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X to the rescue again...

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Bill Davis
X to the rescue again...
on May 21, 2016 at 5:42:30 pm

Interesting new story on FCP.co about more top tier Hollywood FCP X stuff - this time in the 360VR space.

Quote that caught my eye...
"When we were working on the Fast & Furious ride for Universal Studios and we needed something very fast on set to do editorial, I went back and tested it and was blown away by the performance and the footage it could handle as we were working in 5K RED Raw.

So when VR started, I once again went through testing and FCPX just sailed through stuff that other programs just chugged on. We're cutting 8k native on a few generations ago iMac and it just handles it without a problem."

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1815-how-the-hollywood-studio-vfx-...

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Gary Huff
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 22, 2016 at 3:21:45 am

[Bill Davis] "So when VR started, I once again went through testing and FCPX just sailed through stuff that other programs just chugged on. We're cutting 8k native on a few generations ago iMac and it just handles it without a problem.""

B.S., I don't buy this for a second. It's not magic, and FCPX may have access to APIs and other tricks that normal apps don't have (given that it's Apple's own OS), but it cannot outshine everything to the level of 8k native over everything else. I think this is highly exaggerated, or phrased in such a way that the specifics wouldn't be as impressive as saying "8k native".


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Neil Goodman
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 22, 2016 at 3:36:55 pm

Have a hard time buying 8k native on a imac, especially "a few generations old".

Benn on much more capable systems that stutter with 4k RAW.


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Joe Marler
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 23, 2016 at 11:29:48 am

[Gary Huff] "B.S., I don't buy this for a second...it cannot outshine everything to the level of 8k native over everything else. I think this is highly exaggerated, or phrased in such a way that the specifics wouldn't be as impressive as saying "8k native"

You are correct. While the FCPX playback engine is vastly faster than Premiere on 4k H264 content it is not nearly fast enough to edit native 8K H264 content smoothly -- without other compensating factors.

The answer is probably in a several phrases from the article, and understanding what cameras and codecs were used.

Two VR cameras are shown:

(1) Jaunt VR prototype which used 14 GoPros. GoPros record 4k in highly compressed H264.

(2) 8K Nokia OZO, which uses eight 2k sensors and a JPG2000 codec. This not not a long GOP or interframe codec, so each frame is coded independently that makes decoding and playback much easier.

I once again went through testing and FCPX just sailed through stuff that other programs just chugged on....I was working with proxies in FCPX as you would with any large format project."

If he means testing on a "several generations old iMac", of course FCPX using is a lot faster than other editors on that same hardware if using its built-in proxy support.

However there's no magic there. FCPX -- despite its efficiency -- cannot smoothly edit multiple streams of 4K H264 on a top-spec new iMac 27 without using proxy, and certainly cannot edit 8K H264 smoothly. It can edit those smoothly using proxy, OR if the codec is lightweight -- as in JPG2000.

The article said even after they conformed to the original 8K content for color correction, it was still fast. That may be answered by the statement:

"Once it had rendered, it played in real time."

Of course it is fast once it's rendered in the timeline -- Premiere is fast also when you render the timeline. The problem is you can't keep the timeline rendered while editing. So this really says nothing.

FCPX is very fast, most people know that, but there's no magic that enables it to edit H264 camera-native 8K on an iMac. It can do this if (a) The codec is easier or (b) If using proxy.

If you pre-render the timeline to then demonstrate how smoothly it scrubs, yes that works up until you start doing real work. The article may have helped to correct the misimpression that an iMac can't edit VR using FCPX, but there's no magic ability to handle camera-native 8K without other offsetting factors.


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Bill Davis
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 23, 2016 at 6:48:24 pm

[Joe Marler] "FCPX is very fast, most people know that, but there's no magic that enables it to edit H264 camera-native 8K on an iMac. It can do this if (a) The codec is easier or (b) If using proxy."

To me the "magic" is that due to the way X designed you essentially never NEED to directly edit 8k camera native files.

The entire purpose of the "pointer switching" nature of the X workflow is that you can do ALL your editorial work on a resolution your system can best handle (with excellent screen representations - fine for everything up to and often including - via ProRes Optimized Media - grading work) and only when the editing is complete, apply ALL that editorial metadata directly to your Original Media with a simple switch. Bingo. Same result as if it had all been on-line - but with tremendously less system and human stress.

For the VAST majority of editors, there's less and less need to spend hours work directly with original media anymore. What the editor often needs instead, IMO, is super quick ACCESS to the Originals for judgement calls - when and if required.. As long as you can safely and consistently make critical decisions about what you're seeing - you're good. Particularly in regards to editorial flow.

I know this runs counter to the old days where proxies were pale comparisons to what was going to end up on the screen. But I simply don't think that's where we are anymore.

The article author seemed to be delighted precisely because he got exactly what he needed. A workflow where he got to quickly work with what he wanted - when he wanted it.

And isn't this is the same path Premier Pro is headed toward? As I understand it, they made a pretty big deal some months back about introducing their own, more integrated proxy workflow. So that Apple went there nearly 5 years ago shouldn't be particularly controversial anymore. Nobody smart copies bad ideas.

Metadata-based editing - which every NLE more or less does - has changed everything.

Including the need to think "on-line" ALL the time - or you're not making progress toward your final.

FWIW.

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David Mathis
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 23, 2016 at 7:07:47 pm

I don't mind using proxy files for editing. When it comes to color grading I prefer to point back to the raw files. The only thing that I have to consider is if I need to work in Fusion and my understanding it is best to go with uncompressed not raw. I might not understand the best approach so any feedback is much appreciated. Unless the render time is slow or choppy playback occurs I try to work with the native format.


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Walter Soyka
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 12:59:17 pm

[Bill Davis] "So that Apple went there nearly 5 years ago shouldn't be particularly controversial anymore. Nobody smart copies bad ideas."

Apple is smart. They copied some great ideas.

Discreet Logic (not Autodesk!) Smoke's proxy system was completely transparent to the user, featuring automatic or manual generation of proxy media, quick and easy proxy/full-res toggle, and automatic access to full-res media in pixel-critical modules like the Keyer -- all back in 2003. They added background proxy creation in 2006, and soft import of compressed QuickTime in 2008 (what FCPX would call original media, as opposed to hard-imported or "stonified" media, which FCPX would call optimized media).

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Bill Davis
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 22, 2016 at 5:39:09 pm

Well, all this really means is that somebody (from the article attribution, a pro working at high levels of the industry) felt comfortable writing those words and posting them in a very highly trafficked public forum. You are totally free to doubt them. But you have to accept that somebody was willing to put their professional reputation behind what they wrote. This stuff travels far and is pretty permanent. If you know others who have different experiences or gotten different results - they should write up something saying so. Publicly post the alternate view and let users judge for themselves. Currently, my personal experiences line up with the "on a solid system, X works significantly smoother than I expected" camp. That's all.

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Steve Connor
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 22, 2016 at 6:49:12 pm

He was talking about 8K Nokia Ozo files which are 10 bit apparently, but may not be as processor intensive as you would expect.


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Shane Ross
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 2:34:25 am

And then there's this guy, editing 6K RAW (not H.264...so there's that) with Premiere Pro. OH, and on a $15,000 computer...not something we all can afford.

http://vashivisuals.com/6-below-editing-in-6k/

[Bill Davis] "To me the "magic" is that due to the way X designed you essentially never NEED to directly edit 8k camera native files. "

Nor do you on Avid...or Premiere...or Resolve...They all have proxy modes. Avid actually pioneered it. So, with that argument, they are all "magic." I'm cutting proxy on Avid right now...

But I will give you that the proxy creation, and relink, is pretty slick and quick. A bit easier and more error free than Avid. But really....this isn't revolutionary.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Shane Ross
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 2:44:28 am

Although I REALLY do have to say that every editing software has it's sweet spot, and it's weaknesses. If FCX was able to do something that Avid would have taken FOREVER to do (and in that situation, I have no doubt it would have) or that would have been tricky with Premiere (proxy workflow not NEARLY as slick as...well..anything really. Proxy is new to Premiere, that used to think that Native workflows were the bomb!)

Just yanking on a chain here...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joe Marler
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 11:19:43 am

[Shane Ross] "...Premiere...or Resolve...They all have proxy modes."

The current version of Premiere CC does not have any built-in proxy mode. In fact Adobe's Premiere CC intro video still says: "allows editors to work with 4k and beyond, without time-consuming transcoding", and "never needing to render until your work is complete":

https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/how-to/what-is-premiere-pro-cc.html?se...

This worked fine on 1080p but on H264 4K, it's no longer "mercury quick".

Fortunately Adobe now sees the need for a built-in proxy mode and this will be added in a future version of Premiere.


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Herb Sevush
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 3:13:28 pm

[Joe Marler] "Fortunately Adobe now sees the need for a built-in proxy mode and this will be added in a future version of Premiere."

Future, as in the next upgrade due in a few weeks, not future as normally understood with Black Magic or Red delivery dates, or hoped for X features by users.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 6:13:31 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Joe Marler] "Fortunately Adobe now sees the need for a built-in proxy mode and this will be added in a future version of Premiere."

Future, as in the next upgrade due in a few weeks, not future as normally understood with Black Magic or Red delivery dates, or hoped for X features by users."


This bears repeating, so I repeated it. :-)


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Michael Gissing
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 12:04:32 am

[Herb Sevush] "Future, as in the next upgrade due in a few weeks, not future as normally understood with Black Magic or Red delivery dates, or hoped for X features by users."

To be fair when it comes to popping out NLE software updates with staggering numbers of new features fast, Blackmagic is really the best. Hardware is always a tougher gig and all camera manufacturers suffer there. Both BM & Adobe make the other NLEs look fairly glacial in terms of updates.


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Joe Marler
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 1:42:01 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Future, as in the next upgrade due in a few weeks, not future as normally understood with Black Magic or Red delivery dates, or hoped for X features by users."

As a CC user I would love to have those badly-needed Premiere performance improvements within a few weeks. How do we know it will be delivered in a few weeks?

A year ago Adobe demonstrated some huge performance performance improvements in After Effects using Apple's Metal API, and committed to delivering these in AE, Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. To my knowledge everyone is still waiting on these hoped-for improvements.







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Walter Soyka
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 1:52:49 pm

[Joe Marler] "A year ago Adobe demonstrated some huge performance performance improvements in After Effects using Apple's Metal API, and committed to delivering these in AE, Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. To my knowledge everyone is still waiting on these hoped-for improvements."

You're taking that demo out of context. It was a tech demo at a developer's conference, not a product demo at a user's conference.

What has Adobe ever shown at NAB or IBC and not delivered on within a couple months?

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


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Joe Marler
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 2:46:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "You're taking that demo out of context. It was a tech demo at a developer's conference, not a product demo at a user's conference.

What has Adobe ever shown at NAB or IBC and not delivered on within a couple months?"


A specific commitment was made to deliver -- not just demonstrate -- the Metal API performance improvements in AE, Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. That has yet to arrive, after approx. a year of waiting.

I'm not doubting the Premiere improvements demonstrated at NAB will ever be delivered, and as a CC user I look forward to that. I was just curious how we know that will be delivered "in a few weeks".


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Walter Soyka
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 3:36:11 pm

[Joe Marler] "A specific commitment was made to deliver -- not just demonstrate -- the Metal API performance improvements in AE, Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. That has yet to arrive, after approx. a year of waiting."

David said at WWDC, "Adobe is committed to bringing Metal to all of its Mac OS Creative Cloud applications, such as Illustrator and After Effects I showed you today, as well as Photoshop and Premiere Pro. So we're very excited to see what Metal can do for our Creative Cloud users."

Note that he never commented on release timing.

Everybody says they want roadmaps. They want to know the future development plans for their favorite applications. Here's a case where a company took a big risk to tell everyone where they were going, without committing to when they would get there, and instead of being the good guys for sharing information, they're the bad guys for missing some commitment they never made!

Honestly, I think that WWDC appearance was a terrible idea for Adobe. What it was meant to show in the actual context of the conference was that a developer could realize a big performance gain from Metal. But there's the Internet, and this is Apple's conference, so all kinds of non-developers are tuning in. The headlines among the creative community were "Metal's coming to Ae! It'll be 8x faster!" I don't think that McGavran's presentation was geared toward that secondary audience at all (which completely dwarfs the primary audience). This was a great appearance for Apple, because it shows a major application making major improvements with a new Apple API, but a terrible appearance for Adobe because they really failed to manage expectations appropriately among their user base.

(BTW, if you're interested in more on this, check out the responses from Todd Kopriva, then-Ae product manager, when asked specifically when Metal would appear: https://forums.adobe.com/message/8026619)

Now contrast that Metal demo with the specificity of this NAB announcement from Al Mooney: "Today we’re thrilled to be revealing what’s coming next to our professional video and audio desktop applications, with new features coming to Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe Audition and Adobe After Effects. All of these new releases will be available to Creative Cloud members later this year, and will be demonstrated at the forthcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas."

http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/whats-coming-next-in-adobe-premiere-pr...

You're completely right that it's not promised in an couple weeks, but historically, Premiere Pro has shipped a release in April, May or June since 2008.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 24, 2016 at 3:54:33 pm

[Shane Ross] "But I will give you that the proxy creation, and relink, is pretty slick and quick. A bit easier and more error free than Avid. But really....this isn't revolutionary."

Shane, I didn't say it was revolutionary. I said it was "magic." ; )

My point was (and still is) that moving from Legend to X has provided me with a large array of "a-ha!" moments where my capabilities as a working editor have gotten smoother and easier specifically due to the thought Randy U and Apple put into the re-design of X.

I never said that other editors don't have their "points of pride" at all. Of course they do. Every advance in every software revision hopefully helps the users of that platform have an easier time getting what they need to do, done.

BUT - Remember the title of this forum. X was the singular case where it's very ability to EVER delight it's users was called directly into question starting DAY ONE. The forum name remains, so clearly the question is still up for debate.

So to come back with first hand experiential cases of happiness and delight specifically about FCP X is PRECISELY on topic re: the forum brand.

Basically, come up with stuff that AVID or PPro or Vegas do in a unique to them maker that is actually superior to how X does them (and I KNOW those exist) and this would be the place to discuss that "or Not" thinking.

I don't think it's enough to simply say "but the others do some form of this too" - because the premise we're starring from here (again, see the forum title) is that the debate is still open and there must still be good reason's NOT to use FCP X.

You and I and every other long timer here, knows the winds have largely shifted regarding X as a dependable professional tool, but not necessarily so for the youngster or transitioning editor looking for wisdom about X and newly arrived here.

That's all.

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Neil Goodman
Re: X to the rescue again...
on May 25, 2016 at 2:56:20 am

[Shane Ross] "A bit easier and more error free than Avid. But really....this isn't revolutionary."

Have you used Avid's proxy mode in 8.5 and up? Pretty slick - one button - automatic back and forth. Works as advertised.


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