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Simon Ubsdell
Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:51:40 am

You can get developers to decide what innovation to throw at an NLE, or in an alternative universe you could ask editors to come up with innovations of their own.

This new video by Alan Bell A.C.E. advances the case for some intriguing innovations:

https://vimeo.com/270199410

Scott Simmons discusses it further here:

https://www.provideocoalition.com/alan-bells-open-letter-to-the-nle-makers/

(Oliver mentioned Alan Bell's ideas before but this video is new.)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Gregor Queck
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 10:40:21 am

Some of his 'wishes' can easily be done by keywords and makers. Just saying....

. . .


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 11:54:40 am

The reason I think this is interesting is not so much to do with specific features - it's a more general point.

As editors we are paid to have ideas and solve problems.

So it's a shame that we tend to approach our software as passive consumers rather than people with ideas who know how to come up with solutions.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 12:40:04 pm

A central point he brings up is that most editors think visually. As such, an NLE interface should be designed to accommodate visual organization in a freeform manner. Media Composer partially does that. No other NLE does. Every other NLE (and apps like Motion and AE, too) structure the interface design along a spreadsheet-like grid. You can sort lists according to some alphanumeric criteria, but you can't simply rearrange frame tiles at will or add some sort of markup to the bin.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 3:35:13 pm

[Oliver Peters] "...most editors think visually. As such, an NLE interface should be designed to accommodate visual organization in a freeform manner... Every other NLE...structure the interface design along a spreadsheet-like grid. You can sort lists according to some alphanumeric criteria, but you can't simply rearrange frame tiles at will or add some sort of markup to the bin..."

It's ironic he said "open letter to....Apple" and "NLE software hasn't changed in decades" when FCPX entailed vast changes and is by far the closest to implementing his ultimate goals.

Many of the things he was complaining about can be done right now in FCPX, he's just not familiar with it. Maybe not done the *way* he's thinking but that's an implementation detail. Examples:

Bell: "....huge amounts of material, greater and greater every year, more and more cameras..I need to manage this footage...in an effective way..."

FCPX gives him that. I was 1st AE on a documentary that had 230 hrs, 8,500 4k clips, 20 TB of material. FCPX was not perfect; it had various issues but it was far better than when I did large docs in Premiere.

Bell: "need...visual tools....all these clips over here"

What he needs is improved media management. He he's thinking of it visually -- and that's OK -- but it's not the only or necessarily the best way. This is an old issue that goes back to the origins of database management. This has been debated and researched ad infinitum for many decades. People tend to think of data navigationally or hierarchically, e.g, "Brown" is before "Smith", or Smith is in nested folders Year/US/State/City. The problem is it's not effective to design databases that way. Since the 1970s it's been generally understood that a relational database query/response model is better, more flexible and more scalable.

In the relational model Brown does not exist before Smith, only queries and result sets exist. If you want Brown you request where lastname = "Brown". Many other criteria can be added such as state of residence, age, etc. This is essentially how the Finder query works. You do CMD+F then start adding query criteria for files. It's not an unfamiliar concept to Mac users.

FCPX media management generally uses a similar model, although it has Events as a single-level folder.

Walter Murch used a cobbled-together primitive version of this method when he edited Cold Mountain in legacy FCP. He used a Filemaker Pro database to keep track of scenes and clips. He kept Filemaker print outs on his table. He pasted up a physical "Event Browser" next to his desk. In this photo it looks like a crude mocked-up prototype of what FCPX provides today: http://newcdn.transom.org/wp-content/uploads/2005/04/M1246.jpg

Bell wants to make notes per clip. You can do that in FCPX per *range*. Admittedly this currently requires list view. The overall idea of clicking on a clip in thumbnail (or filmstrip) view, then adding pop-up queryable notes seems valid. FCPX could be improved but it supports range-based notes and querying now.

He wants "bin overlays". What he meant is he wants to selectively filter on clips containing his assistant's notes. FCPX has this right now in keyword collections and notes. He described it as a graphical spatial implementation but FCPX already achieves his ultimate goal, he's just unaware of it.

Bell: "I don't want to always load the clip into the source monitor to see the notes I've added"

This was a fundamental design issue on FCPX -- to allow rapid browsing of video and metadata without loading each clip into a source monitor. So he can already do that on FCPX if he only knew about it.

He made various remarks about visually organizing clips in Avid's "Frame View", which is like FCPX's filmstrip view shrunk to one frame per clip and without the skimmer. He mentioned drawing on the screen, annotating clips with icon images, scrolling in two dimensions around the frame view window with a mouse. Those are simply one way to browse and organize material -- not necessarily the best, only, or most scalable way.

Imagine if a die-hard still film photographer's only exposure to organizing media was putting prints on a table. He has little notes stuck to them. They are in piles. He's running out of table space. When describing his ideal computerized version he will tend to think in terms of his limited experience. He might request a computerized version with a larger virtual table he can scroll around faster. He might request computerized post-it notes since he's using those. It's unlikely he would envision or request the database organizational system that Lightroom uses today, yet it works a lot better than a 2D scrolling virtual table with graphical post-it notes. Photographers think visually just like videographers. Yet they mange to use database systems like Lightroom to organize, manage and navigate large amounts of content.

The European feature film The Unknown Solder had 500 hours of 4k material (168:1 shooting ratio), and was edited by Ben Mercer on FCPX. He feels strongly that FCPX helped him manage this huge amount of material. Maybe video editors think visually but Mercer had no problems using the spreadsheet-like database features of FCPX. He'd like an enhancement to allow spatially repositioning clips in the Event Browser, but that's very different from saying "NLE software hasn't changed in decades": https://www.provideocoalition.com/art-of-the-cut-with-ben-mercer-on-editing...

I think if Alan Bell was more familiar with FCPX he could make a more compelling and informed argument. FCPX is not perfect and I've had many problems with it. It needs improvement in various areas. But it already provides solutions to several of the things Bell mentioned. Other professional feature film, TV and documentary editors are using FCPX effectively to manage and edit very large projects.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 5:00:17 pm

This is a good summary, but, no offense, I feel like you are making a lot of presumptions about what you think he really wants.

[Joe Marler] "In this photo it looks like a crude mocked-up prototype of what FCPX provides today"

Well this is really just the paper equivalent of a filmstrip view. I'm not really sure that's at all what Bell is getting at.

[Joe Marler] "What he meant is he wants to selectively filter on clips containing his assistant's notes. FCPX has this right now in keyword collections and notes"

You can also do that in Media Composer using "custom sift", just not on a range basis. And different bins can have different views and different sorts/sifts. So, list view for dialogue clips in one bin and frame view for a graphics bin, etc.

[Joe Marler] "He made various remarks about visually organizing clips in Avid's "Frame View", which is like FCPX's filmstrip view shrunk to one frame per clip and without the skimmer. "

The difference is that Avid's frame view allows things that other NLEs don't, because thumbnail organization in all other NLEs is snapped to a grid. Not so in MC. There you can freely move around frames like in a lightroom layout and/or bump the more import clips up a bit in the row of clips.

[Joe Marler] "I think if Alan Bell was more familiar with FCPX he could make a more compelling and informed argument."

That could well be, although Bell works on PCs, so X becomes a non-starter. ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 5:03:04 pm

[Joe Marler] "I think if Alan Bell was more familiar with FCPX he could make a more compelling and informed argument. "

I think you are missing the point he was making.

It's not that existing NLEs don't provide the means to access the information - it's rather than he is looking for a different model of interacting with the material.

He doesn't (just) want lists and fields as conventionally offered - he wants a much more graphical way of flagging the stuff that's important to him.

I can understand that this might not appeal to other editors but what's interesting is that he's looking at what NLEs could be from a different perspective.

We are very hidebound in the way we think about all of this so it's good to throw away the blinkers occasionally and imagine other possibilities.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 6:55:07 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I can understand that this might not appeal to other editors but what's interesting is that he's looking at what NLEs could be from a different perspective."

Hummm - where have I heard of something similar?

Oh yes. Pretty much precisely what Mr. Ubillos did seven years ago?

Well, we all know how THAT initially went. 🤨

The funny thing, is that Mr. Bell has at least one fully realized option that MIGHT provide him a path somewhat closer to a few of the things he's apparently yearning for - yet he's apparently managed, like so many, to largely ignore it to date. And of course, it might be 100% frustration and 0% joy if he did.

As busy as he must be - the time to get to that moment when the X system "clicks" for any editor - has been said over and over again to be inversely proportional to the level of that editors prior NLE experience. And so much of X's strengths are the folding of typical AE tasks closer into the editorial process and the timeline itself - - and he'd have to both learn them (since they are so intertwined with the X experience) and then ignore much of them in order to get to the joys of magnetic assembly that might ease a significant tranch of his work.

For a while, I've been seriously thinking X's future lies squarely in the generation coming up - rather than the generation currently sitting in the "big shop" seats. There will be exceptions, of course, but it requires someone who understands the return available in exchange for that mental adaptation.

Purely because it represents so much required re-learning - and returns too little immediate reward for editors who want to just bolt incremental changes into their comfortable workflows.

Asking for a company to slap a "Browser like" array into an AVID-style interface might be smarter for them than trying to get a long time editor to re-think their editorial flow thinking. And maybe AVID will go there. Good luck to them on walking that balance beam. I wish them well.

After all, Agility is NOT an aspect prized by any "establishment" group.

They tend to prize dependability and comfort.

Time will tell.

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


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:10:26 pm

[Bill Davis] "Pretty much precisely what Mr. Ubillos did seven years ago?
"


It's almost like you're saying that because the NLE has been refreshed once it can never be improved upon again.

But I'm sure you don't mean that.

Come on, guys!!!

You're brilliant, creative people, brimming with great ideas.

Don't tell me you can't think of innovative things to do in the NLE space. Cos I don't believe you.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:19:02 pm

After I wrote my thoughts down above - I suddenly flashed on the (wait for it!) Fig Rig!



Remember that?

Two time Academy Award Wining director Mike Figis wanted to improve on camerawork, so he partnered with Manfrotto to offer a circular gizmo with the idea that it would improve ease of shooting in at least certain situations.

Kinda turned out fewer people than he likely imagined saw his solution as a huge advance.

Not saying a new quasi X-like Browser thingy bolted into other NLEs might not be the big improvement some might think it would be. But as an X editor, I will note that the REASON the Browser works so well in X is because it's not a thing unto itself - it's an ASPECT of a larger scheme that includes the entire RANGE ideas, Keywording, Magnetic Assembly - and more. All integrated into a wholistic thing.

Once upon a time, I was pretty interested in getting some time on a Fig Rig.

The opportunity passed. Oh well.

Just in a musing mood today.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 8:17:36 pm

[Bill Davis] "Kinda turned out fewer people than he likely imagined saw his solution as a huge advance."

That's certainly the danger here, too.

[Bill Davis] "But as an X editor, I will note that the REASON the Browser works so well in X is because it's not a thing unto itself - it's an ASPECT of a larger scheme that includes the entire RANGE ideas, Keywording, Magnetic Assembly - and more. All integrated into a wholistic thing"

And as someone who edits with "all of the above", I have always contended that X's organizational design really isn't all that much different than everyone else's. Range selection is the biggest difference, and the "smart" aspects are more refined. But, in general, it's an iteration of what came before it.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 8:55:03 pm

[Bill Davis] "Two time Academy Award Wining director Mike Figis wanted to improve on camerawork, so he partnered with Manfrotto to offer a circular gizmo with the idea that it would improve ease of shooting in at least certain situations."

The Fig Rig was an absolutely brilliant concept that worked magically well - in a wide variety of situations.

If ever there was beauty in simplicity, this was it.

Thank goodness for people like Mike Figgis who are ready to think up ideas beyond the narrow parameters of what the world's largest corporations think fit to spoon feed us.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 12:43:31 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "Thank goodness for people like Mike Figgis who are ready to think up ideas beyond the narrow parameters of what the world's largest corporations think fit to spoon feed us."

I think you misspelled Randy Ubillos?

(just teasing, of course.)

😀

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


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 9:22:09 pm

I tried the Fig Rig - jolly uncomfortable, you didn't miss anything. You had to hold the thing out in front of you with all those bits hung on it. Your arms didn't last too long. I worked a large number of hours, days and weeks with a Sony VX1000 - hand in the standard handhold, gun mic on a stills photographer's flash bar. A whole lot better and a whole lot cheaper.

Bernie


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 12:19:43 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2018 at 1:18:25 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "Your arms didn't last too long. "

You're missing the fact that it was also a fitness device.

;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 2:51:51 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "Your arms didn't last too long. "

You were "holding it wrong"! :)



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 7:41:08 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "You were "holding it wrong"! :)"

That joke definitely deserves a round of applause.

Well played, sir.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:19:15 pm

[Bill Davis] "For a while, I've been seriously thinking X's future lies squarely in the generation coming up - rather than the generation currently sitting in the "big shop" seats. There will be exceptions, of course, but it requires someone who understands the return available in exchange for that mental adaptation."

Those next-gen people will shift to Resolve and HitFilm.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:24:06 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Those next-gen people will shift to Resolve and HitFilm."

Maybe,

But unless you can articulate how those better deal with what I see as the CENTRAL issue of our time - the explosion of available data to manage and the need to automate as much organization and assembly as possible - I'll withhold my assessment.

I don't see stuff like keywords, magnetic assembly, and Roles in those - ALL of which arguable address this central issue.

THOSE are the keys to X.

Not how it does what the others do - but free-er. 😊

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 7:33:44 pm

[Bill Davis] "I don't see stuff like keywords, magnetic assembly, and Roles in those - ALL of which arguable address this central issue.
THOSE are the keys to X"


Sure. Of course they are. And those are things that I'd bet the vast majority of users could care less about. Other than magnetic timeline, can you honestly say that you see a lot of people who use X that actually make use of these functions? Or do they merely accept the defaults and slap stuff together in the timeline? I'd venture to say the latter is a far greater number among those that edit with X. I don't believe roles and keywords sell X to anyone who is a new user.

However, if you look at intuitive to learn and low/cost or free, then Resolve and HitFilm are on equal footing (in my mind and from what I've observed) to X. Then add more versatile/comprehensive workflow options and platform-agnostic, and it makes a compelling case.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 8:20:25 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Other than magnetic timeline, can you honestly say that you see a lot of people who use X that actually make use of these functions? Or do they merely accept the defaults and slap stuff together in the timeline? I'd venture to say the latter is a far greater number among those that edit with X. I don't believe roles and keywords sell X to anyone who is a new user."

Wow. ABSOLUTELY and EVERY DAY.

Do you spend ANY time on the X oriented boards at all?

The VAST majority of questions in those boards, some of which have tens of thousands of users are at the EXACT SAME level you'd expect to find in any other software community.

Are there Noobs who don't use all the aspects of the software? Sure. But you'll find the exact same mix of people on the Premiere Pro and AVID boards. X has been growing for SEVEN YEARS - and it's boards are RIFE with intelligent, informed discussions about EVERY SINGLE aspect of X use.

And in the multiple "Professional Use" X boards - there are thousands more participants who ONLY use X to make their livings and know and discuss the software at precisely the same level that people discuss AVID or any other NLE on boards oriented towards them.

This post really disappoints me about your perception of X, Oliver.

Imagine if I were to opine publicly, that only a small fraction of Premier Pro users do anything other than use it's MOST basic functions. If I were to assert that most CC editors really don't use Lumetri. Few really uses Audio functions on the timeline beyond the basics. And that editors using Premier Pro to do professional work are just somehow, an exception.

I suspect if I posted something like that about Premiere - I'd be met with derision and scorn. And rightly so. And sorry, but that you would frame this question in a similar manner is surprising.

At heart, I have NO idea of how many X users are fluent in Roles. And YOU don't have any idea of what percentage of Premier Pro users know how to properly apply an audio Limiter.

Millions are provably relying on FCP X to make a buck. And I assume exactly the same for the Adobe Solutions.

I don't think it's necessary to cast that type of shade on either.

I'm disappointed in this post, Oliver.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 8:32:12 pm

[Bill Davis] "This post really disappoints me about your perception of X, Oliver."

My perceptions of X as related to new-ish users, is based an seeing how they actually edit and seeing those that have struggled with which application makes sense to them. That's on top of my own use of it.

[Bill Davis] "If I were to assert that most CC editors really don't use Lumetri. Few really uses Audio functions on the timeline beyond the basics."

Actually you'd probably be right.

[Bill Davis] "At heart, I have NO idea of how many X users are fluent in Roles. And YOU don't have any idea of what percentage of Premier Pro users know how to properly apply an audio Limiter. "

Agreed. We are only going by our own anecdotal perceptions.

[Bill Davis] "Millions are provably relying on FCP X to make a buck."

Hmm... I think you are being highly optimistic. 2.5 million users doesn't mean millions are making a buck with it. Maybe a few hundred thousand at best. There are plenty of casual users who buy professional applications simply for a hobby. Logic Pro X would likely be a good example of this, too.

[Bill Davis] "I don't think it's necessary to cast that type of shade on either."

Not casting any shade. Simply questioning the premise that roles and keywords are a deciding factor. Ignoring those is a perfectly valid way to work and many do so quite successfully.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tony West
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 12:51:16 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Simply questioning the premise that roles and keywords are a deciding factor."

It's odd. You posted that "FCPX in Europe" thread in which all he was doing was showing people using these tools in X. You called his presentation "excellent".

He made the same points that many of us have been making for years, and got no push back. That thread got 0 replies. Speed speed speed. He kept saying that over and over. Replies to this day ZERO.

Just kind of funny : )


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Neil Goodman
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 17, 2018 at 8:33:00 pm

[Bill Davis] "And in the multiple "Professional Use" X boards - there are thousands more participants who ONLY use X to make their livings and know and discuss the software at precisely the same level that people discuss AVID or any other NLE on boards oriented towards them. "

Can you link up some good X boards? All i know are the FB groups. Didnt really find much with a google search.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 11:10:22 am

Is it only me or are there others that watched this video and thought “why is this guy whining so much”? Perhaps some good ideas in there but most of what I heard was “I want, I want, I want”. I was waiting for that idea to be presented that jumped out at me but it never came. We have very different workflows and use very different NLE’s. Just my walk away feeling after spending 7 minutes watching.

Oh and he should add Apple to the list of companies he sends his ideas to....just sayin.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Visual Storyteller
https://vimeo.com/channels/1322525
Managing Partner, Low Country Creative LLC
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 11:44:40 am

[Scott Witthaus] "but most of what I heard was “I want, I want, I want”."

How do you think the state of an application advances? By listening to user suggestions and requests. It doesn't always work to be delivered on tablets down from Mount Cupertino.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 6:43:13 pm

[Oliver Peters] "How do you think the state of an application advances? "

Professionally versus whining. Maybe if he said "I know a bunch of colleagues talked about this idea and I think it would help". Or "this is an idea I had that can help, whether you are doing wedding videos or films". Instead he "I wants" us to death about his particular workflow. Just was annoying to me and possibly me only.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Visual Storyteller
https://vimeo.com/channels/1322525
Managing Partner, Low Country Creative LLC
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 18, 2018 at 7:20:37 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "Just was annoying to me and possibly me only."

Yanny or Laurel ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 2:33:29 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "This new video by Alan Bell A.C.E. advances the case for some intriguing innovations:"

Visual grouping and markup metadata. Per user visual overlays. All interesting ideas.

From a practical standpoint, it seems like it would be really hard to implement visual markup and keep track of it, let alone have it look good, make sense, and actually help or add to the editing process. As soon as you bounce to another view, or change the size of text or thumbs or shuffle clips around, all of a sudden the software has to keep track of where the clips were in space, where it’s visual metadata is and is pointed to, and also reach out to any cloud based programs or PDFs or other documents to make sure the attachments are updated and in sync, and then all of that info would need to get described in a database for interchange.

I do think that his points pertain to the limits of a bin structure. I never really liked bins as they are too hierarchical. Clips in bins can be described and sorted in one place. If you need the clip to be in multiple bins, you have to physically duplicate the clip, and then any relationship to the first location is broken. FCPX does have ways to skirt this limitation. No, they aren’t visual, but FCPX tags and collections certainly allow a very quick grouping and drill down of visual assets based on metadata, as well as maintaining a bird’s eye (and very visual) view of all assets. This is something that bins rarely offer.

Per user metadata is interesting. I could see that being implemented fairly easily as long as the host app supports multiple users (of course we all know, FCPX does not).


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 10:44:43 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I do think that his points pertain to the limits of a bin structure."

Agreed.

There has to be a better model and I don't think any NLE has yet come close to addressing the issue.

FCP X does recognise that what is ultimately more useful than mere containers is "tagging" but I don't think they've really done that much to run with that concept.

Tagging, of course, can be generated quite separately from the NLE in ways that are very useful and more useful than tagging that's NLE-specific.

I do think that a much more radical approach to NLE design would be interesting (see my other thread on this topic). FCPX for all its novelty is still mired in traditional conventions just as much as the competition.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Brett Sherman
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 19, 2018 at 8:20:58 pm

I do agree there should be able to be more textual information in the browser. I wish you could actually read markers without having to double click them in FCP X.

But what’s interesting to me about his ideas is they all add more work. Im not sure any of this is saving time. Maybe keeping better organized, but at the expense of more effort. The real innovation will come from AI assistance in organizing and finding material. Including, but not limited to, automatic transcription. This is the true bleeding edge and I find it interesting that’s not even in his thought process.

Software developers have to look years ahead. I just don’t think his vision is forward thinking enough.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 20, 2018 at 2:25:57 am

[Brett Sherman] "I wish you could actually read markers without having to double click them in FCP X."

The are legible in the index of a marker is in a timeline, and hitting control-y in the browser (turning on skimmer info) allows you to read the marker without opening list view.

Again, not perfect, but pretty good.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 20, 2018 at 3:38:36 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "There has to be a better model and I don't think any NLE has yet come close to addressing the issue.
"


I would argue that FCPX does something to move the ideas forward. Look at your "One Smart Collection to Rule Them All".

And then if you are talking about clips as containers, FCPX has that too. Every clip is a container. It's not much use, but the framework is there. And then there's compound clips that could be containers and groups.

And remember, as Walter Soyka always says, all of these containers and elements need to expose the underlying data model, and that information needs to be able to be described in an interchange format (XML and so forth) with the idea that those elements would be able to be translated to other video programs in a way that made sense to that program's data model. If the needle moves too far, FCPX would truly be it's own island. Isn't that what it already is accused of, even if it's false? If FCPX's data model suddenly looks like nothing else, then it will be stuck by itself with all these great ideas and innovations with no where to go. Or am I not thinking about this clearly?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 20, 2018 at 7:20:18 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 20, 2018 at 7:29:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I would argue that FCPX does something to move the ideas forward."

You're quite right, I think, both in this and the rest of your comment.

My beef with FCP X is different from most people's. I'm not complaining that they innovated too much, but rather that they innovated too little!

There's no doubt that FCP X has given us some very useful concepts that have helped to move the dial, but I'd love to see something that's a lot more bold and that was a lot more in tune with the way that editors need to work.

In the case of editing between timelines, of course, FCP X is a major step backwards - it's a lot more cumbersome than any of the competition. I just don't think there was any thinking about this that went into the concept and personally I feel that's a really big failing. That's not to say that the competition performs significantly less poorly, of course, but for want of anything better I'll take the pancakes that Premiere and Resolve are offering as sustenance enough for now.

Where we stand right now, FCP X is getting long in the tooth - what was once bright and shiny and new is now the "new old".

It would be great to think that Apple were currently working on the next generation NLE, but I think the evidence suggests that the talent that gave us FCP X is no longer in the building.

Maybe someone else will take up the challenge - because it is still a challenge and there are some clear areas where clever thinking can offer something truly transformative.

But I take your point about the difficulty of bringing something really radical to the market - in many ways Apple have forever queered the pitch on that one!

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Steve Connor
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 20, 2018 at 8:07:57 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "In the case of editing between timelines, of course, FCP X is a major step backwards - it's a lot more cumbersome than any of the competition."

It's not a step backwards because it's entirely designed NOT to edit between timelines, just read pretty much any of Bill's posts and you'll see how it's not necessary with the FCPX model if it's used as intended.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Where we stand right now, FCP X is getting long in the tooth - what was once bright and shiny and new is now the "new old"."

I might even drag out "poppycock" for this one :)


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 3:23:24 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "My beef with FCP X is different from most people's. I'm not complaining that they innovated too much, but rather that they innovated too little!"

I feel that. There does some like some opportunity that is not being explored. I also think that Apple moves very slow. They always have.

As far as editing between timelines, I am (kind of) glad it's not there. In FCP Legend, and subsequently Pr, the timeline selects reel is a result (as you mentioned that others mentioned) of limitations of the interface (Bin > Source > Record). At least I feel like it goes back to bins. Because of the hierarchy of bins, and because of subsequent clip duplication, it can get confusing and can also lead to "lost" takes or sections if the selects reel doesn't include all of the material, and at that point, you are hunting through bins anyway with no real connection back to the selects reel. I guess it depends on what types of programs are being worked on, but pancaking is not how I think, particularly. FCPX allows a very very nice interface for browsing lots of footage for unforeseen moments.

I do wish, however, for a tabbed timeline interface, as when you are working on a campaign with many many outputs, the web browser style that FCPX employs is not very good. I think a tabbed browser would help as well; or some sort of way to have multiple events open, or at least a way to stick my Projects smart collections so that I can easily navigate between footage and timelines without going to different Events (I have a method of keeping smart collections of the latest version of all the Projects in the campaign) . That being said, I do like FCPX's organizational capabilities, including the ability to collect across the entire library, no matter where or what Event the element is situated. This may not be exclusive to FCPX, but it is a good implementation that I find very useful.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 7:14:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As far as editing between timelines, I am (kind of) glad it's not there."

That sounds to me like a pretty extreme position!!! Although I understand where you're coming from.

I know by now that there's no chance of convincing you over the internet of the many virtues of string-outs and pancakes and so on, but I suspect if we spent half an hour in a room together that might change just a little.

However, just on a really basic, practical level, you surely must run into situations where your client asks for a version that's a little bit of one other version, a slice of another and a chunk or two of a couple of additional versions.

And I'd be surprised if even without the client's input you didn't think in a similar way: "I came up with a really nice section in this version that would go really well in my latest version, etc., etc."

I find it hard to believe that any editor only ever works with clips directly from the browser. If they do, you'll have to excuse me because I'm going to have to pass on watching their work. I know beforehand (without wanting to sound unkind) that it will be rubbish.

For all that FCP X lets you access individual clips (or subclips or whatever we are choosing to call them today) very easily, and probably more easily than other NLEs, it really doesn't make it easy to work from sequenced clips. Both Media Composer and Premiere are better at this, albeit in different ways - and they're both still far from great at it!

[Jeremy Garchow] "Because of the hierarchy of bins, and because of subsequent clip duplication, it can get confusing and can also lead to "lost" takes or sections if the selects reel doesn't include all of the material, and at that point, you are hunting through bins anyway with no real connection back to the selects reel."

I don't recognise that scenario, to be honest. Any editing method requires a certain degree of discipline in order to keep on top of the material. The idea that selects reels (when executed properly) lead to "lost material" just doesn't ring true for me. In fact, over the years I have discovered the opposite to be true - it's much easier for material to get overlooked when it only ever lives in the browser ...

But overall I think we are agreed that we like a lot of things about FCP X but both feel that it could go a lot further and adopt a much bolder approach to many aspects of the process.

Cone on, Apple. Astonish us. You know you can do it!

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Steve Connor
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 7:47:02 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "However, just on a really basic, practical level, you surely must run into situations where your client asks for a version that's a little bit of one other version, a slice of another and a chunk or two of a couple of additional versions."

CTRL-C, CTRL-V or Compound clip on the rarer occasion it's needed

[Simon Ubsdell] "I know by now that there's no chance of convincing you over the internet of the many virtues of string-outs and pancakes and so on, but I suspect if we spent half an hour in a room together that might change just a little.

"


You talk as if none of us have ever edited on an NLE before! We've all used string outs and pancakes before

[Simon Ubsdell] "I find it hard to believe that any editor only ever works with clips directly from the browser. If they do, you'll have to excuse me because I'm going to have to pass on watching their work. I know beforehand (without wanting to sound unkind) that it will be rubbish."

Good grief that is an enormously patronising statement to make, I'm genuinely shocked


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 8:53:34 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 21, 2018 at 8:57:19 pm

[Steve Connor] "Good grief that is an enormously patronising statement to make, I'm genuinely shocked"

Dear Steve, what's got into you?

This really isn't like you. You're usually one of the most level-headed people on this forum and I have a lot of time for your opinion.

What's with all the red mist?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Steve Connor
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 9:11:02 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Dear Steve, what's got into you?

This really isn't like you. You're usually one of the most level-headed people on this forum and I have a lot of time for your opinion.

What's with all the red mist?"


I was going to ask you exactly the same thing! Do you not see how extraordinarily patronising a statement like this this is

"I find it hard to believe that any editor only ever works with clips directly from the browser. If they do, you'll have to excuse me because I'm going to have to pass on watching their work. I know beforehand (without wanting to sound unkind) that it will be rubbish."

Because as someone who DOES work directly from the browser most of the time in FCPX I take great offence at this.


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 21, 2018 at 11:20:02 pm

Uh for those watching who might have never actually used X,

If you open, say, 3 separate timelines in succession, you can switch between them with the timeline history navigation buttons at the top of your screen...



You can cut and past between them exactly like from pancake timelines.

They're just displayed sequentially, not stacked. Other than that. No difference.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 12:10:42 am
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on May 22, 2018 at 12:12:09 am

[Bill Davis] "between them with the timeline history navigation buttons at the top of your screen"

The problem with this is that the timeline history frequently gets lost when you have more than a handful of timelines open. You end up having to relaunch your sequences and then it gets very confusing whether you need to go forward or backward in the navigation. In concept, it's fine. In actual practice, it's very buggy.

[Bill Davis] "You can cut and past between them exactly like from pancake timelines.
They're just displayed sequentially, not stacked. Other than that. No difference."


Not exactly. In the pancake view, you can actually drag between the two (or more) open windows. You aren't limited to copy & paste. You can also directly compare the two (or more) sequences against each other.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 1:56:32 am

[Oliver Peters] "Not exactly. In the pancake view, you can actually drag between the two (or more) open windows. You aren't limited to copy & paste. You can also directly compare the two (or more) sequences against each other."

Yes indeed. I reversion most projects and in Resolve I had to swap between projects or swap timelines to copy paste between. It is clumsy and I am so glad Resolve 15 has put in both tabbed timelines and pancaking so I can far better compare and grab between both timelines and projects. I agree with Simon that this is a better way to work and it is not the same as the way X or the previous version of Resolve works.


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Neil Goodman
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 2:13:16 am

Cant stand pancakeing because it takes up too much real estate - and gets confusing in PPRO whats getting cut in and from where.

I know its a shocker ☺ but I still prefer the source side timeline in Avid and thats how I use Premiere too. When I need to see the source timeline I just flip it with the toggle. I wish X had a similar option.


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greg janza
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 2:46:00 am

I now edit everything pancake style and I think it makes for much more efficient editing. I also think it's faster to drag and drop clips instead of loading the timeline into the source side and editing it into my real timeline.

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Neil Sinclair
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 9:34:12 am

The problem with this is that the timeline history frequently gets lost when you have more than a handful of timelines open. You end up having to relaunch your sequences and then it gets very confusing whether you need to go forward or backward in the navigation. In concept, it's fine. In actual practice, it's very buggy.

Right clicking reveals previously loaded timelines, makes life a little easier!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 12:37:48 pm

[Neil Sinclair] "Right clicking reveals previously loaded timelines, makes life a little easier!"

Yep. I know that. Doesn't change the "forgetfulness" and general bugginess of this feature.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 8:28:41 pm

I’ll challenge the use of “buggieness” as adiscriptor here.

It works consistently as designed.

It’s a RAM buffer that holds your most recent storylines, and as such, yes, loading new ones will eventually flush older ones - particularly if you work on very large and complex projects. In that case, you might not have as many alternates as you might like to switch between.

But if you do commercials, explainers, or similar short form videos of the type incredibly popular in lots of folks modern work, you might have EVERYTHING you need right now.

Buggy means the code doesn’t work as it’s designed.

This does.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 8:48:25 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on May 22, 2018 at 8:49:07 pm

[Bill Davis] "Buggy means the code doesn’t work as it’s designed."


Let's say I load Sequence 5, then Sequence 4, then Sequence 3, then Sequence 2, and then Sequence 1.

In the history, I now have 5, 4, 3, and 2 lined up in the "reverse" history while looking at sequence 1.

If I step back to 4, and load sequence 10, sequence 3, 2, and 1 disappear from the history.

At that point, anything that was in the forward history is now gone.

It works great for web browsing, it does not work that well for navigating between sequences, UNLESS you constantly go the end of the history, and load a sequence. And then at that point, the order is now jumbled, unless of course, you load all the sequences, in reverse order, again.

So, sure, it's not a bug, but it's also kind of goofy and could be improved.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 9:03:16 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, sure, it's not a bug, but it's also kind of goofy and could be improved."

In my mind I would absolutely call this a bug that has never been addressed. Or it's poor software design. Take your pick. Another issue I have is that FCPX also appears to randomly sort the view of files it sees on your hard drives when browsing media to import. Not ascending or descending, but random, unless you sort a column first. That, too, has been a long standing "bug" (or poor UI design).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 9:04:55 pm

[Bill Davis] "I’ll challenge the use of “buggieness” as adiscriptor here."

See my response to Jeremy below. It's either a bug or bad software design. I would prefer to give the ProApps team the benefit of the doubt and call it a bug ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 9:26:35 pm

[Bill Davis] "It works consistently as designed.
"


I find the only consistent thing about it is that it's consistently inconsistent.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 3:33:13 pm

[Bill Davis] "They're just displayed sequentially, not stacked. Other than that. No difference."

Until you open another Project or two, and the three Project you have been working may or may nt be available in the "history".

As much as I enjoy FCPX, this function could be much better.


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Tony West
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 12:07:09 pm

[Steve Connor] "Because as someone who DOES work directly from the browser most of the time in FCPX I take great offence at this."


Don't worry Steve, most of the greatest films in history were not cut with pancakes, so you will be in good company inside
the "rubbish" box ; )


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 4:10:08 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on May 22, 2018 at 6:51:59 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I know by now that there's no chance of convincing you over the internet of the many virtues of string-outs and pancakes and so on, but I suspect if we spent half an hour in a room together that might change just a little."

It's the way I used to work in FCP7, and how I work in Pr. I find the way I work in FCPX to be much better. I leave the sequencing for my sequence. It is very easy to store "versions" of an edit, or other options of an edit in one Project.

I don't find pancaking or string outs to be as intimate of a connection with the footage as skimming, favorites, keywords, and smart collections. Again, this may have to do with the type of jobs I typically edit, and of course, how my brain seems to work.

I find the FCPX timeline to be a very good scratch pad to hash out visual ideas. Perhaps you use string outs in the same way. I don't really know what you mean by 'Browser only' editing. I don't edit from the Browser. I make selections in the Browser for further editing, something that a bin structure does not provide, at least not as sortable as FCPX allows. If you want to work from sequenced clips, FCPX has ways to work that are pretty decent.


[Simon Ubsdell] "In fact, over the years I have discovered the opposite to be true - it's much easier for material to get overlooked when it only ever lives in the browser ...
"


I find I have much better access to all of the footage in FCPX than any other current system I have used. With one click, I can supersede all collections, all organization, all notes, all keywords, all sequences, and simply browse all the footage, and then I skim and play it. Every single piece of media that is located in an Event, or even in the whole library, is viewable. There is no way for footage to simply get lost in some series of subedits on a selects reel. It's all right there in front of you in as big or as small as a selection as you'd like, going from Library level, right down to a specific keyword, note, or favorite. It is what I find most useful. With selects reels, it can be hard to dig out the shot that you want.

[Simon Ubsdell] "However, just on a really basic, practical level, you surely must run into situations where your client asks for a version that's a little bit of one other version, a slice of another and a chunk or two of a couple of additional versions."


Of course, copying and pasting selections from other timelines is still possible in FCPX. I do it a lot, especially as I mentioned, during bigger campaigns. The nice thing about FCPX is that if there's shared assets between Projects, these are very easy to store, recall, and edit, in compound clips. I can then smart collect those at library level. It is very easy and convenient.


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Steve Connor
Re: Towards a better NLE
on May 22, 2018 at 8:17:36 pm

That about sums it up Jeremy! Thanks for posting.


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