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Aindreas Gallagher
the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:37:39 pm

getting past going completely nuts at apple, I've been wondering about the event browser.

We can all agree that seeing all the events by default is a little crazy - I think the browser (i know, it's called a browser) but i think it should be a blank slate that I then populate with the materials germaine to my current project - I don't think it should be the repositry of all the events accesible to FCPX at that moment - I know you can move the events in the finder, but go with me. We can all have our suspicions about a chronologically dated event browser. The phrases "summer vacation" and Timmy's first steps spring to mind - in fact you can argue that that is just the sort of thing a dated events architecture is there to support - not looking across at different projects ongoing - but rather, on a personal level - looking back in time. FCPXs default behavior is a chronologically dated event browser. But other stuff goes in there too - folders can go in there and smart collections, (the tag behaviour rethink of bins) goes in there. Then moving over to the right, we have the tag collections exposed - either as tiles, lists or filmstrips. This section is sort of doing the job of the source viewer and bin contents at once, in a pretty compacted way.
that leaves room on the top half of the GUI for the viewer, and the inspector panel/colour corrector/wafeforms.

Thats what we've got. And there is a problem with that in that I would argue that the source monitor has got to come back in some form, for certain essential tasks - and where does it go?

Simon Ubsdell on issues relating to ganging -

Curiously Gang is about the only thing that I quite literally can't do without (and I'd seriously hate having to do without Replace) and that's not being some kind of prima donna - it's a hardcore fact of life. For almost everything else, even the major stuff, there is some kind of fudge or workaround or third party solution, but not this.

To be honest - and no doubt it's a failure of imagination on my part - I don't see how I will be able to eye-match with FCPX now or in the future a) without these essential tools and b) without some kind of dual monitor arrangement that enables you to see your source clip and your timeline clip side by side. I know that sounds very antiquated in this brave new world ...


The same goes to Multiclip - which Apple have committed to, and well this stuff has to go somewhere - I guess it could be some kind of slide out operation like how projects are exposed (do not get me started an how stupid I think where and how they are exposing projects for browsing is.) but I guess something like that could happen, but I'd argue there could be something else - I want my blank slate back for starters. Jobs are jobs and each job is new.

I want the blank browser, and the thing that is stopping that is FCPX chronologically exposing every event it can see. Why can't we have an event browser of some description? cetain adobe products and MS products will open with a kind of custom boot, what do you want to open screen - in the case of FCPX it should be would you like to open a new event, would you like to open any or all of the events I can see here (box exposes events with nice little tick boxes beside them.
That way I can at least begin to consider what professionally, an event means to me. Given that I am hugely unlikely to source my music from iTunes and my images from iPhoto - I might consider events as repositories for long term assets or something - in any event we are very likely to - if this programme survives professionally at all, which is open to real deadly doubt at an incredibly early stage, I.. actually think its toast to be honest and apple could care less, but if it survives, we are likely to begin thinking about events very differently than the consumer.
We are going to need some kind of event staging area. You could argue that this can simply be done in the finder but if they sort of *remove* the event area, then maybe there is enough space freed up to invoke a source monitor? I don't know, I dont actually think this will work thinking about it because the smart collections will still need to expose them selves over in the secnd panel that is eating up the home of source monitor.

I'm noodling here - but I know I want, and this application pretty desperately needs, a rethink on the control and presentation of events (also I would argue the bifurcation of projects née sequnces into their own ten year old discreet *edit GUI below is needlessly confusing - for anyone - and needs to be completely reassessed.) And I think they are also going to need to reincorporate the source viewer - that could be as simple as collapsing the browser to list, sliding off the inspector to the right say - and then the full source monitor slides into view. They'd even get to animate all of that - which they love -

(and seriously why, when I delete a clip - does it do a dissolve off? Its better to delete than to fade away apple. Give us a stripped chrome option too. that should be a priority - like graphite in OSX - this thing needs not to be quite so GUI sluggish on recent hardware and anyway The GUI is just too much. there are bloody animations everywhere I look for gods sake. Just turn off the glows, the dissolves, and the bevels, you can hide the option in a preference we need to use a shift key to access.)

I myself don't think anyone serious is going to touch this thing without some ability to invoke a source monitor - it has too many uses cases. Its also a perfectly valid expression of the editing thought process, our need to think and look at two things at once - the source monitor is in no way redundant. They have to figure out how to get it back - maybe not on by default, maybe invoking it means that the inspector or the full thumbnail browser are not available simultaneously - but they've got to get it back I think. And fix events.

I still think this software is professional toast, because right this second - it is, and Apple will never.. my impressions of that company and their value systems is, shall we say, radically changed. No more heartfelt listen to their bollocks announcements for two hours for me. that level of engagement with the company is gone and it is not coming back.
But if this weird thing they've birthed dies, if they don't or choose not to fix it, if this is about where they want it, which lets face it, could well be true, well losing one out of three viable editing platforms is not a good thing. Actually - on an economic, industrial or cultural level - its not a good thing. well done Apple.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 4:06:54 pm

replying away to myself - here's a really rough projection of real estate -

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3421180/FCP%202%20monitor.jpg

We can see the event area is in quite a bit of trouble - and not really a surprise here - the icons are back around FCP7 scale - so there was a reason for that.
Also - are tabs completely unholy in the tabernacle of apple? because they would come in really handy in this application. the event area is the real problem. Having bins *kof* *kof* smart collections only expose horizontally into to fat big lozenges or lists with a fat big three part wide lozenges on top - is there no hope for opening things out into windows on this thing? to which the answer really is sadly no. I still want tabs tho.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:04:55 pm

The current implementation of the Events and Projects Libraries is the most consumery aspect of FCPX, IMHO. I can't see a busy editor not racking up a simply unmanageable clutter over a relatively short time, even with the folders.

I think there needs to be a way to hide items in the Projects and Events Libraries, but I disagree on the blank slate. A blank slate suggests a 1:1 relationship of Projects to Events, and that just flies in the face of the whole point of separating the two. You want something just like we had in FCP7 with a Project encapsulating your the contents of your Browser, but that just isn't the new model. However, if there were a way to selectively hide things in each Library, you could get pretty much the same effect by hiding everything but the one Project and one Event you are working on at a time.

I just got done submitting a feedback asking for exactly that kind of hiding capability.

As to the missing Viewer, it really isn't totally gone if you are using the Inline Precision Editor. Yes, I know a lot of veteran editors bristle at the idea of editing in the timeline, but that is how FCPX was designed to be used, and you get your two-up displays when you use the IPE. They way they executed timeline editing in FCPX is very fast because you can tune your edits without having to manage the space in the timeline, yes, thanks to -DUN DUN DUN- the Magnetic Timeline.

Taken in total, all the new-fangled stuff makes sense. If you try to apply your habits from FCP7 to any one feature at a time, it'll enrage you (at least it did for me when I first tried it out). If you let go and use it the way it wants to be used, it is as fluid as the marketing claims.

And before anyone says anything like "but I shouldn't have to change the way I work to suit this new app!!!", remember you had to do it for any other application you ever used, you just got so used to it that you didn't think about it as working within the app's natural limits and it just became The Way It Is Done™.

I'm really curious how they will implement Multi-cam, but I doubt it will result in the return of a dedicated Viewer pane. You will probably get something that slide out like you get in the IPE, but you won't have a dedicated two window setup.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:08:55 pm

[Andrew Richards] "but you won't have a dedicated two window setup."

there really should be one. getting rid of it is a mistake. It's not something to get your head around, or find alternate methodology for. it's a mistake.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:51:43 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "there really should be one. getting rid of it is a mistake. It's not something to get your head around, or find alternate methodology for. it's a mistake."

I respectfully disagree. And please note I didn't use your least favorite phrase (wrapping one's head), but you do need to approach FCPX without prejudice for its GUI design to make any sense. When I first approached it with my ten-years-of-editing-with-FCP-goggles on, I was baffled and didn't like it at all. Only after I forced myself though a tutorial with an open mind did I start to see how things were intended to work. If you come at it with your FCP experience to guide you, you'll be lost and it isn't at all intuitive. It does need to be evaluated on its own merits and not from a perspective of how FCP7 works.

Objectively speaking, a dedicated Viewer is wasted screen real estate when it isn't being used (and that is quite often). This is especially troublesome when you are designing a UI that is more laptop-friendly (and let's face it, a HUGE majority of FCP users work primarily on a MacBook Pro). You get a two-up view when you need one, and the UI morphs to show you other things when you don't. Why do you need a two-up view all the time? What good is having a frame frozen there from your last selection if you are doing your editing in the timeline, the way FCPX was designed to work?

A two-up view is only functionally necessary when you are comparing two abutting clips, the out frame of the first and the in frame of the second. You get exactly that with the Inline Precision Edit tool. It serves no other useful purpose, as the functionalities of Match Frame have been addressed elsewhere. The functions of all the other tabs that lived in FCP7's Viewer window have also been moved elsewhere in FCPX.

I get that you want your FCP7 GUI model back, but that ship has sailed. Your next best thing is Premiere Pro, but you knew that already.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:05:41 pm

[Andrew Richards] " a dedicated Viewer is wasted screen real estate when it isn't being used (and that is quite often)."

with respect, not for me - or maybe we just edit a bit differently, but I really do use the source viewer all the time. I think its conceptually important that its there. Besides - ganging and multiclip are two acknowledged key features - an they both need to be hosted in something that can't really diverge an awful lot from the logic and function of a source monitor. So you're going to have to be able to invoke a source monitor? I don't need the FCP7 GUI back, but they need to figure out the source monitor.


[Andrew Richards] "Your next best thing is Premiere Pro, but you knew that already."

Oh indeed I do. I doth prepare for machine wipe and software installs. A 30 day trial of MC 5.5 even, God help me.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:54:41 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "with respect, not for me - or maybe we just edit a bit differently, but I really do use the source viewer all the time. I think its conceptually important that its there. Besides - ganging and multiclip are two acknowledged key features - an they both need to be hosted in something that can't really diverge an awful lot from the logic and function of a source monitor. So you're going to have to be able to invoke a source monitor? I don't need the FCP7 GUI back, but they need to figure out the source monitor."

Quite valid. I stated elsewhere in the thread and I'll state again here that I think they could afford to be much more liberal in the use of the two-up view (I'd like to see more of it anyway). Ganging and Multi-clip features (as yet unavailable in FCPX) would certainly require a two-up view.

However, lots of FCP editors used the Viewer very little even on the old versions, for them it is wasted space a lot of the time. A distraction, even. I agree they "cut too close to the bone", but I don't think they made a mistake cutting at all. There was a lot of fat there too.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:58:24 pm

yeah sorry - I'm reading your replies but I'm on moderation so there's a bit of a delay my end


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:02:43 pm

No apology needed. This has become a non-linear conversation!

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:12:30 pm

[Andrew Richards] "No apology needed. This has become a non-linear conversation!"

LOL!



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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:16:19 pm

[Andrew Richards] "A two-up view is only functionally necessary when you are comparing two abutting clips, the out frame of the first and the in frame of the second. "

This assumes you've already selected your source and have cut it into the timeline. But what if you're looking for what source to use?

For example, when I search for B-Roll, I always want to see what I'm cutting into AND what I'm cutting from at the same time. I can find the perfect cut point just by looking at both as I select from source. It's incredibly efficient. There's no way to do that now. The new layout is not an improvement.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:21:06 pm

yes, there are quit a few examples like that I can come up with - apple cut too deep into the bone getting rid of the source monitor. they threw out something you're not supposed to throw out.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:38:15 pm

I will agree that they need to be more liberal with the application of their two-up viewer, but I don't think that requires a dedicated Viewer a la FCP7.

Best,
Andy


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:36:11 pm

[David Lawrence] "This assumes you've already selected your source and have cut it into the timeline. But what if you're looking for what source to use?

For example, when I search for B-Roll, I always want to see what I'm cutting into AND what I'm cutting from at the same time. I can find the perfect cut point just by looking at both as I select from source. It's incredibly efficient. There's no way to do that now. The new layout is not an improvement."


That is exactly what FCPX is assuming. FCPX is designed to fine tune your edit in the timeline, not to get it frame-perfect right out of the bin. You still have access to a two-up viewer, but it is only active when you are manipulating an edit in the timeline.

That cuts against the grain of how you like to work, but that is how FCPX was designed to be used. You can rightly argue that your way is akin to the old discipline necessary for an edit when the editor was physically cutting celluloid, but the flexibility of non-destructive non-linear editing permits an alternative method that Apple is clearly embracing.

We could debate "sloppy" vs "flexible" as the way to describe playing with an edit in the timeline rather than getting it just so prior to committing an edit to the timeline, but Apple has designed the whole GUI around the idea of editing in the timeline, so they biased the design decisions accordingly.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:47:52 pm

man, but god I love getting my intended edit selection just so - It's really important for me.
You're right tho - they are shifting emphasis to the timeline - and the inline tools do rock rather a bit. But here's my second problem - having kind of slopped my stuff on to the timeline, I don't actually feel precise there either - that timeline is not sharp. I feel like it's sludgy, it feels like I'm moving psd illustrations around with layer effects on everything - this goes to my chrome gripe - the degree of chrome on the application is inappropriate in my mind. Apple have been going completely insane with chrome lately, and that timeline just doesn't feel like its operating correctly to me. there's too much gunk on it.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:01:51 pm

I agree the superfluous animations need an off switch. The chrome was design with a touch-based future in mind, methinks.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:04:23 pm

yeah no worries - I've said it like four times on the list there... eh.

And god please don't mention touch based FCP. at that rate the software is going to have an optional finding nemo theme, where actual fish float behind the clips and occasionally nibble the edges of them.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:15:01 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "And god please don't mention touch based FCP."

It's coming in some form or another. Gird thy loins!

I'd take touch over the silly "Minority Report" UI that I've seen held up as the future. Try waving your arms out in front of you for ten minutes, see if they get tired and sore. Now imagine a 12 hour edit day. Bad idea. Though we'd all get arms like Bruce Lee if we did...

A 30" touch display you work on like a drafting table? I could see that being a bit more practical. But it would still be like running up a sand dune compared to a keyboard and pointer. Touch has a long way to go for serious input-laden tasks.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:11:29 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I agree the superfluous animations need an off switch. The chrome was design with a touch-based future in mind, methinks."

Yes! Just let us switch it off and things would immediately start feeling better. Agree about touch being a driver in this.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:01:59 pm

I've totally repeated myself with the chrome thing there - like three times. anyhoo...


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:04:08 pm

[Andrew Richards] " You still have access to a two-up viewer, but it is only active when you are manipulating an edit in the timeline."

Not really, You see two filmstrips in the timeline in that view, but it only monitors whatever side you're trimming. There's still no way to visually match.

[Andrew Richards] "You can rightly argue that your way is akin to the old discipline necessary for an edit when the editor was physically cutting celluloid, but the flexibility of non-destructive non-linear editing permits an alternative method that Apple is clearly embracing. "

I'd argue just the opposite. My way of working is totally non-linear and heavily multitask-oriented. I can't think of anything germane to non-linear editing in removing the source monitor. It's a design mistake, pure and simple. Let's see how long it takes to come back. My guess is around the time multicam returns.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:07:38 pm

agreed. I'm inclined to label that for what it was: a mistake.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:10:01 pm

[David Lawrence] "Not really, You see two filmstrips in the timeline in that view, but it only monitors whatever side you're trimming. There's still no way to visually match."

True. Two-up only happens when using the Trim tool. My mistake. Two-up ought to be always-on when in the Precision Editor, at least as an option. If we are supposed to make edit decisions in there, we should get to see the abutting frames no matter which handle we're turning at any given time.

[David Lawrence] "I'd argue just the opposite. My way of working is totally non-linear and heavily multitask-oriented. I can't think of anything germane to non-linear editing in removing the source monitor. It's a design mistake, pure and simple. Let's see how long it takes to come back. My guess is around the time multicam returns."

You're right. I mischaracterized the Precision Editor before, I was thinking of the Trim tool. The two-up view needs to be there more often. I don't think it needs to be there all the time. I don't need to see it when I'm not manipulating an edit, like if I'm playing with effects, audio, metadata, lots of other functions of the application. But it ought to appear for editing, and it doesn't right now.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:16:51 pm

[Andrew Richards] "True. Two-up only happens when using the Trim tool."

Hmmm, I'm not seeing it. Is there a preference somewhere I'm missing?



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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:21:45 pm

You need to make sure you have the box ticked for "Show detailed trimming feedback" in Preferences > Editing. Then when you use the Trim tool explicitly or let it appear as you mouse over an edit, you get a two-up viewer as you engage the tool and use it to ripple, roll, slip, or slide.

It needs to be there all the time when engaging Precision Edit. I'm filing a feedback.

Best,
Andy


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:29:23 pm

Thanks, much better!



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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:32:51 pm

We need to be careful we don't exceed our practical advice quota for this thread!

:-)

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:27:04 pm

[Andrew Richards] " I don't need to see it when I'm not manipulating an edit, like if I'm playing with effects, audio, metadata, lots of other functions of the application. But it ought to appear for editing, and it doesn't right now."

agree wholeheartedly.


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:58:24 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "there really should be one. getting rid of it is a mistake. It's not something to get your head around, or find alternate methodology for. it's a mistake."

Absolutely correct. One of many!



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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:19:00 pm

Also, on the subject of GUI real estate, if you use a second monitor, you can send the Event Browser there. That seems like the ideal "pro" layout to me, at least once AJA/Blackmagic/Matrox deliver proper monitoring drivers so that you don't have to waste the second display on that nonsensical "8-bit preview" (I think this will take Lion and it's public AVFoundation to implement, but we'll see).

I also think fullscreen mode in Lion with two displays will be nice (hide that glaring white menu bar that spoils the otherwise low-light friendly presentation of the GUI), and it seems that's what they are angling toward.

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 5:46:06 pm

am I going mad or isn't that a source and canvas on the main Imac display there?


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:01:15 pm

I thought the same thing at first, but note the unified playback controls underneath. It isn't the inline precision editor either, judging by the timeline. Maybe a pre-release build that didn't have a button on the bottom of the timeline to escape IPE mode?

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:08:18 pm

but look - there isn't even any chrome between the windows - where did you get the pic?


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:18:51 pm

Apple's own product page!

Scroll down to "Powerful Media Organization". You can even see the screen grabs of each monitor if you click on them! I still can't make out what that two-up is doing there. I need to go hook up a second display and try and replicate it...

Best,
Andy


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:31:15 pm

perfect - I am going to take that image into a court of law and demand that apple make it corporeal.

[edit]

I found this one at the bottom of the tech specs page.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3421180/grassy%20knoll.jpg

boom.


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:41:39 pm

Nice chawp.

Your filename brings to mind that scene in "JFK" with the Exacto knife and the composite photo of Oswald and another man holding the rifle...

Best,
Andy


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Roger Hendrick
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 10:33:46 pm

If you look at the zoom level it's at 56% - that's not a two up view it's zoomed into some split screen footage... I was hopeful...

Roger Hendrick
The Airship Factory
http://www.airshipfactory.com
HD Video Production - Blu-ray Authoring


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 10:38:34 pm

well its probably just a photoshop error - but the position of the playback controls - and also the video, even blown up, is taking up way too much of the GUI - that's a two up view alright.


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David Lawrence
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:29:37 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "(and seriously why, when I delete a clip - does it do a dissolve off? Its better to delete than to fade away apple. Give us a stripped chrome option too. that should be a priority - like graphite in OSX - this thing needs not to be quite so GUI sluggish on recent hardware and anyway The GUI is just too much. there are bloody animations everywhere I look for gods sake. Just turn off the glows, the dissolves, and the bevels, you can hide the option in a preference we need to use a shift key to access.)"

Spot on. Why does this modern application with all this horsepower feel more sluggish than FCP4 HD on OS9 on a PowerPC?

Why when I arrow-key to next edit do I need to see the time indicator animate to the next edit? Why the chrome and curved corners on objects? Details like this give the application an overall feeling of sluggishness and imprecision.

And keep in mind that all these details are intentional. Someone needed to write the code to make the time indictor do that animated swoosh. Who were they coding that for? The answer to that question tells you everything you need to know about Apple's priorities and who this application is designed for.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:38:04 pm

yeah I know - this thing has "GO away, I'm not for YOU" in big red neon, but I figure one should at least indicate the stuff that is particularly off for one, and the responsiveness of that jam laden GUI is really not on. For a company obsessed with the functionality of the object, and ruthlessness in paring to meet function, they appear to have no problem making a black forest gateaux with fairy lights out of, and then squeezing two tubs of chocolate sauce onto, what is meant to be lean responsive software. - (long, lonnnnnnng sigh)


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Andrew Richards
Re: the event browser
on Jul 3, 2011 at 6:48:47 pm

I agree with the spirit of this criticism too. There ought to be a way to turn off the animations in the GUI. I don't have a problem with rounded corners, but eye candy GUI animations are superfluous and should be optional. I wouldn't say it feels "more sluggish than FCP4 HD on OS9 on a PowerPC", but the point about superfluous animations in the GUI is a valid one.

Yes, Apple biased the development to the FCExpress end of the spectrum, but that doesn't mean FCPX can't or won't also be a serious tool by v10.2 or 10.3.

Best,
Andy


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