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"I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

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Simon Ubsdell
"I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 22, 2016 at 9:39:44 pm

After following this forum since its inception, I do wonder about this.

I've always assumed that other people's workflows involve factors that I can't fully comprehend because I'm not personally there to appreciate them at the coalface, and I tend to think that there are factors that impact on your workflow that are not entirely dictated by the limitations/capabilities of the applications that you are using but are actually a lot more subtle and nuanced and often not easily expressed.

For this reason, I'd hesitate to tell someone that they were "doing it wrong" even if that's how it seemed to me. My thinking is that there's is a very good chance that I've simply not understood their workflow in all its complexity.

Maybe this is naïve.

What does anyone else think? I ask this question here because the FCP X Debate does seem to have increased the tendency for one set of users to call out the other for "doing it wrong". Maybe this was always the case, but it seems to me that the balance has shifted ...

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:07:05 pm

Throwing out general suggestions (especially if someone is asks for guidance) online can be help in a broad sense, but workflows can be so unique that without spending a good deal of time learning the ins and outs of the situation there is just only so much you can help.

Whenever I come into a situation where there are already established workflows I take the time to learn the workflows, learn why the workflows are what they are, learn what has been tried in the past (and why it didn't catch on) and learn what hasn't been tried yet. Then, if possible, I'll start doing some testing/experimenting on my own and if it looks positive I'll share with others what've I've been doing and get their feedback.

Sometimes workflow development stops because all other feasible options have been exhausted and sometimes it stops due to 'workflow fatigue' (you stop when you find a workflow you like because you are tired of constantly chasing something that might be better).


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:15:06 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Whenever I come into a situation where there are already established workflows I take the time to learn the workflows, learn why the workflows are what they are, learn what has been tried in the past (and why it didn't catch on) and learn what hasn't been tried yet. Then, if possible, I'll start doing some testing/experimenting on my own and if it looks positive I'll share with others what've I've been doing and get their feedback."

This is an interesting point. I've trained/supervised/managed a number of editors over the years and quite a few have developed what I would call "bad habits" that I've tentatively tried to talk them out of - at first. In the end, it occurred to me that there were reasons to do with "comfort" and other such indefinables that meant it was probably best not to insist on a change of practice even where it seemed objectively preferable. As you say, the first step is trying to get under the skin of the person you're trying to help, while appreciating that the best you can do is advise. Lecturing is almost always counter-productive ...

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:41:51 pm
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:43:07 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "it occurred to me that there were reasons to do with "comfort" and other such indefinables that meant it was probably best not to insist on a change of practice even where it seemed objectively preferable."

There is certainly a bit of an 'art' to workflow development where the best plan on paper might not be the best plan in reality once you introduce the human element. One of my favorite phrases, which applies to many things including workflow development, is, "It doesn't have to be logical to make sense."

For many years I worked for a company where I helped create and manage the workflow pipeline from production to post to archiving and there were about 30-40 'end users' w/varying skill levels (from field producers to editors) whose needs had to be met. I really learned to embrace KISS (keep it simple, stupid) because each step in the process was a chance for something to go wrong. Not only does a workflow have to be organized but it also has to be robust so that when mistakes are made (and mistakes will be made) it doesn't bring the whole system crashing down.


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David Mathis
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:09:00 pm

Sometimes for me, it is not a wrong or right way of doing things rather it is what is the most "appropriate" approach. Of course there will be arguments to the contrary, some of which are rather humorous. I seen some of those aruguements not only here but also on You Tube in the comments.

For some workflows one has to creative. No, the paper was not put in the printer upside down. How can it be? Nothing has been printed yet. The sheet of paper is blank. Just my thoughts.


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Herb Sevush
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 23, 2016 at 1:57:00 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "For this reason, I'd hesitate to tell someone that they were "doing it wrong" even if that's how it seemed to me."

Complex issue.

In the past I have been told by a poster that my description of the work I was doing was not possible, simply because it was outside of his frame of reference.

On the other hand I worked for years with FCP legacy without knowing that I could set a timeline preference to unlink the video from the audio with the press of a button - I had been selecting all and using a global unlink command till then - Jeremy pointed out that there was a simpler way to do this and he was quite correct and I changed my workflow accordingly.

I once had a heated argument with an editor who claimed that specialized multicam features were not worth using because he could do it all by layering the angles and blade-ing between them. My argument being that there was not a single situation where this was actually faster and that he was doing his assistants a disservice by teaching them only his method.

My personal workflow is quite unique and while I teach it to my assistants I always acknowledge that I am marching to a beat quite outside the industry norms. I think my way is best, otherwise I wouldn't pursue it, but I'm loath to tell others it will be best for them. I do think it's always wise to show others a different way to skin the cat and then leave them free to choose, but in some instances, as with multicam editing, I will insist that some workflows are just down right inefficient.

You are correct that the subtleties of a given workflow can't be comprehended without working within it, but sometimes editors come up with inefficient ways of working thru ignorance. I would suggest that presenting options is never a bad thing, as long as it's done with some humility.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 23, 2016 at 5:02:37 pm

[Herb Sevush] "
I once had a heated argument with an editor who claimed that specialized multicam features were not worth using because he could do it all by layering the angles and blade-ing between them. My argument being that there was not a single situation where this was actually faster and that he was doing his assistants a disservice by teaching them only his method.
"


Depends on the situation, IMO. When I've been in news-type situations with a two camera interview plus some broll and I've only got an hour or two from ingest to export then I would layer angles on the timeline in FCP Legend or Avid. Using the multicam tools in that scenario is overkill and not the best use of time, IMO.

With PPro (and I assume X too) it's kinda turned into a non-issue since multicam features are much quicker to get into, as well as more robust, than with FCP Legend or Avid.


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Don Walker
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 23, 2016 at 7:32:12 pm

Simon,
You bring to mind a long standing fear of mine.
Though I've been editing for 29 years (Linear and NLE) I sometimes wish I could have one of the more prolific FCPX editors on this forum watch me for a couple of days and show me that one little thing, that I'm missing that would bring a huge productivity boost to my workflow. I fear that I doing something wrong, or that I'm don't know one little feature that would change my world.
That's why I love the Cow...... and the Ripple Training guys with their free training.

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Andrew Kimery
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 23, 2016 at 8:29:31 pm

[Don Walker] "I sometimes wish I could have one of the more prolific FCPX editors on this forum watch me for a couple of days and show me that one little thing, that I'm missing that would bring a huge productivity boost to my workflow."

Given the combination of knowledgable and friendly users in this form and the state technology today you might be able to find someone who is willing to virtually look over your shoulder as you work (assuming you are okay with screen sharing your computer). I've only dipped my toes in the X water otherwise I'd offer to do it myself.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 23, 2016 at 9:13:52 pm

[Don Walker] "I fear that I doing something wrong, or that I'm don't know one little feature that would change my world."

It's easy, take more international vacations!

:-|

:-)

:-D


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Tom Sefton
Re: "I understand your workflow, and you're doing it all wrong"
on Feb 24, 2016 at 4:13:34 pm

I'd never be too proud to investigate whether someone else's ideas could speed up a workflow, especially if they have good experience. 9 times out of 10 we haven't got to the best workflow through trial and error, or pressures of time, we have got there after good advice and then our own experience shaping it to the project.

Its usually a very refreshing thing to have someone evaluate what you are doing and why, and offer some advice on whether you could speed up. Even having it questioned can make you evaluate what you are doing, and if there is a faster or more efficient way of doing something.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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