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FCP-X: Thinking Differently?

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Bill Paris
FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 7:23:32 pm

Maybe there's a power shift going on over at Apple and the "Consumer Guys" are becoming more in control.... hence "Imovie Pro"? Imagine buying the next version of Photoshop and having the UI completely changed and many of the features you rely on gone or only available via work arounds. I for one have spent too much time (since Ver. 1) figuring out how to get things done on the previous versions of FCP to start all over, then have Apple discover a new and better way to edit again down the road. There's enough problems editing video on computers without creating more via a new UI.... if your like me, you just want the UI to be invisible.... so effortless it's easy to get what I want out of the program without having to dig into a manual. Yes... we can learn the new UI and features and maybe it is a better way to edit in the long run? Apple want's us to "think differently".... I for one do "think differently" ... different from Apple when it comes to what FCP-X could and should be!

Bill Paris
Producer/Director of Photography
Crew Hawaii Television
http://www.crewhawaii.com


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Paul Jay
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 8:44:22 pm

Start here:

Final Cut Pro X: A Look From Past to Present to Future (Complete Footage)






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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 9:12:34 pm

he is... very pro the software tho.. - don't get me wrong: I think professionals the likes of him are right to push back whatnot - and he is honest and bullish in his appreciation for the software, but he glides over an awful lot of things - small example - when he skims past the quicktime and audio export options he says "exactly the same" ...well, nothing could be further from the truth really.
Mind you that is probably a very temporary issue. It is kind of fun seeing someone go all churchill defending it tho.


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


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Don Scioli
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 9:04:21 pm

I agree. Who the hell does Apple think it is to change the rules in the middle of the game and handicap the film/video community who have spent over 10 years mastering a now flawless piece of editing software like FCP7.

And changing the rules and terminology on non-linear and linear editing. So does that mean that Robert Wise who edited CITIZEN KANE, Walter Murch who edited THE GODFATHERS and James Cameron who edited TITANIC and AVITAR were wrong in their thinking and terminology... do Apple's software engineers know more than these guys.

Give me a break. I tried using FCPX and it is buggy, crashes every time I try and put on a title, visually incomprehensible, and a mess. It is similar to all the consumer type apps I used throughout the years which instead of making it easier to perform a task, handcuffed you with limitations until you upgraded to a pro app.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 9:54:49 pm

[Don Scioli] "And changing the rules and terminology on non-linear and linear editing. So does that mean that Robert Wise who edited CITIZEN KANE, Walter Murch who edited THE GODFATHERS and James Cameron who edited TITANIC and AVITAR were wrong in their thinking and terminology... do Apple's software engineers know more than these guys."

Please humor me and expand on this. Which editing rules and terminology that is common to the editing of those four films (which were produced many decades apart from each other) have Apple's software engineers changed?

[Don Scioli] "Who the hell does Apple think it is to change the rules in the middle of the game and handicap the film/video community who have spent over 10 years mastering a now flawless piece of editing software like FCP7. "

Flawless? Really?

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:30:52 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Which editing rules and terminology that is common to the editing of those four films (which were produced many decades apart from each other) have Apple's software engineers changed?"

well this post from a commercials editor guy:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/296/15880?wfid=335&wpid=12772

and david lawrence's reply...

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/296/15887?wfid=335&wpid=12772

...pretty much sums it up for me - I've done timelines like that - they are the timelines apple derided in the presentation. But that is a professional timeline, I can read that very easily, so can you. If I walked up to that timeline and started receiving updated assets, I'd be pretty much fine. It looks complicated, but it's not. Or well.. not to a, god forgive me for saying it.. professional anyway. Its an open, absolute timeline. There is no primary storyline, or secondary storyline, or auditions rippling things up and down - its the timeline. That's what existed before. That what every editor up to Murch and beyond had. An absolute, open multitrack timeline you placed elements into.

Apple have seen fit to replace all that with the primary storyline, secondary storyline, connected clips malarky. look at that timeline the guy posted, it's powerful, malleable, reads like a sheet of music - but there is, in no way, a primary storyline there. Many work usage situations will produce something that is sympathetic to primary, secondary, connected metaphors - but many will not - the beauty of an open, multitrack absolute timeline is that it can encompass all approaches.

nipping into italics for a minute:

No wonder Apple can't get FCP7 timelines into FCPX - their reduced, simplified editing paradigm cannot conceive of, or allow, a wide, wide range of professional open editing timeline practises.

that's what we've lost.


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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 1:52:27 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "There is no primary storyline, or secondary storyline, or auditions rippling things up and down - its the timeline. That's what existed before. That what every editor up to Murch and beyond had. An absolute, open multitrack timeline you placed elements into. "

This is what I was alluding to in my question. I contend that the examples of Citizen Kane and The Godfather were cut in a manner far more like the magnetic timeline than the so-called open timeline; actually cutting and splicing celluloid. The Cameron films were cut on Avid, so they could have taken on a more free-form layout in their timelines.

The point I'm angling toward is this; there is no structural requirement that the NLE metaphor maintain a grid-like layout to achieve any particular linear outcome. The editing might be non-linear, but the outcome is always linear: a sequence of moving images with synchronized audio.

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Apple have seen fit to replace all that with the primary storyline, secondary storyline, connected clips malarky. look at that timeline the guy posted, it's powerful, malleable, reads like a sheet of music - but there is, in no way, a primary storyline there. Many work usage situations will produce something that is sympathetic to primary, secondary, connected metaphors - but many will not - the beauty of an open, multitrack absolute timeline is that it can encompass all approaches."

It doesn't matter if you call it a "Sequence" or a "Project", "V1" or the "Primary Storyline". It is all metaphor anyway. The argument that Apple somehow threw out 100 years of moving picture editing theory is absurd. Are we really suggesting that the cutting of Citizen Kane and the cutting of Avatar followed the same workflows? Don't forget the post I was responding to implied that a consistent editing paradigm has existed from cutting celluloid right up through Avid's timeline. I was asking the author to back that up, explain how the technology employed to edit Citizen Kane and The Godfather was completely analogous to the Avids James Cameron used to cut Titanic and Avatar in a manner that FCPX eschews.

Everything in any NLE UI is metaphor, merely an illustration of what is going on underneath. Whether it is the grid-like "open" timeline or the explicitly connected chain of the magnetic timeline, the metaphor is just illustrating how disparate chunks of content are being arranged to form one track of video with synchronized audio.

In the example you cited, the post's author insists no one could ever match his FCP7 sequence in FCPX. Baloney. Sure, it wouldn't have all those open spaces on V1, V2, and so on. So what? Ultimately, those spaces are meaningless to the outcome as the layers are all composited down into a single video track. He also neglected to explain where his experience with FCPX broke down when he tried to use it. He just calls it impossible without sharing how he arrived at that conclusion. I reject that argument on the grounds it is unsupported. Tell us why it is impossible to match that editorial outcome in FCPX. What specific editorial decisions cannot be represented in FCPX?

There is no structural requirement to elevate the clips he elevated above V1 unless they are being composited with something beneath them. There might be workflow rationales for doing so, organizational rationales, but no structural requirement. There is no reason FCPX couldn't be used to arrive at the same composite outcome of linear video with synchronized audio that he achieved using FCP7. It might be illustrated differently in the UI, but that is only metaphor. From where I'm sitting, FCPX's metaphor is capable of representing every editorial decision in the example timeline, or any other timeline for that matter.

Best,
Andy


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:17:12 am

[Andrew Richards] "I contend that the examples of Citizen Kane and The Godfather were cut in a manner far more like the magnetic timeline than the so-called open timeline"


Holy mackerel, first it's open season on professional editors, now Citizen Kane and The Godfather are being used in the context of the magnetic timeline. Is nothing sacred anymore?

I've been listening to (okay reading) your stuff lately Andrew, and you've been making some sense lately. Until now! Could you please go into detail with a full explanation the theory above, please? I think this one's a bit of a stretch.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:56:17 am

[David Roth Weiss] "Holy mackerel, first it's open season on professional editors, now Citizen Kane and The Godfather are being used in the context of the magnetic timeline. Is nothing sacred anymore?"

Not those two specifically, but any film edited by cutting celluloid.

[David Roth Weiss] "Could you please go into detail with a full explanation the theory above, please? I think this one's a bit of a stretch."

Editing celluloid involves gluing or taping two film ends together, creating tangible links between two clips. Seems to me that is a lot more conceptually similar to the magnetic timeline's explicit clip connections metaphor than the metaphor employed by the traditional NLE timeline, which if translated literally into meatspace would look like laying strips of film out in sequence with nothing but spatial proximity linking them together.

My argument is in defense of the UI metaphor of the magnetic timeline, I'm not implying any endorsement of FCPX by any revered film editors, past or present. I'm only drawing conceptual parallels.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:23:14 am

[Andrew Richards] "Editing celluloid involves gluing or taping two film ends together, creating tangible links between two clips. Seems to me that is a lot more conceptually similar to the magnetic timeline's explicit clip connections metaphor than the metaphor employed by the traditional NLE timeline, which if translated literally into meatspace would look like laying strips of film out in sequence with nothing but spatial proximity linking them together."

Clip connections cross tracks, though. FCPX's edits are held together by proximity exactly the same way that FCP's edits are.

I think that this conversation should be broader than just the timeline metaphor. FCP and FCPX have entirely different editorial metaphors. Film editorial always ripples, but I think that FCP is conceptually much closer to film editorial than FCPX is. Consider the concepts (and language) if things like bins, clips, and sequences, and the lack of concepts like storylines and clip connections.

Isn't FCPX's new model supposed to liberate us from the constraints that FCP inherited from physical editorial?

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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:59:26 am

[Walter Soyka] "Film editorial always ripples, but I think that FCP is conceptually much closer to film editorial than FCPX is. Consider the concepts (and language) if things like bins, clips, and sequences, and the lack of concepts like storylines and clip connections. "

Conceptually? Or simply semantically? I think the ripple behavior is much more intrinsic to the comparison than what we name the icons in an NLE.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 12:50:49 pm

[me] "I think that this conversation should be broader than just the timeline metaphor. FCP and FCPX have entirely different editorial metaphors. Film editorial always ripples, but I think that FCP is conceptually much closer to film editorial than FCPX is. Consider the concepts (and language) if things like bins, clips, and sequences, and the lack of concepts like storylines and clip connections. "

[Andrew Richards] "Conceptually? Or simply semantically? I think the ripple behavior is much more intrinsic to the comparison than what we name the icons in an NLE."

Conceptually. When you quoted me in your response, you left out the sentence that contains my main point. I've reinserted and underlined it above. My point was not to discuss the open timeline versus the magnetic timeline, nor to make a value judgment (here). I agree with you that the film "timeline" itself is more magnetic. It always ripples, and it's impossible to reference absolute time.

I'm discussing the rest of the editorial model, where I think FCP is closer to film than FCPX is.

FCP's media organization ("clips" in "bins") is absolutely a film metaphor, and shares some important concepts with film. A clip can only exist in one bin. If you want to store the same thing in two places, you have to copy it.

FCPX's media organization is totally different. Metadata rules over physical arrangement.

FCPX's editorial abstractions (storylines and connected clips) don't exist with FCP or with razor blades and splicing tape. They behave as if they were physical in the context of the FCPX timeline, but there's no physical analog.

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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:44:01 pm

[Walter Soyka] "FCP's media organization ("clips" in "bins") is absolutely a film metaphor, and shares some important concepts with film. A clip can only exist in one bin. If you want to store the same thing in two places, you have to copy it."

Why is this a good thing though? Why copy digital data when you can just reference it?

[Walter Soyka] "FCPX's media organization is totally different. Metadata rules over physical arrangement."

Yes, and that metadata makes it searchable. Spatial is quicker to locate only as long as the data set can fit in your field of view. Truly a fundamental difference, and a debate that is not at all limited to NLEs.

[Walter Soyka] "FCPX's editorial abstractions (storylines and connected clips) don't exist with FCP or with razor blades and splicing tape. They behave as if they were physical in the context of the FCPX timeline, but there's no physical analog."

True. And I think that's why I like the abstractions. Forcing a meatspace analog onto fully digital workflow seems incongruent to me. I can understand why others hate it though.

Best,
Andy


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:51:41 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Why copy digital data when you can just reference it?"

You are only referencing it. You're copying an alias, not the media itself.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:54:51 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "You are only referencing it. You're copying an alias, not the media itself."

So aside from not using traditional jargon, what is the problem with Keyword Collections?

Best,
Andy


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:16:53 pm

[Andrew Richards] "So aside from not using traditional jargon, what is the problem with Keyword Collections?
"


If that was "added to" FCP rather than substituted in place of what came before I'd be more inclined to admire it.

I'm really beginning to see this entire debate in terms of the cost-benefit analysis I wrote about elsewhere in this thread. By forcing every single one its 2-million current (okay former) FCS 3 users to retrain, Apple has seriously disadvantaged its existing customers and raised some very serious questions about its definition of efficiency.

You may recall, several weeks ago I brought up this point, using the analogy of the Dvorak keyboard. We know the Dvorak keyboard is more efficient and more ergonomic, that's been proven scientifically, but how many people who get along just fine with their Qwerty keyboards actually actually appreciated the benefits when they considered the time and the trouble it would take to learn the Dvorak keyboard?

Can we accurately characterize something as being "more efficient" if it requires complete retraining and learning of a completely different vernacular? The two things are not independent of one another.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:35:29 pm

The Dvorak analogy is perfectly apt, and I missed that prior post. I think your distillation to cost/benefit is exactly right as well. I see FCPX as a step forward from my habits using FCP. Many others see it as too different to be worth it, regardless of its other capabilities or features (missing or otherwise). Where I see potential, others will see liability.

However, in the case of Keyword Collections in particular, I still don't see how they are exclusive of any of the good ol' fashioned bin behavior. You can still create one with a keystroke like you could with a bin, still drag clips into it like a bin, still look at the contents in a list like the bins in legacy FCP. If Keyword Collections and Smart Collections were called Bins and Smart Bins, would that make it easier to swallow? A rose by any other name?

Best,
Andy


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:20:58 am

[Andrew Richards] "The Dvorak analogy is perfectly apt ..."


Andrew,

Wikipedia lists the DVORAK system as patented in 1936.

How long have you been using it?

How has it improved your composition results?

Franz.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:31:24 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "How long have you been using it?

How has it improved your composition results?"


Do you think it is somehow intellectually dishonest or dissonant for me to defend the magnetic timeline, agree the Dvorak keyboard is a useful analogy, but type on a Qwerty?

If that isn't the point you're trying to make, what is?

Best,
Andy


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:48:47 am

[Andrew Richards] "Do you think it is somehow intellectually dishonest or dissonant for me to defend the magnetic timeline, agree the Dvorak keyboard is a useful analogy, but type on a Qwerty?"

Andrew,

Let's be clear then - why do you use QWERTY?

Franz.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 4:23:03 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Let's be clear then - why do you use QWERTY?"

Clever.

OK, I admit I use Qwerty because it is the standard, familiar, and ingrained in my muscle memory.

Slow pitch right down the middle for you.

Best,
Andy


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Matthew Schickler
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 4:46:58 am

[Andrew Richards] " I still don't see how they are exclusive of any of the good ol' fashioned bin behavior. You can still create one with a keystroke like you could with a bin, still drag clips into it like a bin, still look at the contents in a list like the bins in legacy FCP."

Andy, I'm with you. I see no difference between keyword collections and bins, except that keyword collections are more flexible. Long live metadata!


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 6:59:15 pm

[Andrew Richards] "However, in the case of Keyword Collections in particular, I still don't see how they are exclusive of any of the good ol' fashioned bin behavior. You can still create one with a keystroke like you could with a bin, still drag clips into it like a bin, still look at the contents in a list like the bins in legacy FCP."

Andrew, I believe I do agree with you about this, at least from my use of limited use of X. To what degree a clip might eventually get tangled in its own metadata, I don't know. But my initial assessment is similar to yours.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:49:37 pm

Add to that, how valuable are Dvorak skills in a world of QUERTY keyboards?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:53:37 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Add to that, how valuable are Dvorak skills in a world of QUERTY keyboards?
"


http://www.kbcovers.com/servlet/Categories?category=Dvorak

The Mac supports Dvorak input.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 4:06:29 pm

So does Windows and Linux. It is easy to get working on YOUR computer. Many IT departments, however, will not allow you to tinker at that particular level with your work station. Many business have no interest in YOUR typing needs, so when it comes to altering the keyboard function of a shared computer, the answer is just "no." Does this really need to be explained?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 4:17:54 pm

Chris-

I am very sorry that you are so angry with Apple. Please take your frustration out on them, or move on to another OS. You seem to snipe anyone who talks positively, and presents options.

I was simply posting a link to the possibilities that are out there. As someone mentioned, a person they met didn't know what a Dvorak keyboard was, and now they were trying it out. Is it so bad for me to post that link for other people that might not know a Dvorak is an option?

Since I am the defacto "SAN Manager" in my office, which I guess makes me the "IT guy" too, I would never say no to someone who wants to use the Dvorak on their client. It's not like if they had to switch back to Qwerty, they will forget how to use it. They will simply be bilingual. I'm sure that doesn't need to be explained either?


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 5:15:33 pm

Oh dear. Sorry if I've bummed you out there, Jeremy. I can't offer you much in the way of an apology, and I think I'm going to stop any kind of debate with you because we seem to have rather different understandings about life, and, while I usually make the effort, I'm guessing from our few interactions, that it just probably is not worth it. So, go in peace. And, for your own sake, I would suggest that you stop reading or commenting on any of my posts. They don't seem to have any value to you, nor do you seem, from my POV, to understand them.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 10:53:37 pm

So after all this, I am the one who's told to go away. Honestly, I don't appreciate it, Chris. No apologies required.


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 11:01:02 pm

Jeremy --

FWIW, I find your input highly valuable, and it would be a loss to this forum if you didn't contribute. We all get cranky from time to time.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 12:12:08 am

No, dude. You are the one making comments about me, which I do not appreciate either. You certainly don't have to "go away." That's something I never suggested. But you do seem to be pretty much annoyed by a lot of what I say, and like to share that:

You wrote: I am very sorry that you are so angry with Apple. Please take your frustration out on them, or move on to another OS. You seem to snipe anyone who talks positively, and presents options.

I don't think that is by any means a fair assessment of my participation on this forum. And, it is a bit personal. But, you know what? If that is your POV, that is your POV. I don't want to argue with you. Nor do I want passive/aggressive messages about attitude adjustment from you either.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 6:31:27 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Add to that, how valuable are Dvorak skills in a world of QUERTY keyboards?"

The true value of anything boils down to its benefits minus its costs.

In the case of the Dvorak keyboard, the benefits of increased efficiency and ergonomics are, for most computer users, outweighed by the actual or perceived costs of the learning curve that is required to get up to, and then ultimately surpass, the speed at which one types with the ubiquitous Qwerty keyboard.

Likewise, any discussion of the benefits and efficiency of FCP X that does not take into account both the actual and perceived costs of retraining, as well as the "time-cost" of the learning curve required before editors actually derive benefits over and above what they were using before (if they actually do), is not a completely valid discussion, at least not in my opinion.

I think it's this very aspect of the discussion that seems to have generated many of the most heated arguments about the merits of FCP X on this forum. It's why many of the most experienced editors never want to separate the EOL of FCS 3 from the ongoing discussion, and why many of those touting the virtues of FCP X simply want to "move forward," taking Apple's handling of FCS 3 out of the discussion, thus effectively keeping the debate about the merits of FCP X in a vacuum.

In other words, I think many of the more experienced editors see the overall costs of deploying FCP X as appearing to outweigh any actual or perceived benefits derived from using the software. Many others either don't seem to understand that argument or simply don't desire to factor it into the equation.

And, it does seem clear that Apple either hasn't factored in the costs of redeployment and training into the overall equation, or Apple has simply dismissed the matter altogether as if it's unimportant, simply because it's not important to anyone at Apple. I think this is a major oversight on the part of Apple. Does anyone else agree or disagree?


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 6:49:30 pm

Oh, I agree completely. I have nothing against X. I can even see eventually using it as a sort of note pad/iPad editor, doing a rough edl or xml that I bring into a more encompassing EDL. I keep coming here because I do hope to understand it, and help sway the development of the things that can make it useful to me.

My fear is that despite all our talk, Apple's course is set and that we who truly rely on FCS are no more than a spec in the rearview mirror. I truly love FCS. It allows such broad and differing approaches. It is so open. I would be thrilled to have X as a companion to FCS. As a replacement it seems to me an epic fail.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 7:46:45 pm

[Chris Harlan] " I keep coming here because I do hope to understand it, and help sway the development of the things that can make it useful to me. "

Yes, that is my goal as well, if it's at all possible, and it's why David Lawrence and did our podcasts.

[Chris Harlan] "My fear is that despite all our talk, Apple's course is set and that we who truly rely on FCS are no more than a spec in the rearview mirror."

Absolutely! And, as David Lawrence has postulated, it's very possible that Apple may well have painted itself into a corner that it cannot reverse even if they do conclude at some point that developers have made fundamental errors.

[Chris Harlan] "I would be thrilled to have X as a companion to FCS."

That's what I keep thinking too. This seems to be the primary disconnect of this entire situation - since FCP X is clearly not a replacement for what came before, why has Apple positioned it to replace what came before? And, so long as they're not talking, we're left with no choice but to speculate about it, no matter how many keep questioning why we're still here.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
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Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 7:38:40 pm

David, I think that cost-benefit analysis will still come back to the question of FCPX's target market. Different groups of customers will have different perceptions of the value that FCPX offers, as we've seen over and over in these posts.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 8:12:29 pm

[Walter Soyka] "David, I think that cost-benefit analysis will still come back to the question of FCPX's target market. Different groups of customers will have different perceptions of the value that FCPX offers, as we've seen over and over in these posts."

I agree with you Walter, and until the target market is "accurately" identified/defined by Apple we're left to wonder and to speculate about everything related to their move. Which is precisely why the debate continues...

However, given that Apple did show this product at NAB, and that it has capabilities for 4K imagery, etc., it still has to leave us to conclude that they haven't completely discounted the professional market. And, if that is so, then I still must conclude that ignoring the cost-benefit analysis of redeployment and retraining for those 2-million existing customers using FCS 3 has got to be considered in this discussion, and that if it has been ignored by Apple, then it was either an oversight or an error.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:54:37 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Why is this a good thing though? Why copy digital data when you can just reference it?"

[Andrew Richards] "Yes, and that metadata makes it searchable. Spatial is quicker to locate only as long as the data set can fit in your field of view. Truly a fundamental difference, and a debate that is not at all limited to NLEs."

I'm not saying these are good things, just explaining why I think film editorial is closer to FCP than FCPX. I'm largely in agreement with you on metadata. I was arguing for the Be file system here a few days ago.


[Andrew Richards] "True. And I think that's why I like the abstractions. Forcing a meatspace analog onto fully digital workflow seems incongruent to me. I can understand why others hate it though."

This is where the debate splits over organization and timeline. FCP's organization is very physical, but its open timeline is an abstraction. FCPX's organization is entirely metadata-driven with no physicality, but its magnetic timeline is an abstraction with the feel of physicality.

Both timelines are abstractions, but with clearly different models and assumptions.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:52:23 am

[Andrew Richards] "Editing celluloid involves gluing or taping two film ends together, creating tangible links between two clips. Seems to me that is a lot more conceptually similar to the magnetic timeline's explicit clip connections metaphor than the metaphor employed by the traditional NLE timeline, which if translated literally into meatspace would look like laying strips of film out in sequence with nothing but spatial proximity linking them together. "

I agree that editing celluloid is conceptually similar to the magnetic timeline. Especially since it supports the argument that it forces unnecessary constraints on the user. ;)

The open timeline model discarded the constraints of celluloid and linear tape by allowing the editor to place media anywhere at any time in the timestream. It doesn't matter how you want to build a sequence. You can work backwards if you want (I sometimes do). It's totally fluid and open. With the magnetic timeline, you either do things its way or it fights you. It's great if you want to do things its way. It's lousy if you don't.

Tracks allow easy, immediate, accessible layering and organization of media. It doesn't matter if you have one track or twenty-eight. It works either way. And I can't emphasize enough the value of scratch space to test ideas and play with footage.

[Andrew Richards] "In the example you cited, the post's author insists no one could ever match his FCP7 sequence in FCPX. Baloney. Sure, it wouldn't have all those open spaces on V1, V2, and so on. So what?"

Go back and re-read Shawn Federline's post a bit more carefully. He doesn't say that his timeline couldn't be matched in FCPX, he says that FCPX is currently unusable for trying to create it. Keep in mind that when you look at Mr. Federline's timeline, you're looking at the result of many hundreds of decisions that were added to a blank canvas. The structure comes from the composition process. What we're talking about is the efficiency of this process. Perhaps there's no specific structural requirement for playback, but if the constraints of the UI makes getting the desired results impossibly cumbersome, then it's unusable. It might as well be impossible.

I have yet to see any proof that the magnetic timeline adds efficiency to the creation of timelines like Mr. Federline's. I believe him when he says it is unusable for him. Before you say he's full of baloney, I invite you to prove that he's wrong. Prove that FCPX is faster, more efficient, and a better way to work for advanced projects like these. I extend this invitation to anyone who believes the magnetic timeline is better. Let's see the evidence. Show me how that it's better for more than just simple assembly.

The open timeline model has proven itself with over twenty years of refinement and success. The magnetic timeline is the result of Apple engineers and marketing people deciding they know better than me how I should do my job. It's a pretty arrogant stance to take with a professional industry. I'd say the burden of proof is on Apple's new model.

_______________________
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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:37:15 am

[David Lawrence] "I have yet to see any proof that the magnetic timeline adds efficiency to the creation of timelines like Mr. Federline's. I believe him when he says it is unusable for him. Before you say he's full of baloney, I invite you to prove that he's wrong. Prove that FCPX is faster, more efficient, and a better way to work for advanced projects like these. I extend this invitation to anyone who believes the magnetic timeline is better."

What, are we to stage a race? If I mischaracterized the point of his argument (focusing on the structure rather than the process) I was calling baloney on a misapprehension. All I have is a screenshot and his assertion he found FCPX "completely unusable for a project like the timeline [he] included". What should I be seeing in his screenshot that is impossibly cumbersome to achieve in FCPX? Certainly not the compositing layering. Not the layout of the audio. Other than the elevation of some clips above some video tracks, what jumps out of that screenshot as being a nightmare to pull off in FCPX?

[David Lawrence] "Let's see the evidence. Show me how that it's better for more than just simple assembly."

I'm not sure what kind of meaningful evidence anyone could gather in support of one side or the other on this point. Number of clicks? Time spent? Layers required to achieve a given effect? What is your metric for editorial efficiency?

[David Lawrence] "The open timeline model has proven itself with over twenty years of refinement and success. The magnetic timeline is the result of Apple engineers and marketing people deciding they know better than me how I should do my job. It's a pretty arrogant stance to take with a professional industry."

That's a cynical way to charaterize it. Is it at all possible it was Apple's UI designers studying how people use their software and seeking to remove barriers to common tasks? I don't believe this thing is the product of a gang of cruel scientists and hucksters bent on insulting professional editors.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:09:46 am

[Andrew Richards] "What, are we to stage a race? "

Works for me! ;)

[Andrew Richards] "What should I be seeing in his screenshot that is impossibly cumbersome to achieve in FCPX? Certainly not the compositing layering. Not the layout of the audio. Other than the elevation of some clips above some video tracks, what jumps out of that screenshot as being a nightmare to pull off in FCPX? "

What you're seeing are each one of his hundreds of editorial decisions fully exposed, accessible, and immediately manipulable, all at the same time, all in the same window view. Each object was simply placed where it needed to be in time, like a note on a musical score. No need to worry about the rules of an abstract object container model. No need to create nests just to do transitions. No need to unpack objects to get access to their audio. No need to create slugs to keep everything from sliding left, etc., etc.

I don't hear anyone saying that building a sequence like this in FCPX is impossible. What I'm hearing a vast majority of advanced users saying is that it's so painful to do that it might as well be impossible. If Apple cares about these users, they need to listen and act on their feedback. Apple's silence has not been helpful.

[Andrew Richards] "I'm not sure what kind of meaningful evidence anyone could gather in support of one side or the other on this point. Number of clicks? Time spent? Layers required to achieve a given effect? What is your metric for editorial efficiency?"

Those are all fine metrics. In fact that's exactly the kind of thing tested in typical software UI user testing and QA. If FCPX takes 5 clicks and a bunch of mousing to achieve the same result I can get with a single right-click select in FCP7, then yes, you can absolutely say it is less efficient at that task.

[Andrew Richards] "That's a cynical way to charaterize it. Is it at all possible it was Apple's UI designers studying how people use their software and seeking to remove barriers to common tasks? I don't believe this thing is the product of a gang of cruel scientists and hucksters bent on insulting professional editors."

As cynical as what Apple did at NAB?

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 12:10:53 pm

[David Lawrence] "I don't hear anyone saying that building a sequence like this in FCPX is impossible. What I'm hearing a vast majority of advanced users saying is that it's so painful to do that it might as well be impossible. If Apple cares about these users, they need to listen and act on their feedback. Apple's silence has not been helpful."

And I'd be much more willing to accept these statements if these advanced users supported them, which would help convince me their frustration was with a structural problem in FCPX's timeline model and not that it doesn't behave the way they are used to a timeline behaving. There's a big difference if we're debating the merits of the model. If you attempt to apply open timeline disciplines to the magnetic timeline it will be painful and frustrating and seem to be fighting you. You call that Apple arrogantly telling you how to work, I call that driving a nail with the cheek of a hammer.

[David Lawrence] "If FCPX takes 5 clicks and a bunch of mousing to achieve the same result I can get with a single right-click select in FCP7, then yes, you can absolutely say it is less efficient at that task."

Didn't we just share an exchange recently where what seemed to take five clicks only took one or two? :-)

[David Lawrence] "As cynical as what Apple did at NAB?"

Touché.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:26:18 pm

[Andrew Richards] "And I'd be much more willing to accept these statements if these advanced users supported them, which would help convince me their frustration was with a structural problem in FCPX's timeline model and not that it doesn't behave the way they are used to a timeline behaving. There's a big difference if we're debating the merits of the model. If you attempt to apply open timeline disciplines to the magnetic timeline it will be painful and frustrating and seem to be fighting you. You call that Apple arrogantly telling you how to work, I call that driving a nail with the cheek of a hammer."

I invite you to read and consider Mr. Federline's recently posted comment here.

[Andrew Richards] "Didn't we just share an exchange recently where what seemed to take five clicks only took one or two? :-)"

Touché. ;) Now let's talk audio mixing...

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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:33:16 am

[Andrew Richards] "And I'd be much more willing to accept these statements if these advanced users supported them, which would help convince me their frustration was with a structural problem in FCPX's timeline model ..."

Andrew,

Actually, it is the software designers of FCP X that are making extra-ordinary claims - that the prevailing paradigms are old and in need of revision. And further, that this new software answers as of yet unasked questions.

Tracks and the prevailing conventional paradigms have proven their worth and flexibility. It is the designers and marketers of FCP X that are beholden to users to support their claims.

Or, to summarize ...

[Chris Harlan] " ...the claim is constantly being made that X represents a revolution in editing, and is much, much faster. I think it is fair for people to ask for that to be substantiated."

Franz.


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David Cherniack
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 1:33:51 pm

[David Lawrence] " Each object was simply placed where it needed to be in time, like a note on a musical score."

Here, I think you've put your finger on something.

Take the concepts behind the magnetic timeline and apply them to musical composition (which uses a grid based model that's existed for hundreds of years, if not longer). Could it work for a composer? Could a multi-instrument score be sounded in his or her head as he works with writing and modifying the composition? Could he grasp the whole with a glance? I have no doubt that it could be done, should anyone care to apply the principle to Sibelius or any other composition software. But could it ever work better than a grid based model?

I think people can argue till blue in the face that Apple's New FCP timeline is more efficient. And few would doubt that it may be so for simple assembly. But for complex editing those arguments are unsupported so far by any solid ideas or concepts. And the real world testing seems to indicate exactly the opposite. The arguments in favour seem to be little more than retreats to faith.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:15:25 pm

[David Lawrence] " Each object was simply placed where it needed to be in time, like a note on a musical score."

A musical score needs gaps (pauses) just like fcpx.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:25:55 pm

[Mark Bein] "A musical score needs gaps (pauses) just like fcpx."

This is a non-issue in an open timeline. Empty space around media objects acts as silence, there's no need for "gaps".

In fact, to take the analogy further, if a musical score behaved like the magnetic timeline, it would mean you'd have to write special "gap notes" between each of your regular notes to indicate silence.

Gaps are one of the magnetic timeline's biggest steps backwards. Not only do you have to keep track of the media objects, now you also have to mange all the space in between.

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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 9:37:48 am

[David Lawrence] "In fact, to take the analogy further, if a musical score behaved like the magnetic timeline, it would mean you'd have to write special "gap notes" between each of your regular notes to indicate silence. "

In a musical score you have to write pauses to indicate silence.
You even have to fill up a bar with pauses before you start a new one.
A musical note only defines pitch and duration, not an absolute starting time.
So each note is played directly after the note or the pause before ended.
Now, it is possible to indicate wether a note within its time frame is to be
played short (staccato) or connected to the following note (legato).
However, the physical space on paper stays the same.
If you want a crash cymbal to be played in bar 100 in a musical score, the absolute
time it is played is depending on how far the orchestra has progressed.
In FCP7 the crash would sound at 04:15 regardless of wether the orchestra started
a second late or the score/conductor had changed the tempo at some time.

David, I'm not arguing wether the magnetic timeline is good or bad.
I just think the musical score analogy doesn't work for an open timeline
and may even work better for the magnetic timeline.


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 11:20:57 am

Music is mathematical. You indicate silence by inserting rests of a very strictly defined duration. You do not have to fill up a bar with pauses before you go on to the next. There most certainly are ways to indicate whether a note is to be played stacatto, legato, sostenuto, or otherwise. And because music notation is so mathematical and precise, that cymbal crash to which you refer, always happens at exactly the same place within the context of that piece of music. These are conventions that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They are understood by musicians the world over.

bigpine


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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:12:09 pm

[TImothy Auld] "You do not have to fill up a bar with pauses before you go on to the next."

That's not how a score is written or printed. if the bar isn't full you write rests.

[TImothy Auld] "And because music notation is so mathematical and precise, that cymbal crash to which you refer, always happens at exactly the same place within the context of that piece of music."

"Within the context" means the time that crash happens is connected to the underlying beat.
Unless the conductor is a machine the time it actually happens will vary each time
the score is played.

[TImothy Auld] "These are conventions that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They are understood by musicians the world over."

Still not shure what that's got to do with the timeline of fcp7.


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:58:10 pm

Yes, if a bar is not otherwise filled up with notes you must insert rests to make the number of beats
conform to the time signature. But that's not what you said. You said you must fill up the bar with pauses
before you go on to the next. Not entirely clear.

Unless the percussionist is behind the conductor (which in most orchestral situations will get you sent
immediately down down to the minors) that cymbal crash will happen in the precise place it is notated to happen.

As for what conventions that everybody understands has to do with the FCP X timeline, I'm going to let you think about that for a while.

bigpine


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:16:12 am

You know, you say all this Andy, but the claim is constantly being made that X represents a revolution in editing, and is much, much faster. I think it is fair for people to ask for that to be substantiated.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 12:22:52 pm

[Chris Harlan] "You know, you say all this Andy, but the claim is constantly being made that X represents a revolution in editing, and is much, much faster. I think it is fair for people to ask for that to be substantiated."

Fair enough. Likewise it is only fair that the accusations of FCPX's timeline being "unusable" be substantiated. Experienced veteran editors have weighed in on both sides, so no one gets a pass on offering supporting arguments. Just saying it is slower is no more valid than just saying it is faster.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:15:25 pm

[Andrew Richards] " Likewise it is only fair that the accusations of FCPX's timeline being "unusable" be substantiated. "

But they have been over and over again.

For me personally:

1) I can't create deliverables by making individual audio stems, nor can I make other required combinations like M&E tracks. Nor can I build multi-track Quicktime audio files with isolated audio tracks.

2) I can't view picture on an external broadcast monitor other than in preview.

3) I cannot interoperate with any other video or audio program, other than a one-sided 3rd party OMF export.

These aren't opinions. These are facts. Other people have other facts to add to this. You know what many of them are because they DO get detailed. I have a number of other things I dislike about X, from its lack of window modularity and its dogmatic approach to editing to its candy-like interface and its dumbed-down tool-set. Those are opinions. And while it might seem obvious to me that having all slip and roll tools separated from each other by single keystrokes makes for faster editing once you know what you are doing, I acknowledge that that is an opinion, and will generally preface a statement like that with "I find" and/or for me. The above numbered items ARE facts.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:53:22 pm

[Chris Harlan] "These aren't opinions. These are facts."

Facts I do not dispute and facts that are off topic. Here I'm exploring whether or not the magnetic timeline can be used effectively for complex edits. I'm well aware of FCPX's other documented shortcomings.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:58:10 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Facts I do not dispute and facts that are off topic. Here I'm exploring whether or not the magnetic timeline can be used effectively for complex edits. I'm well aware of FCPX's other documented shortcomings.
"


Whoa! You're about as controlling, there, as the FCP X timeline, aren't ya? I think if you actually paddle back a bit, you'll see that I was making a direct response to one of your statements, so if anyone is "off-topic" its you.

But hey, let's pretend that "off topic" isn't French for "shut up," and I'll show you why it is exactly on topic for what you want to talk about. I'm thinking you just can't see it because you are, as you say, more of an engineer.

You want a normal everyday timeline that is too complicated for FCP X? Look at audio tracks, and how they are clustered. My default track set up goes like this:

1-4: DIA / SOT

5/6: VO

7-10: SFX

11-16: MU

This allows me to not only deliver the wide variety of stems that my clients require, but to visually organize the many, many audio cues. For instance, 1) I often create a single sfx out of multiple sfx in a cluster that spans all four tracks--say part of a gunshot, thunder, a whoosh, and a bit of timpani. 2) There are often overlapping sfx around or near a transition that are actually related to the separate pieces of video on either side, but need to exist only in the no man's land of the transition. 3) Depending on delivery requirements, some SFX--which I relegate to tracks 9 & 10--need to be reclassified as music. 4) Sometimes a portion of the SOT elements--say track three from a four track input-- needs to be reclassified as sfx, but remain available to be delivered on a SOT track, 5) On some projects, entire layers of audio sfx--say a particular whoosh for all wind wipes--needs to be turned on and off so that an alternate audio track of, say, swishes can be heard, 6) Temp VO needs to easily spotable on track 5, with free track 6 to allow precise placement of new VO. 7) Overlapping dialog can have a very complicated relationship that can easily be mapped in time, but not in relationship.

There is so much more, but you get the idea. This is average complexity for a :30 episodic, involving 14-16 audio tracks, and 10--40 clusters of non-SOT events. It is very easy to manage visually on a traditional time line. Even if/when they get stem export happening, "average" would still be a nasty thing to try and manage with FCP X. God forbid it would ever actually get complex.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:36:18 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Even if/when they get stem export happening, "average" would still be a nasty thing to try and manage with FCP X. God forbid it would ever actually get complex."

How can you comment on a process that you haven't seen in action?


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:14:18 pm

I'm sorry. How can this be confusing to you? Apple has publicly stated the manner in which they plan to eventually support audio track-like export and it does not include reinstating tracks, so needs I was talking about above won't change.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:33:23 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I'm sorry. How can this be confusing to you?"

Yeah, it's not. You select the audio and tell it what you need them to be (or what channel they should be on, or channels they should be on).

I don't know, I have been working with the "pool of media" instead of compartments of media idea for a long time now, so assigning metadata to things to define them doesn't scare me.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:31:20 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Whoa! You're about as controlling, there, as the FCP X timeline, aren't ya? I think if you actually paddle back a bit, you'll see that I was making a direct response to one of your statements, so if anyone is "off-topic" its you. "

Our subthread got rather removed from the context of a specific criticism of the magnetic timeline that Aindreas linked to. I was focused on that example, which was 90% video track complexity. Almost no audio complexity, and it didn't appear to be more than a two channel mixdown. I'm sorry if my reply to your post had a crass tone, my mind was still in the weeds of that one example. I apologize.

[Chris Harlan] "For instance, 1) I often create a single sfx out of multiple sfx in a cluster that spans all four tracks--say part of a gunshot, thunder, a whoosh, and a bit of timpani. 2) There are often overlapping sfx around or near a transition that are actually related to the separate pieces of video on either side, but need to exist only in the no man's land of the transition. 3) Depending on delivery requirements, some SFX--which I relegate to tracks 9 & 10--need to be reclassified as music. 4) Sometimes a portion of the SOT elements--say track three from a four track input-- needs to be reclassified as sfx, but remain available to be delivered on a SOT track, 5) On some projects, entire layers of audio sfx--say a particular whoosh for all wind wipes--needs to be turned on and off so that an alternate audio track of, say, swishes can be heard, 6) Temp VO needs to easily spotable on track 5, with free track 6 to allow precise placement of new VO. 7) Overlapping dialog can have a very complicated relationship that can easily be mapped in time, but not in relationship."

This is perfect. Exactly the kind of specifics I want to explore in detail. Point by point:

1) Isn't this a perfect use case for compound clips? You cluster your audio into a nest and it acts as a unit, but you can explode it to make fine adjustments at will.
2) You can either pin the audio to the first or second clip, at the head or tail (normal vs backtimed clip connections). Or you can make a compound clip out of the clips with transition and pin to that.
3-5) This where metadata shines. Your track assignments in a fixed track timeline are immutable. With roles assigned as metadata for each audio clip, you get to assign output based on role and not have to put any effort into maneuvering your clips into different tracks to meet an output requirement. At least that's how Apple stated it would work in their FAQ. Further, you can quickly select and disable audio channels by searching the timeline using the same metadata.
6) Tag Temp VO accordingly and it can be located and disabled very easily. Aligning finished VO doesn't require a free track (since there aren't tracks), only that you can easily locate the temp VO chunk by chunk to lay in the finished VO.
7) Can't generalize an answer for this one. I know one of the recent videos touched on overlapping audio though. I guess it depends on the situation.

Maybe you don't like the looks of those techniques, but they'll get the job done and might even prove speedy in the hands of an experienced user.

[Chris Harlan] "This is average complexity for a :30 episodic, involving 14-16 audio tracks, and 10--40 clusters of non-SOT events. It is very easy to manage visually on a traditional time line. Even if/when they get stem export happening, "average" would still be a nasty thing to try and manage with FCP X."

And I disagree. It might be foriegn, but nasty? Maybe this engineer's opinion is of little value, but to my mind metadata as a means of assigning output channels is a lot more flexible than fixed track assignments and sacrifices little in terms of usability. I like compound clips and the idea of using them to umbrella effects and organize a timeline. I don't see a huge downside to using clip connections as a way of aligning supporting clips. The abstract nature of the new paradigm appeals to me.

But Apple does need to follow through and hook it all up to the rest of the pipeline or it is all moot.

Best,
Andy


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:59:53 pm

[Andrew Richards] "3-5) This where metadata shines. Your track assignments in a fixed track timeline are immutable. With roles assigned as metadata for each audio clip, you get to assign output based on role and not have to put any effort into maneuvering your clips into different tracks to meet an output requirement. At least that's how Apple stated it would work in their FAQ. Further, you can quickly select and disable audio channels by searching the timeline using the same metadata. "

You don't have to put output into patching your audio to the proper tracks, no, but now all of your effort goes into properly tagging your audio so you can use the metadata accurately. Seems like it's just trading one load of work and necessity for detail for another.

I wonder, too, what happens when you have a piece of audio that can be categorized as both Music and SFX, or VO and NatSound? Do you do a general assignment, then go through the timeline and change the metadata on a clip by clip basis? Is this even allowed? With tracks, you just put it on the right one to assume that "role" in your sequence.

Here's what I would rather see - tracks + metadata with track patching based on that metadata. So you can assign Tracks 1 - 4 as Dialogue. If you choose, you patch manually. Or, you assign your audio with Dialogue to auto-patch to 1-4. Now you can cut freely and your audio will automatically patch. If you need to use part of that dialogue as a sound effect you can simply hardpatch it or move it down to the SFX track. The metadata auto-updates. This way you can still search your sequence but have a visual, easily read timeline of what exactly is VO, NatSound, SFX, Music, etc... The best of both worlds, and it makes editorial faster because you aren't messing around with patching tracks - you assign it via metadata. But it still keeps things organized and fits current workflows.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:07:06 pm

And who comes up with the naming conventions? Would the metadata tags be dialog 1, dialog 2, sfx 1, music 1. And if so then what's the difference from what we do now? This is a serious question. I know
there are a fair number of intelligent people out there who excited about this but I don't understand how
it would work. And I would like to.

bigpine


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:18:10 pm

[Michael Hancock] "You don't have to put output into patching your audio to the proper tracks, no, but now all of your effort goes into properly tagging your audio so you can use the metadata accurately. Seems like it's just trading one load of work and necessity for detail for another."

Yeah, but you don't have to do this right away. You can bring in the footage and edit. You can then tag your footage later. you can use separate metadata in the timeline, and it won't effect the original names of the clips. It's fall down easy, and so fast.



[Michael Hancock] "Do you do a general assignment, then go through the timeline and change the metadata on a clip by clip basis? "

Sure. This is the beauty. THat clip doesn't have to be either or, it can be both. Think of a submix through metadata alone. Sweet.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:03:18 pm

[Andrew Richards] "1) Isn't this a perfect use case for compound clips? You cluster your audio into a nest and it acts as a unit, but you can explode it to make fine adjustments at will. "

The problem with compound clips is that they rob you of your piece's overall context. Any adjustments must be made inside their own little island. If you break them apart to see context, you lose any transitions.

[Andrew Richards] "3-5) This where metadata shines. Your track assignments in a fixed track timeline are immutable. With roles assigned as metadata for each audio clip, you get to assign output based on role and not have to put any effort into maneuvering your clips into different tracks to meet an output requirement. At least that's how Apple stated it would work in their FAQ. Further, you can quickly select and disable audio channels by searching the timeline using the same metadata. "

It's fantastic in the abstract and would be a wonderful as an additional tool in the usual kit. But I don't believe it's a replacement for the flexibility of the spatial model. Especially for audio. I do a ton of multitrack mixing in FCP as part of my normal workflow.

Question: How much work have you done with Soundtrack Pro or Pro Tools? Do you think a trackless magnetic timeline model would be more efficient for these applications?

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:19:04 pm

[David Lawrence] "The problem with compound clips is that they rob you of your piece's overall context. Any adjustments must be made inside their own little island. If you break them apart to see context, you lose any transitions."

So you don't use After Effects much? Precomps (nests, compound clips, whatever) are extremely powerful and help keep the myriad of layers organized. It's so easy to step in to them in FCPx too.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:08:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So you don't use After Effects much? Precomps (nests, compound clips, whatever) are extremely powerful and help keep the myriad of layers organized. It's so easy to step in to them in FCPx too."

I use AE all the time. Love it. It's a nightmare for editorial work -- I'd never cut a show in it.

Here's a true story: A client asked me to bid on posting a four-minute promo. It was to be shot with DSLR and required animatics, animation and motion graphics. In my bid I told them I was fine with editing, animatics on stills and simple motion graphics, but complex animation/motion graphics and original graphics creation would be better handled by a specialist because I'm not a graphic artist. The client did have an animator/graphic artist that they liked working with. To save money, they decided to have the animator/graphic artist edit the entire piece.

I think you know where this is going... Two weeks later, the client calls me in a complete panic. The animator was a nightmare to work with, refusing to make any changes from the original script. Could I please take over and make these simple fixes? I say fine, send me a hard drive with everything and I'll dig in. I get the hard drive. It turns out the animator/graphic artist made his edit in the tool he uses for motion graphics. After Effects. It's a mess of nested comps that perfectly match the client script. Making the simplest changes would take hours.

I took one look, called the client and told them I wasn't sure I could help. I explained why they were getting resistance from the animator and offered to see if I could somehow get his work loaded into my preferred tool.

I would up going from AE to Premiere Pro, then XML out Premiere Pro to FCP. Once in FCP I had to unpack all the nests that the comps come over as, and fix the effects that render differently between AE/PP and FCP. Then I could start making the requested changes. The changes were trivial and took only minutes. Then the client viewed and came back with more changes which I easily incorporated. We even used iChat Theater preview so we could collaborate in real-time together. This blew the client's mind. In the end they had a piece that they loved and I was a hero. This was my first job with them and they've been coming back ever since.

They wound up paying me thousands of dollars more than they would have if they had taken my advice and just had the animator do animation/motion graphics.

Moral of the story: use the right tool for the job.

AE is an awesome animation/compositing/effects program. For fast, fluid editorial work, it's a bag of pain.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:19:02 pm

[David Lawrence] "AE is an awesome animation/compositing/effects program. For fast, fluid editorial work, it's a bag of pain."

Damn straight. I would never use it for editing, but I use precomps all the time and FCPx compound clips are even easier. You can also name them in the timeline to whatever you want so you can look at a glance as to what is going on there. See this:



Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:31:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Damn straight. I would never use it for editing, but I use precomps all the time and FCPx compound clips are even easier. You can also name them in the timeline to whatever you want so you can look at a glance as to what is going on there. See this:"

I get it. But it doesn't help if you need to have everything exposed and at your fingertips. And you lose any transitions if you break them apart.

I invite you to read and consider Mr. Federline's recently posted comment here.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:45:51 pm

[David Lawrence] "I invite you to read and consider Mr. Federline's recently posted comment here."

I took the physical challenge.

...and I just read the post. He's missing the new "back" composite mode in FCPx.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:52:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I took the physical challenge."

OK, now expand your compound clips so we can see and manipulate everything in context at the same time, in the same window. Also, all transitions must still work.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:58:21 pm

[David Lawrence] "OK, now expand your compound clips so we can see and manipulate everything in context at the same time, in the same window"

You can't. Still beats the nesting in FCP <= 7.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:53:15 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can't. Still beats the nesting in FCP <= 7."

Bingo. That's my point and Shawn Federline's as well. Many advanced editors have workflows that absolutely require this kind of flexibility.

I do agree that compound clips are better than nesting in FCP7. Thing is, I almost never use nesting when I'm cutting. For me, nests are useful when adding subtitles or credits to a finished piece, things of that nature. When I'm cutting, they get in the way because they force a context switch. Even though the implementation of compound clips is better in FCPX, this context switch is inherent and it's still a problem.

Because nesting is central to the FCPX workflow, it makes wonder how FCPX's workflow scales. How does it handle editorial situations where you don't want to or can't nest, but are required to, in order to perform the needed task? These are the cases I don't think Apple has thought through with their timeline model. This is the kind of thing I'd like to see tested.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 1:12:34 am

[David Lawrence] "Because nesting is central to the FCPX workflow,"

Is it? I was well on my way to making that timeline with nary a compound clip. I would say, they are optional, unless you need to effect the whole nest, something that was a pain in the arse to keep track of (and screw up) in FCP7.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 4:28:56 pm

[David Lawrence] "The problem with compound clips is that they rob you of your piece's overall context. Any adjustments must be made inside their own little island. If you break them apart to see context, you lose any transitions."

Excellent point. That needs to be improved. The context ought be displayed when you drill into a compound clip. You shouldn't have to choose between working a fine edit in context and retaining the effects applied to a compound clip. I still like to concept, but it is too limited today to be workable.

[David Lawrence] "It's fantastic in the abstract and would be a wonderful as an additional tool in the usual kit. But I don't believe it's a replacement for the flexibility of the spatial model. Especially for audio. I do a ton of multitrack mixing in FCP as part of my normal workflow. "

I agree in general; I think there needs to be a way to visualize and manipulate whole audio channels in aggregate. I've written about my idea for how this could be done a couple of times. Of course, it the here and now, none of that is available.

[David Lawrence] "Question: How much work have you done with Soundtrack Pro or Pro Tools? Do you think a trackless magnetic timeline model would be more efficient for these applications?"

Very little. I've always done as much of my audio editing as possible in FCP. I've only gone to STP for noise processing and the like. I haven't used Pro Tools in anger since college. Like I said before, I think the concept of trackless is good, if very roughly executed this first go round. I think the advantages of trackless don't have to exclude the advantages of tracks (even if the present execution does). I like the idea of the system being aware of explicit media relationships that can be exploited to revisualize the interface according to the task at hand. I think the guts necessary to support such a thing are there in FCPX.

I guess my enthusiasm is largely for the potential in the magnetic timeline model, rather than the current implementation of it.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 2:39:12 am

[Andrew Richards] "The context ought be displayed when you drill into a compound clip. You shouldn't have to choose between working a fine edit in context and retaining the effects applied to a compound clip. I still like to concept, but it is too limited today to be workable."

One way it could work is instead of switching context, they simply expand in the timeline. Like how the ^V Show Video Animations command works. The Avid also does this with effects nesting.

[Andrew Richards] "I agree in general; I think there needs to be a way to visualize and manipulate whole audio channels in aggregate. I've written about my idea for how this could be done a couple of times. Of course, it the here and now, none of that is available."

Totally agree with the basic ideas in your posts linked above. The idea of using metadata to assign track definitions in conjunction with a fully customizable UI could be amazing. I've been thinking about this a lot. What would a hybrid UI look like that allowed the user to mix and match the characteristics of both the magnetic timeline, and an open track-based timeline based on needs? I think it's totally possible to combine parts of both and get something insanely powerful. If I get some time, I'll try to mock up some ideas I've been toying with.

[Andrew Richards] " think the concept of trackless is good, if very roughly executed this first go round. I think the advantages of trackless don't have to exclude the advantages of tracks (even if the present execution does). I like the idea of the system being aware of explicit media relationships that can be exploited to revisualize the interface according to the task at hand. I think the guts necessary to support such a thing are there in FCPX."

Totally agree here too. I actually have less a problem with tracklessness than I do with the constraints of the object rules and behaviors. If there was better consistency, less hierarchy, more flexibility with how relationships can be defined and the ability to turn ripple off without using slugs, trackless could be great. Now let's say there can be multiple primary storylines. They could essentially function as tracks depending on your needs. There's a ton of possibility if Apple hasn't boxed itself in.

The reason I mentioned DAWs was to encourage thinking about the magnetic timeline in the context of music creation, spotting and sound design. With music and sound, fixed ripple mode editing can actually be dangerous; and needing objects to fill empty space is cumbersome. Since we no longer have Soundtrack Pro for round-trip mixing/sweetening, I'm very curious how Apple will address audio, a place where open tracks still make a lot of sense.

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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 3:20:43 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I agree in general; I think there needs to be a way to visualize and manipulate whole audio channels in aggregate"

I've been thinking about how you could quickly recognize types--dia, sfx, vo, mu, m&e, etc.--in a trackless timeline, and I wonder if color-coding might not help. I could probably adapt more easily if all my VO were teal, and all my sfx salmon. I'm not sure how much I would actually like it, but it could certainly aide in bringing clarity to a trackless timeline.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 3:51:36 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I've been thinking about how you could quickly recognize types--dia, sfx, vo, mu, m&e, etc.--in a trackless timeline, and I wonder if color-coding might not help. I could probably adapt more easily if all my VO were teal, and all my sfx salmon."

I've wanted to be able to color code timeline items for a long time, well before FCPX. You'd think it would be a trivial thing to enable. Then again I'm not a programmer.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 3:56:35 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I've wanted to be able to color code timeline items for a long time, well before FCPX. You'd think it would be a trivial thing to enable. Then again I'm not a programmer.
"


Very advanced color-coding is available in a number of DAWs. Why it hasn't been more prevalent in NLE interfaces, I don't know.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 4:25:09 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I've wanted to be able to color code timeline items for a long time, well before FCPX. You'd think it would be a trivial thing to enable. Then again I'm not a programmer."

This is all under the assumption that Apple isn't going to change anything in terms of trackless design. It assumes we are "stuck with it"' at least for a while. So, a few thoughts:

Putting audio in secondary story lines, sort of makes "tracks". Take a good look at the screen grab I posted yesterday. I am not saying it's perfect, but I am just trying to work with what we have for now.

The timeline index is going to be, or perhaps I should say could possibly be, a really fast way to assign track like metadata. Also, as I mentioned in this or another thread, potentially we can also create a submix applied just by metadata. What I mean by this is if you have a 5.1 + stereo deliverable, you can assign all tracks to stereo, and then break up the individual parts to their respective channels, all through metadata, all without touching the timeline. Tracks will be irrelevant. Upon export, the subsequent channels with be written in to the QT file.

Instead of making separate timelines for each mix, you can assign each clip to have one or multiple output configs.

Also, if you refere back to my "Federline Tribute Timeline" FCPx already seems to color code different parts of media. Generators are orange, video blue, audio green, compound clips are purplish. I am not saying that it would be impossible to have separate color coded items, but it might fight with the current design.

Also, after running through the exercise, I realize that secondary story lines might be a really good way to visually organize the timeline, even more so than compound clips.

Just some thoughts.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 2:36:07 am

[Andrew Richards] "1) Isn't this a perfect use case for compound clips? You cluster your audio into a nest and it acts as a unit, but you can explode it to make fine adjustments at will.
2) You can either pin the audio to the first or second clip, at the head or tail (normal vs backtimed clip connections). Or you can make a compound clip out of the clips with transition and pin to that.
3-5) This where metadata shines. Your track assignments in a fixed track timeline are immutable. With roles assigned as metadata for each audio clip, you get to assign output based on role and not have to put any effort into maneuvering your clips into different tracks to meet an output requirement. At least that's how Apple stated it would work in their FAQ. Further, you can quickly select and disable audio channels by searching the timeline using the same metadata.
6) Tag Temp VO accordingly and it can be located and disabled very easily. Aligning finished VO doesn't require a free track (since there aren't tracks), only that you can easily locate the temp VO chunk by chunk to lay in the finished VO.
7) Can't generalize an answer for this one. I know one of the recent videos touched on overlapping audio though. I guess it depends on the situation.
"


You are missing the big picture. It is not that you can't do a bunch of these things individually. It is that you have to coordinate them all together. As you are building your piece you need to see the structure, not hide it away. The timeline is a map. I can go through and point out a number of things I disagree with you about in your list above--compound clips being more useful on a sfx cluster than a lasso and cut and paste, for instance--but the bottom line is that the magnetic timeline routinely destroys visual/spatial relationships that are very, very useful. I like metadata. I do many searches. I would like those searches to be easier and more powerful, but none of that is anywhere as useful to me as being able to see a visual schematic of the piece I'm working on.

And none of what you are suggesting is easier. When I import sfx to the timeline I put them on an sfx track. I've placed something where I want it, and I've defined it. I've given myself a visual representation. I don't need to do anything else. All done.


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Chris Jacek
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:33:53 pm

[Andrew Richards] " Is it at all possible it was Apple's UI designers studying how people use their software and seeking to remove barriers to common tasks?"

No it's not. Having been on the inside, and understanding how the organization and Mr. Ubilous work, I can say that professional real-world feedback ranks very low on the priority list. Admittedly, it has been nearly 10 years since I've worked there, but my grapevine still tells me this is how things are done.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Tim Wilson
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:42:24 pm

[Chris Jacek] "I can say that professional real-world feedback ranks very low on the priority list."

This came up in the iPad 2 launch. A reporter asked something about feedback from iPad 1 customers, and the reply was something along the lines of, we don't solicit feedback, we just try to make the coolest stuff. If you think about it, that really rings true.

To their credit, they mostly get this stuff right. Even when they kind of don't, or a product goes its own way regardless of what's expected, the rest of the world has tended to follow soon enough.

There is nothing in Apple's experience to suggest that there's a better way for them to handle product design and deployment.

Not so great if you're a customer who actually needs something specific, though.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:03:16 pm

To wit:

[Steve Jobs] "You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new."

Best,
Andy


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:34:41 pm

Which works fine when building consumer oriented devices, but does not work fine when building specialized commercial software. Talk about someone using the wrong side of a hammer to hit a nail.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:38:07 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Which works fine when building consumer oriented devices, but does not work fine when building specialized commercial software. "

According to Chris, they would have followed that philosophy for the entire lifespan of FCP as well though.

Best,
Andy


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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:55:38 pm

Yes they would have and they did, leading to the situation now where they just dumped a category leading Ap to replace it with ... something else.

Did they hit the sweet spot for a few years -- yes; but even a blind squirrel ... etc.

I am beginning to think that X is to FCP7 as Motion is to Shake.

With Motion they were all a flutter with how it was going to be revolutionary with it's use of "behaviors" which were going to take the drudgery out of compositing. Simplifying post for everyone.

It was different, it was novel, it wasn't too bad, and I use it to this day, although it ushered in no revolution and is a huge step back from Shake. And the stupidest thing about it are the dammed "behaviors" which any professional compositor could have told them was moronic. But then who would want professional feedback?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:03:04 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I am beginning to think that X is to FCP7 as Motion is to Shake. "

That's a solid parallel you've drawn there. I too remember the giddiness about how they thought behaviors made keyframes obsolete. Yeah, not so much...

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:07:52 am

[Herb Sevush] "I am beginning to think that X is to FCP7 as Motion is to Shake. With Motion they were all a flutter with how it was going to be revolutionary with it's use of "behaviors" which were going to take the drudgery out of compositing. Simplifying post for everyone. It was different, it was novel, it wasn't too bad, and I use it to this day, although it ushered in no revolution and is a huge step back from Shake. And the stupidest thing about it are the dammed "behaviors" which any professional compositor could have told them was moronic. But then who would want professional feedback?"

Herb, this might be a good analogy, but I view it differently than you've suggested here. Many hoped Motion would be an updated, modernized Shake -- but in reality, Motion was a whole new app with a totally different intended use and a totally different target audience than Shake.

Apple reinvented motion graphics with Motion. In the process, they arguably made it easy to get good results, but hard to get great results.

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


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:14:35 am

[David Lawrence] "
The open timeline model has proven itself with over twenty years of refinement and success. The magnetic timeline is the result of Apple engineers and marketing people deciding they know better than me how I should do my job. It's a pretty arrogant stance to take with a professional industry. I'd say the burden of proof is on Apple's new model."


I'd say the open timeline goes back further than 20 years, a lot further. I think your analogy to written music was spot on. I think this is where the NLE timeline comes from. Time, space, notes or "media", layers for instruments.

The advantage of open timelines or really computers themselves is that once the various pieces of the puzzle are loaded in, everything you have can be sculpted into your finished product, but also in any way you choose to go about it. You can also use empty space as a work bench just to keep various pieces or things you haven't decided what to do with yet. I'm finding it hard to see why a new "paradigm" was needed.



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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:14:02 am

[Andrew Richards] "In the example you cited, the post's author insists no one could ever match his FCP7 sequence in FCPX. Baloney. Sure, it wouldn't have all those open spaces on V1, V2, and so on. So what? Ultimately, those spaces are meaningless to the outcome as the layers are all composited down into a single video track."

Andrew, I agree that there's no reason the edit couldn't be accomplished in FCPX. I also agree that the empty spaces in the tracks are meaningless to the composited outcome.

I'd suggest, though, that those empty spaces help make the timeline vastly easier to understand at a glance than would be possible with FCPX. Proximity and alignment are visual cues that people use to quickly understand the relationship between objects. In an open timeline, the editor can take advantage of these, actually designing the track layout both to composite properly and to convey information about the edit back to the editor at a glance.

FCPX with its self-collapsing timeline makes it impossible for us to use proximity on the timeline to convey meaning at all, and it fights our inclination to use alignment to relate objects. Any relationships between aligned objects in the FCPX timeline is purely coincidental.

Graphic design offers us a few tools to convey information in 2D space, but FCPX's self-collapsing timeline totally disregards them.

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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:38:11 am

[Walter Soyka] "Proximity and alignment are visual cues that people use to quickly understand the relationship between objects. In an open timeline, the editor can take advantage of these, actually designing the track layout both to composite properly and to convey information about the edit back to the editor at a glance."

These are loose conventions which can and will vary widely from user to user and shop to shop, and I did say that there are workflow and organizational reasons to want to elevate things vertically. However, a much more explicit means of organization and communication exists in FCPX: compound clips and the timeline search panel.

[Walter Soyka] "FCPX with its self-collapsing timeline makes it impossible for us to use proximity on the timeline to convey meaning at all, and it fights our inclination to use alignment to relate objects. Any relationships between aligned objects in the FCPX timeline is purely coincidental."

Apple needs to allow for naming of compound clips, but that aside, gathering elements into compound clips as well as tagging clips with metadata is a far more explicit means of communicating order and intent than what can be implied with simple proximity.

[Walter Soyka] "Graphic design offers us a few tools to convey information in 2D space, but FCPX's self-collapsing timeline totally disregards them."

Yes it does. But I say it is better to convey information with metadata and explicit relationships than to imply it with spatial proximity.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 1:40:43 pm

[Andrew Richards] "gathering elements into compound clips as well as tagging clips with metadata is a far more explicit means of communicating order and intent than what can be implied with simple proximity... I say it is better to convey information with metadata and explicit relationships than to imply it with spatial proximity."

But metadata and explicit relationships serve a totally different function than proximity and alignment.

Let's forget about FCP/FCPX for a second. If we applied Apple's thinking to a nodal compositor, we'd get an automatic self-reflowing node graph. Following your argument, this should be fine. After all, the spatial positioning of the nodes doesn't matter -- the image flow is defined by the connections between the nodes, and that's what drives the composite. We could compound nodes in pre-composites or super-nodes to simplify the look of the graph, and we can always search the nodes to find what we need.

But think about this from the artist's perspective. The purpose of spatial arrangement (and correct application of design concepts like proximity and alignment) is to make the node graph easier and faster to understand and to navigate. The artist can cluster related nodes together. The artist can create clear separations between different branches of the graph. The artist can use blocks of nodes as mental landmarks when navigating a complicated graph.

Spatial arrangement lets the artist build in cues or reminders for himself of both how the comp works and how to work in the comp. You get all this at a glance, even as the node graph becomes more complex.

If The Foundry rolled out continuous self-reflow in Nuke tomorrow, no one would upgrade, and artists would be huffing and puffing on web forums for weeks.

Back to FCPX.

Chris offered the intuitive nipple quote, presumably to suggest than neither FCP nor FCPX are intuitive. Watch small children -- they begin clustering and lining up their toys very soon after developing the ability to manipulate them. Humans are good spatial thinkers. Space is how we understand our world, and we use space everywhere in our lives for organization, both consciously and subconsciously. Proximity and alignment are tools we can use for working in space.

Since FCPX minimizes the use of space to convey information and rejects spatial design principles outright, I really think that one of the design goals of FCPX is to hide or to abstract as much complexity from the user as possible. That may be fine for more straightforward edits or during assembly, but I think that ignoring the basic design principles I've outlined over-simplifies complex edits, takes immediate context away from the editor, and makes it harder to understand and navigate complex timelines.

Back to your original point, Andrew, I do think that compound clips (or nests, or precomps, or super-nodes, etc.) are an important construct. I also think that pervasive metadata is the single most important advancement in FCPX, because as we build more and more media, metadata becomes increasingly important in managing, sorting, and searching it.

I don't think that compound clips/explicit relationships/metadata and spatial arrangement are mutually exclusive, though, and I'd certainly prefer a system that offered both.

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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:46:05 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't think that compound clips/explicit relationships/metadata and spatial arrangement are mutually exclusive, though, and I'd certainly prefer a system that offered both."

I yield and agree that there is no mutual exclusivity, and that spatial organization is valuable to users.

Best,
Andy


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Joe Moya
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:56:45 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Back to your original point, Andrew, I do think that compound clips (or nests, or precomps, or super-nodes, etc.) are an important construct. I also think that pervasive metadata is the single most important advancement in FCPX, because as we build more and more media, metadata becomes increasingly important in managing, sorting, and searching it.

I don't think that compound clips/explicit relationships/metadata and spatial arrangement are mutually exclusive, though, and I'd certainly prefer a system that offered both."


So... basically, the managment of video source material vs. the execution of editing the video source are actually two different factors that need to be considered when editing.

Where meta-data based managment may have advantages over a file based system... however... incorporating a pre-defined editing timeline structure only limits the abilities of the editor (and creativity of molding the final edit).

Sort of a "stand-up comic routine" vs. "improvisational comic routine" work flow. Where FCPX is good for an established comedy routine but not so much for improvisational comedy. Unfortunately, I can not think of many instances where editing isn't a case of where it is both improvisational and routine.

Your analysis is interesting... obviously not something the developers at Apple gave much thought.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:40:00 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "but there is, in no way, a primary storyline there."

After looking at this again, I disagree. It's the VO.

You would layout the VO, with gaps (so what, they are a space), and the rest is done through connected clips, or guess story lines if you need them and perhaps some compound clips to keep it tidy if you need it.

The problem is sending this data to FCPx and having FCPx understand that a1-a4 is really the primary storyline.

Also, I wonder if that complex of a timeline is needed for this composite.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:01:01 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "but there is, in no way, a primary storyline there."

[Jeremy Garchow] "After looking at this again, I disagree. It's the VO."

Or perhaps it would be the soundtrack?

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:14:10 am

[Walter Soyka] "Or perhaps it would be the soundtrack?"

Absolutely, it could be.

My guess is a :30 with VO and music means the VO is probably driving the pace of the edit most of the time, but it does appear there's a few SFX "crashes" in there with some short music only breaks.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:25:45 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "My guess is a :30 with VO and music means the VO is probably driving the pace of the edit most of the time, but it does appear there's a few SFX "crashes" in there with some short music only breaks."

Maybe the FCPX primary storyline's functionality is a bit overloaded. It seems meant to both drive the story and provide the foundation in time for the rest of the edit. This is probably apt for narrative. Here, though, the VO is driving the story and the soundtrack is providing the foundation in time.

It's not insurmountable, but it strikes me as a bit awkward. Am I really just thinking about this wrong?

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:38:30 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Maybe the FCPX primary storyline's functionality is a bit overloaded. It seems meant to both drive the story and provide the foundation in time for the rest of the edit. This is probably apt for narrative. Here, though, the VO is driving the story and the soundtrack is providing the foundation in time.

It's not insurmountable, but it strikes me as a bit awkward. Am I really just thinking about this wrong?"


no I really don't think you are. I think it exposes the lack of thought apple gave to the variety of real world implementations their reductive metaphor would have to meet - the primary storyline is limited in its successful application - the idea that you have to fill it completely with VO or music video audio to stabilise the edit is insane. Then you're up above trying to edit the actual visuals in connected clips with no transitions, (what if you've cut the audio down so on the primary storyline the music track is composed of multiple edits? what happens when you want to re-edit the audio track? aren't there connected clips hanging off it?) or maybe you're pushing stuff into secondary storylines ...dear sweet god... because the metaphor is so overly simplistic and reductive, complex or non-standard scenarios become insanely poorly handled really fast. This isn't "fighting the software" as andrew would put it, it's a pretty seriously use simplistic piece of thinking on apple's part.

there are unintended consequences everywhere. I honestly think this software is critically flawed. The minute I heard someone saying - just fill the primary storyline with the music track - I just sort of laughed weirdly to myself.


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:04:28 pm

I wanted to post this before I left today, so it is incomplete. I spent about an hour trying to get this to look right, including naming all the clips in the timeline (which is separate form what they are named in the event/browser. Cool). This of course does not represent real time as there's no clips to choose, watch, editing to be done, I was just simply trying to copy the layer structure and see how it went in FCPx.

This has nothing to do with the actual edit. Since I haven't seen the final product of the timeline in question, this has nothing to do with the compositing aspect of anything, but I'm sure it would be fine if I knew how the commercial looked. There's a lot of stacked video, so I am thinking there's some sort of split screen happening.

This was fun, layering is a snap, and the more I dive in, the better FCPx gets.

Mr Lawrence, I know you are all about the "scratch" area to work, on, so am I. This is so easy to do above the primary storyline with connected clips to a gap. I do not miss the patch panel and auto select tracks one bit.

I hope FCPx is allowed to get serious with real hardware support and interconnection protocols.

This was not meant to misrepresent or represent anything, it was more an exercise for me to see what's possible and I am glad I did it. I'll finish it if I have time after next week:



Jeremy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:31:49 pm

fair play. this is more like it - good stuff and game on.

I reckon possibly, looking at the original, that the stacking is a bit sedimentary as a live edit interacting with final post, with untouched original edits at the base, and then round trip assets and gfx iterating above but either way -

this is the first blood instance i have seen anywhere?, of skill/timeline situation matching between the edit platforms that has not been managed by apple. (in their now infamous NAB demo screenshot comparison moment)

being.. a tad bitchy for a minute.. do you find you need to enclose vertical layers within secondary storylines to this degree all the time? doesn't that hint to conceptual shortcomings in their conception?


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:26:05 pm

I wish I knew more about the orig edit to make it more accurate. There's a lot of layers, and I feel I am missing some efficiencies and details. It was really fun to do. I had to leave the office, but hope to get back to this the week after next.

I am not just saying this, this program is not for amateurs, it's very powerful, but also accessible.

I can see why Apple left the translation alone for now. There were many decisions that needed to be made (by me) that could in no way be conveyed through a traditional XML. mostly, it's the creating of all the secondary story lines to get dissolves/wipes on the connected clips. Making the audio into secondary storylines brings audio fade fuctionality back with a quickness. Layering and repositioning the stack is so easy with the connection points.

This makes me think that any translation program will have to be a bare bones affair. Maybe some assumptions will need to be made (like if two clips have a transition, they automatically are made into a storyline, but not necessarily the primary one) but it will still have some innaccuracies.

It is obvious this application is thinking ahead. I don't equate efficiency with ease/ less skill.

By the way, for those not checking, there's a screengrab on my last post that attempts to recreate the Federline spot. The link does not show up on the cow response emails.

Link to post:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/13465


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:49:56 am

[Jeremy Garchow] " it's the creating of all the secondary story lines to get dissolves/wipes on the connected clips."


pivoting swiftly to his various arguments andy said...

jeremy, muchos respect - but - sure just read that line again to yourself -


" it's the creating of all the secondary story lines to get dissolves/wipes on the connected clips."


does that make any sense? why. are. we. doing. this?



[Jeremy Garchow] "Making the audio into secondary storylines brings audio fade fuctionality back with a quickness."

again bud, doesn't this feel like a very brittle, easily broken paradigm? we end up doing a variety of things to reassert basic, basic decision space.

honest to god - does this thing FCPX feel well thought through?


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 1:09:19 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "does that make any sense? why. are. we. doing. this?"

I wondered this aloud while doing this exercise today.

I've said it before, but I really think we don't have all the language of FCPx yet. There has to be a good reason, it's just not "turned on" yet in the software, so we can't see it. It is definitely indicating something to FCPx; "this part is different".

It's really easy to make secondary storylines. Like, really easy, even with multiple clips. After a while, I wasn't even thinking about it.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:59:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Mr Lawrence, I know you are all about the "scratch" area to work, on, so am I. This is so easy to do above the primary storyline with connected clips to a gap. I do not miss the patch panel and auto select tracks one bit.
"


Ah, I just saw this screengrab (I usually read and respond via email so sometimes images slip thru the cracks).

This is great, thank you! Just the kind of test I'm looking for. Now can you please post another grab with view clip connections turned on? I think we need to see clip connections to get a better idea of what's really going on here. Thanks!

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:44:45 am

[David Lawrence] "Now can you please post another grab with view clip connections turned on? I think we need to see clip connections to get a better idea of what's really going on here. Thanks!"

That is an excellent point, not showing them was unintentional. I am away from the office next week.

Sorry to be a cliff hanger, just wanted to put things in a bit of reality and I had an hour this afternoon. Hope to get back to it in a weeks time, but no promises. We are fortunately very busy.

Federline never posted the finished work of that timeline, did he? I can guess at some of it, but not all.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:56:52 am

mmmm.

Lawrence has a bit of a point there.

you stepped away a little carefully in your response.

sure don't work too hard, just re-set the timeline view for clip connections and re-grab the frame?

No Work at all!

Sure go on Jeremy. show those clip connections. It can't look that bad right?

dare.

dare.

dare.


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 1:15:01 am

If I have time, I will go back to the office. I don't have any computing/media with me.

I have nothing to hide and welcome any and all criticism. I just wanted to see how bad it hurt to sit on some brass tacks.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:45:34 pm

Nah fair enough, I was going conspiracy OTT there.


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


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 6, 2011 at 1:39:05 am



Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 3:50:45 pm

I'm not sure you understand the irony of what you posted. In this particular scene, Kane's wife has given an absolutely abysmal premiere operatic performance. The audience is appalled by her. Stage hands are making making hand-to-nose "she stinks" gestures. In spite of this, Kane refuses to outwardly acknowledge the obvious failure, and claps hard and loud, with very deliberate, angry strokes, all the while being eaten away inside by what he internally recognizes as a stunning defeat. Look at his eyes.

If you did recognize the irony, well--wow; more power to you!


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 4:02:13 pm

I was primarily referencing the "slow clap" meme (that gif is often used in forums as a sign of respect), but I thought it would be an ironic image given the early references to Kane in this thread. My intent was to applaud Jeremy's experiment and I thought Kane was indeed an ironic figure to show. I didn't consider the context of the film, so now it is even more meta.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 7, 2011 at 4:17:18 pm

LOL. Funny how memes can change. And--irony upon irony--the relative understandings of what that clip means seems to mirror the dichotomy happening on this forum.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 17, 2011 at 2:42:41 pm

As promised, here's the timeline with connections. Sorry for the delay, I was out last week:



fcpx_federlinetribute_partial_connections.png

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 17, 2011 at 10:59:49 pm

This is great, thank you Jeremy.

Here's the big problem this demonstrates:

1) Compositing still works by layering from the top down.
2) Clip connections can only be made to the primary storyline - the base layer.
3) If you turn composite groups into compound clips, you lose the ability to edit their elements in context.

Everything must be in relationship to the primary storyline, or hidden in its own separate world.

Ouch.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
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facebook.com/dlawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:33:47 pm

[David Lawrence] "1) Compositing still works by layering from the top down."

Generally, sure, but not necessarily when using the new "back" composite mode

[David Lawrence] "2) Clip connections can only be made to the primary storyline - the base layer."

Yep. Hence my choice to make the VO the primary on this one.

[David Lawrence] "3) If you turn composite groups into compound clips, you lose the ability to edit their elements in context."

For sure, same as FCP7.

[David Lawrence] "Everything must be in relationship to the primary storyline"

Which could be a gap in this case, in fcp7, the vertical relationship is implied, in X it's "forced" but it doesn't take long to figure out. Horizontal relationships are held in tracks in fcp7, if they are needed in X, they are maintained through secondary storylines.

It doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it might.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:14:09 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Generally, sure, but not necessarily when using the new "back" composite mode"

Are you talking about the "behind" mode in the alpha group? I'm sure it's useful but it reminds me of the position tool - something they had to add to deal with new problems that weren't there before.

[Jeremy Garchow] "In fcp7, the vertical relationship is implied, in X it's "forced" but it doesn't take long to figure out. Horizontal relationships are held in tracks in fcp7, if they are needed in X, they are maintained through secondary storylines. "

In FCP7:

Horizontal relationships define the edit.
Vertical relationships define the composite.

End of story. It doesn't get any simpler. They're both always needed. That's why it's important to have a solid foundation to build on. Tracks do this well for both.

In this example, the clip connections specify relationships that don't make sense given what the editor wants to do. What if the relationships that matter are between the composite elements? If new model is about defining relationships, then it needs to be much more flexible. Being forced to connect to the primary storyline is a huge limitation. Being forced to nest doesn't fix this.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:17:39 am

[David Lawrence] "I'm sure it's useful but it reminds me of the position tool - something they had to add to deal with new problems that weren't there before."

Hmm. I find it more flexible, as you dont have to get adhere to the strict layer order of FCP7, although youncan if you want to.

[David Lawrence] "In this example, the clip connections specify relationships that don't make sense given what the editor wants to do. What if the relationships that matter are between the composite elements?"

I, again, disagree and don't see so much of a problem here The VO is obviously "driving" this piece. So, the clips above that are related to that. The horizontal edit, and vertical composites still remain. Just because a clip is connected to the primary doesn't mean you have to composite to the primary storyline. In FCP7 the only thing defining the vertical relationship is sight, in X it's a physical connection to a literal foundation clip. Is it better? Maybe, maybe not. In this timeline, I think it helps. There's some truth in the analogies that were made to nodal compositing. Not really, but kinda.

[David Lawrence] "If new model is about defining relationships, then it needs to be much more flexible."

Perhaps, but in some ways it already is. Audition is a good example of this.

Also, you don't have to nest (unless you want the broadcast safe filter to work :-D). And nesting is also very fast and easy

If I didn't go through this exercise, perhaps I wouldn't feel this way. It is certainly a different model. I do find the editing to be really fast, although it takes a while to get used to it.

All that being said, I still can't use it for real work. It's not ready.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:20:00 am

I think I'm finally done.

In FCS, all I need to do to move even the most complicated composite of audio and video--I mean 15 layers that belong together--is to hit ctrl V at my in and out points and then lasso the whole mess. I can drag and drop or cut and paste. It is just so simple. All of this crazy trackless-ness to avoid clip collision is insane.

David, thanks for all your insightful comments. You've really helped me see that I'm not walking away from something useful because of prejudice. I wish the FCP Xers well. At the end of the day, after years of devotion to FCP, I just have finally--fully--come to the conclusion that I don't want to use this thing. I guess that might change. I'll check back from time to time, but the underpinnings--for my usage--are such a bag of hurt that I just don't see any value. Pity. I really liked FCP.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 3:22:40 am

[Chris Harlan] "In FCS, all I need to do to move even the most complicated composite of audio and video--I mean 15 layers that belong together--is to hit ctrl V at my in and out points and then lasso the whole mess"

In fcpx, you simply grab the clip in the primary and the whole stack (or mess) moves.

If you want just the connected clips, lasso and drag, or copy/paste, whatever.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 3:35:12 am

Jeremy, it amazes me the degree to which we don't understand each other. I DO understand that that is how you would work in FCP X. I DO understand that the actual move itself is potentially easier than in FCS. The point I am making is that--from my POV--getting rid of tracks to make that happen with just a little bit more ease is a ridiculous tradeoff. If it is not to you, great, more power to you. I really don't want to argue about this stuff any more. I don't find it useful. I think tracks are important. Actually, after contemplating, FCP X for several months I would say I've come to the conclusion that tracks are fundamental and essential. Not having them, imho, is totally bogus. I know you disagree.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 4:08:57 am

[Chris Harlan] "Jeremy, it amazes me the degree to which we don't understand each other"

I thought you were replying to me, apparently you weren't.

I am now replying to you. (Select text and hit shift-q to quote on the cow, or use the quote button).

I just find it funny that things that people say can't be done, can be done in fcpx, and sometimes it's easier albeit different. Just humor me for a second, because I'm pretty sure I understand where you are coming from when it comes to this conversation and where you want your NLE life to go (or stay). To move a layer stack, would you rather manage 15 layers, or drag one clip and all that comes with it to achieve the same edit? as you read it, which sounds "easier"? How about faster? Have you actually tried to do this in FCPx?

That's all I'm trying to say, and say this to folks who might be giving FCPx a chance, or want to learn more. My last reply was more to the general population, not just to you.

The interface is the least of my worries with fcpx at this point. I am more worried about format support. The wrap everything to a .mov is getting old. Really. Old.

Good luck on your next NLE endeavor, we will all need it.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 7:03:50 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "To move a layer stack, would you rather manage 15 layers, or drag one clip and all that comes with it to achieve the same edit? as you read it, which sounds "easier"? How about faster? Have you actually tried to do this in FCPx?
"


I don't have to "manage." I just have to lasso, cut and paste or drag and drop. But, I agree. Dragging a single clip sounds easier. The act itself is probably faster. Yes, I have tried it. I have given the whole paradigm a great deal of thought. NO, I don't like it. NOT when it comes at the expense of tracks, which are far more useful to me in a whole variety of ways than any little boost I might get from the magnetic timeline. You may like the trade-off; I don't have to.

[Jeremy Garchow] "That's all I'm trying to say, and say this to folks who might be giving FCPx a chance, or want to learn more. My last reply was more to the general population, not just to you."

I do get that. In many respects, my replies are for similar reasons. I want people to understand the pitfalls of the software. I don't want producers expecting me to achieve results on FCP X that are similar to what can be done on FCS/Avid/Premiere/Edius/Vegas, etc., when those results cannot be achieved. I also want them to be aware that there is a fair amount of unhappiness in the editorial community with the product.


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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:34:37 pm

[Don Scioli] "So does that mean that Robert Wise who edited CITIZEN KANE"

Citizen Kane could have been cut on Imovie.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:39:19 pm

I'm going to tell Robert Wise you said that, and he is going to get up out of his grave and find out where you live.


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


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:40:42 am

Cool! Zombies could make this even more interesting.



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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:54:33 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "I'm going to tell Robert Wise you said that, and he is going to get up out of his grave and find out where you live."

He is going to strangle me, shouting
"HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WORK WITHOUT SPEED RAMPS?"
"WHERE ARE MY SHORTCUT KEYS?"


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:39:42 pm

Citizen Kane? Really? Well, Anything's possible I guess. It could've been written on MS word. But what, exactly, is your point?

bigpine


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:56:59 pm

[Mark Bein] "Citizen Kane could have been cut on Imovie."

What a relief, a project that could actually be imported into FCP X.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Daniel Frome
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 12:03:51 am

haha, zing.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 2:34:31 am

[Mark Bein] "Citizen Kane could have been cut on Imovie."

Mark,

If my information is correct, Citizen Kane was edited in 1940, and thus it was not, nor could it have been edited with any NLE. (Though, as a matter of fact, it was edited in the non-linear process common for the time).

Also, when did iMovie add keykode suport?

Franz.


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Mark Bein
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:37:29 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Also, when did iMovie add keykode suport?"

Since it's from the 90s Wise could'nt use that either.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "If my information is correct, Citizen Kane was edited in 1940, and thus it was not, nor could it have been edited with any NLE. (Though, as a matter of fact, it was edited in the non-linear process common for the time)."

Thanks for pointing that out. I thought Wise had used a Zuse Z2.


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Paul Jay
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:39:20 am

Apple didnt handicap anyone.
You dont have to use FCPX1.0
Fcp7 still works great! ( for a 32 bit old code app)
Premiere and media composer still work great aswell!!


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Gary Pollard
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:12:51 am

It's not as if ANY previous version of FCP was exactly instinctive.

It's just that many are now familiar with it, sometimes after a bastard of a learning curve, and mistake current familiarity with ease of use.

____

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"



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Chris Upchurch
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:43:18 am

[Gary Pollard] "It's not as if ANY previous version of FCP was exactly instinctive. "

"The only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned."


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Geoff Dills
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:01:41 pm

[Chris Upchurch] ""The only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned.""

I agree. But I would add that for me "intuitive" is something that would rely on "common knowledge," things learned by a vast majority of the population. So from past learning you know to click with a mouse, drag and drop and so on.

A huge problem with X is it's NOT intuitive to anyone who has ever edited on any other piece of editing software. You have to rethink, relearn and struggle to use it. It may be more intuitive to a novice, but even there I think it is a steep learning curve to acquire the deep toolset hidden from view on initial contact.

Best,
Geoff


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David Roth Weiss
Cost-benefit analysis?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:58:26 pm

[Geoff Dills] "A huge problem with X is it's NOT intuitive to anyone who has ever edited on any other piece of editing software. You have to rethink, relearn and struggle to use it. It may be more intuitive to a novice, but even there I think it is a steep learning curve to acquire the deep toolset hidden from view on initial contact."

Very good point Geoff. This is in fact a major issue with FCP X that's been overlooked by most, because it's overall efficiency is typically discussed in a vacuum, without any consideration of the costs of both time and dollars retraining the huge base of existing editors to whom traditional track-based timelines are completely intuitive.

We know there were 2-million FCP 7 users, because that's Apple's own number. So, there are 2-million users to factor-in, in terms of time and money for retraining. And, retraining on other NLEs would actually need to be factored into the equation too, as Apple's decision making process ultimately requires retraining for every current user of FCS 3 on one NLE or another.

The bottom line is, if FCP X is actually more efficient for newbies than those with previous training, a cost-benefit analysis would indicate an overall break even point would only be reached when approximately 2-million new users have adopted FCP X.

Will there ever be 2-million totally new users who'll pickup FCP X more efficiently, to balance the scales, (if it is in fact more intuitive for newbies)? If not, then it naturally follows that the overall efficiency of FCP X and the ratio of its overall costs to overall benefits would be suspect.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:23:37 pm

[Geoff Dills] "A huge problem with X is it's NOT intuitive to anyone who has ever edited on any other piece of editing software. "

Except one. It ships on every Mac and now if the user wants something better, they aren't faced with having to learn something completely different.

Best,
Andy


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Geoff Dills
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:56:36 pm

Good point. I should have said "pro" software. :)

Best,
Geoff


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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:44:37 pm

Be careful. That word is the third rail in these parts.

Best,
Andy


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Geoff Dills
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:46:49 pm

Don't I know. :)

Best,
Geoff


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 6:44:17 am

I picked up FCP faster than any other editor I've used. Of course there is some learning but as soon as I did a tutorial or 2 I was really into the way they laid it out.



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Bill Paris
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 7:43:57 am

I don't think anyone would say that FCP-7 and the previous versions of FCP were perfect editing platforms, but it was the tool many editors spent the last decade learning with the assumption the program would be improved by the inclusion of the new technology Apple was adding along the way. (ie... Color.... Motion... STP... etc) without completely changing the UI. The program was getting better with each release since up until now the new technology was added in to the exiting UI. You have to wonder if they could have kept the UI similar and added some of the new features as options instead of the only option. Perhaps when they listen to the professional community and make the necessary changes..... oh wait a minute.... they didn't listen pro editors when designing this version.... why would they listen to the pro community in the next version? I've been a Apple fan for years, owned stock in the company, bought way to many computers, etc.... but this one has me perplexed. I wonder what Steve Jobs thinks about all the feedback from this release? My hope.... he'll kick some ass and we'll see some of the old functionality added back into FCP=X..... that way we can all be happy.... ok happier?

Bill Paris
Producer/Director of Photography
Crew Hawaii Television
http://www.crewhawaii.com


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Ben Scott
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 8:03:41 am

Has anyOne tried the position tool and add gap

Not so tricky to have those gaps appear

I agree trimming across multiple tracks isn't possible and should be

The magnetic timeline really isn't that different

Get over it

The software will get upgraded to what you are after in time

Final Cut Suite ACT Trainer and User
Working at http://www.vet.co.uk
Personal Blog: http://www.benscottarts.co.uk


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:18:05 pm

[Ben Scott] "Get over it

The software will get upgraded to what you are after in time"


I am over it. I'm learning Avid and Adobe.

But how are you so confident X will get upgraded to what people want? They haven't been fixing a lot of what I needed them to fix for the 7 years I've been a user. Why would they start now?



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Gary Huff
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:40:25 pm

[Robert Brown]They haven't been fixing a lot of what I needed them to fix for the 7 years I've been a user. Why would they start now?

And how long will they be given to do so? Will this topic still be rolling along with the same arguments and rebuttals 6 months from now because FCPX is still essentially the same software? How about 12 months from now? How long will it take?


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 4:41:07 pm

I forget which release it was but I recall a four or so years back Apple put out a very
buggy version of FCP. Again, as I recall, there was an update addressing many of the
those bugs within days. It's been what 6 or so weeks since the release of X and there
has not been a peep about an update to address the bugs in X. As much as I would like
to think this is not the case, this leads me to believe that the FCP X department is just
an empty room in Cupertino.

bigpine


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:42:21 pm

Or perhaps they are waiting for a feature release as well as a maintenance release?

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

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


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TImothy Auld
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:51:22 pm

Maybe. It all depends on what this segment of their business means to them. Reading between
what few lines Apple has provided to date, I am driven toward the opinion that the answer is
"not very much."

bigpine


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Robert Brown
Re: FCP-X: Thinking Differently?
on Aug 5, 2011 at 5:44:51 pm

[Gary Huff] "And how long will they be given to do so? Will this topic still be rolling along with the same arguments and rebuttals 6 months from now because FCPX is still essentially the same software? How about 12 months from now? How long will it take?"

Your point being? Mine was simply a response to somebody with confidence as to what Apple will do in the future that none of us has a clue what Apple will do in the future.

But in answer to your question they can take as long as they want because I no longer consider Apple a "pro apps" provider and will take my business elsewhere.

And BTW nobody is forcing you to read this thread.



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