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Apple should have built FCPX like they did DVD Studio Pro

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Greg Andonian
Apple should have built FCPX like they did DVD Studio Pro
on May 29, 2012 at 7:42:27 am

When DVD Studio Pro 2 came out, Apple added something called "Basic Mode", which gave DVDSP a streamlined interface that resembled iDVD.
This way people moving up from the free authoring program that came on their Mac could move up to the more powerful DVDSP, and make a smooth transition.

Here's an article that describes it.

From the article:

This article is about DVD SP 2 in Basic Mode, hereafter referred to as SP 2. Some might say that SP 2 is like iDVD 3 on steroids and in Basic Mode SP 2 does resemble iDVD in look and ease of use but that is where the similarity ends. The awesome power and flexibility of SP 2 Basic Mode goes far beyond iDVD. Basic Mode of SP 2 sits on top of a completely re- written application and draws from the full feature set of SP 2 Advanced Mode which lies just beneath the surface. The integration of the Advanced feature set is so seamless that you will find yourself using Advanced features, like the Inspector, without even leaving Basic Mode.

Basic Mode was there if you wanted to use it, but you didn't have to. If you wanted more control, Advanced Mode gave it to you.

This is what Apple should have done with FCPX. Instead of simply trashing the timeline design everyone knows well and replacing it with a simple one, they should have added the magnetic timeline as a "Basic Mode" for FCP- and allowed people who want more control to flip the switch and go into "Advanced Mode"- with real tracks and no magnetism, no primary and secondary storylines, no connected clips, and nothing to prevent "clip collisions".

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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Apple should have built FCPX like they did DVD Studio Pro
on May 29, 2012 at 2:04:02 pm

I do think the concept of the clip connections instead of linear timeline is very powerful.
It doesn't always work, sometimes it works against you. But it's definitely logical in a lot of narrative scenarios (cutting fiction or documentary) and in a LOT of scenarios (you could argue, most of them, but I'm not qualified to do such big statements) it saves you time and headache.

Having more flexibility would be great, although I do think that people constantly bashing FCP X for the way it works are looking it very one-sided (not saying you are constantly bashing it). Other NLE's also have their set of rules you have to follow to get things the way you want, and FCP X is no different.

That being said, I do agree that FCP X is still not rock-solid at this point and it still misses a lot of features (although the powerful 10.0.3 and 10.0.1 updates give me a lot of hope)


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple should have built FCPX like they did DVD Studio Pro
on May 29, 2012 at 2:25:15 pm

[Greg Andonian] "his is what Apple should have done with FCPX. Instead of simply trashing the timeline design everyone knows well and replacing it with a simple one, they should have added the magnetic timeline as a "Basic Mode" for FCP- and allowed people who want more control to flip the switch and go into "Advanced Mode"- with real tracks and no magnetism, no primary and secondary storylines, no connected clips, and nothing to prevent "clip collisions"."

I've got to disagree.

If for no other reason then yet again, this is "I want it to be more like what I used to have" thinking.

I'm pretty convinced that until a person gets to the point where they stop trying to make X "more like FCP-Legacy" so they can re-capture their lost personal comfort level - and openly approaches what it actually is rather than what they might "wish" it would be - it's very hard to get more than basic functional benefit from it.

This is time consuming, and not trivial, but it's absolutely necessary if you want to benefit from the development and thinking that went into the program.

It's a big IF.

And I think the proof of that is how experienced editors who've been working with it for nearly a year still don't always fully understand it's underpinnings or how it works. (And I put myself firmly into that category, btw)

VAST amount of thinking when into it's design - from a group of world class software engineers who had as much NLE software creation experience available to them as any other team on the planet - and all the resources the leading company in the world could make available to them in terms of technology access and brainpower.

This is what they built for the future of their professional level editing offering.

And a professional NLE is something you kinda "live in" if you're an editor. Not something most people occasionally use like a DVD authoring program. So while the "training wheels" approach makes sense for a DVD authoring suite, I don't think it makes as much sense for an NLE.

What you need is a clean interface that is as approachable as possible at first - but has lots and lots of deep capabilities as you gain mastery of the basics.

I think that describes X really well.

FWIW.

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


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