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What do you mean by Fast?

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Mike Jeffs
What do you mean by Fast?
on Dec 31, 2011 at 9:05:00 pm

SO I have been reading a lot on how FCPX is fast. What I want to know is what do you mean by fast. There doesn't seem to be a cosenses;

For some fast means you get your footage in to the NLE quickly without transcoding

For others it means Render Time is shorter

Still others it means the ability to sift though footage to find what you want.

And lastly some mean they are able to actually arange a sequence on a timeline quicker.

SO what does Fast mean to you? and what is most critical in your workflow?

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Mark Morache
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Dec 31, 2011 at 9:53:40 pm

Not sure what you're looking for Mike.

Yes. Yes. Yes. It's all important to me. It's like asking which finger I like better. I use them all. I like them all.

Not transcoding...that's huuuuge.

Short render time, with occasional work in the background. That's big too.

Our system at work has true background rendering, with 5 dedicated computers, and that's an awesome thing. I hope FCP heads that way sometime.

Sifting through the footage, that's huuuuggge. The instant filtering by typing in part of the name, is tremendous. Filtering keywords, favorites and rejected is gigantic. I'm hoping they can add a filter for used footage, and give me the reverse match frame back.

Snappy timeline work, that's enormous. I get a physical charge from moving things around in the timeline. And it's not just arranging things. I'm enjoying the skimmer. I don't need to click to play things anymore. I slide my finger gently over the trackpad and hit the spacebar. It's so elegant, it gives me joy.

The worst thing for me is wasted time. There are countless times when I'm organizing, or transcoding, or rendering when I'm thinking "I could be doing something useful here". I still get this in FCX, but some of that is stuff that they will hopefully fix or add to later versions.

The seemless workflow from mind to hand to timeline is what we're working towards here, and I'm so addicted to it that I have barely touched FCP7 since June.

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

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Mike Jeffs
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Dec 31, 2011 at 11:54:42 pm

What i'm getting at is that really all current new NLEs are fast when it come to certain workflows. So when people try and sell that FCPX is faster I want to know excatly what faster are they talking about.

When you look at it they all have major points when it some to speed.

1)Get your footage in to the NLE quickly without transcoding. FCPX has background transcoding, Avid has AMA, and Adobe is codec agnostic.


2) Render Time is shorter. FCPX has background rendering (sorta of), Avid doesn't need to render for most effects (even stacked ones) Adobe has Cuda accelaration.



3) Sift though footage to find what you want. FCPX has the keyword and database metadata searching. Avid has Phrasefind, Script Sync and search for keywords. Adobe I don't know but I'm sure it has something.

6) Arange a sequence on a timeline quicker. FCPX has magnitic timeline (helps some I guess) and skimmer. Avid has its Trim mode and multicam. Adobe has a more traditional FCP-like editing.

Again not one of the Major NLEs corner the market when it comes to being "fast" some do better in one aspect while others shine in another. so i was curious as to when people us the term its fast what workflows do they mean.

Maybe this is all a jumble but it make sense in my head, if it doesn't in anyone elses well just Ignore my ranting :)

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Steve Connor
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 1:21:10 am

Just to clarify a much overlooked point when it comes to rendering in FCPX, like Avid for most effects you don't NEED to render at all until final output. I have background rendering switched off.

"FCPX Agitator"


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 2:46:04 am

How about 5 stacked Color Corrections including 2 masks and topped off with a mild Sharpen filter - all with no choking on 1080p footage - similar to Mercury playback in PPro but no special card required! And the results are just crazy good - as good and faster than using Color, which I loved.

Happy New Year!

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Tero Ahlfors
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 9:56:33 am

[Lance Bachelder] "How about 5 stacked Color Corrections including 2 masks and topped off with a mild Sharpen filter - all with no choking on 1080p footage - similar to Mercury playback in PPro but no special card required! And the results are just crazy good - as good and faster than using Color, which I loved."

I just made a little test on Premiere. I set up 15 simultaneous tracks with 1080P footage shot on a Canon 5D mk II on top of each other. I put a different color corrector, mask, sharpen plugin and gaussian blur on each. Then I pressed play and what do you know. All ran in lovely real-time and here's the kicker: I don't even have a "special card". I have a CUDA enabled GTX 260 that I can tell Premiere to use even it is not officially supported.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:49:08 am

So you have a special card - take out the nVidia and plop in an ATI card... Seriously PPro runs amazing on a good card, I've tested the GTX570 and wow! But I'm not talking about stacking tracks - the top track is all that matters, my point was that I had a bunch of real world stuff on a clip and it ran faster/smoother than any NLE I've tried that cost under $300...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Mark Morache
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 2:05:45 am

No worries.

For me, I feel like FCP knows where I'm going and has anticipated things for me. I've always loved FCP because there is 5-10 ways of doing things, and they are all good. There's not a lot of compromising to get things to work. (FCP in general) Apple has always had that magic combination of hardware and software that lets me be creative.

FCP is not necessarily intuitive in the sense that I can learn it without looking at a book. I'd say it's intuitive in that once you "understand" the software, it just makes sense, and you can find things and get them to work easily. The workflow works like your brain does, so that you and the application start to work in sync. In my world, I depend alot on muscle memory, so that my brain is free to create. That's what I like about Final Cut in general.

FCX is like that, but it's quite immature so it's not there yet. I believe that it will get there.

I feel like Final Cut is like driving a small sports car, and Avid and Adobe are more like driving the family van. They will all get me where I'm going, but I'll have a lot more fun in the sports car, and fun is an energy that feeds our edits.

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

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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tony west
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 12:19:58 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "FCPX has magnitic timeline (helps some I guess)"


Yes it helps very much in speed.

I have made this point here before. Since the audio is linked to the video by default you are dealing with fewer items in the timeline.

Same information down there, just fewer items.

Look at it this way, say I'm in a grocery store and they hand me 6 bags or 2 bags. Same items I bought just
in two bags instead of 6. I can move faster with 2 instead of 6. It seems common sense to me if I have things consolidated it would speed things up.

Like having my tools spread out all over my garage or in one tool box.

I don't need timecode for syncing multi-camera because it syncs through sound waves. I don't have to waste time in the field doing that.

I can preview effects and looks in real time before I use them.


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Dominic Deacon
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:02:38 pm

Which other NLEs have audio locked to video? In Edius the audio is locked to video by default as well. Audio tracks 1 and 2 sit empty while your audio is represented by a thin bar underneath your video.

Actually it's strikes me that FCPX has been built to run a lot like Edius in it's default setup. Apart from the audio lock when you first load Edius up it's a single screen set up. Ripple mode is on. Tracks are locked- meaning you make an edit in V1 it ripples right through all the other tracks so they stay in sync. I haven't been able to try FCPX- my mac is one generation too old but I imagine editing in FCPX is very similar to this. It's a fun way to edit.

Generally of course I have all those defaults switched off and use it with a source window.


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Brian Mulligan
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:23:54 pm

Edius is not a editor you want to emulate. It's pretty horrid.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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TImothy Auld
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 11:36:17 pm

Avid has had sync lock forever. You can turn it on and off.

Tim


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Dominic Deacon
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 12:15:29 am

It's a while since I played with AVID. Doesn't sync lock in AVID work in the same way as FCP7? I mean that the sync lock button just toggles on and off for the entire timeline rather having to individually seperate audio and video for every clip as you need to in some other programs.


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TImothy Auld
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 12:32:42 am

No, as with most things in Avid the sync locks are track dependent.

Tim


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 5:11:08 pm

Mike-

Have you used FCPX much?


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Mike Jeffs
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 5:13:22 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Mike-

Have you used FCPX much?"


Yes quite a bit we got it day one and started evaluating its strengthens and current weaknesses, using it on test projects and such. We determined that FCPx did not suit the universities needs (at this time). During that same time we evaluated Adobe and Avid. It was determined that Avid was best suited for us to sink are reasource into. This was due to current functionality, hardware compatibility, Price ($300 a seat for education), and Industry Prestige.

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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tony west
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 1:04:33 pm

That's a good move for your University at this point because more places that might hire your students
have Avid.

What will be interesting to me are students that come to your University in the future who have already learned X at home and never used Avid.

It will be a change for them and I would love to know how they will react. While I think they should learn both, my guess is that many will cut their own stuff on their X at home.

It's so different now, than when I was in school (83-87) You had no access to editing and all you knew was what the college taught you. We were clean slates.

It won't ever be that way again.

Say some kid startes cutting with X and motion in the 8th grade and comes to you with 5 years of experience with a product.

I'm just thinking out loud about how the world has changed.

A little off topic but how much does BYU cost a semester these days?


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Mike Jeffs
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:21:06 pm

[tony west] "What will be interesting to me are students that come to your University in the future who have already learned X at home and never used Avid."

In some ways I actually think that the radical departure that FCPX incorporates will end up being a better thing. Currently we have to take a majority of time "Unlearning" many bad habits, or less effect techniques that students have acquired by self-learning FCP classic. All of my current studetns are excited to start learning Avid and using it here in our facility.

[tony west] "A little off topic but how much does BYU cost a semester these days?"


current tution per semester is $1700, with the average cost of living (room and board, books, food ect.) is about $6000 a semester. Now this is the Idaho campus the other ones are different we have the same name but are different schools :)

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Steve Connor
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:24:40 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "All of my current studetns are excited to start learning Avid and using it here in our facility. "

As they should, it is vital that any Student Editor or Filmmaker knows how to use Avid if they want to make themselves more marketable in the industry

"FCPX Agitator"


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tony west
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:29:05 pm

Thanks for the info Mike.

It's not as high as I thought it would be.

I'm happy to see that.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 2:55:44 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "Yes quite a bit we got it day one and started evaluating its strengthens and current weaknesses, using it on test projects and such. We determined that FCPx did not suit the universities needs (at this time). During that same time we evaluated Adobe and Avid. It was determined that Avid was best suited for us to sink are reasource into. This was due to current functionality, hardware compatibility, Price ($300 a seat for education), and Industry Prestige."

So, surely you must know from using it, that there's an intangible quickness to X.

The ease of sorting/viewing/tagging/recalling footage.

The trim tools, the rt effects previews, the low amount of clicking, highly keyboard shortcut friendly, no clip collisions, easy stem exports, no render breaks, the list goes on.

I understand how it's not fit for a university. It's not quite ready yet, but speed might not be of importance to students.


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Mike Jeffs
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:31:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, surely you must know from using it, that there's an intangible quickness to X. ."

I would say that when I first intially started testing FCPX in june, yes I thought there was something there, but over time as I had started to test the other NLEs, thats when I notice they are all Fast just in different workflows, which is my whole complaint/question. What do people mean when they say "fast"? It seems that in your case I'm guessing that this is what you mean by fast? but to someone else this fast isn't relevent

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:47:40 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "What do people mean when they say "fast"? It seems that in your case I'm guessing that this is what you mean by fast? but to someone else this fast isn't relevent"

Of course fast is a relative term. I listed what goes much faster for me, and yes maybe the entire process moving faster isn't important to everyone. For some of us, we appreciate it as I'm sure your students will appreciate Avid for all that X lacks in certain functionality.


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Daniel Frome
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 1, 2012 at 6:02:48 am

All excellent points. This is exactly how I feel every time people say it's 'fast.' They are ALL fast.


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Andy Neil
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:37:29 am

I've always felt that when people talk about FCPX being fast, they're really just comparing it to FCP 7, not necessarily Avid or Premiere.

I haven't really played with the newest version of premiere, but it's been 64 bit for awhile now, making good use of the mulitple cores. Avid has always felt fast from an editing point of view (with the exception of loading the project, and drawing waveforms).

I could get good performance out of 7, but really that's due to best practices rather than an inherent speed in the program. You learn to work without waveforms, or filmstrip view, or too many sequences. You break up projects to keep down project bloat and keep load speeds down.
In FCPX, filmstrip view and waveforms are on all the time and it still feels pretty snappy overall.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Helmut Kobler
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:39:01 am

I've actually been frustrated with FCP X because it doesn't feel very fast to me. I love the magnetic timeline, the metadata tools, the auditioning, and the reduced toolset that still lets you ripple, roll, slip clips, etc.

BUT....I've noticed that the timeline gets laggy when my projects get to 3-5 minutes, with lots of edits. FCP X needs a second to think when you ask it to zoom in or out of the timeline. Scrolling feels laggy. Sometimes, FCP X needs a second to highlight a single clip I've selected. And then there's sending my project to Comrpressor for output....God, that's slow. Not the rendering, per se, but when you literally choose the "Send to Compressor" menu item in X, you get a spinning rainbow for 10, 15, 20 seconds before the project appears in Compressor. And then, if you want to set In and Out points for your encoding, there's another spinning rainbow for about 15 or 20 seconds.

Anyway, FCP X's tools and interface can make the organizational and creative process of editing faster, but the app's performance gets bogged down too easily. I'm really hoping Apple has been working on these performance issues, along with the multi cam editing and broadcast monitoring features due in early 2012.

By the way, I have an 8 core 2.93GHz Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM and an 8 drive miniSAS raid, so my Mac's specs are not the problem....

-------------------
Documentary Camera in Los Angeles
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Mark Morache
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 9:06:41 am

[Helmut Kobler] "I've noticed that the timeline gets laggy when my projects get to 3-5 minutes,"

Keep an eye on your file size for the CurrentVersion.fcpproject file. I found that there are some practices that can balloon your project size, and slow down the application.

I'm working on a 4 minute video now, the timeline index shows 185 items in it, including a bunch of compound clips. There are effects, transitions, lower thirds and other text effects, many connected clips and secondary story lines. The project file is about 25mb, and things are still snappy.

I can point you to the thread if your project seems much larger than that.

As far as using compressor, yes, it's awfuly slow. I've been having better luck using "Export using compressor settings". It sends your project to compressor fairly quickly without actually opening the application. As far as exporting just a portion of a project, I'd be tempted to delete the parts of my timeline I don't want exported, exporting what's left with compressor settings (rendering in the background) then hitting undo to get your timeline back. (Of course before deleting parts of my timeline, I'd make a copy of my project with no renders, just in case the program crashes before I performed my undos. ) This goes much more quickly, and duplicating the project with no renders goes pretty quickly as well.

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

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Helmut Kobler
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 7:42:58 pm

Thanks for the tips, Mark. I double-checked my 4 minute project's size and it's 120MB, so I will look into ways to cut that down. But it really is egregious that a user has to jump through hoops to keep their project file size down rather than just editing. It's supposed to be easy.

As for you tip about exporting to Compressor, I might try that, but it's such an awful kluge, and can easily lead to losing work because you forget to undo after an export. Again, jumping through hoops.

I really do appreciate so many of Final Cut's elegant solutions and tools, but right now, all that's being suffocated by Apple's rushing FCP X out the door. So unprofessional. For a company that prides itself on being filled with "A players" and making "great products", it's especially appalling.

-------------------
Documentary Camera in Los Angeles
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Andy Neil
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 3, 2012 at 5:58:13 pm

[Helmut Kobler] "when you literally choose the "Send to Compressor" menu item in X, you get a spinning rainbow for 10, 15, 20 seconds before the project appears in Compressor. And then, if you want to set In and Out points for your encoding, there's another spinning rainbow for about 15 or 20 seconds."

The secret to recovering some speed from the Send to Compressor command is to open compressor on it's own, and then hiding the preview window. The majority of the lag comes from that.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Helmut Kobler
Re: What do you mean by Fast?
on Jan 4, 2012 at 8:00:15 pm

Thanks Andy. I tried that but it didn't help. I opened Compressor on its own, closed the Preview window, and then went back to FCP X and chose Send to Compressor. Same interminable delays (spinning beach ball) before the project shows up in Compressor. Thanks though.

-------------------
Documentary Camera in Los Angeles
http://www.lacameraman.com


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