this out as Ive been wanting to bring this up for a while. Its currently a huge limitation in an otherwise awesome organizational environment.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 19, 2018 at 12:58:33 pm

[Neil Goodman] "Ive been wanting to bring this up for a while"

I think this is, in part, because Apple optimized the FCPX UI for single-screen displays (iMacs, MacBook Pros). A layout for multiple displays was likely a secondary priority as it only affects a minority of users.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tony West
Re: Think FCPX's metadata approach is so good?
on Mar 18, 2018 at 1:24:11 pm

I actually just met Alan Bell last week when I was in LA. He is a friend of my brother. Super nice guy with a great deal of talent. I really enjoyed meeting him and talking film and editing. I was mainly just listening to him. It was a group of film industry guys all at the top of their game and it was cool hearing about the projects they were on and how they go about their work.

Nobody enjoys working with X more than me, but I can see how someone in his position (at the top of the game) wouldn't have much interest and making any major moves from what got him to the top. There is so much money on the line at that level and he's already where he needs to be.


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