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The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example

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Franz Bieberkopf
The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:37:00 am

INTRODUCTION

I had thought about posting this as a follow up (from my own perspective) to the David Lawrence post here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/16979

But it was Gerald Baria who pushed me over the edge here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/17704

[Gerald Baria] "I see a lot of people here having the habit of dumping everything in the timeline and making choices from there, creating the story "as they move along", and I think thats a very messy disorganized way to work."

Okay, so first some background on the kind of work I do.

I primarily do long-form, mostly non-scripted projects with a few shorter pieces thrown into the mix - projects which are a mix of commercial and government financing, for broadcast, theatrical, and other venues. I work primarily in the offline/online model (or cutting room / lab model, if you prefer) and picture general gets finished on niche systems (and sometimes on Avid - never FCP) while sound always gets finished in Pro Tools and mixed in a Pro Tools theatre.

I wanted to make this an addendum to the David Lawrence piece above because I thought I had two additional aspects to describe in my own workflow not covered in David's post: the first being "the sequence as organizational tool" and the second (related to David's post) being "vertical organization of tracks".

I'll start by responding to Gerald's inflammatory post first.

You seem to prize organization as virtue above others for editors (so "messy" and "disorganized" are bad) and it is true that it is a critical, fundamental skill. But I would say that sensitivity (to material, to experience, to ideas) is at least important, to say nothing of creativity. Feeling my way through "as I move along" is important because one can miss strengths in material with a conceptual way of working (especially in unscripted work, but with scripted material too).

(On the other hand, conceptual work has its own strengths.)

Farouki has an interesting film in which he shows photos that the Allies took in flights over occupied Europe during WWII. They had detailed photos of concentration camps - except that Allied intelligence didn't notice or care because they weren't looking for them (this was before they had intelligence about their existence). The lesson is that your intention can blind you to important realities that you aren't looking for.

I think it is wonderful that apple has suddenly become religious (except when it isn't) about metadata. (Here's a thought - timecode is metadata: why are you hiding it from me?) However, I also look on the sudden craze for metadata-as-organizing tool with a bit of suspicion: I can't help but suspect that it is all an elaborate plan to aid people so they don't have to actually watch and listen to material (or at least, not more than once) as they work on it.

All this to say that I'll second Mark Morache with his unease with the "primary storyline". The first steps of editing should not dictate your end. The story of a film (for those that rely on stories) is a result of the editing process, not the starting point. This is true whether the film is scripted or not - "story" is an impression left on the audience and will differ from audience member to audience member. Frankly I'm baffled that I would have to decide the spine at the beginning. Deciding the spine is the process of editing.

I'll state again that I have not tried FCPX, but I do have the thought that in order to try it I'd have to use a slug as my "primary storyline".

All that said - here's my contribution: two key organization techniques that seem to be defeated by X:


THE SEQUENCE AS ORGANIZATIONAL TOOL


So here's my fundamental: I don't work with clips.

Of course, my media comes in as clips and those clips end up in a bin. But i don't much organize them beyond that - as clips. They immediately get put into sequences - all of them, in their entirety. These sequences are broken down according to scene, situation, or location as best suits the material, and are labelled as such, along with "RAW". So when I screen raw material, I'm watching sequences, not clips, and mostly chronological (or sometimes in script order).

Raw sequences are duplicated and selected and further duplicated and edited. This is more or less the process David Lawrence outlined (though he prefers to work in one timeline for reasons he elaborated).

So point one is that I don't really use the viewer / source monitor. I use it for fx and audio work (from the timeline) and matchback sometimes. I point this because I am not much distressed at losing a source monitor if those functions are preserved.

But more, I wanted to bring this up because it hasn't been discussed on these boards - that actually sequences are a way of organizing material.

The current project I'm primarily working on (almost finished assembling) has probably a hundred sequences in it. Another which is almost locked has maybe 6 or 8 times that number (organized in 10 smaller projects). These sequences are organized into bins which separate Raw material from Selected and Marked material from Assemblies from Versions of Cuts and Exports and Sub-Selections etc.

Again I'm a bit baffled at how FCPX would handle my ways.


VERTICAL ORGANIZATION OF TRACKS


Organization of tracks changes during the edit and after picture lock.

During the edit, the track organization tells me primarily about sync, and a little bit about function; but primarily I use it as a tool to indicate picture and sound relationships.

I always keep linking off, so I can move any audio or picture at any time.

Tracks are used in Video + Stereo Pairs for the first 3 layers, then additional material, best described by illustration:



The advantage for me is that I understand how material functions and some simple relationships at a glance. It also allows for very fluid movement of material. Occasionally it requires some complex operations during editing. (The magnetic timeline seems to "solve" the problem of complex operations without addressing organization questions - it wants to organize for me, in one way and only one way).

This is a fairly simple timeline. FX and Subtitles would add their own dedicated tracks as would more complex audio. (I can't imagine what FCPX timeline with subtitles would be like to work with - I imagine apple cute screen animation hell - has anyone had experience?) I think this approach to tracks is likely quite common.

After lock, I have the picture tracks reorganized - redundant clips are stripped and the whole thing collapsed to minimum tracks. Then material is separated onto tracks that are helpful to lab - usually by source type or categorized by processes needed to be performed - so for example anything that needed frame rate conversion would be one track. Audio tracks are usually sufficiently organized as is for OMF.

What I think is important to point out from the illustration is that I have no "primary" track - there is nothing against which I am judging placement on a consistent basis. Sometimes it is dialog. Sometimes it is action. Sometimes it is music. Sometimes is voice-over. These things change there pace, placement, and rhythm constantly as the meaning, drive, focus, and structural purpose of a scene changes. The only real constant is time (and so I am back to my idea of a slug as "primary storyline").

BUT ...

But, and this is a point which is fundamentally more important than anything I have said so far, the real flexibility of the "open timeline" (and accompanying project structure) is most apparent when you consider that it allows my approach to working as well as the bin and source monitor approach, as well as, no doubt, many other approaches; to wit it doesn't dictate one method of working, and easily accommodates many ways.

That's a powerful tool.

When you consider that those many ways of working can further be easily translated into other software and maintain their organization, you grasp how powerful it really it.

I will again make that point that apple is the one making claims of revolutionizing - others have responded on these boards that "marketing" seems to be form a speech that shouldn't be thought about critically. I think in fact that one of the best use of these forums has been to examine the claims about new software and hardware, as well as explore the problems and possibilities they pose.

So far, apple has failed to make a convincing case for FCPX.

And as a final note to Gerald Baria - I don't know if you've ever had chance to see picasso or pollock at work; no doubt you would have found them to be messy and disorganized. You may, however, find other ways of evaluating their methods and results.


Franz.


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Tom Wolsky
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:44:27 am

"I don't know if you've ever had chance to see picasso or pollock at work"

Have you had a chance to see them at work?

Linked switched off. Vertical organization. Track jumbles. There is nothing to say your way is inherently better or worse, simply the track structure lends itself to working in this manner. You like to work this way because you can. Other editors hate the chaos.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2011 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:50:11 am

Tom

I'm not sure of your "editing intention" with this comment - I find it vaguely dismissive but not much more.

You're description of my work as "jumble" and "chaos" seems to willfully ignore the kind of organization that I've spent some effort outlining.

I have no doubt in the capacity of my working method to make eyes roll, but your dismissal of my working method ignores the most important point that I made (in summary) so I'll state it here again for you - it isn't so much about how I work specifically, but how flexible the tool is in allowing different approaches to workflow.

[Tom Wolsky] "Have you had a chance to see them at work?"

Alas, only on film.


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Tom Wolsky
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:43:49 am

"Alas, only on film."

And remarkably methodical they were.

Please don't mistake brevity for dismissiveness. I'm editing myself.

I understand you appreciate its flexibility, and clearly FCP no longer offers that kind of flexibility. It is a specific tool with a very specific method of use, with some limited adaptability.

I marvel at Jeremy's ability and perseverance in making it fit as best as he can other work methodologies. What I am finding is that people who are new to editing video adapt to it effortlessly, and appreciate it's logic and behavior. Those who approach it with a work methodology conceived in other applications have the most difficulty using it because they spend their time trying to adapt it to their way of working.

We work the way we work because of the tools we use. The tool you have been using allowed you to work the way you do, and you are comfortable with it. I appreciate that, if not the way you work. I would not, except in a great hurry, work the way either you or Mr. Lawrence work. My timeline's rarely, except for a special effect, exceed three tracks. I work between multiple sequences rather than in one. The current version of FCP lends itself to that.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2011 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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David Lawrence
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:34:57 pm

[Tom Wolsky] "I understand you appreciate its flexibility, and clearly FCP no longer offers that kind of flexibility. It is a specific tool with a very specific method of use, with some limited adaptability."

[Tom Wolsky] "What I am finding is that people who are new to editing video adapt to it effortlessly, and appreciate it's logic and behavior. Those who approach it with a work methodology conceived in other applications have the most difficulty using it because they spend their time trying to adapt it to their way of working. "

[Tom Wolsky] "My timeline's rarely, except for a special effect, exceed three tracks. I work between multiple sequences rather than in one. The current version of FCP lends itself to that."

Tom - thanks for sharing more about your process and thinking. I'm in basic agreement with you.

One thing I wonder about is if the short-term benefits of FCPX's ease of use for new editors outweigh the fact that they're learning a system with a completely different approach and language than the rest of the industry. This thread has had some interesting discussion on this topic.

I also wonder if a tool that promotes a specific style of working ultimately benefits an individual's creative process as much as a tool that is completely open. The analogy I've used in the past is the smart instruments in GarageBand. They make it easy for a beginner to make great sounding work quickly. On the other hand, a regular instrument may take years of practice, but ultimately allows for individual style and many more possibilities. Curious about your thoughts.

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Steve Connor
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:38:39 pm

[David Lawrence] "I also wonder if a tool that promotes a specific style of working ultimately benefits an individual's creative process as much as a tool that is completely open"

For me workflow is just mechanics, the creative process comes from me, whoever I may be collaborating with and the edit decisions we make.

As long as I can cut, paste and move clips around with precision then any NLE is just a tool.

The only difference for me is speed of implementation.

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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David Lawrence
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:52:44 pm

[Steve Connor] "As long as I can cut, paste and move clips around with precision then any NLE is just a tool.

The only difference for me is speed of implementation."



[Steve Connor] "For me workflow is just mechanics, the creative process comes from me, whoever I may be collaborating with and the edit decisions we make. "

I guess I just don't see it that way. I find there's no separation between the two. For me, mechanics, process and creative style are all intrinsically connected.

It would be like saying to an expert guitarist that the mechanics of playing guitar don't matter. As long as the notes are there, it's all the same. Never mind the fact that this new guitar we're giving you doesn't use strings, the notes are in different places and certain chord combinations are no longer allowed.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
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facebook.com/dlawrence
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Steve Connor
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 8:10:08 pm

[David Lawrence] "It would be like saying to an expert guitarist that the mechanics of playing guitar don't matter. As long as the notes are there, it's all the same. Never mind the fact that this new guitar we're giving you doesn't use strings, the notes are in different places and certain chord combinations are no longer allowed."

I don't agree with that analogy at all, the music comparisons don't always fit.

It's about the end result FCPX allows me to make the same edits as any other NLE, it does not limit my edit decisions and therefore the end result, it affects the way I achieve that end result.

All those years ago working on offline tape was hugely limiting but it never affected the programmes I made, it just took longer.

Different NLE's do not make good Editors make better or worse programmes, the creative process in editing has remained the same from Steenbecks to iPads.

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Steve Connor
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 8:32:57 pm

[Steve Connor] "[David Lawrence] "It would be like saying to an expert guitarist that the mechanics of playing guitar don't matter. As long as the notes are there, it's all the same. Never mind the fact that this new guitar we're giving you doesn't use strings, the notes are in different places and certain chord combinations are no longer allowed."

I don't agree with that analogy at all, the music comparisons don't always fit.

It's about the end result FCPX allows me to make the same edits as any other NLE, it does not limit my edit decisions and therefore the end result, it affects the way I achieve that end result.

All those years ago working on offline tape was hugely limiting but it never affected the programmes I made, it just took longer.

Different NLE's do not make good Editors make better or worse programmes, the creative process in editing has remained the same from Steenbecks to iPads.

What we do is not analogous to a musicians performance, we are not performing we are composing, and in music it doesn't matter whether a good composer uses a computer or a piece of paper and a crayon, the music will still be the same.


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David Lawrence
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:12:22 pm

[Steve Connor] "Different NLE's do not make good Editors make better or worse programmes, the creative process in editing has remained the same from Steenbecks to iPads."

On this I agree completely. But that's not what I'm arguing. For me the musical analogy is perfect. FCP7 is my instrument. I play it like an axe. But whether or not you agree with the musical analogy, my point is about the difference between open vs. rules-based tools systems like the magnetic timeline. Franz said it well:

[Franz Bieberkopf] "But, and this is a point which is fundamentally more important than anything I have said so far, the real flexibility of the "open timeline" (and accompanying project structure) is most apparent when you consider that it allows my approach to working as well as the bin and source monitor approach, as well as, no doubt, many other approaches; to wit it doesn't dictate one method of working, and easily accommodates many ways."

The open timeline model has proven its value in everything from the simplest home movies to Oscar winning feature films to broadcast to interactive to everything in between for over 20 years. It allows for many different workflows and accommodates many different needs. The magnetic timeline has yet to prove itself better at anything but the most elementary assembly style editing.

If you find it faster and more efficient for the work you do, by all means enjoy. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind.

What I object to is Apple and others saying that this new ripple-only trackless paradigm is better. That it's the future of NLEs. A little criticality on that point would be a good thing for everyone. Talk is easy, but where's the proof? Let's see screenshots of a project in FCPX that is as complex as the examples from Franz and Shawn Federline, from someone that actually needs to produce at that level. Not just simple mockups, real actual workflows that go all the way to finished product. I'd like to see proof that FCPX is faster for complex, multidimensional jobs.

The other question I keep wanting to go back to is industry standards and other related digital media workflows. Let's assume Apple's ripple-only trackless paradigm really is better. When do you see it becoming standard across all NLEs? When do you see it becoming widely adopted by DAW vendors? Will Apple's next version of LogicX be ripple-only and trackless?

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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facebook.com/dlawrence
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David Lawrence
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:47:08 am

Outstanding post, Franz. Thank you.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Deciding the spine is the process of editing."

Perfectly said.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
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Tom Wolsky
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:00:09 am

The spine: What an exactly description for what Apple calls the primary storyline.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2011 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Steve Connor
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:42:44 am

Based on that workflow I can say FCPX is certainly not for you!

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Henry Vaughan
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:02:24 am

I wonder how long it will take before apple bring out a new final cut with people moving to different systems

Stray Fox video production newcastle
production company
commercials,
web video,
internet video
tv commercials
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Daniel Frome
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:53:12 pm

+1.

I would also like to add my current TV show to the (probably huge) list of productions using sequences as your base source of content. When dealing with enormous amounts of footage is just makes sense to create a series of sequences and work from those instead of source clips.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 1:02:31 pm

"Deciding the spine is the process of editing."

I think I'm going to hang that on my wall. Perfect. Can also substitute for the word "editing": acting, painting, musical composition, writing ...

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 3:41:37 pm

Franz, thanks for a great post.

There is no question that Apple is asking a lot of it's FCP users.

I of course have a question back to you. I know you haven't used FCPX yet, so a lot of your thoughts are about concepts, so conceptually, how do you see FCPX prevent you from being able to use a a sequence to organize your thoughts?

Did you read my response to David L here?:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/17096

Since a sequence is a collection of clips, would you be opposed to have a clip in the browser that is that collection of clips? You can then click on that clip and choose to open it in it's own timeline? You could then a keyword collection that is a collection of all your selects clips that are organized by "sequence". Just talking conceptually here.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "VERTICAL ORGANIZATION OF TRACKS

Organization of tracks changes during the edit and after picture lock.

During the edit, the track organization tells me primarily about sync, and a little bit about function; but primarily I use it as a tool to indicate picture and sound relationships.

I always keep linking off, so I can move any audio or picture at any time."


Have you seen the "break apart clip items" feature in FCPX?

Jeremy


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Brett Sherman
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:29:39 pm

Add me to the list of people that ditched FCP 7's bin and use sequences to select clips. However, it is not a one-key operation. I match frame it, switch sequences, mark in and out in source and sequence then drop it in the final sequence. The reason I came up with this work flow is primarily because the bin system and source viewer in FCP 7 sucks, quite frankly. They are outdated and useless.

The one thing I'm interested in with FCP X is the new bin system. Events make a whole lot of sense to me. My thinking is I won't need the sequences to store footage as I can do a better job sorting through the material with events and metadata.

Magnetic timeline? I'm not sold completely on it. I think it could be more efficient than the old open canvas, but likely it's simply a 50/50 tradeoff. Which if it doesn't make me more efficient, I'm not sure it's worth the time it takes to learn it.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:43:43 pm

[Brett Sherman] "The one thing I'm interested in with FCP X is the new bin system. Events make a whole lot of sense to me. My thinking is I won't need the sequences to store footage as I can do a better job sorting through the material with events and metadata."

That's my thinking, but there's a way to use sequence like behavior without creating a traditional sequence in the project library.

I have been using favorites and markers. Unfortunately and for some reason, the text in favorites isn't searchable in the browser but it is for markers, so I use the favorite to mark a range, then markers to describe what's in the range. You can then also turn all these clips into a compound clip and name it something useful like Jeremy_Selects_Reel (I sort the bin by favorites (control-f) select them and then choose to make compound clip (option-g)). This compound is then one skimmable clip in the browser, or you can choose to "Open in Timeline" which allows all kinds of timeline operations including further editing/trimming (even filters, like a tc reader) which is then stored in the browser. You can then skim and add parts of the compound clip to the timeline. If you ever need to not have that clip be in a compound, you simply "Break Apart Clip Items" and it turns the compound in to the original clip. It's quite cool, very fast and flexible once you wrap your head around it.

That marker text then transfers to the index once you put a clip in the timeline, then you can look at the index by marker under the "Tags" section and you can even text search there (or just lick on a marker to go to that point). It's pretty awesome and in my opinion, way more flexible than FCP Legacy will ever be, but I'm a weirdo so I weird it up sometimes.

Jeremy


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:51:29 pm

Jeremy -

Your gonna have to post some video tutorials on your workflow. They sound fascinating but I have no idea what your talking about.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:58:57 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Your gonna have to post some video tutorials on your workflow. They sound fascinating but I have no idea what your talking about."

I hear that. In the mean time:

Very basically, you can create selects in the browser from long clips, put them in a nest, open that nest in it's own timeline and edit it further if you need to (add filters, gaps, new clips, add markers, whatever). That nest is stored in the browser as a clip, I haven't touched a main timeline yet (or Project as they are known in X). You can then skim (review) that clip and edit in to your Project. Since those clips will now be part of the nest from the browser, you can free them (or unnest them) by hitting a keystroke called "Break Apart Clip Items" which will then remove the nest and have it's original clip structure (including tc).

It's kinda sweet.

Jeremy


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:02:47 pm

Can you duplicate the compound clip and then alter the duplication, similar to the way I duplicate sequences in FCPc, with each dupe being a further refinement of the previous version?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:04:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Can you duplicate the compound clip and then alter the duplication, similar"

Absolutely. Command-D.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:07:11 pm

Well that could work. If every compound clip is it's own timeline, then why can't you just make multiple timelines and skip the compounding stage?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:23:31 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Well that could work. If every compound clip is it's own timeline, then why can't you just make multiple timelines and skip the compounding stage?"

You absolutely could. I think there's been some talk on here on how timelines used as organization are good, it's how I use FCP7 as well, basically making sects reels as FCP7s browser is not real great. Because of the way FCPX handles sequences (form here on Projects), it might not be convenient to use multiple Projects. You can have multiple projects open, but you then have to copy from one project, browse (like a web browser with forward/back arrows) to the next Project and paste. The way I outlined allows you to use the compound as a sequence, but you can edit right from the browser in to your main project, and even match frame right back to the Browser. It's just works a little faster and keeps everything in context.

Also, when duping Projects, you have to either dupe all the render files or none. This method cuts down on some of that inefficiency.

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 6:33:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can have multiple projects open, but you then have to copy from one project, browse (like a web browser with forward/back arrows) to the next Project and paste."

I don't know about you but I can't help thinking it would be preferable to have tabbed Projects rather than having to rely on the iMovie style Project window which really feels like it gets in the way of the flow of the edit.

Perhaps then there would be less need for having to rely on compound clips which while they are a good workaround don't strike me as being ideal for this "edit-from-selects" workflow which seems to be very common. In fact, plus one from me on this as well.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:12:20 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I don't know about you but I can't help thinking it would be preferable to have tabbed Projects rather than having to rely on the iMovie style Project window which really feels like it gets in the way of the flow of the edit. "

Yeah, I agree. But Projects hold a lot of info, like Roles (projects store Role info). So switching back and forth between projects takes some loading time, which is maybe what the web browser style is hiding? It's really just a loading interface?


[Simon Ubsdell] "Perhaps then there would be less need for having to rely on compound clips which while they are a good workaround don't strike me as being ideal for this "edit-from-selects" workflow which seems to be very common. In fact, plus one from me on this as well."

Yeah, maybe, I dunno. But it's not here today, and having all selects strung out in the browser is quite easy to view your selects. You could even make a smart Collection that adds all your selection Compounds automagically if you name all of your selects compounds with a unique text order that applies only to these kinds of compounds, something like CPSelects_JeremyInterview, then CPSelets_SimonInterview and have the smart collection add anything with "CPSelects_" or whatever. That way, all of your selects will be in one tidy little package in the browser. You can always "open in timeline" if you want more timeline granular control. I dunno, just some ideas. Here's a pic:



CompoundForOrganization


Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:02:54 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You could even make a smart Collection that adds all your selection Compounds automagically if you name all of your selects compounds with a unique text order that applies only to these kinds of compounds, something like CPSelects_JeremyInterview, then CPSelets_SimonInterview and have the smart collection add anything with "CPSelects_" or whatever. That way, all of your selects will be in one tidy little package in the browser. You can always "open in timeline" if you want more timeline granular control."

Sounds like a good plan - I'll definitely give that a go. Thanks for all the great workflow ideas you are throwing up by the way - really useful and insightful.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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David Lawrence
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:07:22 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Thanks for all the great workflow ideas you are throwing up by the way - really useful and insightful."

Agreed. Always interesting stuff Jeremy, even if I don't always agree ;) Thank you!

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:40:52 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Sounds like a good plan - I'll definitely give that a go. Thanks for all the great workflow ideas you are throwing up by the way - really useful and insightful."

No worries. As I have said all along, Apple is asking a lot of us, but that doesn't mean that the insight put in to FCPX is missing. It's just not obvious as it's so different, and sometimes, it's just not there.

[David Lawrence] "Agreed. Always interesting stuff Jeremy, even if I don't always agree ;) Thank you!"

And thank you! Couldn't do it without you! :) These discussions will help everyone understand what they need to do, regardless if we agree or disagree. I applaud your willingness to dive in even though you disagree with some of X's ways.

By the way, here's the pic of the whole interface after opening one of those compounds in timeline, with Timeline Index and all. Sorry for the goofy marker names, this was done really fast and I didn't want to show my real project for privacy issues, although, I'm sure no one would care. These days, you can't be too careful. I think you get the idea, though.



Open Compound in Timeline


Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:58:58 pm

Higher resolution here:

OpenInTimeline_HiRes

Jeremy


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Rafael Amador
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:03:59 am

Thanks for this great post Frank.

[Herb Sevush] ""Deciding the spine is the process of editing.""
Absolutely; the rest is finishing.
In fact when you work with an script the editing is half done.

For me editing is not different than writing.
If you write reports for other people (often about stuff that you don't understand or you don't care about), you need a method, If you are writing a story you need absolute freedom.
I shoot my stuff and when I go to edit I need little organization.
What I need is to start to lie in a sequence the ideas are boiling in my head.
I start to finish things only when all the storyline is ensembled or when I get stuck and I need a break.

[Tom Wolsky] "Other editors hate the chaos."
What people may perceive as chaos, may be the more refined form of organization: Your own one.
You don't need others to like it or understand it.
Leaving your car keys always in the same place or leaving them wherever they fall is ok as long you know where they are.
But if you have to share the car, you better leave them on the same place :-)
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:54:24 am

Jeremy,

Thanks. I did read your post. So far as I understand it (which I think I do) it seems useful. A couple of responses (some of which already brought up by Herb Sevush):

Keywording
While it's true that I do spend time labelling my sequences as I break them down, the process of keywording seems like an extra step to me. On the other hand, I still log with pen and paper. I've tried on different occasions to adopt a form of electronic logging - nothing has stuck yet. I mentioned a suspicion of keywording in terms of its utility as a logging tool; nonetheless it seems useful.

Compound Clip - An Extra Category
As far as I can tell, the Compound Clip seems to be something between a sequence and a clip … is this third category useful? I thought FCPX was supposed to simplify, and this strikes me as an additional complexity. But it raises the question - it isn't a sequence, so I want to know what the limitations are (ie the qualities that make it a compound clip and not a sequence). Is this just a workaround when they realized that sequences in the browser might be useful?

[Jeremy Garchow] "… how do you see FCPX prevent you from being able to use a a sequence to organize your thoughts?"

An important question. Perhaps it doesn't prevent me. But I'm interesting in software that does more than simply "not prevent me" from working in a preferred way - it should aid and expand the possibilities of my workflow.

I'm quite confident I could find a way to edit on a moviola or in imovie or premiere elements and make the tool work in some way. There just isn't a compelling reason for me to try. That's where FCPX is.

The meta data implementation seems interesting. And completely compatible with tracks; I think (hope) we'll see similar features expanded in Premiere and Avid. Roles also seem interesting and useful. And completely compatible with tracks. The idea of sticky clips or connections or grouping (or, indeed, "nested sequences") has been used in DAWs as I have previously pointed out and I'd love some sort of implementation of that in my software of choice.

Franz.


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Andy Neil
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 6:35:12 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "But I'm interesting in software that does more than simply "not prevent me" from working in a preferred way - it should aid and expand the possibilities of my workflow."

The problem is that the workflow you explained above was built upon the features AND restrictions of the NLE you worked on. You didn't come up with this manner of working and then go looking for an NLE that allowed you to do it.

Similarly, workflows will emerge for FCPX that take advantage of its features AND restrictions. The question is, are you willing to spend the time to discover what those workflows are?

Your workflow, in my opinion, is a workaround. You don't care for the browser and bin structure of FCP7, or you don't want to click 20-30 clips searching for a shot; you'd rather just have everything available in a sequence. That's fine.

But if you consider WHY you work the way you do, and then apply that to FCPX instead of just trying to make it do the exact same workaround you use in FCP7, you might have better results with X.

Some of your workflow, as suggested by others could be accomplished with compound clips which would have a great deal more flexibility than sequences in FCP7. You mention that you dump all your raw into sequences. You could do the same in X, by simply selecting all your clips and hitting OPT+G to create a compound clip from all that media.

Now you have one clip that you can mark INs and OUTs just like any other clip, or open in timeline mode for blading, copying and pasting if that's your thing. And since compounds can live in an event, you can have them all within easy reach, or choose to to organize them further with collections (read: bins).

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Steve Connor
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 7:29:17 pm

[Andy Neil] "The problem is that the workflow you explained above was built upon the features AND restrictions of the NLE you worked on. You didn't come up with this manner of working and then go looking for an NLE that allowed you to do it.

Similarly, workflows will emerge for FCPX that take advantage of its features AND restrictions. The question is, are you willing to spend the time to discover what those workflows are?"


Brilliantly put, every time I have changed NLE I have changed my workflow, FCPX is no different

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Nora Williams
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 15, 2011 at 2:37:26 am

To Franz Bieberkopf:

Let's turn your post series into an article for the Creative COW Library. This is some very good stuff!

Would you be so kind as to contact me via my link at http://www.creativecow.net/contact_us.php, or just click the "Contact Us" link at the top right of your COW page.

I hope to hear from you!
Nora Williams
Creative COW


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Gerald Baria
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:15:00 am

Ok, as I understand your workflow, you use seqences to chose your useful clips and then pick those up to drop into your final output sequence.

Question.

You do this becasue you just like doing it, or is it because bins suck, and this is the only efficient option ( i.e. WORK-AROUND ) you and other similar editors do to "adapt" to FCP7's UI?

And that's exactly my point. Apple might have sent /interviewed high level editors and how they worked and observed this frequent but "unintended" use of sequences to pick good shots.

So they though of a genius solution. 1. Skimmer 2. Keyword collections.

Because as I see it, you can do your workflow in FCPX faster and more efficient by doing the following.

1. Import your footage and tick organise in to keyword options, this will give you a rough initial organization at least for the focal length, shaky, shots that you might have.

2. Keyword collect all your "scenes" into how you might wanna view them. This puts all related media into one word, ("like scene 1,scene 2, scene 3, like how it is in the clapper.or wal,talk,run, etc") you can click that keyword and boom, everything else disappears but the clips that you organized for that keyword.

3. Then you further narrow down the shots that you actually want by marking them as "favorites' (pressing in out points the pressing f). The you click above to just show favorites. Now if you put the skimmer at the beginning of that organizer window, press space, you can play our all your favorites as if its on the timeline. Voila, you've just created a rough cut in a few minutes. If you like them all, press ctrl+a then E. They all drop in the timeline.

4.Then put your transitions, cut adjustments, edit audio, balance out exposure, then when you think that particular sequence is almost ok, select all convert it into a compound clip, then you can move on to your next scene.

5.Repeat from Step 2.

Optional. You can do a lot of step 2 first before you start working on your timeline, after you have selected all your usable clips in step 2.

The idea of discovery, and making things up as you go along, is still there, your just doing it in the right place. Apple made one for you. They saw how pathetic you look using the timeline to do stuff you're not supposed to do in there, so they made a special section on FCPX to do that part of the workflow for you. Faster. More efficient. Organized. And it has its own real estate on the upper left hand side of you mac. Is'nt that great?

I cant see how not so many people can see this. Its like apple saw you homeless, so the gave you a house.

Quobetah
New=Better


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Rafael Amador
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 4:41:24 pm

[Gerald Baria] "You do this becasue you just like doing it, or is it because bins suck, and this is the only efficient option ( i.e. WORK-AROUND ) you and other similar editors do to "adapt" to FCP7's UI?"
That's not any workaround. Is a solid method, although it needs a bit of brain.
Is not for everybody.

[Gerald Baria] "They saw how pathetic you look using the timeline to do stuff you're not supposed to do in there, "
Pathetic (and pretentious) is to consider that there is only one correct way to do things, or to consider that Apple know more about video editing than the thousands of professional that are migrating.
Books method are OK for beginners, so don't get lost.

[Gerald Baria] "And that's exactly my point. Apple might have sent /interviewed high level editors and how they worked and observed this frequent but "unintended" use of sequences to pick good shots."
I don't know how you edit, but imagination you don't lack.
Have you got interviewed by any chance?
If Apple would have interviewed some high level editors, they probably wouldn't have released FCPX.

[Gerald Baria] "And that's exactly my point. Apple might have sent /interviewed high level editors and how they worked and observed this frequent but "unintended" use of sequences to pick good shots."
"Unintended" use of sequences?
Unintended for who? for Apple?
Apple haven't invented the "sequence".
in fact Apple haven't invented NOTHING in video editing.

[Gerald Baria] "I cant see how not so many people can see this. Its like apple saw you homeless, so the gave you a house."
Yes they are The Good Samaritan and we are just a bunch of unthankful, insensible idiots.
Are you feeding your a family editing with FCPX?
I've been doing that for 7 years with FCP. I'f I would try that with FCPX I would be starving.
Apple is not giving us any new house, they are just kicking us from the old one.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 14, 2011 at 5:18:43 pm

[Rafael Amador] "That's not any workaround. Is a solid method, although it needs a bit of brain.
Is not for everybody."


I think Andy means it's a workaround for FCP Legacy's shotty clip browser. It's a method of working, not necessarily a work around. I know it takes some thinking, but I think FCPX's browser is in fact or can be, a timeline based method of working. You can add efficiencies and more data that is searchable by text, or by sound and sight very easily, very fast, and very well done. Yes, it looks different from FCP7's way, but the overall idea is the same. Have a sequence, make selects. FCPX allows you to do this from the browser, and transfer that to your working sequence (Project), that's all. Yes, you don't have a tab, but you can do it.

[Rafael Amador] "If Apple would have interviewed some high level editors, they probably wouldn't have released FCPX."

Why? I'm not a high level editor I guess (although I bang on our systems pretty hard) and I think FCPXs approach is a good one. I'm not foolin'. Some day, it might even be great. If I had been interviewed, I would have said "carry on, let's see where this goes, but you should probably release it with a bit more interchange to start it off". They wouldn't have cared what I said.

[Rafael Amador] "in fact Apple haven't invented NOTHING in video editing."

Mmm ProRes. An XML method that was commonly adopted. A timeline method that seems to be lamented over. The idea of lightweight native codec editing over firewire and laptop, in Ok (dv), better(dv50), and pretty good qualities (DVCPro HD). For a while there, everyone was playing catch-up. So, they didn't really "invent" these things, but they sure did leverage it. i understand being mad about the present offerings and the new direction, but I don't think you can deny what an effect Final Cut Studio had on an entire industry.


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Rafael Amador
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 15, 2011 at 5:06:53 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Rafael Amador] "That's not any workaround. Is a solid method, although it needs a bit of brain.
Is not for everybody."

I think Andy means it's a workaround for FCP Legacy's shotty clip browser. It's a method of working, not necessarily a work around. I know it takes some thinking, but I think FCPX's browser is in fact or can be, a timeline based method of working. You can add efficiencies and more data that is searchable by text, or by sound and sight very easily, very fast, and very well done. Yes, it looks different from FCP7's way, but the overall idea is the same. Have a sequence, make selects. FCPX allows you to do this from the browser, and transfer that to your working sequence (Project), that's all. Yes, you don't have a tab, but you can do it."

Jeremy, Statements like this:
[Andy Neil] "[Franz Bieberkopf] "The problem is that the workflow you explained above was built upon the features AND restrictions of the NLE you worked on. You didn't come up with this manner of working and then go looking for an NLE that allowed you to do it."

..makes sense when you have started editing on a computer, but not much when you started editing video before the ANALOG NLEs started to spread out.

What people don't understand here is that some methods and workflows for many of us comes from when Bill Gates and Steve Job were in school.

My method of using Sequences is based in what I've we've been doing for years with Betacam Tapes.
One of first (boring) jobs was prepare the ads to be aired every 15 minutes or so.
We had all the ads COMPOUNDED in 90 minutes Betacam tapes. Would have been impossible to work with the original stuff (hundreds of 5 minutes 1"C or Betacam tapes containing just 1 add).

Sequences, Compounds clips, all are the same story with different under-laying technologies.
Compounds clips are basically QT REFERENCES FILES created inside the application.
Nothing new.

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Rafael Amador] "If Apple would have interviewed some high level editors, they probably wouldn't have released FCPX."

Why? I'm not a high level editor I guess (although I bang on our systems pretty hard) and I think FCPXs approach is a good one. I'm not foolin'. Some day, it might even be great. If I had been interviewed, I would have said "carry on, let's see where this goes, but you should probably release it with a bit more interchange to start it off". They wouldn't have cared what I said.
"

Jeremy, if you develop a NLE for everybody, you can't focus on high levels workflows.
I know that Media Managing has always been a concern for you, but i doubt very much that you would have been very happy with an application that simply won't allows you to take certain jobs, and I don't mean that you can make the same product. I'm talking that you are tied to a computer and an storage system.

- I'm not a colorist (there are not here), but I was getting some jobs from others FCP users, just because I have the only broadcast monitor in the country.
- I've been shooting and editing for people from abroad, and they left the country with a HD with the media and an FCP project almost done; just to set proper VO and finish in their countries.
- I've posted few times FCP project here in the COW to help people with their issues (easier than posting few screen captures).
Nothing of that is possible now with FCPX.

When you went to Kenya (http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/avcintra-and-the-panasonic-ajhpx2000), I guess you brought a lap-top with FCP. If you'd go again would be pointless to bring one with FCPX.
Why do I want more efficiency if I've o stay at home?

My critics has never focussed in technical shortcomings (ie monitoring; all that they'll be solved), but in imposing rules that makes some workflows/jobs impossible.
Mobility is a fundamental for many of us.


[Jeremy Garchow] "[Rafael Amador] "in fact Apple haven't invented NOTHING in video editing."
Mmm ProRes. An XML method that was commonly adopted. A timeline method that seems to be lamented over. The idea of lightweight native codec editing over firewire and laptop, in Ok (dv), better(dv50), and pretty good qualities (DVCPro HD). For a while there, everyone was playing catch-up. So, they didn't really "invent" these things, but they sure did leverage it. i understand being mad about the present offerings and the new direction, but I don't think you can deny what an effect Final Cut Studio had on an entire industry."

I've been working with DVCpro25, 8 years before FC release (Barcelona'92 Olympics was the big public presentation of the format).
nothing to do with apple.

At the time Apple was introducing QT that , yes years later, has been one of the pillars of the Digital revolution. That has been really the big Apple contribution to video (huge contribution), FireWire, yes has been another great contribution shared with SONY (FW = iLink), but Prores is just the logical evolution of DV's (DCT).
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 15, 2011 at 7:04:37 am

[Rafael Amador] "My method of using Sequences is based in what I've we've been doing for years with Betacam Tapes.
One of first (boring) jobs was prepare the ads to be aired every 15 minutes or so.
We had all the ads COMPOUNDED in 90 minutes Betacam tapes. Would have been impossible to work with the original stuff (hundreds of 5 minutes 1"C or Betacam tapes containing just 1 add).

Sequences, Compounds clips, all are the same story with different under-laying technologies.
Compounds clips are basically QT REFERENCES FILES created inside the application."


So FCPX works for you in this regard then?

Compounds are not reference movies. Far different.

[Rafael Amador] "but i doubt very much that you would have been very happy with an application that simply won't allows you to take certain jobs, and I don't mean that you can make the same product. I'm talking that you are tied to a computer and an storage system."

What do you mean?

[Rafael Amador] "Why do I want more efficiency if I've o stay at home?"

Why can't you work on a laptop on FCPX? I don't get it.

[Rafael Amador] "I've been working with DVCpro25, 8 years before FC release (Barcelona'92 Olympics was the big public presentation of the format)."

That was on a laptop over FireWire?


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Rafael Amador
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 16, 2011 at 12:56:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Rafael Amador] "I've been working with DVCpro25, 8 years before FC release (Barcelona'92 Olympics was the big public presentation of the format)."

That was on a laptop over FireWire?"

No on PANASONIC VTRS.
You said "The idea of lightweight native codec editing over firewire and laptop, in Ok (dv), better(dv50), and pretty good qualities (DVCPro HD)." belongs to Apple. Sorry but not.
Apple got it done first (in collaboration with SONY).
All waht you mention has been but FCP implementations.
I agree with you that the great contribution of Apple to video (beside QT) has been: FCP.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Rafael Amador] "but i doubt very much that you would have been very happy with an application that simply won't allows you to take certain jobs, and I don't mean that you can make the same product. I'm talking that you are tied to a computer and an storage system."

What do you mean?"


I mis explained my self.
I mean that you may be able to do the same product in both apps, but there are jobs and workflows I can't undertake in FCPX for what I explain next.

[Rafael Amador] "Why do I want more efficiency if I've o stay at home?"
Why can't you work on a laptop on FCPX? I don't get it."


In fact I'm running FCPX in a laptop, no problem, but how I'll do to move my projects when the iMac will arrive?
I often work in the provinces and I have to do half of the job there (I make a lot of ITWs to minorities people; I need them translated on location). I work with small eSATA/FW800 drives (laCie LittleBigDisk).
Back home I move the media to a CalDigit and keep working.
I bring to the field the old MBP Core2Duo and finish in the "i7" (prefer to keep the new one at home).
If I'm not wrong I can't work this way with FCPX.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Sequences, Compounds clips, all are the same story with different under-laying technologies.
Compounds clips are basically QT REFERENCES FILES created inside the application."

So FCPX works for you in this regard then?

Compounds are not reference movies. Far different."

Then, I don't catch well the idea of the Compound clip.
I see it as kind of "virtual clip" where you can "compact" many clips (and even other elements) together.
Then you can manage that as a single clip.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Oct 17, 2011 at 12:34:07 am

[Rafael Amador] "If I'm not wrong I can't work this way with FCPX."

Of course you can. It's actually pretty easy:

http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.0.1/#verb8e5fcf4

Jeremy


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David Powell
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:56:28 pm

From what I've read the keyword collections are restricted to one computer though no?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:58:41 pm

[David Powell] "From what I've read the keyword collections are restricted to one computer though no?"

Sorry, I'm not quite following what you're saying.

If you move the Event to another computer/hard drive, the keywords go with it. Is that what you mean?

Jeremy


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Tom Wolsky
Re: The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- Another Example
on Jan 9, 2012 at 11:25:42 pm

The keyword collections are part of the event. Wherever that event is see the collections will be visible. If I have a drive or an Xsan and make change to that event, and then take that drive or have someone else access the Xsan the collections will be there.

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2012 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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