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FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!

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Boris Jansch
FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 9:39:33 am

As the title suggests, I recently finished a large 5D project editing exclusively with FCP X over a 5 day period. We cut 15 films averaging three minutes in length.

Approx 9 hours of rushes.

There was no time to transcode media so I took the plunge and opted for FCP X over CS5.5 for the simple reason that the ability to rapidly skim through media clips would give me more time to concentrate on the edit, albeit a uniquely idiosyncratic new way of working, which often caused lengthy periods of swearing.

The initial ingest was problem free and I quickly organised my footage using keyword collections. Nice. As the edit progressed however, FCPX became increasingly buggy and clunky to the extent that, in my sleep deprived state, I thought that I was back in the 90's creating simple lower thirds at the rate of one letter every three seconds and then to my horror realised it was 2011, the year of FCPX.

As most people have already suggested, FCP X will be great, eventually, but it seems to me that the power of its 64bit processing is somewhat diminished by the amount of new work it has to do, and we really don't want to wait for the basics!

Here is a list of the bugs and observations that came up during the edit:
My mac: 2010 iMac 27" i7 8GB Ram, cutting on a 2TB GRaid Raid 0

- The 5D footage was 25fps but I had to insert some 24fps promo footage, which FCP conformed to 25FPS but without retiming the footage so the footage played faster. I didn't find a solution within FCPX and had to sort it with compressor.

- Breaking apart a compound clip at the latter stages of the edit caused FCPX to crash every time so I had to find a work around.

- Adding transitions is easy once you get your head around the storyline concept but why in God's name does it add a second transition at the other end of the clip?? Idiotic!

- You can tell when the autosave function is no longer working when cmd Z causes a beep sound instead of undoing your last action.

- Changing the keyframe interpolation for multiple moves on a single clip using the transform tool was not even as useless as FCP7. Am I missing something? Why when you apply smooth interpolation does it do bugger all? I probably missed a meeting or something.

- The editable audio function has seemingly disappeared from the timeline in its most condensed mode, which is how I like to edit. I don't need to see the waveform nor thumbnails but I do need to adjust audio so why has this been taken away?

- I like to zoom in and out of the timeline as I'm playing my programme but this doesn't work well at all and is often way off center or even in a completely different segment of the timeline. Not useful.

- It does feel a bit fascist at times, particularly with regard to export settings and the inability to export a range within a project. There's so much emphasis on FCPX's in house capabilities so having to send whole projects to compressor is not big and it's not clever. Give us some choices back!!

Let's be honest, we'd all feel a little bit pleased with our selves if we'd invented the ipod, iphone and ipad but this new FCPX is so far off being ready for a professional workflow that releasing it in what is an unfinished state smacks of arrogance on behalf of Apple and shows a blatant disregard for its professional users.


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Julian Bowman
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:01:44 pm

You probably weren't using it right / holding it right / understanding it right / stuck in your 'old' ways / antiquated / just not getting it / or a grandad [delete as applicable]


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Chris Jacek
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:15:17 pm

[Julian Bowman] "You probably weren't using it right / holding it right / understanding it right / stuck in your 'old' ways / antiquated / just not getting it / or a grandad [delete as applicable]"

You forget "afraid of change" : )

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:16:57 pm

[Julian Bowman] "You probably weren't using it right / holding it right / understanding it right / stuck in your 'old' ways / antiquated / just not getting it / or a grandad [delete as applicable]"
FCPX is perfect, so you know Boris, back to school.
You are old fashioned. You need to wash your brain from all the old crap you have inside.
That's the only way to be the video editor of the future.
The new order has arrived.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 1:14:18 pm

Could I just point out that FCPX is a version 1.0 product and you really should expect problems with any project you undertake with it at the moment.

Whether you like the new interface or not, version 1.0 products are always going to be laden with bugs.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Tom Daigon
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 1:29:09 pm

In the interest of brevity and clarity, I suggest we replace the phrase "remember FCPX is version 1" with the phrase "piece of crap". Much shorter and more to the point ;-)

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 1:44:07 pm

Yes and Premiere Pro, which is being eulogised on this forum was also a piece of crap at version 1.0.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Tom Daigon
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 2:31:40 pm

Enough excuses. It is what it is...that may or may not change tomorrow or that day after that or the day after that or the day after that. But right now its a POC ;-)

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 5:16:53 pm

"Premiere Pro, which is being eulogised on this forum was also a piece of crap at version 1.0."

PPro might have been "a piece of crap" compared to Avid or FCP, but it was also a HUGE improvement over Premiere, the program it replaced, even on the first day it was released. The same cannot be said of FCPX.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 5:38:59 pm

Well it wasn't difficult to improve on Premiere was it? It may shock you to know that some of us think FCPX IS an improvement over FCP7 in some respects at least.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:01:27 pm

"Well it wasn't difficult to improve on Premiere was it?"

You were the one choosing to make an analogy with PPro, complaining about it now seems a little silly.

"It may shock you to know that some of us think FCPX IS an improvement over FCP7 in some respects at least."

It may shock you to know that I think FCPX is an improvement over FCP7 in many respects -- most of them having to do with the 64 bit engine. I'd like to be working with auditions, might occasionally use the compound clip feature, like the ability to use color match -- just wish I could actually use X to cut shows with. But I can't.

You made a bad analogy between FCPX and PPro. PPro was an upgrade, buggy or not. If you were making money using Premiere, you could make more money using PPro, even on day 1. In no way was it a step backward.

FCPX is, for now, a large step back in useability, which holds the promise of future advances. Which is why there are so many complaints. Most editors can't make money today with promises of enhancements tomorrow, our clients won't wait. If Apple had kept FCP up to date, while nurturing this new approach, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:08:20 pm

I'll keep pushing the PPro thing a little further If I may, my facility was fully invested in Matrox Digisuite and Premiere 6.5 as were lots of people. PPro came out and was not usable with the hardware that some of us were actually making broadcast shows with.

In fact probably the ONLY people making Broadcast shows with Premiere used Matrox Digisuites, Adobe chose to dump them in the pursuit of their new code base.

Sound even slightly familiar yet?

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:26:07 pm

If Apple had come out with FCPX, a total immediate improvement over FCP7, but with new hardware requirements, you wouldn't be seeing so many companies jumping ship. Upgrades in software often require upgrades in hardware. That isn't the problem here.

The issue with the FCPX rollout was that Apple killed an older program without providing anything suitable to replace it. The fact that FCPX "might" in a year, or two, or three (or never,) be capable of replacing FCP7 is not sufficient. This was not the case with Adobe.

Yes, Adobe EOL'd Premiere when they brought out PPro. The difference was that it was worth it. If you had invested in PPro version 1, your workflow would have been improved over Premiere 6.5 on the day you took off the shrink wrap.

So no, it doesn't sound familiar at all.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:38:38 pm

Herb, did you miss the point? , I'll try again.

We had invested tens of thousands of pounds in Matrox Hardware based systems using Premier, we could input and output component and SDI to tape.

When PPro came out it didn't support anything but DV in and out you could not export to any broadcast formats at all, they EOL'd Premiere so when we took the "shrink-wrap" off the box, it wouldn't work with our systems and you could not output to anything but DV tape, our workflow was completely useless

Sound familiar yet?

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:41:03 pm

Steve -

My apologies, my first test with PPro was strictly dv. So yes, it does sound familiar, at least in terms of limited IO.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:48:05 pm

Ironically that's what drove us to FCP and now after all this time we may be driven back to Premiere.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Mitch Ives
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:49:17 pm

[Steve Connor] "Ironically that's what drove us to FCP and now after all this time we may be driven back to Premiere.
"


someone once said life is a circle... You may have just proven that...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com
http://www.insightproductions.com


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David Cherniack
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:53:33 pm

Steve, I think the counter to your argument is that there may have been in the tens to a few hundred people (and that's pushing it!) using Premiere with Digisuite. How many thousands (tens of thousands?) are using FCP with a third party i/o card? Adobe didn't kill any golden goose. I hardly remember a squawk among Premiere users when Premiere Pro 1.0 was released.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:58:13 pm

Agreed the scale is different, but the principle was the same.

I do think Adobe did it with much larger ambitions in mind, I'm not sure what, if any, ambitions Apple have for FCPX.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:29:02 am

[Steve Connor] "I'll keep pushing the PPro thing a little further If I may, my facility was fully invested in Matrox Digisuite and Premiere 6.5 as were lots of people. PPro came out and was not usable with the hardware that some of us were actually making broadcast shows with.

In fact probably the ONLY people making Broadcast shows with Premiere used Matrox Digisuites, Adobe chose to dump them in the pursuit of their new code base."


The problem there was Matrox, not Adobe. They chose not to support Premiere Pro - probably all the more since they were hard at work on newer hardware designs. Adobe is committed to its customers and have never intentionally abandoned any customer in the video space. I'm sure the same is to be said for Matrox, Apple, Avid, etc.

Change is a part of life, on that everyone can agree. I think what Herb and others are trying to say is that while FCP X may be a 1.0 product it shouldn't be counted as an excuse for making a step backward for their daily work and missing features.

As Herb pointed out, when Adobe went to Premiere Pro, it didn't lose features. When Adobe did a complete re-write just a few years later to make it 64-bit, they didn't lose any features. At the Avid Media Composer 6.0 preview event, Avid went out of it's way to say the same thing.

I think that Apple is to be applauded for it's ambitious undertaking of tackling all three major focal points of a professional application in one shot: User Interface, 64-bit, Workflow. For some people, the net result isn't satisfactory.

And in the effort of full disclosure....

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Tom Daigon
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 1:29:42 pm

deleted


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 12:52:59 pm

Boris! ellloo..

brave man for jumping right in there tho. Do you find yourself using the position tool a lot, or do you end up going along with all the ripple mode?


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Boris Jansch
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:02:13 am

Hello mate,
I use both but as I get used to it I'm using the select tool more and more and it puts a smile on my face.

It was a bit of a one sided rant but I really do like a lot about the new FCP it's just ever so buggy and I needed it to be better for this edit.

Many thanks,

Boris J.


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Nick Toth
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 2:42:43 pm

[Boris Jansch] "- Adding transitions is easy once you get your head around the storyline concept but why in God's name does it add a second transition at the other end of the clip?? Idiotic!"

Using the trim tool (T) select the edit point at the end of the clip rather than the whole clip.

NT


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 7:21:04 pm

Boris - you are brave. I've been beating on FCP X for a few weeks on and off at this point. I would tend to agree that the added eye candy and animations have chewed up a lot of the power of its 64-bit horsepower and OpenCL capabilities.

For instance, if you try to type anything into a field (like Notes) there is a noticeable lag (maybe 1/2 sec) before you can type, because clicking on a clip requires FCP X to load the image into the viewer. I've noticed a lot of flakiness once you really start to push it with large projects or faster paced editing. Last night in tinkering, it quit allowing undos. I relaunched and I realized it had not saved the last few edits I had done.

Presumably these are 1.0 issues, but nevertheless annoying. Right now my biggest frustration is the actual way you edit in the timeline. I'm cutting a film in FCP 7 this month, so I'm particularly curious how it handles split edits as a point of comparison. So far, it is more cumbersome. Not unworkable, but extra steps. In general I feel that working in the timeline is considerably less precise than in FCP 7, PPro, Avid MC, etc.

That being said, I've tested H264 files from a Canon 5D project and it does indeed work well with these. It's still not as fluid as if I had transcoded the files first, but it's not bad. A work in progress, shall we say ;-)

- Oliver

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


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David Battistella
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:01:41 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I would tend to agree that the added eye candy and animations have chewed up a lot of the power of its 64-bit horsepower and OpenCL capabilities."

Oliver.

I agree with you on this. I'd like to see something that pushes all of the processing power to the timeline to keep up with keystrokes. I can feel as I get faster in the software, the timeline can feel sluggish.

Freaky timeline zooming needs to be fixed.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://vimeo.com/battistella



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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:28:24 pm

[David Battistella] "I can feel as I get faster in the software, the timeline can feel sluggish."

Some things seem to be inherent in the design. For example, if you are in an Event list view, the selected clip is still shown as a filmstrip at the top of the Event browser (on a second display). When you click into a typing area (like notes or scene) the image must be updated, so there's about a 1/2 sec. lag before you can start typing. This is pretty much instant in FCP 7 simply because there's no extra tax on the GPU, since no image has to be loaded.

- Oliver

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 11:20:07 pm

[Boris Jansch] "- The 5D footage was 25fps but I had to insert some 24fps promo footage, which FCP conformed to 25FPS but without retiming the footage so the footage played faster. I didn't find a solution within FCPX and had to sort it with compressor."

From the almost Help guide

Choose a method of conforming frame rate

When a clip’s frame rate differs from the project’s frame rate, Final Cut Pro employs a frame-sampling method to change the clip’s frame rate to match that of the project. You can choose which frame-sampling method Final Cut Pro uses to modify the clip’s frame rate. The method you choose depends on how important it is to you to eliminate visual stuttering and visual artifacts.

Add a clip to the Timeline with a frame rate that doesn’t match the current project’s frame rate settings.

Select the clip in the Timeline.

To open the Video inspector, click the Inspector button in the toolbar (shown below), and click the Video button at the top of the pane that appears.

Choose a method of conforming frame rate from the Frame Sampling pop-up menu in the Rate Conform section of the Video inspector.

Floor: The default setting. Final Cut Pro truncates down to the nearest integer during its calculation to match the clip’s frame rate to the project’s frame rate.

Nearest Neighbor: Final Cut Pro rounds to the nearest integer during its calculation to match the clip’s frame rate to the project’s frame rate. The Nearest Neighbor option reduces artifacts at the expense of visual stuttering. Rendering is required.

Frame Blending: Creates in-between frames by blending individual pixels of neighboring frames. Slow-motion clips created with Frame Blending appear to play back more smoothly than those created with the Floor or Nearest Neighbor setting. This setting provides better reduction of visual stuttering, but you may see some visual artifacts. Rendering is required.

Optical Flow: A type of frame blending that uses an optical flow algorithm to create new in-between frames. Final Cut Pro analyzes the clip to determine the directional movement of pixels, and then draws portions of the new frames based on the optical flow analysis. Choosing the Optical Flow option results in better reduction of visual stuttering, and Final Cut Pro spends a significant amount of time to fix visual artifacts.


[Boris Jansch] "- Adding transitions is easy once you get your head around the storyline concept but why in God's name does it add a second transition at the other end of the clip?? Idiotic!"

Select the edit point, not the clip.


[Boris Jansch] "- The editable audio function has seemingly disappeared from the timeline in its most condensed mode, which is how I like to edit. I don't need to see the waveform nor thumbnails but I do need to adjust audio so why has this been taken away?"

View/Expand Audio Video Clips/For All

In this mode you will video and audio tracks for each clip. My own peeve is that Dual Mono is still portrayed as a single audio clip unless one detaches audio.




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Boris Jansch
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:12:13 pm

Thanks Craig, as you correctly said, enlightenment was available after a little searching - not to be confused for the search for spiritual enlightenment, which is an impossible dream.

I still don't get the adjustable audio levels line in the most condensed mode of the timeline.

Many thanks,

Boris J.


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TS O'Grady
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:17:03 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Select the edit point, not the clip."

That's true when using the keyboard shortcut but not when right clicking. Right clicking on the edit point to access the cross dissolve via the shortcut menu selects the entire clip.
Thanks for the conform rundown.



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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:23:35 pm

[TS O'Grady] " Right clicking on the edit point to access the cross dissolve via the shortcut menu selects the entire clip. "

Select edit point. Use Command T instead of right click.



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TS O'Grady
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:21:47 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Select edit point. Use Command T instead of right click."

Yes, I'm well aware of that. My point is that right clicking on an edit point should reveal options appropriate for the edit point, not the entire clip. Clicking on the clip itself results in the same options. There's no longer a shortcut menu for the edit point.



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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:27:00 pm

[TS O'Grady] "My point is that right clicking on an edit point should reveal options appropriate for the edit point, not the entire clip."

If you look at the list when you right click, everything in the menu affects the entire clip so the behavior is consistent. This gives the user the choice to right click to impact the clip or use the keyboard command to just impact the edit point.



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Craig Seeman
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 24, 2011 at 11:26:54 pm

DUPLICATE POST


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David Battistella
Re: FCP X - 15 films/5 days/clunkety clunk!
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:56:08 pm

Thanks for sharing with the community.

I find that everything you stated is pretty much right on and to be expect. Cheers for taking the plunge and getting the stuff out the door.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://vimeo.com/battistella



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