FORUMS: list search recent posts

Hate and Love

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Simon Ubsdell
Hate and Love
on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:49:22 pm

If you're anything like me (and I guess you're probably lucky if you're not), you will be deeply conflicted about the applications that you use.

When I'm in After Effects, I wish it could be more like Motion, and when I'm in Motion I wish it could be more like After Effects; I wish Fusion could be more like Nuke and I wish Nuke could be more like Fusion; there are things I love about Media Composer, and things that make me want to punch a hole through my screen.

What's really great is that moment when you realise that the application you are using is just perfect for the job you are doing at that moment, and you wouldn't change it for anything.

What's really annoying is to be in the middle of a job and realise that you'd much prefer to be doing it in another application.

What's really bizarre for me is that pleasure and grief seem to be more or less equally meted out between all applications, however amazing they are.

What things make you smile with pleasure and growl with anger ... in one and the same application?

So, not a question about which applications you prefer, but rather a question about whether you agree that every application has its sweet spot, and every application has its horrors.

Or am I just weird like that?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Michael Hancock
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:37:14 am

Sorry for the long post. I love your post and hope it sparks some interesting discussion.

I think the question/discussion you bring up is a great one, particularly now that more and more people are well versed in multiple skill sets, and not just multiple skill sets but multiple applications within each skill set (NLEs - FCPX, Premiere Pro, Media Composer; Mograph - Motion, AE, C4D; Compositing - Fusion, Nuke; Color - Resolve, Speedgrade, Lumetri, Apple Color). This familiarity with so much competing and overlapping software highlights that every application is a great choice and a terrible choice, depending on the project. And the harder people drive the software and compare it to the competition, and really spend timing learning it, the more evident each system's strengths and weaknesses become.

[Simon Ubsdell] "What things make you smile with pleasure and growl with anger ... in one and the same application?

So, not a question about which applications you prefer, but rather a question about whether you agree that every application has its sweet spot, and every application has its horrors."


Does every application have its sweet spot and horror? Absolutely. And picking the wrong, or less suited, software at the start of a project is maddening when you get far long to realize it, but too far along to change it.

But a big part of knowing you may the wrong choice, and thus being frustrated by it, is knowing that you made the wrong choice. And you can't know that if you don't know what the other software is capable of.

Since I spend the majority of my time editing, I'll just address my love/hate relationship with my three main NLEs:

FCPX - skimming is fast. Crazy fast. Rough cutting is incredibly fast. But I despise the interface when I'm ready to refine my edit or dealing with a complicated composite where tracks would really, really help keep things organized. There's not early enough keyboard control without having to keep a hand on the mouse all the time, and the interface often feels sluggish and slow to respond. And the lack of customization in the program keeps me in a state of slight irritation, particularly when it comes to metadata entry and display. If it's really a database with an NLE attached it's wasting its potential as a database. But to organize my footage and get that first cut done it's lightning quick and fun to use.

Premiere - incredible at accepting anything I throw at it, with great keyboard control (most of the time). But it's temperamental, the interface often behaviors unexpectedly and interrupts my flow, and the lack of a proper offline/online workflow is a huge oversight. If you get too far into a project and realize you really need to switch everything to an offline codec it's a major pain in the ass and you will rue the day you chose Premiere for that project.

Avid - I still feel it's the best for straight cutting, particularly when it comes to refining an edit (love trim mode and keyboard control). Love the offline/online workflow and incredibly robust metadata support and customization. Hate that AMA is still unreliable and performance suffers for it. So if you have to get cutting right away, Avid may not be a good choice. Hate the lack of format support (transcode or suffer is still very much a thing in Avid). Hate that little feature requests have been ignored for 10 features (Symphony color, anyone? Title tool? Improved effect handling/interface?). And I miss Scriptsync.

I love and hate them all, but I find the love and hate rise and fall depending on what I'm doing in each app. Like you said - pick the wrong one and it's a lot of grief. Pick the right one and you're in love all day.

Curiously enough, I often find myself in an NLE wishing that it had more UI/UX elements like After Effects, or like Resolve. And when I'm in Resolve or AE I find myself wishing they could behave more like one of the NLEs. And I don't mean "I wish Avid had layer masks and precomps and could do motion graphics like AE". More like, "Resolve's ability to quickly sort a timeline by source then create groups would be amazing in Premiere right now so I can quickly apply this effect every shot from CamA_Clip004". Or "I wish I could hide a handful of these tracks in FCPX like I can in AE. You should be able to make a role "shy" like you can a layer in AE. This timeline is too cluttered and I don't need to see it all right now." And I wish every app would work with hardware controllers like color panels or knobs and pots and transport controls. With customizable keyboard shortcuts (I'm looking at you After Effects).

[Simon Ubsdell] "What's really bizarre for me is that pleasure and grief seem to be more or less equally meted out between all applications, however amazing they are."

I think you see this because, and I'm making an assumption here, you really know the apps at a very deep level. Based on your posts you seem to learn not just the superficial handling of an app so you can slap some cuts together - you try to find its breaking points so you know where you will run into problems and how to solve them, or when not use the app so you can avoid them. I don't use Motion but I watched your tutorials and they're mind blowing. I never would have guessed the app could do so much. So while I may open AE and spend 2 days working on something you may open Motion and have it done in an hour, with similar or better results (talent not included). To go back to my earlier thought - I wouldn't know I made the wrong choice in software because I don't know what I don't know. If you had instead started in AE and hit a point of no return you would have been a lot more frustrated than I would have been because you would recognize that Motion would be a better choice.

If you know multiple apps at a deep level you recognize when something in app A is deficient compared to app B, and vice versa. I imagine that insight amplifies both the pleasure and the grief when you realize you definitely made a good, or bad, choice.

Because the price of entry for all the software is now so low I think more and more people will start to recognize an apps strengths and weakness and will start making decisions on which app to use on a per project basis, rather than always choosing X, Y, or Z because it's what they're most familiar with. And with that, will the religious wars over software slow down, or end? Probably not. But I like to think the conversation may swing from "My app is better than your app" to "What is the best app for this project, and why?" And it's the why I'm most interested in.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:12:28 pm

A really great post, Michael, and you managed to say pretty much everything I would have said on the subject.

A lot of your pluses and minuses are very similar to mine, incidentally. (Don't get me started on AMA - it's the Devil's work! It's very frustrating that the NLE that has historically been the strongest at media management is still distinctly unreliable in a feature that is really vital for today's workflows.)

Slamming up against the walls of an overly rigid interface is a classic instance of where pleasure turns to annoyance. There are interfaces that are designed with a very specific way of working in mind and it's great when you stick to the designer's notion of how you should work, and everything will feel fluid and easy. But the rigidity will quickly lead to frustration as soon as you want work in a way that the designer didn't envisage. But then again, the same application can be rigid in some respects and flexible in others ...

I do wonder whether "extensibility" has a lot to do with the degree to which an application can frustrate or not. Seeing how someone like Walter works with After Effects (simply amazing!) makes me think that there are applications that in a real sense have no actual limits because of the means they offer the user to build out beyond the core in any direction. (NLEs are fundamentally not like this, although I can see that it might happen with Premiere at some point.) If you can to some extent "rewrite" the application to suit your needs, are you going to hit fewer of those sticking points?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index


Steve Connor
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:20:25 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Slamming up against the walls of an overly rigid interface is a classic instance of where pleasure turns to annoyance. There are interfaces that are designed with a very specific way of working in mind and it's great when you stick to the designer's notion of how you should work, and everything will feel fluid and easy. But the rigidity will quickly lead to frustration as soon as you want work in a way that the designer didn't envisage. But then again, the same application can be rigid in some respects and flexible in others ..."

I'm still hoping for some more customisation in FCPX, I actually like the interface a lot but I'd like to be able to change layouts as quickly as you can with other NLEs


Return to posts index

Shawn Miller
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:44:22 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "So, not a question about which applications you prefer, but rather a question about whether you agree that every application has its sweet spot, and every application has its horrors."

Yes, 100% agree. There is a lot of crossover in the tools that I use... but none of them do everything perfectly, so I often finding myself wishing that one did something as well as the other. I do appreciate all of them for what they do well, though, and I feel pretty fortunate to live in a time when the tools I use are so incredibly powerful and accessible.

Shawn



Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:17:13 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "When I'm in After Effects, I wish it could be more like Motion, and when I'm in Motion I wish it could be more like After Effects; I wish Fusion could be more like Nuke and I wish Nuke could be more like Fusion; there are things I love about Media Composer, and things that make me want to punch a hole through my screen."

Since I'm a monogamous ap user I don't have this conflict nearly as much as the realization that there is a feature in a now dead bit of software that I wish I could resurrect into the here and now.

I get the feeling that most NLE software designers have a rather rudimentary knowledge of the history of their field and are not aware of some of the rather sublime features that many "dead" NLEs had that are worthy of consideration and emulation. it is very odd to be working on something in 2015 and wishing for a feature you used to have in 1998.

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


Return to posts index


Steve Connor
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:21:44 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I get the feeling that most NLE software designers have a rather rudimentary knowledge of the history of their field and are not aware of some of the rather sublime features that many "dead" NLEs had that are worthy of consideration and emulation. it is very odd to be working on something in 2015 and wishing for a feature you used to have in 1998.
"


Features like.....?


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:51:28 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Dec 11, 2015 at 1:52:01 pm

[Steve Connor] "Features like.....?"

EMC2

Ripple Wall -
which allowed everything to the left of a specified point to ripple while everything to the right of that point is frozen - similar to locking tracks, but horizontally, not vertically.

Shot overlay -
when overwriting shots the previous shots are still there, but hidden by the higher level shots. Think of layers in photoshop - underlaying layers remain unless and until you decide to "flatten the timeline.

In-point/out-point/duration calculator -
Any of those time code attributes of a clip could be stored as a value and then used in a mathematical function to quickly and accurately calculate proper values for specific trim functions, i.e., (Extend out point clip of A by (In point clip B - minus out point clip A)) this was done faster than you can say it, with keyboard shortcuts.

Edit*

Rendering in context -
When compositing in a timeline and messing with effects edit* "knew" which part of an effect actually needed re-rendering and instead of re-rendering the whole effect it would only render that part of the effect that had actually changed. Instead of a single "red line" above a render, you could see a group of lines, each indicating a specific partial render and you could play around with these lines, turning them off and on which enabled and disabled that aspect of the rendered effect. It was brilliant.

Archive -
Edit* had the best archiving function I ever used. It would save the project file, the clips from the timeline, any nested clips, any clips used in any third party aps associated with the timeline, and any titles or graphics, all into a single zip file.

There are many other bodies in the NLE graveyard, and, like people, they all had something memorable, worthwhile and unique about them.

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


Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 7:58:05 pm

Perfectly normal feelings and spot on. My biggest beef with FCP X, as much as I like it is no Send To Motion option along with keyframing that needs improving. Exporting indvidual clips is a pain. I want to see a hybrid timeline, turn on and off tracks.

Speaking of which, tracks don't necessarily slow you down but you do have to pay attention to track assignments.

Rendering is a big annoyance in Resolve. One minor change and it's back to the old drawing board. Some stuff renders fast, others, not so much. Probably need a beefy machine for that.

Fusion, good but needs tracking in addition to more OFX support.

I forgot to mention no Send To Motion,a big annoyance.


Return to posts index


Shawn Miller
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 9:01:32 pm

[David Mathis] "Fusion, good but needs tracking in addition to more OFX support."

Fusion does 2D tracking, do you mean 3D tracking? Where do you feel OFX support is lacking?

Shawn



Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 9:29:02 pm

[Shawn Miller] "[David Mathis] "Fusion, good but needs tracking in addition to more OFX support."

Fusion does 2D tracking, do you mean 3D tracking? Where do you feel OFX support is lacking?

Shawn
"


Glad there is 2D tracking, not much I do in 3D so not an issue, yet.

Would like to see OFX support in the free version as I wait for Studio version to come out. Just subscribed to a three month plan of Sapphire and would like to use it in Fusion as well. Guess that I will have to be patient on that one.

I do like Fusion and Resolve though the editing is still kind of rough in there. No plans to leave FCP X anytime soon. Same goes for Motion. Too bad Sapphire is not supported in either one. That is how the ball bounces.


Return to posts index

Shawn Miller
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 11, 2015 at 10:41:40 pm

[David Mathis] "Would like to see OFX support in the free version as I wait for Studio version to come out. Just subscribed to a three month plan of Sapphire and would like to use it in Fusion as well. Guess that I will have to be patient on that one."


Ah, I see. I didn't know that OFX plugins weren't supported in the free version.

Shawn



Return to posts index


Tim Wilson
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 12, 2015 at 8:36:13 pm

[Shawn Miller] " I didn't know that OFX plugins weren't supported in the free version."

Interesting for the context of this thread, but one of the things BMD holds back from the free version is extensibility: OpenFX, a custom SDK for building your own features, workflow and asset management, Avid integration, network rendering, etc etc, all require the paid version.

I like this idea. It's not just that you're paying for specific features. You're paying for a wider range of possibilities, including custom development and distributed creativity.


[Simon Ubsdell] "Seeing how someone like Walter works with After Effects (simply amazing!) makes me think that there are applications that in a real sense have no actual limits because of the means they offer the user to build out beyond the core in any direction. (NLEs are fundamentally not like this, although I can see that it might happen with Premiere at some point.)"

This raises a cluster of related questions for me.

1) How/why do you feel After Effects is different from NLEs? Extensibility in general gets at some of it, but it feels bigger than that to me.

2) Is the idea of "doing everything" in one application that "does everything" appealing to you?

That is, Simon, I understand that you were originally speaking about the frustrations of using multiple tools for the SAME task...but since you mention After Effects and Premiere and FCPX/Motion, and Resolve/Fusion comes up too -- are there limits to how far you'd like to see an NLE extend?


And Herb, do you find yourself able to live in one environment because of the range of your tasks, or because of how extensible your NLE is (whether with native structures, plug-ins, or whatever)? It's obviously a mix of both, but what's the dynamic between tasks and tools for you?


BTW, the title for this thread immediately made me think of the fantastic 1971 single by The Persuaders, "There's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate."

And because it's mid-day Saturday as I write this, I'm thinking of Soul Train (what? It's mid-day Saturday and you're NOT thinking of Soul Train?), and in fact the performance of this very song on that very show that I watched on January 22, 1972.

I remember it as clearly as if I'd just now seen the video.....







Return to posts index

David Lawrence
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 12, 2015 at 10:37:15 pm

Great thread, Simon. Thank you.

[Tim Wilson] "1) How/why do you feel After Effects is different from NLEs? Extensibility in general gets at some of it, but it feels bigger than that to me."

One of the most painful jobs I ever had to deal with was a recut of a video for a client who wanted what seemed like minor changes, but for some reason was getting pushback from their editor. They said goodbye to their editor and hired me for what I thought was a no-brainer, hour long fix.

When I got the project files, I could see the problem.

Turns out, their previous editor (who was also their motion graphics guy) did everything in AE. He was pushing back because he had followed their script to the letter and the minor tweaks would be a huge amount of work.

After jumping the some hoops to get the AE project into whatever NLE I was using, I was able to do the job, but it was a huge PITA.

AE is not an NLE. I wouldn't dream of doing editorial cutting in it. And I can't imagine changing it to make editorial cutting viable.


[Tim Wilson] "BTW, the title for this thread immediately made me think of the fantastic 1971 single by The Persuaders, "There's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate." "

Funny, it made me think of this: :)






_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 12:41:52 am

[David Lawrence] "Turns out, their previous editor (who was also their motion graphics guy) did everything in AE. He was pushing back because he had followed their script to the letter and the minor tweaks would be a huge amount of work."

I work some freelance gigs at a local broadcast facility. Almost all of the editors do heavy lifting on spots in AE. The NLE is basically just to edit clips together and do audio. Everything else - graphics, color correction, transitions, style treatments - all in AE. I've jumped in on some of the past projects in order to make revisions and it takes quite a while to work backwards through the breadcrumbs.

That's why Magic Bullet and Automatic Duck exist. It's because the developers were big on AE and worked out ways to enhance AE based on their own workflows.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index


Tim Wilson
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 6:04:52 am

[David Lawrence] "AE is not an NLE. I wouldn't dream of doing editorial cutting in it. And I can't imagine changing it to make editorial cutting viable."

Sorry, I said that wrong.

I completely agree with what you're saying more clearly than I was able to. You and I have been among the folks who've spoken here over the years about things like the relatively horizontal nature of editing and the vertical nature of compositing.

With such fundamental differences in purpose, (sometimes, as both you and Oliver note, reflected in different lengths of typical projects), having one application really REALLY do both is inherently going to be a mess. Too much time to develop, too much time to launch, inevitable modal bottlenecks, on and on.

I was trying to dig down a little deeper into Simon's observation that After Effects feels like it has fewer limits relative to an NLE.

So, rather than asking what makes After Effects feel more extensible (scripting, expressions, robust plug-in architecture, interop with other application environments....??? You tell me), I was thinking more along the lines of, okay Simon, what would it take for your NLE to feel like it had fewer limits?

I really hesitate to use the word "open" in this context -- almost as devoid of usable rational content as the word "intuitive" -- but I think that may be where I'm heading. As Simon put it,

There are interfaces that are designed with a very specific way of working in mind and it's great when you stick to the designer's notion of how you should work, and everything will feel fluid and easy. But the rigidity will quickly lead to frustration as soon as you want work in a way that the designer didn't envisage


A bit of a Rorschach test, that: is FCPX the first NLE you think he's thinking of, or Media Composer? Premiere is obviously not exempt from criticism, but I don't often hear "rigidity" listed as one of its most characteristic shortcomings, when it's vastly more often than not one of the top two for X and MC.

Simon then asks, "If you can to some extent "rewrite" the application to suit your needs, are you going to hit fewer of those sticking points?"

Spoken like a compositor, I think, no? Other than Alan Bell in my interview with him for Hunger Games, where he spoke about customized project sharing among his team using some Python scripts he wrote, I don't know that I've ever heard an editor outside the Sony Creative Software world talking about scripting their NLE.

In any case, that level of finesse seems rare, but in After Effects, it's been baked in from the beginning, and in some areas, Fusion and Nuke open their range of possibilities for shaping the application in your workflow's image even farther.

I'm rambling, but that's what the direction I'm trying to ramble in. What are the different things that we want from these applications that make different degrees of flexibility more or less acceptable to us for editing relative to compositing/mograph/VFX/whatever the hell it is is that people like you, Walter, Simon, et al are doing in AE/Motion/Nuke/Fusion....


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 3:48:32 pm

[David Lawrence] "AE is not an NLE. I wouldn't dream of doing editorial cutting in it. And I can't imagine changing it to make editorial cutting viable."

I agree with the first part, I more or less entirely agree with the second part, but while I agree with the third part ... are we really saying that we can't think it can't be done? I'd be fascinated to hear your reasons.

I think I'd say it probably could be done but that retro-fitting NLE functions (especially to an application as mature as this one) would always be a compromise ...

But what was your thinking behind saying this?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

David Lawrence
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 9:43:26 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "while I agree with the third part ... are we really saying that we can't think it can't be done? I'd be fascinated to hear your reasons."

This will probably come as no surprise to you - for me, it all comes down to fundamental differences in the timeline architecture and interaction model for a NLE vs a layer-based compositor.

Layers and tracks both represent time horizontally, and both (for the most part) composite from top to bottom, but they're very different in how they represent media.

A single layer can only hold a single instance of a media object. A single track can hold an unlimited number of media objects. This key difference becomes critical depending on the task at hand.

Generally speaking, compositing is shot focused, which is where the debate between nodal and layer-based compositors comes into play. Both have their pluses and minuses deepending on the task.

NLEs on the other hand, are optimized for cutting.

Consider the most basic possible NLE operation - the cut. In any NLE, it's absolutely trivial to cut, copy, paste and move media clips in time.

Now consider that same operation in the layer-based world of After Effects. Not so trivial anymore, is it? In fact, the most basic editorial timeline would likely become a huge mess in layers very quickly.

Then there's playback. It's only been recently that real-time playback in AE is something we might even consider. Compositors by design prioritize calculating the correct value for every pixel of the frame, based on the media and processing pipeline in the composite stack. NLE do this too, but by design, playback seems to be the first priority.

Even if AE could do full, realtime playback of a timeline, I'm not sure that would be enough to make up for the differences in the timeline models as far as editorial uses go.

I think one of the reasons FCP Legend became popular is because at least for me, it was the first NLE to find the sweet spot between editing and compositing. Legend had non-modal editorial tools that were very mac-like and easy to learn compared to Avid. Compositing was also very mac-like and easy to use. Just stack layers of media on tracks and apply the filters or keyframes. At the time, there was nothing like this. Sure, the compositing wasn't anywhere near as powerful as what you could do in AE, but for things like simple, key-framed animatics, it was wonderful.

I don't think it would be impossible for a future AE to have the editorial flexibility of a NLE, but in my mind, doing so would require that layers become much more like tracks, with the ability to hold more than one media object. And at that point, wouldn't they essential become tracks? I'm not sure that's possible or even desirable.

Anyway that's my thinking. Curious about yours.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


Return to posts index


Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 9:38:12 am

Thanks for your very interesting reply.

[David Lawrence] "A single layer can only hold a single instance of a media object."

I think my hesitation here would be that this is describing the way things are in, for example, After Effects rather than the way things might be in a parallel universe where Adobe rewrote it from the ground up, which is what I was speculating about. I was wondering if it is genuinely not possible (even theoretically) to have "layers" that held multiple clips in the exact same way that "tracks" do.

Walter would know ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 3:17:50 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Walter would know ;-)"

"Know" might be a bit strong. But "theorize," absolutely!


[Simon Ubsdell] "I think my hesitation here would be that this is describing the way things are in, for example, After Effects rather than the way things might be in a parallel universe where Adobe rewrote it from the ground up, which is what I was speculating about. I was wondering if it is genuinely not possible (even theoretically) to have "layers" that held multiple clips in the exact same way that "tracks" do."

At first blush, I'd say that an Ae layer is the conflation of a clip and a track. Like squares and rectangles, a layer cannot do anything that a track can't do, but tracks can do things that layers cannot.

In parallel-universe-Ae terms, no problem. I don't see any logical reason why you couldn't build a track-based (or trackless/non-layer) compositor. With an imaginative UI, it could be a really interesting solution to one of the biggest challenges I see in motion design today: where editorial ends and design begins.

In this-universe-Ae terms, there's a lot more to it than that.

For every single property of a layer, you'd have to decide if it applies to clips, tracks, or both. For every layer property you assign to a clip, you must change the UI. For every layer property you assign to a track, you must change the render pipeline.

Then you must think about the new things you can do with tracks that you couldn't do with layers, and figure out what new capabilities you will implement. Cut points become implied objects, so you could have transitions (a concept which does not really exist in layer-based Ae). The track may or may not be treated as an effects bus, and that decision is but the first domino in a new set of capabilities and limitations.

There are few tricky UI considerations. Ae hotkeys are generally modeless, and there are no good ones left for editorial control. Control of properties outside of the clip extents in a tracked system would be tricky because they'd collide with other clips on the same layer. Allowing more than one clip per track/layer means that you'll have to navigate both horizontally and vertically to find a clip.

Unless "tracks" were just a condensed, quasi-read-only view derived from the real layer timeline, you'd also be drastically changing the data model. That has big implications on the enormous third-party ecosystem Ae has. If the new data model were not backwards-compatible, any script or plugin which traverses the comp structure would be broken.

I'd suggest this is the most important point in this post to the larger discussion we're having here. The data model is the core of an application and it defines the limits of an application's extensibility.

That core also requires the most effort to change because it has so many dependencies, both internal and external. Any development decision deserves some cost/benefit analysis, and the cost is automatically exponentially higher for core data model changes.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 6:05:45 pm

Great answer, Walter, thank you!

I guess I was thinking more about the alternative universe and what one might like a "track-layer" to look like, rather than the more obviously impractical in this universe task of converting Ae to work in "track-layers". The reason I brought this up was in answer to David's point that it couldn't be done - obviously he's right that there are insurmountable obstacles to doing it with the application we know as After Effects, as you've explained so well, but to what extent is it theoretically impossible/impractical?

[Walter Soyka] "The data model is the core of an application and it defines the limits of an application's extensibility."

Yes, this is clearly an important insight - all too easily overlooked in discussions about how we'd like our applications to evolve.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index


Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 8:41:17 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "but to what extent is it theoretically impossible/impractical?"

I would say that transitions pose a special challenge -- they require some in-track compositing that could break the rest of the render pipeline. How do you handle the alpha in a transition between two non-output-sized objects? How do you handle a transition between a 2D and a 3D object?

With that out of the way, I don't see any reason why it would be theoretically impossible. I can't think of a single thing that you can do in terms of a render pipeline with layers that you can't do with tracks.

Your challenge: what's impractical about tracks (or trackless multi-object containers) versus layers from a compositing standpoint? My answer: the quick description I gave of Ae-specific challenges can be generalized. Like David and Tim said, compositing tends toward the vertical while editing tends toward the horizontal.

To flatten layers into clips in containers, you must hide layer-based information in the clips, obscuring important compositing information. To expand clips in containers into layers, you must separate joined objects and consume extra space, obscuring important edit information. (Maybe there's a lesson to be learned from FCPX's notion of primary content?)

While I think that editing and compositing can be contained within the same data structure, I think that those opposing ideals suggest that a single UX around that data that's meaningful for both tasks at the same time is not the best solution.

I think that an interesting possibility would be to try not to serve two masters with the same view, but rather to give two or more different windows into the same pool of data. How about keeping layers, and adding a (possibly non-magnetic) trackless editorial timeline? Imagine a filtered, automatically-collapsing vertical stack that is an editorial view of the real layer-based timeline. This would enable timing changes but not compositing changes. Just switch back to full layers for compositing changes.

There's still plenty of room for UX evolution in compositing! Consider Mistika.

Maybe a timeline doesn't have to be a timeline. A look at Mistika's timespace construct could be informative. It's a bit like what you'd get if you took absolute time from Premiere, tracklessness (but not magnetism) from FCPX, and on-timeline effects stacking from Motion, and then smushed them all together.

Mistika allows you to composite with both layers and nodes. See 0:58 at the video below. It's gone in a flash, but you can see a node graph side-by-side with a timespace. The addition of "links" (kind of like Motion's clone layers) in the timespace allows the same comp to be represented and manipulated in either/both the node graph and in the the timespace.







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


Return to posts index

David Lawrence
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 9:20:07 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I would say that transitions pose a special challenge -- they require some in-track compositing that could break the rest of the render pipeline. How do you handle the alpha in a transition between two non-output-sized objects?"

Simon, et al - Walter and I got deep into this issue in this thread in the After Effect forum:

https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1067127

As I learned in this thread, transitions that are trivial in an NLE present special challenges in a compositor. This becomes interesting in the context of round tripping between applications. In my case it was via Adobe dynamic linking. Dynamic linking is great, but I was surprised by the transition problem. It's important to understand that some things don't exactly translate. Now that I know how it works, in the future I'll set up my Premiere transitions differently if I plan to go into AE.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 1:09:01 am

This UX and objects conversation is interesting, but it seems a bit esoteric, even for me ;-)

Isn't one of the core differences between an editing app and a compositing app the way in which media playback is handled? In general, a compositor is designed to move frame-based media into an uncompressed RGB 4:4:4 progressive buffer, regardless of the original codec. This is difficult to do in real-time. OTOH, an NLE is designed to deal with movie streams, usually in a native or compatible codec. An NLE is often dependent on an underlying media engine to handle part of the actual movie file playback, a la QT and FCP7. As a result, real-time playback is easier, but compositing might not be quite as good.

Some NLEs and/or compositors achieve both aims. Quantel and Flame come to mind. In past years, I'd also lump products like Media 100 844/X and DFX Composium (a linear system) also into this category.

IOW, regardless of the interface design, there are still real-world engineering differences under-the-hood. What do you think?

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

David Lawrence
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 1:34:52 am

[Oliver Peters] "In general, a compositor is designed to move frame-based media into an uncompressed RGB 4:4:4 progressive buffer, regardless of the original codec. This is difficult to do in real-time. OTOH, an NLE is designed to deal with movie streams, usually in a native or compatible codec. An NLE is often dependent on an underlying media engine to handle part of the actual movie file playback, a la QT and FCP7. As a result, real-time playback is easier, but compositing might not be quite as good."

Yes. Thank you for more precisely articulating what I meant by this:

[David Lawrence] "Compositors by design prioritize calculating the correct value for every pixel of the frame, based on the media and processing pipeline in the composite stack. NLE do this too, but by design, playback seems to be the first priority."

[Oliver Peters] "IOW, regardless of the interface design, there are still real-world engineering differences under-the-hood. What do you think?"

Absolutely. I think that's why we see various different data models and UI approaches to working with time-based media.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 1:47:59 am

[David Lawrence] "Absolutely. I think that's why we see various different data models and UI approaches to working with time-based media."

In addition, there's a also a mindset difference. Editors and compositors think differently and the UIs are tailored accordingly. Some are good at both, but that's usually not the case. Just like "offline" (or film or creative) editors think differently than "online" (or finishing) editors.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:15:14 am

[Oliver Peters] "Isn't one of the core differences between an editing app and a compositing app the way in which media playback is handled? In general, a compositor is designed to move frame-based media into an uncompressed RGB 4:4:4 progressive buffer, regardless of the original codec. This is difficult to do in real-time. OTOH, an NLE is designed to deal with movie streams, usually in a native or compatible codec. An NLE is often dependent on an underlying media engine to handle part of the actual movie file playback, a la QT and FCP7. As a result, real-time playback is easier, but compositing might not be quite as good."

This certainly was true, but now Premiere and FCPX have real-time, 32-bit floating point pipelines, and After Effects has a persistent disk cache. The lines here are blurring.

I think that now the larger technical difference is that current-gen NLEs have simpler rendering pipelines, and that NLE design generally prefers to skip frames in order to maintain real-time playback, while compositor design prefers to slow playback in order to show every frame.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:25:40 am

[Walter Soyka] "think that now the larger technical difference is that current-gen NLEs have simpler rendering pipelines, and that NLE design generally prefers to skip frames in order to maintain real-time playback, while compositor design prefers to slow playback in order to show every frame."

NLEs are leaning more heavily on GPU power to achieve on-the-fly and even rendered compositing than do compositors. The objective being real-time playback with effects. Often with inferior visual results.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:34:49 am

[Oliver Peters] "NLEs are leaning more heavily on GPU power to achieve on-the-fly and even rendered compositing than do compositors. The objective being real-time playback with effects. Often with inferior visual results."

Some compositors lean heavily on the GPU, too.

Let's talk about "inferior visual results." What do you have in mind?

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:39:57 am

[Walter Soyka] "Let's talk about "inferior visual results." What do you have in mind?"

I have yet to see a dissolve on a GPU-based system that seems to look right to me. FCPX is the worst offender.

I also noticed this next issue after the latest update of Premiere Pro CC. Graphics with glows and transparencies changed in appearance for the worse when the "composite in linear space" is enabled in the sequence settings. This used to match the way it looked in AE. Now these same graphics don't. Lately I've been leaving it unchecked.

These two issues might not be completely GPU-based, but it sure seems like it.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 3:07:28 am

Qualify "look right"


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 3:42:20 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Qualify "look right""

Oh my goodness, your post is 125x more efficient in word-count than mine was.

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 4:11:23 am

[Walter Soyka] "Oh my goodness, your post is 125x more efficient in word-count than mine was.
"


Just go trackless, my friend. It's 125x more efficient.

heh heh....

heh...

I'm a dullard.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 12:16:51 pm

"Qualify "look right""

I think Walter probably spelled it out best and yes, I agree it may be coincidental. In X I use the default dissolve and often what I see in the mix looks like there's some sort of s-curve applied to the gammas. So brighter values stay solid longer throughout the dissolve than darker values, which become transparent earlier.

Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 12:39:28 pm

Walter always spells it out best.

[Oliver Peters] " In X I use the default dissolve and often what I see in the mix looks like there's some sort of s-curve applied to the gammas"

Then get in there and fix it! The dissolve has a myriad of choices including easing in and out on top of the different curves. I often, on audio only dissolves in music, have to change the curve to +3 to get it to "sound right" and keep the levels through the transition. I would hardly call the dissolve the "worst offender" it just has a lot of options and I rarely use the default.

I don't think this has to do with GPU vs CPU and quality.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 12:46:08 pm

"The dissolve has a myriad of choices including easing in and out on top of the different curves."

Those are acceleration curves and do not affect how the video levels are actually mixed.

Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 8:55:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Those are acceleration curves and do not affect how the video levels are actually mixed.
"


Well no, but they do control the speed and look, which helps when it needs to look right.


Return to posts index

David Lawrence
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 6:10:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I often, on audio only dissolves in music, have to change the curve to +3 to get it to "sound right" and keep the levels through the transition."

Just don't make it asymmetrical! ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 3:38:36 am

[Oliver Peters] "I have yet to see a dissolve on a GPU-based system that seems to look right to me. FCPX is the worst offender."

That's funny; a dissolve is just "over" -- it's the simplest compositing calculation there is! There's really no way to simplify a dissolve calculation for the sake of rendering it faster, so whether it's computed on the CPU or the GPU can't make a difference.

What does make a difference is whether the over operation in the dissolve is calculated in film-style (linear light) or video-style (gamma-encoded). The emergence of linear light compositing in NLEs is a advancement in their compositing capabilities, and is coincidental with GPU acceleration.

FCPX has like a dozen different cross-dissolve options. Which one(s) don't you like?


[Oliver Peters] "I also noticed this next issue after the latest update of Premiere Pro CC. Graphics with glows and transparencies changed in appearance for the worse when the "composite in linear space" is enabled in the sequence settings. This used to match the way it looked in AE. Now these same graphics don't. Lately I've been leaving it unchecked."

Compositing in linear space* more closely models the way light really works, and generally leads to easier realistic compositing -- but it calculates differently, which means it looks different and "feels" different (in that the same numeric controls do different things with and without gamma encoding).

Adobe made a mess of this between Ae and Pr over the last couple years. Ae does not composite linearly by default; you have to dig into the project settings and tell it to. Pr is even more confusing. It composited in a gamma-encoded space by default in software only mode, and in a linear space with hardware acceleration. They "helpfully" provided checkboxes to override either behavior, instead of one simple control that tells you exactly what the renderer is doing, no matter whether the render is hardware-accelerated or not. I'll have to look and see what the current version is actually doing by default to understand what you're seeing better.


[Oliver Peters] "These two issues might not be completely GPU-based, but it sure seems like it."

As I mentioned above, it is coincidental. For example, Nuke is largely CPU-driven but always work in linear space. Flame is largely GPU-driven, but also largely works in a video-style, gamma-encoded space.


* Linear is a really loaded term. There's scene-linear and display-linear; neither of these employ gamma-encoding, but one is relative to the light present when the camera captured and one is relative to the display that will show the work. Scene-linear is always high dynamic range and must be tone-mapped; display-linear has generally been tone-mapped and assumes certain viewing conditions. Then there's what's sometimes called linear, as in not-log, which is gamma-encoded and totally non-linear.

I am not a color scientist, but I play one on the Internet.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 1:37:06 pm

[Walter Soyka] "That's funny; a dissolve is just "over""

I hope you won't mind me pointing out that this is a bit of an over-simplification, even as regards the most common implementations of the dissolve in the applications we are familiar with. Certainly Over is one way of doing it and is probably what most people think of as what's happening, but it's far from being the only way.

The way I see it, a dissolve requires three things: a) a blending operation to determine how the pixels of the two overlapping layers interact; b) a means of handling the alpha channels of the two images, if present; and c) one or two sets of animation curves that determine the rate of the transition.

This being the case, it's not difficult to see that there are a huge number of ways in which a dissolve could be implemented. For example, any of the commonly used blend modes will yield workable results and allow for many different looks but clearly one could devise custom blend modes for even more complex results. FCP X offers a pretty wide range of these kinds of options, some better-looking than others. Obviously how the pixels are blended will greatly impact on which appear more persistent than others - in fact the blending operation will have a greater impact than the animation curve a lot of the time.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 4:19:07 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I hope you won't mind me pointing out that this is a bit of an over-simplification, even as regards the most common implementations of the dissolve in the applications we are familiar with."

Not in the least! It is an oversimplification. But here's why I did it:


[Simon Ubsdell] "The way I see it, a dissolve requires three things: a) a blending operation to determine how the pixels of the two overlapping layers interact; b) a means of handling the alpha channels of the two images, if present; and c) one or two sets of animation curves that determine the rate of the transition."

A) Other blends are possible, but a standard video cross-dissolve blends normally by convention.

B) In Oliver's example, alpha is always 1 so I (over)simplified.

C) The animation curve is an input to the dissolve calculation, and is relevant to the result, but is irrelevant to the actual operation.

The idea I was responding to was the idea that GPU processing was somehow causing inferior results. The point I was trying to make was that it's just math, and the naive case for a dissolve as above is one of the simplest operations possible. It can't be stripped down or approximated with a simpler method to run faster or on a different device.


[Simon Ubsdell] "Obviously how the pixels are blended will greatly impact on which appear more persistent than others - in fact the blending operation will have a greater impact than the animation curve a lot of the time."

Not just the blending operation, but the blending operands.

I think the issue Oliver has is that even if FCPX is doing the exact same blending that FCP7 was, it's doing them on linearized sources instead of gamma-encoded ones. That would give those persistent highlights.

It's the same math, but with different numbers, so you get different results.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 5:42:16 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Not just the blending operation, but the blending operands."

Yes, very much so.

I wasn't disagreeing with your excellent analysis - just pointing out that Over is not the only known dissolve blending operation. But yes, your simplification made sense in the overall context of the discussion.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:31:48 pm

To Oversimplify or Not: The Debate

I owe you a response to the original idea of the thread. I think I derailed this one a bit.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 7:03:48 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think I derailed this one a bit.
"


Derailing is great - I love derailing. That's where all the great ideas come from.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Scott Witthaus
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 7:45:02 pm

[Oliver Peters] "
I have yet to see a dissolve on a GPU-based system that seems to look right to me. FCPX is the worst offender."


I now realize that this group CAN debate anything!

;-)

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 8:31:51 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Dec 15, 2015 at 8:37:00 pm

Oh goody. Let's get into a screeching fight about terminology again!

I stand firmly with the concept that "dissolve" implies perfusion of a substance throughout a liquid medium. and therefore, "CROSS FADE" is the proper and ONLY acceptable term. So things MUST be changed. Or not.

And no, don't even think about arguing for "cross-dissolve" - as a compromise. You're just enabling.

Have to admit the esoteric nature of the whole thread made me ticked that I'm on deadline this week and can't play. I'm extra grumpy since I've just spent 4 full days back and forth between FCP X and Motion trying to get pre-holiday tight deadline work out - and annoyed most of the time because I don't properly understand the effect of the very conceptual limitations that are being discussed here by people with much more knowledge of these things then myself.

Bottom line: Why don't things work more simply and EXACTLY the way *I* want them to!!! (every other editor on the planets differing wants and needs be dammed.)

There, now I feel better. Carry on.

(oh, and at least now thanks to this thread, I have a small clue about WHY I can't (in Motion) do effective transitions between the "scenes" of the Motion work I'm banging out. So that's a bit calming, anyway.)

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.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 1:34:10 am

[Bill Davis] "And no, don't even think about arguing for "cross-dissolve" - as a compromise. You're just enabling. "

LOL. You're either joking or channeling your inner Aindreas. It is, of course "cross dissolve" in FCPX.

;-)

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:32:08 am

[Oliver Peters] "LOL. You're either joking or channeling your inner Aindreas. It is, of course "cross dissolve" in FCPX.
"


I know Oliver. ; ) The persistent idea around here that I somehow think X is *perfect* is silly. I've always seen and noted it's flaws. It's just that I much prefer going through life enjoying things that work for me, rather than spend too much time focused on the aspects of things that are imperfect.

Oddly, my Mom, (who passed away 2 years ago just shy of her 101st birthday!) once mentioned that she had read that like me, Teddy Roosevelt had survived an somewhat rare case of western equine encephalitis as a young man (don't go river-tubing during mosquito season!) and afterwards, speculated that the nasty fever might have somehow messed with his brain chemistry to give him an overly positive outlook on life. (BULLY!) True or pure rumor-based medical BS, I haven't a clue - but I do know that I tend to find it boring to spend too much time focused on the negative in things unless they REALLY bug me. Probably just a personality flaw in my case!

By the way, it also looks like the contracts are all but signed and I will be spending that week shooting in FL in mid February that i mentioned to you. (Thanks for that local crew referral, I REALLY appreciate it!) I know Florida is a BIG state and Orlando is a ways from the Ft. Myers area where our team will be shooing, but who knows - maybe the fates will rear up and I can buy you dinner - either in your neck of the woods - or at NAB this year by way of saying thanks for the help.

I'll keep in touch as the dates gets closer.

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.


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 12:08:01 pm

[Tim Wilson] "1) How/why do you feel After Effects is different from NLEs? Extensibility in general gets at some of it, but it feels bigger than that to me.

2) Is the idea of "doing everything" in one application that "does everything" appealing to you?

That is, Simon, I understand that you were originally speaking about the frustrations of using multiple tools for the SAME task...but since you mention After Effects and Premiere and FCPX/Motion, and Resolve/Fusion comes up too -- are there limits to how far you'd like to see an NLE extend?"


To be honest, I wasn't thinking of being prescriptive here or even necessarily thinking about NLEs specifically and I'm certainly ambivalent as to whether I think extensibility is always desirable.

In the first place, I was in fact wondering whether there aren't advantages to rigidity.

Back in the day, I used to use Audiovision and like the few who were lucky enough to do so before AVID killed it, I always felt that it had a kind of perfection to it that ProTools still to this day hasn't achieved, and probably never will. ProTools is undeniably far more flexible, but Audiovision felt like it was designed very specifically to do a very specific job and as such it "just worked". It was in many ways extremely "rigid" (e.g. fixed track count!!) but therein lay a lot of its strength.

I purposefully didn't specify a particular NLE in talking about rigidity, though at the front of my mind was Media Composer rather than (say) FCP X. MC is optimised for the traditional source/record editing method and if that is how you are cutting, then its rigidity (the locked interface) feels just right - having your source and record image always the exact same size is in many ways ideal both from a technical and a creative point of view. However that same rigidity can be frustrating if you want to adopt a more flexible "modern" editing strategy, drag and drop, copy and paste, etc. - and obviously while a lot of editors (me included) are perfectly happy with the Smart Tools, for a lot of users they are a clunky and unwanted feature. I'm not sure anyone would say they love the Smart Tools when compared to what other NLEs offer to achieve the same result.

I think I made a bit of a leap in going from talking about rigidity/flexibility to bringing to up the notion of extensibility - which is not the same thing as flexibility necessarily. I certainly don't think I'd want or need an NLE to be extensible in the way that After Effects or Nuke or (the paid for version of) Fusion is extensible. I'm not even sure how it would work!

I was simply suggesting that these kinds of applications tend to have far happier users generally and I was positing extensibility as the reason. You're much less likely to be shouting "to hell with this dumb piece of software", when you have in your hands the means to make it almost infinitely clever ...

As to whether NLEs "should" grow extra pieces in order to achieve a slightly different form of extensibility, I'm just not sure. I do have a certain prejudice that says I want my NLE to be the best it can be at cutting and leave the rest out of it - always assuming that it gives me plenty of interchange options to get out to other dedicated applications. That prejudice does of course collide with the reality that it is nowadays very rarely enough to have just one-way traffic out of your NLE.

So do I want the best possible round-tripping, do I want an internal mechanism that lets me access other applications without round-tripping, or do I want an application that does everything under the one roof?

I'm really not sure. I'm pretty certain that any "one roof" über-application has to be built on the concept of rooms - if I'm grading or doing audio post or visual effects or mograph, I want a dedicated interface and I really, really don't want to have to be poking around in some fiddly sidebar. I hasten to add that this is my prejudice showing again - if, say, I'm doing audio post, I don't want to compromise on the toolset or the interface in any way whatsoever, but I can appreciate that many won't feel the same way. This being the case though, I haven't seen anything yet even remotely approaching the status of the kind of über-application that I would be happy using.

(I really like Nuke Studio, though, so maybe I'm talking nonsense - although I think the strength of Nuke Studio is that it's built out logically from the core Nuke concept with the single clear aim of bringing realtime editing to Nuke users. This seems to me a bit different to what Resolve is doing - as long as the editing features of Resolve were simply a way of giving colorists some control over editorial finishing, it made sense to me. I'm not convinced that aiming beyond that is a good idea and I doubt there is really anyone (yet?) who is thinking Resolve is the NLE they have always been waiting for. Which leaves me very ambivalent indeed about what may or may not happen with Resolve and Fusion - I'd certainly like to see a Fusion that looked like Nuke Studio but I'm not at all sure I want to see Fusion simply grafted into the existing Resolve set-up. Although that may work brilliantly ...)

Sorry - rambling a lot here. Not sure if any of that is germane to the conversation.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:16:58 am

No love for hitfilm round here I guess. I haven't played with the latest, but isn't it trying to do everything?


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:32:39 am

[Bret Williams] "No love for hitfilm round here I guess. I haven't played with the latest, but isn't it trying to do everything?"

Up until now, trying to do everything within a single app has never seemed to be a winning strategy. Not that you can't do it, but rather the market moves to one function over others.

Quantel's eQ/iQ/Pablo/RIO was originally designed as an editor and that is still at the heart of the system. Yet, in the market it evolved into mainly a high-end color correction system. Avid DS (originally Softimage DS) was another system that was trying to be more than an editor. Although it had a lot of fans, there weren't enough to make financial sense for Avid.

Resolve is trying to become an "everything" system. So far the work BMD has done looks promising and it is free. But we'll see how many folks seriously take it on as a full-time editor.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 1:46:46 am

I have amen interest in trying out Hit Film, looks like the team is making serious progress. It is priced about right and with OFX support it might be an alternative to Motion. I don't see it competing with After Effects at the moment but that might change.

I would love to use Nuke Studio but it is expensive. Impressive software it is. Perhaps there could be something like that with Fusion and Resolve though it is not really a serious editor just yet. A few improvements with playback would help. As far as touching up a single shot, Fusion is really awesome!


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 15, 2015 at 3:51:21 am

[Bret Williams] "No love for hitfilm round here I guess. I haven't played with the latest, but isn't it trying to do everything?"

Yes, it is. And it features some cool things Ae doesn't have, like an integrated 3D space.

I haven't used it, but it looks like Hitfilm has separate compositing and editorial "rooms."

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


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:36:51 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'm really not sure. I'm pretty certain that any "one roof" über-application has to be built on the concept of rooms - if I'm grading or doing audio post or visual effects or mograph, I want a dedicated interface and I really, really don't want to have to be poking around in some fiddly sidebar."

I think this is not just about the UX/UI, but rather the data model that the application embodies. And wrapping all of post production into a single, cohesive data model that could be contained in "one room" is a significant challenge.

Nuke Studio is a great example of this. An individual shot may be a .nk Nuke script, but an editorial timeline is contained in an .hrox Hiero project document. It's not just that there's a compositing room and an editorial room; it's that these two elements are comprised of completely different stuff with completely different representations under-the-hood.

I think Flame has the most interesting (and mind-bending) design here: a clip is a timeline is a flow graph -- but Flame is also the original many-rooms application in post.

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


Return to posts index

Simon Ubsdell
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 13, 2015 at 6:56:51 pm

[Tim Wilson] "
BTW, the title for this thread immediately made me think of the fantastic 1971 single by The Persuaders, "There's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate." "


I was thinking more Night of the Hunter ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:56:17 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Dec 14, 2015 at 4:10:56 pm

[Tim Wilson] "And Herb, do you find yourself able to live in one environment because of the range of your tasks, or because of how extensible your NLE is (whether with native structures, plug-ins, or whatever)? It's obviously a mix of both, but what's the dynamic between tasks and tools for you?"

Both. I'm primarily a picture/content editor. I don't do many promos, or anything else under 5 minutes, and lately nothing under 30 minutes. My current clients want me to finish for broadcast internally - no budget for grading or audio mix sessions. Given that I have to grade, mix and composite myself, but none of these at a very complex level, I'm looking for "high floor, low ceiling" tools that are as compatible with the 90% of the time I'm spending in my NLE as possible - which is why I preferred Motion to AE, and was quite happy with Boris FX back in my edit* days.

I'm not looking to have everything done within the same NLE UI but it would be nice. I've grown accustomed to highly integrated round tripping between task specific UI's - does it really matter to me whether or not Audition is a "room" within Ppro or an integrated third party ap ? - to me it doesn't.

Every CG in every NLE I've worked with had a totally alien UI to the host, but as long as I could compose my titles with reference to a specific video background specified by the timeline I'm working with, it doesn't matter to me if the CG is considered "part of" the NLE or "third party."

I don't want to have to open and close third party programs, nor do I want to have to manually import assets into a third party ap that I'm already working on within my NLE. This was part of my concern with FCPX - no round-tripping to Motion, video capture from tape strictly using third party aps. While the latter concern is a thing of the past, I don't like the approach.

So to answer - ideally I would like to have all aspects of my work under one roof, but not at the cost of having inferior tools to work with. Pragmatically, round tripping is a form of unified "roof" and at the moment Ppro supplies the best version of it that I'm aware of.

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


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 12:11:35 am

[Herb Sevush] "So to answer - ideally I would like to have all aspects of my work under one roof, but not at the cost of having inferior tools to work with. Pragmatically, round tripping is a form of unified "roof" and at the moment Ppro supplies the best version of it that I'm aware of."

Resolve and Smoke come to mind. Smoke doesn't have multicam editing, but in terms of integration of editing and effects, I'd argue that it's far ahead of the Adobe CC suite. No round tripping necessary, as all tools are available in one app. In terms of audio, Resolve has the edge because it now supports VST plugins right within the app, including custom plugin GUIs.


Return to posts index

Dennis Radeke
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 9:34:29 pm

[Alan Okey] "Smoke doesn't have multicam editing, but in terms of integration of editing and effects, I'd argue that it's far ahead of the Adobe CC suite."

Smoke certainly blurs the line between editorial tool and finishing tool, but lack of multicam is a big deal for a lot of productions and it's not like the workflow between After Effects and Premiere Pro is really awful, is it?

[Alan Okey] "In terms of audio, Resolve has the edge because it now supports VST plugins right within the app, including custom plugin GUIs."

Umm, we supported VST in Premiere Pro 1.0 circa 2003. Yes, I'm the Adobe guy, but you really have to put some facts out there to convince me that Resolve is more powerful when it comes to audio.

Dennis - Adobe guy


Return to posts index

Alan Okey
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 10:04:13 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "Umm, we supported VST in Premiere Pro 1.0 circa 2003. Yes, I'm the Adobe guy, but you really have to put some facts out there to convince me that Resolve is more powerful when it comes to audio. "

I meant that between Smoke and Resolve, Resolve has the upper hand in audio. I wasn't comparing Resolve to PP. And from what I've read, audio was a sore point in Resolve prior to v12.

Regarding multicam, of course it's a big deal to certain types of editing, which is why I mentioned it. I primarily do promos and finishing, so for me, Smoke is ideal. I'm not bashing PP/AE, but for my needs, Smoke is the ideal tool. For any non FX-heavy finishing, I like Resolve even better due to its superior color grading toolset and rendering speed.


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: Hate and Love
on Dec 16, 2015 at 10:23:32 pm

[Alan Okey] "Resolve and Smoke come to mind."

Smoke is great for promos but as you mentioned, no multicam; neither is very good for audio, so I stand by my statement that Ppro has the most complete set of tools under one "roof" - for maximum usage in the widest number of situations it's tough to beat. On the other hand not everyone is looking for a unified work space. If I'm cutting for broadcast in an Avid environment where the audio is getting mixed on Pro Tools and the video is getting graded on Resolve while my graphics are being done by the GFX department, I could care less about any of this so YMMV.

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


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]