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View from an absolute video novice.....

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

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Gary Cole
View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 30, 2011 at 10:43:04 am

Hi, this is my first post to this forum. I am not a video editor, but have 25 year's experience as a music producer - mostly classical.

My facility is entirely Mac-based, but don't use Logic. I do use Pro Tools & Nuendo, but most of my (classical) editing is done is Sonic Studio soundBlade, and formerly Sonic Solutions and Sonic Studio HD. This, you might say, automatically prejudices me in favour of a traditional, track-based, editing model and particularly the Source-Destination concept.....

Recently I have been working with a couple of video companies on projects where we provided finished audio to which they edited the video ie a bit like music videos. One facility uses Avid MC, the other PPro.

I have not been involved with the video editing and have no video editing experience, but one of the video companies let me have the footage from a shoot and I thought I would give it a try (yeah, yeah) and bought FCP X from the App Store.

I didn't just jump in, but watched a great deal of material on the web (inc Michael Wohl - isn't he great? - and that girl in his tutorial videos.... sorry, I digress...), so before I started I'd learned a lot about how the App works (but remember it is supposed to be 'intuitive', 'easy for beginners' - right?)

I cut a bit of video together with its own audio (interview clips - very simple) - no problems.... very easy to find your way around (although hated the media organisation and keywords concept). This is going to be good, and great for 'quick and dirty' editing.

I know what the Position Tool does....I know how all the editing tools work....I know about making the audio the 'Primary Story line' so let's have a go at a simple five-minute music video, editing clips to one of my own music tracks. Still a relatively simple task I would have thought, but now bringing in layered requirements and 'artistic' decisions. I know FCP X doesn't have multicam, but know how to sync clips and (sort of) work with compound clips as a workaround. Anyway, only one camera, with occasional shots from another, shouldn't be too difficult....

I spent a lot of last weekend trying to edit five minutes of video, and after nearly two days I was getting nowhere fast - in fact I was going INSANE with frustration! I won't go into the gory details, suffice to say the proscriptive and counter-intuitive nature of the editing model was fighting against me at every turn....It was a battle of wills - and I lost.....

On Wednesday I downloaded the trial version of CS 5.5. With no prior experience of PPro I completed the same music video task in a couple of hours, starting completely from scratch. No blood, no sweat, no tears - just a relaxed and enjoyable experience, feeling I was fully in control of my destiny.

A lot of you experienced editors will say that I just didn't know how to use FCP X, and that my audio editing experience gave me an advantage when starting to work with PPro. Those are very valid comments which I accept without hesitation, but I can't help feeling that Apple has attempted to re-invent the wheel with the editing paradigm in FCP X - unfortunately what they've come up with seems to have four corners.....

Gary Cole
Regent Records UK Ltd


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David Battistella
Re: View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 30, 2011 at 4:21:30 pm

Gary

That's a very fair and balanced opinion.

Thanks for posting.

David.

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



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Steve Connor
Re: View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 30, 2011 at 5:42:56 pm

I think it's great to see how many new COW users are signing up to give their views on FCPX

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

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


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Jamie Franklin
Re: View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 31, 2011 at 6:05:47 am

A friend of mine was on MTV recently and was given a DVD of her appearance and she wanted me to cut out her interview so she could put it on her blog. She sent me the VOB file and I streamed it into a nice deinterlaced 422 QT easily, thought why not open my 1 month old dusty FCx and send her the clip.

I open the program, it wouldn't accept the aspect ratio so I had to use FCP7.....done in 5 mins...

the end.


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David Johnson
Re: View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 31, 2011 at 1:18:45 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience, Gary. I've not yet tried to edit with FCX myself, but am well aware of its significant shortcomings from the perspectives of many other career video editors, which is why I haven't spent time with it yet. Even so, I consider equally valuable an unbiased review from a self-proclaimed novice video editor since that indicates the likelihood that FCX will take over the video editing market bottom up, so to speak (as opposed to top down the way FCP did). In other words, FCP took over the entire video editing market because many pros switched to it and everyone wanted to (and could now afford to) use the same tools as the pros. If FCX were as intuitive and effective as some say, I might believe there's a chance that so many people will adopt it that the rest of us may have no choice than to go with the new "standard". However, that doesn't sound like the case at all, which is very valuable information for my future decision-making process.


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Jamie Franklin
Re: View from an absolute video novice.....
on Jul 31, 2011 at 5:32:30 pm

[David Johnson] " If FCX were as intuitive and effective as some say"

I would have to seriously be suspicious of anyone actually saying that. The timeline is not intuitive, it's cumbersome. It's a lifeless locomotive on magnetic rails...Some of the management is interesting, go team FCx!

But then, you have to ask, who is this for? I can't even import a custom aspect ratio...frustration at the limitations is only the start, then you get into it and it's all downhill. But not a smooth roll. It's like you're a contestant on Most Extreme Challenge and you have to race a boulder while trying to dodge wooden walls and swinging logs while falling...

[David Johnson] "there's a chance that so many people will adopt it that the rest of us may have no choice than to go with the new "standard"."

If that ever happens, god help us all...I'd soon rather make soy halfcaf decaf lattes with a twist of lemon and muffins all day. To me, it seems more honorable and stress-free in comparison than working with a lifeless locomotive timeline on mag rails with a youtube color board.


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