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Little story about FCPX and title text handling

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Andreas Kiel
Little story about FCPX and title text handling
on Aug 31, 2013 at 11:56:50 am

Over many month I got emails about non Roman languages or even special characters with Roman languages may crash FCPX or even the whole system.
In different forums there also had been notes about that.
The discussion started here in Germany again yesterday.

There is some interesting response:
http://www.smartredirect.de/redir/clickGate.php?u=5ihpJBk1&m=1&p=mNd4PIrL73...
While I tried to answer all the mails and did several test with text files and XMLs send to me I discovered the same thing like those people who send me the email and files (not in all cases but serious enough to think about)
So it was quite random. Often enough it did happen only with the built in titles and some others -- but finally never with the title templates I did build with Motion.
But I got a XML few weeks ago which immediately crashed FCPX after import and FCPX on every launch. Deleting the project on Finder level fixed that.
But that didn't fix something else: my templates and a few others changed their default font color from "white" to black by default in all open projects and in the browser. All templates looked fine as expected in Motion.
Even on launch of FCPX they looked as expected.
But the "Rolling Stones" came with "Paint it black" -- unfortunately no sound.
So next thing was "Casablanca" getting all suspicious files and "arrest" or in this case even "kill" them.
But still the "Rolling Stones" came with "Paint it black".

So I tried a new user -- everything was fine. But with this special titles it was the same game as before.

So I copied the user prefs (~/Library/Preferences) to the Desktop and deleted all files folders in the actual prefs using Finder.
Relaunched FCPX and the same bad thing was happening.
Conclusion: the Apple support files and available tools to trash must have overseen some hidden files.

So I wrote a quick little AppleScript using two shell scripts trying to remove all left files.

set myList to every paragraph of (do shell script "ls -a /Users/username/Library/Preferences")
repeat with theItem in myList
try
set shellScript to "rm " & quoted form of ("/Users/username/Library/Preferences/" & theItem as string)
do shell script shellScript
end try
end repeat

Voila all back to normal.

Copied back the files from the prefs backup without replacing any of the newly created ones.
And everything is back to now normal.

Though this description might not help in case of the "special character" bug, but it probably helps to restore a normal state.

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Bill Davis
Re: Little story about FCPX and title text handling
on Aug 31, 2013 at 9:22:59 pm

Andreas,

If I'm reading you correctly, then when you imported some XML code that carried font instructions, it managed to set some software states that caused a whole lot of display problems with text and crashing and even when you tried to reset your system back to "normal" - the problems persisted.

It was only when you were able to delete some system files that are normally "hidden" from the regular user - that you were able to restore proper operating behavior to FCP-X?

Am I reading this correctly?

I remember back early in some of the earliest X's builds - titling was an area that caused the most crashing behavior for me. It's been way better for well over a year, but I wonder if there's still code hanging on in the program that can allow font related stuff to cause a user big problems such as you describe?

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to diagnose this and build the body of understanding by posting the results.

BTW, you should really start charging a few bucks for SCDI - It's a massively useful and reliable tool for sparse bundle creation and I know that I and many, many others would find working in X a whole lot more difficult without it.

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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Andreas Kiel
Re: Little story about FCPX and title text handling
on Aug 31, 2013 at 10:07:49 pm

Bill,

Thanks for the feedback.
Probably I wasn't clear enough (I'm not native English speaker). Let me try to explain again.

XML can't carry any font instructions (at least at the current state) it just transports characters for whatever title template you use. As XML by default is UTF-8 any character should be displayed fine with any template which are normally UTF-8 XMLs as well.
Even typing something into a title template can crash or cause serious problems

As explained in the link I gave in the post there seems to be a problem with CoreText which obviously affects also FCP X in certain (quite often) cases using kind of "non expected" characters.

And also as said -- I can't fix the bug. I only can help those people who run into this trap.
I might find some time next week to create a little app which does a "delete FCPX prefs and all the other things which are no good for FCPX" ;-)

Regarding charging for SCDI:
You're right.
There is a lot of work/time spent for this little app. And a lot of time spent by replying emails and explain how it works.
To make it even better I started the "X-Files Pro" project - a collection of little apps to make "X-Life" easier. The base version will be a few bucks. It will work like SCDI but with more features (reliable)

-Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Bill Davis
Re: Little story about FCPX and title text handling
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:23:16 am

[Andreas Kiel] "To make it even better I started the "X-Files Pro" project - a collection of little apps to make "X-Life" easier. The base version will be a few bucks. It will work like SCDI but with more features (reliable)"

I'm excited to hear about this.

You're doing really useful work for the FCP-X community and the ability to make some money in exchange for your skills and efforts will help ensure you can keep doing it. So I'm in.

Make sure you post a notice here when you have the new product ready to go and I'll be delighted to be among the first in line as a paying customer.

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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Sascha Engel
Re: Little story about FCPX and title text handling
on Sep 1, 2013 at 6:57:40 am

Super. Danke. Sag bitte Bescheid wenn deine App rauskommt. Danke für die gute Arbeit.

Grüsse aus Israel.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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