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Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?

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Ted Beke
Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:43:04 pm

Although Randy Ubilos has now informed the FCP community that compatibility is not a priority, how would you like legacy FCP projects to translate into FCP X? Since the track has now been tossed out for the story line, how would you imagine the particulars of this transition? Should the V2 track be a series of compound clips connected to the main storyline? Should each v2 track clip be an independent clip attached to the main storyline? I think this is a good opportunity to force some guidance onto Final Cut development staff or whichever 3rd party vendor can get it done first.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:59:32 pm

blech. Its just a mess tho. They never intended for this functionality to be there did they? I almost don't see how they can usefully implement it given the scale of the problem the trackless timeline presents. I mean, maybe they can, but really, they're fixing something they didn't really want to fix, in order to provide compatibility that they don't really care about. None of this is coming from a good place. Could be wrong.. sure lets see I guess.


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


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Ted Beke
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:39:58 pm

I don't know. Part of me thinks the reason they're not fixing it is it takes the mystery out of their magnetic timeline. Its still all linear video and audio layers in particular time sequence. I feel like this could be translated with some work. The video is still basically stacked like any other timeline - its just the audio is kind of all over the place. Which makes sense because audio is just there in space - it doesn't matter what layer its on you're just going to hear it.

I would propose making everything in the v1 & a1,2 timeline the main storyline. Then just connecting clips off of that layer. If there's a transition between some top level b-roll, make that into a second storyline but otherwise just make it a connected clip to the main storyline.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:25:57 pm

yep sure that makes sense, hopefully they read some of this stuff.. let's see what they do I guess.


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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:37:52 pm

[Ted Beke] "I don't know. Part of me thinks the reason they're not fixing it is it takes the mystery out of their magnetic timeline. Its still all linear video and audio layers in particular time sequence. I feel like this could be translated with some work. The video is still basically stacked like any other timeline"

It's not quite that simple. For instance, you can't have transitions between two connected clips on "V2", because those clips don't have absolute positions relative to each other, but only to the primary storyline clips they're attached to. So when importing a multitrack edit, any clips that transitioned into each other would need to be grouped as a compound clip or a secondary storyline.

The problem is FCP X editors will be using those groupings to mean something. That is, in FCP X you don't just say "I want to put a transition between these clips, so I have to put them into a secondary storyline". You say "These clips are like a little logically self-contained sequence, so I'm going to group them into a secondary storyline". Clearly that kind of conceptual grouping would be impossible to do when automatically importing. This is what Ubillos means when he says there's not enough information in an FCP 7 timeline. In FCP 7, tracks are just generic, stacked linear containers; there's no way to tell the software about these kinds of relationships.

The other thing to keep in mind is that with a totally different rendering engine, importing old sequences is never going to be more than approximate. There aren't direct equivalents to some effects, and even where there are, the new versions will often have different parameters or different scales. Text is now presumably being rendered though Cocoa text APIs rather than Carbon text APIs; output won't match at the pixel level. The new engine is color managed, resulting in differences both in display and, possibly, in output. There are a lot of factors like this.

So... Apple could probably implement sort of approximate sequence importing, that produced FCP X sequences that would have to be manually organized before they looked like natively created FCP X sequences. Maybe they will... but they might just think the quality of the results wouldn't be worth the effort.

--
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Herb Sevush
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:48:10 pm

Exact video and audio placement in the timeline (or project) would be sufficient, even if the transitions, EFX, and titles aren't perfect. Let the editor worry about the relationships and what they mean.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Ted Beke
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:48:48 pm

Thanks Chris, this is the type of discussion I was hoping to have on this forum. In the eduction I noticed the whole transition dilema between compound and connected clips. Maybe doing a storyline per video track is the answer, or only making a track a storyline if it has transitions within it, versus making it a compound or connected clip. It seems like apple could give us some version of a fix, so we don't have to rebuild out sequences from scratch if we want to edit with them on the new system. Again, I re-iterate that I would rather have in imperfect system than no system. These problems seem fairly solve-able.

Ted Beke
Producer/Editor/Founder
Precious Ham Productions


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Craig Seeman
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:38:49 pm

Simple to say but maybe hard to program . . .
On import the user has the option to make the additional Video Tracks Connected Clips or Secondary Story lines. The additional audio would have to be Connected Clips.
Nests would come in as Compound Clips.

Apparently this is very hard to program or Randy wouldn't have said what he said.

Part of the issue may be although that superficially the new Storyline structure works like a sequence, it's "guided" by the rules of AV Foundation so the underpinnings are probably very difficult to translate. In other words a Storyline programmatically is nothing at all like a sequence.



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Ted Beke
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:44:15 pm

Very true. I wish I knew more about the programming side. However, I really feel at this point users would appreciate a bad transition rather than no transition at all.

Ted Beke
Producer/Editor/Founder
Precious Ham Productions


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Craig Seeman
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:07:39 pm

Even if it blew off all filters and transitions, that would be something.
If they had to blow off nests at least one could go into FCP7 and "unnest" those.

They'd probably have to blow off all Motion and Sound Track Pro project links as well as the old LiveType for those who used those as well.

From what little I know of AV Foundation, the whole nature of clips following clips means something very different than a sequence as we know it.

I can imagine they did look at all this and saw a major programming effort for what would be at best a poor import feature and the effort would have basically stalled work on other aspects of the program. Think of something that might delay FCPX 6 months and still the feature would be poor and poorly received. I suspect that lowered the priority considerably if they wanted to get FCPX out the door.

Given the implementation work and the associated costs they may well have decided, allow a third party to do that who can charge for the development time as a separate product. Of course if Apple did this, people would be screaming about the 99$ (or whatever) cost for this function that should be included free.



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Chad Haberstroh
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:57:53 pm

According to this report, the code is already written into X, it just needs to be enabled. There's a link in the story to another story claiming they were able to open an Import window, but that's about it (it's written in Spanish so I'm only assuming that's what it says).


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Ted Beke
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:12:04 pm

Wow, thanks Chad. That is a really interesting article. I guess they couldn't get it perfect so they abandoned the effort to work on other features. I still think that although they changed a lot of the names and places of features - a lot of things are essentially the same. They just need to get over themselves and stop calling a bow tie a neck decoration and just figure out how to tie the damn thing.


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J Hussar
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:23:42 pm

I want tracks back. I need to control the whole she-bang. I don't want the app assisting me in this.

It's like having an A.D.D. assistant who just graduated from film school hovering over me trying to tell me what to do. Irritating, distracting and useless.

Just have 2 modes, one with multiple tracks, V & A, linear and laid out - and the other nonsense for those who like it.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 6:24:54 pm

[J Hussar] "I want tracks back. I need to control the whole she-bang. I don't want the app assisting me in this."

You have connected clips and can group them as Secondary Storylines as needed. You have complete control over this. You can layer all you want and, in fact, you know have more control over the relationship IMHO with Connected Clips or Secondary Storylines. Compound clips also are a major improvement over nesting in many respects.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 7:24:10 pm

i still just want tracks. I don't care if I'm thick and I don't get it. I want assignable mappable tracks that i can mute, disable, set as paste destinations. everything. oh look, honestly, I want the viewer too. I'm not on board the future land glow in the dark GUI editing choo choo.
ecchhhhhhh. oy vey. I'm nearly listless at this point. I think I'm at stage five.


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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 7:57:40 pm

Maybe it's time for you to move to another NLE.

Apple is probably taking advantage of things in AV Foundation to create a more flexible method of story telling. Assuming FCPX survives Apple's marketing mistakes, I think many editors will see the advantage.

I remember a time when some editors couldn't fathom digitizing tapes would be faster and more convenient then simply threading a 1" real or, even easier, a Betacam tape in a machine and start editing.

I really think FCPX's trackless system will make in app compositing and layered editing much easier.

I'm thinking of all those editors that dump their cutaways on upper tracks and having to be careful about moving things around. Now it's connected with Connected Clips. Cutways stay related to the master shot now.

If you need to build a track as a layer with transitions and FX, Secondary Storylines lines do that and they don't make it an either/or for the Connection depending on how used. I divorce myself from habits and conventions and examine workflows and a well thought out trackless system is going to be a much better, flexible and faster workflow by miles . . . or parsecs.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Survey: How would you want FCP X and FCP 7 compatibility to work?
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:38:49 pm

"Maybe it's time for you to move to another NLE."

Maybe it is. Most of my work is multi-cam episodic broadcast. I don't do a lot of layering and compositing in FCP. I always thought that was what Motion (or AE) was for.

Where once you had a product that could handle multiple styles of work, and therefore was fairly complex and even cludgy, you now have what might be a very elegant solution to a much more limited number of workflows. And that was what the Pro is FCP was all about, a very customizable program that enabled you to find the best way to create whatever workflow you needed.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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