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Michael Wohl at the Amsterdam SuperMeet

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Mark Morache
Michael Wohl at the Amsterdam SuperMeet
on Sep 20, 2011 at 9:39:33 am

Just watched Michael Wohl pimp FCX at the Amsterdam SuperMeet.

Did I say "pimp?" Sorry. That sounds so pejorative.

When he talked about the desire for fluidity, how editing should happen without a lot of concern for mechanics, he spoke to me. When FCX is responsive and doing the things it does well, I feel like I'm flying down the freeway. It isn't long at all before I hit the traffic jam, and I'm wondering why I'm going so slowly when everyone on the road should be cruising.

Watch Michael at 10:00. He's talking about how easy it is, but he turns on the animation, then he solos the animation, then he clicks the miniscule triangle to select the radial blur from a pulldown menu, then he seems to misclick to try to visualize the amount of blur so he can animate it, then hits the teeny little box to expand the line to animate the blur setting.

I'm sorry, are all these little clicks that get us into one, two, three nests of control really going to make my life easier? He talks about the process being organic. It doesn't look or feel organic. This seems much worse than the current effects window in FCP7. At least there I can zoom vertically and horizontally and click to jump to the next keyframe. In FCX they've split the functionality so you do some of it in the timeline, and some of it in the properties window.

Being able to visually center the radial blur by dragging the small circle is the way every parameter should work, including modifying the anchor point. Let's hope they make that happen.

At 13:18 I was impressed to see that if the audio overmodulates, it will show you exactly how much. That's good, but about a minute later he talks about the desire to elimate the back and forth work that would happen if there was no indication of the overmodulation amount. He neglects to mention all the back and forth that goes on when you cross fade audio. In FCP7 I can apply audio crossfades to hundreds of clips with a few clicks. Try that in X. In FCP7 I can ride the levels with automation gain. Where did that go?

Placeholders? Interesting, but not a huge selling point. I hope they didn't spend a lot for this feature.

Keywords? Love em! I need to be able to change keywords and have them apply to clips already in the timeline.
Finding, metadata, auditions, timeline index, all great, but they could have put that all into Final Cut Pro 8. You know, the rockin' software we were waiting for that had all the power we were wishing for with all the functionality of the old app. Yeah, that FCP8.

They have been adding tools and features to this product for over a decade. They've added so many beautiful, efficient, elegant, shiny little features to get to FCP7. Obviously they know every tool in FCP7, and they could put as many or as few as they desired into FCX. They had to prioritize, what can we live without? What can we add later? Some of those are deal breakers for us, but we don't know if it's a "later" or a "never."

Then there's the magnetic timeline.

The only reasons I can see for changing the editing paradigm would be either to give us more control, or make the workflow easier, right?

They clearly haven't given us more control. It seems like we have the same amount of control or slightly less.

As far as making things easier, I find it terribly ironic that they went from a paradigm where you basically do one thing, edit your shots and sound down into tracks that you can see. Pretty simple and basic. Now I need to decide whether I want to make a clip a storyline, and whether it's primary, secondary or more, or to connect the clip to another clip, and where do I need the connection to happen, and when might I need to change where that connection is, and I need to press buttons to see the hidden audio to make adjustments, and I need to press several buttons to see the opacity line or any other animated effect in the timeline, and I need to open a clip in timeline view to adjust the audio tracks separately.

This is light-years from "easier."

I understand the paradigm. I'm actually making the new paradigm work, but I truly don't think it's ultimately easier.

Going back to my observation in this post about the possible reasons for the paradigm shift. I left one out: arrogance. Absolute, abject arrogance with extreme prejudice.

I hope that's not it. I hope they can make this the best thing ever.

Meanwhile, FCX is not a bright shiny future yet, just the promise of one.

I'm wondering if I'm waiting for Godot.

Live blessed!

(forgive that some of this is repeated from another post… it was buried in a non-related topic and in the wrong forum.)

FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA

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David Lawrence
Re: Michael Wohl at the Amsterdam SuperMeet
on Sep 20, 2011 at 4:29:32 pm


[Mark Morache] "(forgive that some of this is repeated from another post… it was buried in a non-related topic and in the wrong forum.)"

Glad to see you posting these comments in this forum. I think you've done a great job explaining the key problems with the FCPX UI.

I linked to your posts from the Techniques thread in response to a conversation with @Bill Davis here, please jump in if you have anything to add:

Today's update is interesting and hopefully an indicator of good things to come, but it won't matter unless Apple eventually addresses the fundamental conceptual flaws with the current magnetic timeline UI.

David Lawrence

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