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Carsten Orlt
hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 2:08:04 am

I know what it can't do and the endless discussions about the timeline thingy..

BUT

You know what is mind-blowing? How easy FCPx lets you deal with one fundamental problem: The format wars. No matter what you throw at it, no matter if you change your mind later, no matter if you get the call some day to do a different version in a different format, FCPx just handles it all for you.
Take any video format you like (I'm not talking codecs (this will change too) but frame size and frame rate, progressive or interlaced) and cut it in any format you want. Change any project (seq) later and all clips will be resized/retimed automatically. No more going through endless hours of adjusting basic motion and distort as in FCP7. The quality is much better than FCP7 too.

I don't know if Avid or Premiere can do the same? Good if they do. Really bad if they don't :-)

I'm just going through a setup with a friend of mine and his new computer. We're discussing if to stay with FCP7 or trying FCPx. He was never the techno guy but just wants to cut. He does his own projects so he doesn't want to hire a facility were there could be support. For him the question what format is daunting. He is scared of FCPx because all the bad press. But the more I try to help him work out the best workflow to deal with SD or HD and what HD I really start hating (yes hating) FCP7. The way FCPx handles all this is how it should be. I know there is a bit more to it like loosing quality when upscaling etc but this is peanuts against the problem which format your source should be converted too and what your seq should be set too and what if you need to change it after you edit the program. Once they worked out to natively import any footage of any kind (meaning including any flavour of codec and rapper video can come in) it'll be perfect.

Man we just have no idea yet how good FCPx really is!

raincoat is on, keep them coming :-)

Carsten


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Rafael Amador
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:52:17 am

Hi Carsten,
Thats nothing hidden.
Is notorious that FCPX was designed so any ignorant can edit and even export a movie.

[Carsten Orlt] "I know there is a bit more to it like loosing quality when upscaling etc but this is peanuts against the problem which format your source should be converted too and what your seq should be set too and what if you need to change it after you edit the program. "

Good news for the "good enough' people. For those who can't see the difference between good and better.
The 'hidden gem" will keep reserved for those who will care about those "peanuts" and people who was able to do a good job with FCP will always get something better from FCPX than those that never fully understood how FCP worked.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:14:55 am

[Rafael Amador] "Is notorious that FCPX was designed so any ignorant can edit and even export a movie"

So any editor who is not a technician is ignorant?


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Rafael Amador
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:38:27 am

[Carsten Orlt] "So any editor who is not a technician is ignorant?"
That a people is able to drive doesn't means is a driver.
That a people is able to edit doesn't means is an editor.
To edit you can be be technically an ignorant, to be an editor you can't.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:39:48 am

[Rafael Amador] "To edit you can be be technically an ignorant, to be an editor you can't."

That's my point. The editor who is not technician and suffers because of he/she being forced to work with convoluted software that is made for technician is not ignorant. The editor is very much aware of the problem. So one solution is to make the technical part easier or go away and editor is happy and can deliver beautiful edits. Of course the other solution would be to try to train the editor all the technical bits to get by. I kind of like solution one better. You might not.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:42:54 am

[Carsten Orlt] "So any editor who is not a technician is ignorant?"

Absolutely!

That doesn't mean that person is "stupid," or that he or she is an inferior artist. However, any editor without a technical knowledge of video would rightfully be considered to be ignorant on that subject.

And, if my career depended on it, as most careers do, I certainly would not want someone who is technically ignorant to be the finishing the master of my important video project. Would you?

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Lance Bachelder
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:23:22 am

Simply not true! I know plenty of VERY high end feature film Editors who make HUGE money and are completely technically ignorant! And they want to stay that way! The moment a computer locks up, crashes whatever, they step away and let the techs fix it - they don't get paid to be a technician or because they know all the in and outs of every NLE, they get paid because they are creative storytellers.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:16:55 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Simply not true! I know plenty of VERY high end feature film Editors who make HUGE money and are completely technically ignorant!"

Of course, but that wasn't the question Lance.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:30:12 am

But neither do I want to clean up the mess afterwards because even though the program is brilliantly edited it is technically not optimised and the editor is asking me for advice.

If a software makes this process easier or even plain simple than I love this software. And you know what. Because it's easy even on our own projects I can spent more time editing and less time dealing with boring technical stuff.

I always did find it curious that many mediocre editors got the edge only because they were wiz (is that spelled correctly?) kids on the computer. You could even include myself, which I of course would deny. In the times of a simple scissor to make a cut you were judged by your edit not how smart you were doing everything but editing.


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Rafael Amador
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:27:31 am

[Lance Bachelder] "Simply not true! I know plenty of VERY high end feature film Editors who make HUGE money and are completely technically ignorant! And they want to stay that way! The moment a computer locks up, crashes whatever, they step away and let the techs fix it - they don't get paid to be a technician or because they know all the in and outs of every NLE, they get paid because they are creative storytellers."
You right, but I don't call those people editors.
An editor must be able to do his job when the is technician is at home sick.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Matthew Celia
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:30:07 pm

Editors who don't know the technology certainly ruffle my feathers, but I wouldn't stop calling them editors. Just like I wouldn't call a tech genius who knew every in and out of an editing program an editor just because he or she knows the software.

Editing is storytelling. Plain and simple. And those who think otherwise do pretty mediocre work. Just ask Walter Murch about in and out points sometime... Let's not forget that some of the greatest films EVER made were done on a moviola. Just an in point. And an out point.


*** And to get back to the OP topic - I have done a lot of testing with this, since we burn reels that consist of PAL and HD and SD material and FCPX handles the reels flawlessly. The quality is just better than Premiere or FCP 7. Much better. Text is sharper. No crazy stuttering. AND being able to change the sequence size (for example, deciding that editing in 720p might be better for this project halfway through) on the fly is AMAZING and a real time saver.

I'm a technically savvy person and I DO appreciate that feature quite a bit.


----------------
FCP Guru
http://www.fcpguru.com


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T. Payton
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:09:56 am

I hear what you guys are saying (at least I think). However, I think we are in the middle of a rather significant transition in video: where being ignorant of certain technology and terminology is not going to make a person ineffective or create a lesser quality product.

Think about the entire concept of interlaced SD video: in a few years there will be no such thing. And frame rates? What will it matter in a world where all video playback or broadcast is in effect a QuickTime movie playing back on a computer screen? You wanna make a 48 fps 3D movie? Knock yourself out. ;)

I'm not saying that knowledge is unnecessary, I think that anyone who really wants to know their craft should study it so well that they are familiar with the history, the technology and how the craft has evolved. But knowing those skills doesn't make someone a great editor, and they can't be a requirement either. With the converging digital technology what was once only the realm of the technician is quickly becoming the world of the not-so-technical artist also.

Here is a not so brief story to illustration my point:

I have worked in advertising for 20 years in many different mediums, and frankly video is the last to make this digital delivery transition, (and let me tell you it has been a slow process. ) At our shop we basically have two "ranks" of people. Designers ( actually Art Directors & Creative Directors) and Production Artists. (This is an over simplification, as there are many more positions, but this is just a simple way to explain it.) To make an ad 25 years ago an Art Director would scribble something on a paper, hand it to the Production Artists to execute that scribble. A production artists knew not only how to execute that scribble in a given medium, but the right way to do paste up and the mechanical requirements for delivering that scribble to a newspaper, or magazine or whatever.

Then the Mac came along (early 1990's), and there were great tools made for the Production Artists (Quark XPress, Photoshop, Illustrator). They were geeky and precise. Two things production artists love. We production artists knew how to get just the right ratio of CMYK ink to produce a proper flesh tone, a specular highlight on a white dress, and how to trap a spot color job so that it would make any pressman look good. We knew that a 85% dot in newsprint was effectively a 100% dot. But likes like before, the Art Directors still scribbled down ideas and we the production artists would execute it and make it deliverable. (We were still doing paste up more or less.)

Then the Art Directors realized they could "scribble" on the Mac (mid 1990's), and could get play with photo placement, cropping, fonts, mix colors, etc. So then the Art Directors would give these files to a Production Artist and say "can you get this finalized and out for proofs." Only problem was the Art Directors didn't know the nuance of what the publications needed. So we Production Artists stepped in and had to often times rebuild what the Art Directors built in ignorance. Making sure the photos were the correct resolution, color correcting (in CMYK of course) and building a technically correct and printable file that would product good film (yes we output film negatives, a huge advance over mechanical paste-up). Production became "pre-press", everything was dandy, and production and pre-press work was abundant. There was even an entire industry of service bureaus that could do the work if someone didn't have in house production folks.

Then Apple and Adobe stepped into the picture and changed everything (early 2000's). Apple popularized ICC color profiles and Adobe implemented them. No more having to work in CMYK. And beyond just type and fonts being WYSIWYG, color was now WYSIWYG too. Adobe then released InDesign which had built in pre-press checking, which could tell Art Directors they needed a higher res photo, or to the ink color they picked can't be reproduced. And no longer did you supply film and a hard copy proof to a publication, Adobe PDF files (specifically PDF-X) became the standard worldwide. So at our shop, the "pre-press" stage went from hours per project to minutes, and sometimes it wasn't needed at all. Art Directors were now sending out projects, not because they became geeky, but the software became smarter and the industry changed to make things more efficient and less prone to error. CMYK photos? I haven't touched one in years, the conversion happens automatically when creating a PDF. Trapping? I never think about it, it happens automatically when the PDF is made into a plate.

Now from my perspective, what happened in our print advertising world is happening to video.

The video evolution parallels print very closely, but at a much slower pace. We went from tape-to-tape editing to digital editing in the late 90's and early 2000's, but still ended up with a tape for delivery. (akin to paste-up and film for print). However, the empowering of the Art Directors/Designers has not happened in until now. Both in the realm of high quality accessible capture (DSLR) and most recently editing.

Take for example my fellow Art Director at my shop. She is not only an excellent designer, but her eye for video cuts, and motion, and emotion is much better than mine. So I would be working on a project and would finish a draft edit and call her into my office. She would have excellent feedback and perhaps a few changes or two and the final result would be much better that my draft edit. So this went on for several years and then last summer we got slammed with a ton of material to edit on a tight deadline. All our freelance editors were unavailable and I was in a bind. So I realized she had to edit herself, and not just over my shoulder. So after a good hour or so trying to training her in FCP 7 she concluded that all of this was way too complicated. Setting in and out points in the viewer. Performing insert or overwrite edits, and paying attention to the canvas. Finding the ripple tool. And how many times to I hit "R"? Making sure the audio was connected to the clips, etc. I went home that day realizing that there was no way she was going to be up to speed enough to really help with editing.

And then I remembered iMovie and that it could export XML for FCP. So I watched the Lynda.com training that night and in the morning taught her iMovie in less than 30 minutes. I transcoded the footage to quarter res h264, and gave her the interviews and transcripts. Early that afternoon she came in my office and announced happily she was done. She had cut down 5 long interviews into a cohesive story in just a couple of hours. (!) This would have taken me all day. We reviewed the shots together in iMovie, reordered shots around effortlessly, created markers, etc, and frankly faster and telling a better story that I could have dreamed of doing in FCP. Then we published the rough cut to youtube in moments. Yeah right out of iMovie. It was almost too easy. The client loved it, I then finished the online edit in FCP and delivered the finished product.

So I am technical guy, who knows all the ins and outs of video formats, frame rates, codecs, etc, but you know who I want to give the power to edit, my fellow creator director. She is a fantastic editor, better than me, but she doesn't have the technical skills, but with FCP X she doesn't have to have the technical skills to get a project 90% of the way done. There will always be the last 10% that a "finishing technician" needs to do, but our goal is to tell a great story, and that is what "easier to use apps" like Final Cut Pro X, InDesign, ICC Profiles, and frankly iMovie have done. The "previous generation of" NLEs are fantastic production tools—but frankly they were and are often out of reach of a person unless they were willing to tackle the technical learning curve to use them.

I'm not saying the current FCP X is perfect, far be it. But I see video editing following the same progression that our shop has seen with radio, web and print before that. The tools moved from being strictly in the hands of production artists, to be in the hands of the directors, and the directors didn't need to become geeky production artists. I attribute this to the fact that the tools are doing more for us, as the knowledge of the technicians is now a function of the software. And as we have seen in the other mediums, these better tools have made mediums that much more accessible and therefore the artistry of the person using them becomes all the more apparent — and those who would never have had the opportunity before now get a chance to share their gift with the world.

And they still need us geeky technicians to finish off that last 10%. ;)

(P.S. the biggest hurdle I see FCP X needing to make, besides fixing all the problems I have mentioned here on the Cow, is that it needs to become more "tinkerable". We finishing technicians need to be able to get our hands dirty and refine everything with great control. The current lack of an anamorphic setting for video clips is just one illustration of that missing capability in FCP X. It swung too far toward and artists tool, without keeping enough of the production capabilities.)

(P.P.S. My little story is primarily about editing and not shooting. Shooting is frankly hard and takes huge amounts of geeky technical knowledge and skill. )

(P.P.P.S No offense was intended in calling those of us who love "legacy" NLEs as geeky. I mean it in the best sense of the word.)

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Gary Hazen
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:46:47 am

[Timothy Payton] "And they still need us geeky technicians to finish off that last 10%. ;)"

How long does it take for the geeky editor to fix that last 10%? How much does it cost?

It depends on how screwed up the edit is by the time it lands in the hands of the geek.

I think telling a kid coming out of college not to bother with such trivial things as technical details is bad advice. The market is saturated with editors right now. The ability to tell a story and solve the technical problems is what sets an editor apart from the other 100 "artists" applying for he same job.


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:07:22 am

[Gary Hazen] "I think telling a kid coming out of college not to bother with such trivial things as technical details is bad advice. The market is saturated with editors right now. The ability to tell a story and solve the technical problems is what sets an editor apart from the other 100 "artists" applying for he same job."

Absolutely true.

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


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Frank Gothmann
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 9:41:53 am

[Timothy Payton] "Think about the entire concept of interlaced SD video: in a few years there will be no such thing. And frame rates? What will it matter in a world where all video playback or broadcast is in effect a QuickTime movie playing back on a computer screen? You wanna make a 48 fps 3D movie? Knock yourself out. ;)"

Sorry, but I disagree. Even several years from now there will be a lot of interlaced SD material. Huge markets (India etc.) will take much, much longer to transition to an HD world (if that ever happens). And even then, a vast amount of programming will simply be upscaled from interlaced SD. Plus there will be interlaced HD, 24p, 23.976, 25p etc. etc.
And converting between any of them, scaling things up or down, is a complex thing and FCP (old and new), Compressor & Co. do a terrible job doing that.
Frame rate conversion, even using frame controls, are unusable for high quality work.
So instead of giving such jobs to a business with the right hardware folks will fiddle around themselves - probably to a much larger degree than they are already doing now.


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Chris Harlan
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:50:44 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Sorry, but I disagree. Even several years from now there will be a lot of interlaced SD material. Huge markets (India etc.) will take much, much longer to transition to an HD world (if that ever happens). And even then, a vast amount of programming will simply be upscaled from interlaced SD. Plus there will be interlaced HD, 24p, 23.976, 25p etc. etc.
And converting between any of them, scaling things up or down, is a complex thing and FCP (old and new), Compressor & Co. do a terrible job doing that."


Seconded.


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Martti Ekstrand
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:57:55 am

Premiere Pro CS5.5 has sofar handled any codec I've thrown in, including .vob files straight from DVD and bare P2 / AVCHD files outside of their traditional file hierachy. And here comes the kicker - without any transcoding, just real-time playback without any crap starting in the background or filling up the drive with extra media. It's not until I render out a final edit in either PPro or AE that transcoding comes into play.

The real hidden gem in the PPro / AE combo is that I can cut and paste clips from the former's sequences to the latter's compositions - no export steps needed!


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:03:50 am

[Martti Ekstrand] "just real-time playback without any crap starting in the background or filling up the drive with extra media"

Yes and FCPX does this as well, choosing to transcode is an option.

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


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Mark Dobson
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:43:19 am

This thread started off with Carsten saying he liked the fact that FCPX could handle many different formats with ease.

It is now a thread about editors or editing with a lot of low balls being tossed about.

Or is it the pro vs non pro discussion.

The truth is that there are many different levels of editing, and many different kinds of editors. There always have been. I started off as an offline editor, making a basic rough cut versions for approval and development further on up the line in the company or with the client.

Only when the content and narrative had been fairly firmly nailed down was an edit decision list generated.

We then moved into the grown ups edit suite with a very technically proficient editor controlling an array of different tape decks, normally situated in another room with an assistant feeding tapes into them on request from the editor. Supporting this operation was a video engineer who was called in to frequently re-calibrate the machines and keep them maintained.

And sitting there in the edit suite was the producer and sometimes the director instructing the editor to maybe shave a half second off here or lengthen a dissolve there.

And meanwhile in another room a video graphics artist was constructing graphic components and titles to be inserted in the edit.

Ha, and we haven't even mentioned sound yet!

So, a complex collaborative process involving a team of highly skilled and trained people all working under the direction of the producer or production company.

That's the world I learnt my programme making skills in.

And it's a world that, bar high end and broadcast work, has largely disappeared.

All of these roles and functions can now be carried out by one person sitting at a laptop.

What technical ability they require will depend on what they are producing.

The wonderful world of NLE enables editors at every level, from producing simple pieces for Youtube through to complex drama and documentaries.

Each level will have it's own skill base, with experience playing a key role as individuals develop their
careers.

To degenerate editors working on the more basic productions does not really make sense.

The world most editors find themselves earning a living in now is a multi skilled one where to survive you have to wear many different hats. Camera operation, graphics production, music production, and NLE editing, let alone communication skills are now all desirable areas to master in order to make a living as a programme maker.

Anyway how complicated is it really to edit?

All you need is scissors, some tape, an editing block, 8mm film and an idea.


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Oliver Peters
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:06:17 pm

Unfortunately the original premise isn't correct. FCP X handles a few codecs natively, but generally rewraps native codecs into MOV using the Import From Camera function just like FCP7's L&T. Codec support is actually less than FCP7, Premiere Pro or Media Composer. Format sizes in projects are now tightly restricted. You cannot create arbitrary custom sizes as you could in FCP7. Things like DV (480) inside an NTSC project (486) are handled less elegantly than in FCP7. You cannot create clean freeze frames. The list goes on....

Oliver

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


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Mark Dobson
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 1:47:48 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Unfortunately the original premise isn't correct. FCP X handles a few codecs natively, but generally rewraps native codecs into MOV using the Import From Camera function just like FCP7's L&T. "

Now there's a reply from someone who understands both the creative and technical aspects of NLE.

Without that background knowledge one has no idea of what goes on under the hood. This is fine until something goes wrong.

In the case of FCPX this is a frequent occurrence. A seasoned editor will resolve any problem pretty quickly through drawing on operational experience and technical know how.
.
The way one becomes an experienced editor is through training, which is more readily available now than ever before, and putting the hours in.

You would think that FCPX, with it's lack of depth in the user interface, would be easier to learn than legacy FCP or the other 2 main NLE contenders, but it's so fiddly and unstable in the current version, that I'm not sure that's true.


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Rafael Amador
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 2:43:29 pm

[Mark Dobson] "This thread started off with Carsten saying he liked the fact that FCPX could handle many different formats with ease.

It is now a thread about editors or editing with a lot of low balls being tossed about.

Or is it the pro vs non pro discussion."


No Mark.
I've started the fire for this paragraph:

[Carsten Orlt] "I know there is a bit more to it like loosing quality when upscaling etc but this is peanuts against the problem which format your source should be converted too and what your seq should be set too and what if you need to change it after you edit the program. "

I do not consider a lose in quality as peanuts neither i think to understand basic formats conversion is such a cumbersome task.
What I extracted from Carsten post is that is more important to do it easier than to get it better.
Sorry if I'm from an old school.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Mark Dobson
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 4:14:16 pm

[Rafael Amador] "No Mark.
I've started the fire for this paragraph:

[Carsten Orlt] "I know there is a bit more to it like loosing quality when upscaling etc but this is peanuts against the problem which format your source should be converted too and what your seq should be set too and what if you need to change it after you edit the program. ""


Rafael some people just don't want to get into the details. They buy software that does it for them, leaving them free to get on with the job.

Now I personally don't use any of the auto functions in FCPX but others clearly like to.

However I do drive a car with an automatic gearbox and it's really not necessary for me to know how that works.

Its never broken down yet, if it did I would take it to a garage. Not knowing how the gearbox works does not affect the way I drive.

What I enjoy about the Creative Cow forums is the huge generosity that people have in sharing their knowledge.

What I don't enjoy are the negative ping-pong matches that do nothing to educate or inspire other participants.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:51:20 pm

[Mark Dobson] " Now I personally don't use any of the auto functions in FCPX but others clearly like to."

But what happens when the auto-analysis fails? They have to work around it and do it themselves. That's where the knowledgeable editor is necessary, in order to accomplish the task by using his/her baggage.

[Mark Dobson] " However I do drive a car with an automatic gearbox and it's really not necessary for me to know how that works."

If you were a cab driver, then you probably would be better off knowing the inner workings of your income tool.

[Mark Dobson] "
What I enjoy about the Creative Cow forums is the huge generosity that people have in sharing their knowledge.
What I don't enjoy are the negative ping-pong matches that do nothing to educate or inspire other participants."


Although this is a valid point in general, I would argue that those ping-pongs are essential in a debating forum, like this one for that matter. It constitutes the essence of the whole thing, hence the existence of a techniques forum as opposed to this one.


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tony west
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:07:26 pm

[Rafael Amador] "What I extracted from Carsten post is that is more important to do it easier than to get it better."


Maybe he wants both. Maybe he wants a better looking product but an easier way to get there.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:16:01 pm

[tony west] "Maybe he wants both. Maybe he wants a better looking product but an easier way to get there."

Of course, that's the goal Tony, but does X really deliver that? More importantly, will it ever be able to deliver that?

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:20:09 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Of course, that's the goal Tony, but does X really deliver that? More importantly, will it ever be able to deliver that?"

It does already for some of us.

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


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tony west
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:28:13 pm

I don't know David.

I think it's going to be a different answer for many people.

I don't think that X is going to stay where it is though. They are going to keep adding to it.

What's ironic is I'm on a mac in the first place because they made the computer more user friendly.


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Ben Scott
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:35:25 pm

its funny seeing some of the replies in here

have any of you actually tried to convert frame rates with difficult footage in FCPx

it does a very good job in my opinion and I have been testing against conversions made through different settings in compressor (frame controls turned on and frame rate conversion set to best or better)
Just to let you know this was tested on a grade 1 HD sony monitor
I would put a bet its the same engine as best(the second from best option whatever its called) in compressor

the scaling down of graphics is superb and really does put fcp7 and avid to shame, no aliasing. In fact the rendering of stills with lots of resolution is surprisingly good more like after effects and renders very quickly in my opinion.

the scaling up of content wasnt perfect to be honest I would still say a conversion using hardware e.g. Kona 3 card is noticeably better

the color space conversions and reading/interpreting of gammas in RGB video has been spot on, looking on tektronix scopes for that one, if there were issues these had been introduced in compressed RGB formats like h264 on export (from the old FCP7) rather than import.

I would actually say that the choices FCPx makes when it helps get formats together in an open timeline are better than I expected and something I can trust to give excellent quality in most cases, there are of course times when an Alchemist has its uses.

and lastly as long as you dont go need the crop image controls when using the spatial conform tools set to stretch you can rely on the aspect ratios getting read properly or being a hell of a lot easier to fix (did notice some black edge oddness with HDV footage in a SD anamorphic sequence when set to fit but fixed easily by setting squeeze)

sorry if all the terms used here werent exactly those used in software (i am writing this on a PC and the macs in the other room)

the fact that there are so many plugins for specialised outputs from compressor makes the whole system a lot like the PDF example given in these commments, just think 7 years ago if someone said you can make a DCP from final cut pro for less than £1000 for the software licence you wouldnt have believed them


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:48:54 pm

[Ben Scott] "just think 7 years ago if someone said you can make a DCP from final cut pro for less than £1000 for the software licence you wouldnt have believed them"

Ben,

Would you honestly trust even the most "artistic" newbie to finish and output a DCP of your important film/video using FCPX because you believe the software allows technically seamless and automated finishing? That's what your argument appears to be...

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:29:17 pm

I don't get the blow back about things being easier. What is wrong with more easy?

If you choose to suffer, go edit tape to tape, or get all of your video transferred to film and edit on a flatbed and conform back to video.

I am not saying we need to lose quality, but I am OK with more easy.

My clients hire us for quality, it's implied, but yet they throw more and more stuff on us. If software can quickly get me through more of the duties and maintain quality, I have zero issues with that.


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Gary Hazen
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:19:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What is wrong with more easy?"

Nothing.

Is this discussion about "more easy" or is it about the need for today's editors to have some level of technical ability.

Having a menu choice or a button that says 'send to Youtube' is easy. Great for all. But what happens when the destination isn't Youtube? Suppose the client says, "We're using Ooyala for web content delivery, when you're finished with the edit please upload it to Ooyala". I'm guessing the "artist" will claw from menu to menu desperately searching for the 'send to Ooyala' command. No such luck. Frustrated the artist manages to call support. Support says 'send to Ooyala' may be included in the next software release - second quarter 2012.

The editor with a modicum of technical ability could figure our how to encode to the required specs. and be finished in time for lunch.

Easy is fine and well. However it won't carry you as far as technical knowledge will.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:24:14 pm

[Gary Hazen] "Is this discussion about "more easy" or is it about the need for today's editors to have some level of technical ability."

Seems to be both.

[Gary Hazen] "Easy is fine and well. However it won't carry you as far as technical knowledge will."

Of course not. But in the sense of color accuracy/processing, if the quality is maintained in FCPX, what is wrong with that? If someone can't figure out how to deliver a file, then fine, they shouldn't deliver files. It really has nothing to do with crafting the story.


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Gary Hazen
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:50:40 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " If someone can't figure out how to deliver a file, then fine, they shouldn't deliver files."

Seriously? How's that going to go over during the interview process?

Interviewer: We're a mid sized company and so a lot of people have to wear different hats as needed.

Applicant: I love hats.

Interviewer: We upload videos to the web on a fairly routine basis, can you handle that?

Applicant: Well... no. Did I mention I'm a story teller.

Interviewer: MmmmKayy. On occassion we have a really quick turnaround on some projects, so there's no time to bring in a sound designer. Can you handle doing the mix on your own? Nothing over the top - just a simple mix.

Applicant: Audio is not really my thing. Did I mention that I'm an artist?

Interviewer: Altright then. We have a few ongoing projects that require some minor text changes in Photoshop. How are your PS skills?

Applicant: I thought about taking that Photoshop class, but I never around to it. Is there someone else on your staff that can handle these mundane tasks for me?

Interviewer: I think I've heard enough. Thank you for coming in.

Applicant: Do you validate parking?

Interviewer: No.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:52:04 pm

[Gary Hazen] "Seriously? How's that going to go over during the interview process?"

I am talking about OP's case. In that case, they aren't hiring him for his file making capabilities or lack there of.

We are talking about different types of jobs, here.


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:56:29 pm

[Gary Hazen] "Interviewer: We're a mid sized company and so a lot of people have to wear different hats as needed.

Applicant: I love hats."


Laughed out loud!

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


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 9:45:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't get the blow back about things being easier. What is wrong with more easy?"

It may be faster Jeremy, but it's not really easier. The interface may make it appear easier for those without any technical know-how. And, the marketing may make it sound easier. But, underlying all that is the fact that delivering the final video product still requires technical knowledge that the FCPX promise of ease of use really doesn't deliver.

For example, Bill Davis is delivering completed masters to his clients, and he loves to boast about it, but as you are well aware, without proper monitoring, no one can possibly know if they are truly delivering a final product that will pass QC, because there is no way in X to accurately determine if the output has any fields-related issues. If Bill has no idea why he FCPX hides the reality of improper fields from his eyeballs, how would a total newbie?

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 9:55:15 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "It may be faster Jeremy, but it's not really easier."

I agree. I wouldn't necessarily call FCPX easy. There are some things that are most definitely streamlined, and things do move much faster, but I don't know if it's necessarily easier. Some things are, some things aren't.

For color correction, I use the built in FCPX scopes, export a QT movie and then send that ProRes QT through AJA TV, a total hack.

FCPX needs baseband out, and according to Apple, it's coming at least that's how I interpret it. At least I know that FCPX handles 3:2 pulldown rendering properly, a plus over FCP7, and you can step through interlaced material field by field. Another plus over FCP7. I can't wait until all the consumers rave about those features because I know how long they have been asking for field checks in iMovie. FCPX finally delivers it to them for a mere $299 at the App Store. Huzzah!

Jeremy


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:08:59 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "For color correction, I use the built in FCPX scopes, export a QT movie and then send that ProRes QT through AJA TV, a total hack."

You could also XML out to a free copy of Resolve and check everything on an external monitor attached to that.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:09:36 pm

[Steve Connor] "You could also XML out to a free copy of Resolve and check everything on an external monitor attached to that."

No audio, and I have AJA :)


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:14:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "No audio, and I have AJA :)"

Just pointing out that there is a workflow from FCPX that enables you to check output on a broadcast monitor at the moment.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:17:01 pm

[Steve Connor] "Just pointing out that there is a workflow from FCPX that enables you to check output on a broadcast monitor at the moment."

And you are absolutely right. I didn't mean to take away from that, sorry.

There's also Xto7 to get back to FCP7 and all that it brings to the table, but there's some limitations there, as with Resolve (compound clips being a big one, and not a lot of filters translate).

Jeremy


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Oliver Peters
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:22:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "but there's some limitations there, as with Resolve (compound clips being a big one, and not a lot of filters translate)."

Which could be a HUGE issue if you are trying to judge broadcast levels. Also, since this thread started based on mixing sizes and frame rates, how does that translate to Resolve? You are probably better off exporting a self-contained QT and then looking at it through KONA TV to an external monitor and/or scopes.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:24:38 pm

[Oliver Peters] "You are probably better off exporting a self-contained QT and then looking at it through KONA TV to an external monitor and/or scopes"

Yessir. That's what I do. What's a pain is if you have to go back and fix, then export another movie.

FCPX ain't ready yet! :-D


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:22:35 pm

[Steve Connor] "Just pointing out that there is a workflow from FCPX that enables you to check output on a broadcast monitor at the moment."

For that matter (and price), you could also take your master to the nearest high-priced post house and have them either do the job or check your own. But, then of course you could just spend your dough on a "real" NLE to do that. :)

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:25:00 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "For that matter (and price), you could also take your master to the nearest high-priced post house and have them either do the job or check your own."

Resolve lite is F-R-E-E, but decklink hardware is required to get video out.

Yeah, I said decklink.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:34:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Resolve lite is F-R-E-E, but decklink hardware is required to get video out.
"


Yep, I know all that... There are expensive workarounds, but it doesn't change the underlying issues.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:36:24 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Yep, I know all that... There are expensive workarounds, but tt doesn't change the underlying issues."

How is using a Decklink card and a free copy of Resolve an expensive workaround?

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


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:49:55 pm

[Steve Connor] "How is using a Decklink card and a free copy of Resolve an expensive workaround?"

If you already own AJA and Matrox products, buying a Decklink card is an expensive workaround, especially if the only real upside is FCPX.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:01:57 am

[David Roth Weiss] "If you already own AJA and Matrox products, buying a Decklink card is an expensive workaround, especially if the only real upside is FCPX"

Sorry David $295 is NOT expensive.

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:11:51 am

Quite interesting how a simple post about my joy that a certain difficult problem has now an elegant solution has gone off the rails. Not to say that the new topic has some interesting points but it has nothing to do with I wrote in the first place.
And all because some are threatened by the word 'easier'. Are you afraid there is an army of naive amateurs out there that will burn you alive when you open the door of the castle of knowledge and true professionalism?
What are you trying to defend? Why do you want things complicated? Because somebody without your years of experience suddenly can get the same result?

I stand by my original post: The way FCPx with frame sizes and frame rates is brilliant! And I didn't read a single argument that disputed this. I read a lot of arguments disputing other things but that seems to be the way it works..


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Steve Connor
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:14:26 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Quite interesting how a simple post about my joy that a certain difficult problem has now an elegant solution has gone off the rails"

Quite a few threads on here end up going in a completely different direction, sometimes it can be fascinating and amusing.

Sometimes it isn't

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


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David Lawrence
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 1:28:30 am

[Carsten Orlt] "The way FCPx with frame sizes and frame rates is brilliant! And I didn't read a single argument that disputed this. I read a lot of arguments disputing other things but that seems to be the way it works.."

[Carsten Orlt] "I always did find it curious that many mediocre editors got the edge only because they were wiz (is that spelled correctly?) kids on the computer..."

While we may agree that FCPX's handling of mixed formats is a welcome convenience, I find the notion that gives a new edge to novice users somewhat amusing. Here's a recent example:

I got a call from a colleague recently to ask if I could help her with a short video she was having trouble with. She was not happy with the editor's work and felt the director was keeping her out of the process and not incorporating her feedback. I asked her to send me what they had produced and I'd give my feedback. The piece she sent, which the production team considered near final, was by my standards at best a weak rough cut.

Since it was cut in FCP7, I told her it looked like a straightforward job to fix things. Just get me the FCP project file and a hard drive with all the media. She fires the editor and gives me the project and media. I get everything up on my system, look at the timeline and groan. It's a total mess. A hodgepodge of mixed formats -- HDV, H.264 AVCHD, progressive, interlaced, various sizes, frame rates, etc. Sigh. BTW, she blew her entire budget on the other team so she has no money and must pay out-of-pocket for any additional work. Since she's a friend and colleague, I cut her a sweet deal.

It's too bad FCPX can't open that project. It would have made my life easier. But I doubt if the previous editor had used FCPX it would have been a better cut. The editorial decisions were very specific and intentional. And in my judgement, often amateurish. The fact that their FCP7 timeline was a mess was just another indicator of their general lack of expertise.

For me personally, deep technical understanding has never been an end goal. It's simply a necessary byproduct of mastering an inherently technical medium. It's part of the craft.

YMMV, but over the years, I've found that the most skilled editors were also the most technically sophisticated. I don't think FCPX will change that. If anything, it'll probably mean more work putting out editorial fires as more and more novice users confuse FCPX's automation for experience and skill.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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publicmattersgroup.com
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Rafael Amador
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 2:02:34 am

[Carsten Orlt] "And all because some are threatened by the word 'easier'. Are you afraid there is an army of naive amateurs out there that will burn you alive when you open the door of the castle of knowledge and true professionalism?
What are you trying to defend? Why do you want things complicated? Because somebody without your years of experience suddenly can get the same result?"

Again, nothing against "easier" but against accepting beforehand an avoidable quality lost.
You can get it as easy and without that "peanuts quality lose", with the same application.
We deal with 2 pictures aspect ratios and 4 kind of pixels.
Hell, this is not quantic physic.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 5:57:48 am

But the more I try to help him work out the best workflow to deal with SD or HD and what HD I really start hating (yes hating) FCP7. The way FCPx handles all this is how it should be. I know there is a bit more to it like loosing quality when upscaling etc but this is peanuts against the problem which format your source should be converted too and what your seq should be set too and what if you need to change it after you edit the program.


This was my original quote. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. By 'this is peanuts' I ment that the obvious problem that when you upscale you will loose quality and there are only 2 options to minimize that loss (hardware or software scale). It is therefor much easier to explain and to understand compared to that SD has at least 2 and HD at least 4 different pixel dimensions which effect how you have to deal with text, graphics etc. In addition to this you have the frame rates and progressive versus interlaced.
One problem has 2 possible solutions (peanuts) against the other problem having a lot more than that (never calculated the total possible combinations of frame rates and pixel dimensions.

Clearer?

And believe me this IS quantum physics for some who are much better editors than we are!


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Carsten Orlt
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 6:13:10 am

YMMV, but over the years, I've found that the most skilled editors were also the most technically sophisticated. I don't think FCPX will change that. If anything, it'll probably mean more work putting out editorial fires as more and more novice users confuse FCPX's automation for experience and skill


It will not make anybody a better editor, but it will make a technical problem way easier to handle. To use your example, it wouldn't have made the program better edited but it would have saved you a lot of time cleaning up the messy timeline. It lets you focus more on the craft of editing and less on the technicalities of modern video formats.
This will benefit the novice as much as the seasoned editor.

And the novice who thinks some fancy software replaces experience is as wrong as the experienced who thinks that nothing can replace her/him.


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Chris Harlan
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 7:03:16 am

[Carsten Orlt] "It will not make anybody a better editor, but it will make a technical problem way easier to handle."

I think the problem is that it might make "technical problem way easier to handle" to a point. Once you pass that point, however, you don't have the tools available to easily deal with more complicated issues, and then those issues become far more difficult to handle.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 17, 2011 at 6:20:49 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I think the problem is that it might make "technical problem way easier to handle" to a point. Once you pass that point, however, you don't have the tools available to easily deal with more complicated issues, and then those issues become far more difficult to handle."

Precisely!

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Fredy Schwerdtner
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:06:05 pm

Hi David,
Long time I don't post anything here but it doesn't mean that I'm not reading everything you, David Lawrence, Rafael Amador and many others are saying about the great combat between 7 x FCPX.
Reading this thread makes me going back on my beginning here on CC when I was confused about fps, frame sizes anamorphic or not, progressive and interlaced and etc… .
You know what ? Thanks to FCP 4.5 , 5, 6, 7 (those I've worked with) and all of you guys here who understands the tech problems, I'm a better editor. Not because of an answer you or any other gave me but because the answer made me look more deep on the question, no matter if it was here on CC or anywhere else around the internet or in the books I've bought. Do you believe that now I'm also directing ?
Well, I waited 3 months to install FCPX. Before that I read, read and read about it, here in CC.
My last job I edited all of it in FCPX but now I'm with another one inside FCP7. What I'm doing ? Before start the editing I decide what I want to do with all those clips and then decide where I'm going to work. If I will need some plugins and a monitoring, I go for 7 if not I'm taking the X.
Since the videos I work with do not run for an Oscar in Hollywood or for broadcast around the whole country and also I do not have the latest and modern facility full of optical fibers and arrays with many HDs looking like a wardrobe, FCPX is doing a very good job for me.
Do you remember when in a thread you came on my help saying to the others: "Hey guys, Fredy just want to see what he is doing with the clips and not be waiting for render to see the results." And you came with a good solution for me.
Now, FCPX makes it possible fast and easy. I'm really enjoying it ! But 7 is just beside for many helps … lol.
Greetings and thanks for all ....

iMac 2.7 GHz Intel 4 Core i5
16 GB memory

MacBook Pro 17"
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
6GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

OWC RAID 5 with 3TB
(2) External HD LaCieMac (400/800 FW and USB)with 500GB -(2) USB External HD Western Digital (in cases) with 750GB
OS X 10.6.5
Final Cut Studio "3"


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David Roth Weiss
Re: hidden gems
on Dec 18, 2011 at 9:46:24 pm

[Fredy Schwerdtner] "I'm a better editor. Not because of an answer you or any other gave me but because the answer made me look more deep on the question"

Absolutely Fredy. Precisely the reason why many of us don't think FCPX really delivers on its promise of making editing easier. It just hides some of technical stuff from users and discourages them from developing a true understanding of the technical aspects of editing they'd be better off learning, just as you have.

[Fredy Schwerdtner] "Do you believe that now I'm also directing ?"

Excellent!!! And, your editing skills will definitely help you to become a better director.

It's great to hear you're making so much progress. When you start directing full-time you can hire me to edit. Okay?

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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