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It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm

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David Lawrence
It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 12:59:21 am

In case you missed the massive, Tedious Track Based Editing thread, you might want to grab a drink, take a deep breath and dive in.

It raised a ton of issues we've been debating for well over a year now -- the merits of tracks vs trackless, what do some of us mean by absolute vs relative time, musical scoring as an analogy for the traditional timeline, and the differences in editing mechanics between FCPX and traditional NLEs.

These sub-threads got me thinking again about the magnetic timeline paradigm itself and the data model behind it. I think these posts from Walter Soyka are a great explanation of the patented, FCPX anchored timeline model:

[Walter Soyka] "The FCPX magnetic timeline has a different underlying data structure (parent/child hierarchy) than a traditional timeline (EDL). I'm arguing that both timelines express their data models in the tools they offer the user and the way timeline maneuvers work. I'm arguing that FCPX exposes its internal data model in its external UI. I'm arguing that because clip relationships underpin FCPX's representation of a timeline, FCPX automatically reflows (and shows you those magnetic preview reflows) every time you make (or consider) an editorial change, and that it does so according to a set of rules that are a consequence of that parent/child data structure. I'm arguing that there is no parallel for this behavior in traditional timelines, because they lack this higher-order construct relating clips back to the beginning of the timeline."

And this one:

[Walter Soyka] "A traditional timeline provides tools for moving clips through absolute time, thereby redefining their relationships. The FCPX timeline provides tools for changing clips' relationships to each other, thereby redefining their positions in time.

FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in away that traditional NLEs are not."



That got me thinking about clip connections and the clip relationships themselves.

Back in February 2011 in a long thread about FCPX and multi track audio, in a reply to one of my posts,

Jeremy Garchow wrote:

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not the magnetism that's the problem as you can easily control what shifts time in FCPX, it's the connections that you have the most trouble with."

The more I think about it, Jeremy's right. I have a problem with the parent/child clip relationship paradigm. And that problem is the root of my problem with the magnetic timeline in general. I think I've finally figured out why. I'll get to that, but first I wanted to go thru a couple thought experiments.

One way to think of clip connections is as a special type of grouping. For example, in Premiere Pro it's possible to select any number of clips on the timeline, group them, and they'll move together when you move any one of them.

I started a subthread here, where I asked Jeremy, Walter, and anyone else still following, a hypothetical question about what defines a "clip relationship":

[David Lawrence] "Let's ignore the FCPX data model and the collision avoidance/overlap behavior of connected clips and think strictly about the notion of clip relationships from the standpoint of user intention.

If I have the ability to group objects together on the timeline so that they always move together in sync, would you agree that this group explicitly specifies a relationship between clips?"


Jeremy's reply:

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you are asking me, the answer is surely."

And Walter's

[Walter Soyka] "Yes.

(My shortest post ever in this forum?)"


To keep things moving, I'll assume most of you would also agree.

For the sake of argument, let's use grouping to define clip relationships, i.e. in creating a clip group, I'm defining clip relationships to one another.

Now, let's imagine a traditional, open timeline that allows groups (like Premiere). Let's imagine moving a group along the timeline. What happens when we bump up against clips that are in the space we want to move to?

Normally we'd have two choices -- overwrite or insert. More likely than not, either choice will mess things up on one or more of the tracks. Many editors find the clip management necessary to avoid these problems cumbersome. The magnetic timeline's object behaviors make this clip management unnecessary and for many editors, that makes it much faster and easier to use.

Now imagine a third edit option. For lack of better terms, let's call it a "layer edit". In this scenario, when the editor encounters a clip collision, they have an option to layer or nondestructively overlap the clips, rather than overwrite or insert them. I can think of several UI designs for achieving this.

Questions:

1) If a traditional timeline had intelligent groups and a clip layering/overlaping mode such that the editorial results of a clip collision scenario were similar to FCPX, would that give you the benefits of the magnetic timeline?

2) If "FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in a way that traditional NLEs are not.", how does that benefit the editor?

I look forward to your thoughts.

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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:52:59 am

I have blathered extensively about clip layering on tracks as a method to avoid accidental overwrite as this has been my world for 15 years using dSP and Fairlight DAWS.

To take maximum advantage of clip layering it should be possible to show the stack, enable interaction between layers like dissolves, keying, opacity etc plus a simple way to rotate the stack to move various layers up and down. Layering is a powerful way to have alternatives in place.

Temporary or permanent grouping has been available to me all those years and I can honestly say temporary grouping is useful and powerful but permanent grouping is far less useful. Permanent grouping must have a mechanism to avoid clip overwriting and I prefer layering to magnetic as that doesn't change track organisation, something that is critical to maintain when tracks do more than just hold clips.

I feel most NLEs have lost a powerful control and organisational tool by not having track based processing as well as clip based processing. So if tracks were used to a full potential then I bet most editors would prefer a layer and temporary group approach with hard tracks rather than the magnetic timeline which seems to me a far more limiting way to solve a simple problem that was dealt with over 15 years ago.

That said I can see the advantage in picture editing to be able to just edit and forget tracks for some stages of the creative process. Why not have it toggle rather than lock in a methodology that suits some always, some occassionally and others never.


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Bill Davis
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:24:32 am

Back in College when I was briefly a music major, I had an epiphany whilst in Conducting class.

We were diagramming Palestrina - looking for leading tones and "picardy fifths" and the like.

And it struck me that nobody who writes great music does it by composing to a set of rules. Rules develop as a way to codify and communicate about the music that has already been developed by listening to the sounds that seem to work in a manner pleasing to the listener.

There was and is plenty of wonderful music in Legacy. So too in X.

You want to knock around theory ideas, have fun. But at the end of the day, it's pretty hard to convince anyone who's a big Hot Fudge Sundae fan that Pumpkin Pie with fresh whipped cream is a superior desert - no matter how many arguments you make by deconstructing the ingredients.

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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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:41:57 am

[Bill Davis] "And it struck me that nobody who writes great music does it by composing to a set of rules."

Bach


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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:43:54 am

I would call scale, time signature and western notation as rules as well.


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Bill Davis
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:03:19 am

[Michael Gissing] "I would call scale, time signature and western notation as rules as well."

Sure, but don't tell Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder that it's impossible to compose by dreaming and listening rather than by arranging written notes on a page.

No matter how good your script or production plan might be, we don't know if our video works until we SEE it.

And with music, you don't know if it's right until you hear it.

Nothing more than that.

"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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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:16:24 am

You really love changing the rule Bill. Composers blind and deaf ( Beethoven, Evyline Glennie) all use agreed rules in composition. So when you say no great composed uses rules, I call bull shit. Changing the definition to notation versus keyboard is just silly. Bach used mathematic progression.

Just like editors, composers must work within a range of agreed rules. Without any rules, software would be impossible.


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Bill Davis
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 7:08:04 am

[Michael Gissing] "So when you say no great composed uses rules, I call bull shit. "

That would be BS if that's what I said. But I didn't.

I said "nobody who writes great music does it by composing to a set of rules."

Composing TO a set of rules is not the same as USING rules in my thinking, but I suppose we think differently about that.

You probably see it as Bach writing his 3 part inventions with only the math as a guide. I see it as his creating sounds that others couldn't by sorting out which interweaving tonalities in a 3 part invention WORKED and separating them from those that do not, not by math but my listening and intuition and talent.

If that's wasn't the process, then every other musician with an excellent understanding of math (many, MANY of them, by the way) could have done Bach quality work - and clearly that has never been the case.

I think we're stuck in semantics. You thought what when I wrote "compose to a set of rules" what I meant was "exclusive of rules."

That was decidedly NOT what I meant.

What I meant was that music based EXCLUSIVELY on rules, typically falls flat.

And I think the world not having legions of Mathemetician-Bachs running around supports my view.

I'll even go a step farther for the sake of argument and offer that creativity in any form based exclusively on following rules ALSO falls flat.

In computer programming, sure the code has to follow universal rules - just like notes on a staff have to be linked to actual music frequencies - but how those are arranged and expressed are nearly infinite. And so it is with video editing software. You can espouse the idea that a Legacy style timeline or, that connection type A is superior to connection type B for proper editing. But the mere fact that people CAN edit proper work on both kinda belies that.

It's merealy a preference, not a rule.

Like a preference for jazz over classical. Chocolate vs Vanilla

No "right" choice. Just the one that makes the chooser happiest.

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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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 7:32:21 am

Has this got anything to do with David's debate about clip layering vs magnetic timeline?

If not then let's move on.


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Bill Davis
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:59:06 am

[Michael Gissing] "Bach"

Are you arguing that Bach "composed" on paper rather than at the keyboard?

Essentially that he just wrote down his note series - then played those notes - and if he didn't like the result - he didn't change anything - he just left what he wrote - because the compositional arrangement was the point, not the sounds created?

Interesting view.

"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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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 4:59:18 pm

Michael,


I think you're speeding through some ideas that I'd be interested in hearing about at more length (though you have talked about them before, this might be an ideal forum in which to reiterate).

I think you are specifically talking about Fairlight, but I am wondering if you can elaborate to more general terms per David's post.

[Michael Gissing] "To take maximum advantage of clip layering it should be possible to show the stack, enable interaction between layers like dissolves, keying, opacity etc plus a simple way to rotate the stack to move various layers up and down. Layering is a powerful way to have alternatives in place."

I assume by "layering", you mean something akin to David's (PPro) "grouping"? Or do you mean more specifically something akin to FCP X auditioning?

[Michael Gissing] "Temporary or permanent grouping has been available to me all those years and I can honestly say temporary grouping is useful and powerful but permanent grouping is far less useful."

Can you define the differences between "temporary" and "permanent" in more general terms? or is it specific to Fairlight?


Franz.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 11:50:58 pm

[Michael Gissing] "I have blathered extensively about clip layering on tracks as a method to avoid accidental overwrite as this has been my world for 15 years using dSP and Fairlight DAWS. "

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I think you are specifically talking about Fairlight, but I am wondering if you can elaborate to more general terms per David's post."

Michael, I'd also enjoy learning more about the UI mechanics of the DAWs you've worked with.

I did a little research and found this white paper from 2004 on the Fairlight Dream System. It has this description of multi-layer editing:
Multi-layer Editing
When recording multiple takes at the same time-code, the system will create a stack of clips with the most recently recorded clip on the top.

The Takes display at the top of the display screen shows the names of all of the clip layers that are under the cursor at the present location. The Takes Menu permits scrolling down the list to lift any clip to the top of the stack, allowing its playback.

In the same way, multiple takes can be edited together. Clips that contain useful phrases are placed on top of the stack successively, then the non-useful pieces are cut away. The remaining clips may be slipped into place and crossfaded where necessary. The “All Layers” modifier allows edits to affect all layers simultaneously.

I'm familiar with the concept of layered audio "takes" from working in Logic Pro. Logic allows you to record any number of takes for any enabled track. If there's already something recorded at a particular time code location, specifying a new take essentially creates a new audio layer on top of the track at that point. Takes can be switched for playback by selecting from a drop down menu.

The Fairlight sounds like it does this and more. I'm curious what tools it provides and how you use them to move a particular layer horizontally. For example, if you decide you want to take one of the clips in the layer stack and move it not to the top of the stack but rather, in front of the stack, what kinds of tools and UI feedback do the Fairlight (and other DAWs) provide?

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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:57:39 pm

stupid question:

so in the context we're talking about, that would mean that v1 could contain multiple layers, and instead of a collision, we get clip layering within the one track?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bret Williams
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:31:29 pm

It's funny, but that's immediately what I thought the answer to collisions should be when I saw the very first demo of X over a year ago. Especially for audio. You can keep the organization, but not destroy the audio. Each track can actually a/b tracks. Simple as that. Perhaps before going to pro tools you'd have to address the overlays. But essentially, audio tracks have always been able to handle two tracks at once while doing a dissolve.

But what it doesn't address is the visual clutter X was trying to resolve. Never having 20 empty tracks with something on track 21 just because you have a huge stack of tracks for one effect. But I've found that kind of thing happens anyway. There just isn't any actual tracks, but there can be a lot of space between a primary and secondary if there were a lot of layers early on, and the secondary had to dissolve in above the layers, and the secondary was very long. In both apps you can always nest, but in both apps that's usually a hinderance to editing to audio unless you know a section is locked in. And in a complex edit breaking apart compound clips usally breaks apart some function or feature you had built.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 9:10:23 pm

[Bret Williams] "But what it doesn't address is the visual clutter X was trying to resolve."

And X solved that? To me, the X timeline is considerably more visually cluttered than any other NLE. Lots of wasted blank space and little logical control over clip height.

- Oliver

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


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David Roth Weiss
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 23, 2012 at 12:37:15 am

Could not agree more Oliver. The apology I used at LAFCPUG when asked was, like a printed spreadsheet without the grid turn on, the magnetic timeline represents data in empty space, without the immediate correlation or interrelationships that are iconic and immediately recognizable in a traditionally tracked layout.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:04:15 am

Now imagine a third edit option. For lack of better terms, let's call it a "layer edit". In this scenario, when the editor encounters a clip collision, they have an option to layer or nondestructively overlap the clips, rather than overwrite or insert them. I can think of several UI designs for achieving this.

My question would be how does this affect sound? Video is not a problem, but how do these layers function when the source clips being edited in have sound attached, and record area has sound attached as well?

I have to say that personally, after not having to patch tracks in FCPX I find it a drag to have to patch in FCP7 or Smoke on Mac. And I never found it a problem before, it was just part of the editing process.

Btw, I enjoyed your write-up on Absolute vs Relative time. I'm constantly humbled by the discussions that take place on the COW.


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craig slattery
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:38:09 am

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I have to say that personally, after not having to patch tracks in FCPX I find it a drag to have to patch in FCP7 or Smoke on Mac. And I never found it a problem before, it was just part of the editing process.
"


This was my original point!


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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:47:10 am

But having said that, I do have issues with the way clip connections work. The fact that deleting the parent automatically deletes the child clips makes sense logically, but sucks during editing. I loathe all the manipulation that needs to take place to enable some very basic edit operations.

So I am interested in David's approach.


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Michael Hendrix
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:17:58 pm

I think "layering" is an interesting concept. People have talked about the "constraints" of timeline editing, but in my mind, it is just a part of the organizational process.

If I move clips, I want some control of what happens or where the clips that I move go. This problem in my mind really affects the audio portion more than the video. I can't say, send all of my music/sfx to certain tracks and turn those tracks on and off. For video, I can't put all lower thirds on one track and globally turn off that track to have a clean version.

My vision of "layering" would be, if you move clips and there is a collision, an option pops up in your program monitor to give you options, and with a modifier key, you can control what happens next.

For example, audio collides on tracks 1 and 2, option pops up that by pressing 3 and 4 on your keypad will layer the audio to tracks 3 and 4. Therefore, I have full control and maintain certain organization to my timeline.

Is this the basic premise to what "layering" would be?



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Bret Williams
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:36:21 pm

Slippery slope. What happens to other clips that are already on 3 and 4 when 1 and 2 get bumped out of the way to 3 &4? The only way this would really work is if tracks were inserted. But doesn't that cause even more organizational problems or just as many?


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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 4:57:41 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "My question would be how does this affect sound?"

Layering in DAWs allows up to 99clips stacking on a single track accidentally pasting over doesn't delete clips so they can be retrieved. The top layer plays and you can dissolve between layers.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:39:44 am

[Sandeep Sajeev] "My question would be how does this affect sound? Video is not a problem, but how do these layers function when the source clips being edited in have sound attached, and record area has sound attached as well?"

Sandeep,

I believe a good general UI solution for layering will work equally well for audio as it does for video. Even though we perceive audio and video through different senses, they are both time-based media, and are represented and manipulated and very similar ways in a 2D graphical environment. While they each have unique properties and possibilities, in general, I don't believe they need to be treated as differently as many people think.

Glad you're enjoying these conversations!

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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:41:51 am

[David Lawrence] "Even though we perceive audio and video through different senses, they are both time-based media, and are represented and manipulated and very similar ways in a 2D graphical environment. While they each have unique properties and possibilities, in general, I don't believe they need to be treated as differently as many people think."

The difference is that in video the top layer covers anything below it, while with audio multiple layers merge but do not cover. This seems like a significant difference, operationally, to me.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:59:54 am

[Herb Sevush] "The difference is that in video the top layer covers anything below it, while with audio multiple layers merge but do not cover. This seems like a significant difference, operationally, to me."

True, but that's more an agreed upon convention than a technical and representational requirement. When we stack audio tracks, the convention is to mix rather than cover. When we stack video tracks, the convention is to cover (or composite) rather than mix.

In both cases, time-based media is represented by 2D objects with duration corresponding to object length. We edit by manipulating these objects in space. Even though the media types are different, I believe the objects that represent them can share many tools and behaviors.

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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:12:47 am

[David Lawrence] "True, but that's more an agreed upon convention than a technical and representational requirement. When we stack audio tracks, the convention is to mix rather than cover. When we stack video tracks, the convention is to cover (or composite) rather than mix.

In both cases, time-based media is represented by 2D objects with duration corresponding to object length. We edit by manipulating these objects in space. Even though the media types are different, I believe the objects that represent them can share many tools and behaviors."


Agreed, although I will just note that the convention is universal - I can't think of any NLE that doesn't work this way, although as per this discussion DAWs treat audio differently. But you are correct that you could set the default opacity of all video above track 1 to 50% for instance, that we don't is convention.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:32:58 am

[Herb Sevush] "Agreed, although I will just note that the convention is universal - I can't think of any NLE that doesn't work this way"

Yes, and I'd also note that these conventions usually become universal for good reasons. For example, there may be others but I can only think of one NLE where the default edit mode for the timeline is ripple.

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Michael Gissing
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 5:02:04 am

[David Lawrence] "[Herb Sevush] "The difference is that in video the top layer covers anything below it, while with audio multiple layers merge but do not cover. This seems like a significant difference, operationally, to me."

True, but that's more an agreed upon convention than a technical and representational requirement. When we stack audio tracks, the convention is to mix rather than cover. When we stack video tracks, the convention is to cover (or composite) rather than mix."


My thoughts will help to clarify some of what Franz asked me to elaborate on. The way FCP7 stacks video layers is how Fairlight stacks audio layers on a single track. When I look at an NLE, I see a video track with multiple layers. Top layer plays but you can create an interaction with a lower layer by adjusting opacity, dissolves or keying.

Audio clip stacking on a single track works the same in Fairlight although the only interaction is to cross fade to lower layers. So to me an NLE is a single video track with clip stacking so why is then audio not able to clip stack? So Herb, David is right that they are both just media objects. It is the convention in NLEs to treat them differently.

So imagine how powerful and complex an edit system would be if you could have multiple video tracks with clip stacking plus multiple audio tracks with clip stacking and then patching to enable downstream mixing of elements. No need for video nests. Of course you would need to have track based FX as well as clip based FX.

Think of how grading and opacity layering could be much more powerfully applied to a bunch of clips on a track, interacting with another track via track based processing with complicated clip based layering with stacked clips on a track. This could be a way to get the power of node based control with track based spatial layout.

I think X makes a mistake by failing to see the power of track based spatial arrangement by exploiting the power of clip stacking on a track combined with track based processing. Taking the mixing desk analogy for processing and organisation and applying it to the NLE seems obvious to me. Add to that metadata management and I see that a track based paradigm will be far more powerful than any trackless system that only relies on software relationships that are not spatially presented and only clip based processing.

The grouping that Franz wanted to know more about is the ability to temporarily select clips on specific tracks (single or multiple) via temporary in/out markers. In Fairlight that is called range and can be toggled on and off. There is also the ability to permanently group objects which is more like the way metadata and roles works. This is the mode that I find least useful for the same reason as David L. That is that relationships change. The changes happen all the time during and edit so predefining them without a way to quickly unlink or relink is limiting, particularly in dialog construction where sync comes and goes.


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Jason Porthouse
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:25:54 pm

[David Lawrence] "1) If a traditional timeline had intelligent groups and a clip layering/overlaping mode such that the editorial results of a clip collision scenario were similar to FCPX, would that give you the benefits of the magnetic timeline?

2) If "FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in a way that traditional NLEs are not.", how does that benefit the editor?"


Fascinating discussion David. As to your points:

1) Yes and no. I use lassoing clips to move stuff about in groups pretty regularly, and make room to move sections (say I'm reordering the elements of a programme) by using space in the timeline - I can do this quickly and efficiently using the current mode in Legacy and most other traditional NLEs. Layering may make this quicker in that I wouldn't have to make space, and I could be confident that my moving stuff would be non-destructive. Grouping essentially would be like a nested section or compound clip in this case, and I can see it's benefit, but would depend on very clever UI representation to make this efficient - so I guess it would depend entirely on the imlementation and working paradigm that the designer intended.

2)For me it's a mixed bag. I can see many benefits to the parent/child model that X uses, and that's very apparent when moving individual shots around, or small clips of shots. Where it becomes less efficient is when X's idea of what I want to achieve diverges from mine - for instance, moving a shot with attached audio and not wanting to move the audio. It requires a number of steps that 'traditional' models don't, and is therefore less efficient for me and my thinking.

I guess that the main issue with the X/traditional debate for me boils down to my own thought processes. I've spent 20 years editing in a linear, fixed time paradigm and have developed a lot of techniques of ordering my thoughts to encompass that - a kind of thinking 'muscle memory'. X breaks that process and in some instances makes life easier, and others far more difficult for the way I think. Those editors bought up on X and nothing else (and there will be many) will wonder what all the fuss is about, but would also have just as many instances whereby the old paradigm would be more efficient for a given scenario. For me the ideal would be a merger of the two - and maybe grouping/layering would be the most elegant compromise in that case.

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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:50:55 pm

David, would the "layering" method have the video and audio embedded by default like X or not?

I don't really see how the X timeline can be discussed fully without dealing with the subject of embedded audio.

Your topic is moving clips around in the timeline.

If I'm moving fewer clips around it's going to be faster than if I'm moving more clips around.

Interview subject: video of him, boom on one channel, lav on the other. 3 items

B-roll: video of truck going down street, camera mic, nat sound. 2 items

Traditional editing 5 items in timeline,

X, 2 items


[David Lawrence] "2) If "FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in a way that traditional NLEs are not.", how does that benefit the editor?"


I'm looking at the relationship of video and audio with the SAME clip, before I even get to the relationship of it with other clips.

I want them to ride together unless I choose to separate them.

I don't need some random audio of the b-roll truck hanging around at the bottom of the timeline,
I want it to just ride with the truck as one clip.

One timeline is "streamlined" by design and one is not.

That is a difference that tends to be ignored.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:55:51 pm

[tony west] "I'm looking at the relationship of video and audio with the SAME clip, before I even get to the relationship of it with other clips."

Under the current version, there is no relationship between audio and video once the clip is broken apart or audio is detached. The only relationship is the clip connecting point. So it's easy to move it out of sync and there's nothing in the much-heralded database that warns you or allows you to put it back into sync other than manual methods. Maybe that just hasn't been exposed yet, but for now it isn't there.

- Oliver

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


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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 7:28:42 pm

"once the clip is broken apart or audio is detached. The only relationship is the clip connecting point. So it's easy to move it out of sync "

I agree with you, and I don't like that part of it, but knowing that I just don't do it very often.

The majority of the time with an interview or b-roll I don't have a need to detach the audio.

The over all time I'm saving outweighs the problem. For me.


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Steve Connor
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 7:38:18 pm

[tony west] "The over all time I'm saving outweighs the problem. For me."

For me too.

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Bret Williams
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:42:31 pm

4 or 5 very different project in and I have yet to detach audio. I'm sure there would be a reason, but I can't find it yet.

In legacy I would usually leave the audio in and turn off layers I didn't need. But that left a lot of possibilities open to user error. Accidentally turning clips back on for one. Plus it added quite a lot of clutter. If another editor took over it wouldn't be completely apparent if I did it by mistake or accident.

In X, I like turning off tracks in the inspector. It's invisible and nobody else will likely turn them back on. But the downside is it's invisible and someone might not realize there's another option later. Including myself.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 1:01:13 am

[Bret Williams] "4 or 5 very different project in and I have yet to detach audio. I'm sure there would be a reason, but I can't find it yet."

I unlink and relink audio and video so frequently, I have a dedicated button on my mouse for just that function.

For me, sound drives everything, especially when working with interviews. When I'm making a "radio cut", I'm pulling sound bites from all over the the place. Often I just need the sound and don't want video, but having sync markers makes it easy to bring it back if needed. When making detail audio edits, I might need to add room tone, breaths, or even frankenclip whole new phrases or words. Being able to quickly switch between linked and unlinked audio makes this fast and easy for me.

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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:56:30 am

[David Lawrence] "I unlink and relink audio and video so frequently, I have a dedicated button on my mouse for just that function."

In this we both agree. One of the wonders of this forum is learning about all the different workflows various editors are using; it's an antidote to the often solipsistic nature of the work. I am amazed when I hear of editors who rarely unlink their audio, I have been assured they are amazed at those of us who consider it like playing piano with oven mitts on. Since I've always globally unlinked everything after creating my assembly, I didn't even realize that their was an"un-link" toggle button in the timeline till Jeremy told me about it.

[David Lawrence] "having sync markers makes it easy to bring it back if needed"

Which is why I won't consider an NLE that doesn't have this feature, leaving both X and PPro out in the cold for me for now.

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


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alban egger
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 5:39:57 pm

1) FCPX paradigm is more than the magnetic timeline. You can fake some advantages of the magnetic timeline by grouping in a trackbased NLE, just like you can fake it vice versa. But the abiltiy to have different layers in different modes (ripple or not) on different tracks and the benefits of the magnetic timeline where every clip is dragged towards the center and beginning of your primary storyline cannot be reproduced easily.

2) it is more a theoretical question than a practical one IMO and it comes down to one's preferences. A timeline is constructed of both, clips in relation to each other and cips that have to have a relation to a certain time in the timeline. So IMO none of the two paradigms are perfect, therefore it depends on your preferences and projects as to what works. What is interesting though, is that it seems like those who really tried out FCPX and understood its way have problems going back to the restricted ways of tracks, where due to the necessity of certain timerelations your edits are blocked or messed up.

In the magnetic timeline you can try more without risking to mess with your overall project, because the cliprelations, which basically are your story, stay, even when you break the timerelation. In practical words: When I add another angle of 4 seconds between two clips that I find explanatroy for my story, I don't care about the 4 seconds as much as I care about the logical build of my story. I can deal with the 4 seconds later. But I won't have to deal with any syncing issues for now. When I then adjust the overall time, timing and pacing I can again add and take from/to clips without worrying about the cliprelations and syncs. That's one of the benefits I see in the relations FCPX creats with its magnetic timeline.



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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 6:50:48 pm

[alban egger] "In the magnetic timeline you can try more without risking to mess with your overall project, because the cliprelations, which basically are your story, stay"

But that's where it breaks down. The connecting points are not always at the desired place to start with. They are connected based on X's rules. This means the editor often has to manage the connecting points first before moving clips around on the timeline.

- Oliver

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


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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 7:47:04 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The connecting points are not always at the desired place to start with. They are connected based on X's rules. This means the editor often has to manage the connecting points first before moving clips around on the timeline."


Some time they are and sometime they are not and when they are not I still find it easy to adjust, because I'm only moving one item instead of maybe 3 (being video track and 2 audio tracks)


That's where the "streamlined" timeline comes in handy.

I want to build the story first. I'm not that concerned with the audio of a certain clip just yet because I'm not even sure that clip is going to stay there.

Once I have it all laid out in the order I want, then I come back and start tweaking audio.

In that first stage of just getting things in the storyline in the order I want to tell the story with the pacing I want, that' when X shines to me.


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Bret Williams
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:53:08 pm

Sometimes you can't even connect a clip to something else without adjusting the connected clip itself. That's just ridiculous.

For example, I recently had a pretty layered edit with lots of little tiny sound fx added. Sometime multiple sfx connected to a single clip.

Then, I realize I need to slip a clip. The clip just needs a little adjustment, but the sfx need to stay right where they are. Theyre just nat of a restaurant or a gas station or something. Well, if I slip the clip a few seconds, my sfx now have slid 2 seconds down. Perhaps they're now under a totally different shot. When this happens the only option is to move the clip out of the primary and connect the sfx to a slug, then adjust, the replace the clip in the primary. Which doesn't always work that easily. Simpler is to just connect it to another clip, but if the only clip above the audio is the clip being adjusted you're SOL unless you can drag out the clip (destroying an edit choice) long enough to connect it to another.

Too many workarounds. In the above example, simply slipping with a modifier like option would be a good answer. Or even better, the default should be that it takes a modifier key to have the connected clip move with the slipping.

But I understand why it happens the way it does. Connections aren't just to a clip. They are to a specific FRAME of a clip which you can specify.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 9:19:03 pm

[Bret Williams] "Then, I realize I need to slip a clip. The clip just needs a little adjustment, but the sfx need to stay right where they are. Theyre just nat of a restaurant or a gas station or something. Well, if I slip the clip a few seconds, my sfx now have slid 2 seconds down. Perhaps they're now under a totally different shot. When this happens the only option is to move the clip out of the primary and connect the sfx to a slug, then adjust, the replace the clip in the primary."

Exactly. These things make learning unnecessary workarounds completely counter-intuitive.

[Bret Williams] " In the above example, simply slipping with a modifier like option would be a good answer. Or even better, the default should be that it takes a modifier key to have the connected clip move with the slipping"

Good idea.

[Bret Williams] "Connections aren't just to a clip."

True. Another issue is the arbitrary vertical re-arrangement of clips when you make "horizontal" changes. This often alters the order of composited clips. The default should be to move all up to make space, not re-arrange to collapse the space.

As far as audio tracks, one solution to collisions is what Soundtrack Pro does. When you side one clip into another on the same track, STP automatically creates a crossfade equal in duration to the amount of overlap.

- Oliver

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:18:32 pm

Very good example Brett!

But there is a simple solution to this problem. Quickly create a temporary compound (if there are multiple clips) or a secondary (if none of your connected clips are overlapping) that you want to lock in place.

Think of it like locking clips without needing to lock the whole track like you would need to do in the 'old' days (and all the related sync issues if you affected clips 5 min down the timeline which by chance where on the track you needed to lock to make your changes).

So select the clips you need to lock in place plus one clip that is connected to a clip on the primary before the one you want to slide, or trim, or replace. Make a compound or a secondary, adjust your clip, and then break apart your compound or secondary again. Done.

One does need to learn new methods with a completely new method timeline, as I still do almost everyday day with X. But for me the benefits of this new timeline method far outway the difficulty and time needed to learn the new methods needed to make it sing. If you don't like the new method, life is too short and alternatives are plentiful :-)

And to answer David's question. I think compound clips in X do all the things you are trying to address and are far more flexible to deal with all sorts of scenarios. Maybe the only thing that would be cool is if I can open them in place (without the need to break them) if I want to adjust one clip within the compound to something outside of it.

Cheers
Carsten


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:28:31 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "Make a compound or a secondary, adjust your clip, and then break apart your compound or secondary again. Done."

Unfortunately breaking apart clips removes any effects, color correction or audio level adjustments that have been made.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:36:48 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Unfortunately breaking apart clips removes any effects, color correction or audio level adjustments that have been made."

Correction. It would not do that to individual clip effects in Carsten's example. Only if you'd added effects to the compound. If you break apart a single clip, though, it will remove effects.

- Oliver

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


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Bret Williams
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 2:36:19 am

Nah. Temporary compounds are generally an unacceptable workaround. For me, transitions in and out of the compound get broken and then don't go back correctly.

If you're into workarounds, simply lifting it out of the primary is the safest bet, as it generally won't affect your edit if you forget to put it back. Or reconnecting the clip that's connected to something else.

But it's nuts any which way. This is an oversight. This isn't a different way of working. Sometimes it's just about right and wrong. I mean you could make the argument that one particular clip connected should slide with it by default, but you could have a huge secondary or compound connected to that point. Or a music track that the rest of the edit is synced to. Problem is, there's no warning that the rest of the edit is about to be thrown out of whack.

FCP 7 was pretty good at warning you things might be thrown out of sync, because it actually assumed everything was currently in sync. It had much more respect for your edit decisions than X. If one track were to ripple independent of other tracks, you were probably going to get an error or collision which stopped you. Unless of course one practiced the horrible concept of locking tracks. That was the fastest way to throwing a timeline out of sync, because it essentially turned off any notifications and warnings that the locked track was being pushed out of sync with the other tracks. which was often the complete opposite of what people thought it was for.

Back on compounding and nesting: even Avid of 1996-2000 (years I used it daily) was better in that you could open the nest right there witthin the track so that all all the audio was still available and the nest could be edited in relation to the full edit. FCPs methods have always been more akin to an After Effects precomp or opening an avid nest in its own timeline.

I like where FCP is going, but it's timeline needs to add quite a few features to bring it up to form. But the power of the app overall is worth dealing with all it's issues.

If I didn't love it, I'd just switch over to premiere and be done with it.


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Carsten Orlt
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 6:41:43 am

[Bret Williams] "For me, transitions in and out of the compound get broken and then don't go back correctly."

Don't see how this applies to the specific steps I described to solve your problem. And it's not a workaround because the specific mechanics of the 'magnetic' timeline don't allow for what you are trying to do directly. If it would it would be a track based timeline...

[Bret Williams] "FCP 7 was pretty good at warning you things might be thrown out of sync,"

Not for things that weren't video-audio sync clips in the first place. Music wouldn't tell you that you shifted it out from the original point it was to total time, if you know what I mean. Maybe X could have the old style out-of-sync markers for audio-video sync clips too, but frankly I don't need them because the only time I break original audio-video sync clips apart is when I actually don't want to have things in sync. Otherwise I just expand the display for the clip or clips and collapse after I'm done (don't work with multitrack audio beyond 2 track so I don't know how I would deal with these?) Again it's a different way of working with clips when dealing with the mechanics of this timeline model. The discussion always falls short because it just tries to look at former ways to solve a specific problem, but the new timeline doesn't allow for the same operation(s). Because of how the new timeline is build internally you have to do it differently. Sometimes this means less steps, in other cases maybe more steps. Better or worse is up to the user to decide, but I think it needs to be looked at in more detail to really make the call. At least that's how I approach it.


[Bret Williams] "Back on compounding and nesting: even Avid of 1996-2000 (years I used it daily) was better in that you could open the nest right there witthin the track so that all all the audio was still available and the nest could be edited in relation to the full edit. FCPs methods have always been more akin to an After Effects precomp or opening an avid nest in its own timeline. "

The one point I agree, this would be handy sometimes.

Cheers
Carsten


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 2:08:50 am

[alban egger] "But the abiltiy to have different layers in different modes (ripple or not) on different tracks and the benefits of the magnetic timeline where every clip is dragged towards the center and beginning of your primary storyline cannot be reproduced easily."

I think many of us who dislike the magnetic timeline would say this moving to the center behavior is a problem, not a benefit.

The reason I don't like it is because it completely ruins spatial context for understanding how the ripple edit is affecting clips downstream. Ripple itself isn't the problem - I use it all the time. Rippling in a traditional timeline is easy to understand because the spatial cues are consistent. Time is absolute and external so rippling on either the right or left side of a clip always pushes or pulls program up or down from the left.

With the magnetic timeline, spatial cues are relative and inconsistent. Rippling from the clip right pushes or pulls program on the left, but rippling from the clip left pulls time zero into the program. This might make sense in a design for small screen devices like tablets or phones, but on a large monitor I think it's unnecessary and disorienting. I think it's a design mistake.

[alban egger] "it comes down to one's preferences. A timeline is constructed of both, clips in relation to each other and cips that have to have a relation to a certain time in the timeline. So IMO none of the two paradigms are perfect, therefore it depends on your preferences and projects as to what works."

I agree. I truly believe there's a UI middle ground we haven't seen yet. Done right, it would take from the best of both the traditional and magnetic worlds.

[alban egger] "In the magnetic timeline you can try more without risking to mess with your overall project, because the cliprelations, which basically are your story, stay, even when you break the timerelation."

In FCP7, I select sequence, hit command-d, and easily experiment on my duplicate sequence without risk to my overall project. I just don't see what the big deal is.

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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 9:29:07 pm

[David Lawrence] "Now imagine a third edit option. For lack of better terms, let's call it a "layer edit". In this scenario, when the editor encounters a clip collision, they have an option to layer or nondestructively overlap the clips, rather than overwrite or insert them. I can think of several UI designs for achieving this."

I don't have to imagine this, I worked this way for years. The EMC editor, the first PC NLE and arguably the first modern NLE, had this as a feature, at least in it's last few years when I worked with it back in the 90's. Whenever you did an overwrite edit the underlying clips still existed underneath the top layer. At any point you could reveal what was under any clip. This was 15 years ago and while it wasn't elegant, there was no list of what was on top and what was underneath, it did work.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:28:48 am

[Herb Sevush] "The EMC editor, the first PC NLE and arguably the first modern NLE, had this as a feature, at least in it's last few years when I worked with it back in the 90's. Whenever you did an overwrite edit the underlying clips still existed underneath the top layer. At any point you could reveal what was under any clip. This was 15 years ago and while it wasn't elegant, there was no list of what was on top and what was underneath, it did work."

Herb,

Same question I had for Michael. Did the EMC let you move clips horizontally?

BTW, I found this on YouTube. Nostalgia!






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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:38:37 am

[David Lawrence] "Did the EMC let you move clips horizontally?"

No. As I recall, and it's been over 10 years, there was only 1 video track, it's just that if you pasted in new clips they "covered" but did not erase underlying clips, until you selected them and merged them down. If you "uncovered" a clip you could of course then move it around the timeline like any other clip. This feature gave you the ability to "move now and decide later" which I have assumed is one of the benefits of the magnetic timeline.

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:34:14 pm

basically, I think apple talked themselves into this.

Clip connections, at heart, as you neatly point out, represent a default grouping behaviour, where apple decide to create locked relationships between the audio and video laid against their primary storyline.

but they then took this a stage further and started using phrases like "relationships" as regards clip audio and b-roll. the thing I find most annoying about it is that they make the objects children to the degree that if you choose to delete the primary parent, they are also destroyed.

this is manifestly stupid. Just because they call it the primary, does not make it the primary. the very most important things may be occuring, at any moment, between alternates in v2 and v3 - traditionally.

this issue goes as a piece with the difficulty in re-arranging clip connections before performing an edit - because apple are creating canonical relationships that rapidly become out of date due to the fluid nature of the edit, we are forced to reset the false auto-connected logic apple have imposed at the outset, and we are forced to do this, continuously, throughout the edit.

the problem in essence is that apple have chosen to create arbitrary connections at a certain point in the editing process, but those links, and their logic, are transient - further editing decisions and a rethought on relationships render apple's tied connections invalid.

so we are left re-picking the clip connections, laboriously, through time as the nature of the edit evolves.

Its stupid on their part, and betrays a basic, simplistic stupidity about the process and iteration of editing.

it's a very, very, very stupid timeline.

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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:41:43 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "the thing I find most annoying about it is that they make the objects children to the degree that if you choose to delete the primary parent, they are also destroye"

Well yes and no. Depends on whether you delete or ripple delete (where Apple also "conveniently" reversed the keys). Delete (the "rub out" key on a full keyboard) leaves a gap/slug with connected clips attached.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 12:06:22 am

yes, thats true, but don't let it get in the way of the fist waving.

For two cent, I half think apple are going to fashion a preference action on the timeline that removes clip connections from view in a future update? (if the object model allows)

Clips connections are only enacted at the point of use. In theory my selection of objects could enact them at the point of selection, as much as the initial drag to timeline. they really only exist as a grouping behaviour - its not nodal in the sense of imparting continuous downstream colour correction and matte stuff ala resolve or flame.

I always thought the parent child nodal stuff was total intellectual messing around overkill in the context of a VA editor. Its just unnecessary and heavy handed. not to mention detrimental to free form editing thought?

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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 1:13:27 am

Clip Connections can be hidden in the Timeline. This gets rid of the little line icons indicating the connection points. Was that what you meant?

I find that this is kinda misleading as the clips just kind off hang there like layers.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 1:45:10 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "For two cent, I half think apple are going to fashion a preference action on the timeline that removes clip connections from view in a future update?"

Huh? That exists now in the clip height pop-up. Or do you mean something other than hiding the visibility of the actual connecting lines?

- Oliver

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


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Matias Canelson
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 2:35:11 am

Also, It would be very helpful if we could connect clips to an specific timecode.

We could move clips/storylines anywhere and those clip would keep in their position, always on top.



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Bill Davis
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 5:54:18 am

Cool Idea.

But don't stop there.

If you're going to enable timecode track clip connections up top, why not enable them below the timeline stack as well?

Then the editor could "pin" internal notes as titles relative to timeline positions for the legions who really want the "fixed length" timeline work modes ala Legacy.

"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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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 16, 2012 at 4:05:36 pm

no - sorry, I mean, a functioning version of the timeline where parent child clip connections are suspended. Although it probably has messy ramifications, that I haven't thought through.

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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 16, 2012 at 8:15:19 pm

David,


To momentarily ignore the questions at hand and add further questions - your post (and the subsequent responses) got me thinking about clip relationships. I thought I'd sketch out a summary or lexicon of the kinds of relationships that we're talking about - since there are a range of relationships, each with its own concerns.

Before discussing "grouping" as you've outlined, it's worth noting that grouping connects clips both serially and in parallel - that is, there are two kinds of relationships being "locked" - serial and parallel.

More on that in a second, but it's important to note also that there are various levels of certainty about relationships that we're discussing. This might be best explained by illustrations: so in case one, video sync with associated sound is a fairly "certain" or "hard" relationship that we either want to keep or at least be aware of as an edit progresses; in case two, the relationship of a close-up to a wide shot or video to music would be more contingent, more likely to change more often, and therefor we might call it "softer" (we may wish to lock that relationship to do some work, but it is just as likely to be unlocked and changed as an edit progresses).

Using these two ways of categorizing clip relationships, we can break down typical relationships in a timeline:

SYNC V&A (PRODUCTION)
- video and sound recorded together in one clip by a camera or recorder (Parallel)

SYNC V&A (POST)

- dual system recording; sync is established in post (Parallel & Serial)
- multicam recording; sync is established in post (Parallel & Serial)
- playback recording; sync is established in post (Parallel & Serial)

SYNC (EDITORIAL) ("Faux Sync")(Parallel, but could also be Serial)
- Example: adding a sound effect specific (door close, vehicle pass) that you wish to maintain in sync with picture
- Example: adding sound effects to animation that you wish to maintain in sync with picture

COMPOSITED PICTURE (Parallel, but could also be Serial)
- Example: green screen, titles, etc.

Editorial Sync and Composited Picture (the last two) might even be considered the same category - they are things you've put in the timeline that you wish to keep together on some fundamental level; in practice though they work quite differently in terms of their workflow implications so I've left them separate.

TRACKS
- Tracks represent a Serial kind of grouping - you can see, select, or affect all serial clips in one track

BUSSES
- A supergrouping of Tracks, therefore both Parallel and Serial

It's interesting to note (as Michael Gissing has) that the idea of tracks (as serial groups) and therefor busses as supergroups, tend to be underused in NLEs. This becomes evident if you think of adding an effect to an audio track (in a DAW) and then try to imagine the same in an NLE (possible in Premiere Pro), and then try to imagine doing something similar to a video track. More on this below

ROLES
- Roles (in FCPX) represent an arbitrary, user-defined grouping (Parallel & Serial)

PARENT / CHILD GROUPINGS
- someone else will have to write this one; though I'm not sure it is fundamentally different from Editorial Groups (they could probably be included there)

EDITORIAL GROUPS
- Examples: Pro Tools Grouping, Premiere Pro Grouping, FCP7 Nesting (sort of), FCP X Compounds etc. (Parallel and Serial)
- in short this category encompasses any way of combining material in the timeline

The Editorial Groups - the actual subject of your post - is of course the most contingent group; it should be easy to group (to maintain integrity) and ungroup (to change). It's also interesting because it encompasses serial decisions much more than the other groups, some of which are entirely parallel).

By way of a related digression …

One aspect to all the track conception discussions which has been very evident but not as directly discussed is the different meanings that tracks have for audio and video. Audio tracks are very much modelled on the audio mixer (though only Premiere Pro seems to have taken this analogy in a more developed direction). Video tracks seemed to have arrived as an analogous counterpart to audio tracks, also partially from the multi-deck broadcast & ganged film flatbed analogy, and partially from the Photoshop layers analogy. Video tracks have characteristics of both Photoshop layers and the organizational grid of a mixer, without quite being either. On the other hand, video tracks clearly allow for the audio analogy - you can "mix" layers of video (not quite as easily) as you do audio.

Picture editing tends to be concerned more with serial editing (shot after shot) and sound editing tends to bring issues of parallel editing (mixing) to the fore. Of course there are issues of serial editing in sound and parallel editing in picture (compositing and superimpositions for example). But because audio is often more concerned with parallel relationships, audio tracks are more apparently useful in terms of their editing function (mixing) as well as their organizing function. Video tracks seem to be less evidently useful in this way - this is usually evident from looking at timelines from novice editors - they don't usually have a use for more than one or two tracks. More experienced editors, and particularly those involved in traditional online situations, tend to use video tracks in a more organizational way.

But returning to the questions at hand …

I think I wanted to outline that basic nomenclature because it's clear already from the comments here that there are specific differences in the terms of what is needed for the different levels of "grouping" - production sync, for instance, is a very hard relationship that I want to be able to find easily. But it is also useful to think of it as one end of a spectrum of relationships. It's clear to me that there is some flexible hierarchy of groupings needed - and yet they should in fact be thought of as part of a spectrum.

None of this, of course, answers your questions.


Franz.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:00:25 pm

Outstanding post, Franz. Thank you! This is an excellent breakdown of types of relationships that occur in the course of an edit.

One of my goals in starting this topic is to get us all to think about what we specifically mean by the term "relationship". I think this post is very helpful in giving us a shared language.

More importantly, as you've so clearly pointed out, relationships are wholly dependent on editorial context and the editor's intentions. I think this is a "primary" ;) reason why many of us have difficulty with the magnetic timeline editorial model.

Lots to think about here.

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Chris Harlan
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:36:43 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "One aspect to all the track conception discussions which has been very evident but not as directly discussed is the different meanings that tracks have for audio and video. Audio tracks are very much modelled on the audio mixer (though only Premiere Pro seems to have taken this analogy in a more developed direction). Video tracks seemed to have arrived as an analogous counterpart to audio tracks, also partially from the multi-deck broadcast & ganged film flatbed analogy, and partially from the Photoshop layers analogy. Video tracks have characteristics of both Photoshop layers and the organizational grid of a mixer, without quite being either. "

As you say this it occurs to me that I don't think of video tracks as tracks at all, but as layers, and usually discuss them aloud that way as well. I don't think I ever use the layer metaphor for audio.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:53:18 pm

ADDENDUM

Though he claims the opposite, Walter (below) has provided a good definition of the special kind of groupings that are parent / child connections.


PARENT / CHILD GROUPINGS

[Walter Soyka] With FCPX's clip connections, one clip is connected to another in terms of the latter; one clip is a parent, and the other clip is a child of that parent (anchored at a specific point on each side of the relationship). Moving the parent affects both the parent and the child because the child inherits from the parent. Moving the child affects only the child and not the parent because inheritance is one-way.

With Pr's grouped clips, the clips are peers. Their anchoring is based on a common externality (absolute time); there is no single pivot point for that linkage. Once the clip is grouped, they are fundamentally treated as a single object, not as two objects with a hierarchical relationship.

The presence in FCPX of that movable connection anchor point means that reflow is contextual, and editorial maneuvers on one side of the anchor will have a different result than maneuvers on the other side. More on the ramifications of this difference in a moment.


http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/41599


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:22:56 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Though he claims the opposite, Walter (below) has provided a good definition of the special kind of groupings that are parent / child connections."

Sorry for any confusion. That's my struggle with semantics. I think that FCPX's parent/child connections are clearly different than "groups" as defined by usage in Premiere Pro, not the global sense of the word.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:40:34 am

[Walter Soyka] "... not the global sense of the word."

Walter,

In the global sense of the word, parent/child groups are pretty hard to define.

Franz.

Edit - on reflection, my humour may have been too dry there; suffice to say I am still trying to understand my relationship with my parents.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- An Index of Clip Relationships
on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:24:37 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "In the global sense of the word, parent/child groups are pretty hard to define... Edit - on reflection, my humour may have been too dry there; suffice to say I am still trying to understand my relationship with my parents."

You may need to adjust your connection point (he says with a smile).

I did get the humor the first time around, and I had a good chuckle over it. I'd love to hear what a psychologist would have to say after reading through this forum.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:10:02 pm

[David Lawrence] "1) If a traditional timeline had intelligent groups and a clip layering/overlaping mode such that the editorial results of a clip collision scenario were similar to FCPX, would that give you the benefits of the magnetic timeline?"

Some, but not all.

More specifically, you'd get collision overwrite avoidance in all cases, and reduced manual pre-maneuver selection requirements in some, but I think that many here would argue that magnetic reflow is one of the primary benefits of the magnetic timeline, and consistent and predictable reflow depends on having every single relationship in the timeline defined (in other words, having every clip connected to something).

Sidebar: I think that FCPX's "ripple" is different enough compared to our traditional understanding of "ripple" that it's confusing to use the same term -- that's why I'm calling what FCPX does "reflowing" instead of "rippling."

Before I get to question 2 about benefits, there's a premise in the argument to address:


[David Lawrence] "One way to think of clip connections is as a special type of grouping. For example, in Premiere Pro it's possible to select any number of clips on the timeline, group them, and they'll move together when you move any one of them."

I'm not sure that clip connections are a special type of grouping.

With FCPX's clip connections, one clip is connected to another in terms of the latter; one clip is a parent, and the other clip is a child of that parent (anchored at a specific point on each side of the relationship). Moving the parent affects both the parent and the child because the child inherits from the parent. Moving the child affects only the child and not the parent because inheritance is one-way.

With Pr's grouped clips, the clips are peers. Their anchoring is based on a common externality (absolute time); there is no single pivot point for that linkage. Once the clip is grouped, they are fundamentally treated as a single object, not as two objects with a hierarchical relationship.

The presence in FCPX of that movable connection anchor point means that reflow is contextual, and editorial maneuvers on one side of the anchor will have a different result than maneuvers on the other side. More on the ramifications of this difference in a moment.


[David Lawrence] "2) If "FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in a way that traditional NLEs are not.", how does that benefit the editor?"

I've gotten some pushback in related threads on my apparent obsession with clip relationships, so I want to go into a bit more depth about what I think a clip relationship means.

Franz pointed out in this thread some of the various different kinds of clip relationships. It's a really great and well-thought out post, but I think it's grounded in traditional/Legendary thinking.

What do you gain by parenting clips so that a specific point in time in of the child is related to a specific point in time of the parent? Context! It's not important what timecode of a child links to what timecode of a parent; it's important what's happening in each clip at those timecodes. Correctly defining the linkage point of a clip connection is an editorial decision based on the content or meaning of both clips and the editor's rational for defining one clip in relation to the other. This action encodes a little piece of meaning, a little piece of the editor's motivation for making for that edit, that FCPX is designed to preserve through subsequent maneuvers.

There is no construct in a traditional timeline that's anything like this. There is no way to connect a happening in one clip with a happening in another (thanks to FCPX, I can't call them "events" like I wanted to). Context can be implied in a traditional timeline through an editor's track organization, but it cannot be codified in the edit like this.

My answer to the question above about editor benefits is in Apple's terminology. In FCPX, the primary storyline drives the edit. Secondary storylines and connected clips are linked to points in the primary storyline and follow along with those points as the storyline upon which they are based is changed.

The constructs in FCPX add a layer of abstraction to editorial. The editorial mechanism is very literally a storyline and not a timeline. When editing clips in, the editor makes a decision about whether that particular clip drives the story (influences the flow, is primary) -- or whether it rides the story (is influenced by the flow of the story elements the clip is attached to, is secondary), as well as decisions about what events in the storyline come before and what come afterward. All editorial maneuvers, then, are either rearranging primary elements (which in turn drive the rearrangement of dependent secondary elements), promoting or demoting elements into or out of the primary storyline, or the assortment of traditional editorial operations like trims, slips, insertions, and deletions.

The benefit to the editor would be that the editor can concentrate on the story in terms of the story, without engaging in the editorial bookkeeping necessary to keep a traditional tracked timeline following a story. The challenge to a traditional editor is to stop thinking in terms of clip placement and start thinking in terms of structural relationship.

My variation on this question is this: what does this abstraction change? What drawbacks does it have? What control (if any) is lost to the editor with a magnetic timeline versus a fully manual tracked traditional timeline? What are the real ramifications (if any) of assuming a story-driven, A/B hierarchical edit?

Interestingly, there's a place where this relationship model falls apart -- the implied relationships between formally unrelated clips. Just as clips may have implied relationships in a traditional timeline by virtue of their placement, so can you end up with implied relationships in FCPX that you cannot codify with a single connection point.

When a connection defines the start or some intermediate point as the link between a parent and a child, the out point of the child is formally unrelated to whatever is underneath it in the primary. This relationship may be significant to the story, but there's no way to encode it in the FCPX model; two connection anchors would confound the flow. FCPX preserves formally defined relationships during maneuvers, but the informally related / formally unrelated edits go along for the ride. This creates potential contextual conflicts that must be resolved with zero UI indication that such a conflict may exist. If you are depending on FCPX to manage your story for you, here is one case where it may fall short.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:02:34 pm

[Walter Soyka] " the implied relationships between formally unrelated clips. Just as clips may have implied relationships in a traditional timeline by virtue of their placement, so can you end up with implied relationships in FCPX that you cannot codify with a single connection point."

I tried to construct a rant about that above, but, you know, I'm trying to learn premiere now, so I should probably stop that - still.

Is there not an issue where FCPX is continuously divining relationships that themselves go continuously out of date? I have never gotten beyond making peasy image music experiments in FCPX, but I find the requirement to re-arrange the clip connections before an edit or a move, because they no longer represent what I want to happen kind of infuriating?

can anyone who does this in anger speak to this? Edits are utterly malleable, aren't default parent child relationships at the point of entry to the timeline a gimmick in effect? If I am required to continuously re-arrange them in complex fluid short form edits? Lifting everything up like a lump has a certain thrill, and I actually think it benifits the rapid generation of long form doco narrative stuff more than anything - but in short form, where you are throwing things, quotes, and twelve frame cuts around like no ones business, isn't this default "i am your father" a needless hinderance?

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Steve Connor
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:16:25 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "can anyone who does this in anger speak to this? Edits are utterly malleable, aren't default parent child relationships at the point of entry to the timeline a gimmick in effect? If I am required to continuously re-arrange them in complex fluid short form edits? Lifting everything up like a lump has a certain thrill, and I actually think it benifits the rapid generation of long form doco narrative stuff more than anything - but in short form, where you are throwing things, quotes, and twelve frame cuts around like no ones business, isn't this default "i am your father" a needless hinderance?
"


In actual use the simple answer is no, you learn to use the primary and secondaries so that you can define the relationships if you wish, or if not then you use secondaries and gap clips. You are correct that long form involves a lot of parent/child clips and this works very well for me when constructing and changing narrative flow in Doccos When editing fast paced short form I use secondaries over gap clips much more.

Of course there are points where a clip ends up connected to another which blocks an edit action for a moment while you change the connection, but this doesn't seems to happen much less than track conflicts used to do in FCP7.

I honestly do not feel constricted in any way by the FCPX timeline, it has certainly not limited my creativity in any way on the dozens of projects I've completed using it. I'm trying PPro on a few projects at the moment and that feels much more limiting to me now, but then again I'm not as familiar with it as I should be!

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:39:30 pm

Great post Walter, thanks!

[Walter Soyka] "I think that many here would argue that magnetic reflow is one of the primary benefits of the magnetic timeline, and consistent and predictable reflow depends on having every single relationship in the timeline defined (in other words, having every clip connected to something). "

Agreed, however I'd argue that in it's current implementation, timeline reflow is neither consistent, nor predictable.

[Walter Soyka] "Sidebar: I think that FCPX's "ripple" is different enough compared to our traditional understanding of "ripple" that it's confusing to use the same term -- that's why I'm calling what FCPX does "reflowing" instead of "rippling.""

Excellent. I agree and really like your terminology. I'm using it from now on.

[Walter Soyka] "With FCPX's clip connections, one clip is connected to another in terms of the latter; one clip is a parent, and the other clip is a child of that parent (anchored at a specific point on each side of the relationship). Moving the parent affects both the parent and the child because the child inherits from the parent. Moving the child affects only the child and not the parent because inheritance is one-way."

Yes, because the relationship is defined by the hierarchical data model.

[Walter Soyka] "With Pr's grouped clips, the clips are peers. Their anchoring is based on a common externality (absolute time); there is no single pivot point for that linkage. Once the clip is grouped, they are fundamentally treated as a single object, not as two objects with a hierarchical relationship."

True, but in this case the relationship as you point out is flat and peer-based. The fact that they're selected as a single object can easily be addressed in the UI. For example, in Adobe Illustrator (and After Effects) There are two selection arrows. The black arrow always selects groups, but the white arrow lets you select individual points or objects. A similar dual selection UI for Premiere's object groups would give you the benefits of both peer object flexibility and one-way hierarchical inheritance.

[Walter Soyka] "What do you gain by parenting clips so that a specific point in time in of the child is related to a specific point in time of the parent? Context! It's not important what timecode of a child links to what timecode of a parent; it's important what's happening in each clip at those timecodes. Correctly defining the linkage point of a clip connection is an editorial decision based on the content or meaning of both clips and the editor's rational for defining one clip in relation to the other. This action encodes a little piece of meaning, a little piece of the editor's motivation for making for that edit, that FCPX is designed to preserve through subsequent maneuvers.

There is no construct in a traditional timeline that's anything like this. There is no way to connect a happening in one clip with a happening in another (thanks to FCPX, I can't call them "events" like I wanted to). Context can be implied in a traditional timeline through an editor's track organization, but it cannot be codified in the edit like this."


Here I disagree. In FCP7, this is essentially a synchronized replace edit. You are matching specific frames between the source and footage being cut in. The FCP7 manual describes how do do this (scroll about midway thru the document and look at "To replace an entire clip in the Timeline with a clip synchronized to a point in the sequence."

By default, FCPX makes the connection (sync) point the first frame of the cut and codifies it as the the relationship between the primary and the connected clip. It also allows the connection point to be moved as necessary.

From the standpoint of editor intention, I see no difference between this and grouping a sync edit between clips in a traditional timeline.

[Walter Soyka] "The benefit to the editor would be that the editor can concentrate on the story in terms of the story, without engaging in the editorial bookkeeping necessary to keep a traditional tracked timeline following a story. The challenge to a traditional editor is to stop thinking in terms of clip placement and start thinking in terms of structural relationship. "

Again, agreed. This is why I think FCPX is an ideal tool for assembly and for producers who don't want to worry about the specialized mechanics of editing.


[Walter Soyka] "My variation on this question is this: what does this abstraction change? What drawbacks does it have? What control (if any) is lost to the editor with a magnetic timeline versus a fully manual tracked traditional timeline? What are the real ramifications (if any) of assuming a story-driven, A/B hierarchical edit?"

All great questions. Let's explore!


[Walter Soyka] "Interestingly, there's a place where this relationship model falls apart -- the implied relationships between formally unrelated clips. Just as clips may have implied relationships in a traditional timeline by virtue of their placement, so can you end up with implied relationships in FCPX that you cannot codify with a single connection point."

Exactly! And I think for many of us, this is the root of the problem with the magnetic timeline.

Franz did an amazing job codifying the many possible relationships on a traditional open timeline. When I edit, I'm constantly managing and changing *all* of these inter-related relationships in real-time, in my head with every edit decision I make. That ability is the art of being an editor.

FCPX only codifies a single specific type of relationship -- a relationship drive by an engineering data model, rather than specific editor intention. When editor intentions and the data model happen to line up, the magnetic timeline works.

What about all those relationships that are implied? What happens when the forced relationships of the data hierarchy conflict with implied relationships that are more important to the editor and the edit itself?

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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:06:57 pm

[David Lawrence] "FCPX only codifies a single specific type of relationship -- a relationship drive by an engineering data model, rather than specific editor intention. When editor intentions and the data model happen to line up, the magnetic timeline works.

What about all those relationships that are implied? What happens when the forced relationships of the data hierarchy conflict with implied relationships that are more important to the editor and the edit itself?
"


this - sweet god this.

Why, in effect, would we allow an editing system to blankly ascribe canon parent child relationships, at the point of entry to the timeline, to every object in the timeline? When we are talking about the continuous process of discovery in editing? How does that make sense?

Parent child relationships in all other aspects, be they an IK chain in 3DSmax, which I know half well, or downstream effects in complex nuke/flame/smoke scenarios - which I also know having driven a flint on Indigo hardware for two years - these I understand.

However - simply umbilically tying all the elements of an edit together, without asking, clip by clip, parent to child, for no other worth than their entry onto the timeline, strikes me as utter madness.

IT'S a timeline people. Its a scenario in which my thoughts about all of the elements are liable to change.

Its my. bloody. timeline. mine.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:56:20 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Its my. bloody. timeline. mine. "

That would make a great screensaver!

- Oliver

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 11:48:24 pm

the kick is, its also true oliver - we are supposed to approach material in the context of a really, really blank canvas.

http://manhattaneditworkshop.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/editfest-ny-2012-milton...

the fascinating point in that video is that editing can imbue true - and transportive - meaning.

it is less likely to do so if cupertino is allowed to make a reductive lego play-set from its dis-assembled, and falsely joined parts.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 3:16:38 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "the fascinating point in that video is that editing can imbue true - and transportive - meaning."

Aindreas,

Marienbad is a great example, of course. If you were cutting that film and started with questions of story, you'd be lost as an editor. On the other hand it is highly structured (helped in no small way by script and prep). This is all the more wonderful since the film relies so much on story and storytelling techniques.

Franz.


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Steve Connor
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 6:16:15 am

Seriously, you people are talking as if all the possibilities of an edit aren't there for you when you use FCPX, if that's your suggestion then might I humbly add you are completely wrong

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:30:21 am

[Steve Connor] "Seriously, you people are talking as if all the possibilities of an edit aren't there for you when you use FCPX, if that's your suggestion then might I humbly add you are completely wrong"




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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 1:02:33 pm

Steve,

Seriously, you're going to reduce the thread to "you people", one "suggestion" and a right/wrong sandbox fight?

[Steve Connor] "... if that's your suggestion ..."

You could read the thread to find out ...

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 6:09:00 pm

[Steve Connor] "Seriously, you people are talking as if all the possibilities of an edit aren't there for you when you use FCPX, if that's your suggestion then might I humbly add you are completely wrong"

I will admit I am kind of lost in this conversation, but first:

[David Lawrence] "1) If a traditional timeline had intelligent groups and a clip layering/overlaping mode such that the editorial results of a clip collision scenario were similar to FCPX, would that give you the benefits of the magnetic timeline?

2) If "FCPX is "aware" of clip relationships in a way that traditional NLEs are not.", how does that benefit the editor?
"


1) It would give some benefits, but it would ruin the exalted track based organization. If track 6 is supposed to hold a certain type of item (like, text for example) and a non clip collision move bumped a few things up from 4 to 6, then your "horizontal organization" is hosed, so why have tracks in the first place? Pr has grouping, and I rather like it. The problem is, that group is not marked in any way shape or form until you click one of the clips that are part of it. You also have to ungroup the clips, make your change, then regroup the clips. If you have a lot of clips, this can be very tedious. The way FCPX attempts to deal with this is much more elegant, at least in my opinion, as it has several different way to deal with the groups, and you can make selections within the groups fairly easily.

(side note for those of you playing the home game. I recently found that if you press and hold "g" in FCPX and 'kiss' the edges of two clips together via click and drag, they will form a secondary storyline)

As far as Layering in the sense that Michael Gissing talked about it, I think this already exists in some form in some applications. It's nodal based compositing, really. Having multiple layers stacked on top of each other to dissolve to/from only makes the most sense in video if you are compositing. It makes much more sense in audio where there are often many track of audio playing at the same time. This happens a lot less often in video unless you are editing in split screen all the time.

2) FCPX certainly expresses relationships differently than other NLEs. As Walter pointed out, if you study the data structure, the connection point is coded in to the FCPXML which allows those connection points to remain with an FCPXML round trip. It would also allow other applications to understand it, or use the information for translation. How does that benefit me as editor? From an editing standpoint, I can "write down" my intention by having a cluster of clips that are related to each other and won't get "destroyed" by other clips moving in to that collection and that intention is pretty much permanently saved until I change it. In practice, managing connection points is not much different from managing tracks and layers. I find there's a lot less meaning in X than in a tracked environment, but that's perhaps just the way I personally work. And from a data stand point this benefits me as the relationship is actually coded in to the text which means I don't lose it.

Now, back to me being lost.


Naturally, I like to compare X and Legend as really, that's all I need to do. I can study the data model, which Walter S brought up in the other thread. It's a very valid point. If you understand how X is transferring the material in a data sense, you can gain some understanding of how the program works. There's no way to "codify" the out point, but the duration is codified. X+Y=Z, X and Z are given, solve for Y.

We are also talking about a really really young program. FCP Legend has many iterations and many years of maturity on X, as well as real world battle testing and feedback, and of course, the ever important developer access.

There are some things that are less than ideal, surely. Some problems are literally one keyboard shortcut away from being fixed, like the slip a primary clip without moving the secondary clip conundrum. Others are more challenging, like the Zones (linked) idea that we came up with a long time ago, or more track like visual (sorry, 'spatial') organization if that's what people need. Better "in the timeline" audio editing is needed, and perhaps some new conventions that aren't currently available in the program are needed, such as the ability to connect a clip to a secondary storyline, or a way to deal with compounds that doesn't involve opening a separate window. Surely, there's work to be done.

But as convention, there are so many things that are above and beyond what any NLE is doing at the moment, right now, today. For me, one of those is organization. Organization is where many other NLEs simply fall down, and I personally feel that FCPX's organization is pretty damn good. I don't have much of a problem with it. There are some mechanics that need to be worked out (like list view ranges and such) but the basics there. But, that's me. It fits me. If it doesn't fit you, there are many other programs that are more accessible than ever before that follow the tried and true Avid method of bins and sequences as containers.

The timeline does present clip relationships differently. I find myself not struggling with "controlling time" as some people seem to be. I have no idea if time is relative or absolute in any one program (I think it was even called "external" in FCP7 at some point which I simply don't understand). I can mess up clips related to time pretty well in any application, and X is no different, but at the same time, I can control it, and X offers most of the tools to do so, so that debate is irrelevant to me personally.

Most of the time while editing, my clips relate to each other in their immediate vicinity. X does this fairly well. Secondary storylines need only to have one connection to the primary and you can edit those clip independently of the primary if you'd like. If you don't want things connected, edit in the Primary, It is really that simple.

And perhaps the most under developed but potentially useful conventions in FCPX is Roles and the Timeline Index. I could see a lot more being done with these. The earlier examples of The Excel spreadsheet fit in here. If the Index could be used to select a group of clips easily, and Roles can be used to organize clips visually or otherwise, there could be many many very practical and helpful uses of those two conventions. But, FCPX is relatively young and we have to wait and see.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 7:21:37 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you don't want things connected, edit in the Primary, It is really that simple. "

doesn't that mean you are reduced to a V1 application? Isn't that insane?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 19, 2012 at 12:39:53 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "doesn't that mean you are reduced to a V1 application? Isn't that insane?"

I'll be honest, I'm tired. It might be that I am on a completely different schedule these days, it might be because I am having trouble trying to explain that FCPX can do most things, and explain it in a way that makes sense.

There are many things to not like in X that perhaps don't fit everyone's thought process, and there are also many things to like. And when it pertains to audio, there are some things it simply doesn't do very well at all.

There are certain things that an editor needs to learn, just like a track based system, in order for the timeline to become an extension of your thoughts. If X simply doesn't line up for someones needs, that is completely fine, and I get that.

I don't see FCPX as a v1 (as in one video track) application. When I said if you don't want things connected and put them in the primary, it assumed that you don't want to edit with the connected clips moving around attached to a gap clip. I find the secondaries work very similarly to a primary and allow for most of the elements in that secondary to be 'disconnected' from other editing operations. You can use them to their advantage in this way. This means that before and after the connection point, anything that is in the primary, or other connected clips can be moved without penalty. Yes, the connections take some getting used to, but so what? When I transferred from M100 to FCP, capturing from tape for online was very very different, so what? Premiere's patching takes getting used to as does its track based audio mixing and waveforms, and Adobe's version of "auto-select". If you like it, you'll use it no matter what the convention.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 19, 2012 at 12:40:52 am

Also, I forgot my manners, thank you David Lawrence for putting the original post together.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 19, 2012 at 1:32:50 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Also, I forgot my manners, thank you David Lawrence for putting the original post together."

Jeremy, you're welcome. I'm really enjoying everyone's posts.

And speaking of manners, Steve, apologies for the my flippant response above. I was just reacting to "you're wrong". I do understand where you're coming from.

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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 19, 2012 at 12:36:59 pm

It's an interesting topic David.

but I can't help but wonder how you approached editing before NLE's came out.

It's not like people were not cutting great things before on their CMX tc monitors.

All we looked at were a bunch of numbers on the screen and you got it done.

Sunset Blv. NOT cut on AVID. I still prefer to watch it over much of this stuff that's out now : )


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:43:53 am

[tony west] "It's an interesting topic David.

but I can't help but wonder how you approached editing before NLE's came out.

It's not like people were not cutting great things before on their CMX tc monitors.

All we looked at were a bunch of numbers on the screen and you got it done.

Sunset Blv. NOT cut on AVID. I still prefer to watch it over much of this stuff that's out now : )"


Glad you're enjoying it Tony.

Before NLE's I edited linear tape and hated it. I first started in my senior year of high school in the late 70's. We were shooting with with Sony portapacks, like the Sony AV-3400. We edited on the same type of reel-to-reel machines. No machine control, just a grease pencil to mark reels, a stopwatch to count, and manually hitting insert on the record deck at just the right time. If you were lucky, you might get what you wanted. I dreamed of frame accuracy.

In college, 3/4" and VHS cassette. Machine control made frame accuracy possible; but of course, changing anything once you laid it down was a hassle. Or changing something in the middle of a piece? Forget it!

At Lucasfilm, I got to dream about the kind editor I always wanted, something fluid and all digital, totally freed from the constraints of physical media. The actual system we built was limited by the technologies of the late 80's and was too early to create a market. Plus, George wasn't interested in pursuing it as a business. But what we made was the groundwork for what I knew would become an industry. It only took another twenty years or so for the technologies to catch up.

But to your point, I agree. Some of the best films ever made were made the old fashioned way, or with tools way more primitive than the free media stuff given away on new computers. A great film is much more that just the sum of its tools.

_______________________
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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:05:42 pm

[David Lawrence] "But to your point, I agree. Some of the best films ever made were made the old fashioned way, or with tools way more primitive than the free media stuff given away on new computers"/I>

Film editing, while mechanical, was not nearly as primitive as linear video editing. It wasn't till the advent and 2nd generation improvement of NLEs that video editing could approach the complexity and sophistication of a film editing room. The use of mechanical technology by itself does not make something primitive.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 11:14:01 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "IT'S a timeline people. Its a scenario in which my thoughts about all of the elements are liable to change.

Its my. bloody. timeline. mine."


I wish I could hit the "like" button on this post a thousand times. Aindreas, next time I visit the UK
I'm buying you a drink!

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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:46:54 pm

lucasfilm edit droid stories with a pint?

my bar tab lawrence.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Harlan
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 18, 2012 at 5:00:38 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "IT'S a timeline people. Its a scenario in which my thoughts about all of the elements are liable to change.

Its my. bloody. timeline. mine.
"


Yeah. That's where my head is at.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:19:44 am

I'm really not the ideal FCPX proponent. It's not my tool of choice, and for my work, I'm far more comfortable with a traditional open timeline. Premiere is a great fit for my workflow, and I am sincerely sympathetic to the sorts of arguments that David, Aindreas, and Franz are making.

My explanations of the FCPX data model and timeline are really more academic. I think I do understand the FCPX approach, but I'm hoping for some more practical, real-world insights from those who actually use this thing every day.


[Aindreas Gallagher] "IT'S a timeline people. Its a scenario in which my thoughts about all of the elements are liable to change. "

But this precisely my point. Though we've thought in tracks and timelines/EDLs for decades, a timeline is not the only way to look at editorial.

In FCPX, there is no timeline. There are storylines, and they do encourage you to change your thoughts about the elements -- but in a totally different fashion than traditional timelines.


[Franz Bieberkopf] "The purpose of an NLE is to arrange video and audio in time. Broadly, we call this activity "editing". Storytelling is one application or approach to editing. It does not encompass all that editing is. Further, A/B editing is one approach to the problem of editing. It does not encompass all that editing is."

FCPX meets the definition of a tool that arranges video and audio in time. It's just a different approach.

A compositor is a tool to combine visual elements from separate sources into a single image. Some are layered and some are nodal. They accomplish the same task, but with different data models and different toolsets, and they require different approaches to compositing from the user. Some tasks are more straightforward in a layer-based compositor, and some are more straightforward with a nodal compositor. There is room in the market for After Effects and for Nuke.

So what if FCPX isn't the perfect general-case NLE? We are very focused here on the situations where FCPX is a poorer solution than Legend. Might not there be cases where it's a better solution?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:05:31 am

[Walter Soyka] "We are very focused here on the situations where FCPX is a poorer solution than Legend. Might not there be cases where it's a better solution?"

Walter,

From what I've read, it seems X is probably quite good and maybe the best A/B model NLE there is.

I don't read this thread as "FCPX vs. Legend" so much as "new paradigm necessity" vs. status quo; the status quo is quite varied of course, but the claim is that "everything has changed".

I'm interested in X and the implications, but I also find it interesting, for instance, that the ongoing proponents of X here in the forum have chimed in with comment thats seem to eschew theoretical considerations, and the implications that design models have on editing. It seems to be some of those that are apparently married to traditional models that are most interested in understanding how models impact on editing practice, and most open to exploring those implications.

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:10:52 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I'm interested in X and the implications, but I also find it interesting, for instance, that the ongoing proponents of X here in the forum have chimed in with comment thats seem to eschew theoretical considerations, and the implications that design models have on editing. It seems to be some of those that are apparently married to traditional models that are most interested in understanding how models impact on editing practice, and most open to exploring those implications."

The people that are most open to exploring the implications of the X timeline are using it and putting it in to practice.

Why is FCPX an a/b editor only? I don't understand this recurring comment.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 10:30:44 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Why is FCPX an a/b editor only? I don't understand this recurring comment."

Jeremy,

Who has said this and where has it recurred?

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 10:50:43 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Who has said this and where has it recurred?"

Dodging the question is an answer, I guess.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:02:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Dodging the question is an answer, I guess."

Jeremy,

I don't think so - you've not answered my question.

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:53:20 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "
Jeremy,

I don't think so - you've not answered my question.

Franz."



I don't care to copy and paste every time a/b has come up in this thread.

You yourself says FCPX is the best there is for a/b.

Then you said we shouldn't think in terms of a/b

Walter and I had a discussion about a/b earlier today.

David Lawrence mentioned it. Aindreas has alluded to it.

It has come up over the year more than twice.

I'll ask again, how is FCPX an a/b convention?

Media 100 was an a/b convention it said so right there on the timeline, and FCPX works nothing like it.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:17:32 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'll ask again, how is FCPX an a/b convention?"

Here's how I see it:

Primary = A
Anything connected to Primary = B

Like Walter said, the A/B model is conceptual, rather than purely literal. I don't know of anyone saying FCPX is exclusively for A/B editing. Rather, the argument we're making is that the A/B editing model is what FCPX's design is optimized for.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:41:42 am

[David Lawrence] "Like Walter said, the A/B model is conceptual, rather than purely literal. I don't know of anyone saying FCPX is exclusively for A/B editing. Rather, the argument we're making is that the A/B editing model is what FCPX's design is optimized for."

I am starting to feel like a troll. I'm not trying to be, I apologize.

So, let me ask another way.

If your project has no broll, its only "A-Roll" FCPX is somehow not setup to edit it?

Actually, if you want your broll to stay in place and its connected, there's some timeline juju that has to be done in order to get it to stay put. I don't think it is an a/b editor.

I'm just asking for evidence. I feel Steve Connor's frustration.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:51:49 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am starting to feel like a troll. I'm not trying to be, I apologize. "

No need to apologize. We're clearly not explaining well.

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, let me ask another way.

If your project has no broll, its only "A-Roll" FCPX is somehow not setup to edit it?"


You mean cutting in the primary only? Sure you can do that. Or if you work like Charlie Austin, you can just cut with connected clips. But I don't think that's what the FCPX designers intended.

I think of any connected footage as B footage. Content doesn't matter. If it's connected, it's B because it's a child of the A parent.

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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:05:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You yourself says FCPX is the best there is for a/b."

Having not worked with it, I would never make such a claim. You're probably thinking of this quote:

[Franz] From what I've read, it seems X is probably quite good and maybe the best A/B model NLE there is.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Walter and I had a discussion about a/b earlier today.

David Lawrence mentioned it. Aindreas has alluded to it.

It has come up over the year more than twice."


Discussing, mentioning, and alluding to A/B models is not the same thing as claiming this:

[Jeremy Garchow] "Why is FCPX an a/b editor only? I don't understand this recurring comment."

My point stands. No one, anywhere, as far as I can tell, has ever claimed that FCPX is an A/B editor only.

There is much discussion (and some agreement, including from FCPX editors) that FCPX seems designed with an A/B model in mind. That is not claiming you can only edit using an A/B model.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Then you said we shouldn't think in terms of a/b"

You may be thinking of this passage:

[Franz] In general I avoid thinking about things in terms of A/B roll, and I proselytize against it, as I think it promotes a certain preconception of how to use shots. When given the opportunity, I actually urge directors specifically not to shoot B roll. Bring me A roll only.

However, you'll note that unless you're working with me as an editor, or you're a director that's asked me for shooting advice, this doesn't apply to you.

There are many here who use A/B approaches with great success in their work. My theory of editing is likely not of interest to them. However, it may be of interest to Walter, for example, who was asking for examples of other conceptual models.



If you're going to put words in people's mouths, it tends to curb discussion, rather than promote it. Straw-man rhetoric is not used to further discussion.

I've not used Media 100, but I'd be interested to know more about its editing model.

For me the simple language (and mechanics) of "primary" and "secondary" in FCPX reveal an underlying A/B assumption. Probably not much would be lost in substituting "primary/secondary" for all instances of "A/B" in this discussion.

Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:11:58 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I've not used Media 100, but I'd be interested to know more about its editing model."

If I recall correctly, it literally had A and B sub-tracks, mixed into a single video track. Video transitions were accomplished by checkerboarding and overlapping A and B within V1. This is the 1 M/E model I referred to earlier.

It's A/B editing in terms of engineering, not conceptual footage hierarchy. I think that we have horribly confused the situation by using A/B now in a way that's inconsistent with the historical use of A/B in NLEs.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:14:40 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think that we have horribly confused the situation by using A/B now in a way that's inconsistent with the historical use of A/B in NLEs."

... not to mention film negative.

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:27:02 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "If you're going to put words in people's mouths, it tends to curb discussion, rather than promote it. Straw-man rhetoric is not used to further discussion."

This is not my intention. I am curious to see how people think that fcpx is a/b and what that even means as I don't find it's an a/b editor anymore than other layer/track based editors. M100 was an a/b editor until they made it more track like.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Having not worked with it"

It all makes perfect sense now. You've never worked with it. Your arguments have truly been theory this whole time.

My apologies, I now know where you're coming from.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:55:19 pm

Jeremy,


We had Bill's blessing, third post in, to talk about theory.

[Bill Davis] "You want to knock around theory ideas, have fun."

Franz.


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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:02:56 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "We had Bill's blessing, third post in, to talk about theory."

But I thought it was contingent on our discussing ice cream sundaes vs pumpkin pie.

[Bill Davis]But at the end of the day, it's pretty hard to convince anyone who's a big Hot Fudge Sundae fan that Pumpkin Pie with fresh whipped cream is a superior desert - no matter how many arguments you make by deconstructing the ingredients.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:26:27 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Jeremy,


We had Bill's blessing, third post in, to talk about theory.

[Bill Davis] "You want to knock around theory ideas, have fun."

Franz."


It's not that I mind talking theory, Franz, but I need to respect that you have no experience with FCPX. Every discussion we have had makes a lot more sense now. Again, apologies.

Jeremy


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Chris Harlan
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:41:25 pm

[Walter Soyka] "So what if FCPX isn't the perfect general-case NLE? We are very focused here on the situations where FCPX is a poorer solution than Legend. Might not there be cases where it's a better solution?
"


If I were hired to do a small to medium market, magazine-like show, I would seriously consider X. I'm not sure I would end up with it, but I would give it a lot of deliberation. It has interesting assets for that arena which might enough to override my current preferences. I don't think there is any way it can compete, currently, with ISIS for the large markets. For trailers and promos, I just don't see any advantage in switching (though the enthusiasm of Charlie Austin and John Davidson does give me pause.) So, yes; I can definitely see areas where X might be a better choice. That said, even though it might be a better choice in some areas, the comfort I feel in using what I know might still outweigh the advantages it offers.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:03:50 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Parent child relationships in all other aspects, be they an IK chain in 3DSmax, which I know half well, or downstream effects in complex nuke/flame/smoke scenarios - which I also know having driven a flint on Indigo hardware for two years - these I understand. However - simply umbilically tying all the elements of an edit together, without asking, clip by clip, parent to child, for no other worth than their entry onto the timeline, strikes me as utter madness."

Aindreas, serious question. In an IK chain, you want the joints to follow the end point. In editorial, why is it mad to have a clip which is dependent on another in terms of content and editorial intent follow the latter?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Herd
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 12:19:06 am

[David Lawrence] "the specialized mechanics of editing"

I cut a shiton of dialogue, j-cuts, l-cuts--you know the drill. X is better than Legend for that, without question.

Legend

v.

X


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:35:34 am

[Richard Herd] "I cut a shiton of dialogue,"

You must be in an NTSC country, otherwise you'd cut a metric shiton of dialogue.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:23:41 am

[Richard Herd] "I cut a shiton of dialogue, j-cuts, l-cuts--you know the drill. X is better than Legend for that, without question."

So do I. That's why I have a dedicated mouse button for toggling the linked selection button on the timeline.

I make j and l cuts in Legend as easily as you can in X. I would never make them the way the FCP7 manual describes. X is good but it isn't necessarily better if you know what you're doing in Legend.

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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:21:20 am

[David Lawrence] "X is good but it isn't necessarily better if you know what you're doing in Legend.
"


No matter how good you are it's still a 32 bit program right David.

Are you overlooking that slow render?


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:05:30 am

[tony west] "No matter how good you are it's still a 32 bit program right David.

Are you overlooking that slow render?"


No, I'm working in ProRes and keeping my renders times minimal. If they're gonna be long, I take a break. 64-bit is better, but I've been managing without. I don't like the fact that FCP is 32-bit, but I'm living with it until I leave FCP completely.

That said, I recently did a project in Premiere that would have been virtually impossible in FCP. It used adjustment layers to create a palette of effects that were be mixed, matched, tweaked and previewed in real-time with no rendering. Having 64-bit performance was great, but Premiere's adjustment layers were what really made a difference.

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tony west
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:22:22 am

[David Lawrence] "Premiere's adjustment layers were what really made a difference."

Yes, for me it would have to be 64 vs 64

A 32 bit program just was not going to work for me once I had a choice of 64

It was just a matter of which 64 program


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:01:33 am

[tony west] "Yes, for me it would have to be 64 vs 64

A 32 bit program just was not going to work for me once I had a choice of 64

It was just a matter of which 64 program"


Agreed, there's no going back once you get used to it.

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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:04:01 pm

[David Lawrence] "That said, I recently did a project in Premiere that would have been virtually impossible in FCP. It used adjustment layers to create a palette of effects that were be mixed, matched, tweaked and previewed in real-time with no rendering. Having 64-bit performance was great, but Premiere's adjustment layers were what really made a difference."

I suppose it's worth noting that Avid has had adjustment layers for years (you can add effects to filler and it works as an adjustment layer), and FCPX has a clever hack for adjustment layers via a blank title template.

Nonetheless, for this kind of layered compositing/effects within an NLE, I think Pr is the right choice (though you may make a good argument for Smoke as well).

Walter Soyka
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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:25:38 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I suppose it's worth noting that Avid has had adjustment layers for years (you can add effects to filler and it works as an adjustment layer), and FCPX has a clever hack for adjustment layers via a blank title template."

Good point. My main gripe with filler on the Avid used to be that it's like gaps in FCPX. You have to use it to fill empty space. But Avid editors always talked about its utility and now I understand why.

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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:06:19 pm

[tony west] "No matter how good you are it's still a 32 bit program right David. Are you overlooking that slow render?"

Point of pedantry: going 64-bit lets a program address more RAM, but it doesn't necessarily make it faster (see Edius user testimony for testimony on a very fast 32-bit NLE).

There are a lot of optimizations and architectural differences in both FCPX and Pr beyond simply being 64-bit that account for the speed improvement over FCP Legend.

Walter Soyka
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Richard Herd
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:23:23 pm

That's a dubious claim. I of course did not make a dubious claim. I compared 7 to X. You compared me to you, which brings up an entirely different digression:

America's Best Editor. or Hell's Video Editor.

What we need is a reality show that pits editors in high stakes competition. Imagine how exciting it would be for the audience to watch video editors Right Clicking and Keyboarding nifty edits. We could have this forum as the gossip sections of the show.


On point...though, I'm a SHIFT-L kind of guy in Legend. The beauty of Js and Ls in X over Legend is how it deals with "flow" (as is named above). Also the precision editor is a marvel to behold when doing L-s and J-s. 7 v X I'm right, but I've used both "softwares." I believe you haven't actually delivered anything using X, and you are more in favor of hypotheticals. Delivering a simple test project is all you gotta do.

Kudos to the little "if you know what you're doing comment"; it's a beauty of a sniping zinger suited for reality tv.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:46:11 am

[David Lawrence] "I'd argue that in it's current implementation, timeline reflow is neither consistent, nor predictable."

Where do you think it falls apart? What behavior is inconsistent?


[David Lawrence] "The fact that they're selected as a single object can easily be addressed in the UI. For example, in Adobe Illustrator (and After Effects) There are two selection arrows. The black arrow always selects groups, but the white arrow lets you select individual points or objects. A similar dual selection UI for Premiere's object groups would give you the benefits of both peer object flexibility and one-way hierarchical inheritance. "

This would let you work inside a group, but this gives you a different kind of inheritance than FCPX.

Since Premiere's groups are based on an open timeline, direct object selection within the group would make changes relative to external time. The group's container is effectively a null. In FCPX, the group's container is itself a clip.


[David Lawrence] "In FCP7, this is essentially a synchronized replace edit. You are matching specific frames between the source and footage being cut in. The FCP7 manual describes how do do this (scroll about midway thru the document and look at "To replace an entire clip in the Timeline with a clip synchronized to a point in the sequence." By default, FCPX makes the connection (sync) point the first frame of the cut and codifies it as the the relationship between the primary and the connected clip. It also allows the connection point to be moved as necessary. From the standpoint of editor intention, I see no difference between this and grouping a sync edit between clips in a traditional timeline."

The critical difference as I see it is that in FCP7, a synchronized replace edit is an instantaneous operation. The connection only exists in the editor's mind at the moment it is made. FCP7 itself cannot store or use that implied connection for anything other than the replace edit. With FCPX, connections are persistent (but mutable), and impact more than the one operation.


[David Lawrence] "FCPX only codifies a single specific type of relationship -- a relationship drive by an engineering data model, rather than specific editor intention. When editor intentions and the data model happen to line up, the magnetic timeline works."

I agree here. I have argued before that FCPX assumes (or maybe imposes?) a certain approach to editing. I think that the data model was designed to implement nonlinear A/B editorial.

Walter Soyka
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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:14:21 am

[Walter Soyka] "Where do you think it falls apart? What behavior is inconsistent?"

I find that when moving primary clips, the stacking order of connected clips when the timeline reflows is unpredictable. I'm never completely sure which clip will wind up on top or why.

Here's a video I made last year to demonstrate why you might want to connect a clip to a gap object. It also proves (despite the insistence of some) that the position tool does not turn off ripple (reflow) via a destructive bug. Apple fixed this bug in version 10.0.4.

Pay attention to the connected clip on the left. Also pay attention to the two connected audio clips.





Can you explain why in one case the left connected clip reflows to bottom, and the other it's on top? And why the short audio clip always reflows below the longer? I find no rhyme or reason in stacking order. Maybe I'm holding it wrong.

[Walter Soyka] "This would let you work inside a group, but this gives you a different kind of inheritance than FCPX.

Since Premiere's groups are based on an open timeline, direct object selection within the group would make changes relative to external time."


Yes. I think that's a good thing.

[Walter Soyka] "The critical difference as I see it is that in FCP7, a synchronized replace edit is an instantaneous operation. The connection only exists in the editor's mind at the moment it is made. FCP7 itself cannot store or use that implied connection for anything other than the replace edit. With FCPX, connections are persistent (but mutable), and impact more than the one operation."

Agreed. But if that sync relationship is important, a synchronized replace edit makes it possible. If the editor wants to lock the relationship between the clips, grouping makes that possible.

I guess where I get lost is in understanding why I would benefit from my NLE knowing anything more about these specific relationships. Especially given all the other relationships that are in my mind that it *doesn't* know about. I realize that in FCPX this *is* the model, but what does the model add beyond what I can get through groups if groups had some additional UI affordances?

[Walter Soyka] "I agree here. I have argued before that FCPX assumes (or maybe imposes?) a certain approach to editing. I think that the data model was designed to implement nonlinear A/B editorial."

Agreed.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:56:46 pm

[David Lawrence] "Can you explain why in one case the left connected clip reflows to bottom, and the other it's on top? And why the short audio clip always reflows below the longer? I find no rhyme or reason in stacking order. Maybe I'm holding it wrong."

To me, this is no different than needing to arrange tracks to make too for new material, or protect fcp7 from throwing a clip collision warning, or simply dealing with the nature of tracks.

You still have to edit with FCPX. You still have to make sure things are in the proper place.

With its non destructive timeline that might mean pulling a connected clip back in to the right stacking order.

It's not that big of a deal to me.

In 7, you'd make room for this edit before you moved the clips, or perhaps you'd select all clips to the right and move the clips a little, then trim some things out of the way, or make more room by putting a clip or two in a different track, and essentially nip/tuck/nip/tuck your way in to ensure everything is exactly selected/deselected as needed as FCP7 can't deal with this edit on its own. It sometime won't even let you make a move like this if there's "objects" that it finds in the way.

With X, you grab the primary clip, move it where you want, and restack a layer or two, all relative positions still in place. Yes you might also have to trim the ends off of a clip or two.

[David Lawrence] "Apple fixed this bug in version 10.0.4."

Have you tried this move with the bug fixed?


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:15:47 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "To me, this is no different than needing to arrange tracks to make too for new material, or protect fcp7 from throwing a clip collision warning, or simply dealing with the nature of tracks.

You still have to edit with FCPX. You still have to make sure things are in the proper place.

With its non destructive timeline that might mean pulling a connected clip back in to the right stacking order.

It's not that big of a deal to me.

In 7, you'd make room for this edit before you moved the clips, or perhaps you'd select all clips to the right and move the clips a little, then trim some things out of the way, or make more room by putting a clip or two in a different track, and essentially nip/tuck/nip/tuck your way in to ensure everything is exactly selected/deselected as needed as FCP7 can't deal with this edit on its own. It sometime won't even let you make a move like this if there's "objects" that it finds in the way."


Here's what I see is the big difference:

In FCP7, I plan and make all of those arrangements myself before I make the edit. Everything is always under my control and the results of my actions are always what I expect, because I'm the one making them.

In FCPX, the software automatically reflows in ways I can never predict. In doing so, it changes my edits without asking me. Then after the fact, I have to go back and fix whatever changes it decided to make. I don't like that. It feels like a backwards way of working. I want full control over everthing.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Have you tried this move with the bug fixed?"

I remember trying 10.0.4 specifically to see if they had fixed the bug and I think I posted something here when I found that they did. But other than that, I didn't test to see how the connected clips behaved. I was just happy someone at Apple was paying attention.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:27:18 am

[David Lawrence] "In FCP7, I plan and make all of those arrangements myself before I make the edit. Everything is always under my control and the results of my actions are always what I expect, because I'm the one making them."

Until you hit a totally rediculous collision error. Back to nipping and tucking until it allows you to move where you want.

X moves fairly predictable to me. Certainly nothing is destroyed and everything is allowed, it simply makes more room.

[David Lawrence] "In FCPX, the software automatically reflows in ways I can never predict. In doing so, it changes my edits without asking me. Then after the fact, I have to go back and fix whatever changes it decided to make. I don't like that. It feels like a backwards way of working. I want full control over everthing. "

Again, I bow. I simply don't see it this way at all.



[David Lawrence] "I remember trying 10.0.4 specifically to see if they had fixed the bug and I think I posted something here when I found that they did. But other than that, I didn't test to see how the connected clips behaved. I was just happy someone at Apple was paying attention."

The problem was that the position tool wouldn't leave a gap when dragging a gap. Now it does.

Your example would look completely different if you used 10.0.5.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:43:54 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Until you hit a totally rediculous collision error. Back to nipping and tucking until it allows you to move where you want. "

True, it's a pain but I rarely run into this.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Again, I bow. I simply don't see it this way at all. "

vive la différence!

[Jeremy Garchow] "The problem was that the position tool wouldn't leave a gap when dragging a gap. Now it does."

Yes. That was the bug (awesome QA testing). Glad it's fixed.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Your example would look completely different if you used 10.0.5. "

I never bothered installing 10.0.5 because by then, I had replaced my internal HD for a larger one and built a very streamline system (only FCP7, none of the other studio 3 applications, and Adobe Production Premium) Maybe I'll put the old drive in the dock and give it a try. I'd be curious to see how it works now.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:58:16 pm

[David Lawrence] "[Walter Soyka] "I agree here. I have argued before that FCPX assumes (or maybe imposes?) a certain approach to editing. I think that the data model was designed to implement nonlinear A/B editorial."

Agreed."


Can you, David, or Walter, or Franz please explain how FCPX is an A/B only editor?


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:40:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Can you, David, or Walter, or Franz please explain how FCPX is an A/B only editor?"

Speaking for myself, I don't see it as A/B in the sense of a two-source, single M/E system. I see it as A/B in terms of the ENG or storytelling mental editorial model -- you have A-roll which is primary to the story, and B-roll which is secondary to the story (and attached to the A-roll).

The thing I still don't quite understand are real-world scenarios where you can't think of an edit this way.

Interestingly, this points out a little quirk in the clip relationship thing. B-roll is often used to cover a cut, but you can't connect to the edit point of that cut itself; you must connect it to a frame on one of the clips.

Walter Soyka
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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:27:25 pm

[Walter Soyka] "you have A-roll which is primary to the story, and B-roll which is secondary to the story (and attached to the A-roll). The thing I still don't quite understand are real-world scenarios where you can't think of an edit this way."

In multicam this distinction is often moot, there is often no A storyline camera, and the same camera angle will alternate between sync shots and cover shots, sometimes this will happen in the middle of a shot. For instance:

Generic cooking show: Camera A is the wide master, Camera B & C are side angles. The side B camera starts on CU of main chef talking to guest, in sync, as he demonstrates cutting an onion camera pans down to onion, still in sync. While still on CU action of onion, audio changes to a bit of info taken from a different section of show, we are no longer in sync, then we cut to the C angle CU of a bowl as the talent fills it with the cut onion. During this whole scene, while we started in lip sync, we were actually using the mix audio from Camera A.

Question - is the whole segment considered B-roll, since the pictures were covering the audio from the A camera, or is the CU considered B-roll once the audio changes, or is it B-roll when we change angles to the C Camera, and would it matter if right after the cut to C the audio cut back to be in sync. Or is it pointless in a situation like this to even consider the notion of A / B roll?

My answer is that in a situation where any shot can and does change between sync or cover shot and then back again, the whole A/B paradigm is worthless.

In fact this whole A/B notion comes into play because video traditionally comes with audio attached to it - it is an efficient way of keeping the video tied to the audio. I never heard about B-roll when I was cutting film, even thought the phrase originated there I believe. When your audio is physically disconnected from your video tracks the whole A/B thing doesn't come up, which is why I always disconnect them at the start of editing.

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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:37:09 pm

[Herb Sevush] "n multicam this distinction is often moot, there is often no A storyline camera, and the same camera angle will alternate between sync shots and cover shots, sometimes this will happen in the middle of a shot."

Understood -- and I don't mean to suggest that the "A-roll" concept must be on the source side. I see how you may want to use a shot as primary here and secondary there within the same scene.

But are you saying that you can't structure the multicam cooking edit in terms of a series of primary edits with connected secondary edits?

I can understand how your edit ends up, but what is the process you use to actually get there? Do you cut some kind of spine, then use cutaways to heal any gaps or clarify content, or is there never a single spine or set of decisions (across tracks as necessary) that drive the edit?

Walter Soyka
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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:19:12 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But are you saying that you can't structure the multicam cooking edit in terms of a series of primary edits with connected secondary edits?"

I don't know if I could, I know that I don't.

These shows are mostly audio driven - radio with pictures. Everything is a secondary edit to make the audio as seamless as I can.

[Walter Soyka] "but what is the process you use to actually get there? Do you cut some kind of spine, then use cutaways to heal any gaps or clarify content, or is there never a single spine or set of decisions (across tracks as necessary) that drive the edit?"

From the assembly through about the third rough cut I don't make any camera angle selections, I'm leaving the multicam set to the WS master but I'm only looking at the multicam window where I see all angles - it's all a process of winnowing down the audio from about 120 minutes to around 23 minutes of final content. After the third rough I'm generally a bit over 40 minutes and at this point the main object is to keep tightening the show while covering the audio transitions cleanly, sometimes by using CUs, sometimes by switching angles on the talent.

The narrative is the recipe, the spine is the audio, which changes as I try to find the right balance between information & humor while still keeping the illusion of a quasi real-time feel.

To compress time and increase visual interest I'm often taking the audio from expository exchanges and running them under the action of preparing the food. In these cases the sync sound is put on my effects tracks and the voices are left in the dialogue tracks. When the exposition ends, the effects become sync and I move them up accordingly. My guess is that I use my WS master about 15% of the time - everything else is up for grabs.

Except when compositing graphics I end up with my video all on track 1. I use the higher video tracks quite often when playing around with positioning and timing, but once a decision has been made I move everything down to track 1. Most of the audio comes from a mixed track on Ch 1 of the WS master, but I also use the various iso tracks scattered thru all of my video sources for both effects and to clean up the mix where needed.

If you can figure out what's my primary video and what's secondary, your a better man than I (which you might be anyway.)

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:39:36 pm

[Herb Sevush] "These shows are mostly audio driven - radio with pictures. Everything is a secondary edit to make the audio as seamless as I can."

So then your audio is the primary?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:42:16 pm

[Walter Soyka] "So then your audio is the primary?"

Yes.

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


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TImothy Auld
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 9:16:19 pm

Audio, nine times out of ten, tells the story I am being paid to tell. Visuals support the story. Which is one reason I have problems with FCP X. It makes decisions for me that I don't want made. And to get it to do what I want is a long series of dubious workarounds. Not that Legend was not also a series of workarounds in some cases. But in Legend I generally did not have to out think the software. I certainly have worked in situations where the picture was primary but they are few and far between at least for me. Words tell stories.

Tim


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 9:55:43 pm

[TImothy Auld] "It makes decisions for me that I don't want made. "

Like what?


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TImothy Auld
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:24:54 pm

Like what? Have you not been following this magnetic timeline discussion for the last year and three months?

Tim


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:32:24 am

[TImothy Auld] "Like what? Have you not been following this magnetic timeline discussion for the last year and three months?
"


Yes.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:29:14 pm

[Walter Soyka] "you have A-roll which is primary to the story, and B-roll which is secondary to the story (and attached to the A-roll)."

I am still having trouble with this.

So if there's a gap clip with a clip attached to it, the gap clip is ARoll?

I am failing to see why a clip has to be attached to another video/audio clip below it. It can be attached to nothing. This makes 'the nothing' A-Roll?


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:50:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am still having trouble with this. So if there's a gap clip with a clip attached to it, the gap clip is ARoll? I am failing to see why a clip has to be attached to another video/audio clip below it. It can be attached to nothing. This makes 'the nothing' A-Roll?"

In my understanding, A-roll and B-roll are terms for the conceptual role the footage plays in the edit, which is reflected in its structure. With primary and secondary tiers built into the application, FCPX internalizes this model.

Connecting things to a gap strikes me as a clever hack, moreso than the way FCPX designers intended the app to be used. Their language and their demos suggest that they see tiering clips as primary or secondary to be a part of editorial.

I think they thought about how (most) people structure their edits and then redesigned the process with that in mind.

Walter Soyka
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:28:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "In my understanding, A-roll and B-roll are terms for the conceptual role the footage plays in the edit, which is reflected in its structure. With primary and secondary tiers built into the application, FCPX internalizes this model."

So the gap is ARoll then?

If I have video and audio in the primary, and I cut to a clip that's attached to it, and it is now the main audio and video, is that still broll?

Broll, to me, is footage that is covering voice over or "in to the camera" dialogue (i.e. news). I don't find that a piece has to have VO or news style footage in order to be cut in FCPX. The footage can be anything.

I don't see FCPX as an A/B roll only situation, so I am just trying to understand how others might view it as such.

[Walter Soyka] "Connecting things to a gap strikes me as a clever hack,"

OK. I see it as how the program works. I'm not talking about having everything attached to a gap (I always use the primary), I am talking about having one clip attached to a gap next to clips in the primary like this:



This gives you layer priority, it would allow a layered cut instead of an inline j/l cut, and it allows me to change the clips around as I see fit.

I don't find this a hack, merely an option and tool.

[Walter Soyka] "I think they thought about how (most) people structure their edits and then redesigned the process with that in mind."

So, it you are cutting a traditional dialogue scene, FCPX can't do that? Why not?


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 5:48:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So the gap is ARoll then?"

No. The gap is structurally the primary for FCPX, but not conceptually A-roll for the story.

Ordinarily, the A-roll (story-carrying footage) is also primary (structure-building clips). Perhaps in this case there is no primary or A-roll.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't see FCPX as an A/B roll only situation, so I am just trying to understand how others might view it as such."

I'm not saying it's A/B only; I'm saying it's A/B-oriented, and that secondaries are a clever way to keep B-roll with the A-roll it's conceptually related to.


[Jeremy Garchow] "So, it you are cutting a traditional dialogue scene, FCPX can't do that? Why not?"

Not saying FCPX can't do it at all. A traditional dialog scene is mostly A-roll, right? If you were cutting this in FCPX, you'd have most of the edit on the primary and very little on secondaries.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:00:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "No. The gap is structurally the primary for FCPX, but not conceptually A-roll for the story.

Ordinarily, the A-roll (story-carrying footage) is also primary (structure-building clips). Perhaps in this case there is no primary or A-roll."


So then we can agree that FCPX isn't an a/b only convention?

[Walter Soyka] "A traditional dialog scene is mostly A-roll, right?"

I wouldn't call it A-Roll, but yes, you usually aren't "covering" the audio with footage that is outside of the current scene.

I just keep hearing that FCPX is A/B roll oriented. I don't think it necessarily is. Just trying to stay in topic is all. Sorry!

[Walter Soyka] "I'm not saying it's A/B only; I'm saying it's A/B-oriented, and that secondaries are a clever way to keep B-roll with the A-roll it's conceptually related to."

But isn't a secondary more like a track than a connected clip? It certainly has track like behavior (like the primary), it just doesn't extend from zero to infinity (although you could do it if you'd like).

In this picture, the clips in the secondary are not related to the clips below it anymore than in FCP7:


secondary.png

I feel like I am always posting screen grabs.


Jeremy


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Richard Herd
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:25:33 pm

The screen grabs are good.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:20:33 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The thing I still don't quite understand are real-world scenarios where you can't think of an edit this way."

Walter,

In general I avoid thinking about things in terms of A/B roll, and I proselytize against it, as I think it promotes a certain preconception of how to use shots. When given the opportunity, I actually urge directors specifically not to shoot B roll. Bring me A roll only. Every shot as important as the next. I don't want to be cutting "away" to anything ... only cutting to the next important thing.

In other words - if you can carry a scene on a close up of the coffee cup, then it seems odd to think of that as "secondary" in any way.

But that is more how A/B conventions impact on shooting.

The primary task of editing is, indeed, finding or deciding the shape of the spine.

In terms of process, I find I am often cutting groups of "threads" independently first. When I bring maybe 3 threads together to create a scene, the edit is partially determining which thread will come to the foreground as the driver at any given moment - the thing that "drives" a scene, or structures it, is often shifting from one element to the next, or can often be the interaction of two or more threads. (A simple example - if there is complex interaction between voice-over and a sync shot, it is sort of pointless to think about which is "primary", particularly if you have to edit both threads to maintain the tension or harmony of the interaction).

It seems to me that if the focus or driving element is constantly shifting, or if your constantly talking about only primaries, or more than one primary, then you're not really talking about an A/B model anymore.

A/B editing is a useful way of describing the "radio edit" approach (in which visuals follow an edited audio structure) or describing a sync-and-cutaways approach to hiding visual edits.

It doesn't really describe a lot of editing practice well.

Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:06:17 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "In general I avoid thinking about things in terms of A/B roll, and I proselytize against it, as I think it promotes a certain preconception of how to use shots. When given the opportunity, I actually urge directors specifically not to shoot B roll. Bring me A roll only. Every shot as important as the next. I don't want to be cutting "away" to anything ... only cutting to the next important thing."

Very interesting perspective!

Before I moved to motion design, I was primarily editing unscripted, interview-driven corporate pieces. Although I would always try to use B-roll that advanced the story, whether it was to visualize a point or cover a cut, very often the use of B-roll was dictated by what was happening in the A-roll (interview). The B-roll was dependent on the A-roll for context and relevance, so it fits the FCPX model neatly.


[Franz Bieberkopf] "It seems to me that if the focus or driving element is constantly shifting, or if your constantly talking about only primaries, or more than one primary, then you're not really talking about an A/B model anymore."

It sounds like FCPX would not be a good conceptual fit for this kind of work. I think that some jobs will be inherently easier in FCPX, and others inherently easier in a traditional timeline.

But again, I'd have to leave this part of the discussion for someone actually doing it.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:08:26 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It sounds like FCPX would not be a good conceptual fit for this kind of work. I think that some jobs will be inherently easier in FCPX, and others inherently easier in a traditional timeline. But again, I'd have to leave this part of the discussion for someone actually doing it."

Replying to myself to pre-empt an argument with Jeremy -- I am not saying there are edits you CAN'T make in FCPX, just that the different models/toolset have relative strengths in different kinds of edits.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:16:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It sounds like FCPX would not be a good conceptual fit for this kind of work."

Walter,

It's one of the reasons I've been shy of trying X to date.

On the other hand, David Lawrence's multiple primaries seem like an exciting idea to me ...

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:18:27 am

[Walter Soyka] "Interestingly, this points out a little quirk in the clip relationship thing. B-roll is often used to cover a cut, but you can't connect to the edit point of that cut itself; you must connect it to a frame on one of the clips."

My mind is melting.

How could you attach to a cut when there are only frames to attach to. A cut isn't an entity, it's simply a frame from a different clip, or from a different point in time on the same clip.


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:22:11 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "How could you attach to a cut when there are only frames to attach to. A cut isn't an entity, it's simply a frame from a different clip, or from a different point in time on the same clip."

A cut is an infinitely thin slice of time between frames ;)

_______________________
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:32:52 am

Oh. Infinite thinness. Yes. I remember that from Physics class.


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Rafael Amador
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:03:53 pm

[David Lawrence] "[Jeremy Garchow] "How could you attach to a cut when there are only frames to attach to. A cut isn't an entity, it's simply a frame from a different clip, or from a different point in time on the same clip."

A cut is an infinitely thin slice of time between frames "

"Cut" is an abstraction. It doesn't exist per se, but only in function of a clip that finish and another that starts. When you cover a cut you may be covering part of the two clips or just part of the incoming clip, but you can never cover only the cut. Its exists only in our head.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:12:55 pm

Jeremy,

I'd be interested to hear a response from you (about X) to this statement from Walter:

[Walter Soyka] "Speaking for myself, I don't see it as A/B in the sense of a two-source, single M/E system. I see it as A/B in terms of the ENG or storytelling mental editorial model -- you have A-roll which is primary to the story, and B-roll which is secondary to the story (and attached to the A-roll).

The thing I still don't quite understand are real-world scenarios where you can't think of an edit this way."


In other words, if you don't conceive of your edit as A/B, how do you conceive of it? How does X help you with this (in ways that tracked models don't)?

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:17:41 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "In other words, if you don't conceive of your edit as A/B, how do you conceive of it? How does X help you with this (in ways that tracked models don't)?"

Some of what I would do falls in to Aroll/Broll, some doesn't.

Interview pieces are usually Aroll/Broll, spots usually aren't.

I like what FPCX does as the relationships are "written down" as I mentioned much earlier in this thread. In the earlier stages of the edit, I am able to very quickly and easy swap things around when building the story. Any sweeping changes that are made are very fast and I can "heal" the timeline much faster than I can in FCP7 due to the "everything allowed" approach of FCPX (no clip overwrites unless I specifically tell it to overwrite). Everything is available, nothing is lost. I don't mind that and it is rather unique to FCPX.

Usually when adding cutaways (or broll) that footage tends to stick with that part of the story, so having little "groups" of clips that pertain to a comment or thread of the story is actually very helpful. I can even further define those groups in a secondary which allows even more options. Where the connected clip convention currently does lack is precision and control which I touched on earlier (moving a primary clip without moving its connected clip for example). So for the earlier stages, the speed is absolutely fantastic, but when things start to get precise, FCPX has less control so sometimes it takes more time. The same is true for FCP7 when you have a lot of layers.

For Non Broll editing (like spots), I find editing in the primary extremely fast and fluid. Keyboard shortcuts are logical and easy and pretty well though out. This is why I have been trying to ask you why you think FCPX is geared for a/b editing when "a" editing is so easy and quick and "b" tends to take a lot more shuffling of clips in and out of the primary simply due to the lack of given keyboard shortcuts and young stage of FCPX programming.

Jeremy


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:00:42 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am able to very quickly and easy swap things around when building the story."

By "building the story" do you mean working in the primary storyline, or is it more than that?

[Jeremy Garchow] "Everything is available, nothing is lost."

I am not sure what you mean by this. Perhaps a negative example might illustrate.

[Jeremy Garchow] "For Non Broll editing (like spots), I find editing in the primary extremely fast and fluid."

From what you've described, I understand that you work with an A/B approach to your editing: a primary, structuring track with cutaways or secondary material used to hide edits or support the primary. So either I've misunderstood something or you've not explained it well enough.

Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:37:09 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "By "building the story" do you mean working in the primary storyline, or is it more than that?"

Yes, when cutting the dialogue (with interview pieces, I cut a story first, then add broll) I use the primary as there's no reason to use anything else and the magnetism, position tool, fast keyboard editing and everything works in my favor.

I also like that I can add clips to the timeline quickly and not have to worry about selecting an audio track right away or track patching or anything of the sort. It is very easy to add a clip, get the edit situated, and select audio tracks later. I can even do this as a group. If I select 45 clips at once, I can adjust which audio channel I want to use in the timeline in the inspector of all 45 clips at once. I like this a lot and is actually something nice about audio editing in FCPX. I can do this in tracks in FCP7 as well, but it's somehow easier in FCPX and I don't have to disable audio tracks. This is a pain if you extend to 4 or more audio tracks as you have to "layer" the audio. For instance, if I have 3 clips that are overlapping this means I have six total audio channels to manage (2 per clip). 3 of those channels I am not using at the moment so I can either delete the one channel I'm not using (or not add it to the timeline in the first place), disable the one channel I'm not using and have three audio tracks on the timeline that are doing nothing but taking up space, or disable that one track on each and every clip every time I add a clip to the timeline. It can be rather tedious.

With FCPX I can always bring the audio back in FCPX as well by selecting it in the inspector, and there's no wasted tracks, my timeline looks exactly the same, there's no reason to make more room or rearrange.

The reasons for this are that when editing, I usually use the audio channel that sounds best to me, but when I export an OMF to an audio engineer, I give them all the relevant channels so they have to the most material to work with. For example, after processing the lav might be better than the boom even though the boom sounds better without processing, or the audio engineer might use a combination of the two.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "[Jeremy Garchow] "Everything is available, nothing is lost."

I am not sure what you mean by this. Perhaps a negative example might illustrate."


Sure. With clip collisions in FCP7, I might have to move a clip to another track, or trim a clip out of the way, or delete a transition, or move a transition in order to make room for a new clip, even if I don't want to. Here's an example, check out the end of the post with the FCP7 screen grabs:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/41361

With FCPX, nothing is lost (unless I want to overwrite with the position tool in the primary). Everything is available, the software simply adjusts and keeps all of my options in front of me. Some see this as a hinderance, I see it as an advantage. The software is simply making room for everyone to come aboard and I don't mind it. FCP7 constantly reminds me that I am an idiot and there's a transition that is perhaps, 5 seconds away from the CTI and it is preventing me from doing an operation. I can't overwrite certain edits with transitions if I want to due to clip collisions. If I drag multiple layers, I sometimes run in to road blocks as I missed a clip that was seven audio tracks down, so I have to stop, move the clip to a different track, reselect my selection just right and continue the move. FCPX is a valiant attempt to make those types of editing processes more efficient. I've heard people say the interface is dumbed down, I of course think it has smartened up. FCP7 does some really dumb things when it comes to collisions.

There is a downside as multichannel audio editing is currently very awkward in FCPX. I am very anxious to see what Apple is going to do here with thier announced tools (linked). I really like the "Expand Audio" options/commands in FCPX. I think if every channel was shown in the expand audio, it would go a long way to making multichannel audio editing more efficient and complete.

Jeremy


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Dave Gage
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:25:07 pm

All,

Any plans on turning this thread into a movie? It might be easier for me to follow. Maybe something along the lines of "My Dinner With Andre"?

Brilliant stuff here,
Dave


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:21:15 am

[Dave Gage] "Any plans on turning this thread into a movie? It might be easier for me to follow. Maybe something along the lines of "My Dinner With Andre"?"

Inconceivable!


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:46:13 pm

Great post Jeremy, thank you. I can really understand what you like about working in FCPX. Makes sense. After 10.0.6 is released and I upgrade to a new system, I'll try FCPX again in the ways you describe.

_______________________
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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:01:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Oh. Infinite thinness. Yes. I remember that from Physics class."

In all our discussions, I've been assuming frictionless spherical clips in a vacuum.

I can only assume this accounts for any differences between theory and practice.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:45:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "My mind is melting. How could you attach to a cut when there are only frames to attach to. A cut isn't an entity, it's simply a frame from a different clip, or from a different point in time on the same clip."

By attaching the connecting clip to a specific time relative to the media container on the primary, not to a specific frame in the clip within the container.

Let's Inception this, and go a level deeper. Right now, FCPX makes secondary time relative to the absolute time of the primary -- a literal frame in the media within the clip container on the timeline. I'm suggesting that sometimes it's more useful to make secondary time relative to the relative time of the primary -- the absolute time of the container itself, not the absolute time of the media it contains.

I don't know if that made the melting better or worse...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:24:37 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't know if that made the melting better or worse..."

Well, I just don't see what it would do. If things got trimmed or rolled out, or even cut further what happens to it? That's why I was confused about attaching to a "cut". If you want to attach to a particular frame of SEQUENCE tc, then I get it. But a cut is just a malleable as a frame because it is just another frame. Meaning, when you move clips the cut point moves too.

I see what people want, and that is no connections, or at least the option to not have a connection.

[Walter Soyka] "I'm suggesting that sometimes it's more useful to make secondary time relative to the relative time of the primary -- the absolute time of the container itself, not the absolute time of the media it contains."

Yes, like holding modifier to trim/roll a clip with a connection and not have the connecting clip move.

Now, you simply move the clip out of the primary, make the move, and move it back in. It doesn't take long, but it can be an inconvenience.

Or if you want to move everything but a few connected clips, perhaps there's a temporary break clip connection. That seems like it would get kind messy, but who knows. Right now if you need to leave things where they are, secondary storylines and a good connection point can handle that, or shuffling what it is the primary and what isn't. It's just like manipulating clips in tracks in the way that you have to actually think about what you want to do, which clips to select or deselect, which clips to put on different racks or not. I have ben saying this for a while now, I don't think FCPX is different in that way. It operates differently yes, but it doesn't "do anything for you" anymore so that FCP7 does or doesn't. They just operate in different ways and you as editor still have to edit.

Audio still sucks. Detaching audio from connected clips reattaches them to the primary. That is a design flaw. A simple fix would be to allow to attach to more than the primary and all would be right with the world.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:35:01 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Well, I just don't see what it would do. If things got trimmed or rolled out, or even cut further what happens to it? That's why I was confused about attaching to a "cut". If you want to attach to a particular frame of tc, then I get it. But a cut is just a malleable as a frame because it is just another frame. Meaning, when you move clips the cut point moves too."

If the point of a connected clip is to cover a cut, then it is not properly related to any specific frame of either the outgoing or incoming clips on the underlying layer. It is related to the cut itself, and if the cut moves, the cutaway should move with it.

NLEs already recognize edit points as objects that are distinct from the clips that define them. (You can select an edit point and roll it or add a transition, for example.) This may be a corner case, but I'm just trying to point out that the FCPX clip connection model doesn't catch all relationship cases.


[Jeremy Garchow] "They just operate in different ways and you as editor still have to edit."

See Cooper Kingston's Edit Button:







[Jeremy Garchow] "Audio still sucks. Detaching audio from connected clips reattaches them to the primary. That is a design flaw. A simple fix would be to allow to attach to more than the primary and all would be right with the world."

Yes -- I support flattening the object model a bit so that multiple tiers are possible.

Of course, this also raises the question of the merits of FCPX's integrated AV handling.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:42:46 pm

[Walter Soyka] "See Cooper Kingston's Edit Button:"

Thank you for that, hadn't seen it before. I'm ordering mine now.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:24:47 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If the point of a connected clip is to cover a cut, then it is not properly related to any specific frame of either the outgoing or incoming clips on the underlying layer. It is related to the cut itself, and if the cut moves, the cutaway should move with it."

Yeah, but when I am cutting an interview dialogue, there might 8 cuts that I need to cover due to me taking out pauses/ums/ahs/making a complete sentence. Which one do I attach it to? Why not attach it to where I want the broll to start, which is usually on a specific frame that may or may not be a cut?

[Walter Soyka] "This may be a corner case, but I'm just trying to point out that the FCPX clip connection model doesn't catch all relationship cases."

But it has easy methods to do so. It has vertical AND horizontal methods of creating relationships. As well as magnets.


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Walter Soyka
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:13:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Right now, FCPX makes secondary time relative to the absolute time of the primary -- a literal frame in the media within the clip container on the timeline. I'm suggesting that sometimes it's more useful to make secondary time relative to the relative time of the primary -- the absolute time of the container itself, not the absolute time of the media it contains."

It occurs to me that a compound clip might enable this behavior.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:45:29 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The benefit to the editor would be that the editor can concentrate on the story in terms of the story, without engaging in the editorial bookkeeping necessary to keep a traditional tracked timeline following a story."

Walter,

This I need to respond to, as it is a fundamental ideological standpoint that I have problems with.

The purpose of an NLE is to arrange video and audio in time. Broadly, we call this activity "editing".

Storytelling is one application or approach to editing. It does not encompass all that editing is.

Further, A/B editing is one approach to the problem of editing. It does not encompass all that editing is.

Apple have made an ideological choice in an editing model based on A/B editing, and further like to fill out this ideological choice with the language of "storytelling".

What I see as ideological limits no doubt aid many in their editing. They should not be taken as the limits of - nor even the best way of describing - what editing is.

As an aside, for me the best way to think about editing is in terms of structure - my own theory is that "story" is an effect felt by the audience, and therefore of limited value in terms of thinking about approaches and mechanics. By way of analogy - when you're trying to learn how to pull a rabbit out of a hat, thinking of the effect (the illusion, the way it plays for the audience) only gets you so far; for the rest, you need to be a magician with attendant stagecraft.

All of which is to say that any marketing campaign that focuses on "letting me tell my story" seems just that - marketing. Storytelling, structuring, editing, filmmaking are complex undertakings. Better tools will help me edit better. That's what I want.


Franz.


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Craig Alan
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:55:31 pm

Hi David,

Great discourse here.

I follow to an extent.

Want to truly grok the mechanical difference between X’s connected, parent/child clips vs. traditional tracks, particularly as it relates to relative vs. absolute time. I’m not adding anything of my own here, just want to follow the leaders, get the complete idiot’s guide to the thread. So if the analogy below is misguided then please suggest an alternative that would be as concrete. Though most likely one has already been suggested and went over my head or under my radar.

If I understand correctly, the traditional timeline is comprised of a stack of (layers of) linear tracks that begin at 0 and progress in absolute time to infinity. Each track is independent of the others with a set of rules that govern what is seen by the viewer when played back? Each track can be as empty or as full as the editor decides. So in a traditional timeline at any given point in time the tracks have a defined vertical relationship, but horizontally they are independent.

In X, and forgive me but they still look like tracks to me, there is one track (storyline) and all other clips (below or above) must be connected to it. For all connected clips, their relationship to time is dependent on the connection and not on a specific amount of time from zero. Further, although these connected clips may appear to be on a certain track, they are treated independently of each other unless they are grouped together in a secondary storyline. Even then, this child storyline needs to be connected to the parent and has no specific place in time of its own.

If I were putting data in an Excel spreadsheet, I could fill whatever cells I wanted in each row or column. A1 could be filled, A2 could be blank, and A3 could be filled. I could make each cell and all cells in the same column as wide or as narrow as I wish. But if I make cell B2 wider, then all of column B is wider and all columns from C on are rippled away by that exact amount from the edge of the left margin. I could move or copy whatever data I wanted from one cell to another without changing the width of my spreadsheet.

So would it be fair to say that traditional timelines function like a spreadsheet in that each cell can be empty or full and emptied or filled independently? And not like a spreadsheet in that a clip on a track can be expanded or contracted independently of the clips in the tracks above or below it. If the track was a row in a spreadsheet, cell B2 could be made wider without affecting the width of B3 or any other cell in B column.

Would it also be fair to say that X is like a spreadsheet in that I can insert a cell and ripple the rest of the spreadsheet cleanly out of the way by that exact amount? For example if I insert a cell between B1 and C1 then any cells in columns C D E … are rippled out of the way (the former C1 becomes D1, D1 becomes D2 etc.). And not like a spreadsheet in that there is only one actual row and all other cells must be connected to that row at a certain point. So I could connect a cell (B2) to (B1) without creating an independent row 2.

Using the comparison from a different perspective, I feel like X behaves more like a spreadsheet in that clips behave like cells that have a defined spatial relationship to each other and can therefore be very cleanly pushed one way or the other, whereas in traditional timelines everything is defined by time and all clips and all tracks must play by the same set of rules governed by an absolute constant with the smallest component being a frame. The frame and therefore time is relative only in that you can have different frame rates.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 23, 2012 at 7:10:55 pm

I think fixating on the A/B roll analogy sidetracks the discussion a bit. There are various A/B roll concepts. One is to checkerboard clips onto alternate reels to enable film printing with transitions. This concept migrated to linear video editing where you had to copy a reel in order to dissolve between two clips recorded on the same camera tape. Hence the B-Reel in Edit Decision Lists. Both of these methods were strictly for the purpose of transition effects and it's a concept that some early NLEs copied. Some had A/B/X tracks (where X was a track for transition effects). The key take-away is that clips on an A or B reel or track had the same properties or values.

Generally the A/B-roll comparison in FCP X stems from editing news packages on reversal film with a recorded magnetic sound track on the film. You edited the A-reel first, which was the "radio cut" of all the sync sound clips and bridging reporter reads. Cutaways were edited to the B-reel as MOS clips. In the days of TV news on film, some places actually rolled an A-reel and a B-reel in sync on two projectors and the director switched live between the two film chain signals. That's the reason today we call shots without on-camera speakers as "B-roll coverage". This version of the A/B-roll concept is what FCP X mimics. The "radio cut" or A-roll is edited to the Primary Storyline based on the concept that audio drives the other edits. Connected Clips are the B-roll or cutaway shots. Interestingly, Connected Clips can certainly have audio, yet there's really no "best practices" right now, for dealing with audio on a Connected A/V clip, a Connected audio-only clip or one on the Primary Storyline.

An interesting aside is Walter Murch's use of the FCP 7 timeline. This was discussed on this forum before around the time of the Boston meeting at which he spoke. He referenced a frame grab in his Keynote slides showing his timeline for "Hemingway & Gellhorn". Here's a link to my recent interview with him, which includes a shot of this timeline.

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/hemingway-and-gellhorn/

I challenge anyone here to come up with an FCP X timeline that's anywhere as dense without resorting to compound clips. ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 23, 2012 at 8:53:25 pm

Naturally, the concept of magnetic timeline and connected clips would work better if the rules made any sense, but they don't. There are some obvious bad design decisions that have been made. A primary storyline clip and a connected clip do not each have the same properties, yet under some conditions they are equal.

1. You can edit a clip as an A/V clip onto the primary storyline and then overwrite it using a video-only edit. This wipes out the complete clip (including audio) that was there before.

2. You can move an audio-only connected clip onto the primary storyline and it will overwrite any video clip that's there. This happens when working in the position tool, but when you use the selection tool it shoves the clips downstream. I don't care about the magnetic behavior, but audio overwriting a video clip is just stupid design.

3. Stacking order of clips sometimes changes how the video combines into a composite, depending on whether these are in or out of a compound clip.

4. Stacking order affects video priorities, but not audio priorities - and you can have audio-only connected clips above the primary storyline.

5. Video properties of a clip are different between storyline and connected clips. Audio properties aren't.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 23, 2012 at 9:47:26 pm

Of course, talk about your magnetic timeline.....

http://www.businessinsider.com/ios-6-maps-apocalypse-2012-9?op=1

Maybe the ProApps engineers decided to re-imagine geography as their newest endeavor ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 24, 2012 at 12:16:38 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Maybe the ProApps engineers decided to re-imagine geography as their newest endeavor ;-)"

I have some responses to your other great posts that I will have to write up later, but here's a cartographers reaction to Apple Maps.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/23/apple-maps-disaster-stems-from-lack-of-da...

Be sure to read the cartographer's linked blog post, too.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 24, 2012 at 6:52:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "here's a cartographers reaction to Apple Maps.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/23/apple-maps-disaster-stems-from-lack-of-da.....

Be sure to read the cartographer's linked blog post, too. "


Fascinating read, Jeremy. Thanks for the link.

I found a couple of the cartographer's points about Apple's software development and marketing strategies with iOS6 Maps remarkably familiar:
"You cannot read about the errors in Apple Maps without realizing that these maps were being visually examined and used for the first time by Apple’s customers and not by Apple’s QC teams. If Apple thought that the results were going to be any different than they are, I would be surprised. Of course, hubris is a powerful emotion."
And from the comments:
I have reached the same conclusions as you about the Apple strategy, but I am relatively sure they did not quite know how bad it would turn out. However, as you note, they may have decided that the upside outweighed the downside. The problem I have with this is that they knew this was a problem months ago and yet gave a preview of the product and set very high expectations for it in June. Stringing your loyal users along as part of “fantasy-marketing” strategy is just the wrong thing to do.
These problems are virtually identical to what we experienced with the botched release of FCPX. Except in this case, instead of it only affecting a very specialized, niche market, it's being seen by the biggest, most mainstream market Apple has. I have no doubt Apple will recover, but the risks here are big. Andy Ihnatko in the Chicago Sun Times writes:
Here at the end of its first week, I consider Maps’ POI problems to be an embarrassment. If the problem persists to Halloween, then I’ll think of Maps as a failure. And if Apple doesn’t turn Maps around and make it into a reliable, trustworthy resource by the end of the year, then I’ll consider it a fatality. Maps will be moved to a cot in Apple’s windowless attic, where they keep Ping and the iPod HiFi.
What happens with Maps remains to be seen. Since this is a visible and serious problem for Apple, no doubt it will get much effort, investment and priority. But as the cartographer points out, the challenges are huge. I feel Apple has now created a similar problem for itself in the post-production market. It may not be as broadly challenging as mapping, but real-time database-driven media software is really hard to do well. Given the comparatively small size of the market and how Apple uses their engineering resources, I have to wonder if they are up to the long-term challenge they've created for themselves with FCPX.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:33:37 pm

Yes, I found that there were many similarities to the FCPX launch. It made me laugh. The cartographer also mentioned that having a sense of humor about the whole things was a healthy way to move forward, and ultimately, Apple will be OK.

[David Lawrence] "What happens with Maps remains to be seen. Since this is a visible and serious problem for Apple, no doubt it will get much effort, investment and priority."

Well, there's this story (link) already floating around.

[David Lawrence] "It may not be as broadly challenging as mapping, but real-time database-driven media software is really hard to do well. Given the comparatively small size of the market and how Apple uses their engineering resources, I have to wonder if they are up to the long-term challenge they've created for themselves with FCPX."

With FCPX, and now with Maps, Apple is banking on doing it their way and controlling the distribution. I cannot imagine even in my most cynical heart of hearts that Apple thought Maps would be an equivalent to Google Maps on launch day. What they have done, and this is my speculation, is taken the risk. The are risking that Maps and FCP can be done in a way that makes sense for their company in the long term, even if that means making shittier applications in the short term. I used Apple Maps this weekend in the car to go apartment hunting. It worked great. The turn by turn was nice, the speed of the app even on shitty Chicago AT&T service and my older phone was incredibly fast compared to a Google equivalent. So there are good things. My first experience was good and accurate.

My phone can't handle the 3D maps, but on an iPad, even though some of the renderings were odd, I thought it was a great companion for apartment hunting. I could scope the neighborhood before I went and looked in person. I'm not sold on it's long term viability, but for that specific use, it was actually very decent.

Plus, Google will take care of the iOS experience. I am actually glad that the original YouTube app was dumped on the iPhone. The YouTube web app is much more pleasing, so much so I haven't even downloaded the Google sanctioned YouTube app. The GMail iOS app is fantastic, though. Holy cow. I'm not worried about Google. They have their own agenda and will make it work for everyone.

Glad you liked the article, it was certainly a fascinating read for me as well. As mentioned in the article, I like how the cartographer responded to nearly every comment n his blog, even the ones he could have easily just ignored.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 26, 2012 at 2:12:03 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "With FCPX, and now with Maps, Apple is banking on doing it their way and controlling the distribution. I cannot imagine even in my most cynical heart of hearts that Apple thought Maps would be an equivalent to Google Maps on launch day. What they have done, and this is my speculation, is taken the risk."

[Jeremy Garchow] "Plus, Google will take care of the iOS experience."

Agree that Apple is taking risk for the sake of the long term and Google will come thru with something good. Still, this article in The Verge today (link) was an eye opener.

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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 24, 2012 at 8:35:19 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Generally the A/B-roll comparison in FCP X stems from editing news packages"

Oliver,

This is the sense in which I have always referred to an "A/B editing" model, and not the earlier film model. I did try to find more historical information but my initial search turned up very little.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/21027#21065

Your definition fits my own, and I think the way that A/B editing is commonly discussed, where the film practice is lesser known and thought of as more of a technical process than a conceptual approach.

Thanks for the Murch article.

I'm going to guess that that is his "final" (locked?) timeline before lab work and not his working timeline?

I note the issue of FCPX is very conspicuous by its absence, and yet I can't imagine you didn't ask about it ...


Franz.


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Oliver Peters
Re: It's All Connected -- Clip Relationships and The Magnetic Timeline Paradigm
on Sep 25, 2012 at 2:49:39 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I'm going to guess that that is his "final" (locked?) timeline before lab work and not his working timeline?
I note the issue of FCPX is very conspicuous by its absence, and yet I can't imagine you didn't ask about it ..."


I did discuss X with WM, but it really wasn't relevant to this article. His position - as I understand it - is basically that it doesn't work for him in its present state. I think he was pretty clear about that in the Boston video.

As far as the timeline - it's both. As he builds up the cut, everything is there. So the audio and video tracks represent both temp and final effects and mix elements are they evolve. He tells me that he works on the entire movie timeline at once, not individual shorter reels. As final effects come in they replace (or stack above) the temp effects. Or as he gets final SFX or music, he sticks it in to replace temp sounds.

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you take a really good look at that timeline, you will see that the bulk of it is v1 and a1-a6.
You will then see v2 is nothing.
There are 8 audio tracks that are being used for spacers."


That's precisely the point of why 7 works for him and X doesn't. The ability to use the timeline construct for visual organization. That's the whole concept of zones that we've discussed, which would be a great addition to X.

- Oliver

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


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