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Magnetic Timeline Intervention

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Tom Brooks
Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:04:52 am

I work with someone who gets around the magnetic timeline by always starting with a Gap clip and then connecting all other clips to it. The Gap becomes the anchor strip for all clips and thus, all clips are connected to it.

This makes his timeline more like separate tracks. Of course, it totally defeats the ability of FCX to keep the hundreds of clips in sync. How can I convince this editor that his life will be better if he stops doing that and forces himself to think in terms of storylines? I think the big stumbling block is not knowing what to designate as the primary storyline at the beginning of the project.

But, even before that, he needs to accept that he has a problem.


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Nick Toth
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 12:53:57 pm

When I edit spots I use a gap clip on the primary storyline. Within the confines of 30 or 60 seconds I find the vertical magnetism more useful than the horizontal magnetism.

However for longer form projects I figure out what the backbone of the piece is and that goes on the primary. It could be a combination of things - like a talking head with cutaways on the secondary or a combination of a talking head and a voiceover on the primary with cutaways or graphics on the secondary.

I think people make more of it than it is IMHO.

anickt


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Oliver Peters
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 1:01:45 pm

Why do you see this as a problem? It's simply a different way to use the application. No better, no worse. And what do you mean "in sync"? If he hasn't detached the audio from the connected clips, then there's no sync issue. Rarely do two editors work the same way, so as long as he's getting the desired results without frustration, is there really a problem?

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tom Brooks
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 1:40:02 pm

I was being provocative. The problem I see here is that a typical project in my world has a lot of voice-over with connected B-roll, music, and sound effects. Connected clips really work for you when you connect them to the main part of the story at that point in time--the part that drives the timing of the content.

For example, the voice over mentions A, B, and C and the connected clips illustrate A, B, and C. When both the V.O. and the B-roll are connected to gap, if you cut or change the V.O., the temporal relationship with the B-Roll changes. I used the term "sync," which was confusing in this context. What I meant was the temporal relationship of related clips.

When those sections of V.O. with connected clips get complex, it's a mess to keep things in the proper timing with each other when all elements are dependent only on a gap clip. You cut a word from the V.O. and now all later B-roll is not timed to the V.O. If you make the V.O. the primary storyline, the B-roll stays in proper timing with it when you cut out a section.

I believe connecting B-roll to V.O. in a primary storyline saves a lot of work and ensures proper synchronization of your B-roll, while still allowing flexibility to make cuts or change the order of the V.O. That's one example of why I place a value judgement on that practice.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 2:23:22 pm

Given your example, I would completely agree with the other editor. These elements are all interactive and in fact not really linked to each other.

For me, the basic design of X works like a news package edit. SOT and audio drived from SOT for the "spine". That's essentially the "radio cut", which I would put on the primary storyline. Then connect everything to that. I think you and I are probably in agreement there.

OTOH, I've had projects that I started that way and making changes after client input caused the sequence to get completely messed up thanks to the magnetic timeline and storyline structure. The solution was actually to lift everything out of the storyline, readjust the clips and then overwrite them back to the storyline.

But when everything is based on "floating" elements as you describe, I find that you end up fighting the magnetism a lot. In fact that's where working in the Position mode is probably more helpful.

Again, just different working styles.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 5:33:52 pm

Same holds true in legacy in different ways. Sometimes locking a track could be very beneficial, but usually it just opened up the possibility of accidentally rippling things without rippling the stuff in the locked track, throwing everything out of sync. I remember trying to explain to Avid editors that Legacy functioned like Avid with sync locks all on all the time, and that if you locked a track it was like turning off a sync lock AND locking content of the track at the same time. I always operated with sync locks ON in Avid so the switch to legacy was simple. Anyway, my point being that in any NLE there are always functional gotchas that will require intricate "surgical" methods when a big change is made that doesn't quite fit into normal operational flow. AKA client changes.


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Tom Brooks
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 6:15:13 pm

This thread points out how FCX has changed the terminology. I started thinking of my post in terms of magnetic timeline, but as I actually wrote it, it became clear that my topic was not so much about magnetism but about what gets connected to what. Two different issues.


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 2:43:41 pm
Last Edited By Bob Woodhead on Feb 14, 2014 at 2:48:35 pm

[Tom Brooks] "When both the V.O. and the B-roll are connected to gap, if you cut or change the V.O., the temporal relationship with the B-Roll changes."

Sometimes when I've decided to work off the Primary for whatever reason, and have a situation like this, I'll Group the offending clips. So if the Primary is a gap clip, and you've got broll & VO hanging off it, and want to edit the VO so that the broll moves with your edits, start off by moving your connected VO clip so that it's the bottom-most connected clip above the primary gap clip. Select the VO and all your associated broll. Group it. Open the group and you'll find that the VO has become the primary storyline in your grouped clip. Slice n' dice VO, broll moves along with it. Step out of group, et' voila'.

That said, it is a sin against all things holy to edit with a gap clip as your primary storyline. So when editing in this style, tell your friend he must say 5 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys after closing FCPX. ;)

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
CMX-Quantel-Avid-FCP-Premiere-3D-AFX-Crayola
"What a long strange trip it's been...."


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Bret Williams
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 5:23:47 pm

Wouldn't it make more sense to have the VO be your primary if you're going to jump through all those hoops? If the broll is really specific to spots of the VO. Then, if you slice up the VO and move it around, you don't even have to think of the connected broll. They just move with it, whether you're using A or P tool.


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:10:49 pm

Well, yeah. But his friend insists on spitting into the wind, tugging on Superman's cape, etc.


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Tom Brooks
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:21:19 pm

Great ideas, Bob. All of 'em.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 4:46:57 pm

[Tom Brooks] "Of course, it totally defeats the ability of FCX to keep the hundreds of clips in sync. How can I convince this editor that his life will be better if he stops doing that and forces himself to think in terms of storylines?"

To each their own, but I find working without the primary storyline destroys FCPX's strengths. If there is no strength anymore, why use it?

My suggestion would be to edit in the primary, but have the position tool on all of the time.

This slows down the horizontal magnetic movement of the timeline, and when he needs to use what people refer to as "ripple mode", he needs to switch to the arrow tool. This (sort of) flip flops FCPX's primary default magnetism.

Once he learns a bit more about the timeline, and learns when (and when not) to use the magnetism, he'll edit with the arrow tool more and more. For some people, it might be easier to learn how to use the primary storyline's strengths by having 'ripple mode' off and adding it when you need it, instead of having it always on, and doing things you may not expect.

I'm not sure if focusing on what exactly needs to be in the storyline is needed right up front, but it does help a little bit. I like to think of it as whatever is controlling time (or length) of that particular scene, section, or entire timeline should go in the primary. To me, primary storyline (for the most part) = time.

Jeremy


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Bret Williams
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 14, 2014 at 5:18:30 pm

Most of the time, whatever you would put on V1 goes in the primary. Some might say that on a music video the music would go in the primary. But if you're putting something that is already "locked" then you've destroyed the point of the primary as Jeremy suggests. For example, in a music video you might want to swap two adjacent shots. Since they're likely to the beat, just swap them with one click drag of the mouse. If they're connected clips, there's a lot of dragging and snapping of the connected clips. But there's a million different ways to do things. Just consider that whatever is in the primary has the most power for rippling and trimming. If you just drop a gap clip in there you'll have to slice it to ripple, or marquee all the clips and drag them down with the p tool. Using the gap clip in the primary seemed like a popular idea right after the release of X until people got more comfortable with how the app worked. I don't hear of it that much with seasoned users.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 15, 2014 at 4:45:27 am

[Bret Williams] "Using the gap clip in the primary seemed like a popular idea right after the release of X until people got more comfortable with how the app worked."

Like many, I did that as well when i first started cutting in X. Now? It's like a freeform pallete. :-) Though the UI is still maddening at times. Like, cursing at it maddening. But still, I'm now used to using the primary, secondaries, quick comps to defeat magnetism if I'm rearranging "pods", popping in and out of the primary depending on what I need to happen, sticking connected audio above the primary if it's getting "lost" in the timeline. I cut with *lot's* of audio so it's difficult to fit it all on a 27" monitor in anything other than labels only height. Not saying it's perfect or all inclusive, but It really is like having the best parts of all NLE's. I'm still figuring out and/or finding new ways to do stuff.

I sometimes miss tracks when I'm in X. But I can't stand that I'm locked into them when I'm cutting in something else. 10.1.1 still has some annoying issues, but for me, the magnetic timeline isn't one of them.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Bret Williams
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 15, 2014 at 5:29:18 am

You talk about audio above the primary, but what about video below it? When I first did that it was quite the awakening of sorts. Being able to slide the primary image to the side, to reveal a background layer without having to move the primary up a layer or slice offa piece and move it up a layer, etc etc made me realize that X wasn't this limiting thing but somewhat liberating in many ways. Putting video under the primary is like having a -V1 track.

Speaking of not having screen real estate, Premiere hasa great toggle where no matter what window you're in, you press a key (tilde?) and that window fills the screen. Press it again to go back. Great for hiding the source/viewer and making the sequence fill the screen. Especially if you're monitoring via BMD or other device anyway.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Magnetic Timeline Intervention
on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:54:48 am

[Bret Williams] "made me realize that X wasn't this limiting thing but somewhat liberating in many ways."

One word...Clip Skimming. Well, OK, it's two words, but I must say, that feature alone is worth putting up with X's quirks. :-)

[Bret Williams] "Speaking of not having screen real estate, Premiere hasa great toggle where no matter what window you're in, you press a key (tilde?) and that window fills the screen. Press it again to go back. Great for hiding the source/viewer and making the sequence fill the screen. Especially if you're monitoring via BMD or other device anyway."

Yeah, i like that, though I generally monitor onscreen so I don't use it too much in Pr. There's some good stuff in Pr. It's just way too "fiddly" for my taste. Yes, you can have all sorts of layouts for all your different windows. There's just too many damn windows/tabs/whatever. X could stand a couple more maybe. Or at least the ability to remember my arrangement when I put the viewers on my second screen and then back to the main screen... :-/

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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