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My Issues as a Education facility

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Mike Jeffs
My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:53:22 pm

As a Education Facility i have been thinking about the major issues, that if resolved may make FCPX more attractive. I'm not talking about the missing features that we have heard complaints about ad nausea on this forum. But these are (too me) major concerns about how FCPX behaves.

1st. Events not being project Based. What i mean is that Events, that have been added to a Workstation (fcpx on Edit Bay 1) will always show up unless the drive they're on isn't mounted. This is a major concern for me. We can have 20 students a day on a single mac. If they are all adding different footage to events at some point there is going to be a lot of confusion and massive amount of events. Students are historically very poor organizers even if FCPX excels at it. Also there is the potential for one student to "Borrow" footage that another has been using.

2nd NAS server. Currently we cannot have FCP see a NAS server and have it hold events. Because we have many many different classes, (comm 101 102 etc.) each has their own partition on the NAS server so a student in a lab isn’t bound to one edit bay. I have heard that some have had their vendors create work a rounds but we are small potatoes to most of ours so we are at they’re and Apples mercy to get this fixed.

3rd. No reconnect or relink clip options. Students do dumb things they move delete or change video files. If they can’t reconnect to a updated clip this seems to be a major problem.

4th, Similar to issue 1 all projects show up on launch a can be accessed by anyone. I don’t like that every project in a event library (or whatever it’s called, not use to new language) is accessible on launch of FCPX again it is possible to have a lot of confusion. Lots and lots of projects, again to me there is a great potential for one student to again “borrow” work done by another.

In the end I wish things were more Save File (or project file or whatever its called) based. We do have one copy on our campus and I really like some of the power and other features that it offers. I hope that they can send out updates to address a lot of the problems missing features and others concerns ASAP. We will be watching was apple does for the next year if they make substantial strides and the industy starts to take it seriously then we will go full board. If not we will have to go a different course. Our ultimate goal is to train students for real jobs in the real world. My ramblings and thoughts from last night hope they make sense.

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Owen Wexler
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 4:11:41 pm

All very true and valid points... #3 in particular, when I was in school I'd hear somebody say "Man, what's up with this red screen that says 'media offline'?" at least once a day in the computer labs.

Frankly, I don't see how a school is supposed to use FCPX at all in its current state... I think we will see a lot more Avid and Premiere campuses in the next few years.

Cinematographer - Editor - Motion Graphics Artist - Colorist

http://www.owenbwexler.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 4:16:16 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "that have been added to a Workstation (fcpx on Edit Bay 1) will always show up unless the drive they're on isn't mounted"

I don't doubt that will change at some point. The user may be allowed to "hide" some things. Keep in mind also that they may be headed for an "always on" server in which the server manager will control access to the database of events and projects.

[Mike Jeffs] "2nd NAS server. Currently we cannot have FCP see a NAS server and have it hold events."

I'd bet that will change too.

[Mike Jeffs] "In the end I wish things were more Save File (or project file or whatever its called) based. "

The entire OS is moving aways from that given the way Lion will handle things. Save will be automatic and constant. I'd think that at some point some kind of "history" may be implemented in some useful manor.

FCPX is in its very earliest stages of functional development and the database/metadata structure would seem to lend itself to server integration . . . at some point.



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Andrew Richards
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:39:59 pm

[Mike Jeffs] "What i mean is that Events, that have been added to a Workstation (fcpx on Edit Bay 1) will always show up unless the drive they're on isn't mounted. This is a major concern for me. We can have 20 students a day on a single mac."

Default Events are per user in ~/Movies/Final Cut Events, not per host. So what you should be doing (and really should have been doing all along) is running an OD server with individual user accounts for each of your students. That would give each of them a login to work in as a sandbox, and you could even do home folder syncing to central storage on the NAS that would make their work more portable. This also gives you very granular control on what they can do on (to?) the edit systems.

[Mike Jeffs] "2nd NAS server. Currently we cannot have FCP see a NAS server and have it hold events. Because we have many many different classes, (comm 101 102 etc.) each has their own partition on the NAS server so a student in a lab isn’t bound to one edit bay. I have heard that some have had their vendors create work a rounds but we are small potatoes to most of ours so we are at they’re and Apples mercy to get this fixed."

Here is where those managed preferences really come into play. You can still host the media on the NAS, you just can't put Events there. If you uncheck the box in FCPX's Import preferences for "Copy files to Final Cut Events folder, you can link media to an event while leaving it in place on the NAS. This does complicate ingest a bit, but if your students are shooting tapeless, they could dump their cards into the NAS prior to editing and then link the media to an Event.

They should probably also work natively and uncheck both boxes for Transcoding in FCPX's Import preferences. The great thing about OD managed preferences is that you can probably lock these preferences user-by-user, or group-wise, to guarantee they can't muck it up by fiddling with preferences (I haven't tested this myself, but I expect it to work given FCPX's modern OS X roots; FCP1-7 did not play nice with managed preferences).

Further, since the media would live on the NAS, you could implement home folder syncing so the Events and Projects folders in their ~/Movies folder would just sync to the NAS and then sync to whatever workstation they log into at any given time. This isn't trivial to set up, but it is almost certainly doable and sounds like it would be a tidy improvement to your existing layout. Render files that live in these folders could become a storage burden, but there might be a way to make exclusions to the sync rules (not sure off the top of my head).

[Mike Jeffs] "3rd. No reconnect or relink clip options. Students do dumb things they move delete or change video files. If they can’t reconnect to a updated clip this seems to be a major problem. "

I'm not sure exactly how I'd arrange it, but I bet there is a way to leverage ACLs on the NAS to limit this behavior and prevent unlinked media in the first place. But yes, Apple does need to add a relink option for edit-in-place media that doesn't get the benefits of media managed within the Events folder.

[Mike Jeffs] "4th, Similar to issue 1 all projects show up on launch a can be accessed by anyone. I don’t like that every project in a event library (or whatever it’s called, not use to new language) is accessible on launch of FCPX again it is possible to have a lot of confusion. Lots and lots of projects, again to me there is a great potential for one student to again “borrow” work done by another."

If you are syncing home folders per student, each student's work would be collected in their ~/Movies directory. They'd have only their own work, and all their work across all classes.

So what you need is OS X Server (if you don't already have it) and some assistance in setting up a managed workgroup that makes sense for controlling what the students can and can't do, while giving you a much more flexible storage arrangement.

Best,
Andy Richards

VP of Product Development
Keeper Technology


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Mike Jeffs
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:53:19 pm

Thank you for this info. Not being a IT guy a lot of what you're saying kinda goes over my head, but i'm sure our IT guys will know what your saying. that being said i think i know generally what your saying.

sadly this seems like there will be a lot of growing pains. so we have to decided do i go throught the pains in hopes of something better or do we switch platforms to more of what were are use to. part of me wants to be on the cutting edge and step into the dark. but the other parts wants me to not rock the boat.

decisions decisions :)

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho


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Adam McCune
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:00:35 pm

I exist in a similar, though much smaller user-end, situation.

I think the gist of what we are seeing here, is that we have that "wait and see" attitude. If things start really progressing with FCPx, then we'll jump. Until then, we have to wait and see. No one is holding a gun to our head to switch. Still, I'm using it myself. I want to know...and I mean REALLY know what the software is all about, how we can use it and how good it really is. One thing it has going for it - speed. The rest? We'll see.

Still, I think that for us, it comes down to this - if we make the jump, we will eventually have to leap from FCP7 to something...either FCPX or Adobe.

Writer/Radio host/Community Media Advocate


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Joe Moya
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 2, 2011 at 12:57:47 am

Adam has a point... I believe you are trying to make a decision base on information that really doesn't exist when it comes to FCPX. If want to make a change... with good (and current) information... consider upgrading from FCP to Adobe or AVID.


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MIke Guidotti
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:44:29 pm

If you want to train them to work in the real world you should probably buy Avid.


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Richard Boyd
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:32:56 am

In addition to the issued raised above here are some of the problems I see:

1. Our school currently has 55 seats of FCP. How do we upgrade? Does Apple seriously expect us to open up 55 different I-Tunes accounts so we can individually download 55 separate stations of FCX? Aside from the time/pain-in-the-a.. issues, imagine me going to my purchasing department and asking them to fund 55 different I-Tunes accounts.

2. Our students keep all of their project work on personal firewire drives. I'm still unsure of the file saving process in FCX but it appears to be incompatible with our workflow.

3. Most of our more advanced students post their audio in Pro-tools and color correct in Color. We teach them to because that's how the real world works What are they supposed to do now?

4. For the last 10 years we've been telling our students: "Final Cut Pro is completely professional software. It's a major player in the film industry and proficiency in FCP will allow you to work in professional shops." Now what do we tell them?


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Craig Seeman
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:43:57 am

[Richard Boyd] "Does Apple seriously expect us to open up 55 different I-Tunes accounts so we can individually download 55 separate stations of FCX?"

Apple has already said they will have bulk licenses soon.

[Richard Boyd] " Our students keep all of their project work on personal firewire drives."

You can create an Event, which stores the media, on connected firewire drives.

[Richard Boyd] "Most of our more advanced students post their audio in Pro-tools and color correct in Color. We teach them to because that's how the real world works What are they supposed to do now?"

You can do OMF and AAF export with Automatic Duck. There may be more support coming. You can keep using FCP7 in the meantime.

[Richard Boyd] "4. For the last 10 years we've been telling our students: "Final Cut Pro is completely professional software. It's a major player in the film industry and proficiency in FCP will allow you to work in professional shops." Now what do we tell them?"

FCPX is not feature competitive with FCP7 or other NLEs at the moment. Apple will be implementing more features over time. Many people believe there will be major feature additions by the end of the year.

Apple post an FAQ.
http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/faq/



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Richard Boyd
Re: My Issues as a Education facility
on Jul 2, 2011 at 7:31:40 am

Apple has already said they will have bulk licenses soon.

There may be more support coming.

more features over time.

FCPX is in its very earliest stages of functional development and the database/metadata structure would seem to lend itself to server integration . . . at some point.

With all due respect to you and to Apple. They've been working on this release for at least 2 frikkin' years!!! OK granted it's an all new package - but that was their decision. Nobody out here was screaming "Hey, Apple, if you don't mind could you please completely re-write FCP and screw up everyone's world?" Why do I need to keep waiting for them to actually make software that works?

Sure, for a couple of semesters I can continue to use FCP7, but the nature of the beast is that I have to plan ahead - and right now Apple is asking me to buy a very large set of "soon, maybe, possible, at some point, third party, etc." To say the least their credibility is suffering - and they are definitely NOT responding to the concerns of the professional community. In fact, it appears that they are surprised that anyone's upset at all. I can't tell if they are just that clueless or if they just don't care. Either way it's not reassuring.


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