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PPro vs FCPX "professional features"

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Steve Connor
PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:12:45 pm

So as of their latest versions what "professional features" does PPro have that FCPX lacks and vice-versa?

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


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Gary Huff
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 26, 2013 at 6:09:09 pm

[Steve Connor] "So as of their latest versions what "professional features" does PPro have that FCPX lacks and vice-versa?"

Dynamic linking with Motion as Premiere does with After Effects. I do this all the time, even for basic elements like lower thirds, and it was frustratingly "old school" that FCPX cannot do this with Motion.

The re-linking doesn't work if you change something about the video itself, even as simply as including an audio track. To wit, I transcoded hacked AVCHD footage from a GH2 using 5DtoRGB and told it not to include the audio, mainly because I didn't need any of the audio from the original footage, and I find the "scrubbing" noise through audio to be irritating (plus it kept the transcodes smaller). A few clips I ended up needing to hear audio, but FCPX won't re-link to them if I re-transcode with audio, something that Premiere doesn't freak out over. Granted, this is an incredibly specific scenario, but it's still something that doesn't make much sense.

No adjustment layer. I just played with this in a Premiere CS6 project, and it's awesome, but requires a third-party plugin purchase in order to do it in FCPX. This is also the case with Curves. There are no RGB curves to use in FCPX, just the color board (there is in Premiere). This leads me to:

Extra cost. This is a touted "benefit" of FCPX, but there are so many little hidden plugins, all third-party developed that cost extra. Want to output a traditional XML format that can be read by software that hasn't yet been updated for FCPX's XML format? That's an extra $100 please. Seeing all these additional little plugins that cost Y dollars is kind of annoying to make the package as feature-complete as Premiere CS6 comes at $30 (currently) per month.

A corollary of that is bugs with the plugin architecture. I could not use any of my Red Giant plugins that work in FCPX because the bugs kept interfering with the visuals, requiring me to completely step back from some of my original intent with the project I just completed on it. I wanted to craft a "grungy" 16mm-like presentation for some flashback sequences, but I kept getting image bugs when using the Looks plugin. How can we be expected to spend more money to extend the basic functionality of FCPX when the plugins can't even be counted on to work correctly?


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 26, 2013 at 8:59:30 pm

You don't need a third party plugin to have an adjustment layer in FCPX.
Dozens of people and companies offer them free on their website If you don't have motion. If you have motion, there are Dozens of tutorials how to make one for yourself in 3 minutes.

And although I think the round tripping with Motion could Be better, I advise you to check how all the publishing and rigging features work in Motion5/FCPX.
Because If you are working with lower thirds, I think the new workflow is much better.


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Gary Huff
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:27:03 am

[Mathieu Ghekiere] "And although I think the round tripping with Motion could Be better, I advise you to check how all the publishing and rigging features work in Motion5/FCPX.
Because If you are working with lower thirds, I think the new workflow is much better."


Well, except that my lower thirds are almost never reused. Every new project requires a new lower thirds (unless it's coming back for the same client), so I'm not sure how publishing a lower third effect from Motion is really the way to go. Seems like all I end up with is a bunch of "orphaned" published effects.


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Marcus Moore
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:08:53 pm

One point- While adjustment layers don't come built in with X, you don't need to buy a 3rd party plug-in for them. You can either build it yourself, or there are several free versions for download. Colour Grading Central's free looks pack comes with both an adjustment layer AND a pre-built broadcast safe one as well.

And yes, adjustment layers are great and Apple should definitely include one in the future.


As for the cost of plug-ins as add-ons. I think there's really only 3 or 4 which cover functionality which could be considered "core" to PPro or FCP7-- a VAST majority are look, image manipulation, transition, and other specialty effects that would be 3rd party on ANY platform. And those are specific to an editors taste and skill level.



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Rich Rubasch
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 12:49:10 am

Again, for a production company (ie PRO) these "solutions" are a nightmare for a 6-edit bay facility. Editor 1 downloads one of these free plug ins but doesn't let anyone know. Editor 2 opens the project on another computer and doesn't have the plugin. An hour wasted tracking down the plugin.

And managing software that requires a plugin to do one simple task is going to be a nightmare to manage across multiple systems. Every time you update the core software certain plugins might need to also be upgraded...times 6 systems and it is an unworkable situation.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:41:35 am

[Rich Rubasch] "times 6 systems and it is an unworkable situation"

That's not really a function of one particular software or another. What you describe is going to be the case regardless of the NLE used. The way you solve that is by assigning someone to have the responsibility to keep the systems matched and current. And then you prevent any editors from arbitrarily installing software on these systems.

- Oliver

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


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John Davidson
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 3:11:04 am

Rich, you should watch those FCPX On-Air videos we made in the Techniques forum two weeks ago. I'm not a fan of 3rd party headaches regardless of the NLE, and I demonstrate how we manage our home brewed Motion transitions, effects, title generators, etc in a shared system environment.

And if you have six systems, you should consider pointing all downloads to the same folder on your server. Makes life a lot easier when people download things everyone needs. I think that's in Chapter 1 of the vlog.

Here's a shortcut

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/12309/1-setup-fcpx-on-air

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Steve Connor
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 9:50:12 am

[Rich Rubasch] "Again, for a production company (ie PRO) these "solutions" are a nightmare for a 6-edit bay facility. Editor 1 downloads one of these free plug ins but doesn't let anyone know. Editor 2 opens the project on another computer and doesn't have the plugin. An hour wasted tracking down the plugin.

And managing software that requires a plugin to do one simple task is going to be a nightmare to manage across multiple systems. Every time you update the core software certain plugins might need to also be upgraded...times 6 systems and it is an unworkable situation.
"


That's a problem for ALL NLE's and especially After Effects, we recently had a project that had a number of AE artists working on it, every single one of them used different plugins on their systems

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


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Bernhard Grininger
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:12:27 pm

Hello,

I'm a fan of completeness, so being forced to use pug-ins for basic tasks is nothing I appreciate.
The more plugins I need for 90% of my daily tasks, the less attractive an app is to me.

Comparing FCP-X to PP CS6, I have to say that at the moment (!)
I feel Apple has got their homework done:

- FCP-X processes 100% at 32bit float RGB color precision

- FCP-X does optical flow analysis for speed changes
(thought speed ramps can't be adjusted via bezier splines)

- FCP-X does optical flow analysis for deinterlacing
(at least when doubling frame rate; otherwise compressor does)

- FCP-X stores analysis data into a well structured media management

- FCP-X correctly transforms color space between HD and SD

- FCP-X has integrated color grading (thought it lacks motion tracking and spline masking)

- FCP-X automatically synchronizes clips via audio

- in FCP-X I don't need to care nor hack my app to get GPU acceleration

- in FCP-X I choose the video standard (professionally...)


while


- PP has an inconsistent quality behavior in terms of 32bit float compatibility of filters/effects

- PP has an inconsistent quality behavior with GPU rendering versus CPU rendering
(different algorithms; I expect pixel for pixel 100% the same value, regardless if I use GPU or CPU)

- speed changes are using frame blending instead of optical flow analysis
(aka motion analysis aka motion compensation)

- Adobe's understanding of de-interlacing is to throw away the half of my precious image... ;-)

- CS6 stores analysis data (image stabilization) into the project file, resulting in hundreds of MB

- in CS6 I have to hack my app to get GPU acceleration. Why?
e.g. Resolve informs the user that performance might not be the best.
The same model of self-responisbility of the user would also work for Adobe.

- in CS6, thought codec-independent (which I appreciate much)
I still have to choose the codec instead of the video standard,
as if Adobe assumes I don't know which standard I'm working on... :-)



At the other hand, CS6 offers bells and whistles feature like the absolutely great image stabilization,
or Audition's automatization for lib-synchronization. But how often a week do I need to lib-synchro a movie,
and how often a week do I need to synchronize two or more clips per audio?

So the only thing I really want to respectfully complain about PP CS6 is it's contradiction between
absolutely great niche features while having a fundamental lack of some very, very basics.

But Adobe is listening, so this could change quickly...
Therefor don't forget to write feature requests to Adobe!


Best regards,
Bernhard

P.S.: Some might argue, de-interlacing isn't a basic task anymore.
But for me it has become an indicator for how serious PP's take on professional video production really is.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: PPro vs FCPX "professional features"
on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:59:23 pm

Nice comparison. I also think it's obvious that Apple is listening too and the progress they've made through 7 updates is far greater than anything Adobe has done with Premiere. FCPX is a truly deep, professional NLE that takes full advantage of OSX in a way no other NLE does. The only thing close is the Sony Vegas/Windows integration.

Having started a recent show in Premiere and then moving it over to FCPX, both the Producer and Director who'd never seen either in action absolutely loved everything about FCPX and were completely underwhelmed by Premiere. Personally I will never cut another show in Premiere and have become a huge fan of FCPX.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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