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Compound clip length bug or feature?

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Richard Jacana
Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 5:58:36 pm

I am breaking up my little 30 min home movie into 13 compound clips (each compound clip contains about 1.2 - 2 min of video). This is been suggest by many FCPxers here right? I then created a master compound clip (or I could of just created an actual Project) and dragged all 13 compounds into this. So now I need to do a few final tweaks to my masterpiece, shorten a single clip here, add another perhaps and remove one or two.

Problem now is that all the compound clips are of fixed lengths so if I subtract footage from a compound clip, sure enough in the master compound clip I see the footage removed but the length was not shortened and I have to do it manually or make it longer! If all other changes I do to a compound clip are reflected in all instances of it the length to should change no? So how the hell am I meant to edit now as I have to manually resize every time I make a change - fine for my 13 compound clips but what happens when I have 100 or 500????? Magnetic my bottom! And I was thinking I was being such a smart arse by using compound clips ..........

I'm sure I'm missing something here :)


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Andy Neil
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 7:57:54 pm

Firstly, I don't know why you're using compound clips to begin with. Is it because you have 13 different sections with multiple clips in each section? If not, I can't see why you'd need compound clips at all.

Secondly, when trimming / making your tweaks, why are you not editing in the master sequence? After all, compounds are treated like regular clips which means you can make cuts and tweaks in the master and not worry about the fixed length of the compounds.

Those first questions are just to understand whether you're using compound clips when you don't need to be. But to answer your question, no it's not a bug. It's designed to work that way. But there is an easier way of adjusting it if you do need to edit inside your compound.

Simply select the compound you edited in the browser and drag it on top of the compound in the timeline. Then choose: Replace from Start from the menu. You may get a warning that it's about to shorten an edit, just click ok.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 9:31:02 pm

As often, Andy nails this.

You've been reading the countless posts of people who came to FCP-X after long experience with other NLEs where similar nesting and other clip consolidation strategies were popular. So they've tried to solve problems in X the WAY they solved them in their prior NLE.

That's almost always a BAD idea in X.

In my last 25 FCP-X projects, I've used compound clips maybe twice outside of the one thing they're nearly always useful for - which is creating compounds in a situation such as where you need to fuse double system audio with DSLR footage.

Using them for general operations is like putting a grinder in your kitchen and then getting stuck on the idea that everything you cook will be better if you put it through the grinder.

Basically, a compound clip is fundamentally a way to create a sub-arangement of clips and audio which is then automatically reflected back up to the event browser so you can use the new compound in place of the original parts.

Compound Clips are a specific tool with a specific purpose. They are NOT a standard workflow substitute for leaning to build a proper X timeline.

My 2 cents, 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.


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Richard Jacana
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 10:05:57 pm

Andy, my events contain about 900 clips across 5 events. Each one of my compound clips is made up of about 10-20 clips out of the 900 and is 1-2 mins long in total x 13. Total runtime of the finished home movie will be 30mins.

Bill, I'm no power FCP 6 editor even though I'm from Final Cut Studio back in 2006, but apart from compound clips not working the way I want them too, I don't see why this is a bad idea.

I have 13 months I am covering with perhaps 10 clips from each month I want to use. Drag all 130 clips into a single project and then if I want to make changes, move months around or shorten then I'm having to zoom around in the timeline and figure out where a month starts and ends, doesn't sound fun.

Or creating 13 different project, err no thanks. What am I missing, how does one make mini projects / add all the clips together on some type of timeline without using a project?


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Bill Davis
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 10:53:00 pm

Well, there are tons of ways. But here's just one.

Tag your 900 clips with sort IDs by Year/Month tags.
Use a rating tag inside the keycollection to move the best clips into a group.'

Open a fresh storyline.

On it, insert a TITLE generator that's about the length you see the segment being as your Primary. It will contain nothing but a single word denoting the BLOCK it represents which you can make invisible if you like. (that might be a month, or a theme, or whatever, up to you)

That becomes a modeule that you'll build upon.

Attach the clips you've pre-filtered via keywords to go in that section as connected clips in groups that spans the timeframe. You can then move/edit inside those clip collections all you like. As you build each "BLOCK" you'll have the huge advantage of being able toss your BLOCK GROUPS around your timeline to rearrange them at will.

In X, The EB is designed to let you focus and refine your source material for easy access.. The timeline is just where you arrange the results.

I think it's inefficient to to much sorting or selection OF assets in a storyllne since the EB is so much more flexible tool for this. The Storyline is where you juxtapose assets you've pre-filtered and selected and refined in the EB.

That's how I see it anyway. YMMV.

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.


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Richard Jacana
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 6, 2013 at 11:40:42 pm

Bill thanks for your response.

Regarding keywords and pre sorting the footage into each of the 13 sections - my piece involved footage that was gotten from 6 different events and there is no global keyword or smart collections feature so I just used favorites eg if I would need have the keyword "funny" it would have to be in each event, this seemed redundant - I suppose I could of merged all the clips into one master event but no, these events need to stand alone in my opinion as the video I am working on now is a "best of " and videos have been made from these events so they need to be separate. Eg, I have say an event Vacation to Mali or Steamboat Summer 2012, I keep these events because each one of them will products it's one little movie.

I think I get your idea regarding the slug and then attaching the clips to them but this seems less elegant and a workaround.

Event apple says - "Effectively, each compound clip can be considered a mini project,"

and

Compound clips have many uses. You can:

-Simplify a complicated project by creating a separate compound clip for each major section.


I know with FCPx there are may ways to achieve the same thing but I'm just looking for a workflow that I can use in future bigger projects - probably should try them all at first.


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Bill Davis
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 7, 2013 at 12:14:55 am

[Richard Jacana] ""Effectively, each compound clip can be considered a mini project,""

I totally understand that you're wrapping your head around new complexity. And honestly, any way you want to work is fine. I'm just noting that that SOME of the largest problems in people migrating to X is the natural tendency to view is in terms of what they undertand from past workflows.

The X editing process will reveal itself over time. It's not that foreign, just structured pretty differently because of the new tools it uses. I'm trying not so much to steer you around all the blind alleys - beause going down them is a necessary part of lerning anything new - but to encourage you to approach things in X with as much flexibility as possibile about whatever ingrained editing concepts you've been used to working with to date.

Yes, Apple made the comment above.

But I think it's a little like someone saying "In cooking, protein choice can be considered an important base that most recipes are built upon."

It's completely true. But it's equally true that there are massive sub-parts of the overall concept of COOKING, like Baking for example - where proteins aren't important at all.

Similarly, to start by thinking that compound clips are "mini-projects" - particularly as something like Legacy defined a "project" can lead to as much confusion as it does success.

But regardless, welcome to FCP-X.

If you're like many of us, you'll find studying and using it to be a fascinating process for a long time to come!

Take care.

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.


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Richard Jacana
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 7, 2013 at 12:10:49 am

Simply select the compound you edited in the browser and drag it on top of the compound in the timeline. Then choose: Replace from Start from the menu. You may get a warning that it's about to shorten an edit, just click ok.


Andy, that was the answer I was looking for, I just chose replace (when I removed footage anyway) , works for my little 13 mini projects. Messing around with Andy's method too but the clips now are attached to the slug so when I shorten a clip no more magnetic timeline :( have to then push it up against the others.


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Andy Neil
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 7, 2013 at 1:10:45 am

Well, I can see why you have compounds. I just wanted to make sure you weren't over-complicating matters when you didn't need to.

But once the compound is in your master timeline, is there a reason you can't just edit the compounds as if they are master clips? You retain the magnetic nature of the timeline and to me it seems as if it'll cut just as easily.

[Richard Jacana] "Messing around with Andy's method too but the clips now are attached to the slug so when I shorten a clip no more magnetic timeline :( have to then push it up against the others."

Not sure what your problem is here. What do you mean the clips are attached to the slug? Where? In the compound clip? In the master timeline? Post images if you can.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Richard Jacana
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 7, 2013 at 6:44:15 am

This is what my timeline looks like:



I've just been playing around with the "break apart clip items" option - so a compound clip can indeed be broken up right there in the timeline.


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Andy Neil
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on May 7, 2013 at 6:46:58 pm

I don't see the "slug" that you're referring to. But yes, I would cut the compound in the master sequence myself (although I wouldn't necessarily break apart clip items to do so).

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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John Smith
Re: Compound clip length bug or feature?
on Nov 9, 2013 at 5:37:34 pm

I don't care what anyone says on this, you explain around it how you like, it's a bug or lazy programming. Easiest work around I have found is to select the compound clip in the time-line and use Control+D and then enter a duration that exceeds the total length of the clips contained with in the compound clip. The compound clip now automatically adjusts to the exact length of the contained clips.

There is a bar that you can not drag inside the compound clip editor that divides where the clips have gone beyond the originally created compound length (greyed out). That should be adjustable, but it's not. You should also be able to just drag the end of the compound clip in the time-line to extend it to the new length, but you can't. This is simple and standard editing functions that just don't work.

The above works if the compound clips contents have exceeded the original length, if the compound clip should be shorter as you have removed frames/clips from it then I do a similar thing as before. Control+D, then enter a duration below that of the clips within the compound clip (or probably easier drag the right-hand-side of the clip to the left in the time-line), then press control+D again and enter a value that exceeds the actual duration of the contained clips. You could of course just use the exact length required, but it's often easier to do this than entering an exact number of seconds and frames. No chance of cropping anything off through lack of attention to detail.

Anyway, I assume this is the problem this post was about, this is the problem I was having, and this is a work around that I have fathomed that works best for me.

I guess you can probably do a similar thing by selecting multiple compound clips, so as to adjust them all in one go. Though I haven't tried that yet.

2.4ghz 12 core Mac Pro 2012, 32GB DDR3 DIMM Registered ECC, Mavericks OS X 10.9 DP7 (yes risky running a BETA system, but Mountain Lion is awful, and the performance of Mavericks is a lot better than Lion (and M'Lion))


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