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Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects

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Andreas Kiel
Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:25:17 pm

Many of my customers are working with subtitles, sometimes with different languages in the same show.

So I was asked whether I could do both an exporter for subtitles and an importer.

The exporter is quite easy, but with the lack of tracks it can be pretty confusing for the user since he doesn't know where which subtitle belong to. So take roles and work carefully with them. The XML for export is pretty fast. The reason for that is that all items are just referenced to an inventory of used clips and fx. Any special changes are just ignored.

The importer for subtitles id very slow if you got a lot of subtitles, since X has to 'jump' from the actual referenced subtitle to the reference in the inventory for every subtitle.
Actually you could have done the same thing with old FCP XMEML from version 1, this worked fine and fast - even with modified parameters for each subtitle (only the changes compared to the reference had to been stored). But with version 6 it didn't work anymore the old way - means fast. It was very slow. You had to write all parameters for each generator - that worked fine and fast again, but blew up XML size.

Now with X it's faster compared to the previous referenced way XMEML used but it's slow as well and it gets slower depending on the amount of open projects you have.

So a 'mid range 400 subs' imports in more than 5 minutes on my old 2008 Pro with 16G Ram from a 7200 rpm hardrive - XML size is 131 KB. No Video or Sound to connect.

The full blown XMEML from 7.x with 3.1 MB size on the same machine took less than 30 seconds to import and display. BTW it sets the parameters for each sub, which X won't do, or better cant do at the moment.
So ignoring the applying of parameters 7.x is about 10 times faster

If you look at the newly introduced Skimming within X I can scratch thru the X timeline and do see only black in case the Motion template does have fade ins. I have to zoom in, and zoom in, and zoom in until Skimming works. The problem then is I can only skim in the range which is visible.
With 7 there was no real skimming but you could have all 400 titles in the timeline visible and scratch around and did see the titles.

In both cases subs where not rendered (in 7 some of them where realtime - in X all played fine even unrenderd). In X though I get this spinning beach ball, when I change the 'part of visible timeline' or try to select a clip or a group of clips. I love the roles as said above, but you need be careful with them.

In X to make the same timeline launch it took about 10 seconds; rendering subtitles (using fxScript generators) in 7.x took 100 seconds.

In X to make the same timeline launch it took about 80 seconds; rendering - I gave up finally - for 10% it took 20 minutes. So estimated time about 200 minutes; with a rough calculation it is 120 times slower.

It's not that I'm a FCPX hater, there are some cool and innovative things, but you really have to test whether this version will match your job.

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:32:28 pm

Andreas,

Thanks for this. I am often working with subtitled material and haven't read much about experiences with X. Seems dreadful.

Franz.


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Paul Jay
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:52:14 pm

Subtitles are so evolutionary :P LOL

Just kidding.

I love FCPX
No i hate it.
I love it
hate it
love it
………..


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 1, 2011 at 5:05:16 pm

Made a typing error

In X to make the same timeline launch it took about 10 seconds; rendering subtitles (using fxScript generators) in 7.x took 100 seconds.

should read

In X to make the same timeline launch it took about 100 seconds; rendering subtitles (using fxScript generators) in 7.x took 10 seconds.

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Daniel Frome
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:01:41 pm

Good post Andreas. Your FCP tools have saved my ass on more than a few occasions. It's interesting to hear about these shortcomings as it proves that Apple didn't really think this new database setup through. Looking forward to your future work.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:37:44 pm

I anybody wants to test the prototypes let me know.

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Ben Scott
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:14:46 pm

I would love to test something working with motion templates subtitling workflow in FCPX

I can see how much easier it would be to change the titles if someone brings off spec subtitling, not an uncommon thing at my work and extremely slow to fix

also be good to get some form of spell checker or even punctuation checker to different channels syntax


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 3, 2011 at 5:27:54 pm

Okay here part 1 of the prototype tools.

This version only extracts titles/subtitles from an FCPXML. It doesn't have a global check for spelling and grammar, but one for title by title.

Before writing a long post here I uploaded the preliminary help file for the exporter:
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/TitleExchange/XTE_Help.pdf

The full version which includes the PDF can be found here:
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/TitleExchange/FCPXTitles.dmg

There are a lot of things to be done -- especially from Apple (like making better documentation).
Also I've to learn more about this very basic XML handling of FCPX and the timing issues.
For the exporter everything works fine. The importer has some strange issues for me when I want to create secondary storylines which could be be pasted into other projects.

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Another view to other kinds of 'large' projects
on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:25:57 am

Okay her some more about Motion based (sub)titling workflows.

They been around for quite a while in let's say limited way.
See my little movie about that a did quite while ago:
http://www.spherico.de/filmtools/TitleExchange/MotionTutorial/

Meanwhile the Motion connection to FCPX (and Motion itself) is way more matured.
But there is a big BUT when it comes to interchange (sub)titles via XML.
The Motion templates don't allow to export/import any settings and handling is very slow. Legacy fxScript based text generators did transport all info about any setting of a text. This allowed to change things like font, font size etc globally even if you didn't know much about XML.
With the new way you can do it like it is shown in the movie, but only if you use your own templates. In this case no XML is needed - just change the settings in Motion and they will be applied to all instances in your project(s). So be careful when other then the actual project use the same template.

Sometimes you may want to import timed subtitles from an external text file. I created a little app which allows to create FCPXML from Spruce Text STLs. You can download it here from the link below.

http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/TitleExchange/stl2FCPX.dmg

Regards
Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools


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