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How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)

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Charlie Austin
How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 1:34:16 am

So, job came in cutting a promo reel for a studio. Will be on DVD's/Blu-Ray's, maybe run in theaters. The source? 29 features... On DVCAM tapes. :-o ...FCP 7 came in handy here as a digitizing platform. ;-) In the end, I had about 50 hours of footage I needed to go through, pull selects from, and cut the piece. Oh, and after digitizing everything I had about 3-4 days in which to do it. Say what you will about the magnetic timeline, but the logging capabilities of X saved my ass on this one. The absolute speed and ease with which I was able to get through all this was pretty amazing.

I created 9 keywords that would pretty much cover all the shot types I'd need - Action, Funny, Good Dialog, Romantic, etc - and then I just skimmed or fast forwarded through everything stopping to mark ranges and tag them with keyword(s), Favorites and/or markers with more detailed notes.

I can't even imagine the pain that doing this in the allotted time in FCP 7 or something... creating sequences of selects or subclips from 29 features, or adding markers to all the features and then trying to find what i was looking for in the bin. I mean, it sounds ridiculous, but honestly this is the kind of gig that makes me want to jump in front of a bus. Turns out it was kind of fun. It's so freaking easy to organize and find stuff. Need an action shot? select the "Action" keyword collection and jump through all the action shots from all 29 movies. Type a specific movie in the search field and only see the shots from that film. Same shots can have multiple tags so you can have it in a couple categories. Funny Dialog, Romantic Dialog... whatever.

Also, I've always cut everything in as connected clips to mimic how I was used to cutting, but I dove right into the primary storyline this time. It's pretty damn cool... I'm kind of digging it. :-) Of course, the more keyboard shorcuts I memorize, the easier it gets. I know it's subjective, but I really can cut way faster in X than I could in 7. And organizing source material? Not even a competition, X blows legacy away. No crashes, beachballs etc. Just smooth sailing. Didn't even need to work late. :-P

Anyway... as we all know, lots of improvements to X needed, but I just wanted to post this because I had fun on a job I would normally dread. Less than a week to break down 29 features, find music and cut the best clips/bites into a cohesive 90 second piece. We shipped it ahead of the deadline, and the feedback from the client was positive. With exclamation points. I'm kind of looking forward to revisions. ;-)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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randall wurster
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 2:45:05 am

If you like X so much, maybe you can help me use it ;)....

FCPX performs better than legacy, no doubt about it.

I've been using it a lot more recently - and there's a lot to like about it.

Multicam is great. Performance is great. Setting up, logging, bringing in footage (which you reference) - its all faster than 7 (by a wide margin) - and faster than Premiere. Its ability to sync clips is a huge timesaver, and I like it way better than PluralEyes at that.

But the actual editing - it falls short when you need to really work things.

I'm currently using it on some two-camera compliance scenarios, which is the first time I've opted for it on this kind of project over FCP7. It had to cut done fast, and X seemed like the way to go.


BUT:

Any fine-tune editing is a bear. I can't manipulate the video the way I am used to.

A simple L-cut in FCP7 was achieved by holding down the option key or locking the tracks with a simple keyboard shortcut. Now I have to hit Ctrl+S on both clips just to create a little L cut? Then I have to do it again just to clean up the timeline to look right? And I can only push one clip over another until it reaches the nearest edit point? That's all just silly.

You simply cannot manipulate the timeline in X the way you can in 7. The program does not respect me enough as an editor to allow me the freedom to move clips around the way I need to - it assumes I can't keep anything in sync if given any freedom.

I'm currently trying to do a typical edit that would take me 2-3 seconds in 7. I can't even figure out how to do it in X. I have character A speaking, they butchered their line. I chop up their clip until its a coherent piece of dialogue. There's three or four edit points in there. I need to cover it with the reaction leading into the next shot of character B. Problem is, in X, it's just not feasible. For starters, with multicam "break apart" or "detach audio" clips is greyed out, even if I wanted to go through this laborious and silly step. I can separate audio & video (which again, is silly), but I can't roll the outgoing shot past the closest edit point. It's asinine. A simple edit in FCP7, and I have to come up with "workarounds" just to do it in X.

FCPX has handcuffed my creativity as an editor.

It works wonderfully for certain projects - and its great for multicam until you need to get in there and tear something apart and wrestle with it. I just wish the people who wrote this program wrote it for us, and not for amateurs. It's a great program when it suits your need (I cut 12 hours worth of 2-cam presentations in probably half the time I could've in FCP7), but when it doesn't, it's unusable, a time-killer, and leading to worse edits.

Please help me if I am simply not getting something in X. I would love that to be the case - but its fundamental failure is its lack of tracks, its silly connected clips gibberish, and its insistence that everything must be in sync...it's a creative nightmare...just when you start to love it, it gives you another reason to hate it.


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randall wurster
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 2:53:12 am

And as an FYI, the workaround I settled on for the above problem was placing a gap into the timeline, dragging the character B clip up as a "connected clip" to that gap, then dragging it back over the footage.

Not only is this one of the silliest things I've had to do in the program yet, it's also ugly looking, and ironically probably much more likely to lead to mistakes than all the goddamn safety features X has in there to prevent you from breaking sync or doing something bad.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:46:33 am

[randall wurster] "And as an FYI, the workaround I settled on for the above problem was placing a gap into the timeline, dragging the character B clip up as a "connected clip" to that gap, then dragging it back over the footage. "

Select clip with 'c'.

option-command-up arrow.

Drag left edge to cover.

Not much different than putting a clip on another track and covering.

What you can't do, which is admittedly weird in FCPX, is mute video separate from audio. You can mute audio on any clip, but you can't do that for video without a break apart/audio divorce lawyer.

I find audio only edits such as the one you have explained above, are much more easily controlled in a separate secondary storyline. BUt it's not creative, so don't use it.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:05:27 am

[randall wurster] "I'm currently trying to do a typical edit that would take me 2-3 seconds in 7. I can't even figure out how to do it in X. I have character A speaking, they butchered their line. I chop up their clip until its a coherent piece of dialogue. There's three or four edit points in there. I need to cover it with the reaction leading into the next shot of character B. Problem is, in X, it's just not feasible. For starters, with multicam "break apart" or "detach audio" clips is greyed out, even if I wanted to go through this laborious and silly step. I can separate audio & video (which again, is silly), but I can't roll the outgoing shot past the closest edit point. It's asinine. A simple edit in FCP7, and I have to come up with "workarounds" just to do it in X."

I really haven't used multi-cam that much at all, so I'm probably no help, though i seem to recall a discussion somewhere that had a solution for this... again, no help. :-)

I know that in 7, I would have just cut in the audio only, chopped it up, and put whatever shot over it I needed. I'd do that in X too, cut in audio only as a connected clip, chop it up, and put it wherever it needs to go, keeping it out of the primary storyline. Probably the multicam thing makes this not work for you? As I said, this is the first project I've done using the primary storyline exclusively, it always scared me. ;-) guess I'm not the best person to answer this. :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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randall wurster
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:40:46 am

Thanks for the reply - multicam is the issue, as far as I can see, you cannot "detach audio" - its always greyed out for me (if anyone has experienced otherwise, please let me know!)

I'll continue to give X the benefit of the doubt as I work with it more. It's too fast not to use when applicable. Especially at the start (import, log, sync, multi cam) and end (render, compress) of a project. Plus, a bulk of the things that drove me crazy before have either been addressed with recent updates, or have some sort of workaround.


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Bret Williams
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:46:37 am

For L or J cut, shift+\ will highlight just the audio so you can roll on connected clips with > and <.cant grab with mouse but its something. At least for minor couple frame tweaks you don't have to adjust both audio clips individually.


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Chris Harlan
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 2:51:40 am

I've got one of those coming up in about three weeks. I apparently enjoy doing them more than you do, since I still look forward to them a bit, but, of course, with a little fear and respect. The keywords DO sound enticing. I generally cut and paste between multiple timelines, but I can see how that might be faster. Break a leg with v.2.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:09:42 am

[Chris Harlan] "I've got one of those coming up in about three weeks. I apparently enjoy doing them more than you do, since I still look forward to them a bit, but, of course, with a little fear and respect. The keywords DO sound enticing. I generally cut and paste between multiple timelines, but I can see how that might be faster. Break a leg with v.2."

Thanks. :-) I don't really hate them, it was the lack of time that was... worrying. ;-) The keyword/favorite/smart collection/search stuff is crazy useful, it really made what could easily have been a huge clusterf#ck pretty painless. The primary storyline is gonna take a little getting used to, but this was a good project to try it out on. It doesn't suck, at least for what I'm doing... :-) Good luck on your thing!

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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Chris Harlan
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:25:44 am

[Charlie Austin] "Good luck on your thing!
"


Break a leg, you mean! I hope.

I think I'd like the skimmer, too. I do something like that in a timeline, now, but that seems like that would be lickity fast.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:33:23 am

[Chris Harlan] "Break a leg, you mean! I hope.

Nah, break a leg is for actors or dancers who are on their feet. :-) What would the editorial corollary be for "good luck" is bad luck... hmmm. "Hey Chris, crash your computer on that gig!" ... OK guess not, break a leg it is. :-D

[Chris Harlan] I think I'd like the skimmer, too. I do something like that in a timeline, now, but that seems like that would be lickity fast."

It is. I thought it was the dumbest thing ever when I first experienced it, and you *do* have to remember to turn it off sometimes, but it's pretty damn nice. Also clip skimming, that is da bomb. :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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Walter Soyka
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:38:50 am

[Charlie Austin] "It is. I thought it was the dumbest thing ever when I first experienced it, and you *do* have to remember to turn it off sometimes, but it's pretty damn nice. Also clip skimming, that is da bomb. :-)"

Agreed. I absolutely hated the skimmer in FCPX until I realized I was missing it in FCP7/Pr. I use hover-scrub quite a bit, but it's not the same.

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: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:48:48 am

Chris, I am disappointed you aren't trapped in an ornament yet.


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Chris Harlan
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:32:52 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Chris, I am disappointed you aren't trapped in an ornament yet.
"



[Jeremy Garchow] "Chris, I am disappointed you aren't trapped in an ornament yet.
"


Hey, anything I can responsibly do to set myself up as a subject of ridicule for no other reason than your pure and unfettered enjoyment, will be done in short order. The image is uploading as I type this.


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Walter Soyka
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 5:01:41 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Hey, anything I can responsibly do to set myself up as a subject of ridicule for no other reason than your pure and unfettered enjoyment, will be done in short order. The image is uploading as I type this."

I cleared my browser cache specifically for this.

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: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 5:56:20 pm

YES!!!!


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Bret Williams
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:38:47 am

First thing I ever did with X was log interviews where the same questions were asked. I made keywords for the questions, and keywords for the type of answers. I started logging and I was like... Holy crap, I get it! Instantly obvious how powerful the logging was.

Unfortunately befor I was done with my meticulous logging, my wife had taken the printed transcript and cut out the good bits and had a first cut done on paper. Doh!


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Herb Sevush
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 6:54:49 pm

[Charlie Austin] "The source? 29 features... On DVCAM tapes. :-o ...FCP 7 came in handy here as a digitizing platform. ;-)"

And I thought tape was dead.

I'm sorry but this is my favorite line from you entire post.

What other NLE needs another NLE as a plug-in?

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 21, 2012 at 7:46:54 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Charlie Austin] "The source? 29 features... On DVCAM tapes. :-o ...FCP 7 came in handy here as a digitizing platform. ;-)"

And I thought tape was dead.

I'm sorry but this is my favorite line from you entire post.

What other NLE needs another NLE as a plug-in?"


LOL... Hey, *I* never said that. It's not dead, but it's starting to smell bad. ;-) Honestly though, it's the first job that's come in on tape in ages. We could get a cheap decklink or something for digitizing and layback, but we've got 7 already so why bother? Nothing we do gets sent out on tape anymore, though the shops that do our online finishing still deliver on tape. For now... If we do a finished piece here, we just send the files to them and they build the masters. Cheaper than buying all the decks...

Edit: Speaking of DV tape... I ran into all the fun quirks of that tired old format on this gig. 5 or 6 had TC dropouts resulting in multiple clips instead of single files. Most of them were anamorphic, but with different aspect ratios, 3 or 4 were 4:3. It's really easy in X to manipulate the Anamorphic Override and Spatial Conform settings to get all the different formats to look nice in the same sequence. Had to crop a few, but it was painless.

And about 5 tapes had some glitch that caused the audio to be about 1-2 seconds out of sync. They were of course all 32k, and captured at that rate, so it was some other problem. The cool thing in X, is that you can open the master clip in it's own timeline, adjust the audio, and it's good to go. (it's non destructive, so the actual source unfortunately stays out of sync, but it's a nice feature) AFAIK, that's impossible to do easily in 7, or anything else. It was a pleasant surprise. :-)

Oh, one more thing... Tape Sucks. ;-)
-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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Brett Sherman
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 31, 2012 at 6:37:05 pm

[Herb Sevush] What other NLE needs another NLE as a plug-in?

If I had a tape project like that come in. Capturing would be the least of my concerns. I'm not confident that any of my DV decks work anymore. :) I for one am glad that Apple's not wasting time getting DV decks to work in FCP X.



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Steve Connor
Re: How many times must I say I like FCP X... :-)
on Dec 31, 2012 at 6:46:16 pm

[Brett Sherman] "If I had a tape project like that come in. Capturing would be the least of my concerns. I'm not confident that any of my DV decks work anymore. :) I for one am glad that Apple's not wasting time getting DV decks to work in FCP X."

I've just had a small promo to cut from Digibeta and DV source so I fired up the old Sony J30 and it worked very nicely with FCPX, it even knew it was a J30!

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


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