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The Mother of All NLE Demos

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David Lawrence
The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 5:57:04 pm
Last Edited By David Lawrence on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:08:51 pm

Greetings All,

It's Throwback Thursday and I have a special treat.

A few years ago in my introductory post, I shared a link to the functional spec I co-authored with colleagues at Lucasfilm in 1987. This document specified the functionality and interface paradigms for a computer-based editing system that would become the model for modern NLEs.

The project began in 1986 as part of a multimedia research and production collaboration between Lucasfilm Ltd., Apple Computer, and The National Geographic Society.

Between 1987 and 1988, Lucasfilm assembled a small team of engineers to refine our spec and build a working system in partnership with Apple.

By 1989, I was using this system daily to produce a commercial educational product for The National Geographic Society called GTV.

At the time, Apple produced a series of in-house video reports on its various multimedia research efforts. One of those reports was on our editing system, which we called MPS.

What you're about to see has never before been shown publicly. You are the first (outside the 1989 stakeholders) to ever see this video.

Although MPS was never made into a commercial editing product, the influence and impact of its interface paradigm was revolutionary. As you'll see, many of its ideas about how we interact with time-based media are still with us today; and 26 later, the tools we hoped would one day bring a new media literacy to everyone, are free with every Mac.

Enjoy!

MPS Video Report from David Lawrence on Vimeo.



_______________________
David Lawrence
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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:22:45 pm

David - You're the Man! Or Mother, to be precise.

Doug D


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Walter Soyka
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:31:17 pm

This is amazing to see, David. Thank you so much for sharing.

Any chance Apple cut this video on MPS?

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 6:41:29 pm

Cool David, and thanks for sharing. I particularly liked the part about audio tracks... It's too bad Apple forgot to include that "easy to use" feature in its current feature set. :)

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 7:43:35 pm
Last Edited By Scott Witthaus on Apr 30, 2015 at 7:47:51 pm

Is that a type-o on David's title? LucaFilm? ;-)

Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

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


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David Mathis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:01:13 pm

Thanks for posting this! I still have a Laserdisc player.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:15:09 pm

David,

Thanks for sharing! It's great to see such a historical "snapshot" of NLE development.

Couple of observations: TRACKS! You had tracks! Thereby proving a track based system is how God meant an NLE to be!

I laughed at the concerted effort to try to explain how different this "MPS" was from traditional editing systems. We really have come a long, long way.

This video belongs in the NLE museum of history ... right up there with the Wright bros first airplane.

Mark



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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:54:35 pm

But wait! Where's the 3D Text?

- Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:06:35 pm

Oliver, with that forward thinking, maybe you could just hold the mouse to your lips and whisper: "extrude"?

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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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:05:04 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "Couple of observations: TRACKS! You had tracks! Thereby proving a track based system is how God meant an NLE to be!
"


As with offerings to Odin - the more you repeat the chants - the stronger your suppression of the scary thunder should become...

Tracks were clearly the terminus of the collective NLE imagination ... twenty seven years ago.

; )

Still, very cool work, David. And outstanding that it can see the light of day.

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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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 7:30:53 pm

[Bill Davis] "Tracks were clearly the terminus of the collective NLE imagination ... twenty seven years ago."

So were databases. ;)


Glad you enjoyed!

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:01:57 pm

Touché!

Tho I still kinda believe that tracks and roads are critical - right up until somebody invents an affordable, easy to fly helicopter. Then not so much.

And so it goes.

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:03:58 pm

[Bill Davis] "Tracks were clearly the terminus of the collective NLE imagination ... twenty seven years ago. ; )"

Audio tracks go back well beyond twenty-seven years Bill, and like it or not, they remain the industry standard for the vast majority of editors and audio technicians worldwide.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:47:39 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Audio tracks go back well beyond twenty-seven years Bill, and like it or not, they remain the industry standard for the vast majority of editors and audio technicians worldwide.

David Roth Weiss
"


Trying to recall how many generations it was where livestock for transportation was the gold standard. : )

Then it all changed.

The question isn't always "is this the standard" the question is "should this CONTINUE to be the standard?"

Are there new ideas out there that may soon make the best existing technology outdated? I think so. You may not. The change will follow the money.

I've found X to be singularly more productive as an NLE than anything else. And while I do not have equivalent experience with AVID or Premier or Vegas, lots of editors I know and talk with DO - and to a one, those who've actually learned to use X at a truly professional level DO NOT want to switch back. At all! And to a one they cite that it's HARDER to do their work without the toolset X uniquely enables and/or provides.

Expending a third more effort to achieve the same results (my contention, shared by the Focus guys and others around the world I correspond with) may not be instantly evident to some merely observing from the outside, but to those using the new tool, it's a major competitive advantage.

And IF it's real - it doesn't matter a lick what the prevailing opinions are.

We're all doing this to make money. And NOBODY with any sense passes up a chance to make more money by driving that kind of productivity improvement through their practice.

X is NOT perfect.

But it's great. And people are finding that out, in droves each month, worldwide,

That's my 2 cents. But then it's always been. Right? I'm either still just a deluded fanboy OR I saw something valuable before most - and time is proving that I wasn't an idiot to stake out the "be patient - X could become GREAT" position.

We'll see.

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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Steve Connor
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:53:50 pm

[Bill Davis] "and to a one, those who've actually learned to use X at a truly professional level DO NOT want to switch back. At all! And to a one they cite that it's HARDER to do their work without the toolset X uniquely enables and/or provides. "

As someone who has been using FCPX on a "truly professional level" as long as most people I certainly find FCPX is fast, but I'm quite happy to go back to tracks on projects as I've been using them for a large part of my career and I don't quite have the loathing that other FCPX users seem to have for them.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 11:37:25 pm

In Davis speak this means you're obviously not a true FCPX editor. Practice up Steve, you might figure it out someday. It's sort of like scientology for editors.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 3:42:19 pm

[Herb Sevush] "It's sort of like scientology for editors."

Oh it's EXACTLY like that, Herb.

If Scientology was based on quantifiable results rather than gasbaggery and manipulation.
And if Scientology transferred LESS wealth from it's adherents to the Mother Ship than virtually all other religions (it doesn't)
And if Scientology resulted in people spending LESS time doing what religious leaders TELL them they must do - and allows them to better make up their own unique workflows by providing them with interesting new tools. (Audio ABOVE the Video!!!! HERASY I SAY!!!)
And if Scientology was ACTUALLY based on verifiable precepts rather than fake galvinometers and predatory recruitment.

Other than those LITTLE things. X is precisely like Scientology.

We X folk are merely zombies. It's surprising we can get out of our beds and do useful work without magnetic closets and pattern collision avoiding wardrobes.

Yet we struggle on.

Shrugging off all attempt to mock us by linking us rhetorically to the clueless and stupid.

I know, we just don't listen. Sorry.

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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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 12:22:51 pm

[Bill Davis] "We X folk are merely zombies. It's surprising we can get out of our beds and do useful work without magnetic closets and pattern collision avoiding wardrobes. Yet we struggle on. Shrugging off all attempt to mock us by linking us rhetorically to the clueless and stupid."

Now you've gone and made me feel guilty about my little gibe. I do apologize. Your not like a Scientologist. I might have gone a little overboard there.

Sorry.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 6:04:25 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Now you've gone and made me feel guilty about my little gibe. I do apologize. Your not like a Scientologist. I might have gone a little overboard there."

(sarcasm overload alert) Of course *I* alone have obviously NEVER gone overboard in the heat of rhetorical battle! (alert off)

Don't sweat it. I have always have appreciated your contributions here, and always will.

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 11:55:43 pm

[Steve Connor] "As someone who has been using FCPX on a "truly professional level" as long as most people I certainly find FCPX is fast, but I'm quite happy to go back to tracks on projects as I've been using them for a large part of my career and I don't quite have the loathing that other FCPX users seem to have for them."

Very reasonable Steve... I must commend you.

Meanwhile, there are other X users here who just can't seem to fathom that there just might be good reasons why experienced sound editors might prefer tracks.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:34:55 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Meanwhile, there are other X users here who just can't seem to fathom that there just might be good reasons why experienced sound editors might prefer tracks."

[David Roth Weiss] "Meanwhile, there are other X users here who just can't seem to fathom that there just might be good reasons why experienced sound editors might prefer tracks."

Oh stop it. 

I spent my first 15 years in audio. Two track, then 4-track then 8 and 16 track. 

Tracks are fine when the environment you're dealing with is a linear progression of one type of digital signal.

Tracks become a burden when they're arranged in a super rigid arbitrary construction where the interface designer TELLS the users what tracks MUST go up and which MUST go down. 

If you can't see the value of questioning that assumption - particularly in a world where field content largely comes in with audio and video MUXED into a single file. Then the problem isn't whether tracks are inherently good or bad. It's whether or not modern NLES should respond to the way that files are actually being created in the field. 

What you're doing is arguing that video up and audio down - separated by rigid lanes (your vaunted tracks) is the only and best concept that will ever be. 

And I call BS on that. 

The way X handles modern file based content is functionally better. Because without tracks, there are no inadvertent track collisions and less track patching And when your audio is tied to video tracks that you will be re-arranging and mixing just like the audio - the audio only mixing paradigm might actually turn out to be too weak to get the job done. X proved that by honoring the actual relationship of muxed AV files and allowing the editor to separate the results (or not) - that you actually can do great work without ANY visible audio tracks whatsoever. Always? No. But sometimes. And when that fits the job, it's BETTER. 

Heres a timeline from a music video I did nearly 3 years ago in X. 



Look MA, NO audio tracks. Why? Because for this, they are totally unnecessary. The produced track is Muxed into the Primary. Since audio editing is off the table for this project, the project doesn't clutter things up with totally unnecessary tracks. AND since X doesn't need audio and video separation, I could better think in compositing modes positioning video layers as they make sense, rather than as the NLE designer required me to.

Basically, all audio does not always need to be dealt with via channel strips with tiny switches and log taper faders. That's ONE great way to handle audio. But so is rubber banding. So is Roles based output. And smart guys in HUGE shops are reporting huge productivity gains via roles export over manual stem creation. That's a fact. Since Apple didn't decide that all audio MUST remain stuck in the paradigm of 1971 - we have some nice alternatives now. 

And there's nothing wrong with that. 

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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:17:17 pm

[Bill Davis] "And smart guys in HUGE shops are reporting huge productivity gains via roles export over manual stem creation. That's a fact. Since Apple didn't decide that all audio MUST remain stuck in the paradigm of 1971 - we have some nice alternatives now. "

Bill, your music video timeline illustrates your point, but that type of cut isn't the only thing people are doing in X. As you know, I'm a strong proponent of X, I think it kicks ass. But there are absolutely some things it could do better. (New thread coming up on that!) I'll keep it short as the "debate" has once again hijacked a great thread that has nothing to do with it but... When you've got a project like the one below, there are absolutely some "track-like" functions that would be very useful to have in FCP X. Not tracks, but vertical position settings (Z-order?), Roles as groups that can be effected without comping, things of that nature. I could have cut this in a tracked NLE, but to me the benefits of X outweigh the drawbacks by a long shot



FCP X is "not" the same as other NLE's in many ways, and like you, I think that's a good thing. It's also not perfect, and there are valid reasons not to use it in some workflows. Personally I think those shortcomings will be addressed going forward, and there will be less of them, but for now, it's true. (it's true of *every* NLE as well) There are also a lot of stupid, invalid reasons for not using X, and I'm not above the occasional, veiled, "luddite!" jabs when I hear them. ;-) I want X to keep improving, to get to the point where any "X can't do that" comment can be countered with "yeah it does" without offering a workaround. Adding effects to an entire Role, or an entire mix is one example. Yes, you can do it, but not without comps within comps etc. Everyone who uses X, including you, should want Apple to "fix" things like this. And in a way that blows the existing methods away. ;-)

That whole "keep it short" thing didn't work out huh? 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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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:12:11 pm

I literally don't disagree with anything you wrote Charlie.

Of course there are circumstances where tracks are convenient, useful, even superior ways to handle some types of work. It's horses for courses and that's fine.

I'm just a bit tired of those who seem to argue that everything necessary or useful about audio in an NLE was TOTALLY covered by track based systems, and that because X is trackless somehow that means it's also hobbled. I'll always listen to arguments from guys like you who understand both systems. And acknowledging what's useful about tracks is great.

But to listen to some who have virtually no experience in trackless X style editing- argue that it's somehow deficient? - nope. Not buying it. That's misinformation that requires addressing.

New editors coming to X often have their biggest issues coming to grips with how it handles audio.

But you and I both know that in the vast majority of cases, the answer is "Just fine." and in some ways "better than other systems" - NOT - "it's too different to use properly." which is still a theme out there that folks like Mr. Wise sometimes (hopefully inadvertently) propagate.

That's all.

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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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:38:02 pm

[Bill Davis] "I'm just a bit tired of those who seem to argue that everything necessary or useful about audio in an NLE was TOTALLY covered by track based systems, and that because X is trackless somehow that means it's also hobbled... That's misinformation that requires addressing."

Um guys, I thought this was going to be a thread about history? We could be discussing much more interesting stuff if you want. Just sayin' ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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Steve Connor
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:39:38 pm

[David Lawrence] "Um guys, I thought this was going to be a thread about history? We could be discussing much more interesting stuff if you want. Just sayin' ;)
"


David, you've been on here long enough to know that NO thread stays on topic for long


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:51:35 pm

[Steve Connor] "David, you've been on here long enough to know that NO thread stays on topic for long"

LOL! I know Steve! :D

But I thought you summed up the track vs trackless debate perfectly with your response above.

BTW and for the record, I like tracks for the exact same reason my sound guy likes them in Pro Tools.

And that's the last I have to say on the subject. :)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
facebook.com/dlawrence
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David Mathis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 12:59:53 am

Really now? ;-)


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Charlie Austin
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:51:59 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on May 4, 2015 at 6:39:36 am

[David Lawrence] "Um guys, I thought this was going to be a thread about history? We could be discussing much more interesting stuff if you want. Just sayin' ;)"

History?!? I remember scraping fades on mag tracks with a razor blade! And manually punching in video edits on tape! It worked fine! You kids inventing your newfangled computer thingies just piss me off!

Sorry. :-) I really did punch video and scrape fades on occasion, though we did have a DAW available... I wish I could remember the name.. before ProTools, it chased TC... very fancy...

EDIT: Otari Prodisc. ProTools had been out for a year, but didn't chase TC reliably, This baby was geared for broadcast rathe than music...
-------------------------------------------------------------

~ 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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:42:19 pm

[Bill Davis] "I'm just a bit tired of those who seem to argue that everything necessary or useful about audio in an NLE was TOTALLY covered by track based systems, and that because X is trackless somehow that means it's also hobbled. "

Totally agree. I think there's also a perception that how X handles audio now is how it will always handle audio. I don't think that's correct, and i think the way Roles work, and how X in general works, offers some very interesting possibilities relative to track based audio handling.

[Bill Davis] "But to listen to some who have virtually no experience in trackless X style editing- argue that it's somehow deficient? - nope. Not buying it. That's misinformation that requires addressing. "

Also agree. There's also a tendency, as has been pointed out a zillion times, for people to extrapolate their own workflow and preferences (with X, Or tracks, or whatever) onto "everyone". When that happens, nice threads like this one umm... devolve... ;-)

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

~ 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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 1:13:44 am

Really, DRW, kind of a cheap shot here.

Most sound editors I know don't do their work in any NLE - they use Pro Tools or some other audio-specific editing/mixing software. So dissing an NLE for not adhering to film/tv industry audio conventions is just silly. Especially when outputting audio in a conventional track format for sound turnover is almost trivially easy (particularly in X...see Mike Matzdorff's discussions re: Focus). But I think you already know that.

I have no problem with audio tracks at all. Been using them since I got into radio and audio work in high school. Still use them more than 40 years later. Video track are fine, too. Been using them for over 30 years. All "professional" work, and almost exclusively in this rather small and narrowly-focused part of the overall audio/video world called the broadcast and motion picture industry. Making a good living doing it. (I won't bring up industry awards, because that would make Timmy Auld's head explode.)

That said, I love working in X. More than Avid. More than Resolve. More than Lightworks. More than VideoCube. More than D-Vision. More than EMC. Way more than CMX or GVG.

And including audio editing/mixing as part of a complete A/V project. Though I'd probably not make X or any NLE my first choice for mixing or sweetening. Then again, I've never tried it for that purpose. Have you? Has anyone else? If so, I'm genuinely interested in his/her thoughts.

Those of us with industry backgrounds as deep as yours and mine (and most others on this forum) have good reason to respect the workflows used in Avid, et al. There's no desire to toss them out on their collective ear.

Leaving aside some unknown personal animosity, why does Bill's enthusiasm engender such obvious hostility? Is he excited? Yes. Is he sometimes prone to overstatement? Yes. Is he a "fanboi?" Hardly. Is he simply wrong and deluded? Nope.

I don't think I'm any of the above, either, yet I agree with most of what he says. So what does that make me?

Not really trying to bash you, personally. I suspect you're really a very reasonable person, based on your years of posting on the COW. (Unlike many of the usual suspects, who just seem...umm...whatever...) I truly wish you could a) cut Bill some slack and b) make a real effort to get to know X in its current version with all the third party helper apps that are available for professionals. Your considered perspective on this particular NLE would be, IMHO, very valuable.


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Paul Neumann
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:17:56 am

The question isn't always "is this the standard" the question is "should this CONTINUE to be the standard?"

Unless we're talking about Creative Cloud and if that's the case then Apple is right and Adobe is full of crap, right?


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:21:18 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 2, 2015 at 6:23:00 pm

[Paul Neumann] "Unless we're talking about Creative Cloud and if that's the case then Apple is right and Adobe is full of crap, right?"

Creative Cloud is fine. I've never said one thing arguing against the software or even the cloud approach. (actually let me amend that, I've reported that CC is likely great when it works - but it's kinda a mess when it doesn't - something I've experienced first hand with my Photography subscription, but that's another thread)

Forced rental with a ransom-ware back end is what I believe to be toxic to the individual editor and the industry as a whole.

In that way, yes, the executive suite at Adobe is damaging the future of the editing profession IMO. Complete on your product, fine. Demand fealty with implied threat of career stoppage. Not so fine.

None of which says a THING about the fine work their software designers, support people and others are doing. I find PPro too traditional a design for my taste - as I was happy to see FCP Legacy put to pasture as well, but from what I hear iAdobe is moving traditional fixed track timeline editing steadily if slowly toward the future. Nothing wrong with that.

Is that clear enough, Paul?

It's not the software - its the BUSINESS MODEL I find toxic. And sadly I doubt that's going to change anytime soon.

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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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 7:22:47 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "I laughed at the concerted effort to try to explain how different this "MPS" was from traditional editing systems. We really have come a long, long way.

This video belongs in the NLE museum of history ... right up there with the Wright bros first airplane."


Thanks Mark :)

For me in the role of as editor/test pilot, it was a combination of Wright Bros. and the Mercury Space Program. I was using the system for a commercial product for an important client and responsible for client deliverables on a fixed production schedule. All while the system was evolving every day as I was using it. Plenty of nights crashing on a couch at the ranch after discovering a days work lost to a corrupt database. Fun times! Anyone complaining about the beta nature of software updates today doesn't realize how good they have it ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Charlie Austin
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on Apr 30, 2015 at 11:15:36 pm

[David Lawrence] "a link to the functional spec I co-authored with colleagues at Lucasfilm in 1987. This document specified the functionality and interface paradigms for a computer-based editing system that would become the model for modern NLEs."

Now I know why you're so adamant about tracks... you invented them! lol Very cool David.
Seems like Avid totally ripped you guys off, MC even kinda looks the same today. ;-)

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

~ 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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 12:15:11 am

Great to see this David. I just wanted to know how much the Fairlight CMI or the Synclavier influenced the layout and the tracks concept.

When I went to the meeting at Fairlight around this same time to discuss a version for film & video post, I asked why the horizontal layout. Why not vertical tracks like a dubbing chart and a mixing desk. They said the layout had been developed by software people in the UK and based on musical notation so horizontal stacking of tracks.

So I knew that at a similar time to your developments Fairlight were also embarking on R&D for what would be one of the first DAWs.


Laser disks! wow and 8meg of RAM. A bit of screen lag but hey we still have that all these years later with amazing drive speed and processing power.

What was the music? Sounded a bit like Jan Garbarek.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 12:23:44 am

[Michael Gissing] "Why not vertical tracks like a dubbing chart and a mixing desk"

Of course, analog multitrack tapes would have been horizontal by nature. OTOH, Quantel's Harry, also one of the first NLEs, first tried a vertical layout, much like filmstrips.

[Michael Gissing] "A bit of screen lag but hey we still have that all these years later with amazing drive speed and processing power."

Ironically, almost less lag than X today. ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 12:38:28 am
Last Edited By Michael Gissing on May 1, 2015 at 12:41:42 am

[Oliver Peters]"Of course, analog multitrack tapes would have been horizontal by nature. OTOH, Quantel's Harry, also one of the first NLEs, first tried a vertical layout, much like filmstrips."

Yes the idea of horizontal movement past a play head goes back to flatbeds for the film industry so it wasn't a foreign concept. Vertical preceded that with Moviola and indeed projectors. The fact that mixers have vertical alignments to represent mix tracks made my question a matter of what the film industry might prefer as those early meetings at Fairlight were about the MFX which was aimed at film & video not music.I was thinking dubbing charts.But because DAW and NLE development followed the earlier music devices the idea of a music notation layout made sense.

Another Australian company, Digiteyes, made an NLE based on their Shotlister software that used vertical tracks. I did influence their decision to use vertical tracks and display useful things like relative and absolute offset so I could use an editors EDL to display a program like a dubbing chart. It even chased timecode so I could use it when mixing off multi track.I still use Shotlister to display edit change lists as blocks to help reversioning.

I also remember the Harry!


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David Mathis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 4:09:49 pm

I have a feeling storing those LP sized discs was fun. I still own a player and various movies. Back in the day a great format, to be sure but listening to the player switch to the other side was mildly annoying. Thought the machine was posessed the first time.


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 7:33:44 am
Last Edited By David Lawrence on May 2, 2015 at 7:46:47 am

[Charlie Austin] "Now I know why you're so adamant about tracks... you invented them! lol Very cool David."

Charlie - Thanks! I do think we invented something genuinely new, but it wasn't tracks. ;)

[Michael Gissing] "Great to see this David. I just wanted to know how much the Fairlight CMI or the Synclavier influenced the layout and the tracks concept.

When I went to the meeting at Fairlight around this same time to discuss a version for film & video post, I asked why the horizontal layout. Why not vertical tracks like a dubbing chart and a mixing desk. They said the layout had been developed by software people in the UK and based on musical notation so horizontal stacking of tracks."


Michael - Some context -- GTV, the interactive program I was producing was a media experience primarily driven by sound. Since sound was as important as picture, we didn't give one media type priority over the other. The project was named "Multimedia Production System", because were developing a general purpose interface and authoring model; one that would work well for all media types and media experiences. MPS was made to produce interactive video, but the interface worked just as well for linear video.

We considered sound a solved problem in terms of digital production quality. We could easily produce and deliver CD quality sound with the hardware and software available at the time. On the other hand, high quality digital video was many years away. I remember when Apple gave us one of the first demos of QuickTime. We looked at the slow, grainy, postage-stamps Apple was calling "movies", all of us thinking "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means." ;)

We were definitely aware of what was going on with digital audio at the time. Applications like SoundEdit 16 and MOTU Performer were our everyday production tools. We put in a request for a Fairlight (or maybe a Kurzweil) to make music for GTV but we didn't get it, lol.

Re: influences and why a horizontal layout - I'm pretty sure we were influenced by the typical digital audio software we were using, with waveforms drawn horizontally. But there were other important considerations. We (Westerners at least) read from left to right, and monitors are typically landscape shape. A horizontal layout gives us the most efficient use of screen real estate. For all these reasons, horizontal made sense to us.

Another important influence (mentioned in the video) was the Macintosh Human interface itself. The idea that you point, click and drag to interact. The idea of making a picture of what your program looks like to perform edits.

One of the biggest breakthroughs during development was when the engineering team decided the system would be object-oriented. The workspace would hold collections of multimedia objects (pictures, running video, sounds). These objects could be placed and arranged on the time editor. The length of a box representing media directly corresponded to the length that piece of media would play in time. The horizontal position of the media object along the timeline determined when that media object would play. Empty space between objects (we called them "time bubbles") would simply play black video and/or silence.

The picture was your edit, and the system had simple building blocks and tools to make the picture. It was very direct, Mac-like and simple. So simple, we believed (as Doug Crockford says in the video) anyone with Macintosh experience could learn it in an hour.

That's what made this system really different from anything else at the time. The MPS introduced what I now call the "open timeline".

[Charlie Austin] "Seems like Avid totally ripped you guys off, MC even kinda looks the same today. ;-)"

It's actually a bit more nuanced than that ;) I remember we knew we had something important in terms of UI. I told my managers I thought we had a new, billion dollar industry in the palm of our hands. But as the project was winding down in 1990, There was no LFL interest in making a business. George didn't care to push it forward and the momentum and the moment evaporated. Apple eventually started showing this video to third parties, including IIRC, Avid. The rest as they say is history. Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed.

I want to be clear that there was a lot of parallel development happening at the time. The modern NLE was an inevitability. But it's interesting to look at the EMC2 and Avid/1 demo videos which were made around the same time as this and compare their UI with our UI. Neither of them performed the actual editing operations on the timeline itself.

I don't think anyone can say who was first and it really doesn't matter. All I know is we made something new and special, and it's a missing link in the history of the tools we use everyday. I'm happy I can finally share it with all of you.

_______________________
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Michael Gissing
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 10:43:42 pm

[David Lawrence]"Re: influences and why a horizontal layout - I'm pretty sure we were influenced by the typical digital audio software we were using, with waveforms drawn horizontally. But there were other important considerations. We (Westerners at least) read from left to right, and monitors are typically landscape shape. A horizontal layout gives us the most efficient use of screen real estate. For all these reasons, horizontal made sense to us."

Thanks for that David. Of course a lot of monitors were portrait or square. These days that is less usual than back then. I do think music notation was a factor in DAWs so in a way it was following that convention. In spite of what some think, conventions help especially with learning curves.


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 6, 2015 at 12:30:49 am

[Michael Gissing] "Thanks for that David. Of course a lot of monitors were portrait or square. These days that is less usual than back then. I do think music notation was a factor in DAWs so in a way it was following that convention. In spite of what some think, conventions help especially with learning curves."

True. In fact, I remember the Radius Pivot which was considered pretty innovative at the time, so portrait monitors were by no means rare. But we just had 640x480 Mac II color displays. I was happy we had two of them.

Agree music notation would be a factor in DAWs. It's all about the convention of reading, which is a pretty strong convention.

Also, interestingly, SoundDroid displayed its waveforms vertically in the form of a cue sheet:

http://www.typewritten.org/Articles/DroidWorks/sd-485.pdf


[Michael Gissing] "What was the music? Sounded a bit like Jan Garbarek."

No idea who did it. Next time I run into Burt Arnowitz (the video's producer) I'll ask and see if he remembers.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 6:07:24 am

David et all,

Not taking away from the compliments for this groundbreaking work at the time, but why do most of you so desperately cling to the past, trying everything to find justification why tracks are better or nicer or more 'you'.

The only reason FCP X got rid of 'rigid' tracks (because when you think of it it still uses the same basic horizontal layout) is because it tries to save you work that a 'rigid' track NLE has to do: Track assignment, Maintain Sync, keep Video-Audio pairs together. Relatively easy of course when you know how, but such a waste of time where you should be rather thinking about how to tell a story! If none of that bothers you than of course a 'rigid' track system suits 'you' better.

Here is my experience: Learned on Avid right at the start of its invention, switched to FCP because of cost right from the go but appreciated the many improvements in handling, Learned FCP X over a longer period and start to really like it a lot. Then I did a job recently on Avid after 10 years not using it and it showed me how truly amazing FCP X really is and how useless tracks are. They do not add anything to telling a story but only justify the inner nerd to look organised. There is nothing in the FCP X timeline that you can't do because of not having 'rigid' tracks but so much more exactly because you don't have them.

You can still edit a beautiful movie on the Moviola but I'm really glad that the development of editing tools hasn't stopped with just one clever system wether it is Moviola, Steenbeck, MSP, Avid or FCP Legacy or FCP X (I do not count Premiere because it doesn't break ground but just adopts 100% of the basic old NLE philosophy).

I for one don't subscribe to the apologetic notion of 'Well they are all good NLE's and all have their place'. I think it's a cop out for people who like FCP X and can't say the rest of the NLE's are not working and a cop out for people who don't like FCP X because they can't say that it is not working or non-professional.

FCP X is a genius piece of software that shows that you don't need 'rigid' tracks to work comfortably and in actual fact gain functionality that wasn't there before.

Happy editing
Carsten


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Mark Suszko
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 1:49:36 pm

I'd like more insight into the laser disk portion of MPS and the later laser Edit systems. Instead of hard drives, you had the footage transferred to a laser disk and the NLE generated an EDL based on the codes from the laser disks. Fine. But then what was the *output* stage process, to get that final video mastered out to one-inch or whatever? And how long did it take to make the laser disks for the sources?


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 8, 2015 at 7:15:22 am

[Mark Suszko] "I'd like more insight into the laser disk portion of MPS and the later laser Edit systems. Instead of hard drives, you had the footage transferred to a laser disk and the NLE generated an EDL based on the codes from the laser disks. Fine. But then what was the *output* stage process, to get that final video mastered out to one-inch or whatever? And how long did it take to make the laser disks for the sources?"

Great questions, thank you.

A bit of background - computer-controlled optical storage media (laser videodisc and CD-ROM) was at the center of the collaboration between Lucasfilm, Apple, and The National Geographic Society. Our design research focused on exploring how the synergy of personal computers and high-capacity optical storage would enable new interactive experiences for education, entertainment, and beyond. GTV, the eventual laserdisc classroom product produced for NGS began as one of several laserdisc-based multimedia design examples during the research and bridge phases of the collaboration. You can check out one of the first press reports (written by John Markoff while he was at the SF Examiner) here:

http://propaganda.com/exam_060386.jpg

This article (and other press from that day) focused on CD-ROM and didn't mention the importance of laserdisc in the experiences and systems we were designing.

Of course, we weren't the first to use laserdisc as a video editing source, EditDroid pioneered that several years earlier. But our project was designed around specific benefits of laserdisc technology.

Your description of the how we used laserdiscs as video source is correct. Instead of storing video on hard drives, we created one-inch tape pre-masters which were burned to three identical laserdisc check discs for use in the MPS.

Sound was stored on two 650MB Jasmine hard drives. We chose those particular drives because they could hold the exact same amount of data as a stereo audio CD. This was a big deal back then - IIRC, those drives costed around $20,000 each.

I would edit video segments on the MPS and after client revision/approval the system generated a CMX-compatible EDL. This EDL was taken to an online suite where it was used to auto-assemble the program master using the one-inch MPS laserdisc pre-masters as source. Transitions and color correction and were performed online as well.

Re: how long it took to make the MPS pre-masters - an interesting question. GTV had a unique interactive design that made the pre-mastering process unusual. I could write a separate article on this topic but here's an overview:

A CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) laserdisc stores 54,000 frames of video. This video can be played back in real time at 30FPS giving 30 minutes of running video. Each individual frame on a CAV disc can also be accessed directly and played back as a still.

By connecting a computer with a database to the videodisc player, it becomes possible to use the laserdisc as a giant frame store. The computer database keeps track of the images on the disc and the computer controls what image is displayed and how long it displays before switching to another image.

The GTV prototype design imagined an educational media experience driven by music, story and great sound design, driving carefully selected, visually compelling still images from National Geographic. These would be short, bite-sized segments, ranging in length from 15-seconds to a couple minutes. They'd have attitude, style, humor, and pizzaz. And they'ed each focus on a single topic or idea.

The computer would create the experience of these segments on-the-fly, playing audio from a CD-ROM and simultaneously syncing still playback from the laserdisc. Because the laserdisc has 54,000 individual frames, we imagined a single disc would store a ton of material. Way more than 30-minutes of running video. And we imagined building teachers an authoring tool so they could string these segments together like beads on a chain to create whatever lesson plans they wanted from the library on disc.

It was an ambitious design that attempted to get maximum leverage from the technologies on the table. By the time we went into production, budget and time constraints meant we had to let go of many of the original ideas for delivery. But the segment experience remained sound and still-image based and we did build an authoring tool for teachers which ran on the Apple //c.

The video pre-mastering process involved requesting, selecting, and transferring thousands of slides and photographs from National Geographic to one-inch video as single frames. We would use the IMC, a programmable, servo-controlled camera for animatics - pans, zooms and various moves - on photographs and slides that were pre-planned and shot as running stills. We were't the first to use this technique and btw, neither was Ken Burns. ;) Of course, today we set a few keyframes and we're done, but back then you literally needed a robot.

After the pre-master was done, it was sent to Crawford Communications in Atlanta. A few days later, we'd get back three of these:



I'd then load up the MPS and get to work cutting.

_______________________
David Lawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 8, 2015 at 2:39:14 pm

Laserdisc. What a flash in the pan.

Fascinating stuff, David. We've come so far, so fast.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 2:20:24 pm

[Carsten Orlt] " There is nothing in the FCP X timeline that you can't do because of not having 'rigid' tracks but so much more exactly because you don't have them."

With Ppro which has both "rigid" tracks and a track mixer I have one track with specific eq and compression for sync dialogue and one track with different compression and eq for location effects. When cutting a show the nature of my audio often changes - what was once sync now becomes effects and then sometimes back again. I can accomplish this in Ppro by simply moving a given audio clip from one track to another. This is a constant with me as I refine a show, something I do dozens of times a day. How would you handle that with FCPX?

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 2:30:27 am

[Herb Sevush] "How would you handle that with FCPX?"

Apply the FX to the clip not the track. Even easier now that one can save whole plugin setups.
Or wait with mixing & EQ'ing until the picture is locked and compound elements and apply FX to that.

Happy editing
Carsten


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 2:39:11 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Apply the FX to the clip not the track."

so dozens of times a days I have to select a clip, remove its current efx settings, then paste in the new settings -- that is oh so 2013.

[Carsten Orlt] "Or wait with mixing & EQ'ing until the picture is locked and compound elements and apply FX to that."

Yes, waiting for picture lock, as opposed to hearing it the way I want to hear it as I cut is a huge step forward.

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:27:15 am

Sorry Herb, you're absolutely right. I will go back to many hours of track assigning, setting up complicated asymmetric trims, rearranging music or fx so they don't overlap because of this one slightly more involved workflow compared to what you have with tracks..
Not so happy editing for me now
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:49:41 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Sorry Herb, you're absolutely right. I will go back to many hours of track assigning, setting up complicated asymmetric trims, rearranging music or fx so they don't overlap because of this one slightly more involved workflow compared to what you have with tracks.."

Or you could just not make blanket statements and then get passive/aggressive when someone presents their own everyday scenario that shows your blanket statement to be false. ;)

You have your needs, Herb has his needs, I have my needs, Bill has yet another set of needs... the "It works for me therefore it must work for everyone else" approach never ends well because there are thousands of different editors out there with thousands of different workflows and thousands of unique challenges they are dealing with.


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:03:45 am

He asked - I answered normally - then he replies in a very ironic tone - then I reply the same while still making a valid (not necessary in this case) argument - now you call me passive aggressive.

Hmm. As I said before I guess I will never understand :-)

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 7:28:04 am

[Carsten Orlt] "He asked - I answered normally - then he replies in a very ironic tone - then I reply the same while still making a valid (not necessary in this case) argument - now you call me passive aggressive."

You made a blanket statement questioning other people's needs and workflows, no one questioned your needs or your workflow.

You openly challenged the board, Herb cited a couple of his workflow needs, you made suggestions that were obviously inferior to what Herb was already doing, Herb said your suggestions were inferior to what he was already doing, and you said fine, you'll stop using X. The response was completely nonsensical because no one was trying to impose their choices on you, they were just questioning you trying to impose your choices on them.

[Carsten Orlt] "Hmm. As I said before I guess I will never understand :-)"

It's pretty simple, horses for courses.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 12:28:17 pm

[Carsten Orlt] " I will go back to many hours of track assigning, setting up complicated asymmetric trims, rearranging music or fx so they don't overlap because of this one slightly more involved workflow compared to what you have with tracks.."

#1 - The main lesson I have learned from this forum is that there appears to be a near infinite number of workflows being pursued by a very large number of very highly schooled editors working on a staggering array of different sorts of projects.

I have never used an asymmetric trim in my life, because I detach all my video from my audio once my assembly is complete. I'm amazed that this is not a universal process, but then I checked in with paragraph number #1 above, and am no longer surprised. But still, FCPX saves me from nothing there, so you'll have to do better.

My music and FX don't overlap, even when moved, because they're kept on separate tracks. If you mean that FX would overlap with FX when moving segments in overwrite, then yes that happens, but what happens when you have these overwrites in X -- they now co-exist non-harmoniously in adjacent "lanes" till you either disable or move one of them further. So in sum X allows you to clean up your mess after you make it, other NLe's insist you plan ahead and don't make a mess in the first place. Ahh the revolution is here.

Track assigning, especially in Ppro, is a pain in the ass, X is an improvement there. But of course only if your comfortable with the lack of visual information provided by the X timeline. This is a preference issue, if you don't care about the visual clues, then X is faster - but see paragraph # 1 above.

We haven't even gotten to the issue of no round tripping from a gfx/compositor. I've gotten used to round tripping ever since *edit and *combustion allowed this possibility. I realize that X allows for some fairly complex effects work, but there are projects where it's clearly not enough - what, prey tell, do you do then?

I believe Andrew has answered for me adequately elsewhere, but I really think you should check in with paragraph #1 a little more often.

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 8:17:55 am

Herb -

Based on what you've described, I think PPro may be the only NLE that can currently accomplish the kind of audio bussing that you require. Can't do it on Avid, couldn't do it in FCP 7, nor can you do it in Resolve or Lightworks (AFAIK).

So one can look at this situation as a specific positive feature of PPro, or as a failing of all other current NLEs. And unrelated to the tracks vs. trackless discussion.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 1:03:38 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "So one can look at this situation as a specific positive feature of PPro, or as a failing of all other current NLEs. And unrelated to the tracks vs. trackless discussion."

First of all I don't know for sure that no other NLE can do this, I'm thinking Vegas, with it's history of starting as a DAW, might have a complete mixer built in.

Second, the difference is that the structure of a tracked NLE allows for this possibility - FCP Legend had a track mixer built in, it would have been simple to upgrade it to Ppro's capabilities (FCP 8.0 ?) - whereas with a trackless design, even with a roles based mixer, you would constantly have to go through the bother of assigning and un-assigning roles to a clip every time you wanted the change.

Finally, and most importantly, I was responding to this specific line by Carsten:
" There is nothing in the FCP X timeline that you can't do because of not having 'rigid' tracks but so much more exactly because you don't have them."

I was not the one arguing the pro's or weaknesses of FCPX, I was merely responding to this bit of hyperbole. Of course when I point out that instead of "nothing" there is "something" that X can't do because of it's structure we are told that my something doesn't count because Carsten had decided that it's not meeting his definition of "real" editing. This bit of circular reasoning is similar to Bill's continuing observation that:

"And while I do not have equivalent experience with AVID or Premier or Vegas, lots of editors I know and talk with DO - and to a one, those who've actually learned to use X at a truly professional level DO NOT want to switch back."

Which means that Oliver Peters and Steve Connor, according to Bill, have not"actually learned to use X at a professional level" because if they had they would feint at the thought of using any other NLE. So no matter what your actual experience, if you don't love it you haven't "learned it."

Refuting this sort of self-defining circular nonsense is at the heart of my comments.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 6:29:05 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Which means that Oliver Peters and Steve Connor, according to Bill, have not"actually learned to use X at a professional level" because if they had they would feint at the thought of using any other NLE. So no matter what your actual experience, if you don't love it you haven't "learned it." "

Wait, what?

Are you saying that Oliver and Steve are giving up on X and feel it has nothing to offer them? And that given the choice, they'd ALWAYS choose another NLE over X?

Because that's kinda what you're saying here.

Methinks you're distorting the meaning of my words. I said "do not want to switch back" - I did NOT say "do not want to abandon all other approaches in favor of X". Which is kinda seems what you're trying to spin my comment into.

I think it's fair to say that both Oliver and Steve find things of useful validity in X. But they are also required by the nature of their practices to keep a foot in multiple NLE camps. It's a smart decision when you have to serve multiple NLE masters.

The more interesting question is how many folks have switched to X and truly learned it at a deep level - yet THEN decided to go back to another NLE as their primary tool.

I'm sure there are some. But in general, in the X communities where I largely hang out now, while there is always room for criticism, hope for new features, and even dissatisfaction, I know few who truly have any intention of switching back.

Plus, there IS a qualitative issue here as well. The guys working at the very high end of the X spectrum on big budget, high profile stuff - are among the MOST passionate about the new approach. It's Cioni and Hodgetts and Matzdorff and Carter et al who are willing to go out front and admit that they prefer it to anything, and they've generally worked with a LOT of other NLEs.

So how do we jibe that with the voices who haven't even taken the time to learn the program - yet who are always the primary voices calling it into question?

I'm going to cave in and say, (for the umpteenth time) that X is not perfect. Just to calm the frothing emotions of those who will read this and falsely cast it as me "once again" saying that "if you don't use X, you're foolish" - it seems there's no way I can say something positive about X without it being about ME.

But none of those guys are ME. All of them have boatloads more brains, talent and experience than ME. But they generally say the same things I say. So even if I'm stupid and wrong, they might not be. And if that's true, those of you who keep self-reinforcing the idea that seriously examining the X approach will always be unproductive and/or a waste of time - well, at least you now have another gentle prod that perhaps you're decision to more or less ignore it, might have been a bit hasty.

That's all.

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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 8:45:37 pm

Hi Herb.

I understood your response as being primarily about the blanket statements. Wasn't intending to correct anyone so much as to redirect to what seemed like a more specific and useful discussion.

I don't know if PPro is unique in having bussing. I'd certainly like to see it in X and in Avid. It would make it much easier for the increasing amount of "finish it in the NLE" I and others do.

While X can't do this in its current state, I'm not so sure I'd call it impossible to do because of the trackless mode. Exporting roles as individual tracks is, in essence, assigning clips to specific busses. Right now it's limited to exporting. I wonder why this function couldn't be accessed inside the edit process, perhaps through a popup "mixer" or some kind of HUD. Maybe a plugin?

Obviously, moving a clip into or out of a track with a particular effect assigned to it is easy. But is it really so much harder to change a role on a clip? I know it's a couple more keystrokes or mouse clicks, but what if it could be assigned to a hot key? Wouldn't it then be pretty much the same as select and drag or shift up arrow, or whatever the PPro keystrokes are?


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 11:34:15 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "While X can't do this in its current state, I'm not so sure I'd call it impossible to do because of the trackless mode. "

Jeff -

I don't think there's anything that X can't do. I also don't think there's anything Avid or Ppro can't do - it's all about how quick, how fast, how easy and most importantly how it syncs with your workflow.

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 6:34:59 pm

Hi Herb.

I think we're pretty much on the same page vis a vis choosing an NLE that fits one's workflow.

Here's where I'm a little unclear:

On the one hand, [Herb Sevush] "I don't think there's anything that X can't do."
On the other hand, [Herb Sevush] "the difference is that the structure of a tracked NLE allows for this possibility."
The logical inverse of this statement, to me, is that "the structure of a non-tracked NLE does not allow for this possibility."

I've frequently seen on this board some variation of "X's trackless interface makes it impossible to do _______" Usually related to the kind of bussing and mixing process we're talking about. What I'm getting at is the ease with which this idea is taken as orthodoxy.

Yes, in its current development state, X doesn't do some of the track-based techniques that are important to some workflows (like yours). But I don't see any evidence that X's "trackless" mode prohibits the implementation of these techniques. Apple's philosophy may prohibit such functions, but that's a whole different thing.

So - does the "trackless" structure of X preclude the implementation of the mixing and bussing techniques commonly associated with "tracked" NLEs? (Not that I expect you to have the final answer, Herb!) I think this is a much more useful extension of the seemingly endless tracks vs. trackless merry go round.


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Walter Soyka
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 6:41:38 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "So - does the "trackless" structure of X preclude the implementation of the mixing and bussing techniques commonly associated with "tracked" NLEs? (Not that I expect you to have the final answer, Herb!) I think this is a much more useful extension of the seemingly endless tracks vs. trackless merry go round."

This. Many arguments on this forum hinge on the current specific implementations of tracked versus trackless, not on the nature of tracked versus trackless themselves.

There's no roles mixer in FCPX today, but that doesn't mean that a trackless system can never bus and/or mix. A track can only accommodate a single element at a specific time in Premiere Pro today, but that doesn't mean that a tracked system can never avoid clip collisions.

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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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 12:23:08 am

[Walter Soyka] "There's no roles mixer in FCPX today, but that doesn't mean that a trackless system can never bus and/or mix. A track can only accommodate a single element at a specific time in Premiere Pro today, but that doesn't mean that a tracked system can never avoid clip collisions."

Perfectly stated.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 12:31:53 am

[Walter Soyka] "A track can only accommodate a single element at a specific time in Premiere Pro today, but that doesn't mean that a tracked system can never avoid clip collisions."

There's some precedent for that already. Logic and Vegas both will apply automatic dissolves/crossfades as one clip collides with another on the same track. There are also some applications (Soundtrack Pro?) that will move a clip behind another clip at overlap points.

- Oliver

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:47:07 am

[Walter Soyka] "A track can only accommodate a single element at a specific time in Premiere Pro today, but that doesn't mean that a tracked system can never avoid clip collisions."
[Oliver Peters] "There's some precedent for that already. Logic and Vegas both will apply automatic dissolves/crossfades as one clip collides with another on the same track. There are also some applications (Soundtrack Pro?) that will move a clip behind another clip at overlap points."

I've said it so many times here that clip collision is a problem that was solved last century by dSP and Fairlight with non destructive clip stacking on a track. Why that never made it into an NLE staggers me along with ergonomic controllers. Two elegant solutions that have been field tested for twenty years.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 12:22:00 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "On the one hand, [Herb Sevush] "I don't think there's anything that X can't do."
On the other hand, [Herb Sevush] "the difference is that the structure of a tracked NLE allows for this possibility."
The logical inverse of this statement, to me, is that "the structure of a non-tracked NLE does not allow for this possibility.""


When I said there's nothing X can't do I was referring to the finished editorial object - there's no type of project that X can't do. Workflows are somewhat malleable, there are many different way to produce the same deliverables. I've cut the same series I'm working on now with 3 different NLE's - *edit, FCP and now Ppro. Ppro, because of it's track mixer, is the easiest to work with, but I had no unworkable problems with the other 2 before now. I'm quite sure I could cut this series with X or Avid as well.

The question is which NLE makes the most overall sense for me to work with at this time. My answer, for this moment, is Ppro.

[Jeff Markgraf] "Yes, in its current development state, X doesn't do some of the track-based techniques that are important to some workflows (like yours). But I don't see any evidence that X's "trackless" mode prohibits the implementation of these techniques. Apple's philosophy may prohibit such functions, but that's a whole different thing."

I'll grant you that you could create a trackless system that would be as effective - roles based mixer, color coded roles, single keystroke assigning of roles to a clip in the timeline the same way that multicam assigns a video angle with a single keystroke.

At the same time you must also grant that a tracked system could be created that avoids clip collisions - in fact the very first digital NLE (EMC) did just that.

I don't think the current batch of NLE's have exhausted the possibilities in any way.

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:42:09 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "So - does the "trackless" structure of X preclude the implementation of the mixing and bussing techniques commonly associated with "tracked" NLEs? (Not that I expect you to have the final answer, Herb!) I think this is a much more useful extension of the seemingly endless tracks vs. trackless merry go round."

Easy to answer. There should be no reason that Roles cannot emulate everything that is possible with bussing, track based processing and buss based signal processing to a final mix bus. After all tracks to busses is just a visual way of organising a signal workflow which is not what is happening under the hood. DAW mixers are using tracks as an organisational tool and a display order of processing of the signal flow. Sure a trackless Roles based system should be able to do the exact same.

If they get it right it may even be better for some workflows like features with hundreds of tracks which often have so many tracks because they are using individual dialog tracks for each actor. A lot of inefficient tracklaying happens because of using tracks to organise so I am the first to admit that a trackless Roles based system may have efficiencies in such workflows. Under the hood coding however if designed with that in mind should have potentially been incorporated to some extent by now. It worries me that it hasn't which makes me wonder why something that useful if easy hasn't yet shown itself, even in basic form.

Some here will argue that they don't need it and fair enough if your workflow is simple and deliverables do not require sophisticated stems with signal processing. Meanwhile Pr, Vegas (and soon Resolve 12) have that capability of track based processing, bussing and insertable plugin processing. So it is already a feature of track/bus based systems. I am keen to see if Roles can be made to emulate that as many require that in a finishing tool.


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Shawn Miller
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 11:48:16 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Jeff Markgraf] "So one can look at this situation as a specific positive feature of PPro, or as a failing of all other current NLEs. And unrelated to the tracks vs. trackless discussion."

First of all I don't know for sure that no other NLE can do this, I'm thinking Vegas, with it's history of starting as a DAW, might have a complete mixer built in."


It does... bussing has been in the software since the Sonic Foundry days. It also has limited MIDI support.

Shawn



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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 12, 2015 at 3:07:25 pm

Avid can have track bases (RTAS) effects. I use the same workflow all the time.
Typically tracks 1-4 for DX then Fx then Mx etc

I like the idea of FCPX trackless, audio comes along for the ride kind of timeline, but the practicalities of no audio mixer no decent sync or timecode indication and no track based effects do tend to be limiting for many jobs.

No bussing with Avid is true, other than the master bus, bu that wasn't mentioned originally.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 3:02:03 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on May 1, 2015 at 3:10:48 pm

OMG!!! I am so sorry for having a different point of view on the debate forum, I should have known better.

BTW Carsten, while those of us who prefer audio tracks may be old, ignorant, Luddites, we are nonetheless vastly superior in terms of sheer numbers, and you my enlightened friend, whether you're ultimately proven right or wrong, are just part of a very tiny minority for now. And, until the majority embraces your belief system, should probably learn to expect and respect opinions that are different from your own.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 4:26:35 pm

Tossing in the argument that tracks are somehow old and no longer valid and that those people are "clinging to the past" is exactly the sort of unproductive thing said here, that most FCP X-enthusiasts deny ever saying. This video is a very cool peek into where technology was at a point in time and it's part of the heritage that got Apple to FCP X.

There are plenty of things that X is not well-suited for, just as there are things that tracks are not well-suited for. Rehashing this blind obedience to some concept that X is the most brilliant way forward seems pretty closed minded - just as much as adhering to tracks without recognizing the value of other approaches.

- Oliver

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 5:06:07 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "I for one don't subscribe to the apologetic notion of 'Well they are all good NLE's and all have their place'. I think it's a cop out for people who like FCP X and can't say the rest of the NLE's are not working and a cop out for people who don't like FCP X because they can't say that it is not working or non-professional."

Wild guess here, but in your opinion, is X the best NLE regardless of the situation?

I'm note sure what's apologetic about reality because all the NLEs have different pros and cons. In the past 15yrs I've worked at a lot of places on a lot of projects in a lot of different situations (big budget, small budget, single editor, multi-editor, one-off projects, TV stations, post houses, web, theatrical, cable, corporate, weddings. broadcast, news/same-day-edits, staff, freelance, tech-savvy editors, tech-stupid editors, etc.,) and I've yet to run into an NLE that's the best for every user, every workflow and every situation. That's the great thing about the increasing NLE competition these days is people can hopefully find the NLE that best suits their needs as opposed to an inherently poor fitting one-size-fits-all approach.


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:54:24 am

[Andrew Kimery] "Wild guess here, but in your opinion, is X the best NLE regardless of the situation?"

I don't about that but it is the only one I need to edit everything. I rather become an expert on one advanced (and hopefully further advancing) NLE than an average user on many NLE's (because I can't remember them all after a while).

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:27:40 am

[Carsten Orlt] " I rather become an expert on one advanced (and hopefully further advancing) NLE than an average user on many NLE's (because I can't remember them all after a while).
"


For me it's not an either/or thing though my brain might just be wired in a way that makes it easier for me to pickup software. Herb has mentioned too that it's not easy for him to jump between NLEs so he likes to do a fair amount of testing then jump in with both feet and stay a whlie. In the last 18 months alone I've gone from Avid to PPro, to Avid to PPro to FCP 7 (for just a little bit) and then back to PPro. After this gig it will probably be back to Avid. That's freelance life for ya. I've tried to squeeze in X on small projects here or there but it just hasn't worked out yet. When I do coloring work it's in Resolve so I'll kick the tires on 12 when it drops to see if the editing is as improved as BM says it is.

Long story short, in the past few years Apple dropped the X bomb, Adobe went CC and Avid temporarily delisted from NASDAQ so I'm not even going to try and guess what the NLE market will look like in as little as 5 yrs. My plan is to stay agile. Though I had Avid skills, rusty as they were at the time, to fall back I felt too dependent on a single vender when FCP 7 got EOLed.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 6:33:37 pm

Andrew, it's still fair to point out that this entire thread is two guys who DO NOT use X, arguing with a guy who does.

That a does not make Carsten right. But it does make him more informed about X workflows than either of you guys.

If you want to keep commenting on X, I have a modest suggestion. Learn the software.

If after you truly understand how the X system works, you want to critique it. Then you should absolutely feel free.

But to dismiss a workflow without actually learning it seems to me to be really silly.

You can do it in less than 3 months full time, or about a year part time so long as you are consistently doing deliverable work so that you are pushed to solve real world problems not just find "differences" and turn back without addressing them.

To speak intelligently about a car. You need to drive the car. Perhaps?

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 7:21:23 pm

[Bill Davis] "Andrew, it's still fair to point out that this entire thread is two guys who DO NOT use X, arguing with a guy who does.
"


Who knows Herb's workflow needs better, Herb or Carsten?


To paraphrase the exchange between Carsten and Herb:

Carsten: Tracks suck and X can do anything a tracked timeline can do.

Herb: I use tracks for X, Y and Z. Can I accomplish similar things in X?

Carsten: No, but here are a couple of lame alternatives.

Herb: I don't want to use the lame alternatives.

Carsten: Fine! I'll stop using X! Are you happy now?!


Also, as I mentioned before, X-users like Charlie, Oliver and Bret chimed on Carsten's comments as well.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 7:39:14 am

What does that have to do with my point? I love and value Herb. But it's been four years that he's been kicking the metaphoracal tires on X and participating constantly in the "but can it do THIS better. Well, can it?" parade. With a few hours of real study a week, honestly after four years, he'd know all the answers for himself because he'd be an expert. You too my friend. After a certain period has passed, standing on the outside and criticizing something you don't really understand is just not very useful. It's precisely why you never hear me criticize the way any other NLE edits. I talk about X because I've studied it and understand it and pretty well. Odd that X's biggest critics seem to be mostly people who don't have all that much real world seat time with it. That's all.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 4:44:01 am

[Bill Davis] "What does that have to do with my point? I love and value Herb. But it's been four years that he's been kicking the metaphoracal tires on X and participating constantly in the "but can it do THIS better. Well, can it?" parade."

It has to do with your point because Herb was just responding to Carsten's open challenge to the board that X can do any workflow equally well, if not better than, other NLEs. When someone says, "Hey, tell me why you aren't using X." You can't blame the other party for responding. Especially when the response is about a workflow said person does on a regular basis and it's something that can't be replicated in X.

Herb organizes his audio by tracks and applies effects to entire tracks. According to Carsten himself you there isn't a corresponding workflow in X. Therefore X probably wouldn't be a better fit for Herb than PPro. It's not a criticism of X it's just a fact. That's why I don't understand the resulting drama. Carsten ASKED the board a question and people (me, Herb, Oliver, etc.,) responded. Did we misunderstand? Was it a rhetorical question?


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 6:52:53 am

Here's what you (and perhaps Herb) are missing. You guys think in tracks because every system you've ever cut on has had tracks. Me too until 2011. It was the default. Dependable and understood. But limited. And nobody really ever questioned the limitations. Then X came along and some of us started seeing the extra possibilities of thinking trackless. Concepts like why the software needs to present the editor with 100 empty tracks for audio when you might not need a single one of them. Or perhaps why the video of the piano players hands needs to be separated from the sound of the piano by 25 video and audiotracks of other stuff - just to keep an arbitrary track chart working.

I know it's a well understood system that developed over time and all that - but at some point, it's possible that following rules designed for the days when electro-magnetic multitrack head stacks ruled the industry might be limiting when nearly nobody is using mag tape anymore.

Me? I just want to get my work done fast and well and not waste so much time and energy struggling against my NLE anymore. I didn't realize that's what my $299 was buying me. But looking back, turns out it was precisely that. YMMV.

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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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:34:00 am

[Bill Davis] "I know it's a well understood system that developed over time and all that - but at some point, it's possible that following rules designed for the days when electro-magnetic multitrack head stacks ruled the industry might be limiting when nearly nobody is using mag tape anymore.

Me? I just want to get my work done fast and well and not waste so much time and energy struggling against my NLE anymore. I didn't realize that's what my $299 was buying me. But looking back, turns out it was precisely that. YMMV."


Nicely said :-)

Gotta admire everybody's energy to keep discussing this. And if we are really really honest we all know that it doesn't matter but for our ego's :-)

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:50:38 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Gotta admire everybody's energy to keep discussing this. And if we are really really honest we all know that it doesn't matter but for our ego's :-)"


Do you mean just in this thread or for the last 4 years? ;)


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 8:05:37 am

[Bill Davis] "You guys think in tracks because every system you've ever cut on has had tracks. Me too until 2011"

So in X, how would you go about meeting Herb's workflow needs? Can it be done in X currently or is it one of the thiagns that could be solved if Apple adds roles-based mixing (a feature that even the Focus crew hopes will happen)?

[Bill Davis] " just to keep an arbitrary track chart working. "

Except it's not arbitrary. It's a visual organization of what's in the timeline. Maybe that's not a big deal for how you like to work so not having it is a none issue. Maybe it's a big deal for how someone else likes to work so not having it is an issue. It's no different than keyword organization in X. If someone is a big keyword organizer then that's a compelling feature in X. If someone isn't a big keyword organizer then X's robustness in that area is less of a selling point. It's like layers vs nodes. Some things are better done as layers. Some things are better done as nodes. There is no universally best approach, just what's best for a given user on a given project.

When I first stated editing I never paid much mind to what went where because I was the only one working in my timelines. Once I got into a collaborative environment where I was getting timelines from other editors and they were getting my timelines it quickly became apparent how valuable a tool it was to have a visually organized timeline.

I recently worked on a historical doc that was 99% archival footage and between using color coding and track assignments the other editor and I created a very clear and concise way to show in the timeline what footage was temp (orange), what footage was master (blue) and what footage need to be swapped out because we couldn't secure a license for them (top track). Super simple for anyone to see and since it's in the timeline itself it's an easy, and constant, reminder of work that is still outstanding. To keep the producers in charge of gathering/tracking footage in the loop I just gave them a copy of my timeline. Much quicker and easier than writing up everything in a document and emailing it to them.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 3:46:30 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "So in X, how would you go about meeting Herb's workflow needs?"

Differently. Just like you export a multichannel audio file differently in Pr than you do in X.

[Andrew Kimery] "I recently worked on a historical doc that was 99% archival footage and between using color coding and track assignments the other editor and I created a very clear and concise way to show in the timeline what footage was temp (orange), what footage was master (blue) and what footage need to be swapped out because we couldn't secure a license for them (top track). Super simple for anyone to see and since it's in the timeline itself it's an easy, and constant, reminder of work that is still outstanding. To keep the producers in charge of gathering/tracking footage in the loop I just gave them a copy of my timeline. Much quicker and easier than writing up everything in a document and emailing it to them."

The same could be done with Roles, in fact, I do it all the time. I set a role with TEMP footage or DO NOT AAF or whatever it is that needs to be selected or deselected. I can then select that Role in the index and all of those clips are highlighted. So while, yes, color coding is cool and I would welcome it in X, there are ways to do what you want to do, but it is different an it looks different, and it's still very organized. I still owe David L a post on why an FCPX Project is much more than a timeline, and this is one of the talking points.

Also, with FPCXML being as strong as it is these days, and the Merge Events command, sharing isn't such a big deal. It's no where near Avid, but still, if you like the software, there are ways to get things done if you need to. It will look and feel different than anything else.


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Steve Connor
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 3:50:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So while, yes, color coding is cool and I would welcome it in X"

My biggest disappointment with the recent update was the lack of new features for roles.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 4:01:39 pm

[Steve Connor] "My biggest disappointment with the recent update was the lack of new features for roles."

Sure, but I find them to still be pretty powerful. I have been doing a lot of surround and stereo masters lately with both interleaved and stems, and Roles are killer.

There's a lot of untapped capability there, I'm still waiting to see if Apple motivates. I edit in other NLE's too, mostly Pr (and sometimes 7) and X is simply more creative software for me and my needs, plus it helps me do the boring shit (like exporting stems) a lot easier and more efficiently from the exact same (*clears throat) Project without having to make another (*clears throat, again) timeline. I also have a lot of the audio I work with finished in ProTools by a professional, so track bussing isn't very important for me as my audio is always roughed in and mixed later by the hands of the capable.


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Charlie Austin
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 4:10:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " I edit in other NLE's too, mostly Pr (and sometimes 7) and X is simply more creative software for me and my needs, plus it helps me do the boring shit (like exporting stems) a lot easier and more efficiently from the exact same (*clears throat) Project without having to make another (*clears throat, again) timeline. I also have a lot of the audio I work with finished in ProTools by a professional, so track bussing isn't very important for me as my audio is always roughed in and mixed later by the hands of the capable."

Same situation here, and same experience. Also, to Steve's comment, I don't think Apple have really dug into the Project/timeline yet, and think they most certainly will. Not coincidentally, that's the part of the app that lots of unanswered "prayers" (Roles/Audio etc.) are associated with. fwiw...

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

~ 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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:01:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Differently. Just like you export a multichannel audio file differently in Pr than you do in X. "

Currently in X are there a better solutions to Oliver and Herb's examples than what Carsten suggested? Because Carsten's suggestions sound more labor intensive and less effective from a workflow stand point.

Of course this all comes back again to individual needs and preferences. In response to Oliver and Herb's examples, Carsten says manipulating audio in that fashion is something he does maybe 2% of the time yet for Herb it's something he does multiple times a day. Given the vast difference between "I need to do XYZ all the time" and "I need to do XYZ rarely" it makes since that maybe these two people just might be better off using different tools at this point in time.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I still owe David L a post on why an FCPX Project is much more than a timeline, and this is one of the talking points."

I'd look forward to reading that. Your suggestion, if I'm understanding it correctly, sounds a bit limited though since I would have to select the "temp" role then look at the timeline, then select the "master" roll and look at the timeline and then select the " this has to be replaced" roll and look at the timeline, etc., where as now I just look at the timeline. Color coding would certainly help fix that problem though (as would the seemingly popular feature request of being able to easily 'pin' things in the timeline).

Something I meant to mention in my previous post, but forgot to, is that I'm not looking to recreate my exact Avid, PPro, FCP 7, etc., experience in X but I am looking to recreate the end results I need. So, for example, I don't explicitly need tracks for visual organization but I need the visual organization and currently I use tracks to help achieve it. Your roles suggestion (if X had color coding) would help to meet my visual organization needs.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:42:04 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I'd look forward to reading that. Your suggestion, if I'm understanding it correctly, sounds a bit limited though since I would have to select the "temp" role then look at the timeline, then select the "master" roll and look at the timeline and then select the " this has to be replaced" roll and look at the timeline, etc., where as now I just look at the timeline. Color coding would certainly help fix that problem though (as would the seemingly popular feature request of being able to easily 'pin' things in the timeline)."

I guess it depends on what you feel is limiting. I can open an index, type "DO NOT" and see, exactly and navigate to clips that shouldn't go in an AAF. This gives me both a list, and then if I select those clips, a visual reference. It isn't limiting to me.

Also, I can export an FCPXML, take it to X2Pro (or Xto7) and those programs give me the option to turn off the "DO NOT AAF" or "TEMP" Role so I don't do any translation on them. It's very easy, and doesn't require doing anything but turning off a checkbox, similar to turning off a track. It is a different way of thinking about the media, about the timeline, and about what a Project means.

[Andrew Kimery] "So, for example, I don't explicitly need tracks for visual organization but I need the visual organization and currently I use tracks to help achieve it. Your roles suggestion (if X had color coding) would help to meet my visual organization needs.
"


I get that, but I also think with a more metadata based approach, X could achieve what you want if you liked the software and wanted to employ a logical workflow to the media management of FCPX. Conceivably, everything is already pre-organized/labeled for them, it has the right Role, and you could even get down to the detail of every audio channel being pre named when it goes down to mix (in ProTools). It is a completely different looking but similar approach to color coding. Instead of sending over Orange labeled media, you send over an XML with Roles that tell you what is temporary and what isn't.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:03:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess it depends on what you feel is limiting. "

Limiting in the sense that in the current version of X I would have to keep redoing the query anytime I wanted the information where as in Avid, PPro, Legend, etc., the information is persistent in the timeline (the clip is blue, the clip is orange, the clip is on V7, etc.,.) until I actively alter the metadata associated with that media (I change its color, move it to a different track, remove it from the timeline entirely, etc.,).

Also, just to be clear, in my example I'm talking about video, not audio.


[Jeremy Garchow] " Each NLE has their strengths."

Exactly, and this goes all the back to one of my original points which is, why are some posters catching flak for talking about things that other NLEs do better than X when Carsten specifically asked people to talk about things that other NLEs to better than X?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:05:37 pm

I don't know why I have to answer for Carsten.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:10:25 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Limiting in the sense that in the current version of X I would have to keep redoing the query anytime I wanted the information where as in Avid, PPro, Legend, etc., the information is persistent in the timeline (the clip is blue, the clip is orange, the clip is on V7, etc.,.) until I actively alter the metadata associated with that media (I change its color, move it to a different track, remove it from the timeline entirely, etc.,)."

My guess is that if you developed a truly metadata centric workflow with FCPX, it wouldn't be near as daunting or limiting as it seems to be. You'd have to get used to it though, and that part is really tough for some people. It takes a little while, and yes, some of it isn't as efficient as putting things on v7, but the parts that are more efficient are truly more efficient, at least in my view, but you have to use it that way. If you don't setup your media and libraries that way, you lose the efficiency, just like Oliver points out, if you don't take the (short) amount of time to assign a simple Role, it can cost you.

The trick to staying organized is starting organized.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:15:49 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The trick to staying organized is starting organized."

LOL. Have you seen how some people edit??!!

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:29:52 pm

[Oliver Peters] "LOL. Have you seen how some people edit??!!"

Yes. Some editors aren't organized.

This is one of the nicest things about X. You can import the footage, tell people to assign extremely basic Roles to all the clips they just imported, even if it's something like SOT, or Music, or Effects, and they will never have to organize the audio again. Ever. They can get to work and focus on what they are good at.

If they turned off the wrong audio channel, all you have to do is turn it back on. You don't have to go back and find the source clip and add that channel of audio to a full timeline, and reexport or reshuffle the tracks to get the desired output. You simply hit a check box in X to add the audio channel back to the timeline, and you are done. So easy, so fast, so convenient, and in this case, far better than tracks.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 10:08:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can import the footage, tell people to assign extremely basic Roles to all the clips they just imported, even if it's something like SOT, or Music, or Effects, and they will never have to organize the audio again. Ever. They can get to work and focus on what they are good at."

My point before was that people would be more likely to do this, if those settings options were part of the import window. Seems like a very easy addition by Apple.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:27:19 am

[Oliver Peters] "My point before was that people would be more likely to do this, if those settings options were part of the import window. Seems like a very easy addition by Apple.
"


I've asked for it for a long time too as it would help me, but this omission, in no way, prevents learning fundamental organization in X.

I also think that it may get tricky with programs that send Role information in the XML, as there's a chance that the information could get overwritten.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 10:07:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "My guess is that if you developed a truly metadata centric workflow with FCPX, it wouldn't be near as daunting or limiting as it seems to be."

I don't find the idea daunting, just not as good as the color coding and track assignments approach I took for this one specific project I'm referencing. What can I say, I really like using color coding as an organization tool. Also, I assume you mean keyword-centric workflow as things like track assignments and color coding are metadata too.

With all that being said, I would've much rather used X, PPro or, hell, even FCP 7 for that gig instead of Avid because we used so....many... stills and Avid is just horrible with stills. So painful. So, utterly painful...

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know why I have to answer for Carsten."

I didn't mean to imply that you did. I was just pointing out the NLEs having different pros/cons is the crux of the issue that spun this thread off into a tangent.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:22:12 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I don't find the idea daunting, just not as good as the color coding and track assignments approach I took for this one specific project I'm referencing. What can I say, I really like using color coding as an organization"

I get it, completely, but I would challenge the "not as good". I'm not saying you would like Roles or a data sort based approached any better then color coding and strict track assignments, or even that, on an existential level, the data based model is better, but I could make a strong argument. If you receive other people's timelines to send out to final grade and mix and get back for conform, X's approach allows me to quickly rip through and organize timeline outputs on timelines that I have little knowledge of. With messy track based timelines, I have to go through clip by clip and make sure I'm not missing anything. X allows assigning organizational points to big groups of clips very very easily. To me and for my needs, it's a huge plus, but it does take some ramp up.

[Andrew Kimery] "Also, I assume you mean keyword-centric workflow as things like track assignments and color coding are metadata too.
"


Absolutely. That's why I mentioned Roles provide very similar function, but look completely different than color coding.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 7:43:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I get it, completely, but I would challenge the "not as good". I'm not saying you would like Roles or a data sort based approached any better then color coding and strict track assignments, or even that, on an existential level, the data based model is better, but I could make a strong argument. "

I'm not talking in general though, just about this one particular project I worked on. I know there are many scenarios where roles can provide a better experience, but for what I wanted on this specific gig I don't think current implementation of roles would've been as good as what I did in Avid. I've attached a screen grab of a portion of my timeline from that project for reference.

On V1, tan is for sourced archival screener footage, blue is unsourced archival screener footage, pink is company owned archival footage and orange is master archival footage. V6 is lower thirds and V7 is missing shots or footage that needs to be swapped out (v8 is just a TC filter so ignore that). At a glance I know exactly what is what and giving the clip a color or putting it on v7 just takes a moment. I didn't go into the project planning on doing this, but once we started getting into the thick of it I need an easy way to keep an eye on the 'types' of footage int the timeline and just adding colors did the trick. Putting things on V7 was just an easy and obvious way to signal "Hey, *this* really needs attention.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 8:03:14 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "but for what I wanted on this specific gig I don't think current implementation of roles would've been as good as what I did in Avid. "

I'll take your word for it, but I would still challenge it! :)


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 6, 2015 at 6:03:50 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'll take your word for it, but I would still challenge it! :)"

Challenge away! With your persistence I feel like Waldo is right under my nose but I just don't see him. :)

If I want to know what 'type' of footage is in the timeline (ex. temp, master, company owned or 'unknown source') what's easier than color coding? You've certainly illustrated situations where roles would be better, but those examples don't seem to correspond to the the situation where I used color coding.

I know I could add keywords or roles, but it seems like there are two downsides to that. First, I would have to use the index each time to 'select' the type of footage I was looking for in the timeline, as opposed to the colored clips which are always visible in the timeline. The second downside I see is that since all the highlighted clips in the timeline look the same there is no way for me to differentiate between type so I would have to call each type up one at a time.

Is this a fair assumption or did I miss my left turn at Albuquerque?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:46:22 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Currently in X are there a better solutions to Oliver and Herb's examples than what Carsten suggested? Because Carsten's suggestions sound more labor intensive and less effective from a workflow stand point."

Sure, but try and export 4 channels of audio from a stereo Pr timeline, and then do the same thing from a stereo Project in X. X's is much easier, like eons easier, and will save you time. Each NLE has their strengths. Audio bussing is not a strength in FCPX. Multichannel export is not a strength in Pr without a whole lot of clicking, routing, and patching.


[Andrew Kimery] "Of course this all comes back again to individual needs and preferences."

And here I thought there was one kingdom to rule them all? :)


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 8:58:22 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Each NLE has their strengths. Audio bussing is not a strength in FCPX. Multichannel export is not a strength in Pr without a whole lot of clicking, routing, and patching."

Well..... Multichannel audio export from X is only easy and simple IF you've already spent the time to specifically assign the correct roles and often subroles and then to properly select these upon export. And that could be made easier, if X allowed you to assign roles at the time of import. Right now it defaults to "dialogue", even when you are importing music or SFX files, because it doesn't know any better.

I know you are comparing PPro in these comments, but MC has a very nice track assignment panel for these sorts of mix/mix-minus and stems exports. So there are different ways to slice the same pie.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:04:12 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Well..... Multichannel audio export from X is only easy and simple IF you've already spent the time to specifically assign the correct roles and often subroles and then to properly select these upon export. "


Who doesn't setup Roles when using FCPX? It's so easy?


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:14:12 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Who doesn't setup Roles when using FCPX? It's so easy?"

Sure, but sometimes you just want to get in and edit. Far worse, is when you've inherited a project midstream. Then it's a different story. This is made worse by the fact that changing roles in the browser does not ripple forward to the same clips once they've already been editing into the sequence.

Furthermore, roles are less useful if you don't intend to export multichannel masters. If you change your mind later, it's extra work, because that step was skipped at the beginning.

So to answer your question, most folks I encounter working with X do not bother with roles. Not best practices, of course, but reality.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:23:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "
So to answer your question, most folks I encounter working with X do not bother with roles. Not best practices, of course, but reality."


So we can agree that this is not a shortcoming of the software. The same thing can happen with sloppy editors and tracks. The nice thing about X is that you can select clips, and groups of clips, in the timeline index and reassign Roles very easily. This is much harder when you have to shift select little mini clips in tacks and need to shift them up or down, especially when there's clips above and below. Pr will literally destroy audio when doing this, so be careful!

There is no shifting in X when assigning output channels to clips in the Project, but rather a simple reassign of data.

It takes a while to figure this out, and flearn how it might be a strength instead of a drawback. That is also a reality.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 10:04:51 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So we can agree that this is not a shortcoming of the software."

Sure, I agree with that. I'd love to see roles expanded along the lines of bussing.

FWIW - PPro has its own set of audio gotchas. If you don't correctly assign channel configuration of source clips BEFORE anything is edited to the timeline, operator errors occur. Usually this means dual-mono (2 mics) camera tracks are edited to the PPro timeline as stereo. There, you can't change it after the fact, but you can make both left and right be one channel/mic or the other. For that sort of stuff, I prefer FCP 7 or MC over PPro.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:08:53 am

[Oliver Peters] "FWIW - PPro has its own set of audio gotchas. If you don't correctly assign channel configuration of source clips BEFORE anything is edited to the timeline, operator errors occur. Usually this means dual-mono (2 mics) camera tracks are edited to the PPro timeline as stereo. There, you can't change it after the fact, but you can make both left and right be one channel/mic or the other. For that sort of stuff, I prefer FCP 7 or MC over PPro.
"


This has what I have been saying. I even sent a library and a project over to Aindreas to show how hard this is in Pr and how easy it is in X, and I haven't heard back. Pr certainly has some strong audio features, but the tracks, and all the different types of audio tracks are severely over complicated, and if things aren't set quite right, you can find yourself down a huge rabbit hole, as you point out. If all you need are stereo outputs, Pr is fine, but once multichannel output starts, it can get pretty messy pretty quickly. Fcp7, at least, has a one track per channel method that made sense when mapping, Pr is much harder, and I'm not taking about hard to figure out, but hard to use. This is why I have a hard time when people say Pr's audio is superior, then I suppose that people haven't tried exporting stems. Compare that to X where it can be as easy as just a few clicks if you took about 10 seconds to setup even the most rudimentary of Roles after import.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:08:47 pm

[Andrew Kimery] " In response to Oliver and Herb's examples, Carsten says manipulating audio in that fashion is something he does maybe 2% of the time yet for Herb it's something he does multiple times a day. Given the vast difference between "I need to do XYZ all the time" and "I need to do XYZ rarely" it makes since that maybe these two people just might be better off using different tools at this point in time."

Just to be clear, Carsten asked for examples where a track-based system might be superior. I described two such examples. In that context, weighting by percentage is completely irrelevant. OTOH, these needs are certainly based on individual workflows and pain points, and as such, are valid in the overall discussion. So for me, mixing by tracks is very important, so much so that I'll bounce out of X whenever the mix gets past simple requirements. That works for me. I'd rather it worked like PPro or MC or even Logic, but it doesn't. Just one of the many reasons that each project poses the need to make a choice by weighing all the advantages of one NLE over the other. Sorry, but no "one NLE to rule them all" at this end. ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 8:15:28 pm

Warning - kinda long and contains some well-known trigger words ;-)

I often feel that Bill and some of the "opposition" (just a word to describe the not-Bill group...don't anyone get their jimmies all rustled...) are talking past each other. Here's what I see as the crux of Bill's argument:

[Andrew Kimery] "how someone else likes to work"

is not the same as

[Andrew Kimery] "what's best for a given user on a given project.
"


Many find that the hardest part of really, deeply learning X is to realize that the correct answer to "how do I do ____ (which I do now in Legacy/PPro/Avid) in X" is "you don't - X does this instead to achieve the desired result."

So I think the frustration that often comes through in Bill's posts is a reflection of this disconnect. It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with a vertically stacked series of longitudinal tracks. The visual arrangement does look tailor made to roll past a head stack on old analog 24 track deck. It's how it's been done for decades. Even though the old film mag recorders ran vertically, if you flip them on their sides it would fit the visual metaphor perfectly.

Hollywood (aka profesional film and television production) has a method of working that goes back almost a hundred years. So much of what we do, especially with sound, is rooted in and based on that very old workflow. And it works, so why change it?

I think Bill's point is that "I like working this way/I've always worked this way" is absolutely NOT equivalent to "I MUST work this way." If we stay focused on the result, rather than the process, we can evaluate and perhaps adopt new and different ways of working.

At some point, most of us (I hope) have said, "I wish I could do this, but it's hard/not practical with the available tools and process." Frankly, after many years of doing what we do, it's all too easy to stop wishing and just get on with it. And when something different, and potentially better, comes along, we may have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone in order to "wish" again and see if the new tool might help achieve that goal.

"Focus" showed that X could play in a professional environment by taking in and spitting out audio and video in a way that conformed to long-established industry workflows. Yay. Good job. But listen to Mike Matzdorff (who has sufficient industry experience to be taken seriously) talk about what could be and what should be. Just because a sound editor wants an EDL doesn't mean that's still the best way to accomplish his ultimate goal. By all means, give the man his EDL -- but don't insist it isn't a relic of an earlier time that could, and should, be done away with, if only the sound editor decided to (or felt empowered to) do it differently.

Please note that no individual COW is being called out or having his professional integrity questioned.
Bill, please correct me If I've misunderstood or misrepresented you here.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 9:35:47 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "I think Bill's point is that "I like working this way/I've always worked this way" is absolutely NOT equivalent to "I MUST work this way." If we stay focused on the result, rather than the process, we can evaluate and perhaps adopt new and different ways of working. "

I agree and I tried to mention something like this before but I think it was too little, too late and it got lost in the shuffle.

When transitioning from one program to another (whether it's FCP Legend to Avid or PPro to X) you absolutely need to talk about things in terms of what is the desired end result and not step-by-step process because the step-by-step process is almost always going to be different between apps. But, due to differences between the different NLEs, achieving a similar end result could require more effort and may not even be possible. Ultimately it's up to the user to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that they think is best for them and their workflow.


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Herb Sevush
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 12:51:25 am

[Jeff Markgraf] "I think Bill's point is that "I like working this way/I've always worked this way" is absolutely NOT equivalent to "I MUST work this way." If we stay focused on the result, rather than the process, we can evaluate and perhaps adopt new and different ways of working.
"


True. But in my case there is so much about the design precepts of X that run counter to all my editorial leanings that while I find, at a distance, much to admire about X it has never struck me as the place I would want to invest my time. My dream NLE hasn't shown up yet, but I'm still waiting.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 12:55:45 am

I don't have issue with your characterization at all.

But what you wrote did bring to mind the young Indy editors panel at the FCPWorks suite at NAB. They were hiring the sound team and somebody with beaucoup experience pushed back on doing daily sound reports via Lumberjack on an iPad. Being accustomed to paper reports, the potential hire requested he be allowed to do it as he was used to doing it. The Producer said something like "THIS is how we're going to do it. And if you want the gig, it's how you will do it as well." The point is that the inefficiency of paper sound reports compared to real time Lumberjack logging was simply something the filmmakers were unwilling to accept..

Link to the piece is here:






Watch and listen at 11:15.

For good or ill. That moves the needle.

Something that gets more done for less money survives. That's all.

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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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 1:21:53 am

"The Producer said something like "THIS is how we're going to do it. And if you want the gig, it's how you will do it as well." The point is that the inefficiency of paper sound reports compared to real time Lumberjack logging was simply something the filmmakers were unwilling to accept.."

I've got to say that I watched that piece originally and honestly their attitude rubbed me the wrong way. The editor looked supportive, but not completely. I understand the value of how Lumberjack works, but in reality, as an editor, I would want both - electronic and paper reports. If I had only electronic reports, I'd still want them printed, same as the script. To have a producer with minimal feature experience, telling people what tool they should use or not use as an ultimatum isn't in the best interest of the project.

Oliver

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


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 5, 2015 at 2:35:11 am

It might be lovely if we lived in a world where money always flowed towards talent and/or experience. But sadly that is not the system we live in. Money more typically flows to those who can prove that when they are entrusted with capital, they are able to both manage the risk and deliver a return. Like that or not, it's been capitalism since day one. Demonstrate the capacity to control costs on movie one, and it's much more likely somebody will trust you with the money to make another. And so it goes.

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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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 5:13:09 pm

[Bill Davis] "I know it's a well understood system that developed over time and all that - but at some point, it's possible that following rules designed for the days when electro-magnetic multitrack head stacks ruled the industry might be limiting when nearly nobody is using mag tape anymore."

The UI design you speak of has absolutely nothing to do with "following rules designed for the days when electro-magnetic multitrack head stacks".

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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Charlie Austin
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:02:23 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Tossing in the argument that tracks are somehow old and no longer valid and that those people are "clinging to the past" is exactly the sort of unproductive thing said here, that most FCP X-enthusiasts deny ever saying."

With a few, vocal exceptions, most FCP X-enthusiasts are probably just teasing if they say that. And those that really believe it are... unhelpful IMO.

[Oliver Peters] "There are plenty of things that X is not well-suited for, just as there are things that tracks are not well-suited for. Rehashing this blind obedience to some concept that X is the most brilliant way forward seems pretty closed minded - just as much as adhering to tracks without recognizing the value of other approaches."

I think most people who actually use more than one NLE for real work would agree with you. I do. Though I still maintain that tracks suck when editing. ;-) I'll concede that they have their uses when mixing. Though a Roles revamp could change my mind. :-)

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

~ 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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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:46:38 am

[Oliver Peters] "There are plenty of things that X is not well-suited for, just as there are things that tracks are not well-suited for."

Ok walk the talk and tell me what exactly it is not suited for and why??


PS:
[Oliver Peters] "Tossing in the argument that tracks are somehow old and no longer valid and that those people are "clinging to the past" is exactly the sort of unproductive thing said here, that most FCP X-enthusiasts deny ever saying"

Never denied it. But tracks are old and rather than using the word 'valid' I would use the word 'necessary'. Maybe the 'clinging to the past' was a bit provocative but nothing better than a little provocation to wake up the church :-)

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:41:34 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Ok walk the talk and tell me what exactly it is not suited for and why??"

One situation it's not well suited for is large, shared-storage, multi-editor environments where the editors (let's say a dozen), the AEs (2-3) and the producers (a half dozen) all work inside the same Avid projects (typically 1 project per episode). To be fair, no NLE does this as well as Avid does. I know a few places used FCP Legend but in my experience it never worked as smoothly as Avid does in that type of environment.

Another is if a place that wants/needs to be cross platform or PC-only. I know many people aren't thrilled with the Mac Pro hardware the past few years so having an NLE that's cross platform gives you more freedom on the hardware front. I've been Mac-centric for about 15 years but there is something nice about the all the programs I use the most the now (Avid, PPro, AE, PS, Resolve, etc.,) being cross platform.


[Carsten Orlt] "Maybe the 'clinging to the past' was a bit provocative but nothing better than a little provocation to wake up the church :-)
"


The funny thing about Bill's church comment is when he made the only people that had responded to your comments so far were Oliver (he has extensive experience with X), Charlie (he has extensive experience with X), me (I have no qualms about learning X if it will make me decent money but it's super slim pickings in LA currently) and David (I don't think he uses X, but I'm not sure). It's interesting for a church to be full of agnostics. ;)


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:57:43 am

[Andrew Kimery] "One situation it's not well suited for is large, shared-storage,....."

Both are technical reasons. The first one I'm not sure as I haven't tried it but seen stories were people use it happily with multiple users. Can you be more specific what FCP X can't do in these environments?

If my only reason to choose an given NLE is because I want a Windows box then I'm not making decisions because of best workflow but because of money. I rather pick the best workflow. We're not talking here about something set in from of you and you get the job if you use this piece of equipment, but what you choose if you were the boss :-)

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 7:28:20 am

[Carsten Orlt] "Both are technical reasons. The first one I'm not sure as I haven't tried it but seen stories were people use it happily with multiple users. Can you be more specific what FCP X can't do in these environments?
"


What does it matter if it's technical reasons or not? It's all part of the decision making process about what's the best tool for the specific job at hand. AFAIK multiple users cannot be working in the same library (I think that's the right term) at the same time but in Avid it's common for everyone to be working in the same project at the same time. If I'm in Project A I can open up bins from Project B or C and Avid projects can be modified at the Finder level. So I can drag a folder or bin from one Project A to Project B via the Finder (with Avid running) and if I have Project B open I'll see the folder or bin from Project A appear in my Avid window.

Hopefully what I'm saying makes sense, but it's hard to explain it if someone hasn't worked in that type of environment before.


[Carsten Orlt] "If my only reason to choose an given NLE is because I want a Windows box then I'm not making decisions because of best workflow but because of money. I rather pick the best workflow. We're not talking here about something set in from of you and you get the job if you use this piece of equipment, but what you choose if you were the boss :-)
"


Budget is certainly part of workflow development and Windows boxes can be more or less expensive than a MacPro so the I'm not sure what you mean by "because of money." Windows boxes are much more configurable, expandable and upgradable which may or not be something meaningful depending on your preferences and workflow requirements. Gone Girl, for example, was cut using PPro in a mixed Windows and Mac environment but the Macs were the old MP because those could be configured to meet the post needs. If Resolve is part of your workflow then going Windows has multiple advantages. You have a wider selection of fully supported GPUs and the GPUs can be easily replaced when newer/more powerful models come out. You also won't suffer from the ongoing GPU driver problems the Macs are currently having.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 8:51:59 am

[Andrew Kimery] "To be fair, no NLE does this as well as Avid does."

As far as I know, only Avid has this kind of shared project workflow. Maybe Lightworks? I don't see X as any better or worse than another non-Avid system in implementing a multi-user workflow.

I've worked with Unity/ISIS systems for many years. It's a great setup. But while the Avid shared workflow is rightly touted as a standard, I rarely hear any discussion of the precise daily must-have features. Perhaps the COW member best able to address this is Mark Raudonis, as he has direct experience with Avid and non-Avid large scale workflow.

Here's an example of what I mean:

On an Avid ISIS system, I can work on any sequence in the project, as long as someone hasn't opened it first. If I want to work simultaneously on "my" version of the sequence, I need to make a copy of it from the locked bin into a different bin. In most cases, I'm not likely to directly modify someone else's cut, unless specifically asked to. So in practical, daily use, I'm usually going to work from a copy of the original sequence. At some point, one version of the cut will become the preferred "current" version, or they'll be merged by one person into another, newer version.

Compare this to shared workflow in a non-Avid setup. To work on someone else's sequence, I need to copy it into my own project/library. The big difference is really the requirement to have another library open (MY library, if you will) to do the work. In practical use, it's one more step compared to the Avid workflow. Much has been written describing how to set up such a system of a common "master" library that gets updated as work progresses.

Certainly, Avid's system is more elegant. And there may be more chance for error (like forgetting to transfer the updated sequence from my library to the master library) by relying on transfer bins/events. But it's hardly unworkable or so cumbersome as to be impractical.

Given the many benefits I find with X, the lack of a Unity/ISIS shared project is far from a deal breaker. Much as with Herb's need to buss his audio for efx requires PPro, the shared workflow situation is a specific strength of Avid, rather than a fatal weakness of X that is, in fact, shared by all non-Avid systems. And even shared by Avid, if used without the very expensive ISIS add-on.

[Andrew Kimery] "having an NLE that's cross platform"

Of course, a failing also of FCP Legacy, which, as I recall, never got the level of abuse X has, except perhaps by Avid users in the first few years. ;-)


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 4:41:52 am

[Jeff Markgraf] " But while the Avid shared workflow is rightly touted as a standard, I rarely hear any discussion of the precise daily must-have features. Perhaps the COW member best able to address this is Mark Raudonis, as he has direct experience with Avid and non-Avid large scale workflow.
"


I've never worked with Mark so I can't speak to how his shows are run, but I've worked on a number of of reality shows on Avid/ISIS and I've worked at a few places that used FCP Legend in a shared storage, multi-editor environment (one place I worked at for nearly six years). For the TV shows I worked on I'd say the typical number of users (editors, producers, and AEs) working collaboratively was 18-24. For the non-TV content there wasn't as much collaborate (basically users working off of shared storage but on different projects). After the 6yr stretch with FCP and Xsan (at a place where there wasn't a lot of collaboration) I got a different gig that was on Avid and ISIS and, I'm not exaggerating, after the first night I was like, "Oh yeah, THIS is how a shared storage, multi-editor environment is supposed to function." The FCP Legend places I worked at kicked out hundreds of hours of original content a year so of course FCP could work in a shared storage, multi-editor workflow but Avid just provides a smoother experience.

One of my favorite things about how Avid works in a shared environment is how you can manipulate Avid projects via the Finder. For example, lets say I'm working on a reality show with 11 other editors. Each episode has its own Avid project and 3 editors are working on episode 1, 3 on episode 2 and 3 on episode three. One day new b-roll comes in and needs to added to all the projects. First, the AEs ingest the new media into their project. Then they go to the Finder and drag & drop the b-roll bin from the AE project to all the episode projects. Finally, they send out an email to the editors letting them know the new b-roll is now in their projects. This all happens in the background so there is no disruption to the editors. There's no sending of XMLs, no opening up of someone else's project, just *poof* the new media magically appears in your project as you work.

Another advantage to Avid project structure (a folder in the Finder that contains folders and bins) is that you don't have to worry about overall project size, just the size of your bins within the project. On one show I worked on each Avid project (1 project per episode) was around 12gigs and referenced between 35,000-40,000 pieces of media. Not a problem though because we kept the individual bins w/in the project a reasonable size.

If you are looking for less technical, more 'art of the edit' type advantages we can always talk about Avid's great trim tool (which apparently is it's own debate). ;)
http://provideocoalition.com/a-little-big-avid-media-composer-final-cut-pro...



[Jeff Markgraf] " But it's hardly unworkable or so cumbersome as to be impractical.

Given the many benefits I find with X, the lack of a Unity/ISIS shared project is far from a deal breaker. "


So keep using X. For someone else it might be a deal breaker so that person should use Avid and not X, or Resolve or Lightworks or PPro or FCP 7. My whole point with all of this is that there is no one size fits all solution. Users should look at their specific preferences, workflow needs, etc., and pick the NLE that best matches their unique situation. For example, I recently cut a documentary with Avid and it was a rough ride because Avid was not the right tool for that particular job, but if I was starting a shared storage, multi-editor gig tomorrow I'd probably want it to be on Avid.

I agree with your use of the term "elegant" because basically that's all we are really talking about. For example, obviously all NLEs allow users to move media around the timeline but many people find the magnetic timeline in X a more elegant solution. FCP Legend and Avid have had multicam functionality for years, but the multicam implementations in FCP X and PPro are certainly more elegant solutions.


[Jeff Markgraf] "And even shared by Avid, if used without the very expensive ISIS add-on."

The other large and mid-sized shared storage makers have reversed engineered this so you can get ISIS-like functionality on non-ISIS hardware. From what I understand it's a bit of a cat and mouse game between Avid and the 3rd party venders. Avid will usually tweak the code each major release and then the venders have to reverse engineer it again and release an update.


[Jeff Markgraf] "Of course, a failing also of FCP Legacy, which, as I recall, never got the level of abuse X has, except perhaps by Avid users in the first few years. ;-)
"


Avid users got abuse from film and linear editors, Premiere got abused, for decades, from Avid and FCP users. Nuke users abuse AE users who in turn abuse Motion users. Film users abused video users, but now that film is 'dead', high end video users, like Red users, abuse C300 users who cope by lashing out at DSLR users. ;)

There is nothing unique, out of ordinary or special about the current situation with X in that regard. At least in LA, FCP Legend didn't start getting much respect until FCP 6 (so about 8yrs after initial release) and I know more than a few Avid editors that will probably always think FCP (any version) is second rate. Oh well.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 7:22:31 pm

Hi Andrew.

Preaching to the choir on ISIS. I think it's Avid's single biggest deal maker for any operation with more than 2 seats. Add in Interplay, and it's really hard to beat. But expensive! No way around that. I think I'd go with a fancy MAM setup like Cantemo Portal or some such product if I needed ISIS-style multiuser workflow for X.

[Andrew Kimery] "Avid's great trim tool (which apparently is it's own debate). ;)"

Uhh...no. Been down that rabbit hole. I appreciate the efforts of all involved, but Avid's trim mode is probably never going to be duplicated. I assume it's got patents attached to it. Now, I have no problems trimming in X (or in FCP Legacy before). And I really do appreciate not having to switch modes to trim. (That may be the one thing I don't like about Avid's trim.) I've done movies, docs, short form and tons of promo in X. I don't find myself yearning for Avid whenever I trim in X. But let's not pretend that X does dynamic trimming like Avid does. It doesn't. What it does do is close enough for my needs. It's just different.

[Andrew Kimery] "know more than a few Avid editors that will probably always think FCP (any version) is second rate."

Yep. We may know some of the same people! They'll never be convinced. That's OK. I have work to do, and life's too short to get that horse to drink the damn water.


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 2:38:45 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "Ok walk the talk and tell me what exactly it is not suited for and why??"

Sure. The comparison isn't entirely tracks or not, because some things that tracks do well could also be done well in a true nodal system. One of the main issues is when things have to be applied globally. Two simple examples.

1. Video - Let's say you need to apply something over the entire length of the sequence, like a mask, corner bug, creative LUT, counter, vignette, etc. In a track system, like Avid MC, I might apply this effect onto track 5, leaving me V1-4 for picture, cutaways, supers, etc. I never have to worry about moving the global item out of the way - and it always runs the length of the timeline, unless I specifically trim the ends.

With FCP X, I would do the same by adding an adjustment layer, which has to be pinned somewhere. Often this means pinning it to an artificial piece of media at the head of the sequence, like a slug of a few frames. Because I have no control over vertical hierarchy when I make the initial edit, there may be connected clips later in the timeline that incorrectly appear above this adjustment layer. Now I have go to those and move the adjustment layer and/or the clip up or down (frame-accurately) until they pop into place. Same thing if I add a connected clip later during the edit - I have to do this vertical cha-cha-cha.


2. Audio - I often apply a mastering filter at the end of my mix, like a compressor, limiter, etc. I might also apply a loudness meter (as a filter), too. In Adobe PProCC, I'll send my tracks to a submaster track where I would apply compression/limiting. The submaster would be routed to the master where I would apply the loudness meter. Now I can adjust anything in the mix - clip or track - and always see and hear the result of my action.

With FCP X, I would have to create a compound clip of my unprocessed mix and apply compression to that compound. To adjust the mix, I have to step back into the compound, where I no longer hear how compression is affecting the mix as I make changes.

[Carsten Orlt] "but nothing better than a little provocation to wake up the church :-)"

Do you mean the one that prays to Cupertino? ;-)

In all seriousness, though, Apple has certainly chosen to keep tracks and/or layers where needed. For example, Motion, Logic and even Photos. Ironically Motion is the most obvious place where they could have (and maybe should be) changed from tracks. They had Shake, which used nodes. Why not rebuild Motion as a hybrid node/track system? So clearly using tracks in those cases does not mean they are stuck in the past. Or does it? It's merely a design choice. Both approaches are equally valid and useful.

- Oliver

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 10:21:43 pm

Oliver,

Taking to the risk to upset you but for me these examples are a weak justification for tracks. Granted we're all different and different things apply to different people but we can't use this to cut down any discussion at the source. I argue that I haven't heart yet one strong 'game changing' argument as to why tracks are so much better. All pro arguments are basically about convenience as I haven't heart one which says 'you can't get the same result for your story because you don't have tracks'. And the convenience is more about finishing work rather than actual editing. And benefits for editing far outweigh benefits for fx work in my judgment of a Non-Linear-EDITING software. And referencing to other discussion threats here: Yes I think Final Cut X is by far the best editing software right now.

In response to your points:
The video example can easily be solved by compounding and applying a global parameter there.
For Audio actually the same applies though I understand if you need to adjust a level of an element you have to step back in and do not hear it together with your final fx. So you might have to press command-left or right bracket to switch between compound content and compound clip a few times to get it right.

BUT I regard both these examples as only maybe 2% of the work I do when editing. Why would I sacrifice a little inconvenience for such small amount of my task when I loose all the tremendous benefits while doing 98% of the work constructing a story from individual elements just because I stick to tracks. This is the reason why I don't understand the tracks argument.

If you would tell me that all you do all day long is to apply global parameters to entire timelines I would gladly admit that tracks are the best system for you. But do you? And yes maybe there are many ways to edit but somehow I'm not convinced that I represent the minority of picture editors who spent more time editing than with fx on a show.


And calling on Motion at the end of your post to further your argument is not correct because Motion has Layers not tracks. These Layers can have a length compared to Photoshop where they represent a single frame. But in Motion you can't edit in a Layer horizontally so its not a track :-)
Logic is the only software which has tracks and I can't really argue about the benefit of tracks in music/sound post as I'm not doing it full time. I guess in audio mixing you want to combine certain audio tracks into different mix combinations and a track base system makes that easier now. But thinking of roles you can envision a scenario where you wouldn't have to have tracks even in a DAW.

Happy editing
Carsten


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 10:41:49 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "All pro arguments are basically about convenience as I haven't heart one which says 'you can't get the same result for your story because you don't have tracks'. "

Putting all technical, organizational, etc., arguments aside, the ability to tell a story is up to the editor, not the NLE. I mean, the award winning documentary "Tarnation" was cut on iMovie.


[Carsten Orlt] "BUT I regard both these examples as only maybe 2% of the work I do when editing. Why would I sacrifice a little inconvenience for such small amount of my task when I loose all the tremendous benefits while doing 98% of the work constructing a story from individual elements just because I stick to tracks. This is the reason why I don't understand the tracks argument. "

Who is asking you to sacrifice anything or switch NLEs? You are asking other people to talk about other workflows so of course what they talk about might not be applicable to your specific situation.

The question, "Why do you use XYZ?" is much different than the question, "Why should I use XYZ?"


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 10:53:31 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "Taking to the risk to upset you but for me these examples are a weak justification for tracks. "

No problem.

[Carsten Orlt] "I argue that I haven't heart yet one strong 'game changing' argument as to why tracks are so much better. "

I don't believe I said tracks were always better, nor game-changing. Why does it have to be game-changing, anyway? Merely that in these examples, tracks presented a better solution. I also pointed out that a node-based system would achieve the same results. So tracks aren't really an absolute.

[Carsten Orlt] "The video example can easily be solved by compounding and applying a global parameter there."

But compounding is always a workaround for this type of situation. I need the process to be immediate and interactive, which isn't the case for compounds. Let's say the effect I apply is a broadcast safe filter or a vignette and I'm grading clips below it. There, like with audio compression, I need to see the result of the effect and the combination of the two. Therefore compounding doesn't help.

[Carsten Orlt] "If you would tell me that all you do all day long is to apply global parameters to entire timelines I would gladly admit that tracks are the best system for you. But do you? "

It depends on the job. In some cases, I do grading in X and then the entire job may be tied up this way. Or maybe 5 days for the project - 4 to edit and 1 to grade/mix. It all depends. I find it's a mix of pros and cons - still after 4 years. For me organization in X is a lot faster. Actual editing is sometimes slower in many cases, because of all the workarounds needed. There are also a lot of things I like about X that have nothing to do with tracks or the way the timeline works.

[Carsten Orlt] "These Layers can have a length compared to Photoshop where they represent a single frame. But in Motion you can't edit in a Layer horizontally so its not a track :-)"

That's just semantics. If you consider a group as a "track", then you can edit within a track. But whether you consider it a layer with timing or a track, it's the same result. It's a way to place a clip into a fixed place based on time, rather than parent-chlid linking.

[Carsten Orlt] "I guess in audio mixing you want to combine certain audio tracks into different mix combinations and a track base system makes that easier now. But thinking of roles you can envision a scenario where you wouldn't have to have tracks even in a DAW."

Right. So why would it be different when mixing audio in X? We like the thought about Roles, but so far that's falling on deaf ears at Apple. I have to edit and mix with tools I have today, not what might be in the future.

[Carsten Orlt] "And benefits for editing far outweigh benefits for fx work in my judgment of a Non-Linear-EDITING software. And referencing to other discussion threats here: Yes I think Final Cut X is by far the best editing software right now"

There are aspects of X where I would agree with you. But, there's just as much negative - especially when it comes to actually editing on the timeline. So for me, it's still a draw.

- Oliver

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 9:16:34 am

Oliver -

In regard to adjustment tracks and vertical cha cha:

Yes, editing via connected clips, using the keyboard command, puts the new clip at the highest level in the hierarchy. This can be problematic when an adjustment layer has already been added. However, if a clip is connected by dragging it from the browser onto the timeline, you can place it underneath the adjustment layer. Granted, I prefer the keyboard command for speed, but the vertical cha cha is not insurmountable. And, of course, editing into the primary makes the point moot, as the adjustment is always a connected clip.

Backing up a bit, though, I don't usually need to add the adjustment layer first, while I'm still making basic edit decisions. I'll usually add it later, after I've got the structure down. Particularly on Avid, if it's not a beefy modern CPU, I find an adjustment layer often makes editing sluggish because of having to process everything through that adjustment. And if the adjustment is an effect that must be rendered, forget it! Put it on at the end.

One of my feature requests has been the ability to "pin" a clip to an absolute time on the timeline. Seems adding the ability to pin a clip to the top level might also be useful.

Regarding audio:

As I suggested in response to Herb, the kind of audio bussing you're talking about is currently available only in PPro. Avid doesn't have it either, unless you can do it with RTAS (which I've never used). I would love to see the ability to expand a compound clip in place, either audio or video, just like an Avid collapsed video clip. (Not to mention, I wish Avid could collapse audio clips!) This would effectively solve the problem of having to step into the compound to make adjustments (and thus losing the context of the timeline).


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 9:32:02 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "Avid doesn't have it either, unless you can do it with RTAS (which I've never used). "

MC doesn't have as sophisticated of a bussing structure as Premiere, but there is now a master buss. You can add real-time track-based filters to the master buss, as well as individual tracks. So adding compression/limiting to the full mix is easy.

Regarding X, when some complex mixing is required, I usually "pre-mix" to roles in X and then export as roles to Logic Pro X. Do a more involved mix there, master it and bring that back into X.

- Oliver

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


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Carsten Orlt
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:39:32 am

[David Roth Weiss] " And, until the majority embraces your belief system, should probably learn to expect and respect opinions that are different from your own."

Don't worry I do not come over tomorrow and take away your tracks.

I just don't get why so many think tracks are better. The only thing I can see is so your timeline looks pretty :-) This is not ironic but I actually mean it.
I probably will never understand why even though I edited 20 years with tracks...

Happy editing
Carsten


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Bret Williams
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 5:13:47 pm

I wouldn't go back to tracks any time soon either, but IMHO "maintaining sync" is something that X does not excel at. The king daddy of that is Avid and utilizing sync locks. If they still have that feature. It's been awhile. This was instantly apparent to me when I saw the demo presented 4 years ago, (where you can view Randy knocking audio out of sync whilst he demos how it keeps everything in sync), and after 4 years nothing has changed.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:10:20 pm

[Carsten Orlt] "FCP X is a genius piece of software that shows that you don't need 'rigid' tracks to work comfortably and in actual fact gain functionality that wasn't there before.

Happy editing
Carsten"


Dude,

Prepare to be demonized. You literally can't stand up in the church of the historic timeline and espouse that ANY of the existing dogma might be dated.

It's like poking a wasps nest.

Trust me.

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:24:14 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on May 1, 2015 at 8:32:38 pm

[Bill Davis] "Prepare to be demonized. You literally can't stand up in the church of the historic timeline and espouse that ANY of the existing dogma might be dated.

It's like poking a wasps nest. "


That's a total misrepresentation Bill - disagreements are the very essence of debates - that you and Carsten can't seem to tolerate anyone with a different perspective is more like trying to silence the wasps than it is like poking them.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 9:12:03 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "that you and Carsten can't seem to tolerate anyone with a different perspective is more like trying to silence the wasps than it is like poking them.
"


Excuse me.

I find your thinly veiled attempt to cast Carson or me as "intolerant" to be somewhere between demeaning and insulting.

I don't go nuts here when someone lauds Premier or AVID. But the moment anyone expresses their honest and experienced feelings about X - if, god forbid, those are POSITIVE - guys like you seem to feel it's their holy right to put us in our places.

Please stop that.

That you have elected NOT to learn enough about X to have gotten over your knee jerk "it's really just like all the other NLEs" is not our fault.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:52:20 pm

[Bill Davis] "Prepare to be demonized. "

[Oliver Peters] "There are plenty of things that X is not well-suited for, just as there are things that tracks are not well-suited for. Rehashing this blind obedience to some concept that X is the most brilliant way forward seems pretty closed minded - just as much as adhering to tracks without recognizing the value of other approaches."


[Charlie Austin] "I think most people who actually use more than one NLE for real work would agree with you. I do. Though I still maintain that tracks suck when editing. ;-) I'll concede that they have their uses when mixing. Though a Roles revamp could change my mind. :-)"


Beware! Beware the fire and brimstone being cast down upon us by Oliver the Impaler and Charlie the Scourge Austin as the demonization of Carsten commences! Hide your blanket (statements) and don't covet your hammer (lest all problems appear as nails) as the intolerable pain of nuanced discussion is thrust upon all inhabitants of the FCPX or Not: The Debate forum!


[Bill Davis] "You literally can't stand up in the church of the historic timeline and espouse that ANY of the existing dogma might be dated.
"


Of course you literally can't stand up in a place that doesn't exist. ;)


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 9:17:41 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "[Bill Davis] "You literally can't stand up in the church of the historic timeline and espouse that ANY of the existing dogma might be dated.
"

Of course you literally can't stand up in a place that doesn't exist. ;)"


DAMN.

The only exercise I've been getting during this busy editing week has been when I've metaphorically lept up and gesticulated wildly exonerating the unholy forces arrayed aginst me to "BEGONE"


I was kinda hoping that if I ever order an iWatch, I could somehow program it to count the virtual calories.

If not, I'm sunk.

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 9:41:56 pm

[Bill Davis] "I was kinda hoping that if I ever order an iWatch, I could somehow program it to count the virtual calories."

I'm sure there's an app for that. ;)


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David Cherniack
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 12:29:33 am

[Bill Davis] "You literally can't stand up in the church of the historic timeline and espouse that ANY of the existing dogma might be dated."

Dude,

Sorry to have to tell you this but the only persons standing up in church here is you and Carsten. Your preaching that others are preaching, when they're clearly speaking out against preaching, does you and and to some extent, FCPX, a disservice...moreso you than FCPX, I would hope, if only for FCPX's sake. The software needs articulate, mature, spokespeople, willing to discuss both its strengths and weaknesses. Fetishists and ideologues need not apply. They're easily dismissed by intelligent observers.

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 3:28:03 pm

[David Cherniack] "The software needs articulate, mature, spokespeople, willing to discuss both its strengths and weaknesses. "

Says who?? That's a rhetorical strategy useful in a debate where each party starts with vaguely equal standing. I'd argue that the irrational savaging that X had to (and still has to) endure is prima facia evidence that X supporters NEVER had a level playing field.

There might be a time when what you're implying becomes wise council.

But the problem might not be one of perspective - as you are so ready to argue - but missed opportunities for editors who can actually benefit from database driven editing - due to obfuscation of actual facts.

It is a fact that the database driven approach that X pioneered can save editorial time in a huge range of editing situations.

It's a FACT that far fewer people STILL understand this software than its alternatives.

If you can't handle a small handful of voices arguing X's merits in a forum specifically billboarded as the place for DEBATE - then sorry. This place exists, at least in part, as the theater of spirited opposition. That's the "or not" part.

So how about writing a bit more about how the software operates and less about how Carsten or I make you FEEL?

Billboarding me as an arrogant, unthinking and insensitive dick could well be accurate. But if my points about X are accurate and well reasoned, then so what?

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:02:44 pm

[Bill Davis] "If you can't handle a small handful of voices arguing X's merits in a forum specifically billboarded as the place for DEBATE - then sorry. This place exists, at least in part, as the theater of spirited opposition. That's the "or not" part. "

This whole thing spun out of control when Carson asked "...why do most of you so desperately cling to the past, trying everything to find justification why tracks are better or nicer or more 'you'." How exactly is that shinning a light on the merits of X?

Also, take a look at the people who've posted in this thread. Oliver, Michael G, Bret W, Steve C, Scott W and Charlie all use X. You and Carson obvious use X. David L ,I think, uses X in part of his workflow and I think Mark S is transitioning from 7 to X.

Mark R's facility doesn't use X, but if in the future it becomes a viable/superior option for their needs I wouldn't be surprised if they switched to it. On a similar note, the only reason I haven't started using X is because there's so little X work in my neck of the woods.

Herb doesn't use X because it doesn't meet his specific workflow needs (as shown in this thread). David Roth also doesn't use X (AFAIK).

Small handful of voices? Just from a rough head count I'd say this thread is mostly populated by people that use X.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 4:16:48 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Mark R's facility doesn't use X, but if in the future it becomes a viable/superior option for their needs I wouldn't be surprised if they switched to it. On a similar note, the only reason I haven't started using X is because there's so little X work in my neck of the woods.

Herb doesn't use X because it doesn't meet his specific workflow needs (as shown in this thread). David Roth also doesn't use X (AFAIK).

Small handful of voices? Just from a rough head count I'd say this thread is mostly populated by people that use X."


Your quote (and argument) would be well framed but for the fact that the folks who write here are an extremely small subset of those who watch this forum.

For every poster, there are likely a thousand lurkers.

So I try to remain mindful that we're also speaking to the larger audience.

When someone posts that "X is just like all the other NLEs" no better or worse, just different. It strikes me as patently FALSE.

If it wasn't, in fact, quite different, we wouldn't have had the initial two years of irrational HATE leveled at it.

So I'll remain a voice arguing that by making it so different, Apple actually DID make it "functionally better" than it's competitors. If not, what was the point?

Andrew, if you feel that X and AVID and Premier are equivalent tools for video production. Make the points show us where the other alternates excel. If you feel, as Oliver and others have articulated, that the modern editor needs to learn ALL THREE tools to be employable or fully skilled - make the argument. Thats fine and nobody here has ever challenged that view. But not EVERYONE needs to learn 3 NLEs. In fact, most people just need ONE to get their work done. And I'd like to see them learn X because it seems to me to be the best approach.

My argument is that since X can do 90% of all projects that need getting done, AND that it can do them faster and easier with ALL the quality of any other software - theres no reason that opinion shouldn't be articulated often and strongly.

It's certainly NOT the only view worth holding. But it IS a fair view when one can point to real world advantages coded into the software.

Simple as that.

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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David Cherniack
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 5:12:07 pm

[Bill Davis] "And I'd like to see them learn 'x'( my edit) because it seems to me to be the best approach."

Seems to me I've heard the same words come from the mouths of more than a few Scientologists.


[Bill Davis] "For every poster, there are likely a thousand lurkers.

So I try to remain mindful that we're also speaking to the larger audience.

When someone posts that "X is just like all the other NLEs" no better or worse, just different. It strikes me as patently FALSE."


So you see yourself as some kind of missionary in the Church of X. OK. The problem is unlike most religions where the functioning deity is invisible, or at least, liminal, X is just software which makes it tangible and testable. You find X faster, better, and who knows, groovier, than all the others, which you've no doubt tested extensively. Others, who've used X extensively, say, "Nope. It's got its strengths and weaknesses, appropriate in some uses, less so in others." They sound reasonable. You sound like a garden variety religious fanatic...unreasonable, and to use your own self-description "an arrogant dick"...and are apparently happy to be so perceived. You can argue that it's all about the software but your fanaticism makes it all about you and not about the software, even, I'd guess, for majority of the faceless thousands who you claim to be preaching to. You might find yourself a more effective missionary if you took the example of some of my Catholic priest friends in India, by letting your works do the talking.

FWIW

David
http://AllinOneFilms.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 7:18:53 pm
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on May 2, 2015 at 7:20:37 pm

[Bill Davis] "When someone posts that "X is just like all the other NLEs" no better or worse, just different. It strikes me as patently FALSE. "

I guess it depends on how you read that statement. I read it as X can get the job done, just like other NLEs, it just works differently. Which, to me, validates X as a viable alternative.

[Bill Davis] "So I try to remain mindful that we're also speaking to the larger audience. "

There is a larger audience which is why blanket statements are so pointless. For example, you seem to look at the Focus team and extrapolate that since X worked for them X is good enough to work on any big budget, Hollywood film. I look at the Focus team and learn how X worked, and didn't work, for them. I then look at the Gone Girl team and learn how PPro worked, and didn't work, for them. I then look at, well, any movie that isn't Gone Girl or Focus and see how Avid worked, and didn't work, for those teams. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

I think fundamentally we are just coming from different places. I want to find the best tool for the job and you want X to be the best tool for the job.



[Bill Davis] "So I'll remain a voice arguing that by making it so different, Apple actually DID make it "functionally better" than it's competitors. If not, what was the point? "

[Bill Davis] "My argument is that since X can do 90% of all projects that need getting done, AND that it can do them faster and easier with ALL the quality of any other software - theres no reason that opinion shouldn't be articulated often and strongly. "

So it's functionally better except when it's not? ;)

[Bill Davis] "Andrew, if you feel that X and AVID and Premier are equivalent tools for video production. "

I think all three are 'good enough' but they each have pros and cons so a bit of investigating needs to be done to make sure the best fit is made between the needs of the job and the NLE.

[Bill Davis] " But not EVERYONE needs to learn 3 NLEs. In fact, most people just need ONE to get their work done. And I'd like to see them learn X because it seems to me to be the best approach. "

I never said or implied that everyone needs to learn multiple NLEs to be employable. I feel *I* need to know multiple NLEs due to *my* individual circumstances, but I don't assume to know what's the best fit for anyone else. I do think it's a good idea for freelances to know multiple NLEs (assuming their market supports multiple NLEs), but for shop owners it's much easier for them to pick one and go with it.

[Bill Davis] "In fact, most people just need ONE to get their work done. And I'd like to see them learn X because it seems to me to be the best approach.
"


The best approach to what? Without knowing anything about the situation, the user(s), the workflow, etc., you just assume X is the best fit because...? Many times you've lamented about people being reluctant to get out of their comfort zone yet you seem to have found a really comfortable zone in X.


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Bill Davis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 3, 2015 at 8:05:52 am

Well Andrew, thanks at least for responding on the points I raised - rather than making it all about ME. I appreciate it.
Sorry to be abrupt but I have to find some goats to sacrifice because I hear I'm now a Scientologist plus appear to have Catholic Priests somewhere lighting censors to send aloft incense born pleas for my immortal doom. Busy weekend ahead!

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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Andrew Kimery
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 4, 2015 at 2:36:46 am

[Bill Davis] "Sorry to be abrupt but I have to find some goats to sacrifice because I hear I'm now a Scientologist plus appear to have Catholic Priests somewhere lighting censors to send aloft incense born pleas for my immortal doom. Busy weekend ahead!"

And you were worried you weren't going to be able to get your exercise in! ;)


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Claude Lyneis
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 5:43:11 pm

Like stepping into a time machine. I remember borrowing a camcorder, buying a firewire cable and hooking it up to my Mac. iMovie came with the MAC and I was amazed how easy it was. I had only done crash editing with a VCR before that. The pace and progress in these technologies over the last 20 years is mind boggling, tracks or no tracks.


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Steve Connor
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 5:45:25 pm

[Claude Lyneis] "Like stepping into a time machine."

I started on a 2 machine U-Matic suite!


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Charlie Austin
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 7:53:55 pm

[Steve Connor] "[Claude Lyneis] "Like stepping into a time machine."

I started on a 2 machine U-Matic suite!"


At about the same time, I was programming (editing) video wall presentations for concerts/trade shows etc. All the sources were on Laserdisc. Wish we'd had the fancy UI that David did, all TC number punching for me. ;-)

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

~ 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: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 1, 2015 at 8:29:03 pm

Started out on S-VHS then on over to Betcam SP. worked at SMU taping football games and practices. Did some crash editing. Oh, what fun cleaning the heads on the tape decks. There was one deck that really did eject the tape. When you pressed oh brother did it ever. Shot the tape about a foot or so. Learned to stand back or get hit by a flying tape. Those were the days.

Was introduced to Avid on the pizza box variety of Mac, not sure of the model. School had to ban laptops as people were stealing memory out of the computers. Also, learned how to edit on open reel audio tape. Not fun.


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 8:35:50 am

I started with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portapak

We edited using two similar machines (one source, one record), a stopwatch and a grease pencil. Put a mark on each of the reels, use the stopwatch to get timing, then manually synchronize, and punch in on the mark. "Punch and crunch" editing.

MPS was my dream come true.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
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vimeo.com/dlawrence/albums


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Oliver Peters
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos
on May 2, 2015 at 2:41:37 pm

[David Lawrence] "I started with this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portapak"


Ironically a booth at NAB had the studio color version of one of these. It was marked "Sold, more available." I can get you the contact name if you REALLY want to relive your youth ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos - Methuselah Lives
on May 5, 2015 at 7:09:00 pm

Dave you king!

very late to this -

are you basically the first person ever in history to slap down on the spacebar for a marker for timing? I think you are you know.

Spatial organisation FTW.

how many potential stakeholders at the time saw this? did their brains explode? Was someone from future avid sit in the same place jobs sat at xerox parc going -
OMG OMG OMG OMG.

Also aren't you basically the Methuselah of editors? Did you just have to sit around for half a decade going - someone will start advertising for NLE editors pretty soon... did the wait get tedious? Did you take up carpentry?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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David Lawrence
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos - Methuselah Lives
on May 5, 2015 at 9:52:08 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "are you basically the first person ever in history to slap down on the spacebar for a marker for timing? I think you are you know."

As a matter of fact, I specifically requested that particular feature and the engineering team built it for me! :D

GTV had segments that were like music videos and I wanted to be able to cut on a beat by banging the spacebar. It worked great! (side note, I'm a drummer and before joining LFL was playing in bands, so I wanted tools that would make rhythmic editing as easy as playing a beat).

[Aindreas Gallagher] "how many potential stakeholders at the time saw this? did their brains explode? Was someone from future avid sit in the same place jobs sat at xerox parc going - OMG OMG OMG OMG."

At first it was strictly in-house. And I got to demo to some very special people, like Ted Nelson (who saw it as the perfect tool he'd been wanting for years to finish a hypermedia film project); and Doug Engelbart. One of my fondest memories is of the afternoon I got to hang out with him, demo the system and chat about his work and ideas for the future.

Those were real high points.

As the project was winding down in 1990, I was convinced we had a billion dollar industry in our hands. But for whatever reason, George didn't want to pursue it and the moment and momentum slipped away from us. Apple began showing it to third-parties. I know for sure the BBC got a look and it's likely Avid did as well. The rest as they say, is history.

[Aindreas Gallagher] "Also aren't you basically the Methuselah of editors? Did you just have to sit around for half a decade going - someone will start advertising for NLE editors pretty soon... did the wait get tedious? Did you take up carpentry?"

LOL, well needless to say, I was very disappointed we weren't going to make a business of our invention. Keep in mind this was the early 90's, a time when the concept of software patents didn't exist. Once it went out into the wild, it was gone. As I've previously written, I do believe an object-oriented, open timeline and basic NLE UI functionality like ours was inevitable. There was a lot of parallel development at the time. But I think we did make something genuinely new and special.

As for me, after LFL, I went from project to project in a pretty eclectic path. Project-based partnerships and collaborations, many with LFL/Apple colleagues. Startups that went boom and bust, usually trying to invent something for the future. I've learned it's great to be ahead of your time... the trick is to not be too far ahead.

I co-owned an Avid 3/4" offline system in the mid 90's and hated it. Had a Media 100 for a project it was pretty good at the time. But it wasn't until Final Cut Pro 4.5 HD that I felt like I was home again.

This thread has become pretty noisy so if you missed it, you might enjoy this reply to Charlie and Michael regarding UI inspiration:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/80539

I'll also answer Mark Suszko's question about laserdisc when I get a moment.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl
vimeo.com/dlawrence/albums


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Michael Gissing
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos - Methuselah Lives
on May 5, 2015 at 10:51:22 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "are you basically the first person ever in history to slap down on the spacebar for a marker for timing? I think you are you know."

[David Lawrence]As a matter of fact, I specifically requested that particular feature and the engineering team built it for me! :D

dSP DAWs took that space bar concept one step further. During record, hitting the space bar split the clip and added sequential numbering. Fantastic when recording VO to create new clips per sentence or paragraph as required during a continuous record.

Fairlight have a great concept with markers of being able to grab video thumbnails in real time. On the right of screen is an area for storing thumb as locators. Right mouse click in a box at any time, even when video is rolling, grabs a thumb marker. Left mouse click takes you to that thumb in the timeline. Great way to steal a group of FX and paste it into a scene.Having viual thumbnails as marker/locators makes it really easy to jump around in a timeline.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: The Mother of All NLE Demos - Methuselah Lives
on May 6, 2015 at 8:19:05 pm

class.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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