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Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project

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Oliver Peters
Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:24:49 am

I elaborate here:

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/into-the-fire-with-fcp-x/

- Oliver


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T. Payton
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:20:29 am

That was a fantastic write up. Thanks for sharing it!

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:22:15 am

You're welcome, but sorry about the length ;-)

Oliver

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


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T. Payton
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:33:47 am

It was a prefect length ;)

So I noticed you said you didn't like mixing audio in FCP X compared to FCP 7. I have had the opposite experience. I would never satisfied with a mix I did in 7, I always had to sent to ProTools or SoundTrack Pro. In FCP X, I've been very satisfied with the results. In fact the last spot I did I sent my draft mix to my audio engineer so he could get some ideas on how he would improve upon it and he said it sounded excellent. (this isn't meant to toot my own horn, but to say that for a guy comfortable with ProTools and SoundTrack I was able to make a decent mix in FCP X).

With that said there is HUGE room for improvement, and I hope Apple gives us a much better mixing experience soon.

So I'm curious what you didn't like. Could you expound on it?

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:47:35 am

Sure. As far as mixing, I've been able to get good sounding mixes in X, as well. I don't like some of the physical differences, such as the actual real estate height difference in the mixing range between using the FCP 7 mixer panel versus adding key frames in the clip. X just feels to me like a very constrained working environment. I definitely miss live automated mixing with a panel rather than rubber banding with key frames. In FCP 7, if I need to go beyond the built in capabilities, then I typically send to STP and work there.

I also don't like how some of the effects are applied to the clips. For example, adding a compressor or limiter directly to a clip doesn't seem to give me the right levels. These work best on top of a compound clip, but then you don't have the same kind of control as a mixer with the compressor applied to a sub group or the master mix.

So yes, I can mix with X, but I prefer other apps.

Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 4:15:49 am

"add final graphics and Bob’s your uncle!"

My favorite college band...

Nice article, Oliver. You are definitely in the fire.


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Mark Dobson
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:09:14 am

Thanks Oliver,

Great description of how you tackled the job.

You mention that you had the client with you for some of the time and I'm wondering what their impressions of working with FCPX were.

I would also be interested to know the specification of the Mac you worked on as you seem to have had a relatively smooth edit in terms of crashes and performance issues.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:15:35 pm

Thanks.

You mention that you had the client with you for some of the time and I'm wondering what their impressions of working with FCPX were.

If they were aware they didn't mention it. When I crashed, they were used to the recovering time after an FCP7 crash and took that as a cue for a smoke break outside. Of course, I was back up pretty much before they were outside of the building.

I would also be interested to know the specification of the Mac you worked on as you seem to have had a relatively smooth edit in terms of crashes and performance issues.

Mac Pro 12 core 2.93Ghz, 12GB RAM, ATI 5870 card, OS 10.7.3, FCP X 10.0.4, Fibre Channel SAN, BMD Decklink card

Most of my performance issues with the system were with the FC folders on the SAN. After moving them locally, this settled down. We've since installed a 4TB internal software RAID for these and will bump up the RAM to 32GB.

Oliver

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


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Mark Dobson
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 3:27:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If they were aware they didn't mention it. "

I guess that as always what the client wants to see is the finished programme and is hiring a professional editor to get the best job done to the highest technical standard.

What a client is paying for is the end product, not the preparation, filming or editing. From their point of view these are just a means to an end.

And interpersonal skills rank as highly as technical skills.

[Oliver Peters] "Mac Pro 12 core 2.93Ghz, 12GB RAM, ATI 5870 card, OS 10.7.3, FCP X 10.0.4, Fibre Channel SAN, BMD Decklink card"

Well that's a pretty beefy set up.

Thanks again for a positive and informative report.

From your blog it seems the complicated parts of the job were involved in getting the material in and out of FCPX in a way that other systems could also work on the material, color correction etc.

And that the actual edit itself went pretty smoothly apart from the SAN issues.

I don't need to go out of house for anything now so these issues don't crop up for me.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:42:18 am

[Mark Dobson] "I guess that as always what the client wants to see is the finished programme and is hiring a professional editor to get the best job done to the highest technical standard."

Correct, although I have often been hired by some clients based on specific software. That's usually for reasons of compatibility with some internal requirement or existing work. In this case, you have to envision the edit suite environment - edit console with a 30" ADC, a 17" TV Logic and a 50" Panasonic plasma on the wall. The two monitors are fed by a BMD card. The client is at the opposite side of the room on a sofa. From their point-of-view, the main interaction with visuals is what they see on the plasma. They aren't sitting in front of the GUI like I am. As long as I am able to quickly give them what they want, when they ask for suggestions, changes, etc., then one piece of software is really no different than another. If anything, it would be , "Oh, that screen looks darker than I remembered. Is that new?" The question never came up, though.

[Mark Dobson] "Well that's a pretty beefy set up."

True, though performance on my home system (2.26Ghz 8-core, 16GB RAM, ATI5870, internal drives) is pretty similar. As I may have posted elsewhere, performance on a friend's top-of-the-line iMac with a Promise RAID is even better. Remember, though, that I was essentially "offline editing" with full-quality ProResHQ 1080p/23.98 media.

[Mark Dobson] "From your blog it seems the complicated parts of the job were involved in getting the material in and out of FCPX in a way that other systems could also work on the material, color correction etc.
And that the actual edit itself went pretty smoothly apart from the SAN issues. "


This is absolutely true. It's also my reason for posting the blog. FCP X works well in a closed environment, but that's not realistic for a lot of pro workflows. I hesitate to call this high-end (even though the process is) because these aren't even national TV spots. Though I tend to do my own color grading on most projects, a lot of the rest of this is standard procedure for me on nearly every job I do.

- Oliver

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


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Gerry Fraiberg
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 3:51:43 pm

Thanks for this very informative article. I've been waiting to read your latest experience with FCP X. Welcome to the fire pit :)

Gerry



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Herb Sevush
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 4:19:17 pm

Oliver, thanks for posting. One question - would you be as willing to attempt another big show on X if you didn't have FCP7 installed? That is, do you consider FCP7 a necessary component to your FCPX workflow?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Steve Connor
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 17, 2012 at 5:37:24 pm

Oliver, thanks for the article and thanks for mentioning Better Renamer. We have found an issue with duplicate filenames causing issues with XML export to Resolve (Not just an FCPX problem!) so this will be very helpful.

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Oliver Peters
Re: Thoughts on doing a big FCP X project
on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:53:45 am

[Herb Sevush] "One question - would you be as willing to attempt another big show on X if you didn't have FCP7 installed? That is, do you consider FCP7 a necessary component to your FCPX workflow?"

Not every job requires going outside of FCP X. Far from it. In fact, I've finished several TV spots and web videos entirely inside FCP X. However, there are workflow advantages to using pieces of the FC Studio if you have it. For example, exporting OMFs. Can't do that using X2Pro Audio Convert.

Generally FCP 7 served as a conduit in this session, not the key editing tool. (Obviously it was my fallback, if things crashed and burned, which they didn't.) It's what I used to generate EDLs and OMFs and then again to conform the color corrected files from Baselight. The spots were completely edited and finalized in X. I also built DVDs for the client when I was done. Rather do that with DVD SP than the Share menu. Of course, if you bought CS6 Production Premium, then it could serve many of these needs.

It all depends on the kind of work you do and the way you'd like to structure your workflows. I tend not to view X as an all-in-one solution, but rather as the hub (or platform) with spokes going out to other tools. We'll definitely add DaVinici Resolve into this mix (already done that on one job) and possibly Smoke when it's ready.

- Oliver

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


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