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My closer look at FCPX, continued

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Greg Andonian
My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:06:40 am

I was going to post this the other day, but I thought it would be better to wait for all the hoopla and excitement over the all-new Mac Pro to die down a bit. (Boy, THAT was a big bust... )

I mentioned not too long ago that I had taken a trip to my local Apple store to take a closer look at FCPX. There was a thread recently that mentioned Mac Pro stock being pulled from the Apple stores, and that made me curious if the one by me had any, so I went up there to investigate and took some time to look at X a little further.

I remember after I wrote my first post about favorites creation, Richard Herd suggested that next time, after skimming a clip and hitting I and O, I should, "Hit Q, then click the clip in the timeline and hit SHIFT-F." That made me curious, so I tried it. Hitting Q put the section of the clip contained in the rectangle onto the timeline where the CTI was. Like an overwrite, but on the highest "track". When I selected the clip and hit shift-f, the section of the original clip I had used was highlighted. Seemed like it could be helpful- but I did think it felt a bit like a match frame with nowhere to go, due to the lack of a source monitor (but I know that's coming, so I'll move on).

I really wanted to understand what was going on with this bizarre timeline that Randy concocted, so I focused my attention there. One of the things that really seems strange to me is the whole concept of connected clips. I remember Craig saying that he liked them because he's always wanted to be able to keep clips together and move them in groups without having to lasso them every time. The only problem I see with that is, the clips in the higher "track" only connect to one clip in the primary storyline- so if you have, say, a title going over three clips, you'll still have to lasso everything if you want to move them all.

I saw another potential hazard when I moved a clip onto the third "track" with part of it hanging over the edge of the clips on the second. The clip on the third "track" connected to a clip on the first. This made me think, if for some reason I did something like this and then decided to move the clip directly below the edge of the top clip, the top clip would go with it.

But he biggest flaw I saw in connected clips was when I tried to move a clip with a music track connected to it up to the second "track". It wouldn't stay there, and went down to the primary storyline. This was a big dissappointment. I wouldn't mind this connection stuff if there was a way to turn it off and I was able to decide what gets connected where. But the fact that it happens automatically and imposes strange limitations on what I can do with the clips is a bit frustrating.

Another thing I was really curious about is the precision editor. I had watched a video about it on Youtube and it seemed interesting, so I tried it out. It was very easy to use, which was nice. I like how you can ripple edit either clip and also roll the edit point all in the same interface without having to switch tools. But I didn't like the fact that it can only be moved with the mouse. It would be much more worthy of its name if you could use the arrow keys to nudge it frame-by-frame.

The biggest disappointment though, is it appears to only be usable on the primary storyline. I tried to trim an edit point on the second "track" and it didn't work. Is there really no way to trim an edit point that isn't on the primary storyline? If so this is a huge letdown.

So far, it appears from my limited experience that as long as you don't go too far beyond the primary storyline, X will work pretty well once you're used to it. But it really feels like it was never meant to be used for very complex projects and workflows- which is a bit depressing, considering what Legacy has accomplished...

______________________________________________
"THAT'S our fail-safe point. Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Richard Herd
Re: My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 12, 2012 at 5:17:57 pm

[Greg Andonian] "SHIFT-F." It very useful. yep like a match frame. yep like a PIOP. X tracks all kinds of metadata. For me, the difficulty has been finding the buttons and menu items that display that data.

The precision editor really is good. Some keyboard function would make it top notch. There's some other silliness to it too. Clicking the mouse on a frame instantly changes the edit to point to that frame. I really hate that, actually.

It's only on the primary for a very good reason. Connected clips are like "b-roll" or "insert edits" that are supposed to exactly correlate to the shot underneath it. The assumption (or is it presumption?) is that the process of placing a connected clip is by de facto a precision edit. There's a few short cuts that turn connected clips into primaries. (Not in front of X right now and my memory has failed me.)

[Greg Andonian] "it was never meant to be used for very complex projects and workflows" In my opinion, you have it exactly backwards. X was designed for very complex projects and workflows. For example, multiple camera formats in the SAME timeline without any pre-transcoding. To an Avid editor this sounds like blasphemy (and an encroachment on profitability considering transcoding footage is billable hours). To a PP editor whose already used to this, its worth figuring out why X's method works better than PP's. But that's too much for this post and besides it's all searchable in this forum. But for the real big deal is 3rd party developers. Do you need an app that gets your audio out of X and into ProTools? There's an app for that. And so on...

In your testing exploring check out Compound Clips. I really like them, actually, especially for audio bussing. I've posted on it a couple of times. But here's the gist: Put three or four clips in the timeline. Then select them all and create a compound clip. Then hit CMD-8 and the "auto audio" tools pop-up. For me the eye-opener here is I can effect all the audio with a single effect. Next question: I wonder if that will work for Color Correction?

The mac pro thing...yeah, I don't get it. Until the software can actually use all the power, it's really just a Hummer sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.


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Jeffrey Carter
Re: My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 12, 2012 at 5:23:09 pm

There is a lot to FCPX that unfortunately just poking around it won't reveal. It definitely is NOT intuitive to an editor used to FCP 7, Avid, etc. When the program first came out and I tried to edit a real, paid for, show I couldn't - I gave up in frustration and went to FCP 7. However, I continued to explore and learn and have since edited dozens of real-world projects. It actually is easier for the most part, although there are some gotcha's and it is a love/hate relationship. In fact, since I've been knee deep in it, looking at Premiere and other timelines seems old fashioned.

Since there is a free 30 day trial, you should try it (while also checking out MacBreak studio and http://www.fcp.co for on-line learning). It's not right for everybody, and you have to ask yourself do you want to learn a whole new way of doing things?

"I remember after I wrote my first post about favorites creation, Richard Herd suggested that next time, after skimming a clip and hitting I and O, I should, "Hit Q, then click the clip in the timeline and hit SHIFT-F." That made me curious, so I tried it. Hitting Q put the section of the clip contained in the rectangle onto the timeline where the CTI was. Like an overwrite, but on the highest "track". When I selected the clip and hit shift-f, the section of the original clip I had used was highlighted. Seemed like it could be helpful- but I did think it felt a bit like a match frame with nowhere to go, due to the lack of a source monitor (but I know that's coming, so I'll move on)."


Favorites are used for storing in/out points and making 'sub clips'. Shift-F is a match frame (in a different way): in/out points are set for clip duration and the playhead is placed at the match frame. This is a pain in that you have to change the in point from clip beginning to the playhead to create a match edit. Q is a connected edit and how X places cutaways. The highest "track" is most visible.

" I wouldn't mind this connection stuff if there was a way to turn it off and I was able to decide what gets connected where. But the fact that it happens automatically and imposes strange limitations on what I can do with the clips is a bit frustrating."


You can place a clip anywhere using the Position tool 'P', and change where a clip is connected to by using cmd-option mouse click.

"But I didn't like the fact that it can only be moved with the mouse. It would be much more worthy of its name if you could use the arrow keys to nudge it frame-by-frame."

Use the ',' and '.' keys to move one frame at a time back and forth.

"The biggest disappointment though, is it appears to only be usable on the primary storyline. I tried to trim an edit point on the second "track" and it didn't work. Is there really no way to trim an edit point that isn't on the primary storyline? If so this is a huge letdown."


Several connected clips on the 'second track' can be grouped into a "secondary timeline" with cmd-g. All these clips can be trimmed (using new and different keyboard shortcuts!) in the usual way.

There is a lot more that desperately has to be done with this program to make it more professional. Like FCP 1.0, it will take several years before it will be totally up to speed and more accepted. I absolutely hated the magnetic timeline and way of FCPX editing at first, but have grown to actually like it. It's faster not having to buss tracks or worry about collisions - not that any editor can't do that in a normal track-based interface, it's just easier. FCPX (it really, really is iMovie Pro - just open iMovie and be shocked) like any editor, has it pluses and minuses, uses and problems, but is worth taking a look at. CS6 in the cloud for $49.99 a month is very tempting...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:01:27 pm

[Greg Andonian] "he only problem I see with that is, the clips in the higher "track" only connect to one clip in the primary storyline- so if you have, say, a title going over three clips, you'll still have to lasso everything if you want to move them all. "

Did you mess around with secondary storylines at all? IT's a good way to keep things connected horizontally if that's what you need.

[Greg Andonian] "I saw another potential hazard when I moved a clip onto the third "track" with part of it hanging over the edge of the clips on the second. The clip on the third "track" connected to a clip on the first. This made me think, if for some reason I did something like this and then decided to move the clip directly below the edge of the top clip, the top clip would go with it. "

The clip will only move when the connected primary clip moves. You can also change the connection point at any time by holding command-option and clicking where you want the connection point to move. It would be nice if you could connect connected clips to other connected clips, but for now, you have to use a secondary storyline for that. It si true, all connected clips are connected to the primary storyline, whether there's a clip, an audio element, or simply a gap (blank space).

[Greg Andonian] "But he biggest flaw I saw in connected clips was when I tried to move a clip with a music track connected to it up to the second "track". It wouldn't stay there, and went down to the primary storyline. This was a big dissappointment. I wouldn't mind this connection stuff if there was a way to turn it off and I was able to decide what gets connected where. But the fact that it happens automatically and imposes strange limitations on what I can do with the clips is a bit frustrating."

Command-option-up arrow moves a clip out of the primary. Yes, connections take a minute to get used to.

[Greg Andonian] "But I didn't like the fact that it can only be moved with the mouse. It would be much more worthy of its name if you could use the arrow keys to nudge it frame-by-frame."

Control-e opens the precision editor (Clips must be on primary).

Semi-colon/apostrophe will jump to previous/next edit points.

Brackets will select the left or right edge of the clips, backslash selects them both.

Comma/period will trim the clips left or right depending on which edge(s) you have selected.

Forward slash "plays around" the area depending on the pre/post roll you have selected in prefs.

[Greg Andonian] "The biggest disappointment though, is it appears to only be usable on the primary storyline. I tried to trim an edit point on the second "track" and it didn't work. Is there really no way to trim an edit point that isn't on the primary storyline? If so this is a huge letdown."

Not in the precision editor, but the brackets, comma/period work on any clip anywhere, pretty much.

Add shift for 10 frame increments.

There's also commands to do this for audio only.

[Greg Andonian] "So far, it appears from my limited experience that as long as you don't go too far beyond the primary storyline, X will work pretty well once you're used to it. But it really feels like it was never meant to be used for very complex projects and workflows- which is a bit depressing, considering what Legacy has accomplished...
"


It really depends. X does take some reorienting, perhaps it's just not worth it for you.


Jeremy


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Richard Herd
Re: My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:05:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Control-e opens the precision editor (Clips must be on primary).

Semi-colon/apostrophe will jump to previous/next edit points.

Brackets will select the left or right edge of the clips, backslash selects them both.

Comma/period will trim the clips left or right depending on which edge(s) you have selected.

Forward slash "plays around" the area depending on the pre/post roll you have selected in prefs"


F_YEAH!

Thank you!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My closer look at FCPX, continued
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:37:44 am

[Richard Herd] "F_YEAH!

Thank you!"


No worries, Richard. I really like the layout of it as all those selection/trim tools are on the right side of the keyboard, but of course completely remappable if it's not working for you.


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