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Interesting notes about fcpx plugins

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Jeremy Garchow
Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:57:33 am

Check out this video sent to me over the Twittersphere.

I don't use Magic Bullet Looks, but there's some general interest comments in here:



Jeremy


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Lemur Hayop
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 2:45:22 am

Certainly the snafu mentioned in the clip adds fuel to FCPX naysayers.

http://www.k9sound.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:18:59 am

Fixing that bug must be the big update at the first of next year that was mentioned earlier...


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Bill Davis
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:38:33 am

Of course.

A bug that affects "round tripping" from FCP-X to a "plug in" that so far nobody owns?

That's clearly what they meant by the Apple announced 2012 update when they elected to use code words like "multi-cam" et al.

I hear Red Giant's pain. They came across a bug that's slowed their finalized development and that's caused them not go get to market as quickly as they might like. Might even screw up the "Holiday Season" gifting period when some App Store customers might have bought the new MB package for a FCP-X editor they knew. That's a shame. But hardly a disaster. The engineers will track things down like they always do. And if their product hits it's target market then it will sell fine.

(I personally hope this doesn't drive the already vastly overused "vignette" look onto a zillion more marginal videos, but, if so, such is life! - it took half a dozen years for typesetting to recover from the original Mac type capabilities - so it's not like we haven't trod this path before! (raising a glass to the San Francisco bit mapped font of my editing youth!)

Work in progress? Absolutely. But in an increasingly large number of situations for an increasing group of users, software that seams to have 99.9% of it's feature set working solidly given the correct hardware and OS configuration - just like most other useful software.

So the rest will get sorted out over time while we get our work done.

That's all that really matters to most "early adopters."

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Mark Dobson
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:25:07 am

I'm really impressed with the brief Looks demo on the video.

I had wondered how Magic Bullet Looks was going to be crammed into the effects inspector but through launching an overlay window they have got round this restriction. To my knowledge no other plugin provider has come up with this solution before and I'm sure many will follow.

I actually think that the FCPX designers took a lot of ideas from Magic Bullet Looks when they developed their colour correction shape masks.

Once the technical bugs are sorted Magic Bullet Looks 2 will really enhance the capabilities of FCPX. Colorista 11 is now included within the software and so we will get our colour wheels back and the ability to really refine colour correction without round tripping.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 12:46:35 pm

[Mark Dobson] "I had wondered how Magic Bullet Looks was going to be crammed into the effects inspector but through launching an overlay window they have got round this restriction. To my knowledge no other plugin provider has come up with this solution before and I'm sure many will follow."

That's what I took from it as well, the custom UI for plugins might be available, yet.

Jeremy


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Rafael Amador
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 12:59:25 pm

[Lemur Hayop] "Certainly the snafu mentioned in the clip adds fuel to FCPX naysayers."
And here are you waiting for them, don't you?

Serious FCPX critics are not based on bugs or operational shortcomings.
If was for bugs or shortcomings on the first versions they would be no NLEs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:07:20 pm

It is my understanding from developers that there is no FCP X plug-in architecture. It only exists via Motion presets. The architecture is FxPlug2 based on Motion5. In addition, custom GUIs are not permitted and Apple has directed developers to simplify effect UI control as much as possible within FCP X. Unless this changes, you won't see a filter like Colorista II available inside FCP X. Fixing the roundtrip issue will help not only RGS, but also, DFX, Tiffen and GenArts. Right now, if it can be done with a slider it can show up in FCP X (assuming FxPlug2 compatibility). More than sliders? Nope.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:19:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Right now, if it can be done with a slider it can show up in FCP X (assuming FxPlug2 compatibility). More than sliders? Nope."

Didn't this video just disprove this to some extent? Sure, it's going to another inteface, but it's there. How did Looks work in FCP7? Was that interface wrapped in to FCP7s filter window somehow?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:38:21 pm

Go back and look at that video again. The plug-in exists as a Motion plug-in/template. The actual controls in FCP X are only sliders. The output to a separate app (Looksbuilder) is via the HUD overlay button, which is technically legal. That's how Looks has always worked. Note that this does not allow something like Colorista II to work unless Apple allows the color wheels and curves to appear via a HUD overlay as well. I would think that requires an architecture, which doesn't currently exist in FCP X. Or hasn't been exposed, yet. Right now, the mentioned bug keeps even this method from working. Likely that's also what's keeping GenArts Sapphire Edge stuck in beta.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 1:58:03 pm

I think I know what you're getting at (no color wheels in the effects pane), but if you have to open a new window, is that such a big deal as long as it will theoretically work with the theoretical video out and the frame cache gets fixed?

And why are Motion plugins bad?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:13:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " but if you have to open a new window, is that such a big deal as long as it will theoretically work with the theoretical video out and the frame cache gets fixed?"

This open window is a static frame opening in a separate application. That's how all the preset-based plug-ins work (PhotoCopy, Tiffen Dfx, Looks, Sapphire Edge). That's not a problem, but the original point is that FCP X has no actual dedicated plug-in architecture. That's what the developers have been telling me.

[Jeremy Garchow] "And why are Motion plugins bad?"

Nothing wrong with them at all, but the implementations within FCP X are artificially restricted by Apple edict and the UI design. Right now, plug-ins that work inside Motion 5 cannot be used within FCP X because of their control interfaces. These same plug-ins worked with Motion4/FCP7.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:36:59 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Nothing wrong with them at all, but the implementations within FCP X are artificially restricted by Apple edict and the UI design. Right now, plug-ins that work inside Motion 5 cannot be used within FCP X because of their control interfaces. These same plug-ins worked with Motion4/FCP7."

OK, perhaps this is based on the rather limited FCPXML at this point?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:41:34 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Oliver Peters] "Nothing wrong with them at all, but the implementations within FCP X are artificially restricted by Apple edict and the UI design. Right now, plug-ins that work inside Motion 5 cannot be used within FCP X because of their control interfaces. These same plug-ins worked with Motion4/FCP7."

OK, perhaps this is based on the rather limited FCPXML at this point?"


Sorry, fires this off before reading responses.

Don't mind me.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:49:57 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "OK, perhaps this is based on the rather limited FCPXML at this point?"

This has nothing to do with FCPXML. Plug-in APIs are an entirely different animal. Look at the design and please explain to me how the interface of FCP X would allow the possibility of something like Colorista II. The same issue exists with Avid AVX, BTW, which also doesn't permit custom UI controls.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:21:28 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Look at the design and please explain to me how the interface of FCP X would allow the possibility of something like Colorista II. The same issue exists with Avid AVX, BTW, which also doesn't permit custom UI controls."

All I can reference is Apple's existing UI. There are custom controls. Perhaps they aren't available to developers yet (or maybe they won't be, I don't know, I don't develop plugins)

Look at the keyer and luma keyer.

Look at the Color Board with the masks and various tools that you step through (Exposure, Saturation, Board, etc).

Am I making too much of a jump to how custom controls might work?

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:28:09 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "All I can reference is Apple's existing UI. There are custom controls... Am I making too much of a jump to how custom controls might work?"

I don't think so, but the key word there is "might." A developer working on a plugin today doesn't care about "might" -- they care about "does" or "does not."

Sadly for FCPX users, right now it's "does not." Hopefully that will change. (Optimism?)

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: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:00:18 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't think so, but the key word there is "might." A developer working on a plugin today doesn't care about "might" -- they care about "does" or "does not."

Sadly for FCPX users, right now it's "does not." Hopefully that will change. (Optimism?)"


Let me ask you this. Does the Red Giant video convey pessimism or optimism in a general sense?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:07:42 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Does the Red Giant video convey pessimism or optimism in a general sense?"

Trick question ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:30:11 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Trick question ;-)"

Fair enough!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:41:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "All I can reference is Apple's existing UI. There are custom controls. Perhaps they aren't available to developers yet (or maybe they won't be, I don't know, I don't develop plugins)
Look at the keyer and luma keyer.
Look at the Color Board with the masks and various tools that you step through (Exposure, Saturation, Board, etc)."


True, but manufacturers can and do violate their own APIs. They do it all the time. Yes, the keyer would be an example, but the Color Board isn't as this is a "mode" (IMHO) and not a plug-in. Remember also that in FCP "classic" the keyers and color correctors were custom one-offs, which Apple integrated for that purpose. They didn't match anything else in the GUI. All I can tell you is what developers have point blank told me. That is, there is no plug-in architecture within FCP X itself and that they can't do custom controls in the UI. Maybe that will change.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:19:36 pm

[Oliver Peters] "True, but manufacturers can and do violate their own APIs. They do it all the time. Yes, the keyer would be an example, but the Color Board isn't as this is a "mode" (IMHO) and not a plug-in. "

It's true. It is on every clip and not selectable like filters.

[Oliver Peters] "All I can tell you is what developers have point blank told me. That is, there is no plug-in architecture within FCP X itself and that they can't do custom controls in the UI. Maybe that will change."

One can only hope of such optimistic optimismal options.


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Mark Dobson
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 2:14:39 pm

Oliver,

I sure you will correct me with you superior technical savvy but surely when you launch the application ( as shown in the video demo) it launches a separate window within which the app resides.

So it's as if it is, probably through using xml, sending the clip to its own application and then publishing it back to FCPX.

The demo clearly shows a colour wheel ( at 01.42) which it appears can be adjusted either with the mouse or sliders.

Either way i'm really looking forward to its release and feel sorry that RGS have had such an uphill struggle to port their software over to FCPX. Seems like they are very nearly there.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 2:52:34 pm

[Mark Dobson] "I sure you will correct me with you superior technical savvy but surely when you launch the application ( as shown in the video demo) it launches a separate window within which the app resides."
You are right Mark, but that window allows to work on "one frame".
The problem I guess Oliver points is that with plugins like Colorista need "live video" on that window.
You need to be able to set key-frames.
MBlooks do not have key-frames.
Colorista needs them.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Mark Dobson
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 4:16:06 pm

Ah - I get it now

more haste less speed.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:22:16 pm

[Mark Dobson] "So it's as if it is, probably through using xml "

I really doubt it has anything to do with XML. This is a separate API entirely. This demo shows Looks. There a static frame is sent to an external application. You set the parameters, which are then applied to the moving clip, once you return to the host application. There is BTW, no clip-to-clip workflow. Plug-ins like Looks are a great way for a stylized look, but they are no substitute for an actual grading application or even a plug-in, like Colorista II. The reason is that you can't use it in context with the clip before and after in the timeline.

[Mark Dobson] "The demo clearly shows a colour wheel ( at 01.42) "

Wrong. You are seeing the color wheel inside the Looks interface. This has nothing to do with the effects pane inside FCP X.

[Mark Dobson] "Either way i'm really looking forward to its release and feel sorry that RGS have had such an uphill struggle to port their software over to FCPX. Seems like they are very nearly there"

I'm beginning to wonder if this will take until the next FCP X update (early next year), because it seems that all of the plug-in makers have hit the same roadblock. It's Apple problem at this point.

- Oliver

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


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Roger Bolton
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:44:55 am

Oliver, you are correct. Apple has not allowed us (developers) to use custom interface elements in the inspector in FCP X. This is true even thought their own internal effects (eg the color correction tool and the keyer) use custom UI elements in the inspector.

The solution that Apple seems to want everyone to take is to implement on screen controls instead. It would be possible for color wheels to be implemented as onscreen controls, thats the only way of doing it so far.

Our latest release of CoreMelt V2 plugins uses on screen controls to access the help documentation, our registration tool and plugin presets.

Roger
CoreMelt

-
CoreMelt V2 plugins


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:44:49 am

[Roger Bolton] "Oliver, you are correct. Apple has not allowed us (developers) to use custom interface elements in the inspector in FCP X. This is true even thought their own internal effects (eg the color correction tool and the keyer) use custom UI elements in the inspector.

The solution that Apple seems to want everyone to take is to implement on screen controls instead. It would be possible for color wheels to be implemented as onscreen controls, thats the only way of doing it so far.

Our latest release of CoreMelt V2 plugins uses on screen controls to access the help documentation, our registration tool and presets."


Roger, thanks so much for writing, it's nice to hear from a developer.

If you care to comment, I have a few questions.

Is this "new" method limiting? Is it worse? Better? Just different? All together useless?

What about what Walter mentioned about stacking effects, what happens then?

Does the UI show up in the scopes?

Are the on screen controls "floating" or are they locked to the viewer dimensions?

Sorry if any of this sounds silly.

Thanks again for writing.

Jeremy


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Roger Bolton
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:18:06 am

Personally I disagree with Apple's design decision on this. In Motion 4 and Motion 5 both custom controls and on screen controls are supported. The developer can choose which is more appropriate depending on the type of control. FCP 7 supported custom controls but not on screen controls.

So in FCP X, they gave us OSC in FCP (great), but took away custom controls (bad). In practise this means every developer has to redesign a product to work specifically for FCP X to use only OSC and not rely at all on custom controls since all other plugin hosts (Motion / AE / Premiere Pro etc) support custom controls in inspector hosts.

On screen controls are great for some types of effects, like the two point rotation and direction controls that Apple uses in their own inbuilt effects.

The problem with purely OSC is that really on screen controls are only appropriate for spatial controls or color curves, while there's many other type of controls that could be created. Also you can only see one on screen control at a time, where you can have multiple plugins parameters visible at once. IMO, this is just one more indication of the "non-pro" nature of FCP X, it's designed purely for low-intermediate level editors and its assumed that FCP X editors will not be doing complex effects work on the timeline.

-
CoreMelt V2 plugins


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Daniel Annefelt
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:19:36 am

[Roger Bolton] "Also you can only see one on screen control at a time, where you can have multiple plugins parameters visible at once. IMO, this is just one more indication of the "non-pro" nature of FCP X, it's designed purely for low-intermediate level editors and its assumed that FCP X editors will not be doing complex effects work on the timeline.
"


Naturally custom UI should be allowed! But to view multiple on-screen controls - how would that work?
How would you select which control (i.e. plugin) to manipulate if all are visible at the same time?
I might be thinking in old-school After Effects terminology here since that's my main environment,
but doesn't it make sense to view only the on-screen controls for a selected plugin?
However, if you could gang controls between plug-ins - as with expressions in AE-
it could be cool to see one on-screen control affecting another.

regards
.-daniel


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:03:09 pm

[Daniel Annefelt] "I might be thinking in old-school After Effects terminology here since that's my main environment,
but doesn't it make sense to view only the on-screen controls for a selected plugin?"


I'd say that on-screen controls aren't the best way to encourage developers to allow their users to adjust their images.

If you allow multiple OSCs, you'll quickly run out of real estate with a complicated effects stack. If you can only see one OSC at a time, you can't easily make multi-effect adjustments in context; you much change your selection each time.

Contrast this with After Effects, which generally encourages developers to either keep controls off-screen altogether, or expose any on-screen controls as standard controls in the effects panel. You can see all the controls for all your effects simultaneously in the effects panel, eliminating the need to specifically select an effect before seeing or adjusting its settings.

FCPX has its effects tab, but if developers can't put the controls they need there, it's reduced to effects selection only.

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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Daniel Annefelt
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:35:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Contrast this with After Effects, which generally encourages developers to either keep controls off-screen altogether, or expose any on-screen controls as standard controls in the effects panel. You can see all the controls for all your effects simultaneously in the effects panel, eliminating the need to specifically select an effect before seeing or adjusting its settings."

Not so true anymore.
Many of the major plug-in packages utilize on-screen controls in After Effects.
Boris Continuum Complete, Sapphire and Tinderbox to name a few.
On-screen controls are used for a number of things like radius, angle and width.
Even threshold, intensity and height parameters benefit from on-screen controls.
Personally - I have a hard time getting used to it. A case of inability to learn to sit I presume.
But whenever I make an effort to use them I find them very intuitive.
Then again, that's in After Effects and maybe not so relevant to this discussion.

Regards
.-daniel


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:49:17 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Contrast this with After Effects, which generally encourages developers to either keep controls off-screen altogether, or expose any on-screen controls as standard controls in the effects panel."

[Daniel Annefelt] "Not so true anymore. Many of the major plug-in packages utilize on-screen controls in After Effects. Boris Continuum Complete, Sapphire and Tinderbox to name a few."

Yes -- but as I mentioned, those OSCs are duplicated with standard effects controls. Look at S_Blur, for example. You can adjust the overall blur amount and relative X and Y blur visually with the OSCs, or you can adjust them parametrically in the effects panel.

With this design, on-screen controls complement the standard host controls. With FCPX's design, they replace them entirely.

S_Blur is an example where the OSC is relatively unobtrusive. Imagine Colorista II on FCPX with an OSC instead of custom controls in the effects tab.

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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Daniel Annefelt
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:00:40 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Yes -- but as I mentioned, those OSCs are duplicated with standard effects controls. Look at S_Blur, for example. You can adjust the overall blur amount and relative X and Y blur visually with the OSCs, or you can adjust them parametrically in the effects panel.
With this design, on-screen controls complement the standard host controls. With FCPX's design, they replace them entirely."


That I didn't know!
(Can't run FCX at work so I should a checked at home before I posted - sorry about that.)
My After Effects gut reaction says that it's unacceptable. Every OSC must be reflected in numerical values.
I understand the ordeal for the plug-in developers.

regards
.-daniel


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Andy Neil
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:14:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Look at S_Blur, for example. You can adjust the overall blur amount and relative X and Y blur visually with the OSCs, or you can adjust them parametrically in the effects panel...With this design, on-screen controls complement the standard host controls. With FCPX's design, they replace them entirely."

Come now. That's not true. OSCs already compliment (not replace) a host of effects that exist standard in FCPX as well as effects that I've created myself. In the case of something like S_blur, you could do the EXACT same thing with an OSC to adjust blur and a reflective parameter in the effects panel.

The issue is "custom" UI elements. The fact is, the majority of plug-in effects can be handled by the standard UI elements in Motion (check box, slider, rotation, drop down menu). The real issue are with plug in manufacturers who NEED a custom UI to make it work intuitively like Colorista (who needs a color wheel), or someone else who needs a curve editor or something similar.

I'm in favor of a HUD control for those types of plug-ins vs OCS. I think that would be the most elegant solution (I can't imagine three color wheels in the space the inspector allows anyway). That way, Apple has control over the aesthetics of it's inspector UI, but users get all the controls they need in ADDITION to inspector parameters.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:39:08 pm

[Andy Neil] "Come now. That's not true. OSCs already compliment (not replace) a host of effects that exist standard in FCPX as well as effects that I've created myself. In the case of something like S_blur, you could do the EXACT same thing with an OSC to adjust blur and a reflective parameter in the effects panel."

Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly and I'm sorry that I was so dreadfully unclear in my post! I didn't mean to suggest that S_Blur couldn't (very easily) be duplicated in FCPX. I am not saying that standard controls cannot be placed in the effects tab. I thought the context of custom UI elements was clear from my previous post, but re-reading my post, that doesn't come across well.

What I meant to say was this:

With other host apps' designs, on-screen controls can complement the effects controls for both standard and custom UI elements. With FCPX's design, they complement standard controls, but must replace them entirely for custom UI elements.

I'm trying to lay out my case for all controls in the effects tab, as opposed to only the controls for the currently selected effect as an on-screen control. The OSC is fine for very simple effects work, but it will fall apart quickly for more involved stacks of effects.


[Andy Neil] "The issue is "custom" UI elements. The fact is, the majority of plug-in effects can be handled by the standard UI elements in Motion (check box, slider, rotation, drop down menu). The real issue are with plug in manufacturers who NEED a custom UI to make it work intuitively like Colorista (who needs a color wheel), or someone else who needs a curve editor or something similar."

But here, without custom UI elements in the effects tab, what do you do as a developer if you do need a custom UI element? Do you split your controls (custom elements on OSCs, standard elements in the tab), duplicate the standard controls in both the tab and the OSC, or build a controller app like Looks?

This is a needless limitation in the FCPX that forces developers into workarounds and denies users the advantage of the consistent look and feel that most other host apps provide.


[Andy Neil] "I'm in favor of a HUD control for those types of plug-ins vs OCS. I think that would be the most elegant solution (I can't imagine three color wheels in the space the inspector allows anyway). That way, Apple has control over the aesthetics of it's inspector UI, but users get all the controls they need in ADDITION to inspector parameters."

I don't particularly care if Apple has control of the aesthetics of its inspector UI. I want control over my effects, and if that means custom controls or allowing me to resize the effects tab, why not? As it stands, the effects tab shows bad design. The form does not support the function.

Like I was discussing with Jeremy, it seems that floating HUDs may be the way FCPX does it, which I think may pose its own challenges -- but why prioritize Apple's aesthetic for the effects tab than have a more flexible workspace, that supported custom UI elements or resizing?

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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Andy Neil
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:01:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't particularly care if Apple has control of the aesthetics of its inspector UI. I want control over my effects...why prioritize Apple's aesthetic for the effects tab than have a more flexible workspace, that supported custom UI elements or resizing?"

I know you don't care, and truth is, neither do I really. But I do UNDERSTAND it. AE is a perfect example. The effects UI has room for sliders, checkboxes, curve editors and such. And on complicated effects, it's a mess. On top of all that, there are custom editor buttons that open a completely separate UI for that particular effect.

Aesthetics have always mattered a great deal to Apple. They have always come from a position where the experience of using a product is as important (or nearly so) to what you are using it for. They may be restricting developers to prevent FCPX's user experience from becoming muddled. Or maybe not. Maybe custom UI elements will be allowed in the future, or maybe Apple will come up with a third solution (like a HUD).

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:53:35 pm

Cheers, and thanks for the thoughtful responses, Andy.

I recognize that all this may not be big deal for the vast majority of users. A brief diversion on my perspective here:

Pre-launch, I was tremendously excited about the prospect of real effects in FCPX. Floating point processing, color management, and linear compositing, all right there in the NLE! I thought this was going to be a great tool for me and my work.

Now, I am disappointed that Apple has limited the usefulness of the effects engine and wrapped third-party effects developers in straightjackets. To use a terrible car analogy (which will immediately fall to its first critique), they've got an 800 HP engine. Even if they swap out their street tires for racing slicks, they still have to upgrade the transmission before they can get that power to the pavement.


[Andy Neil] "I know you don't care, and truth is, neither do I really. But I do UNDERSTAND it."

Just because I disagree with it doesn't mean I don't understand it. I just hate to see FCPX sacrifice power or control to gain simplicity.

Unfortunately, in what seems to be an effort to make easy things easier, FCPX is also making hard things harder. Beginning users get a small win, advanced users take a big loss, and developers weren't even invited to the game.


[Andy Neil] "AE is a perfect example. The effects UI has room for sliders, checkboxes, curve editors and such. And on complicated effects, it's a mess."

It's not necessarily a mess: a well-designed effect will allow you to twirl open and closed the sections of controls you need. AE can also show only modified properties for a layer directly on the timeline, reducing a complicated effect to only the elements you're actively changing with two keystrokes.

Sometimes, all those controls are just necessary. Although I usually prefer to work in context, I can understand how others would more often prefer the application to show a tighter focus. AE lets you do this (by twirling sections or whole effects open or closed, or by resizing panels as necessary).


[Andy Neil] "On top of all that, there are custom editor buttons that open a completely separate UI for that particular effect."

Those separate interfaces are similarly almost always workarounds to bypass limitations of the AE SDK. I'd love to see those limitations removed, too.


[Andy Neil] "Aesthetics have always mattered a great deal to Apple. They have always come from a position where the experience of using a product is as important (or nearly so) to what you are using it for. They may be restricting developers to prevent FCPX's user experience from becoming muddled. Or maybe not. Maybe custom UI elements will be allowed in the future, or maybe Apple will come up with a third solution (like a HUD)."

Indeed! FCPX is a departure from FCP Classic in this regard. Craig Seeman rightly points out that FCP was purchased and did not reflect the Apple aesthetic. Now we are seeing it with FCPX.

That brings us back to the old question: will Apple's "you don't know what you want until we show you" strategy (which works so well in the consumer space) also work in the professional space?

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: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:55:41 pm

[Walter Soyka] "That brings us back to the old question: will Apple's "you don't know what you want until we show you" strategy (which works so well in the consumer space) also work in the professional space?"

It has thus far, but it's a new world out there.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:00:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "That brings us back to the old question: will Apple's "you don't know what you want until we show you" strategy (which works so well in the consumer space) also work in the professional space?"

[Jeremy Garchow] "It has thus far, but it's a new world out there."

I was referring to the 5 month timeframe since FCPX's reboot of the FCP franchise. Were you referring to that same timeframe, or a longer one?

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:14:17 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I was referring to the 5 month timeframe since FCPX's reboot of the FCP franchise. Were you referring to that same timeframe, or a longer one?"

Yeah, I was referring to the whole of the FCP franchise. We never knew what was coming and when.


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Andy Neil
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:31:26 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I just hate to see FCPX sacrifice power or control to gain simplicity."

Agreed.

[Walter Soyka] "will Apple's "you don't know what you want until we show you" strategy (which works so well in the consumer space) also work in the professional space?"

For some people I expect it won't. I believe Walter Murch said in his most recent interview that "consumers consume, and professionals demand." Most amateurs (used in the "non-paid" sense, not derogatorily) know what they want in only the broadest of terms. Professionals tend to know what they want in very specific terms because it's what we do every day.

I don't really have much of a dog in this fight. I rarely use plug-ins in my line of work. Most plug-ins are not very useful IMHO. I would much rather see a strong integration with a CC app than a CC plug-in. But that's me and I realize I'm in the minority (obviously since there are plenty of plug-in manufacturers).

I may not use many plug-ins, but I certainly hope my NLE can accommodate them. So hopefully, time will bear out some solution to all this.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:05:11 pm

Roger, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's very interesting to hear a developer's perspective (instead of our speculation as to what your perspective might be).

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:14:19 pm

Roger-

Thanks so much for writing back. It's nice to hear what's going on out there.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 4:38:16 pm

Thanks for posting this link, Jeremy.

[Jeremy Garchow] "That's what I took from it as well, the custom UI for plugins might be available, yet."

Aharon specifically mentions in the video that the FCPX effects UI doesn't allow for custom UI elements.

Bouncing out to separate apps for every third-party effect is, in my opinion, a big drag on productivity. As a user, I prefer having effects controls in context within the host whenever possible. I know it's not always feasible to stay entirely in the host (and Looks is the perfect example of an effect that really works better in its own interface), but can you imagine if every major effect had its own separate interface in its own separate control application?

That said, the overlay is a really cool idea. Is this a feature built in the FCPX effect system? If you stack multiple effects which all use overlays, do they automatically re-arrange themselves?

Another interesting thing in this video -- a developer being totally open with the their user base about what's going on with an upcoming product. My thanks to the folks at Red Giant for the update.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 4:53:50 pm

[Walter Soyka] "but can you imagine if every major effect had its own separate interface in its own separate control application?"

Yeah, not ideal, but I'd rather have it than not have anything. I don't know, this feels like it's one of those areas of FCPX where it's simply not finished/ready. Maybe it will rely on a further version of FCPXML, or perhaps it rely on motion more so than FCPX. I don't know. Apple's own plugs have custom UI (look at the keyer) so it must be possible, just not public at this point?

Maybe we can get some control like the audio units:

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/garchow_jeremy/FCPX-Ask/assets/10_A...

Different beast, altogether, I'm sure.

[Walter Soyka] "Another interesting thing in this video -- a developer being totally open with the their user base about what's going on with an upcoming product. My thanks to the folks at Red Giant for the update."

Yes, it's very refreshing and positive.


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Andy Neil
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:05:06 pm

There's also the possibility that Motion 5's rigging and publishing capabilities will be increased over time. No custom UIs are available in FCPX's inspector, but perhaps new controls will be added that clever plug-in manufactures can make good use out of.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:03:38 pm

[Andy Neil] "There's also the possibility that Motion 5's rigging and publishing capabilities will be increased over time. No custom UIs are available in FCPX's inspector, but perhaps new controls will be added that clever plug-in manufactures can make good use out of."

Conjecture warning. I have no idea what's going on with Apple's third-party developer outreach, but since this is the debate forum, I'll speculate anyway.

There are two things I'm afraid of happening:
  • FCPX effects interface is left largely untouched, forcing more developers to push their users out of the host app as RGS has had to do with Looks
  • FCPX effects interface is overhauled (possibly repeatedly), forcing developers to start over every time Apple decides to change something


I liked Bill Davis's "plumbing" analogy from a few weeks ago. He suggested that Apple's developers were focused on FCPX's infrastructure first and would be leveraging that infrastructure for new features going forward. (I agreed this would have been a reasonable path for development, but disagreed that we've seen evidence that this is what they have done.)

I would have thought that something like a comprehensive effects API -- including custom UI element support so that third-party developers could do their job and add functionality and control that Apple hadn't already thought of themselves -- would have been an important piece of plumbing to have in place before launch.

With that said, I'd like to call some more attention to one of the features I like best about FCPX, which you wrote about in this post: Motion/FCPX integration. This is brilliantly done, and as a designer, I'm excited about possibly using this to deliver customized motion elements to any of my editorial clients who choose to move forward with FCPX.

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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Oliver Peters
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:29:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I would have thought that something like a comprehensive effects API -- including custom UI element support so that third-party developers could do their job and add functionality and control that Apple hadn't already thought of themselves -- would have been an important piece of plumbing to have in place before launch."

There is one possibility. Namely the use of floating HUDs like in Aperture. It's possible that certain custom controls, like color wheels, could be floated in some future plug-in.

[Walter Soyka] "With that said, I'd like to call some more attention to one of the features I like best about FCPX, which you wrote about in this post: Motion/FCPX integration. This is brilliantly done, and as a designer, I'm excited about possibly using this to deliver customized motion elements to any of my editorial clients who choose to move forward with FCPX."

Well, in some ways better and in other ways worse. Without a "send to" function, I cannot use Motion to draw mattes, for example on a clip for use inside FCP X. Like I used to in FCP7/Motion4 or like I can now with PPro/AE and Dynamic Link. Or like I can with Avid Media Composer and Avid FX (or internally in Avid Animatte).

Oliver

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


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:35:18 pm

I'd agree - allowing more UI design control from within Motion 5 clearly seems like the best way of addressing this issue and I'm sure is part of the game plan.

I hope so anyway ...

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


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:10:21 pm

[Walter Soyka] "can you imagine if every major effect had its own separate interface in its own separate control application"

Walter, re: separate interfaces

I can do more than imagine distinct interfaces for effects - whenever I open up a DAW and use effects.

In fact, I thought FCPX uses the Logic plug-ins - are they stripped of their interface or more standardized than I'm familiar with? (I haven't used Logic).

Not sure what you mean by "seperate control application" though.

Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:49:05 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I can do more than imagine distinct interfaces for effects - whenever I open up a DAW and use effects."

My issue with separate interfaces (briefly summarized): you cannot easily make in-context adjustments to interrelated effects in a stack. You must step in and out of each effect's separate interface. Perhaps separate, non-modal, floating panels will solve this (although it doesn't strike me as the FCPX way and presents interface challenges of its own).

Secondly, if you cannot add a custom UI element within the host application and you are encouraged to write a separate controller app (as RGS has done with Looks), you would also want to include all your effects controls in your controller app. Since every developer will approach this same problem a little bit differently, you'll hurt interface uniformity. Everyone will have sliders, for example, but they'll look and feel a little different.

I agree with Jeremy that it is better to have the workaround than it is not to have these effects at all, but I also think the FCP7 way of allowing custom UI elements within the host application was better still.

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: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:03:23 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Perhaps separate, non-modal, floating panels will solve this (although it doesn't strike me as the FCPX way and presents interface challenges of its own)."

While I agree with you, it's how the audio filters work today in FCPX. So it seems, the floating window idea is already somewhat in the application today.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Interesting notes about fcpx plugins
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:05:12 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "While I agree with you, it's how the audio filters work today in FCPX. So it seems, the floating window idea is already somewhat in the application today."

Indeed -- but it strikes me as a bit out-of-place compared to the rest of the UI.

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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