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Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll

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Alan Okey
Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:44:38 pm

One of the most polarizing features of FCP X seems to be the Magnetic Timeline, particularly to experienced editors who are well-versed in the traditional multitrack paradigm.

What's your opinion of the Magnetic Timeline?

A) It's a bold, visionary advancement in nonlinear editing; a true leap forward that will save time and enable new possibilities

B) It's a solution in search of a problem; a reinvented wheel that nobody asked for or wants

C) It's something in between, with both positive and negative traits

What do you like about it? What do you dislike? What could be improved?


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Michael Sacci
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:12:07 am

C, with a little bit of B thrown in.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:20:20 am

[Alan Okey] "One of the most polarizing features of FCP X seems to be the Magnetic Timeline, particularly to experienced editors who are well-versed in the traditional multitrack paradigm.

What's your opinion of the Magnetic Timeline?

B) It's a solution in search of a problem; a reinvented wheel that nobody asked for or wants

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
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Michael Aranyshev
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:22:02 am

Sorry but without poll script it just duplicates an earlier thread —http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/7614

It's B by the way


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Andrew Richards
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:23:00 am

A

Even if nobody asked for it, that doesn't make it bad. Chris Kenny put it best; the old timeline metaphor is like using a spreadsheet as a database while the magnetic timeline is like a relational database. That probably doesn't resonate with a lot of editors, but it resonates for me.

I was flummoxed at first when I tried to use it. It isn't at all intuitive for anyone used to the old timeline. Then I slogged through a tutorial and it started making sense. I still am not a fish in water with it, but I get why it's a big deal in a good way.

  • They need to have a mode that locks the playhead in place and scrolls the timeline under it during playback.

  • They need to improve how you assign roles for audio and how those roles can be matched to outputs. THis is apparently already in the pipeline.

  • They need to have more audio output options than 2 (Stereo) versus 6 (surround) channels. Why limit it? There needs to be a Multi-Track option that lets you define your own number of output audio channels. I've already formally requested this one.

  • They should put in a view that collapses your outputs (a la compound clips) and represents them as discreet tracks under the main storyline. This would be great for doing a final pass mix and for visualizing the output and soloing busses.

  • They should have a modifier key (like hold option or something) for dragging things apart to create gaps or slug (so that after you have ahold of a clip you can decide you really want to be using the position tool).

  • They need to add the ability to set a starting timecode for the timeline.


Best,
Andy Richards

VP of Product Development
Keeper Technology


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Chris Kenny
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:58:28 am

[Andrew Richards] "Chris Kenny put it best; the old timeline metaphor is like using a spreadsheet as a database while the magnetic timeline is like a relational database."

I think that was Craig Seeman, actually. But I agree with it. I've long had a bit of a metadata obsession, and FCP X fulfills it nicely. And positioning clips on different layers relative to each other, rather than positioning them relative to a generic container that spans the entire length of the sequence (e.g. a track) just makes more sense to me for most of the cases where you want to layer clips.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Michael Largé
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:05:13 am

[Alan Okey] "One of the most polarizing features of FCP X seems to be the Magnetic Timeline, particularly to experienced editors who are well-versed in the traditional multitrack paradigm.

What's your opinion of the Magnetic Timeline?


In my opinion, I say A. I've only had it a week but as of now, I like it immensely more than the old way of having tracks. I love editing, but I've always been annoyed with NLEs because while they're powerful, they're also clunky and unintuitive. IMHO editing has been in dire need of an makeover for a long time. FCPX isn't perfect, but it has a great foundation upon which Apple can build upon if they so choose. The only question is, will they?


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James Witker
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 8:26:41 am

I haven't yet used FCPX and the magnetic timeline, and so at this point I can't make an honest judgement about it. What I've heard doesn't excite or comfort me. And I don't think enough has been made about the advantages of the so-called "open" timeline that we've become accustomed to in FCP1-7, a revolutionary workspace that already allows us to move whatever number of clips -- or all of them -- in precise and varied ways through empty space. Having learned NLE on Avid, the FCP way was at first daunting but ultimately a freeing innovation over the relative constriction of the Avid timeline. Part of the craft of editing is knowing precisely where you want everything to be, and the FCP toolset gives us many ways of accomplishing this editorial precision. Take, for example, the ability to select all tracks forward or backward and deselect from there. Or to select, option-drag to duplicate and insert, shift-paste etc. With practice, all of this becomes second-nature -- as does the ability to first vertically move clips from one track to another with ease via option-arrow when we don't wish to overwrite. (Adding additional tracks is just a right-click away.) In the Final Cut I know and love, every move and command is deliberate, and I know exactly what I'm doing. I'm not so enthusiastic about an interface that is trying to anticipate where I want things, and to automate functionality that I may not what or need.

James Witker
Freelance Editor/Producer


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alban egger
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:02:43 pm

The timeline is a winner. i understand that some would like to "turn it off", but I have to say since I cam to FCP I hated the way the timeline was. Open-Timeline? Who says it was open? It kept asking for keyboardhits that are unnecessary. double-R here, s-there, double-s again,....now you hit T and then the tool adjust to your mouseposition like Edius and Fast and others did long ago.
L- and J-cuts are soooo fast now, you simply don´t need to think about what you have to press to do it, you just do it.

I don´t understand why so many people say FCP7 was so much better. It wasn´t.

I have yet to come to a situation when I messed something up in FCPx. Well, that´s not true, I deleted a clip in the primary storyline and there went the connected clips with it......but that was fixed fast :D

The editing process is just much better now. It doesn´t heal all the other problems we have, but at least you can edit faster and at the moment use the saved time to fix the other problems (audio-export etc)



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Jean-François Robichaud
Re: Magnetic Timeline: opinion poll
on Jul 1, 2011 at 1:39:26 pm

The concept of the magnetic timeline is an A, the implementation is a C.

It's true strength is that it lets the editor explicitly define in the timeline the relationships between clips that were only defined in his head in the traditional timeline. With this information, the software itself takes over the micro-management part of editing, allowing the editor to focus on the narrative aspect. The editor doesn't lose power over the edit, as he is the one defining the relationships between clips and therefore the behaviour. But he just doesn't have to take care of the dummy tasks.

Some think this is bad, that it dumbs editing down, I think it just automates the parts that have nothing to do with the creative, which you had to do because of the limitations of the traditional timeline.

It also makes the editor's intention clearer just by looking at the timeline: it contains more information.. Useful when a second editor takes over or when you come back to your edit 2 weeks later.

I say the implementation is a C because its UI doesn't feel completeky fluid.


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