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Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?

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Steve Connor
Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 1:27:04 pm

I imagine that Adobe are looking hard at FCPX to see how they can try and match some of the features that it has. With the new search function they are improving metadata handling, Dennis hinted below they are looking at the audio handling, but could they (or should they) implement magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 1:58:19 pm

[Steve Connor] "could they (or should they) implement magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?"

Or could they actually even leapfrog Apple and come up with an even more interesting approach to the timeline?

Given the mind-boggling R&D creativity and talent at Adobe, I wouldn't put it past them!

Dennis?

:-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:01:37 pm

The magnetic features in a simplified manner already exist in various NLEs, including FCP 7 and MC. The more complex features, like moving things with connected clips also exist as part of trimming modes. However there, it's the simpler moving left or right on the timeline as you trim. None pf these are quite as elegant as how Apple does it, but sometimes the results are more predictable. By that I mean that vertical order is maintained, which something isn't the case with FCP X.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
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Dennis Radeke
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 3:50:32 pm

Sorry guys, we don't (and I can't) comment on what we are working on. Any inferences you might make are entirely your own.

Thanks,
Dennis - Suddenly corporate Adobe sounding guy! ;-)


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:30:41 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "Sorry guys, we don't (and I can't) comment on what we are working on. Any inferences you might make are entirely your own.

Thanks,
Dennis - Suddenly corporate Adobe sounding guy! ;-)"


There you go! I'm pretty sure that's Radeke-speak for "Watch this space, and prepare to have your mind blown"!

;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:43:05 pm

If I had to put my money somewhere it'd be betting on Adobe copying the rigging and publishing of Motion in AE. They need a reason to get people out of CS6 land. Most online templates for AE are CS4 or CS5 compatible.


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Bret Williams
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:38:48 pm

Not unless people make enough feature requests first. :)


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 4:48:02 pm

[Steve Connor] "I imagine that Adobe are looking hard at FCPX to see how they can try and match some of the features that it has. With the new search function they are improving metadata handling, Dennis hinted below they are looking at the audio handling, but could they (or should they) implement magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?"

The features of the magnetic timeline that people like (object grouping, synced ripple, and collision avoidance) can absolutely be implemented in a tracked timeline. As Oliver points out, other NLEs have some forms of this already but none of them take the idea as far as FCPX so far. I think there's opportunity for tremendous UI innovation in tracked timelines borrowing from the best features of all the NLEs. I can certainly think of a few! ;)

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John Rofrano
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:32:29 pm

Sony Vegas Pro already has this capability and it's implementation pales in comparison to Apple's magnetic timeline because at the core of the problem are the tracks themselves!

Scenario:
Let's say you have two tracks and two primary clips with two connected clips. Now you need swap the order of the primary clips but it causes the connected clips to overlap in length. What do you do?

Trackless Magnetic Timeline:
What does FCP X do? It happily stacks the clips 3 high, 4 high etc, as needed. No problem.

Track Based Timeline:
What would a track based NLE do? It only has two tracks! Should it create a 3rd track automatically? How would you feed about new tracks suddenly popping up? Over time would you wind up with 10 tracks, 9 of which only have one clip on them?

The problem is the tracks. Get rid of the tracks... get rid of the problem.

That's one of the reason's I use FCP X. No stink'n tracks. Liberating! ;-)

~jr

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http://www.vasst.com



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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:55:30 pm

[John Rofrano] "The problem is the tracks. Get rid of the tracks... get rid of the problem. "

I can imagine scenarios with trackless space that can open and close between tracks... layering scenarios ala Fairlight. Lots of possibilities that improve on FCPX.

The problem isn't tracks, it's limited imagination. ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:06:03 pm

[David Lawrence] "The problem isn't tracks, it's limited imagination. ;)"

To me, the lack of tracks is hardly the most unique feature of the FCP X timeline/media representation. People who think that's the big difference between X and MC/Pr etc aren't using their imagination. ;-)

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John Rofrano
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:17:54 pm

[Charlie Austin] "To me, the lack of tracks is hardly the most unique feature of the FCP X timeline/media representation."
Agreed but it's the one that people have the hardest time wrapping their head around. Same thing with node based editing. You have to be willing to change your mind-set and be open to new workflows in order to experience new benefits.

~jr

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:02:23 pm

[John Rofrano] "What would a track based NLE do? It only has two tracks! Should it create a 3rd track automatically? How would you feed about new tracks suddenly popping up? Over time would you wind up with 10 tracks, 9 of which only have one clip on them?"

PPro and FCP Legend already add tracks automatically if need be (I'm not sure if Avid, Resolve or Lightworks do or not). If you select a clip (or group of clips) and move them vertically into a spot where there are no tracks then the NLE will automatically create new tracks for the clips to inhabit.

If someone prefers tracks I assume it's because they like to use tracks as an organization tool so having 'orphan' clips hanging out willy-nilly on various tracks is a non-issue. Deleting unused tracks is a trivial task as well since there is typically a "delete empty tracks" option though one might choose to keep some empty tracks around since they will probably end up being created anyway.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:51:42 pm

[David Lawrence] "layering scenarios ala Fairlight. Lots of possibilities that improve on FCPX.
"


I wonder if Apple is giving any thought to possibilities that improve on FCP X... Nah, that would be silly right? ;-)

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

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


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David Mathis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:00:28 pm

[John Rofrano] "The problem is the tracks. Get rid of the tracks... get rid of the problem.

That's one of the reason's I use FCP X. No stink'n tracks. Liberating! ;-)"


I agree though for personal preferences I prefer audio tracks, not sure why.

I just thought of a new signature thinking about that super duper awesome magnetic timeline: The magnetic timeline it's magnet-o-matic!


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 6:00:39 pm

[John Rofrano] "The problem is the tracks. Get rid of the tracks... get rid of the problem. "

Yep. Look, I'm sure Adobe or Avid could rewrite their NLE's to function in a trackless manner. They obviously have very talented people working on these apps. But they won't. Look what happened when Apple did it. It took 3 or 4 years to get to a point where their new NLE was seen as actually useable for "pro's". Some of that was perception but honestly, for the first year or so it really wasn't useable at the "high end".

For Apple, no biggie, eat the losses and press on. Kill the old version (though it still works) and force users to make a choice, even if that choice is another NLE. For other companies? I don't see how they could do that and stay viable. Especially Avid. And I don't think they really feel a need. Some people like their tracks and patching and mixers and panels and bins.

And finally, a lot of FCP X functionality is due to frameworks etc in the OS. Like, a huge chunk of it. How's that gonna work for a cross-platform application? It won't.

So I'm sure we'll see all vendors "borrow" ideas from each other. BMD has "borrowed" more from X than anyone else, but it's still essentially the same as any tracked NLE. Just prettier. :-) FCP X is 4 years into an admitted 10 year dev plan. I don't think we've seen anything yet.

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

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


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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 7:52:14 pm

[David Lawrence] "The features of the magnetic timeline that people like (object grouping, synced ripple, and collision avoidance) can absolutely be implemented in a tracked timeline. As Oliver points out, other NLEs have some forms of this already but none of them take the idea as far as FCPX so far. I think there's opportunity for tremendous UI innovation in tracked timelines borrowing from the best features of all the NLEs. I can certainly think of a few! ;)"

And of course, the coolest thing is that this time - nobody will spend two years telling everyone who speaks up for magnetic editing that they're idiots and don't understand editing and that they should take their toy software that "forces you to work a stupid way you don't want to - DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!

Won't that be nice for the other NLEs who might adopt or adapt the concept?

(grin)

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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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:19:43 pm

[Steve Connor] "I imagine that Adobe are looking hard at FCPX to see how they can try and match some of the features that it has."

A bunch of those features are patented, so it's not likely anyone will be able to do the exact same things. I'm sure we'll see more stuff like Skimming vs. Hover Scrub, Clever Bins vs Smart Collections etc... There's a whole lot more going on in the X UI than just clips moving out of each others way though.

http://alex4d.com/notes/item/apple-magnetic-timeline-fcpx-patent

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

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


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David Mathis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:10:18 pm

I really love seeing how X has progressed over the years. Of course there is "It is still a toy" and "Not for professional use" mentality still going around. Go figure.

Getting used to the magnetic timeline is not a big chore as some might think. I mean, nothing like cleaning out a dirty commode or mucking a horse stall. Yuck!

I see great things down the road, just waiting for the next update. One that will hopefully bring back Bruce and brew a nice cup of java.

The magnetic timeline, it's magnetic-o-matic!


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TImothy Auld
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:29:07 pm

Most NLE's exist today are based on film workflows. When the memory of film workflows finally goes away then FCPX and others that will surely follow will rule the day. Organization is the key. That, and being able to easily provide deliverables, will rule the day and the future.

Tim


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Darren Roark
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:30:05 pm

I asked a couple people on the FCP X team at NAB last year if Apple patented the magnetic timeline, the answer was yes. If anyone wants to borrow ideas from it, they would have to be different enough.

http://alex4d.com/notes/item/apple-magnetic-timeline-fcpx-patent


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TImothy Auld
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 12:45:03 am

Apple files for copyright when a receptionist sneezes.

Tim


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Darren Roark
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 1:10:15 am

[TImothy Auld] "Apple files for copyright when a receptionist sneezes."

It's true, they already have a patent on something called 'iSneezeā„¢'.

The magsafe connector hasn't been copied except for on the Microsoft Surface tablet, and they're both magnetic... See? ;)


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:42:18 am

[Darren Roark] "I asked a couple people on the FCP X team at NAB last year if Apple patented the magnetic timeline, the answer was yes. If anyone wants to borrow ideas from it, they would have to be different enough. "

Not a problem, as far as I can see. Any meaningful improvement would have to be significantly different. And Apple has certainly left plenty of room for improvement! ;)

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Darren Roark
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 3:44:55 am

[David Lawrence] "Not a problem, as far as I can see. Any meaningful improvement would have to be significantly different. And Apple has certainly left plenty of room for improvement! ;)"

It's actually my favorite part of working with FCP X since getting used to it especially on larger projects.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 5:03:49 am

[Darren Roark] "It's actually my favorite part of working with FCP X since getting used to it especially on larger projects."

Me too. And once you get used to it, it's kind of annoying when you don't have it. For some silly reason, I'm often working on different spots for the same job in FCP X and Pr simultaneously. I'm the kind of nerd that likes to (has to) know the apps I'm in upside-down and backwards, so I'm proficient in either one. Guess which one I swear at the most? Hint: it's the one with the most trimming tools and modes...

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

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:04:34 am

[David Lawrence]"Apple has certainly left plenty of room for improvement! ;)"

+1 . If Adobe want to hire you or me as a consultant I reckon we could come up with a collision proof power system with tracks & bus based processing that would knock editors socks off. X is still a long way from getting the concept right.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:12:54 am

[Michael Gissing] "we could come up with a collision proof power system with tracks & bus based processing that would knock editors socks off. X is still a long way from getting the concept right."

If all you see as unique about the FCP X timeline is that it has no tracks and things don't bump into each other I would suggest you're kind of missing some things. I do, however, agree that some sort of Roles based bussing/mixing functionality would be welcome. At the very least the ability to throw some signal processing plugins onto an Audio Role would be quite useful.

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

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


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:29:30 am

[Charlie Austin] "If all you see as unique about the FCP X timeline is that it has no tracks and things don't bump into each other I would suggest you're kind of missing some things."

Please say more about what you see, Charlie. I'm curious.

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:56:38 am

I'm on a phone now, so forgive the vagueness... It's the way clips are handled/represented that I've been messing with lately... Kinda crazy what you can do really. They're like Russian dolls. Containers within containers. I suppose all media can be viewed as such in any NLE, but in x you can open up the containers in the UI and do some very interesting stuff. I think that's a much bigger deal than people may be are aware of. Of course, I could be totally wrong :-)

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

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


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:27:33 am

[Michael Gissing] "+1 . If Adobe want to hire you or me as a consultant I reckon we could come up with a collision proof power system with tracks & bus based processing that would knock editors socks off. X is still a long way from getting the concept right."

Absolutely! :)

I'd love to work with Al Mooney's UI team. So much opportunity and possibility.

I'd love to work with Apple to fix the magnetic timeline too. And no, by fix I don't mean add tracks. Make it better within it's existing model. Totally doable.

They know how to get ahold of us! ;)

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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 1, 2015 at 11:04:29 pm

[David Lawrence] "fix the magnetic timeline "

Genuinely curious: what is it that is wrong with X's magnetic timeline, and what would you do to fix it?


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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 12:15:05 am

Getting rid of tracks may have solved collisions or patching and Roles makes it possible to effectively bus signals by definable type but the lack of tracks removes an important level of audio signal processing and manipulation.

Audio manipulation of levels & EQ & plugins can happen at the clip, track, bus and master bus level. In X then beyond clip level manipulation and in the absence of a track based audio manipulation then Roles needs to allow for audio manipulation with dynamics levels, EQ, aux sends and plugins. Things like reverb are added at a track based aux send level, not clip based as a series of edited clips may need reverb that blends and extends beyond a clip based plugin.

So if X could have a system of sub roles and master roles all of that could be solved. All of it needs to be simple to initially implement and easy to change. But roles needs to have a system of inserting plugins, dynamic automatable levels and EQ and somewhere also a system of being able to handle aux sends and returns before it is anything other than an offline audio system that is clunky to export to a DAW.

Clip based audio manipulation only is unable to match the speed and power of a track bus based editing & mixing system.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 12:41:39 am

Michael-

I completely agree with the need for proper audio bussing. Until recently, this ability has been missing from all NLEs. Avid implemented a form of bussing a couple of versions ago. Am I correct that Premiere has a similar feature? (Don't really know Premiere.) X is overdue for this feature.

As far as the general discussion, I would quibble with describing the lack of this feature as evidence that the magnetic timeline is "broken." Just as Avid wasn't "broken" before, X's magnetic timeline can be improved upon. Improving is different from fixing.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 12:51:04 am

Jeff,

I am not saying anything is broken, just agreeing with David L that there is room for improvement. Pr has clip, track and bus with automatable levels and ability to insert plugins. So it is better but the patching & collision/overwrite avoidance is messy.

To my mind and a consistent thing I have said from day one about X is that without tracks for organisation and manipulation there needs to be another way to take advantage of what has always been good about the magnetic timeline in avoiding the time consuming task of patching & collision/ overwrite. But both it and a track based approach can be vastly improved in ways that DAWs like Fairlight have been doing for years. I can imagine a system that can be optimized for editing but without throwing away the power of organizing and manipulating the audio chain.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 2:08:31 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "Am I correct that Premiere has a similar feature? (Don't really know Premiere.) X is overdue for this feature."

Premiere enables mixing on clips, tracks, submix tracks and a master bus. Effects can be added to any of the tracks. You can also "send to" Audition for both clip repair/processing and full multi-track mixes. Premiere also includes built-in EBU/CALM compliant loudness metering.

- Oliver

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


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Mike Jackson
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:24:22 pm

I just want to add that when moving clips around the timeline in Premiere, holding down shift lets you slide the audio up and down between different tracks, without changing what track your video is on. Instantly solves the clip-collision issue in probably 75% of cases.



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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:40:33 pm

[Mike Jackson] "in Premiere, holding down shift lets you slide the audio up and down between different tracks, without changing what track your video is on."

Similr in FCP 7. All due respect, it doesn't solve the clip collision thing at all. In fact I'm in Pr now, swearing at it. I swear at FCP 7 as well. To be fair, I swear at FCP X too, but not nearly as much, and for different reasons. :-)

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

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:41:42 pm

Charlie Austin, NLE slave driver. ;)


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 12:06:09 am

[Andrew Kimery] "Charlie Austin, NLE slave driver. ;)"

phhtt... hardly, these damn things drive me. lol

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

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 2:50:56 am

In addition to what MG says, roles needs some sort of color coding so that elements can be monitored at a glance across a timeline. Timelines are maps, and I should be able to see at a glance where my VO is, my SFX are, and where DIA/SOT lives. In a track environment, all VO runs across a certain line, which is how I know immediately what is VO and what isn't. If I can make all VO green, and all SFX orange, then I need tracks quite a bit less than I do now.


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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 2:57:58 am

[Chris Harlan] "In a track environment, all VO runs across a certain line, which is how I know immediately what is VO and what isn't. If I can make all VO green, and all SFX orange, then I need tracks quite a bit less than I do now.
"


Chris,

It's in the program design right now in the way you can select any role in the timeline index and all the clips associated with a role will highlight. Basically, it would just be giving the user the ability to make the highlight persistent and assign various colors to various roles.

Not there now, but it's been on Richard Taylors master list of FCP X feature requests for quite a while - and I know the X team is aware of that. So who knows?

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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Chris Harlan
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:06:37 am

[Bill Davis] "Not there now, but it's been on Richard Taylors master list of FCP X feature requests for quite a while - and I know the X team is aware of that."

That'd be swell. Make a big difference for me.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 4:02:45 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "Genuinely curious: what is it that is wrong with X's magnetic timeline, and what would you do to fix it?"

As Michael points out, tracks have many benefits in bus-based audio routing and mixing. A role-based mixer would be a big improvement. As Chris points out, color coding and some kind of better control over clip layer order would help with organization.

But none of these things solve what I believe is a more fundamental problem with the magnetic timeline's current design.

The problem is with temporal frame-of-reference.

In a traditional, track-based, open timeline, the temporal frame-of-reference is absolute and defined outside the media clips by the UI window.

In the magnetic timeline, the temporal frame-of-reference is relative and constantly shifting because it's defined by the primary storyline inside the project.

The benefit of this is it makes re-arranging sections of the primary storyline very simple and for A/B style cutting it's very fast.

But as soon as you need an absolute, external time reference, the model falls apart, requiring workarounds to do things you get automatically with tracks.

A lot of people misunderstand the history and reason for tracks in NLEs. Tracks are not simply modeling the physical attributes of physical media such as tape or film. Virtual tracks in a UI are actually parallel, temporally synchronous, channels of A/V media. Instead of tracks, think channels or streams.

For example, I work on multi-channel video art installations. There's no primary view. There are multiple channels or streams, all playing within an external temporal framework.

The magnetic timeline doesn't make any sense in this scenario.

[David Mathis] "I agree though for personal preferences I prefer audio tracks, not sure why."

Again, I think it's because when working with audio, (especially music) absolute time and an external frame of reference is essential. If trackless is better, why haven't we seen a trackless DAW yet?

We had some great discussions about this stuff a couple years ago when FCPX first launched. If you want to go down the rabbit hole, check out these links:

The Magnetic Timeline -- Thoughts on Apple's New Paradigm

NLEs, DAWs, Tracks and Audio-centric Workflows -- Continuing the Conversati...

The Open Timeline and Spatial Workflows -- An Example

As far as the fix, it's actually pretty simple conceptually. I've written about it here before:

The big innovation of the magnetic timeline is that instead of existing in absolute time, it's based on hierarchical, parent/child relationships between clips. I think the UI designers got the top of the hierarchy wrong. There needs to be an option to make the sequence (project) the top parent, rather then it always being the primary storyline.

I propose a simple and advanced way of of using FCPX. In simple mode, it behaves exactly as it does now. In advanced mode, it allows multiple primaries in a temporally absolute window. Secondaries are unnecessary, all storylines are primary and stay synced to absolute time. There are implementation details but I'm confident it would work and would be the best of both worlds.

Apple has my number if they want to talk ;)

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:20:41 am

[David Lawrence] "I propose a simple and advanced way of of using FCPX. In simple mode, it behaves exactly as it does now. In advanced mode, it allows multiple primaries in a temporally absolute window. Secondaries are unnecessary, all storylines are primary and stay synced to absolute time. There are implementation details but I'm confident it would work and would be the best of both worlds."

A simple and advanced UI/layout (kinda like what DVD SP has/had) is something I would like too but I doubt it will happen. I just finished the Jobs' biography and Steve's vision that he was creating perfect pieces of technological art (well, as perfect as tech, time and budgets allowed) was a fundamental part of his process (going all the way back to the first Apple computer). He didn't want users to f-up his vision of how the product should look and act.

What's interesting about that mindset is that these days (especially with the youngsters) there is a big remix culture and artists will release work with the intent of their fans reworking it and creating something new from it. The final work from the artist is just the beginning. I remember a number of years ago Trent Reznor released some NIN songs as Garage Band projects (for lack of a better term) so the fans could see how the songs were built and remix them.


With X Apple has come up with a different philosophy of how NLE's should flow and I wonder if trying to add too many track-like functions will just result in something muddled. Same thing goes for Avid, PPro etc. if they try to mimic some of the 'good' parts of the magnetic timeline that users might want. It kinda reminds me of the call for PIOP in X or more open file linking in Avid (AMA). The results of the requests didn't exactly turn out as planned because the NLEs weren't built with features like that in mind. Yes, products need to improve but at some point the devs have to draw a line in the sand and not try to bolt on features that won't work well given the underlying philosophy/foundation of their software (even if the some users are asking for them). All software has pros and cons and it's up to the end user to figure out which software has the most pros for their needs/wants and go that direction. I'd rather have distinct products from Apple, Avid, Adobe, Blackmagic, etc., rather than all of them try to created muddled clones of each other.


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tony west
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:05:17 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I'd rather have distinct products from Apple, Avid, Adobe, Blackmagic, etc., rather than all of them try to created muddled clones of each other."

Indeed

The worst thing you can do is mess up what you got chasing after somebody that doesn't want you anyway.


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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:09:48 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:11:19 pm

"The worst thing you can do is mess up what you got chasing after somebody that doesn't want you anyway."

True dat.

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:20:50 am

[Andrew Kimery] " Yes, products need to improve but at some point the devs have to draw a line in the sand and not try to bolt on features that won't work well given the underlying philosophy/foundation of their software (even if the some users are asking for them)"

I think you're absolutely correct. I'll go out on a short limb and say that X will never have "tracks" as we're discussing them here. I'd be surprised if some sort of Role based mix/bus/organization functions don't appear, but X isn't gonna become a DAW anymore than Fairlight is gonna become an NLE. It's not in the DNA of the app.

And the whole "no tracks no temporal anchor" argument is sort of fallacious. I get it, but the timecode at the top of the project window is the temporal reference, just like any other NLE/DAW on the planet. And you don't need "workarounds" to keep stuff locked to specific time, you just use the app the way it works.

There's a lot of things in X that need improvement, but I don't think complicating it needlessly with different modes or whatever is one of them.

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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:28:05 am

[Charlie Austin] "but X isn't gonna become a DAW anymore than Fairlight is gonna become an NLE.."

Just for the record, Fairlight can edit video. Only one track but you can layer and dissolve or fade. It will even output the edit as an AAF or EDL amongst other formats. But it is basic editing of video to help with reversioning or being sent VFX inserts. It can probably handle more codecs than Legend too and is now 4k.

I get that X isn't a DAW but it does need improvements for audio mixing and also making better sense of Roles outputs via xml to AAF or whatever as the destination for audio in a collaborative workflow is a track based DAW.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:24:36 am

[Michael Gissing] "Just for the record, Fairlight can edit video. Only one track but you can layer and dissolve or fade. It will even output the edit as an AAF or EDL amongst other formats."

Exactly.., but what it is, is a DAW/Mixing Desk, and that's what it does amazingly well. I don't see them adding a whole lot of video editing functionality though. Being able to do basic video cuts in a DAW was something much loved about Avid AudioVision, before they bought Digidesign and killed it for what was perceived at the time to be an inferior product, ProTools. :-)

[Michael Gissing] "I get that X isn't a DAW but it does need improvements for audio mixing and also making better sense of Roles outputs via xml to AAF or whatever as the destination for audio in a collaborative workflow is a track based DAW."

I agree that it needs improvements. FWIW, X2Pro works ridiculously well with Roles. In my experience, mixers love the sessions it spits out. Tracks all organized and named with the push of a button. Apple should just buy it and build it in, but Marquis makes updates faster. ;-)

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:56:05 am

[Charlie Austin] "And the whole "no tracks no temporal anchor" argument is sort of fallacious. I get it, but the timecode at the top of the project window is the temporal reference, just like any other NLE/DAW on the planet. And you don't need "workarounds" to keep stuff locked to specific time, you just use the app the way it works. "

You mean like filling the primary with a big long gap and then doing all your edits with connected clips? ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:31:51 am
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:35:43 am

[David Lawrence] "You mean like filling the primary with a big long gap and then doing all your edits with connected clips? ;)"

Nope. :-) I guess I just don't have any problem keeping things to time, picture, music edits, whatever. It's not an issue. When you're doing the multi stream stuff, what is it that drives the timing? Sequence timecode? Music? One of the streams? I understand your complaint, but it seems to me to be totally do-able without any weird workarounds...

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

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~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 6:53:38 am

[Andrew Kimery] "With X Apple has come up with a different philosophy of how NLE's should flow and I wonder if trying to add too many track-like functions will just result in something muddled. "

I'm not suggesting that they need to add "track-like" functions per se. They just need to go further with what they're already doing and create a more flexible, more consistent object hierarchy.

An advanced mode with multiple primaries and absolute time reference would make the program much more flexible. I'm sure it could be implemented in a way that would make everyone happy. There's a ton of room for improvement inside the existing model.

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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 5:03:39 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "It kinda reminds me of the call for PIOP in X or more open file linking in Avid (AMA). The results of the requests didn't exactly turn out as planned because the NLEs weren't built with features like that in mind. Yes, products need to improve but at some point the devs have to draw a line in the sand and not try to bolt on features that won't work well given the underlying philosophy/foundation of their software (even if the some users are asking for them)."

Yes.

Exactly.

Well said Andrew.

The urge in some to try to make X "more comfortable" by bringing back what they believed would be solid improvements - yet turned out to be less than that - was very strong in the first couple of years of FCP X development.. Now that the dust has settled a lot, I see fewer and fewer requests from X editors to fundamentally change overall operations - but rather requests to refine and improve what's already there. There are notable exceptions and some of them interesting and very well reasoned, but the "Apple got this totally wrong" crowd has pretty much been silenced among those who keep up with the development. It's a pretty big shift, IMO.

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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 7:58:21 pm

David -

So far, your post is the only one I see addressing not "improvements" to the X approach, but the idea that the concept is fundamentally "broken" and in need of fixing. Interesting, though I don't think I agree.

Here's the biggest point of disagreement for me:

[David Lawrence] "In a traditional, track-based, open timeline, the temporal frame-of-reference is absolute and defined outside the media clips by the UI window.
In the magnetic timeline, the temporal frame-of-reference is relative and constantly shifting because it's defined by the primary storyline inside the project."


I don't see a difference in the "absolute" time reference. The timecode (or frame count) of the sequence timeline in X is the reference. Just as in Avid or others. A clip exists at a particular linear time. The fact that a clip may be connected to another clip doesn't change anything about its absolute position on the timeline - until you move it. Just like in Avid.

The marketing description "magnetic timeline" is just that - marketing. Personally, I think it's silly. Unless one considers the magnetic property of repulsion. That's what's different.

"Magnetic" as a description for rippling is useless. Any NLE can ripple edits. "Magnetic" as a description for snapping to an adjacent clip is equally useless. Any NLE can snap. "Magnetic" as a description of clips automatically moving out of the way when rippling is useful. No other NLE does that. It's a manual process with the others.

But a clip moving up or down to make room for another clip doesn't affect it's linear position in time.

Connecting a clip to another clip so that they move together isn't magnetic. It's just a kind of grouping, a more sophisticated and granular version of locking tracks. It minimizes the need to lasso a group to move it as a unit. It's the magnetic repulsion of the clips in the vertical axis that makes X different.

Yes, the constantly (and sometimes unpredictable) changing of vertical position can be disconcerting. As others have discussed, some method for vertically locking a clip in place may be useful. Another useful tool would be the ability to connect a clip (especially audio) to the sequence time code, rather than to a primary clip or gap. But, again, I consider these improvements in the execution, rather than fixing something that is fundamentally broken.

[David Lawrence] "why haven't we seen a trackless DAW yet?"

I think we sort of have. Doesn't Fairlight allow multiple clips on the same "track," layered on top of one another? A bit like the audition process in X?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:11:52 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "I don't see a difference in the "absolute" time reference. The timecode (or frame count) of the sequence timeline in X is the reference. Just as in Avid or others. A clip exists at a particular linear time. The fact that a clip may be connected to another clip doesn't change anything about its absolute position on the timeline - until you move it. Just like in Avid."

Jeff, I'm curious what you think of my reasoning from a few years ago:
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/41111#41309

Specifically:

[Walter Soyka] "... in a traditional timeline, you reposition clips in time directly. A timeline clip object's temporal position is an inherent property. In FCPX, you reposition clips in time indirectly, because a clip's position in time is a function of its relationship to its parent clips."

I should also add "antecedent clips" to cover previous primary clips.

Walter Soyka
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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 11:13:31 pm

Walter -

In short, I don't agree with the reasoning.

From your previous thread:
In FCPX, the primary storyline itself is the clock that drives secondary storylines and clips. As Jeremy G said [link]: "The primary is time. Control the primary, you control time."

Here's where the fundamental disagreement begins.

X has a linear time clock, as does every other editor: the sequence time. Whether it starts at 00:00 or 1:00:00 or whatever, it goes forward. Period. Any clip on the primary by necessity starts at xx:xx and ends at xx:xx. Until you move it, whether by rippling the edit or positioning the clip with the P tool. Same as Avid or anyone else.

A connected clip also exists at an absolute time. The fact that it is "connected" means nothing in terms of where the clip lives on the linear timeline. Until you move it.

Many people edit by placing their "A-roll" on video layer 1, and put "B-roll" on video layer 2 or 3 or different clips on different layers, all above the A-roll on track 1. Some leave the clips in that arrangement. (Others (especially those of us who come from linear online) consider that sloppy and bring the clips into track 1 at some point to finalize the edit.)

If I decide to move a block of clips (call it a scene) to a new location, I manually select the clips on video 1, as well as any b-roll clips on video 2,3,4, etc., and move them as a unit to the new location. For the purpose of moving the block, the b-roll clips on 2,3,4, etc. have a time relationship that is tied to the A-roll on video 1. They are "connected" to the a-roll by design, inasmuch as I have selected all of them. Once the block is in its new location, all clips have new absolute relationships to the absolute time of the sequence.

Same thing in X. It's just that the b-roll clips are connected clips, linked by default to the a-roll (primary). I simply don't have to select all clips to move the block - just the primary. The connection is only relevant for the purposes of moving the block. Once in its new location, all clips once again have that absolute time relative to the sequence timeline.

At no time am I required to connect a clip. I can happily cut only in the primary, as long as I separate my audio from the primary. But that process seems unnecessarily restrictive.


a clip's position in time is a function of its relationship to its parent clips.

Again, only for the purpose of moving the block of clips described by being connected to the primary.

One can like or dislike this default behavior. One can like or dislike the default behavior of clips moving vertically to overlap rather than overwriting or blocking. But except during the process of moving a block of clips, the clips have an absolute relationship to the timeline, whether connected or primary. Just like any other NLE.

That's my thinking on this.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:29:42 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "X has a linear time clock, as does every other editor: the sequence time. Whether it starts at 00:00 or 1:00:00 or whatever, it goes forward. Period. Any clip on the primary by necessity starts at xx:xx and ends at xx:xx. Until you move it, whether by rippling the edit or positioning the clip with the P tool. Same as Avid or anyone else. A connected clip also exists at an absolute time. The fact that it is "connected" means nothing in terms of where the clip lives on the linear timeline. Until you move it."

Jeff, I don't really disagree with any of this, except the "until you move it" part. More on that in a minute.

I'm not arguing that absolute time doesn't exist with FCPX, just that it's only indirectly accessed. I'm not aruging that there are cuts you can make on an open timeline that you cannot somehow make on an FCPX project, but rather that the data model and toolset change the way you do this. It's a subtle difference.

In FCP7, a clip's properties include duration and timeline in point as properties. In FCPX, a clip's properties include duration, but exclude timeline in point.

In FCP7, if you want to start a 60-frame clip at frame 30, you just put it there. To anthropomorphize, the clip says "I start at frame 30 on the timeline, and I am 60 frames long."

In FCPX, clips in the primary are an ordered list. The second clip comes immediately after the first clip (or gap). That clip doesn't start at, say, frame 30 in the project because it has a timeline in point there. It starts at frame 30 because the first clip starts at frame 0 and has a duration of 30 frames. There are no explicit timeline in and out points (other than the first frame -- the Singularity). To anthropomorphize, the clip says "I come after the first clip in the sequence, wherever that ends, and I am 60 frames long."

Connected clips do have an explicit time property -- the anchor point (which may be offset from the clip's own in point), which refers to an absolute time in the primary clip container to which it's connected (not the actual media itself, not the timeline). "I connect to the 45th frame of clip X, wherever it may be."

You cannot put a clip at an arbitrary point in time without FCPX creating a gap to hold it in place: that's because the absolute time of clips are derived from the primary/secondary structure.

FCPX's reflow, always pulling down and to the left as far as it can, until it is stopped by another clip, gap or anchor, may as well be constant.

The magnetic timeline is not a trick or gimmick for re-arranging absolutely-placed clips in time. It's a fundamentally different model for building a timeline: one based on relationships instead of temporal position. You get the FCPX rearranging behavior "for free" as it flows naturally from the data model.

Walter Soyka
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Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 1:26:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "In FCP7, a clip's properties include duration and timeline in point as properties. In FCPX, a clip's properties include duration, but exclude timeline in point.
"


Are you talking about as reflected in the XML, or what do you mean by "data model" in your post?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:54:40 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Are you talking about as reflected in the XML, or what do you mean by "data model" in your post?"

Yes, XML output does reflect the applications' native data models.

I think the definition of a data model and my views on how an application's data model affects its engineering and its users require additional explanation. I owe you a post on this.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:27:03 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Yes, XML output does reflect the applications' native data models.

I think the definition of a data model and my views on how an application's data model affects its engineering and its users require additional explanation. I owe you a post on this"


I just wanted to make sure you were taking about XML and not some sort of inter SQL or Lite or whatever is inside Fcpx.

I'm no xml wizard, but it doesn't take a whole lot to read them.

I'll await your other post, but I agree that the xml does reflect the data model, and fcpxml in particular does reflect that controling the primary controls time, everything else branches from it, at that time. And while the connected clips aren't given a time of their own, they are related to time through the primary clip, even if that clip is a gap (or blank).

The primary storyline is time. It is the first thing I try to tell people about fcpx. I think it is hard to grasp for some people, as it is different (to yours and David L's point). But it's not wrong And once that concept is understood, editing with X becomes exponentially faster to people. Not faster than other NLEs, even though I find to be faster, but faster in how a new fcpx user understands the timeline, and subsequently uses fcpx.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:13:02 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The magnetic timeline is not a trick or gimmick for re-arranging absolutely-placed clips in time. It's a fundamentally different model for building a timeline: one based on relationships instead of temporal position. You get the FCPX rearranging behavior "for free" as it flows naturally from the data model."

Exactly!

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:43:33 pm

[David Lawrence] "Exactly!"

So, why is this 'bad' instead of simply a different way to look at it?


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:05:21 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, why is this 'bad' instead of simply a different way to look at it?"

Yeah! :-) In all seriousness, i think Davids gripes are mostly related to audio, and while I clearly don't agree with the criticism of "tracklessness", I do think Roles could be much better utilized for both organization and audio signal processing. I think Apple is aware of this, they just haven't ripped into the timeline yet. I'm sure they will at some point...

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

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~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 8:53:12 pm
Last Edited By David Lawrence on Mar 4, 2015 at 8:58:11 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The primary storyline is time. It is the first thing I try to tell people about fcpx. I think it is hard to grasp for some people, as it is different (to yours and David L's point). But it's not wrong And once that concept is understood, editing with X becomes exponentially faster to people."

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, why is this 'bad' instead of simply a different way to look at it?"

I wouldn't say it's "bad", but I think it's less flexible.

As you correctly point out, primary storyline is time. The problem is that the primary storyline is also your program, and is therefore in constant flux over the course of an edit.

For some editing styles, this is perfectly fine and I agree enables greater efficiency and speed.

But for spatial edit workflows such as we discussed here, a constantly reflowing, temporal frame-of-reference is a huge drawback:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/16979

I understand Charlie's point that you can accomplish this in FCPX by spiking a secondary to a gap on frame one, but I consider that a workaround.

The efficiencies of the magnetic timeline come at the expense of important benefits inherent to tracks that I think FCPX designers overlooked. The very notion of "Primary" and "Secondary" reveals a set of assumptions about editorial decision-making that is not simply true for everyone.

I should add that data models don't make for good user interface models. I think the magnetic timeline design reflects an innovative data model, but it doesn't fully consider the way many editors actually work.

I wouldn't say the magnetic timeline is "bad". I would argue it's optimized for specific workflows. Yes, faster for some people, but not for others.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:20:14 pm

[David Lawrence] "I wouldn't say the magnetic timeline is "bad". I would argue it's optimized for specific workflows. Yes, faster for some people, but not for others."

The same could be said for non-magnetic/tracked timelines too. They are really good for some workflows though not as good for others.

I'm not necessarily saying this about you, but if someone really wants X's timeline/storyline to act like tracks in FCP Legend/Avid/PPro, etc., then maybe that person should just stick with an NLE that has tracks.

The magnetic timeline is probably one of my biggest hangups with X, not because I don't think it can work in general, but because I don't think it can work the way I like to work (which is heavy use of track assignments). What some people see as added steps that get in the way of their editing I see as organization that helps me edit. Bill is okay maybe spending a bit more time up front adding keywords in X because it helps him in the long run and I'm okay maybe spending a bit more time keeping the tracks in the timeline organized because it helps me in the long run. 6 one way, half dozen the other.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:40:34 pm

[David Lawrence] "As you correctly point out, primary storyline is time. The problem is that the primary storyline is also your program, and is therefore in constant flux over the course of an edit.
"


Why is this a problem? Do you mean because then, time is in constant flux?


A lot of these discussion we had back the day were before the tilde key, when connected clips couldn't be left alone. And while I agree that the FCPX UI could use a few more tweaks, and that controlling time in FCPX is something that takes a while to get used to when you're used to a tracked environment, it doesn't seem to be less flexible.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:51:53 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:56:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "A lot of these discussion we had back the day were before the tilde key, when connected clips couldn't be left alone."

Oh, hey you're right! So... back to Walter's "fixed position" experiment (you here Walter?) the solution is:

Press and hold tilde, then shift, release both keys. Place a connected clip at an exact point in time in the Project, and never turn connections back on. It would stay right where it is, no matter what you did to any clips anywhere in the timeline. Temporally anyway, spatially it might well fly all over the place. :-)

It would also, you know... defeat the whole point of having connections at all, but you can do it. No workaround required, just a keystroke.

See? X is more flexible. ;-)

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

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~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:10:31 pm

[Charlie Austin] "So... back to Walter's "fixed position" experiment (you here Walter?) the solution is:"

Still here!


[Charlie Austin] "Press and hold tilde, then shift, release both keys. Place a connected clip at an exact point in time in the Project, and never turn connections back on. It would stay right where it is, no matter what you did to any clips anywhere in the timeline."

This was an answer I expected, but...


[Charlie Austin] "It would also, you know... defeat the whole point of having connections at all, but you can do it. No workaround required, just a keystroke."

Not a workaround? You're disabling a significant portion of FCPX's functionality! How the heck would you get anything done this way? But that doesn't matter. The point of this exercise is demonstrating the data model in action, not actually placing the clip in absolute time. Every FCPX solution to this problem is still consistent with the relative time data model, as I'll demonstrate for each solution anyone offers.

Counterintuitively, connections off is FCPX's ripple mode. (Search your feelings. You know it to be true.)

What's rippling? The times of every anchor point of every connected clip.

In terms of absolute and relative time, the structure and rules of the magnetic timeline data model itself is completely unchanged, but the behavior of the tools is extended with connections off so that with every operation, children are also modified to offset the changes to the parent.

Walter Soyka
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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:33:03 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Not a workaround? You're disabling a significant portion of FCPX's functionality! How the heck would you get anything done this way?"

You wouldn't, but if you absolutely needed to position a clip permanently without anything affecting it that's what you'd do right? Or use another NLE. But saying it's a workaround implies that the "data model" is less suitable, which it's not. Just different.

Here's why I feel like I do... right now, I am constructing a ridiculous dialog cheat. I'm working in Pr. the audio is on A1, 2 and 3. The tracks below these are crammed full. I just tried to set aside a word, in favor of an alternate read, by tossing it up above A1. But I can't, nor can I just toss it below without moving something, so I need to lasso and drag the whole mess to a point in the TL where I have space to work, then put it back in the exact same spot. Not to mention switching in and out of sub-frame mode. It kinda sucks.

The track based model is flawed for precise cutting of audio. ;-)

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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:52:34 pm

[Charlie Austin] "But saying it's a workaround implies that the "data model" is less suitable, which it's not. Just different. "

Ok, but then...


[Charlie Austin] "right now, I am constructing a ridiculous dialog cheat. I'm working in Pr. the audio is on A1, 2 and 3. The tracks below these are crammed full. I just tried to set aside a word, in favor of an alternate read, by tossing it up above A1. But I can't, nor can I just toss it below without moving something, so I need to lasso and drag the whole mess to a point in the TL where I have space to work, then put it back in the exact same spot. Not to mention switching in and out of sub-frame mode. It kinda sucks."

It doesn't suck, it's just different!

Choosing a data model has consequences. It makes some things easier to do and other things harder to do.

Surely you would argue that the FCPX model makes things easier more often than it makes them harder. Perhaps David would argue that although more things may be easier, the things that are harder are much harder. I'd then argue something apropos of nothing about PCs, dynamic link, and image sequences, so perhaps I don't have a horse in this race.

Walter Soyka
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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:08:05 pm

[Walter Soyka] "t doesn't suck, it's just different!"

lol.. true :-)

[Walter Soyka] "Choosing a data model has consequences. It makes some things easier to do and other things harder to do.
Surely you would argue that the FCPX model makes things easier more often than it makes them harder."


Correct. I guess my point all along has been that, contrary to Davids position, the X timeline isn't built on flawed assumptions, any more than tracked NLE's are. Different? Yes.

Also, I don't think the X timeline is anywhere near done being refined/improved. It may be tomorrow or a year from now, but I'd bet that, like Libraries, multi-cam etc etc, we'll be looking at a much different, and better, beast.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:49:02 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Not a workaround? You're disabling a significant portion of FCPX's functionality! How the heck would you get anything done this way? But that doesn't matter. The point of this exercise is demonstrating the data model in action, not actually placing the clip in absolute time. Every FCPX solution to this problem is still consistent with the relative time data model, as I'll demonstrate for each solution anyone offers."

I still don't understand why this is being presented as a problem, rather than the way it works.

As Charlie points out, in order to "get anything done" in tracks, you have to move all the stuff out of the way, place the stuff you need in the certain place, and then heal the surrounding stuff back in to place. Is that a workaround? No, it's not, it's how it works.

If FCPXML didn't represent the way FCPX works, there'd be a big problem.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:54:36 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I still don't understand why this is being presented as a problem, rather than the way it works."

I am just trying to describe the way it works. I shouldn't have used the word "problem" to describe my scenario. I don't intend the negative connotation. I meant it like "math problem" not "Cupertino, we have a problem."

Walter Soyka
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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:42:43 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Why is this a problem? Do you mean because then, time is in constant flux?"

Yes. The frame-of-reference for time is in constant flux. Sure, you can connect a secondary to a gap at frame one of the primary, but it's a kludge.

Imagine this scenario instead -

What if you could press a button and add a second primary? It would sit above or below the first. It would have the exact same affordances as the first primary, but all of its clips and clip relationships would stay attached to it instead. Primary #2 would be temporally independent of and unaffected by any changes in primary #1.

This would enable the benefits of absolute time while at the same time keeping the magnetic timeline's other benefits as well.

I don't see any downside. Do you?

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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:43:47 am

[David Lawrence] "What if you could press a button and add a second primary? ... I don't see any downside. Do you?"

Opportunity cost?

Multiple primaries basically means tracks-plus, so that means a primary patching system, maybe a differnent model for driving compositing, maybe primary audio bussing, maybe a cross-primary ripple mode... a lot of development work.

That same development time could be spent instead extending the model to allow connections to connected clips, or alternate metadata-driven timeline views, or send to Motion, or a scrolling timeline.

Walter Soyka
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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:02:51 am

[Walter Soyka] "Multiple primaries basically means tracks-plus, so that means a primary patching system, maybe a differnent model for driving compositing, maybe primary audio bussing, maybe a cross-primary ripple mode... a lot of development work."

I think it's simpler than that. To me it's just adding a container level above the primary. Nothing else really needs to change. If you want to ripple, connect the clips to the primary you want to ripple from. Only use additional primaries for things you don't want to ripple. That's the whole point. Compositing still goes top down just as you would expect. Maybe with some new added features. There are opportunity costs to developing anything, but I don't think this idea is that radical.

[Walter Soyka] "That same development time could be spent instead extending the model to allow connections to connected clips, or alternate metadata-driven timeline views, or send to Motion, or a scrolling timeline."

This would all be great too!

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:22:07 pm

[David Lawrence] "Yes. The frame-of-reference for time is in constant flux. Sure, you can connect a secondary to a gap at frame one of the primary, but it's a kludge."

While Charlie was offering that merely as an example to a person who really wanted some sort of track based behavior in FCPX, he agrees and I agree that the method proposed is certainly a kluge. But this does mirror a tacked behavior, where each track stars at zero, and ends at the end, and the track itself never moves, so in that case, it is functionally a track. So, by process of deduction, tracks are a kludge?

I kid you, David, I kid.

[David Lawrence] "What if you could press a button and add a second primary? It would sit above or below the first. It would have the exact same affordances as the first primary, but all of its clips and clip relationships would stay attached to it instead. Primary #2 would be temporally independent of and unaffected by any changes in primary #1.

This would enable the benefits of absolute time while at the same time keeping the magnetic timeline's other benefits as well.

I don't see any downside. Do you?
"


I do. Apart from what Walter is talking about, where everything is related to the primary in an FCPX XML, which mean there is literally no vehicle for a clip floating in space/time on it's own without being related to the primary, I think functionally, that this would then start to become hard to manage in FCPX. This would take away from major strengths of the timeline, for those of us who like to work in FCPX, for what I see to be very little benefit.

IF a clip needs to stay at, just for example "15 seconds and 2 frames" all the time, it's easy to keep it there, you just have to keep it there using all the methods that FCPX provides, whether that's the tilde key, or position tool. Time is only in flux if you want it to be. If you don't want it to be, there are functions in FPCX to allow you to keep things where they are. There are a few examples of this failing, like adding some transitions to the primary sometimes shifts clips half the length of the transition, and yes, it's a pain, but I trust it will be fixed.

Secondary storylines become little moments in time, devoid of the primary storyline, except for a single connection point. You can manipulate time within the secondary separate from the primary, and if keeping time still is something of value, then you can do some editing in a secondary storyline, and then move it down to the primary if and when that is necessary. This is hard to explain in writing.

Instead of tracks, I would much rather see a more robust 'layer selection' system in FCPX that can be driven by the keyboard, as well as more robust secondary storyline editing in which the layers could be selected and manipulated with said keyboard, as well as allowing layered secondary storylines (meaning clip stacks within a secondary). This would give us all the time control in the primary if we need, allow us another work area outside of the primary that is devoid of master time, but keep all the non collision strengths and quickness of the current FCPX timeline. It would fit in to the FCPX "lane" stack system in the fcpxml, or as Walter calls it, the ordered list, and it would not require a complete retooling of what has been already done in FCPX. Rather it would be a natural extension of the existing timeline functionality, in which you work in little related patches of space and time, and when necessary, you can work on just that little patch, or adjust the overall time in the primary.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:08:42 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:10:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " as well as allowing layered secondary storylines (meaning clip stacks within a secondary)."

We can already do that, in spades... :-) It could work better, but I know the X team are aware that we'd like it to be...







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

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~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:10:41 pm

[Charlie Austin] "We can already do that, in spades... :-) "

As mentioned in your original post, it needs to be easier than that.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:13:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As mentioned in your original post, it needs to be easier than that."

Totally agree. What it does illustrate though, is that this functionality is totally possible. Compounds that could be expanded in the project or something like that. Logic X-ish track (clip) stacks...

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:03:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As mentioned in your original post, it needs to be easier than that."

Way easier, lol! ;)

Seriously, that video is a perfect demo of why the magnetic timeline in it's current design is a nightmare for spatial workflows. ;)

My example: https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/16979

Franz's example: https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/17728

I wish Franz was still around to chime in!

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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:32:10 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "But this does mirror a tacked behavior, where each track stars at zero, and ends at the end, and the track itself never moves, so in that case, it is functionally a track. So, by process of deduction, tracks are a kludge?"

I believe this is line of argument is formally known in scientific circles as "The Transitive Property of BS."

But as Jeremy acknowledged, used with tongue firmly implanted in one's cheek, it's cool.

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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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:30:58 pm

As I think I mentioned earlier, I'd be happy with a simple "connect to timeline" or some such option that would let me lock a clip to the sequence timecode directly. It would behave like a primary clip, but it wouldn't move unless I moved it on purpose. It could be an actual additional "track" or just an option to lock on a clip-by-clip basis.

Not sure of all the ramifications of such a scheme, but it would be useful in much of what I cut. Thank locking the start of music bed to the top of the piece. Or locking an end plate to :26 seconds for a promo. That sort of thing.

An additional option rather than a broader "trackification" of X.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:42:24 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "As I think I mentioned earlier, I'd be happy with a simple "connect to timeline" or some such option that would let me lock a clip to the sequence timecode directly. It would behave like a primary clip, but it wouldn't move unless I moved it on purpose. It could be an actual additional "track" or just an option to lock on a clip-by-clip basis.

Not sure of all the ramifications of such a scheme, but it would be useful in much of what I cut. Thank locking the start of music bed to the top of the piece. Or locking an end plate to :26 seconds for a promo. That sort of thing."


Jeff, that would take care of most of my issues as well.

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Steve Connor
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:31:13 pm

[David Lawrence] "What if you could press a button and add a second primary? It would sit above or below the first. It would have the exact same affordances as the first primary, but all of its clips and clip relationships would stay attached to it instead. Primary #2 would be temporally independent of and unaffected by any changes in primary #1.

This would enable the benefits of absolute time while at the same time keeping the magnetic timeline's other benefits as well.

I don't see any downside. Do you?"


Nope!


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:57:15 pm

[Steve Connor] "I don't see any downside. Do you?"

Nope!"


Yep! :-) You're just adding "tracks" and targeting. You could add the ability to connect clips to secondaries as well which would accomplish the same thing more or less, but it creates the same issue. Adding complexity to the UI where many (most?) people don't need it. Down that road lies the MC/Pr UI. Lot's of functions for every possible use case, and a huge, confusing mess. (IMO of course)

However, I do like Jeff's idea of optionally pinning to timeline time. One extra KB command, no UI changes needed. Add the ability to create timeline markers while we're at it. Then the ability to visually group (connected clip) Roles, Mix/bus/add effects to Roles. Anything else?

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:16:36 am

[Charlie Austin] "Adding complexity to the UI where many (most?) people don't need it. Down that road lies the MC/Pr UI. Lot's of functions for every possible use case, and a huge, confusing mess. (IMO of course)"

Don't need it? Don't use it. Stick with one primary and everything stays the same as now. I don't see any problem here. ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:25:56 am

[David Lawrence] "Don't need it? Don't use it. Stick with one primary and everything stays the same as now. I don't see any problem here. ;)"

Well, sure,but wouldn't the ability to connect to a point in time in the sequence accomplish the same thing? And in your scenario, I bet it wouldn't stay the same as now, at least "under the hood". They'd kinda need to re-invent how the timeline works. IMO that's unnecessary.

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:46:44 am

[Charlie Austin] "Well, sure,but wouldn't the ability to connect to a point in time in the sequence accomplish the same thing?"

Sure, and I also like your suggestion of being able to connect clips to secondaries. That was one of the first things I tried when I got my hands on X and I was surprised it didn't work. FCPX would be much more flexible if secondaries had all the abilities that are currently reserved for the primary.

[Charlie Austin] " And in your scenario, I bet it wouldn't stay the same as now, at least "under the hood". They'd kinda need to re-invent how the timeline works. IMO that's unnecessary."

You mean like when they completely reinvented the way libraries work? Yeah that really sucked. Libraries were perfect when FCPX was released. Why'd they have to go and screw them up? ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:54:01 am

[David Lawrence] "You mean like when they completely reinvented the way libraries work? Yeah that really sucked. Libraries were perfect when FCPX was released. Why'd they have to go and screw them up? ;)"

lol. well, there were no libraries when it was released, but I see your point. But, since everything in a project is placed relative to a Spine (which is the primary I think... I like to snoop around in app package files using BBEdit...) what happens? 2 spines? I think there are probably less "invasive" ways to accomplish the same ends...

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:21:06 am

[Charlie Austin] "lol. well, there were no libraries when it was released, but I see your point. But, since everything in a project is placed relative to a Spine (which is the primary I think... I like to snoop around in app package files using BBEdit...) what happens? 2 spines? I think there are probably less "invasive" ways to accomplish the same ends..."

I like snooping code too! :)

I think they define a new parent container object that holds spine#1 thru spine#x. They could call this container a "sequence" (radical, I know, lol). The sequence parent object holds fixed time. All objects within have relative time. This is a drastic oversimplification, but you get the gist. It's basically a one level expansion of the current data and UI hierarchy. I don't think it would be more difficult that the restructuring of the library, but of course, I have no idea what's going on under the hood. If the same goals could be accomplished more simply, I'm all for it!

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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:22:26 am

[Charlie Austin] "Well, sure,but wouldn't the ability to connect to a point in time in the sequence accomplish the same thing? And in your scenario, I bet it wouldn't stay the same as now, at least "under the hood". They'd kinda need to re-invent how the timeline works. IMO that's unnecessary."

Multiple primaries would require more UI stuff than a connectable time ruler, but the simplest way for Apple to accommodate that time ruler under the hood would probably be as a second primary. Imagine an invisible, uneditable gap clip to which absolute time elements are connected.

That's easy because they can reuse the existing data model and just implement two parents in the same project; anything else would require a new data model or major revision to the current one.

So given that the absolute time ruler would really be a second primary anyway -- why not have two primaries?

Walter Soyka
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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 2:15:39 am

[Walter Soyka] "That's easy because they can reuse the existing data model and just implement two parents in the same project; anything else would require a new data model or major revision to the current one."

Walter, what do you think of my proposal above? - http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/78526

Do you think something like that could work with the existing data model as you understand it?

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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:47:09 am

[David Lawrence] "Walter, what do you think of my proposal above? - http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/78526 Do you think something like that could work with the existing data model as you understand it?"

Yes, but what's interesting is that while the user would perceive absolute time placement with your proposal, absolute time would almost certainly still be a derived property, not an intrinsic one.

The parent doesn't have to hold fixed time per se; it can just hold stacks of the same independent relative time storylines we have now, with a common time scale.

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:15:02 am

[Walter Soyka] "Yes, but what's interesting is that while the user would perceive absolute time placement with your proposal, absolute time would almost certainly still be a derived property, not an intrinsic one."

That's fine by me. In good UI design, the user shouldn't have to understand the underlying data model in order to use the application. That should all be under the hood with a clear, consistent and appropriate metaphor to guide user interaction.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:42:23 pm

If you're going to add another primary, then you might as well add infinite primaries, and then you're back to tracks and all that comes with it.

Secondary storylines provide the functionality you require, especially if you pin it to zero, just like a track.

The big downside with multiple primaries is that you constantly have to manage multiple time functions, meaning if I move stuff in primary 1, primary 2 isn't coming along for the ride.

I know that this is exactly what you're arguing for in FCPX, but I think the developers could spend their time on other things to gain even more efficiencies in the current model.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:52:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The big downside with multiple primaries is that you constantly have to manage multiple time functions, meaning if I move stuff in primary 1, primary 2 isn't coming along for the ride.

I know that this is exactly what you're arguing for in FCPX, but I think the developers could spend their time on other things to gain even more efficiencies in the current model."


I eschew one word replies but, uh... yep. :-) There, that's eight words. I mean twelve... fiftee... uh, crap!

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:06:51 pm

Eschew.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:08:54 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Eschew."

bless you

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:11:11 pm

One of my favorite bumper stickers of all time: "Eschew Obfuscation" :-)

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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:10:05 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The big downside with multiple primaries is that you constantly have to manage multiple time functions, meaning if I move stuff in primary 1, primary 2 isn't coming along for the ride. "

That's the whole point. If you want stuff to move with primary1, put it in primary1. You don't need to use primary2. Only use primary2 is for the stuff you don't want to move with primary1. I don't see the difficulty.

I manage multiple time functions every time I work. It's called "editing". ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:36:43 pm

[David Lawrence] "That's the whole point. If you want stuff to move with primary1, put it in primary1. You don't need to use primary2. Only use primary2 is for the stuff you don't want to move with primary1. I don't see the difficulty."

The difficulty is "primary 1, primary 2". The idea of being able to pin to sequence time would solve this without adding any random secondary primaries or whatever you'd call them right? Of course, a secondary pinned to FFOP does this now anyway, but I guess that's not "tracky" enough.

[David Lawrence] "I manage multiple time functions every time I work. It's called "editing". ;)
"


Wow, me too! I never knew that's what it was called... ;-)

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:04:42 pm

[David Lawrence] "I manage multiple time functions every time I work. It's called "editing". ;)
"



Right. Something us plebs can't even comprehend.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:41:10 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Right. Something us plebs can't even comprehend."

It was a joke, Jeremy. No offense intended. ;)

I think this debate is good and I'm truly interested in your and Charlie's point of view. Apologies if my remark came off wrong.

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:18:03 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:23:52 pm

[David Lawrence] "I think this debate is good and I'm truly interested in your and Charlie's point of view. Apologies if my remark came off wrong."

No problem here. Jerk! <---- kidding! :-) I really think this all comes down to differences in opinion. You think using a secondary to lock a clip to sequence time is a workaround. I don't think it is at all, it's how it works. I mean, I could make a similar argument about fixed tracks. I think having to drag or use the KB to move clips around to keep them from colliding is a workaround. You likely think that it's not, it's just how it works right? (We could go back and forth like this for hours... lol)

But I'm pretty sure if you ask anyone who uses X for real, and -- at the risk of sounding condescending, by that I mean every day, all day, with multiple gigs and deadlines and clients over your shoulder etc, -- they would have a laundry list of things that could be better. But I'd bet that most of them wouldn't say they have a problem with getting a clip to stick to a fixed point in a project.

I also think they'd all say "sure, that would be nice" to possible features like being able to pin to sequence time, or have expandable-in-project comps so you could "connect" connected clip/secondaries to each other and keep them editable etc. But as Jeremy points out, there are many other things on which they'd think Apple should be spending their time.

You want the timeline "fixed" because you don't like the way it works or it doesn't suit your workflow. We want it to be better because we do like the way it works. Or something like that.

And having said all that... I'm enjoying this topic, some cool ideas popping up. Maybe Apple is lurking....

EDIT: Just thought of this... How about everything stays the same, but you could right click a clip or clips and choose "disconnect" or something. Like the tilde key function, but for individual clips, not all or none like it is now. I'm gonna submit that one....

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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:51:16 pm

Hi Walter.

Couple of points...

1. Not sure I like the beard. ;-)

2. Most of what I hear you saying flows from one of your last statements:

[Walter Soyka] "You cannot put a clip at an arbitrary point in time without FCPX creating a gap to hold it in place: that's because the absolute time of clips are derived from the primary/secondary structure. "

All NLEs put these gaps into the timeline. X just explicitly renders it visually as a gap. See Avid, for example. The gaps between clips have no visual boundary lines (a box, if you will) that mark it as a clip. Yet you can select that gap and move it just as you can a clip. You can trim it. You can use it to overwrite part of another clip, or have another clip overwrite it. You can even add an effect to it, making it a kind of adjustment layer, with an in and out point.

[Walter Soyka] "the clip says "I come after the first clip in the sequence, wherever that ends, and I am 60 frames long.""

Only inasmuch as the default rippling behavior is not defeated with the P tool.

[Walter Soyka] ""I connect to the 45th frame of clip X, wherever it may be.""

True. But since clip X has an absolute time, so does the connected clip. In fact the connected clip has two ways to describe itself: in relation to the clip to which it is connected, and in relation to the absolute time as marked by the sequence time.

[Walter Soyka] "It's a fundamentally different model for building a timeline: one based on relationships instead of temporal position. "

For the reasons stated above, I see the addition of connected clips and their dual-mode relationships as an addition to the conventional timeline, not a different kind of timeline.

As far as the rearranging behavior, I see it as a novel way to keep the benefits of rippling without the destructive behavior of overwriting.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:04:14 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "All NLEs put these gaps into the timeline. X just explicitly renders it visually as a gap."

Gaps aren't just visible, or even just functional (like normal Avid filler). They are structural (somewhat like Avid in one-track heads mode, but even then, not really). A lot more on this when my data models post is ready.

In the meantime, here's an experiment to show the difference between absolute time placement and relative time placement. Create an edit with a clip that starts at 15:00 absolute time and never moves, no matter what you do its parent or antecedent clips/gaps. How do you accomplish this?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:28:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] "In the meantime, here's an experiment to show the difference between absolute time placement and relative time placement. Create an edit with a clip that starts at 15:00 absolute time and never moves, no matter what you do its parent or antecedent clips/gaps. How do you accomplish this?"

You put it in a storyline. You're correct in that the storyline, primary or secondary, would have Gap preceding it. So your Data Model idea seems correct too. But, you're experiment is absolutely do-able in X. Put it in a secondary pinned to FFOP. Or in the primary and cut your program in secondaries or connected (which is silly, but people do it) In a "normal" NLE the time reference is the sequence. That's it.

In X, you can sort of have multiple time references. Every storyline is it's own "time container". The Primary time reference is the sequence/project time, what you see in the TC display, and yes, things do move around based on actions to preceding clips, gap or otherwise. Secondary storylines have an "internal reference, which can match the sequence time if you want by connecting at the start frame, or can "float" to wherever you want it to be. To me, this offers way more flexibility, clips in a storyline can be locked to an absolute time if you want, or locked to an absolute time relative to a parent clip, while maintaining "internal" timing. Storylines "are" tracks with absolute time values in X if you want them to be. But they give you the option to, uh... disconnect them from time? lol

I'm not as articulate as you Walter, but does that make sense?

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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 8:24:12 pm

[Charlie Austin] "But, you're experiment is absolutely do-able in X. Put it in a secondary pinned to FFOP. Or in the primary and cut your program in secondaries or connected (which is silly, but people do it) In a "normal" NLE the time reference is the sequence. That's it. "

Hey Charlie. My point is not that it can't be done -- but rather, look what you have to do to do it. You have to pin to first frame of program because that is the only absolute time reference in the project.

Even then, if you do a primary order change that affects the first primary clip, whoosh, there goes your "absolutely" placed clip -- because it is not placed absolutely. You have to actively preserve its position.

I am sure the term "storyline" is a very intentional change, and it's much more apt than the term "timeline."

To be clear, I'm with Jeremy that this is different, not necessarily bad. It's an abstraction, a higher-order toolset for manipulating an edit. Like programming in a high-level language versus a low one, it's more result-focused and less mechanics-of-the-task focused.

Car analogy time: I only dive into this much detail because I think understanding what's going on under the hood can help you be a better driver.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Bill Davis
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:57:11 pm

[Walter Soyka] "How do you accomplish this?"

Walter,

You do this by placing something on the Primary that's exceeds 15 minutes in length and connect your element to it at the 15 minute mark.

It's functional, but it's also horrible.

Because working this way disables the magnetic nature of the Primary an essentially makes you edit the old way - where everything that enters your timeline requires targeting and will ALWAYS be stuck a fixed distance from zero, and you're required to position everything with mindfull exactness.

X essentially automates a lot of that mindful exactness, since if you cut a clip after exactly 56 frames - you know via magnetism that the next clip you drop WILL connect at frame 57. Period. No thinking, No failure.

If you want it to drop at 1:05 instead, you just put your cursor there and drop it as a connected clips. Done.

If you watch good X editors, some of them do an interesting hybrid of magnetic and positional editing. I've seen guys put a block in the primary to represent the next section they're working on. And build their edits in either a secondary or as a group of connected clips, and then when they've got things arranged to their taste, they'll use the keyboard shortcut to "drop" the construction into the magnetic primary - therefore regaining the ability to slide that section around as a unit.

But basically, when you're edited WITH magnetic behavior for a while, when you don't have it, editing goes back to feeling uncomfortably slow. It's not just one thing, it's a whole bunch of tiny operations that you haven't even had to think about - that suddenly, once again,you do.

I can't stress enough that the magnetic editor just thinks in different ways. It's like having written EVERYTHING in your life exclusively as prose in a very basic word processor - somebody suddenly shows you an killer outlining AND text writing program. Something like OmniOutliner - where the computer lets you move and indent and promote and subordinate headers as you like, but you can also open up any line and create a huge block of prose with all the tools you had before. The writing process is the same, but the ability to organize and revise suddenly gets immeasurably easier.

Now some writers, just will NEVER outline. And that's cool. But even given that reality, it's still hard to argue that learning better organizational and outlining skills - and putting that stuff up front in a program where it's EASY to use - doesn't make those who elect to use it more organized writers - especially when the topics you're writing about get ever more complex.

It's kinda like that, in my mind.

Hope that helps.

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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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:05:11 pm

Bill, I am trying to make the same point as you are.

The purpose of my line of questioning was not to answer "How do I do this?" or say "Ha, look what FCPX can't do!" but rather to demonstrate without making a value judgment what's different about storylines (relative time) versus timelines (absolute time).

(Hint: it's right there in the name!)

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Walter Soyka
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:07:58 pm

Also:

[Jeff Markgraf] "1. Not sure I like the beard. ;-)"

Part of the boutique-y dress code, and required as I don't have a dog to bring to the office to signify hipness. Looking forward to debating fashion here as well!

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:59:37 pm

[David Lawrence] "why haven't we seen a trackless DAW yet?"

I think we sort of have. Doesn't Fairlight allow multiple clips on the same "track," layered on top of one another? A bit like the audition process in X?

Fairlight is utterly track based but it solved the overwrite problem by allowing clips to stack non destructively on a track. You always hear the top which means you can do crossfades to layers or hide alternates in place on the right track.

It is in fact a great model for how NLEs could have solved the overwrite issue. A trackless DAW would be an organisational nightmare. After all this is the point where we reorganise the dogs breakfast that comes from the edit. Tracks are so much more than just a way of displaying in the DAW world that no-one is thinking a trackless paradigm is worth toying with.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:30:52 pm

[Michael Gissing] "
Fairlight is utterly track based but it solved the overwrite problem by allowing clips to stack non destructively on a track. You always hear the top which means you can do crossfades to layers or hide alternates in place on the right track.

It is in fact a great model for how NLEs could have solved the overwrite issue. A trackless DAW would be an organisational nightmare. After all this is the point where we reorganise the dogs breakfast that comes from the edit. Tracks are so much more than just a way of displaying in the DAW world that no-one is thinking a trackless paradigm is worth toying with."


Exactly right, Michael.

Most NLEs work in one of two edit modes - overwrite and insert. Generally speaking, overwrite covers the underlying media, insert ripples it in or out.

There's no reason why there couldn't be a third edit mode - layer. In layer edit mode, media might stack ala Fairlight, or there could be other UI possibilities.

The only NLE that I've seen attempt this is Sony Vegas which I guess makes sense given its roots as a DAW. But it doesn't go very far with the concept. There's so much opportunity for innovation in the NLE UI space. We've only scratched the surface.

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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 11:59:13 pm

Michael and David -

Yes, I understand that Fairlight is track-based. I was looking for comparison of the overlap/layering feature to the "trackless" concept. Turns out it's not a very good comparison.

I think audio is fundamentally different from video in terms of how we have to work with it. It's perfectly natural to hear and process multiple audio sources simultaneously, in parallel. One audio track does not by design "cover" or cut out another track. In video, except as a specific key or compositing effect, it does. So audio MUST have discrete tracks, even if they are ultimately collapsed into 2 or 5.1 tracks for presentation.

I think a better way of looking at audio in X to acknowledge its "always on" mix down to a stereo (or 5.1) output. If i wanted to, I could put SOT and nat sound and music and effects on random tracks in Avid and end up with the same stereo output. Not that I'd want to!

So I get the objection that X sort of places clips in a somewhat random order, more so as the timeline gets crowded. And the rules for what goes up and what goes down seem inconsistent (I don't think they are, but the logic is complex.) It would be nice to have the ability to lock clips in vertical positions in certain cases, if only as an aid to organization.

But as has been said many times, roles and subroles take care of the organization for output (like AAF to ProTools). And the timeline index makes it easy to turn specific roles on and off to see what's what and where. Customizable colors for roles would be nice.

Since it's really only upon output to a mixer that the organization traditionally accomplished with tracks is necessary, and it's taken care of with roles and X2Pro, I guess I don't see the problem. While I'm editing, I really don't care too much where a particular clip lives as far as vertical orientation. No matter how high or low a "whoosh" effect appears in the timeline's vertical space, if it's attached to the head of a clip to accompany a transition, it will stay with that clip if and when it gets moved. Someone (Charlie?) has suggested/toyed with the idea of creating specific vertical areas to corral certain kinds of clips, using dummy tracks as barriers. That might be a nice option for Apple to figure out. But hardly a deal-breaker.

I've got a 3 minute sales reel in front of me with lots of sound and lots of clips. I can pretty easily see my groups of VO, SOT, mx and sfx. Same with the movie I'm cutting in my off hours. In either case, when they go to sweetening, the mixer will have completely organized track groups via roles and X2Pro. And if he's happy, I'm happy.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 12:10:10 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "I think audio is fundamentally different from video in terms of how we have to work with it. It's perfectly natural to hear and process multiple audio sources simultaneously, in parallel. One audio track does not by design "cover" or cut out another track. In video, except as a specific key or compositing effect, it does. So audio MUST have discrete tracks, even if they are ultimately collapsed into 2 or 5.1 tracks for presentation."

It seems to me that's a narrow way to think about time-based media.

Both audio and video happen in time. Both audio and video can be mixed and processed in various ways. Whether audio or video cuts, covers or mixes is entirely dependent on the type of content being authored. It has nothing to do with the inherent properties of the media itself.

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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 12:51:51 am

David -

Well, I didn't say the two types of media were inherently different. I was talking about the way we typically, and practically, work with them.

By default we mix, or add, audio to other audio. Process it, etc., but not so much hard cutting except for specific effect.

By default, we cut video serially, with some blending (hard or soft) for some specific effect. Yes, video tracks, or layers, often run in parallel, but unless we're keying or some such thing, it's usually cuts and dissolves.

Thant's why I think the UI experience for each is naturally different, to accommodate the different needs in practical use.


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David Lawrence
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:05:22 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "By default we mix, or add, audio to other audio. Process it, etc., but not so much hard cutting except for specific effect.

By default, we cut video serially, with some blending (hard or soft) for some specific effect. Yes, video tracks, or layers, often run in parallel, but unless we're keying or some such thing, it's usually cuts and dissolves."


Jeff - I get where you're coming from, but again, I think this is an overgeneralization of how many editors work. Do you do much dialogue cutting?

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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:38:20 pm

[David Lawrence] "Jeff - I get where you're coming from, but again, I think this is an overgeneralization of how many editors work. Do you do much dialogue cutting?"

Not to hijack the reply but... well, I'm gonna. lol First let me reiterate, I'm not some blind fanboy who thinks the X timeline is perfect, it's not. (I don't think Apple believes it is either, but that's speculation) And I'm with you and others on the need for signal processing, mixing, better ability to group/organize Roles etcetera. I'd even like it if there was a way to temporarily "decrease" the magnetism of the Primary, especially when cutting dialog. Clips would still have primary parents, but roles would stick to each other rather than madly flying up or down to the Primary. Using dummy clips to constrain that movement is a workaround i'd prefer not to do. So, there's definitely room for improvement. On that we agree.

I disagree that the implementation is flawed. And things you feel are workarounds, (pinning something to FFOP to "lock" it to an absolute time) is just how it works. It's trivial to do if you need to. If anything I'd argue that it's a more flexible setup, It's only less flexible if your workflow or style/preference requires you to always have clips fixed in sequence time. And if you "fix" it so it suits that workflow, it breaks it for other workflows. That's like trying to "fix Pr to make it work like X. They are different apps, even though they do the same thing ultimately.

Clearly we're on different sides here, but all your examples, cutting music, cutting dialog, cutting fixed-to-the-exact-frame length programs, are things I do all day every day with no problem at all. I'm not some genius who's good at making some messy system work, I just work with the system, if that makes sense. Nor am I cutting simple little things that are easy to wrangle, i cut things with with 10's of layers of audio, music chopped up within an inch of it's life, assemble FrankenDialog out of disparate words, phrases and phonemes, etc etc. And I do this in X, 7, and Pr often jumping between them for the same gig.

Cutting audio in X is fine, and if I could do everything in it alone I would. There's room for improvement, in some cases a lot of it, but there's nothing wrong with the model, implementation, whatever you want to call it.

IMO of course. ;-)

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:15:55 pm

Hi David.

Yes, I do a lot of dialogue cutting. Mostly in the promo world (massive cutting and franken-biting), but also some indie feature work and other stuff.

I didn't mean to suggest that cutting isn't a big part of audio. So add "cuts" to the "mix, process.." line.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 12:16:52 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "Someone (Charlie?) has suggested/toyed with the idea of creating specific vertical areas to corral certain kinds of clips, using dummy tracks as barriers. That might be a nice option for Apple to figure out. But hardly a deal-breaker. "

I'll sometimes do this to put a "ceiling" above music i'm cutting. I really don't do that too much anymore though. The timeline behavior is just second nature now, I don't really notice it...

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

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:40:05 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Fairlight is utterly track based but it solved the overwrite problem by allowing clips to stack non destructively on a track. You always hear the top which means you can do crossfades to layers or hide alternates in place on the right track."

Logic X does the same. Also has "track stacks" which are kinda like FCP X compound clips but can be opened up in the timeline and work as summing stacks (re-routable) or Folders (a basic group) Pretty cool...

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

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 1:30:58 am

I just think it would be smart to allow an editor to change the display in X to show clips arranged by sub roles and roles to then allow automated audio processing on each, just like a track, bus and mix display on a DAW.

It is after all just a user display and would give back a DAW like organisation and signal processing without changing anything during the edit process. To not do so is basically saying that X is not a finishing tool which seems strange when so much of the approach with X seems to be to finish in the one ecosystem. Otherwise why would they have taken so long to sort xml and not embrace any of the standard interchange formats like OMF, AAF, AES31, EDL etc?


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Charlie Austin
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 1:33:12 am

[Michael Gissing] "I just think it would be smart to allow an editor to change the display in X to show clips arranged by sub roles and roles to then allow automated audio processing on each, just like a track, bus and mix display on a DAW.
"


I really think this is a subject that is on Apple's radar. I also think (hope) they're more concerned with getting the core app to be bulletproof performance-wise before they tear into the timeline.

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

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Could Adobe (or someone else) adopt magnetic timeline features in a tracked timeline?
on Mar 3, 2015 at 1:38:39 am

Michael & Charlie: concur.


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