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The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.

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Aindreas Gallagher
The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:22:26 pm

really interesting discussion going on at dvcreators under a great article about the origins of FCP

one of the comments by a fellow called Frank Leeman really struck me:

A lot of blogs, are focussing on what features are missing from FCPX and why that’s a reason to call it a failure or a success.

It’s not the features.

A lot of the things missing from this v1 will be solved in the coming months/years and ‘real’ professionals won’t upgrade their FCP just yet. The thing that concerns me is that Apple succeeded to follow it’s current trend; making things consumer-centric.

It’s that trend that’s been bothering me for a while, and FCP X is the culmination of all that. Outside FCP X, why does OsX every time I mount a disk image have to ask me if I trust the source? I know why, but I would really appreciate the opportunity to dismiss that prompt forever.

About FCP X. The workflow has changed in a visionary way.

Apple decided nobody will be using film (16, 35 etc) or tape anymore. With film or tape the workflow has been, import a couple of really long clips in a low resolution, either reel length or tape length. Spot these (yourself or an assistant), make a ‘selects’ timeline, and use your selection edit as your new source for the story –I’m sure this is not the only way of doing it, but a lot of editors I know use this method. When you have a final edit, use an EDL to rescan or rebatch the material in an hi-res online environment, let’s say inside autodesk lustre color grading suite. Use the output from the grading session to reconnect your project and merge it with sound, or some more high-end productions do that in Autodesk Flame or After Effects, also based on that EDL. Will that be solved by a plugin? Yes, but If you import a clip that’s over 15 minutes, the skimming method is not precise enough. With a tiny flick of the wrist you skip over 4 minutes of material. Of course you can re-adjust the viewer so it shows you a bigger skimmable area but even then it’s hard not to skip over material as the time indicator is so easily moved. Of course when you’ve shot on a Canon 5d, an Alexa or something else that creates a new clip every time you record, this function of skimming your clip for in/out works fine.

I guess the thing I noticed is that while FCP X is a brilliant piece of software, it in fact seems to be LESS flexible than old FCP. FCPX forces you to let it do all the thinking. But it’s not flexible enough to adapt to your preferences and workflow. And that is something I don’t think they’re going to solve with plug ins and upgrades. And that’s also something a lot of professionals, that work with weird formats and requests are going to hate about it. The software is dictating the way they have to think, as opposed to having software adjust to the way they like to work.


-

somebody tell me why the skimmer and a little yellow rectangle is better than the dedicated viewer present in FCP7 and every other piece of editing software ever made.

http://bit.ly/jIUH2N

Famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
"Randy Ubillos, you brain damaged dwarf, FCP7 wasn't a multitrack editor, editing is a multitrack operation, editing software is intended to be an expression of that truth."


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:24:23 pm

You can turn off skimming and you can still set in/out points from the keyboard. What's supposed to be the problem here?

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:40:00 pm

[Chris Kenny] "What's supposed to be the problem here?"

BZZZ - buzzer says wrong Kenny - you're deliberately referring to skimming on the timeline - the man's points refer to being able to see the bloody footage at all before he puts it in the timeline. I'll let Frank Leeman take over and clear up your confusion -

"..the skimming method is not precise enough. With a tiny flick of the wrist you skip over 4 minutes of material. Of course you can re-adjust the viewer so it shows you a bigger skimmable area but even then it’s hard not to skip over material as the time indicator is so easily moved."


See? interesting isn't it? the skimmer looks sexy, but fascinatingly it turns out to be tricked out bullshit as a tool.


http://bit.ly/jIUH2N

Famous quote from Jimmy Carter:
"Randy Ubillos, you pompous, pompous ass, FCP7 wasn't a multitrack editor, editing is a multitrack operation, editing software is intended to be an expression of that truth."


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:51:33 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "BZZZ - buzzer says wrong Kenny "

Wow, you might be the most obnoxious individual presently posting here, and that's saying something.

[Aindreas Gallagher] "the man's points refer to being able to see the bloody footage at all before he puts it in the timeline. I'll let Frank Leeman take over and clear up your confusion - "

Did you not actually read my response? The bit about setting in/out points from the keyboard? You can do this in the browser. You can turn off skimming and essentially treat the filmstrip displayed in the browser the same as you treated the scrubber at the bottom of FCP 7's viewer window. Use the mouse or JKL to find your first frame. Hit the 'I' key. Find your last frame. Hit the 'O' key. Hit W/D/E to perform an insert/overwrite/append, or drag your selection to the timeline.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:57:35 pm

i was just trying to liven it up a little, sorry if my game show analogy tweaked one's nose. You're right too about the preview methodology. the point you made there makes perfect sense.

I will go now and find something else to beat this software up on. I may return to something I have beaten it up on before, there is always the godawful timeline - I know - you love the timeline, that is fine.

http://bit.ly/jIUH2N


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Craig Seeman
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:58:00 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] ""..the skimming method is not precise enough. With a tiny flick of the wrist you skip over 4 minutes of material. Of course you can re-adjust the viewer so it shows you a bigger skimmable area but even then it’s hard not to skip over material as the time indicator is so easily moved." "

I like the skimmer. It needs some work but I expect that to happen.
In Events Browser List View, a long clip is hard to skim precisely.
In Events Browser Thumbnail view one adjusts the range from All (single thumbnail per file) down to .5 second. This allows for precise skimming. The thumbnails let you know where you need to jump to in the file. When you put the Events Viewer on a second monitor (Window/Show Events on Second Display) It's easy to know where you are. On Single monitor viewing, the Events Viewer can be very cluttered as you have to do some scrolling to get to the right thumbnails to start skimming.

Of course if you've ever tried to search through a long clip in the viewer in a "traditional" NLE, that's not easy either. Having the thumbnails lets me see where I need to go IF it isn't a long talking head piece where all the thumbnails look alike. I don't see how having a Viewer makes that any easier.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:00:45 pm

yeah that all makes total sense, I'm climbing down from throwing bricks at the skimmer.
I do like it in use, its nice to play with, I just have real hesitation thinking about it being used in anger with a total pile of assets.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Craig Seeman
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:36:11 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "I do like it in use, its nice to play with, I just have real hesitation thinking about it being used in anger with a total pile of assets."

The Skimmer is an example of a good idea but somewhat incomplete. There needs to be an easier way to get to that .5 second view then using the mouse to pull that tiny slider. It should also work in list view.
It should be a keyboard command otherwise one should be able to select a range and skim within that.

I like what FCPX does. It very incomplete though. Apple should have had a year long transition so people could continue to add FCS2009 seats while Apple adds features to FCPX.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:49:08 pm

Yeah, I don't know if you read it yet, but I found this article totally fascinating -

http://www.dvcreators.net/what-does-the-guy-who-led-the-original-final-cut-...

Lots interesting reasoned stuff, there he makes the same essential point - if they had simply said FCS3 will be supported with updates and fixes through Lion, but should be considered a mature application that will not alter radically from now on.. And then apple could proudly say - this new app (whatever they choose to call it) represents the future of editing, when it is mature, it will take over from FCS.. That would have forestalled a lot of the firestorm.

But the way they've done this.. Broadcasters, facilities, post houses, they'll none of them forget what apple did here - they'll lable apple as a batshit unreliable software vendor for all time. Apple as a software vendor will have gone on an awful lot of people's shit list.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:55:41 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] " they'll none of them forget what apple did here - they'll lable apple as a batshit unreliable software vendor for all time"

Having seen a lot of these blow-ups over the years, I really doubt it. If FCP X is the best choice in 12 months, very few people are actually going to say "But we can't buy that, because it had a really rocky introduction last year".

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 6:14:27 pm

Hmm, I dunno Chris, it's not about what FCPX might become, it's what apple have done to FCS3.

This is a longish quote from Denis Kutchera below-

Apple has not only set themselves up for the pro market to abandon Final Cut Pro, but also the Mac platform. We set up the post and production for a TV station around Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Server, XServe and Xsan in 2009. It was a nice package from what everyone felt was a reliable source. That facility is no longer scalable. How can they now even simply add one more workstation with Final Cut Studio 3 installed? Can't, because Apple won't sell you the software. And how many other facilities around the world are built like this? Final Cut must have easily 50% of the post market world wide, The broadcast equipment supplier we used built a good piece of their business around this kind of installation. After all that has gone down with Apple, I can see a wholesale shift to Windows PC based solutions because you don't have to base your business on the hardware and software from one company, there always alternatives who can supply what you need when you use Windows.

----

Now it may not work out like that, but it has a rather plausible ring to it. I know myself that one international broadcaster based in London is getting a push from engineering to EOL final cut and switch to premiere in this budget year. That happened in the first 48 hours of FCPXs release. They were like - that software does not fly, we're switching. The editors are pushing back hard.
Engineering, particularly in broadcasting, also quite often prefer PCs because they, or rather the PC only software they can get on them, speaks better to other arcane station assets like K2 servers and the like. Also engineering doesn't care what editing system we might want to use. That's been my experience in the last two broadcasters I worked for. I fought pitched battles both times for Mac hardware. Apple's actions here have given them perfect justification to wash their hands of apple entirely. It was the massive FCP skills base that forced them to start buying apple gear in the first place. I really do think apple have screwed the pooch here.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Kenny
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 6:32:39 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Hmm, I dunno Chris, it's not about what FCPX might become, it's what apple have done to FCS3."

I'm severely skeptical about this notion of vendor mistrust translating into long-term losses. It's very easy to make this kind of point hypothetically, with respect to future decisions. If FCP X is the best option in a year or two, it will be a lot harder to actually reject it because of what Apple did last week to FCS3.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 6:38:53 pm

Mm. Let's see shall we? I know a fair few engineers - they are not, I would wager, going to dig this behaviour by apple, and they have long memories, and one of their key metrics is medium term system stability.

Or actually to put it another way - it's kind of the opposite of what you just said- even if FCPX is killing it in two years, it will be incredibly easy for systems engineering to reject it out of hand citing their experience with FCS3.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Conlee
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:03:27 pm

Yeah, I haven't use the software yet, but coming from Avid and even FCP 7, if you had a long clip in the viewer, it was hard to scan through it also. At least in the skimmer window you have all those thumbnails to help you find your spots. It appears to be a bit of a eyesore, but it seems functional, once you get used to it.

I'll be buying FCP X in a few weeks to mess around with it. It definitely seems like it'll be fun to play with and I'm sure I'll find uses for it.

Chris


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Craig Seeman
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:39:57 pm

[Chris Conlee] "It appears to be a bit of a eyesore, but it seems functional, once you get used to it."

My original reaction to al the thumbnails was the same. I thought, why would anyone use that over file view? It greet for finding your way in long clips though. It's even easier to use if you designate it for a second display. There needs to be an easy way to go from list to thumbnail view and then bring thumbnail view down to .5s. They have the right pieces but they need the connections. A keyboard command maybe? The ability to do that in file view as well?



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cam khoury
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 8:25:57 pm

I'd say that Avid actually had the source viewer issue figured out pretty well years ago. MC allows you to swap the timeline between the source and sequence sides. That allowed you to zoom in as far you liked on a timeline of any clip or sequence while providing a scroll bar at the bottom so you could scroll in bigger chunks - you choose. An added advantage of that methodology was that you could load a sequence into the source monitor and switch views to see what was in that sequence, mark in/out points, and remap layers so you you never had to do a cut and paste to grab pieces from a sequence to insert into another sequence. I never had to unload a sequence to grab footage from anywhere. Much more powerful than anything FC ever did in any iteration. That made it so much easier to build select reels and string-outs, load those sequences in to the source monitor, and scroll through them to view them directly. Amazingly simple and powerful and yet so old. Thank goodness Avid is not so visionary that they would break that feature in the name of progress. There is a reason that so many editors and facilities still love Avid.


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Ted Levy
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:59:24 pm

Amen brother. I've always loved Avid the best for many reasons, and by the looks of things now, probably always will.


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:27:35 am

"Thank You For Smoking"







---

http://www.peterdv.com


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Rahul Duggal
Re: The basic problem with the skimmer: it's shite.
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:16:39 am

Mate, Skimming surely feels like shite in front of a dedicated viewer. I have been getting lots of Random crashes as well. How stable has FCP X been for you ?




[Aindreas Gallagher] "Famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
"Randy Ubillos, you brain damaged dwarf, FCP7 wasn't a multitrack editor, editing is a multitrack operation, editing software is intended to be an expression of that truth.""



If I am not wrong it was not Gandhi who said those famous words but Hitler .

See :





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