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Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...

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Charlie Austin
Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:43:13 am

Well, there's a lot of reasons, but here's one. 2 different 30 second TV spots. Both had 24+ "tracks" of audio, around 35 video clips. Fairly normal.

Client calls, needs to stick a 2.5 second tag in the spots (current tag is under a second) but "don't change the cuts". Also fairly normal. :-)

Anyhoo, pulling out that time was so freaking painless without worrying about clips colliding or whether I'd selected all my little rollers correctly... I just had to share. Clearly we do this all the time in any NLE, and I've done it countless times in X. But this was a lot of time... a lot of little 3-6 frame ripple pull ups throughout, and being able to just focus on the actual edit point and not worry about what was happening on either side was... fun. I never once had to zoom out to see the whole timeline. I also like how the timeline behaves depending on which way you're trimming. Anyway, not anything groundbreaking, but it took me about 5 minutes. Would've taken quite a bit longer if I had to worry about pesky collisions.

edit: just to be clear, that's 5 minutes per spot. so 10 minutes total, maybe 15... But hey, we bill by the hour so... :-)
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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:51:20 am

It is also great, when you know how it moves, when you can absolutely separate horizontal movement where you can ripple the whole timeline, or just the part you want, with no collisions or mistaken overwrites.

I totally hear you, Charlie.

I, too, really really like the magnetic timeline. I don't want these fundamentals to change, and I really hope Apple continues development in this area instead of halt it and change back to a tracked method.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:22:16 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I, too, really really like the magnetic timeline. I don't want these fundamentals to change, and I really hope Apple continues development in this area instead of halt it and change back to a tracked method."

I have it on fairly good authority that that will never happen. :-) They'll enhance it, beef it up, whatever, but Track Tetris will not be coming back. Thank God.

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:25:13 am

[Charlie Austin] "I have it on fairly good authority that that will never happen. :-) They'll enhance it, beef it up, whatever,"

Excellent.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:36:23 am

I also think this is good news. It's good to have some choice in the market. Even a couple years down the road with enhancements, the magnetic timeline will undoubtably not be the preferred tool for every editor, or for every job. But it's good to know there's more than one paradigm being developed.



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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:50:18 am

I should add that I have no top-secret insider info here, but I've had the occasional conversation with folks at Apple. When I mentioned "track tetris" in other NLE's, I was told that that's what the developers call it too. I think that's a pretty good sign. ;-)

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


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Richard Herd
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:54:49 am

[Charlie Austin] ""track tetris""

^Classic!


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Warren Eig
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:48:22 pm

Of course I'd like the option for tracks. Sort of a preference turn on/off magnetic timeline if I am editing a feature film. Not sure I'd attempt a feature yet in FCPX as it is now :(

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: warren@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.babyboompictures.com


REEL: http://www.babyboompictures.com/BabyBoomPictures/Reels.html




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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:03:29 pm

[Warren Eig] "Of course I'd like the option for tracks. Sort of a preference turn on/off magnetic timeline if I am editing a feature film. "

I think (hope) we'll get the option to color code Roles, and/or get the ability to have Roles "stick" together, and possibly get routed/comped to a separate audio bus. Sort of an invisible compound clip... Something like that. Also maybe the ability to selectively disable connections on the Role level, rather than all or nothing as it is now. I honestly think that would bring back pretty much what everyone misses about fixed tracks. IMO, anything that brings back non-magnetic fixed tracks would be an enormous mistake. And I don't see it happening.

Using the combo of Roles and the timeline index is really pretty amazing. It doesn't matter where anything is in the timeline, you can find it, select it, and then do whatever you want to it. Zoom in on a clip at the front of your timeline, add some effects/eq etc. Copy it. Find and select all the similar clips in the index. Paste effects. No need to zoom out or even look at the timeline. Is there room for improvement? Yep. :-)

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:37:31 pm

[Warren Eig] "Of course I'd like the option for tracks."

Not me. I don't miss them in the least bit. I do miss some of the organizational functions, but I don't need tracks to do so. I just want to see FCPX continue down the path it seems to have started.

In short, more please.

[Warren Eig] " Sort of a preference turn on/off magnetic timeline if I am editing a feature film."

Features like the tilde, in my opinion, are what we need more of. The magnetic timeline is "turn offable" for the most part. It requires some practice, and I am not saying it is easy or even straightforward, but it does work with a combo of tilde and position tool. There does need to be sync markers, though, and there should be an easier way to roll audio separate from video. There are some details that need to be worked out, but the ripple and magnetic timeline is much easier to manipulate once I got the hang of it, just as Charlie's post alludes to.


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Joshua Pearson
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:51:54 pm

I have no problem with the horizonaital magnetism, but I really don't like the vertical gravitational pull of clips to the timeline... if i have music track that is "down" a few "lanes" because there are other audio tracks between it and the timeline, and for whatever reason I want to cut it at the very end, I really would like that new little end piece to stay where it is and not float up toward the timeline... that is unnecessarily confusing, visually... i currently like to use tracks to visually "feel" the organization of the cut... i understand how roles does the same thing, but i.e. i like my music all to sit on 11,12,13,14, not checkerboarding all over the place like it might do in FCPX...



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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:56:24 pm

[Joshua Pearson] "I want to cut it at the very end, I really would like that new little end piece to stay where it is and not float up toward the timeline".... "i understand how roles does the same thing, but i.e. i like my music all to sit on 11,12,13,14, not checkerboarding all over the place like it might do in FCPX..."

Totally agree. And again, think Apple will come up with some way to make roles stick together. That would solve it for me. In your example, if the little end piece either stayed put, or just moved a lane or 2 but stayed in the music "group" I'd be fine with that. You?

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:16:09 pm

[Charlie Austin] "You?"

You aren't talking to me, but yes.

Visual organization and hierarchy of audio would definitely be welcome. It would be awesome to be able to drag audio Roles up and down in the TL index, and have the timeline follow that organization, visually.

Also, better Role selection tools would be most welcome, too.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:20:11 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "but the ripple and magnetic timeline is much easier to manipulate once I got the hang of it, just as Charlie's post alludes to."

Yes. Next week, I'm on vacation, and it's likely a bunch of spots I've cut (in X) will go to finish while I'm out. Not sure which of about 10 spots will though. So right now, because the other editors who will be here are scared of X, I'm in the process of transferring all 10 into FCP 7. It's awful. Xto7 does a great job, and I have to spend a little time deleting disabled Roles that come over etc. That's a PITA, but not too bad. The awful part is just working in the damn timeline. Not having things like clip skimming, clip soloing that actually works, no ability to move audio in subframe increments, no index, no Roles, clips crashing into each other, etc etc etc. on and on and on. It absolutely, totally, unequivocally sucks.

In closing, I'd like to encourage all editors (nobody specific of course... just generally) to stop being such lazy, whiney, babies and learn how to use X. You have no idea what you're missing. Not a clue. Yeah, it's different than MC, 7, PPro, whatever. Boo freaking hoo. It's better. And yes, I'm annoyed. ;-)

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


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Herb Sevush
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 2:23:19 pm

[Charlie Austin] "In closing, I'd like to encourage all editors (nobody specific of course... just generally) to stop being such lazy, whiney, babies and learn how to use X. You have no idea what you're missing. Not a clue. Yeah, it's different than MC, 7, PPro, whatever. Boo freaking hoo. It's better. And yes, I'm annoyed. ;-)"

Do you edit on Lightworks? Sony Vegas? Edius? Why would I try X ahead of them?

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: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 3:18:58 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Do you edit on Lightworks? Sony Vegas? Edius? Why would I try X ahead of them?"

Hey, I was having a bad day... ;-) But, since you asked, because they have tracks. :-)

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Herb Sevush
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 4:35:10 pm

[Charlie Austin] "But, since you asked, because they have tracks. :-)"

The opposite being true as well so I guess it really isn't about laziness, it's about preference and suitability.

2 years and ticking and nobody else has hopped aboard the trackless bandwagon - Apple must feel like Mazda after introducing the Wankel rotary engine. Lonely.

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: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 4:45:00 pm

[Herb Sevush] "nobody else has hopped aboard the trackless bandwagon"

What's your definition of nobody? People you know? People who you respect? People on The Cow? I've hopped aboard, isn't that enough? lol

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Steve Connor
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 4:47:50 pm

[Charlie Austin] "What's your definition of nobody? People you know? People who you respect? People on The Cow? I've hopped aboard, isn't that enough? lol
"


I think he means NLE Software Companies? I

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Herb Sevush
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 5:07:24 pm

[Steve Connor] "I think he means NLE Software Companies? I"

I think your right.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 4, 2013 at 5:06:46 pm

[Charlie Austin] "What's your definition of nobody? People you know? People who you respect? People on The Cow? I've hopped aboard, isn't that enough? lol"

I meant NLE designers, I wasn't talking about users, which is why I used the Mazda analogy.

I don't doubt that some editors love trackless, but apparently not enough to convince any other software designers to try it. If magnetic is so powerful then other software companies will surely be providing it to their customers, or else risk loosing them.

Tick tock.

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: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 5, 2013 at 1:47:57 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Apple must feel like Mazda after introducing the Wankel rotary engine. "







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Michael Garber
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:21:59 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I do miss some of the organizational functions, but I don't need tracks to do so. "

Agreed.

We need a way to quickly group (without compounding) clips in order to lock a clip in time. For example, a song that has been cut down and has two overlapping clips with a fade-in/fade-out on the audio. In order to keep an overlapping cut point on two connected clips easily editable and locked in time, you have to add gap on the second clip and stretch it back to the beginning of the first audio clip... Kinda sorta faking tracks.

As for organization, I used to think we needed role buckets whereby any clip you add to that horizontal region gains a predetermined role. Now that I've cut more than a few projects with X, I'm thinking we just need a simple grid system to "hang" a clip in place vertically. Roles could then be added later based on their vertical position.

I also hope for a way to solo or highlight these "grids" (not tracks! ;0) ) so that you could use your keyboard to perform edits. The MT would still operate the same way. We'd just gain that oh-so-needed hierarchical organization food our editor brains feed on.

And yes on color coding and all that fun stuff. More more more. Can't wait to see what's coming down the pike.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Warren Eig
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:25:36 pm

Also away to just put SND FX on "track" 4 and they stay there.

Be able to checkerboard dialogue on "track" 1 & 2. Room tone on "Track" 3, etc.

This way when you want to send and OMF or AAF to Protools everything is where is should be.

The reason I haven't made that big jump to FCPX for everything is stated above. Have things changed?

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: warren@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.babyboompictures.com


REEL: http://www.babyboompictures.com/BabyBoomPictures/Reels.html




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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:40:15 pm

[Warren Eig] "Also away to just put SND FX on "track" 4 and they stay there.

Be able to checkerboard dialogue on "track" 1 & 2. Room tone on "Track" 3, etc."


Well, you pretty much can do that already using secondary story lines, though there's clearly room for improvement...

[Warren Eig] "This way when you want to send and OMF or AAF to Protools everything is where is should be."

With X2Pro, this is a total non-issue. Just tell it which Roles to include, and where to put them in the ProTools timeline. 2 or 3 mouse clicks and you're done. even if your timeline was a disorganized mess. It's awesome. Honestly that's why I'm so annoyed today in FCP 7. Wasting time telling the app where stuff should go. Tracks suck. :-)

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


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:27:08 pm

[Michael Garber] "We need a way to quickly group (without compounding) clips in order to lock a clip in time. For example, a song that has been cut down and has two overlapping clips with a fade-in/fade-out on the audio. In order to keep an overlapping cut point on two connected clips easily editable and locked in time, you have to add gap on the second clip and stretch it back to the beginning of the first audio clip... Kinda sorta faking tracks. "

I think that being able to stack more than one clip in a secondary storyline would help here. It would be sort of like an uncompounded compound clip. Really, just a container of clips that aren't bound to the primary except at the one connection point of the entire storyline.


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Michael Garber
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:29:46 pm

Yes. Was also thinking, since I'm in wish mode right now, it might be interesting to be able to expand compound clips in the same way you can expand audio components to quickly make adjustments without having to open the compound. This way you'd see changes made to the TL as you make the adjustments.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Carsten Orlt
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:28:43 pm

For example, a song that has been cut down and has two overlapping clips with a fade-in/fade-out on the audio. In order to keep an overlapping cut point on two connected clips easily editable and locked in time, you have to add gap on the second clip and stretch it back to the beginning of the first audio clip... Kinda sorta faking tracks.

Not sure I can follow you here? When I want to do what I think you are describing I put the 2 or more music sections of the clip in a secondary storyline and if you double click on either the audio opens the same it would open on a video with audio clip. I can then extend the audio of either side underneath the other without shifting the cut point. 2 things are brilliant about this. A I can line up beats in the waveform perfectly by just looking at them and are not restricted by frames! and B I can overlap the exact amount of audio (music) to make the transition more seamless e.g. fade out the strings slowly that are not there anymore in the sections of music I go to. And because all this is done in a secondary I never have to worry about keeping all the good work because something is shifting somewhere else like in the old days.

I'm with Charlie. Once you freed yourself from the shackles of laziness you'll wondered how could you ever live with tracks. They truly suck!!!


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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:42:12 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "I can then extend the audio of either side underneath the other without shifting the cut point."

Actually I never thought about cutting music using components that way... Nice! More fun!


[Carsten Orlt] "I can line up beats in the waveform perfectly by just looking at them and are not restricted by frames! and "

Love subframe audio editing. Love. Makes things so much easier and better sounding. Music, Dialog cheats. Anything audio related requiring real precision.

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Michael Garber
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:19:59 pm

Carsten -

This is great to know. Didn't know you could do that. Thanks!

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:25:18 pm

[Michael Garber] "Carsten -

This is great to know. Didn't know you could do that. Thanks!"


I just went and redid some music cuts and uh... it's great. I've been using expanded components with dialog in the primary, but never thought of using secondary's and components this way for music. Great tip Carsten! Love this stuff :-D

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Michael Garber
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:27:08 pm

Ok, thought about it some more. Your method is great for using two clips of audio and that would work for me most of the time. But let's say that I add in a third clip -- a drum beat, sfx, or anything to add more depth to the music -- anything that needs to stay in sync with those two clips that are joined in a secondary. To do that, I'd still have to turn the third clip into a secondary storyline and add gap before the clip to keep it in sync with the same cut point. Given that scenario, it would still be useful to be able to group connected clips so that they stay locked to each other.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Carsten Orlt
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:56:33 pm

Just did a test:

edit 2 clips or more in secondary.
add additional audio at edit point as connected clip.
selected all 3 and made compound out of them.
done :-)
when you open the compound the clips in the secondary moved to the primary and the extra clip is connected as before.
because it's now one clip in your timeline you never loose your beautiful work again.
need to lengthen the music: break apart compound, do the edit and compound again.

nothing could be easier, well actually a lot but that is another story.


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Joshua Pearson
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 1, 2013 at 4:21:45 pm

I'm sorry but what you are describing sounds slightly ridiculous... why in the world would you want to perform all those extra steps to bury edits within compound clips within secondary storylines when you can do all that so simply and easily and quickly right on the "front page" of any other NLE? Shackles of laziness? Sounds more like unnecessary extra work that simply slows one down. Overly complicated.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:21:21 pm

I think you may be underestimating the secondary storyline, and it does not work like other NLEs.

You can move parts of the timeline while keeping other parts of the timeline where they are with minimal clicking and track tetris, collisions and overwrites. They also allow j/l cuts in one "lane" unlike tracks, which needs a whole new track. None of this is really straight forward, and most of it is a brand new way to work, which is true even if you like the way FCPX operates. To me, it isn't unnecessarily complex, it actually makes some things easier and solves complexities, but it does take some understanding, which only takes time.

I agree, that compounding clips needs work, having layered secondary story lines or containers would "solve" all of this (kind of like multiple primaries in their own containers). Just like the tilde key was a huge missing part of the equation, having clips that don't HAVE to be linked to the primary would bring a whole new level of FCPX interface.

I'm looking forward to what comes next.


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Carsten Orlt
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:13:15 pm

It's really all the same complications in all NLE. There are things that need some fiddling.

The argument you made I could easily make for track based editing where I would need to select multiple edit points of clips on multiple tracks to make one simple trim on the video track to not throw things out of sync. I remember when FCP legacy got the feature to be able to select multiple edit points on diff tracks, something Avid had I think from the beginning.

I prefer the new method because it gives me the possibility to edit something in fine detail and then forget about it and never be worried that I might destroy it by trimming something else 30 min before or even just above it.

I like the new world and I don't want to go back :-)


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Charlie Austin
Re: Why the Magnetic Timeline is Good...
on Aug 2, 2013 at 4:02:09 am

[Carsten Orlt] "I like the new world and I don't want to go back :-)"

Me too. :-) I want to move this thing I'm looking at to here. Why should I have to worry about whether I'm screwing up something earlier or later that I can't see because I'm zoomed in. Or jump through hoops to prepare the timeline for my edit. I just want to do it and move on. Huge time, and sanity, saver.

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


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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