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How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?

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Jeff Kay
How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:30:20 pm

I will start by acknowledging my own bias. I am not a fan of FCX and have a [perhaps irrational] hatred of Apple. I originally learned on Premiere (not the atrocious very early versions, but on the versions when it was still not at all worthwhile for a professional environment), picked up FC6-7, but now I have moved on to Avid and cut almost exclusively in MC. But I have gotten out of a major work crunch and I have some time to at least get a better understanding; though in regards to this topic I've seen far too much emotionally charged responses on both sides than I would expect to see from a "professional" forum (perhaps I'm looking back on the old professional usenet forums with rose tinted glasses and have my expectations far too high).



I have heard many people say that FCX has improved their workflow or increased their productivity. Though there always seems to be a lack of details of how exactly it has done so. Maybe there is a mention of a feature (such as magnetic timeline), but never really an explanation of how that feature improves workflow. There is always a curve for "learning the software", but without any idea of how features can improve my own work flow, there is just no reason what-so-ever to learn a new software if its workflow is just 'different'.

There have also been several claims about FCX along the lines of "I could never have done this in Avid/Premiere/FC7". I am extremely skeptical of any such claims. Look at it from the other side, everytime its said "FCX cannot do Y", many will bring up available plug-ins or workarounds. Though this applies both ways as I haven't heard any specific thing that FCX can do that ultimately can't also be done in any other NLE. I mean hell, most of my work could theoretically be done in notepad by handwriting an EDL or XML. In another thread, someone attempted to dismiss an argument as being ultimately about convenience, but that really is the difference between the NLEs: it *is* about convenience. Though, do remember that "convenience" is subjective and different people are going to arrive at different conclusions; I feel it is important to keep that in mind as a basis, otherwise we again digress into emotionally charged opinionated responses presented as objective fact, that have otherwise crippled any real discussion.


I am interested in hearing about the specifics of FCX and its features that users have had positive experiences from; I am going to appear biased (as I am), but I am legitimately interested in hearing how exactly others have made use of its features in practice (rather than the theoretical). To put a frame of reference, here is my thoughts about the Magnetic Timeline.

Its possible that there is some basic fundamental part of this feature that has been completely omitted from any online reviews/previews/demonstrations, but I can best describe it as "neat" or "slick". The things you can do with it are "neat" or "slick", but I cannot find a way to actually call them "useful"; for me and my workflow, I just don't see a use for it. I have been trained to go through assembly, rough, fine, picture lock, audio. Very concrete steps that I make sure to finish one before moving to the next. Its how things work in multi-editor environments, but even when I am doing the whole project, the focus it gives improves the final product and still makes it overall more efficient. Thinking over the work I've done the past few months, everytime that I would use the magnetic timeline, that instance would have at least one of three different properties: 1. Something I can already do 2. Something I don't need to do 3. There was a fundamental problem with my workflow.

With only footage on the primary timeline (rough), moving clips around in the same fashion as the magnetic timeline is nothing new, I can do it the exact same way in MC, Premiere, or even FC7. But this is something that I hardly do, its something that I don't like to do. I would much rather take a few moments to think before I place anything on my timeline, than regularly rearrange things on my timeline. Perhaps its a philosophical difference; the need to rearrange in this fashion shows indecision and as an editor my job is specifically to make decisions (the "D" in EDL). Though in at least my personal instance, overall I work faster by committing to decisions in my head first, than I do playing with temporary possibilities on the timeline.

The big feature of magnetic timeline isn't in the rough, its in having the supplementary b-roll and audio being linked for easy movement while maintaining sync. Back to my workflow, I commit to a rough before moving on. My "primary" timeline is already going to be at a point where there will be very few, if any, changes before adding in any b-roll or other clips that would be attached magnetically (audio isn't even started until after I get a picture lock). Even then, I have been trained to use only 1 video track. There is a very fine line between "being limited to 1 video track" and "using many tracks because of lack of organization". I simply do not see a value in having B-roll in another track. To me it clutters the timeline, taking up valuable screen real estate with more video tracks, while should a change need to be made, it opens up increased likelihood of pieces getting out of line, simple fast trims can still restore the primary footage; basically I see no reason for there to be anything on the timeline that is completely hidden all that can do is lead to confusion further down the road. I will certainly use more than 1 video track if I need to, but keeping footage all in one track allows me to work better.

I'm sure some are thinking that I'm being naive or too idealistic because there are always changes. There most certainly are, but it is an editor's job to understand what the director/producer/client wants. You will always get feedback and corrections, but even for a first review, it is still my job to minimize these. In any situation that the necessary changes are so dramatic that the magnetic timeline is going to be a significant time saver, then there has been a major breakdown in communication between the director/producer/client and the editor. At this point my next step is the same regardless of using MC, FCP, or a Moviola: its time for us to sit down and talk about what you want. It is not time to start rearranging things constantly asking "well how about this?" Doing that one stops being an editor and starts being a software technician working the NLE as someone else's proxy. And even if that gets you through this review, as an editor you still haven't corrected the communication breakdown which will end up with this same issue happening again. This is when I sit down and have a discussion about what they want; not about editing or specific cuts, but about overall atmosphere, attitude, pacing, a top down approach. Most directors I've worked with much prefer to talk about their work in such a fashion (certainly over looking at various edit arrangements). I end up with a much better idea of what they want, not just for this review, but going forward.

The extreme case is a director/producer/client that follows "I'm not sure what I want, but I'll know it when I see it." This is a terrible situation to be in, its also when I pack it up and call it a day. I can't know what they want better than they know what they want and I'm not going to try. They need to figure out what they want, or at least what they didn't like and why (either of those I can work with). If they can't I certainly not against walking out of a project. And it isn't simply an issue of pride or stress, the original project would take so long to do, that I can start and finish other projects in the same time for more pay.


That is why this particular feature is just not really useful for me. But back around to the original topic, I said it might be a philosophical difference. After all if particular NLE allows you personally to work better and faster, why wouldn't you? That is ultimately what I am interested in hearing, how others are effectively able to use features for which I either see no use or only a minor use; do I have a misunderstanding of the features, is there something I'm missing, is there something I just haven't encountered, is there something that will integrate into my workflow?


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Neil Goodman
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:45:54 pm

I asked this question a month ago as well, asking for real world applications, after so many claims that FCPX is so so so much faster than anything else.

Other than organizational improvements which were the obvious ones (keywords,skimming,metadata) there werent many replies.

IMO the timelione is the most important part of any NLE, and unfortuneatly the timeline in FCPX makes things slower for the way i cut which is very similair to yours s far as a radio/rough/fine/delivery cut.


Neil Goodman: Editor of New Media Production - The Esquire Network - NBC/Uni


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:12:48 pm

Well that's a pretty long-winded question ;-) I do a lot of FCP X work, but am also a skeptic of these claims. I think it depends on whether you are looking as certain functions or the complete end-to-end workflow.

Organization is better and faster, but there are times where I'd rather just drag clips to bins instead. I think where you get a lot of benefit to both the organization methods and the magnetic timeline is when you have a client (or director) sitting over your shoulder and asking you to make changes. Then the magnetic timeline tends to work better than moving clips around on tracks.

It also tends to be easier to find things through smart collections or simple sorts or searches. Weaker areas right now (that add to time) are match framing, vertical "locking" of connected clip positions, etc. So there are pro and cons to X, just as with any other NLE.

- Oliver

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


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Steve Connor
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:28:14 pm

[Oliver Peters] "but there are times where I'd rather just drag clips to bins instead. "

Create keyword e.g " Bin 1", drag clip from viewer onto keyword - exactly the same as dragging a clip into a bin.

Steve Connor

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:39:24 pm

[Steve Connor] "Create keyword e.g " Bin 1", drag clip from viewer onto keyword - exactly the same as dragging a clip into a bin."

Sure. I know that, but it isn't the same. That's because the clip in the collection is like a subclip. This leaves you with clips in the event, as well as in one (or multiple) collections. With bins, I can separate and segregate clips into the bins. The X paradigm becomes an annoyance, when I only want to work within the clips of a collection - not the full event. Perform a match frame and now it bounces you out to the full list of clips at the event level.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 2, 2013 at 4:08:12 pm

Out of interest in what way is the old Match Frame inferior to the new Reveal in Event Browser?


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 2, 2013 at 6:07:35 pm

[James Ewart] "Out of interest in what way is the old Match Frame inferior to the new Reveal in Event Browser?"

I'm not sure if the match frame question is directed at me, but don't you mean this the other way around? In any case, with FCP X you can only match frame to the source. There is no reverse match frame from the source to the timeline. If you are working within a keyword collection and then match frame, it takes you out to the full event, rather than stay within the keyword collection. A match frame matches to the selection in the timeline (using in-out range) from the clip as edited. The playhead is parked on the matching frame, but doesn't automatically place in in-point there.

The Final Cat Pro plug-in "Reveal Selection" actually does a little better job of this.

http://finalcatpro.com/collections/all

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 8:16:41 am

Hi Oliver,

Thanks I was only asking because I have not found it to be much different in the way that I work, which, in all probability is much less complex than the kind of work a lot of you do.

Kind regards

James

http://www.jamesewart.co.uk


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:33:27 pm

[James Ewart] "because I have not found it to be much different in the way that I work"

I understand. I find the current method workable, although on large projects, I frequently try to match frame and it just bonks an error alert and does nothing. Other times it's fine. No rhyme or reason why. Other than that, it functions adequately for most needs.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:56:13 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I find the current method workable, although on large projects, I frequently try to match frame and it just bonks an error alert and does nothing. "

I think, and I could be wrong, that if you have a range selected, it will bonk. You have to deselect a range, select a whole clip (so it's a clean bounding box, and not a 'range' bounding box with the little handles on the left and right side), and then fcpx will match frame to the Browser. Even if the whole clip is selected, but it's a range selection, it will bonk. That's how it works for me, anyway.

My guess fcpx won't match frame the range because of the current PIOP implementation. If you match framed a range, it would destroy any earlier PIOP you made on that same range (like Final Cat Pro does).

This area certainly needs some more refining. PIOPs have too much power.

PIOP = Persistent In and Out Point, for those that weren't privy to those discussions.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 1:07:45 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I think, and I could be wrong, that if you have a range selected, it will bonk. You have to deselect a range, select a whole clip (so it's a clean bounding box, and not a 'range' bounding box with the little handles on the left and right side), and then fcpx will match frame to the Browser. Even if the whole clip is selected, but it's a range selection, it will bonk. That's how it works for me, anyway."

I've tried every possible combination. Seems random. Of course, the complication is that all of these clips have split edits and embedded double-system sound (via SnLX, not Sync Clips). Although you would think if that was the issue, it simply would never work.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 2:31:49 pm

Well I am obviously missing something. I park the playhead in the timeline, hit shift F and it takes me to the precise frame within the range selection from the clip that I have identified in the timeline.

No??


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 2:47:37 pm

[James Ewart] " I park the playhead in the timeline, hit shift F and it takes me to the precise frame within the range selection from the clip that I have identified in the timeline. "

Correct. It does work this way, when it works correctly. Which it isn't on one of my jobs. Regardless, it does not automatically place an in-point at the matched frame, like most other NLEs. It also does that at the Event level, not at the Collection level. That's because there is no "bin" structure. I get that, but it's still a nuisance when you are dealing with 2,000 or more clips.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 3, 2013 at 3:58:56 pm

Ah OK. This is a treat that lies in wait. So far I have been blessed.

Thanks.


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Dave Jenkins
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:40:17 am

I have the same problem. Sometimes it works and sometimes it bonks.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro 3.2GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe+
FCS 3 OS X 10.7.4
FCP X, Logic Pro, Squeeze, Filemaker 10.8.3


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:29:32 am

If Match Frame had been a problem for me I would have dumped this software long ago, so fundamental is it to my workflow.

What do you do for a workaround if it's not playing cricket?

By the way here in the UK Bonk means Shag!


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:31:16 pm

[James Ewart] "What do you do for a workaround if it's not playing cricket?"

I'm usually not looking for a match frame per se, but simply using the function to easily locate the file. When it doesn't work, I find it manually or use the filtering feature to search for the file name.

- Oliver

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


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Dave Jenkins
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 5, 2013 at 2:12:16 am

Maybe that's the problem, bonking (shagging) at my computer is getting in the way. It works most of the time when I really need it. When it doesn't' it's really easy to find footage in X.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro 3.2GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe+
FCS 3 OS X 10.7.4
FCP X, Logic Pro, Squeeze, Filemaker 10.8.3


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David Powell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:22:40 pm

I'm an Avid and FCX user. There are feature in both software that might speed up someones workflow but another Editor has no need for it. For instance, I cut projects where I have to multi cam dslr's. This is a nightmare in Avid because you can not multi clip through black as you can in every other software. However, if you're shooting a reality tv show, the multi-group function in Avid is needed. Not to mention you can mix frame rates in FCPX multi-clip. The X drawback is you cannot finalize multi-clip edits and you can't matchframe back to the original clip, so you lose time here if you need to stabilize or do a slo-mo affect.

Another is Avid chokes on everything that is not dnx. If you don't do any small time video production then you may never notice. But Avid has priced their software so as to make it accessible to small time shop people who may take in Prosumer footage like C100, FS100 etc. In my experience, I have to transcode immediately. Trying to even play through it to sub clip crashes Avid.

Here's a small one that's huge to me. You can scrub through interviews in FCPX at 3x the speed without losing any pitch. If you are looking for soundbites you tripled your efficiency of that process.

You can make adjustment to audio and video while the your timeline is playing. Actually you can do anything in the interface while the timeline is playing. Once you get used to this in FCPX you really hate that Avid can't do it. And you realize that you have to hit play more times in a day than you should. Again this sounds small but its not in terms of moving fast.

The proxy/online workflow in X so easy. Its stupid. Now Avid's is far more flexible which always opens the door for complications but at the same time more possibilities. It is also far more rigid. And I think that is the difference of Avid and the competing NLE's. If you don't need Avid's heavy features FCPX can work a lot faster for you for certain productions. It really is the utility vehicle vs the light truck analogy.

That being said, FCPX's trimming SUCKS compared to Avid. This is where all the time you gained in X is lost. If you are really adept in Avid's trim functions, you can burn through changes at lightspeed compared to FCPX. If you've moved from FCP to X this won't bother you as much as FCP7's trim mode sucked compared to Avid's as well.

As much as I have grown to love fcp's key wording, I hate the fact that I cannot float bins (keyword collections) and there is total lack of interface customizing. Also I like to use bins as a relational value to other clips, so that when I matchframe back to the original clip, it gets me back to the clips that were in relationship to that clip. You can't really work this way in X. You have to remember how you have tagged the clip and search for it only in that way. It only lets you matchback to the clip as it relates to every clip in the project which isn't cool.

I've used FCP 7 and Avid MC for years, and have been using X for a year now. I like having both Avid and X. There are projects that you don't want to go near Avid with and vice versa. If you only had one software, than you'd have to go with Avid as there is nothing in Avid you can't do. X is not fully featured yet and may never be as a standalone software. That is fine by me. Its a nice tool for specific workflows where Avid is just to rigid, mainly fast turnaround stuff.

The great thing is that X works so differently, that you can easily bounce back and forth from X to Avid if you set you keyboard up properly in X (I do a left hand transport with all other functions matching my Avid keyboard). This is not true for me bouncing back and forth from Avid to FCP7 or Premiere.


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:06:54 pm

[David Powell] "The X drawback is you cannot finalize multi-clip edits and you can't matchframe back to the original clip, so you lose time here if you need to stabilize or do a slo-mo affect."

Do you mean to say you can't add effects to a multiclip in X?
If you need a slo mo in a multiclip then how do you do it?

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


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David Powell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 10:39:13 pm

Well you can slow mo but you have no option for optical flow. You basically have to match frame to the multiclip, record the tc from the event browser, then go into the angle editor, type in the tc, copy the range of the original clip, paste it back on your timeline and add slomo. Same process if you want to stabilize. Quite the pita.


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John Godwin
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 12:02:37 am

Can't you just open the clip in the angle editor, copy the range you want, optical flow it on the timeline, and place that where you want it? Man, I used to edit reel to reel on quad machines with no controller and an inherent half second lag on edits. A few clip selections and mouse clicks are no big deal.

Best,
John


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Paul Neumann
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 2:19:42 am

Pneumatic foot pedal?


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John Godwin
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 2:57:44 pm

No, these were the steam-powered models.

My point being that once in a while it seems like we just forget how fantastic it is to have all these tools at our fingertips, and instead worry about how many pinheads can dance on an angel. I'm pretty happy to be around and working when we can do things easily on a laptop that you couldn't do for any amount of money 20 years ago, and when cameras no longer weigh 34 pounds and produce excellent images for almost no cost.

Sorry, don't mean to get off topic, it just struck me strongly when reading this thread, and perspective is good.

Best,
John


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tony west
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:11:08 am

[John Godwin] " perspective is good."

You can say that again John. It's come a long way from back when I started.

I remember trying to get a loan for a betacam back in the 80's and the banks all telling me no.


Now I own two cameras that are both way better than that one and I can tell the banks were to go : )


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Chris Harlan
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 7:04:48 pm

[David Powell] "Another is Avid chokes on everything that is not dnx. "

I'm finding ProRes works extremely well. In fact, I see no difference in performance at all. Are you finding differently? Or are you working on Windows?


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David Powell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 9:45:38 pm

I misstated that that there. Yes prores works very well. All of the compressed camera formats choke it even for making selects in the source monitor.


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Michael Garber
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:31:58 pm

I didn't read your whole post. Just responding to the question you posed.

I can prep a day's worth of jam-synced multicam dailies in 10 minutes using Sync N Link and FCP X. No rendering or transcoding required if editing with RED or Alexa. Assuming audio has been properly tagged with subroles, I can also output the most organized AAF of any NLE using X2Pro in just as much time.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 11:23:49 pm

I don't know what kind of work you do, but Auditions are very valuable to me.

They are possible because of the magnetic timeline, and while you can manipulate other NLEs to perform sort of like an Audition clip, they don't function as well as they would on a magnetic timeline, and they aren't as easy to bring up a new take selection. I think this is one area where you can't do this in any NLE quite like you can in fcpx.

If you cut dialog, you can load up all takes of one scene/camera angle in one clip and have all of those takes available to you on the timeline. All of these appear as one clip on the timeline. If the director comes in and says, " I know we had that one take where her arm was higher and not blocking the light" you find it in the Audition clip, select it, and bring it to the front. Because of the magnetic timeline , everything else stays in tact, relationally. There's no moving or awkward replacing, just really useful editing. Any ins and outs or timing changes stays with EACH take, so if one take is a little longer or shorter, the magnetic timeline simply adjusts. If you have clients over your shoulder and they like to watch multiple takes, it makes trying things on very easy. I have had clients in the room, and they have commented on how cool it is. I don't even point out what it is we are doing, or that I am using FCPX, I just do it, and they remark at how fast it is and ask what has changed.

To put it very simple terms, if you set it up Audition clips correctly, you can have every single take available to you on the timeline at once, without having to look at a bunch of clips stacked on top of each other. It's very tidy.

I find making changes to be much easier in fcpx as there's much less to detangle. Making secondary storylines makes things very easy to adjust as you can move that single element horizontally without effecting much anything else. With other NLEs you will either overwrite, have to move things to different tracks, command-select the exact right parts to move out of the way, or move every single thing out of the way, perform the edit, and then mend everything back in to place. The notion of how FPCX controls the vertical and horizontal is really hard to explain if you haven't used FCPX much. IT's also not perfect. Sometimes FCPX makes a vertical decision for you that isn't quite right. It's OK, nothing is overwritten so you might have to drag a clip in to a different vertical position every once in a while. It's a small price to pay.

If you take the time to setup Roles:

Exporting audio stems is very easy.

Exporting text and textless versions is very easy.


It needs some work, but it's heading in a really good direction, not the least of which is that it allows me to make faster creative decisions without fighting the interface.

When I go back to FCP7, it is going back to a physically slower creative process. I know you like to edit in your head, with FCPX I don't have to.

Jeremy


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:08:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you cut dialog, you can load up all takes of one scene/camera angle in one clip and have all of those takes available to you on the timeline. All of these appear as one clip on the timeline. If the director comes in and says, " I know we had that one take where her arm was higher and not blocking the light" you find it in the Audition clip, select it, and bring it to the front. Because of the magnetic timeline , everything else stays in tact, relationally. There's no moving or awkward replacing, just really useful editing. Any ins and outs or timing changes stays with EACH take, so if one take is a little longer or shorter, the magnetic timeline simply adjusts. "

The single new feature I am most envious of in X.

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


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 12:25:34 am

One of the main factors for me is render speed and FX.

This year I've been doing a lot of industry stuff on FCP7 and a lot of German Star News stuff on X. So I pretty much have been able to compare the two on fast turnaround projects. My X job at Promiflash (in Berlin) required a lot more Fx and fast clip editing than my industry jobs on 7, which are a lot more classical in style. In addition my X Job required me to do sound recording, as well, which I never need to do on my 7 jobs. Even with more workload I was usually almost 2 hours faster per day on X than 7.

To be fair, in my case FCP 7 is on a 12 core mac pro and X on a new maxed out iMac... on the other hand comparing both on my Quad-Core, 8GB ram macbook I see very similar differences.

Exporting an unrendered 5 min project in 7, with about 6 basic lower thirds takes roughly about 20 minutes, on X it takes a little less than 5 min.

Building lower thirds in X is very smooth, in 7 its clunky, especially since it takes about a second to react to moving titles.

that you can skim effects in X, is a real timesaver to me, applying the effects is very smooth, and X responds immediately.

FX Factory fx and filters work a lot faster in X, less clicks, faster response.

If a client wants to see an effect smoothly i rarely need to render, especially in Proxy, in 7 I usually have to render, and its slower.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Mark Dobson
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 10:14:15 am

I used to work as a freelance producer and director which involved hiring talent, facilities and technicians for each and every project I was involved with.

But these days I'm a one man band, in that, I film and edit everything that our company produces and rarely if ever have to go out of house (sic) to have any post production tasks carried out for me.

Whilst this results in a far less collaborative and stimulating workflow it produces a far higher income.

For me editing is predominately an intellectual and creative challenge, an exercise not dissimilar to a solving a jigsaw puzzle, quite often with several bits missing, so the tools I work with need to assist, not hinder me.

FCPX has been a huge asset to me and the fact that with a bit of manipulation I can produce all the programme graphic components within the App really speeds things up and I find that the titling and text tools are really superb and easy to work with. ( remember the Aston? )

FCPX in it's present form is a stable, fast and fun program to work with and time is saved at loads of different points within the editing cycle from using the event browser to quickly sort clips into a coherent and accessible structure, through to using component clips to either edit sections of the program or tie up complex edit structures. And after a lot of time using it I find the color board perfectly sufficient for my type of work which is largely a documentary style.

And getting your work out of FCPX has been improved dramatically since it's launch, the share function is really easy to use. I normally export a master file out and then do any transcoding or different versions in either Episode or Compressor.

But as many others have pointed out all the various NLEs basically do the same job. I just happen to think that FCPX has improved exponentially since it's launch and whilst there are still loads of irritating faults with it, such as no batch export, I really look forward to the next update and continuing to improve the quality of the work we produce.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 1:04:55 pm

Wow what an interesting set of insights. I hope the original poster got his response, but even if he didn't, the 'casual bystander' got a peep into what people are doing with FCP X.

I think as editors, once we understand and and accept the fact, that FCP X is just another new editing tool in the same way that FCP was when it appeared in 2000.

In that sense if we accept it as a new companion, or spouse, we can be happy with it. Once we start comparing it with the previous one - with whom we may have parted, or maybe we continue dating - we run into grief. Best is to accept it as it is, and move on. Or not.

FCP X definitely works for many people, even makes as much money as whatever they were using before it.

For me, I use it like an 'instant' FCP 7. But use FCP 7 for some stuff that FCP X can't do as well.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:04:00 pm

[Jeff Kay] " I simply do not see a value in having B-roll in another track. To me it clutters the timeline, taking up valuable screen real estate with more video tracks, while should a change need to be made, it opens up increased likelihood of pieces getting out of line, simple fast trims can still restore the primary footage; basically I see no reason for there to be anything on the timeline that is completely hidden all that can do is lead to confusion further down the road. I will certainly use more than 1 video track if I need to, but keeping footage all in one track allows me to work better."

Couldn't agree more. Possibly my lack of interest in the magnetic timeline is based on this aspect of my workflow. Interesting.

All in all, nice post.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:20:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Jeff Kay] " I simply do not see a value in having B-roll in another track. ...."
Couldn't agree more. Possibly my lack of interest in the magnetic timeline is based on this aspect of my workflow. Interesting."


In FCP X you can cut B-roll as a connected clip, but then use Overwrite to Storyline to drop it down into the Storyline. This leaves you with a nice, clean "single-track" (video) timeline and doesn't erase the audio, which remains split under the picture.

- Oliver

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:40:56 pm

[Oliver Peters] "In FCP X you can cut B-roll as a connected clip, but then use Overwrite to Storyline to drop it down into the Storyline. This leaves you with a nice, clean "single-track" (video) timeline and doesn't erase the audio, which remains split under the picture."

I'm guessing that by doing this you loose a lot of the magnetic magic of moving things around. In other words I'm sure you can do this in X, but for someone who routinely works this way, what's the advantage of doing it in X vs Avid or PPro.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:45:30 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I'm guessing that by doing this you loose a lot of the magnetic magic of moving things around."

No, not at all. The b-roll clip because the same as any other clip on the Primary Storyline. There are advantages to the MT whether or not you can connected clips. The big advantage to doing this is you have better control over transitions between "A-roll" and "B-roll" clips.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 3:49:18 pm

PS: If my B-roll shots are still fluid as to their order, then leaving them as connected clips is better until I lock things in. Easier to shuffle the order. However, in that same situation, I would use V2 and higher tracks in MC, FCP7 or PPro. Then, when locked, I cut them down to V1. Essentially the same process in FCP X.

- Oliver

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 4:01:54 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If my B-roll shots are still fluid as to their order, then leaving them as connected clips is better until I lock things in. Easier to shuffle the order. However, in that same situation, I would use V2 and higher tracks in MC, FCP7 or PPro. Then, when locked, I cut them down to V1. Essentially the same process in FCP X."

I will use upper level tracks to play around with while I'm first creating a sequence, but the moment I'm comfortable with the edit I drop them down to track 1. I won't move down the timeline till I have cleaned up everything up to that point. This is still at the rough cut stage. If I need to revise it's child's play to restore the original sync video, at least in Legacy. Anything on my timeline on a higher track is either GFX or a composite EFX, making it very easy to find them visually. But it sounds like I could still use that strategy in X without penalty, which is good to know.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 4:14:22 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I will use upper level tracks to play around with while I'm first creating a sequence, but the moment I'm comfortable with the edit I drop them down to track 1."

Yes, you can do the same in X. You can also "Lift from Storyline" if you need to make a clip a Connected Clip in order to go back to a fluid re-ordering of clips. So, if you like a nice, tidy timeline (as I do), then "Overwrite to Storyline" and "Lift from Storyline" are your friend.

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 4:31:35 pm

To answer part of the original OP, there are three things that I feel really speed up my workflow in X:

1. I run my Events display in list view almost all of the time. In most NLEs, you have to double-click the source clip to load it into a viewer and then play or scrub the clip to see the full contents. With X in the list view, I can simply arrow up or down in the Event Browser and see what my clips hold. Since most camera clips are no more than several minutes long, it's easy to see the complete contents of that clip by the filmstrip showing that clip. Not only is this faster, but also less fatiguing on my wrist and hand. Naturally skimming also helps to quickly identify the content of this clip.

2. Operators using modern digital cameras shoot a lot of bogus material. Clips just for slates, false starts, etc. If you have 1,000 clips, probably 200-300 are completely useless for the edit. By using the Reject function and "Hide Rejects" view, you can quickly go through all of your clips and get rid of any that you will never use. They aren't gone, just hidden. Likewise you can use Favorites to select the hero takes. Then by using Smart Collections or "Show Favorites" isolate your view to only these picks. Both of these functions also work within ranges inside a clip, too.

3. Although there are times I prefer bins, working the Keyword Collections can be very good, since you can use multiple Keywords per clip. As an example, I've done commercial campaigns with real employees. Using Keyword Collections was a great way to organize footage by person, city, department, etc. When the client asked to see all of the shots from any one of these options, it was easy to pull them up and display only those options.

- Oliver

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:37:48 am

"I simply do not see a value in having B-roll in another track. To me it clutters the timeline, taking up valuable screen real estate with more video tracks, while should a change need to be made, it opens up increased likelihood of pieces getting out of line, simple fast trims can still restore the primary footage; basically I see no reason for there to be anything on the timeline that is completely hidden all that can do is lead to confusion further down the road. I will certainly use more than 1 video track if I need to, but keeping footage all in one track allows me to work better."

Wow having B roll in v1 would be so claustrophobic for me. What do you do about audio under the B roll? Isn't it simpler to have the associated picture in the timeline with its audio even if you can't see it?

My perspective is that of an FCP 7 user since version 1.2. I never got my head round Media Composer and found Premiere to be an excellent tool but no better than FCP7. It too me quite a while to get my head round FCPX. I am still learning all the time

I still find the magnetic timeline annoying at times, especially when trimming the front end of a clip. Especially when cutting to music. I think I should be putting the music track into the primary storyline and this annoyance would probably go away. But I find it helpful more than I find it annoying now. Having the ability to "Override Connections" has been essential for me.

Auditions is an amazing tool even for docs although for drama I can see the benefits must be awesome. To be able to show somebody the options and different takes at the click of a button is super fast. Can you do this in MC? Or Premiere? It surely speeds things up but also makes the creative process and shot selection more flexible. Not just about speed. It helps you make the best choices.

I find myself using much fewer video layers with FCPX which has made me better organised and quicker.

Making the titles in the viewer rather than in a separate box is faster and more intuitive as is the real time preview of effects and filters.

Keyword Collections are a super fast way of logging and organising footage. Way faster than traditional bins. For organising and logging footage I can honestly say I could not go back to the old way. Too slow. It would be annoying.

Smart Collections are also a breakthrough. I only use them for compound clips at present but am sure they will have many more uses.

Th ability to skim through clips in the browser is also super fast. Not sure if MC or Premiere lets you do this but certainly way faster than FCP7.

To be able to log and edit immediately without having to wait for footage to be digitised is a massive time saver.

Oh yes and audi trimming for split edits is very smooth. I like the audio being next to the video although this took a while to get used to it's a lot easier to see where everything is. The audio functionality is wonderful.


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:48:14 pm

[James Ewart] "What do you do about audio under the B roll?"

The same thing you would do with a hidden layer of video sitting on top of it, without having to deal with the unnecessary video.

[James Ewart] "Isn't it simpler to have the associated picture in the timeline with its audio even if you can't see it?"

No, I find it more complicated to deal with upper and lower video tracks. If you ever want the sync video it's only a "match" away.

Perhaps it's because I started in film, but this whole idea that the audio needs to be tethered to the video it just happened to be recorded with seems very limiting. Film was almost always double system, audio was recorded separately and sync, while necessary, was not an intrinsic part of the media itself. For whatever reason there are some editors, mostly older in my experience, who do not need or want to see every piece of audio permanently locked to the video it was once recorded with. Who knows, if you try cutting this way you might like the freedom it brings.

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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:03:23 pm

I hear where you are coming from but I just think it's so much easier to leave the picture there with the audio you want and drop the picture you want on top of it.

And guess what...I think you will prefer the way this works in FCPX with "trackless" editing.

Actually I would have thought the MC editors would prefer X to legacy because it actually is faster and snappier using more shortcuts than I used to and you have a timeline index.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 28, 2013 at 6:19:20 pm

Great thread. X isn't without issues,but I think we're all aware of those ;-) So... Leaving aside the oft discussed downsides to some of this stuff, the biggies for me compared to other NLE's, in no particular order are:

1-Magnetism, no fixed tracks, and thus, no patching and Track Tetris. Being able to perform any combo of A/V, V only, A only Connect, Insert, Overwrite, or Append, with just 2 keystrokes and no thought to whether I'm about to accidentally overwrite an existing clip in the timeline is an enormous timesaver. Huge really.

2-Audio components. I generally work from Multichannel source material (split features) so for any particular edit decision, I may need sync DIA, FX, or just one or the other. In X , I don't have to make that decision before I cut something in. Slap it in, and then easily Enable/Disable what I need. I can focus on the cut and worry about that stuff later. Also, being able to independently trim the multiple audio channels and video while they remain as a single clip is great. If I do need to split audio off, it's still connected so it remains in sync unless I choose to connect it to something else.

3-Storylines. They are essentially FCPX's "tracks". As others mentioned, the ability to cut freely with connected clips and then commit to the primary is really the best of both worlds. FC7/Pr free form and MC Ripple mode, without selecting modes. And secondary story lines are great for things like Music where you may not want individual clips connected to the primary, as you're music bed is fixed. Stick your MX in secondary storyline(s) connected to the first frame of the timeline and you've got your fixed in time "tracks". Also great for situations where you're maybe cutting an A or V clip into a bunch of tiny pieces and don't want them to magnetically jump around. Creating story lines is just as easy as creating new tracks in other NLE's and you end up with the essentially same, and in some ways more functionality.

4-Skimming in general, but Clip Skimming in particular. Huge timesaver. Got a stack of composited video and want to know what's in layer 4 out of 8? One step, hover the cursor over it and you'll see. Want to know what's in the source 10 or 20 frames before or after the section of the clip you've cut in? When clip skimming, using the arrow keys will skim beyond the boundaries of what's in the timeline. Want to make a cut on a timeline clip without having to select it? Skim an audio or video clip to the frame you'd like to cut and blade it, even if something else is selected. Want to zoom into a portion of the timeline but leave your playhead where it is and keep another clip selected?. Skim to the section you want and zoom in, your zoom will focus on wherever the skimmer is. Skimming in X is really an amazing time saver once you wrap your head around it. Nothing like it in any NLE.

5-Audio editing. The fact that audio clips in X can be moved in sample increments rather than being constrained to frames is freaking awesome.Yes, you can keyframe Audio in other NLE's in subframe increments, but if you need to adjust it's position, frames it is. Editing audio is a pleasure in X. And editing audio components while they ride with clip is a big timesaver as well. Selecting an audio range and changing its levels adds keyframes automatically, Huge timesaver. Short of a dedicated DAW, I can't think of anything that's better to edit audio in. And while there are no busses and faders etc yet, it's trivially easy to get a good mix in X.

6-Compound clips. Yes, you can nest clips in other NLE's, and yes, there are things about CC's that need work. But using them judiciously can really speed up workflow. Got a section cut you'd like to save and reuse or easily move to another part of your timeline or another timeline? Create a CC containing it, name it and there you go. Got the perfect dialog cheat or composited pile of video? Make a CC and it's now one, editable clip. Make a smart Collection looking for Compound clips and all your cheats, section, composites, whatever, all show up in one place for later use. which brings me to...

7-Keywords, KW Collections, Smart collections, range tagging etc. Gigantic timesaver. That's been covered by, uh.. everyone though. :-)

8, 9, 10 uh... I'm realizing I could just go on and on but... the main reason I think X speeds up my workflow is that all I have to think about is the cut. Like any other NLE, You do your best work when the software melts into the background letting you concentrate on the craft. And like any NLE, that happens by working with it a lot. But there are always things you need to do that take you out of the flow. I find, cutting in X, that there are simply way fewer "other" things that I need to pay attention to when I'm cutting. It is much better at getting out of my way, getting out of my head really, because it takes care of a lot of the basic stuff that every other NLE forces you to pay attention to. And honestly, If you're familiar enough with any NLE those things become second nature.

For me though, in addition to it's unique features, X removes a lot more of those "things". It really is as deep as you want it to be, but once your muscle memory is trained, and the interface melts into the background, it just lets you edit. I've been doing this full time for close to 20 years (Yikes!), and X let's me just cut, and not babysit the software, more than any NLE I've cut on.

Of course, I'd be lying if I said it didn't make we want to tear my hair out occasionally... it really is still a work in progress. But, I also can't think of any other NLE that makes me smile as much as I do when I'm cutting in X. It's fun. And *that* is a huge workflow expeditor. :-)

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


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


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:11:15 pm

[Charlie Austin] "the interface melts into the background, it just lets you edit."

Really interesting roundup of features. But my question, as an editor who is likely about to tackle FCPX, is: how do you feel about all of the UI animations? The dozen or so times that I've used FCPX, I've found the keyword, timeline, and assorted other animations REALLY irritating. They are jumpy (though I suppose they would work better on an iMac currently than a Mac Pro), slow, and (IMO) get in my way.

Thoughts?

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Charlie Austin
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:04:56 pm

[Justin Crowell] "I've found the keyword, timeline, and assorted other animations REALLY irritating. They are jumpy (though I suppose they would work better on an iMac currently than a Mac Pro), slow, and (IMO) get in my way."

I agree to some extent, though you're right that they're not as jumpy on an iMac as my old Mac Pro, and my guess would be they'll be even less so on the tube. It's seems to get more fluid with each update as well. That said, I hope they're working on optimizing some of that code. I don't really notice it much anymore, but when I do, it is annoying. Doesn't really get in my way though, I guess because I'm used to it now…

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


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


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:06:23 pm

Seen FCPX on a mac pro and definitely way slower and more stuttery than on my quite basic iMac.


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:12:44 pm

So strange. Is this a Sandy Bridge issue? Because it's obviously not a RAM or GPU thing. In general, I find the UI sluggish and annoying to work with.

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Bill Davis
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 6:12:04 pm

This has been a constant since X was released. The new code LOVES modern hardware and has trouble on anything more than a few years old. (it may run on an older MacPro - but will almost surely run a LOT better either on an iMac *or* a newer MacBook Pro.

My once mighty well-configured MacPro is a dog compared to how X runs on my laptop - which is 3-4 years newer architecture.

With FCP-X is't not the machine specs per se, as much as the machine's internal architecture.That includes not just OS version, but also graphics card, GPU and probably a lot of other stuff I'm ignorant about.

I think it's safe w say that one important aspect of X is that they've been designing it from day one for where Apple hardware is going - much, much more than for where Apple hardware has been.

So unless you're run it on a modern machine, you've never actually seen it work the way it's intended to work.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 8:43:49 pm

Right, I understand that...but I'm really curious as to what that "internal architecture" may be. Presumably it has to do with OpenCL, which I believe is what powers those animations. Also, if we rule out CPU and RAM (which we must), there just ain't much left.

That also explains the awful performance on even crazy powerful computers of the video (QT, Vimeo, etc) full-screen thing in Mountain Lion. What DOESN'T make sense to me, however, is that most people running Mac Pros have GPUs completely capable of speedy OpenCL. Perhaps apple is only writing good OpenCL drivers for the GPUs that ship with the iMacs? If so....that sort of sucks...

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:11:23 pm

[Justin Crowell] "Right, I understand that...but I'm really curious as to what that "internal architecture" may be."

It's intel's AVX architecture.

Found by cow user Andrew Richards: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/38013


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:21:02 pm

Ah, thank you, Walter! That makes sense. I use a hackintosh i7 at home and a Pro at the studio, and I always forget that not all Sandy Bridges are made equal. I also wasn't quite aware of this slightly esoteric difference between the xeons and the i7s.

This makes me want the trash can/jet engine/spaceship all the more, now!

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:27:07 pm

[Justin Crowell] "Ah, thank you, Walter!"

Sure, Freddy!


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:37:21 pm

Shoot, sorry about that, Jeremy! I probably made that mistake because of some internal architecture issue. Stupid outdated brain...

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:42:19 pm

[Justin Crowell] "Shoot, sorry about that, Jeremy! I probably made that mistake because of some internal architecture issue. Stupid outdated brain..."

HA!

I know exactly how you feel.


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Walter Soyka
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 1:23:13 am

[Justin Crowell] "Ah, thank you, Walter!"

[Jeremy Garchow] "Sure, Freddy!"

There are worse names you could have been called...

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 exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 1:46:21 am

[Walter Soyka] "There are worse names you could have been called..."

I was honored, actually.


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Justin Crowell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:37:18 pm

I can't think of anything clever to respond to all this with. But the government shutdown, so maybe I should just take the day off, anyway.

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 29, 2013 at 1:33:07 pm

- Organising your footage in keyword collections is MUCH faster then with bins, if you have hundreds, maybe thousands of clips.

- The whole skimming, and 'visual nature' of X. You skim clips, you see thumbnails, you see the waveforms immediately on the clip, you can hear audio with pitch even if you go quickly, etc. ... In the beginning I didn't like the skimmer. Now I realize it's a fundamental design decision of X, and once you learn how to use it effectively, it's great and you can't live without (except for doing some very specific things... then you just turn it off).
Premiere has Hover Scrub, but X has really been designed around a completely new nature of going trough clips and trough a timeline, it feels a lot more organic.
You find stuff quicker, you click less, etc. ...

- Having first rate quality audio effects in the program itself makes our audio a lot more better and we finish things even more better then we used to with FCP7.

- A market of low-priced 3rd party templates and effects, in combination with how you quickly can make your own effects and templates in Motion, means we are having effects faster, and we use them more often then we did before.

- Having compound clips very easily available and being able to do changes there that ripple trough, saves us a lot of time if we have to make certain graphic adjustments to clips.

- Multicam clips don't need to be the same format anymore. We don't need to transcode things to the same format anymore before we go into Multicam-editing.

- Exporting times of a lot of stuff, especially stuff with a timecode generator on it, is a LOT quicker in X (although here working in Prores is essential to having access to fast render and export times)

- Having background exporting means we don't sit around if we have to quickly push stuff out. We push export, and just start working immediately to the next video without having to wait.

- The magnetic timeline makes sure that if you have to adjust some things after an edit has been done already, it can go *much* quicker. You can just move stuff, and everything adjusts. I don't have to select all tracks again, move them up, move them back, etc. ...

I'm sure I could mention a lot more things, but those are the ones out of the top of my head. A lot of it is by really - BY EXPERIENCE - learning how to use X though. In some cases, if you try to use it like you used 7 for instance, it can prove to be slower. Once you learn some new things, which you learn by trying them out, often - but not always - it's quicker in X.
This is especially true of the timeline, where you learn when to put media in the primary storyline, when to do it as a connected clip, when to use the Lift from Storyline commands, etc. ...


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Jeff Kay
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:14:46 pm

I'd like to thank all of the posters. Some very good things have been brought up and this is what I have been looking for.

I suppose a little background for the projects on which I work, seeing as the projects and workflow dictate so much of what is extremely useful and what has less value. My primary show is a hunting show. The footage is almost exclusively raw on "set" footage with a huge range of clip length; I'll end up with 50-200 clips depending upon the show. The other shows I work on are fairly standard 3 angle interviews with 3-7 interviews (counting host open/closes).

The audition function sounds neat. Like the magnetic timeline, it would be great when I use it, but its also something that would just not see much use in my workflow (though I most definitely see how it would be great for other productions).

Being able to adjust audio via sample rather than frame is something I sorely wish I was able to do. It doesn't come up often, but its something that I have felt is softcoming of current NLE as audio suites are able to do this.

Being able to work natively with more formats is always better. Though I will say that Avid's AMA is sorely underperforming compared to FC/Premiere, but I do think it performs better than people give it credit for and I am also not nearly as resistant to transcoding as I was before I picked up Avid (I no longer view it as an annoyance but as another tool I can use). Of course I most certainly do wish Avid beefed up its AMA to the level that FC/Premiere have been at and feel like, with most newer NLE features, Avid will be much slower to implement. But I also find some of the multicam comments odd; I think all of the NLEs will do multicam with different formats (or is this in regards to resolution/framerate?).

I am certainly interested in hearing more about the skimmer. I get the idea behind it, but I'm not clear enough on the details of how it works to have an idea of how it would integrate into a workflow (currently I handle long clips with metadata logging and clip markers).

I am also very interested in more specifics of the organization side (keywords, collections, etc). This is one aspect that I think has been glossed over or stated as if it is already understood. I am not personally clear on any differences between it and searching/sifting through current metadata (which is what I use extensively for hunting footage). I side with being overzealous on my organization. Though I find it very odd that they chose to do away with bins rather than having this as a function that can work alongside a bin structure and to say that I am exceedingly wary of giving up bins is an understatement.

I haven't heard good things about this, but how is FCX in a multi-user environment? I really love Avid's ability to send and receive bins between users and even different projects.

A different aside: How is FCX in terms of being keyboard driven. Most of the stuff I've seen from the software have only been demonstrated as mouse driven. I touch the mouse as little as possible when I edit and much prefer to drive with the keyboard.


[Charlie Austin] "the main reason I think X speeds up my workflow is that all I have to think about is the cut. Like any other NLE, You do your best work when the software melts into the background letting you concentrate on the craft."

This really is the heart of it. If FCX (or really any NLE) allows an editor to not have to think about the NLE, then its a strong boon. Though, personally, regardless of whether I'm working in MC/Premiere/FC7, I don't feel that pressure.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:22:57 pm

[Jeff Kay] "I haven't heard good things about this, but how is FCX in a multi-user environment? I really love Avid's ability to send and receive bins between users and even different projects."

If this is how you are sharing elements in Avid (and not using Unity/ISIS/Interplay), then you can use FCP X in a very similar manner. There are a number of approaches and some of this depends on the type of SAN you have. Best approach is to keep Projects/Events on the local drives, with media on a SAN linked to the Events. This way it's easy to send an Event or Project to another editor and both work simultaneously with common media.

[Jeff Kay] "A different aside: How is FCX in terms of being keyboard driven. "

Nearly all of the commands are mappable, so you can work almost entirely from the keyboard, once you map it the way you want and get used to where those are. Obviously some functions are different, so some retraining of muscle memory will need to happen.

- Oliver

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


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Jeff Kay
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:46:35 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If this is how you are sharing elements in Avid (and not using Unity/ISIS/Interplay), then you can use FCP X in a very similar manner. There are a number of approaches and some of this depends on the type of SAN you have. Best approach is to keep Projects/Events on the local drives, with media on a SAN linked to the Events. This way it's easy to send an Event or Project to another editor and both work simultaneously with common media."

I currently work exclusively with independents or freelancers. We aren't in physical proximity to have any type of network. I'm just wary of having to send/receive projects in the old FCP/Premiere format where the project has to be sent in its entirety and simultaneous changes from two different people are a pain to integrate. From what you said, I am gathering that events work in a similar manner to Avid's .avb bins.

[Oliver Peters] "Nearly all of the commands are mappable, so you can work almost entirely from the keyboard, once you map it the way you want and get used to where those are. Obviously some functions are different, so some retraining of muscle memory will need to happen."

Good to hear. I have a highly customized set of keyboard shortcuts, more than half of my keyboard has been remapped and I use a very similar set of customizations for every NLE. I do realize that many people are mouse driven in their work, but that is not how I like to do it. There is a bit of a disconnect when every feature is demonstrated in a mouse driven fashion.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:10:28 pm

[Jeff Kay] "We aren't in physical proximity to have any type of network"

Assuming everyone is working off of mirrored media, you could interchange files by simply transferring project FCPXMLs. That's assuming only stock effects and nothing third-party. Then relink to the media when you import the list file. You can also place event or project files (when media is linked and not embedded) onto an FTP site or DropBox.

[Jeff Kay] "From what you said, I am gathering that events work in a similar manner to Avid's .avb bins."

Yes, in concept. Basically you have two types of data files - projects (edited sequences) and events (source media metadata). Edits can also be stored in events if you use compound clips. The folder structure is a bit more visible than in Avid, but the design concept is similar.

[Jeff Kay] "I use a very similar set of customizations for every NLE."

This will work just fine in X. It's just that some functions don't have direct equivalents, so you might have to make some adjustments.

- Oliver

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


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Jeff Kay
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:43:45 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Yes, in concept. Basically you have two types of data files - projects (edited sequences) and events (source media metadata). Edits can also be stored in events if you use compound clips. The folder structure is a bit more visible than in Avid, but the design concept is similar."

I really need it to hold more than just edits. It also needs to hold effects (basically anything that would end up in an Avid bin, such as a title template, CC effect, etc), or is all of that included when you say edit?

My fear is that the FCX "project" is one file. Each show I do is one Avid project that can span multiple seasons and transferring an entire project of that size becomes cumbersome to say the least. What I need is the ability to send piecemeal individual elements (sequences, clips with metadata, effects, CC, titles, transistions, audio effects) which is easily done with Avid bins.

Saying the folder structure is more visible than in Avid is a bit confusing to me. The Avid projects folder has a folder for each of my projects and inside is the same exact folder/bin structure that exists inside of Avid. I can make changes to this structure inside of Avid or even just in the base OS. I'm not really sure how it could be 'more' visible.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 6:12:32 pm

[Jeff Kay] "I really need it to hold more than just edits. It also needs to hold effects (basically anything that would end up in an Avid bin, such as a title template, CC effect, etc), or is all of that included when you say edit?"

Event and Project files definitely hold everything. I only meant that if you simply sent an XML instead, it would not hold effects parameters for third-party effects. What you mention above is definitely part of the data in the Event/Project files.

[Jeff Kay] "My fear is that the FCX "project" is one file."

Each event is one data file. Each project (a single edited timeline) is also a separate data file. How you organize events across a whole season is a matter of strategy. It could be one event per show if you can organize it that way. Using Event Manager X (a $5 third-party application), you can choose to load any Event or any Project, just like from the Avid projects/users window.

[Jeff Kay] "Saying the folder structure is more visible than in Avid is a bit confusing to me. "

By this I mean that at the Finder level, there is a database file for the event that lives inside a folder for the event. Within that same folder are other subfolders that include links (aliases) to externally-located media, render files, proxies, etc. In the Avid world, this info is largely hidden or exists within the MXF folders.

[Jeff Kay] "I can make changes to this structure inside of Avid or even just in the base OS."

Same in X.

If you haven't bought it yet, the best way is to download the trial, go through some of the Ripple tutorials and see for yourself. Test it with a "real", smaller project (not just junk media) and see for yourself how it works. I think it becomes clearer that way. It's enough different to be very confusing when dealing in the abstract.

- Oliver

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


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Jeff Kay
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 7:00:26 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If you haven't bought it yet, the best way is to download the trial, go through some of the Ripple tutorials and see for yourself. Test it with a "real", smaller project (not just junk media) and see for yourself how it works. I think it becomes clearer that way. It's enough different to be very confusing when dealing in the abstract."

This is very true. I haven't specifically stated it, but I currently only have a PC infrastructure, so a simple trial isn't nearly as simple in my instance. This is reason behind the thread as I even if I do not personally have access to it, I would like to be more familiar with how FCX works and what it can offer.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 8:26:10 pm

It's been said, but FCPX does require hands on time. I hear you that people always gloss over how good the organization features are in FCPX. It's a huge part of FCPX, and helps you to review, change, select, organize, and group. What works for one, might not work for you, so using it is really the only way to determine if it would be beneficial to your system of media organization.

I don't like FCP7 bins, and never really have, as I find them somewhat restrictive. I use them for big repositories and then do most of selections from timelines, and I also use markers for more precise descriptions. FCPX allows me to use bin like organization, but also have skimmable timelines (or I can skim all the clips in a keyword collection, which is essentially like having all the clips in the timeline and scrubbing, but they are located in the Browser which makes editing to a timeline easier) as well as adding marker text for searchable descriptions, using favorites to mark specific ranges, and then being able to sort the collection by those favorites to give me an even more concise list of selectors.

It is much more fluid for me.

If you are in to metadata, Smart Collections will help you as they can be used to constantly parse/collect footage. I am going to over simply, but for your show, let's say you put all "Pheasant" clips in a bin. With FCPX, you can have a Pheasant keyword collection (that are range based if you'd like) or if you have a system of naming you can choose all clip names with Pheasant in them, and create a Smart Collection. That way any clip that comes in named Pheasant will be automatically added to the Smart Collection. There are a number of metadata categories that can be used for Smart Collections, not just clip name. Specifically, any Text, Rating, Media, Clip Type, Stabilization, Keywords, People, Format (reel, scene, take, frame rate, and a big long list of parameters are part of format), Date, Roles.

You can use any and all of those parameters to create a Smart Collection.

Perhaps, if you need to keep track of certain elements across an entire season(s), Smart Collection can help you to aggregate certain aspects of your media automatically.

Also, a clip, and range on a clip, does not have to live in one single solitary bin. Footage can live in multiple keywords and collections. It is very handy sometimes as one bin might not define everything about that particular piece of footage.

Keyboard editing in FCPX is pretty good. It still needs some more functionality (like being able to move between layers of video without using the mouse and all of what that would bring), but there's a lot to do on the keyboard. I am also a keyboard editor, but you do still, need the mouse for certain aspects of FCPX.

The keyboard mapper system is best of breed. It doesn't get much easier or more useful.


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Bill Davis
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 8:27:49 pm

[Jeff Kay] "This is reason behind the thread as I even if I do not personally have access to it, I would like to be more familiar with how FCX works and what it can offer.
"


I'm not entirely sure that with X, external familiarity with "how it works and what it can offer", does a very good job of helping most editors understand the totality of it.

We all understand new things in the CONTEXT of the things we already know.

That's the huge traditional problem with X for the uninitiated. Those who are most tied to "see" editing in terms of the traditional language of past timeline operations seem to have the largest problem "seeing' how X solves both traditional and new industry problems in new ways.

My own understanding of X has been a long string of "This is new - what can I do with it? (then later) Oh, now I get it. I used to do this set of tasks another way, now it's easier to do them THIS way." That thinking is easy to conceptually understand, but what's NOT easy is to come at it from a structured comparison view where you look at how TASK A was done in the past - and ask how TASK A is now done via X.

The point is that you might not even NEED to do Task A in X any more. Or you might. And it might work the same way, or VERY differently. But by focusing on your own personal list of Task A's, you will never reveal the structure of the program. Because you get stuck on functional operations, rather than start to "see" the entire flow of how the entire process of video construction gets done in the new system.

I'm going to get trashed again for espousing it, (It's OK, I'm used to it) but X is not about the THINGS it does or even the way it does any one thing. It's about how the entire system works cohesively to change an editors perspective about what's possible for an editing system to address. Some of that is about the editing keystrokes, some of that is about front end organization and database, and some of it is about connected export into the modern streams of digital distribution.

But the entirety sums up to a whole new workflow. And so trying to help someone who's never worked with a new thing to frame it in terms of their existing list of Task A's lifted from the older thing, is a long and difficult struggle.

A lot of people are starting to say "database great" - "metadata handling great" - "agile sharing great" - BUT I still can't edit with it — because it's too unfamiliar. And they're correct. It makes no sense to try to edit the traditional way with the new system. And so we see a lot of failure in the group that tries to do that.

The problem is that none of that great stuff in X can BE great unless the timeline and everything else in the system is connected to, and built to work with, the new enhanced system. It's only when you understand how that whole SYSTEM works - that you start to see the (still young and developing) power of the whole.

X is kind of an all or nothing deal. You can slap a database on another editing system, but unless you plumb it throughout the entire fabric of the software, you will NOT get the same results as Apple did in X.

It's what made the iPod such a hit. not ONE aspect, but the sum of all the parts. The simple interface, the size and capacity, the links to the ITMS, the aesthetic design. and yes, even the perception of cool with the white earbuds making it a "safer" choice for others who saw people using them. But at the heart, the THING ITSELF had to work and work very well. It had to satisfy users.

That's the ultimate test.

And quite a lot of us believe that it will pass that fundamental test with flying colors in the years to come, because it's made us more productive and made our editing work much, much easier.

Which is the final test of any tool in the long run.

My musings, anyway.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:55:11 am

From my observation where I teach (grad school for advertising), the best editing experience to have when learning X is none. We switched our lab over to X this year (20 seats) and I have been amazed at how quickly novice (read: no experience) are up and running on the software. WAY faster and with less problems than FCP7. I popped in the lab the other day as a student wanted me to look at his work. First thing I noticed was he had the music track on the top of everything else. My immediate thought was "well, this is really wrong" but corrected myself by thinking that it was absolutely right from his "experience" on X. He never knew about tracks and such so throwing the music track above the video track was completely natural for him. And its totally correct...for him. Apple has got something very right with this software and the thought process behind it.

As I transition my professional work for clients to X, I am constantly reminding myself to stop trying to make X work like FCP7 and just work how the product was designed (I still put audio below video, however). More and more, I am hitting those times where the I am working the way X is supposed to work (at least I THINK I am), and it is a very fun process.

My humble opine, of course....

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 2, 2013 at 3:11:43 pm

Come to think of it why is audio always below the video...who decided that is they way it should be?

Good point


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David Powell
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:12:05 pm

I am similiar with how I use shortcuts. My Avid Keyboard is very customized and I try and keep my FCP and FCPX keyboard as similar as possible. That being said, Avid is mode based which makes the keyboard more efficient imo, so that when you are in CC mode or Multicam mode you can switch from 4 up to 9 up and the keyboard setup itself will change. Other NLEs require more command programming. The X keyboard is extremely customizable but it is an extremely Mouse driven program. The trim tools aren't as slick as Avid or Premiere CC. I have the transport on the left hand side and keep one hand on the mouse at all time, funny enough, something I learned from reading "Avid Agility" though I didn't find it as helpful in Avid as I do in FCPX.

Once you start stacking vid clips, there are no shortcuts to control which layer of video you want to affect. Its something I hope Apple changes.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 12:18:15 am

[David Powell] "The trim tools aren't as slick as Avid or Premiere CC."

True, but they are completely keyboard controllable. Use the arrow keys to go forward or backward to the next or previous cut. Then backslash selects the cut to trim. Left bracket, right bracket or backslash toggle between left/right edges or center trims. Comma, period or numerical entries control the trim value. Shift-slash plays around the cut.

- Oliver

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:38:37 pm

[Jeff Kay] "I also find some of the multicam comments odd; I think all of the NLEs will do multicam with different formats (or is this in regards to resolution/framerate?)."

FCPX can create multicam clips where every angle is a different codec and/or framrate - I don't know about Avid but I know that in FCP Legacy in order to create a multiclip every angle has to be consistent in terms of codec and framerate.

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


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Jeff Kay
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:05:21 pm

Didn't realize that was a limitation of FCP.

I haven't touched Premiere's multicam since 5.5. It didn't seem to have any restrictions over multicamming of clips. Of course the 5.5 version of Premiere's multicam was awful. Too difficult and time consuming to set up and manipulate, while having significant limitations (maximum 4 angles, superfluous audio cuts, no commit edits, no method of cross NLE export), but multiformat was not one of those issues.

I'm working with some Avid multicam clips that are in mixed format right at this moment. It most certainly will handle mixed codecs. You can't have a multicam with mixed framerate/resolution, but that isn't specifically a limitation of the multicam. An Avid project won't let you have media that is in different framerate/resolution than the settings of the project (you can AMA link footage with different resolution/framerate and multicam, but you shouldn't AMA link footage different from project settings). This is a common criticism of Avid, but after having worked in a few highly mixed footage environments, I'm most likely going to transcode everything to the same standard regardless of the NLEs ability to work mixed.


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James Ewart
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 5:09:33 pm

My experience having been somebody who was not keen on keyboard shortcuts is that I am using them more and more in FCPX. Keywords and stuff almost best to het the Ripple tutorial and see for yourself. You need to use it in ager to understand it though...having it explained to you will not help I don't think.


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Richard Herd
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:52:36 pm

Audio has really sped up for me. The compressor and limiter is spot-on perfect. Instead of round tripping to STP, I just CMD-8. It's unbelievably faster AND more accurate.


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James Nolan
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 1, 2013 at 4:50:48 pm

For certain effects and transitions, FCP X has hit the spot. Many of the plug-ins have great templates making it easy to get running. FCP 7's still great, though, for building a long story.


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Brett Sherman
Re: How exactly has FCX improved or expedited your workflow?
on Oct 2, 2013 at 9:02:12 pm

Something I didn't think I'd use, but which I find myself using a lot is Motion templates for text and effects. It's so easy to customize and have parameters available in FCP X for modifications. Instead of doing graphics in AE, I'm now doing more and more in Motion because I can recycle them with new content later down the road.



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