Using 10.3 On a feature - found some bugs, loving the new audio
We had reshoots on a feature that I've been working on the last few months, and while transferring the new footage yesterday Apple released FCPX 10.3. We backed up the libraries for the full film, updated the library to 10.3 (we have a backup workstation with 10.2.3 as well), and imported the footage for the reshoots. The film was shot on a Red Dragon in 6k, with dual system sound using iXML, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what 10.3 could really do.
So far things are going pretty well. Our AE is no longer on the project, so I took care of the syncing myself. He originally used Sync-n-Link X or PluralEyes (not sure which, it was before I got involved), but since this was only about 100 shots, 60 of which were MOS, I used the build in synchronization tool. This is when I discovered what I believe to be a new bug. When syncing the 5568 x 3132 .r3d clips to the sound via TC, FCPX automatically defaulted to creating a 720p clip. I'm not sure if this is because FCPX doesn't have a built in setting for 6k or what, but I had to choose custom, then type in the resolution for all 40 synced clips. This is a big enough problem that if we had more shots, I'd definitely purchase Sync-n-link X. On the positive side, X brought in all of the scene, shot, and mic name data automatically. Opening, closing, and focusing audio with the roles editor beats the heck out of constantly expand and collapsing audio.
Keywording is hugely improved in this update, and not because they actually changed it, but because they now allow you to hide the timeline. I normally work on an ultrawide curved LG along with a DCI 4K LG monitor. While keywording I set the viewer to the DCI panel, and hid the timeline. Having the extra screen real estate made a huge difference.
Playback has been a mixed bag so far. The 6k .r3d files mostly play back without issue on my nMP (12 core, D700, 64GB, Pegasus2 RAID), but have dropped frames from time to time. This is my first 6k footage in FCPX, but in 10.2.3 5k .r3d footage never dropped, and I have worked with 6k .r3d in Resolve without dropping frames until node 4 or 5. I went ahead and decided to generate optimized media before bed last night, and when I woke up this morning it was only on the fifth file. It seems that after my display went to sleep (computer is set to stay awake), the program pretty much stopped working. I let it run for 10 minutes this morning after waking it, and it didn't move a single percent. The issue hasn't repeated since setting the displays to stay on.
So far there haven't been any crashes, and the interface improvements are much appreciated. Hopefully they'll fix the synchronize clip dialog so that it supports any frame size. For all of the amazing new features, they still didn't address my number one feature request, which is improved keyframing. Hopefully we'll be able to adjust interpolation from the animation pop up for any keyframe, as well as graph values on it a la Resolve. To me, this is the last area where the other NLE's all have a strong advantage over FCPX.