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My Life in FCP

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Rob Tinworth
My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:59:07 pm

I've been lucky to work on some great projects over the last decade with FCP. So when MC5.5 arrived in the post, I figured what better way to get back up to speed on Avid than to cut a retrospective of FCP...



There were a lot of things to like about Avid. With all the improvements to FCPs media manager since v4.5, I'd lost sight of the fact that even in v7 it is still weak. It was also great being able to cut and paste keyframes so easily in MC5.

There were also a lot of things that astonished me about Avid - you can only map 2 functions to any key? It's still using a pan and scan plugin for stills?!

But on the whole, I was left with exactly the same feeling as when I made the Avid-FCP switch in 2003. Avid is hands down the winner for the left monitor (the one with all the bins and media management) and FCP is hands down the way to work (for me and the way I think) on that right monitor (the one with the timeline).

FCP thinks like a computer. Avid is still stuck in its origins with the film metaphor.

So I should be all over FCP-X and a new editing revolution right? Nope. I edit with pictures, not keywords. Even if I could get over the issues with collaboration/one big project/one big library/no video output; even if they fixed all those in a bells and whistles FCP-XI, I simply don't agree that an edit should be driven by words.

It's the very 'inefficiency' of FCP7 that immerses me in a project. It's endlessly scrubbing backwards and forwards through the rushes that means that when I'm recutting a scene, I know there's that shot of that thing, which I never thought I'd use, which an assistant editor wouldn't have flagged, which I wouldn't even have looked at, but which turns out to be just the shot I need for this sequence.

At a certain point in any edit, I get the feeling that I have the film in my head, like there's an index in my brain. I think that's much more powerful than metadata. Editing is about pictures.

So now I need to decide whether to continue with FCP7 or make the jump over to Avid. I know the production companies I work with would prefer the latter. But FCP7 remains, for me, far and away the better of the two because in any edit, I spend almost all my time in the timeline.

So where possible I'll be driving FCP7 until it stops working. And where a client insists on cutting on Avid I'll keep calm and carry on.

I just hope the feeling of editing with one hand tied behind my back goes away.

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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Everest Mokaeff
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:32:59 pm

SPOILER ALERT!
Oh man, the lost shot nearly killed me. Media Composer. Thanks, three and half minutes were worth watching. I'm grinning.

Sony PMW-EX3, Canon Mark II 5D, FCS3 in Moscow
http://www.mokaeff.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:02:56 pm

Rob,

Beautiful work all around. This piece is funny and incisive, but more importantly, it's a brilliant statement and a monument for all of those who have invested enormous parts of their creative lives in Apple and it's wares; all now seemingly lost without rhyme, reason, or explanation.

Really f-ing brilliant!!!


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:16:16 pm

Nicely done. You still have all the media and project files for all those projects? man... I have the project files, but only a few shows do I have the media.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Dan Monro
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:32:20 pm

My thoughts exactly. Must be a petabyte raid array in his garage...

Nicely done.
D

Dan Monro
FCP, PPro, Avid, AfterFX, Atlanta
MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 4 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Final Cut Pro 7, PPro 5 Quicktime 7.6.6
- OR -
2 x 3.2 Quad Xeon; 16 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 Final Cut Pro 7.0.3, PPro5.0.3 Quicktime 7.6.6



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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:41:22 pm

The media is LONG gone. That's all colour correction voodoo.

And that was far from simple in MC5.

There's no way to pull a secondary with their colour correction mode, so I had to nest the FCP-timeline-clip, dupe it, pull a chroma key, garbage mask that and then correct the layer below. Repeat for render bar, video clip and audio clips are you've got 6 video layers nested in each track, and four tracks at any given time. Copy and paste those presets to the rest of the time timeline? You have to do it filter by filter! It's a mess.

It raises a bigger question which is when I ultimately make the switch, what's the new colour correction workflow? Handing off to a Symphony editor is one option, but I've really enjoyed being able to colour correct my own work. Avid to Apple's EOLed Color doesn't seem to be an option without automatically ducking it.

So I'm going to download Resolve when they release the free lite version and see if that plays nice my system and with Avid.

Does anyone know if Resolve will let you monitor through the AJA IO Express?

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:45:09 pm

RESOLVE requires the Decklink Extreme 3D. Not sure what the LITE version will entail. And the main RESOLVE requires a control surface...REQUIRES it...and specific expensive NVIDIA graphics cards. Not sure what the LITE version will do.

I use the curves, and Colorista from Red Giant Software. But yes, ALL the layers and time needed to build them to do simple Picture in Picture, or moves on stills...annoys me.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:28:42 pm

Yeah, I think what really smarts is less Apple's move - that's sound financial sense - so much as being strung along with their smoke and mirrors BS. Particularly their taking over the NAB supermeet and the implications that went with that - "We're not abandoning you guys".

I'm not an NLE snob - I was when I first starting cutting on Avid and regarded everything else as unworthy. Now, I'm all for making software simpler/more accessible. I just don't understand why they couldn't design FCP-X with a dual interface. Similar to how DVDSP was set up - do you want the window layout to simple and constrained, or complicated and powerful?

I was astonished to see how little Avid has changed in 10 years. I think that's both a strength and a weakness. But I like the way they've implemented the smart tool - "Here's this way of working that everyone else seems to like, but we're not going to force you to use it, you can switch it off and edit the same way you always have". The smart tool is a great idea, but I don't think they've quite nailed it. FCP takes the whole logic of a computer interface and applies it to the timeline. You want to copy and paste that clip? Option-Drag. You don't even need to read the manual - it's the same as how you work at the finder level. There are so many times I've been working in FCP when I've thought things like "If I'd designed this, I'd make it so I could just drag that photo from the finder straight into the timeline" and lo and behold that's how it already works!

I've started rambling - 2 weeks resisting the temptation to post FCP-X bitterness.

My central point is that I believe they could have made the FCP-X interface and media management attractive to all users at all levels. What's upsetting is not so much that they didn't do that, as that they didn't give us any warning.

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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tad newberry
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:31:14 pm

Rob, ditto to what everyone else said here already. Some great work there...and a heck of a visual at the end. I guess i'm hoping by the time my copy of FCP7 install discs are too scratched up to reinstall for the umpteenth time, "X" will have evolved into "Ocho," something we can all work with...i hate to say "farewell" to it yet...

: )

thanks for helping out a bonehead!
__________________________

FCS3
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro
6GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
...and a few TeraBytes o' storage
(then it's on to PetaBytes, ExaBytes and MosquitoBytes!)


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:51:01 pm

Nice work and well done.

[Rob Tinworth] "Editing is about pictures."

Until you need to find something in the FCP7 browser amongst the endless bins and subclips by a picture (or text for that matter).

Just curious, how much real time have you spent with FCPX?


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:54:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Just curious, how much real time have you spent with FCPX?"

Does that matter? he does what I do...TV documentaries. There is no way FCP X will fit into that workflow. OMFs, hardware capture card output for proper monitoring, EDLs (yes, networks still require these...oh, as will RESOLVE)...proper audio configuration. It's worthless for what we do.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:05:51 pm

[Shane Ross] "OMFs, hardware capture card output for proper monitoring, EDLs (yes, networks still require these...oh, as will RESOLVE)...proper audio configuration."

I understand it's not ready. I have not been on the moon for the last 3 weeks.

That was qualified in the original post, that even if all of the above were fixed:

[Rob Tinworth] "Even if I could get over the issues with collaboration/one big project/one big library/no video output; even if they fixed all those in a bells and whistles FCP-X"

I'm just curious as to how much time was spent in FCPX. It's a fair question isn't it? Yes, it matters. I could insert all kinds of cliche things here like tests and prejudice, but I won't.

How much time have you spent in FCPX, Shane?


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:09:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "How much time have you spent in FCPX, Shane?"

Two hours. Not much time, I know, but I lack the time to play at the moment. Borrowed a friends computer, played...didn't like it. Moving on. Maybe later...later versions. But I don't like this new interface at all. Doesn't work for me.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:18:49 pm

I think it's a valid point - I have spent zero time hands on with FCP-X.

I've spent the last two weeks reading reviews, checking the forums, and watching tutorials.

FCP7 works now, but there's no question that it will not work on the hardware/OS of the future, and that the feature sets of the competing NLEs will only get better and better.

So no need to jump ship right now. But the ship is sinking, and it's prudent to bagsie your spot in one of those lifeboats.

I made the decision to relearn Avid rather than FCP-X for a couple of reasons. The first is practical - in its current incarnation, its useless in a broadcast post workflow.

But the point of my original post is that I believe that FCP-X will never suit my needs. I'm not saying it's a terrible piece of software - as you point out, I've not even tried it. My point is that the very mind set - one central project - one timeline - keywords - is not geared towards documentary work.

I would love to be wrong.

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:47:14 pm

[Rob Tinworth] "My point is that the very mind set - one central project - one timeline - keywords - is not geared towards documentary work."

I don't see it this way; taking your example of Avid and running with it. Avid stores bins and timelines separately, doesn't it? So now, does FCPX. Perhaps they are called "Events" and "Projects" instead of "Bins" and "Timelines", but they are now separated from the project, just like the beloved Avid. So before we all start spreading (and reading) the misinformation that has come out about FCPx, I would encourage you to use it and form your own judgement. I understand people being pissed at Apple. I think it's mostly about the lack of FCP7 support and availability moving forward and backward FCP7 project compatibility. There's a lot of projects that we unearth every year to make updates. It is now going to be that much harder to get that done. But it would be hard anyway if we switch NLEs. I look at FCPx as a new NLE, so no matter what, we are starting over no matter what we do.

If you ask me, if Apple decided that they were going to completely start over with FCP, then what they did was smart. Release it hobbled so that not everyone can upgrade automatically to their existing infrastructure. This will get people used to a new interface and squash bugs. This will allow developers time to wrap their heads around the new APIs and it will also give some time to play with it before Lion is released, which in my guesstimate, is what is really holding back FCPx at this time. For better. For worse.


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:57:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] ". Avid stores bins and timelines separately, doesn't it?"

Nope. It makes bins, and you must store media and timelines in those bins. Unlike FCP 7, you can't have things lose in the Browser, you must put them in a Bin. But you can have sequences and media in the same bin.

[Jeremy Garchow] " Perhaps they are called "Events" and "Projects" instead of "Bins" and "Timelines","

Which is a HUGE problem...changing the terminology. Now editors can't communicate properly with each other. Well, users of FCP X and the rest of the editing world...

[Jeremy Garchow] "but they are now separated from the project, just like the beloved Avid"

Incorrect. See what I said above. Guess you haven't used Avid in a while? Or at all?

Apple started off fresh, and let the world know they don't care about the 3% in the broadcast/film world. Yeah, they said they'd add things, but I know that a lot of what we need won't be added. Because Apple doesn't believe that tape exists anymore...so they rely on third party apps...that might work for some things, but not all. And much more. They are moving to the more profitable prosumer/consumer and leaving the high end behind.

And yes, I have insider information...

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:39:19 pm

[Shane Ross] "ncorrect. See what I said above. Guess you haven't used Avid in a while? Or at all?"

A very long time. '96 or there abouts, so really, it doesn't count. M100 used to have availability to bins and timelines at the finder level. Doesn't Avid store bins at the finder level?

[Shane Ross] "Which is a HUGE problem...changing the terminology. Now editors can't communicate properly with each other. Well, users of FCP X and the rest of the editing world..."

It's not that bad. When you use it, you will see the potential. I'm not kidding. It's going to take more than a cursory look at what's going on. As I said on the Twitter, with a plug in, FCPx can export an OMF today. The receiver will receive an OMF, what more do they need to know? It does not feel like an unprofessional application to me, but perhaps my opinion doesn't count. Do I think it's ready for primetime? No. Do I think it will ever be ready? I simply don't know. Do I think it could be? Absolutely. If you look at what is in there instead of what isn't, it starts to become a bit more clear. ALso, FCP1 started out the same way. Everyone laughed, no one took it seriously, and then what happened?

I am not defending Apple. There was no reason to release a product like this, especially to a rather large group of savvy communicators.

[Shane Ross] "And yes, I have insider information..."

That what else can you reliably tell us besides someone knows more than us pleebs?


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Shane Ross
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:59:15 pm

Footage and cuts can't exist on the main level of the Avid Browser....they must reside in BINS. and on the FINDER level, those bins are separate folders. Which is how Avid can keep project sizes smaller. More bins you have open, the more bloated it gets.

I can't say all that I know...otherwise I expose who tells me things.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:06:58 pm

[Shane Ross] "and on the FINDER level, those bins are separate folders. "

OK, so this is my point. In FCPx, the "Bins" or "Event" exists on the finder level. You can have as many events as you want.

"projects" or "timelines" also exist on the finder level.

So, instead of a bloated FCP7 project that gives you nothing, you now have Finder level access to your organization in the form of Events, and timeline access in the form of Projects. How is this a single minded approach? To me, this will make sharing much easier as the parts are separate from the whole, which is what made it really hard to share FCP projects in the first place. But since this functionality isn't ready, Apple won't promote it. Why should they?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:02:11 pm

Jeremy,

Your position is one that is shared by many and has, as you know, been expressed ad-infinitum here and elsewhere.

But, I think you and the others might well be mistaken. I believe the designers at Apple may have created a model that a) may not represent an improvement at all, b) may not work well with the hard-wired way we as editors work with events in time, and c) which may in fact encourage the development of inferior skills and practices.

Maybe I'm not right, but then maybe neither are you and those who presently think this is the new great thing.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:00:27 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Your position "

I don't have a position on FCPx accept take a look and see for yourself. Don't read what others, (which of course includes this post), are saying and take it as gospel. It's silly to keep spreading this craziness when one hasn't even taken a look to see what's there, instead of hearing about what isn't.

There's a lot of "Apple may have's", for sure, and it's really easy to look at all the negative things in life. Is it half full or half empty? Apple may have created a platform for developers to create an NLE that you can customize to your level of "professionalism". This, to me, is the exciting part. Pay for what you need, don't pay for what you don't need. is that a bad thing? I have no idea. I've been waiting this long, might as well wait some more.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:23:09 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Don't read what others, (which of course includes this post), are saying and take it as gospel. It's silly to keep spreading this craziness when one hasn't even taken a look to see what's there, instead of hearing about what isn't. "

I have X right here on of those partitions I told everyone to create. So, don't suggest that I'm blindly commenting on this subject.

I'm not sure what's coming down the pike, but I'm not discounting that Apple or their 3rd party partners will deliver lots of cool stuff eventually.

However, like Shane, I'm not at all pleased that Apple has seen fit to change the entire vernacular of the established 100-year-old business that I work in, and I happen to think that's a very big deal.

And, as I mentioned, I strongly suspect that this model may not be better. As I said, it may not ultimately work in tune with the way we are hardwired to perceive events in time.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:49:59 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "However, like Shane, I'm not at all pleased that Apple has seen fit to change the entire vernacular of the established 100-year-old business that I work in, and I happen to think that's a very big deal."

I just think, perhaps we don't have the language quite yet. This is a piece to a puzzle. Let's talk conceptually.

You mean to tell me that nothing has changed in the last 100 years in the form of visual communication?

I don't know if you noticed, the world is able to see and talk to each other almost in real time.

In the days of yore, you would need to time shift this capability. Kids can speak computer. Kids can speak video. I most definitely think the vernacular is changing, and it is absolutely a very big deal.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:14:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know if you noticed, the world is able to see and talk to each other almost in real time."

Yes I did notice that.

Did you notice that a guy named Dvorak created a new keyboard that is proven to be more much more efficient and ergonomic than the traditional Qwerty keyboard? Do you use the Dvorak keyboard? Do you know many others who do? If not, then why, after all it's new and clearly more efficient?

Okay, so what's the significance of the metaphor above? Answer: Beyond simply editing, the Editor's job is to manage and prioritize. There are boatloads of very smart and very talented people who prefer the open model of FCP 1-7, because there were so many different ways an editor could choose to manage and prioritize. Many do not feel that FCP X improves upon that model. I'm not entirely certain at this point myself, but I tend to suspect the traditional way well be better, at least for me and the work I do.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:37:47 pm

[David Roth Weiss] " Many do not feel that FCP X improves upon that model. "

These are the people that have not taken a look. They go straight to the magnetic timeline and say it sucks, and that's pretty much that.

No, I have not tried a Dvorak, but if my typing life will be easier, then so be it. If I had a virtual keyboard in which I could map the keys, I would certainly give it a shot. I will tell you what I was fastest typing on. My old blackberry which had two letters per key (still Qwerty), it was similar to this:

http://www.bbgeeks.com/images/Kickstart/Pearlcomp.jpg

The Blackberry software was smart enough to figure out what words I was typing, so instead of hitting the "6" key twice to make a K, I just kit the 6 key once. I used about 15 buttons to fit the entire alphabet plus some common punctuation. Then I got a new blackberry and it had the common qwerty on teeny tiny little buttons. I was not as fast.

It is rare that one gets the opportunity to simply toss out a legacy system. As you know, Qwerty, is a long toothed legacy left over from the powerless machination of typing. That does not apply to today. If every keyboard would be virtual, then we could assign our own keyboard to everything we needed to type on. Until then, we drag the legacy around.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:12:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "These are the people that have not taken a look. They go straight to the magnetic timeline and say it sucks, and that's pretty much that."

Honestly Jeremy, I think that's grossly unfair. Some people who've cut entire projects have reported they're not in love, so there's clearly more going on than the usual laundry list of pejoratives that we so often hear (luddites, no lookies, old dudes, inflexibles, etc., etc, etc.).

Personally, I think the jury is still out on this one. Who knows? Some times pigs fly and sometimes Apple surprises everyone. Let's hope it all comes out in the wash.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Paul Kerby
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:18:06 pm

I knee jerked and hated X... I gave it one star. I then sucked it up and proceeded to cut a 5 min vignette of a band members take on music. I started to like X... Make no mistake this isn't FCP at all... Remember I'm a decade long FCP user. I got to the middle of the project and love hate several things. Conclussion, I am not going to be using X anytime soon, that is for sure.

I gave it a fair shot and feel I understand the MTimeline and UI very well in two weeks. I don't like basic editing functions. I don't need the filmstrip or need MT to be honest. A thumbnail is more than enough. The real time 32 bit float color is what sucked me in... But the program is very unstable and it has been well documented. It's def unusable for anything long form. Projects and events are lame. Tabs for sequences are not improved with projects. I still give it one star... This release after 2 years is a fail!


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Don Walker
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:08:26 pm

Rob,

I too would like to say that was an awesome piece. I would also like to commend you, for the honesty without the hysteria. I have not had a chance to edit on FCP-X yet, because as a one man shop, I should not spend money on new software unless I'm rich or ready to make the move, and I'm neither. This last 3 weeks has made me really evaluate my Fanboy mentality, as I contemplate a move over to not only Premiere, but a PC workflow as well.

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:38:42 pm

Same here - overnight conversion from Apple Fanboy. I worship at the Church of Steve no more. At my rantiest, I threw my hands into the air and said "That's it! I'm buying a PC!" Then I calmed down and realised that was just the crazy talking.

I am very concerned about the direction it looks like Lion is going (I like things being unreasonably complicated), but I'm hoping they'll update the macpros tomorrow and that can form the heart of a new edit setup.

So the question I've been wrestling with is: What is that setup going to be?

Going beyond the pros and cons and cons and cons of FCP-X, let's just place me in the anti camp.

So, no on FCP-X. Let's say no on Premiere (although I really need to take a closer look at that - I've only heard good things about it) because I've been forcing production companies and post houses to fit into my FCP7 workflow for years, and the idea of telling them they now all need to invest in Adobe doesn't appeal.

Specifically, my next project is likely to be a collaboration that gets reversioned in Europe. They've wanted Avid files in the past, so let's assume I fold, cut on Avid and hope I get better at it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how I set that system up? How do I colour correct in this post-FCP-Color world? I used to drive everything through my BMD Multibridge, but now it looks like Avid will talk to AJA but not Blackmagic, and Resolve will talk to BM but not AJA. Do I need two systems? Do I rely on plug ins for CC? Do I step away from colour correction altogether and pass off my MC files to a Symphony?

I think the answer to all these questions is Don't Do Anything. Wait and see what happens with MC6 and 64 bit. Wait and try Resolve lite. Wait and watch what happens with thunderbolt. Wait and hope new IO options spring up.

But in the meantime, I keep trying to picture my edit setup next year. I'd just be much happier if that picture were clearer.

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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David Battistella
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:07:36 pm

Rob

I've cut network docs whole life and I just put together a short seven minute film from about two hours of footage. I dove in.

It's a new way of thinking for sure but I have to say that breaking down material is very fast. I worked with several timelines. I was able to organize quickly and efficiently without using tags or keywords at all.

I have to say that I agree with much of your philosophy in this thread and I relate to a lot of what you say.

FCP X pushed my comfort zone at first, but in terms of footage. Seeing all of the material at the bin level is very handy and fast. I am much more interested in seeing footage instantly and this software allows for that like no other NLE.

I'd say when you get a moment run a small project through and you might be pleasantly surprised at how fast breaking down and organizing is - if your willing to explore the logic of how it's laid out.

I think this was made for big doc work. Heavy lifting. I'd have to attack a larger job and only after an update or two. But maybe don't write it off to quickly.

The video is brilliant because it is intelligent storytelling. You are a very good storyteller. The cut might have been quicker in FCP X though. :)

David

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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:32:56 pm

I had to resist the temptation to quit out of MC5 and cut this on FCP7! And I've no doubt X would have been faster still for this.

I think a lot of the strong feelings are down to Apple's handling of the release, and the fact that clearly in its current incarnation (no video output) it doesn't fit into a lot of workflows. A lot of us pushed FCP into corners of the post industry that were highly resistant, and it's hard to feel like we haven't been abandoned (I mean really? No video output?)

I've decided not to wait around hoping that Apple get it right with a next version, and to get on with learning the tools I'll need moving into the next year or two.

But it's great to hear a positive spin on FCP-X - I look forward to hearing how you get on with navigating bigger projects.

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 11:39:17 pm

[Rob Tinworth] " (I mean really? No video output?)"

I truly think this will change with the release of Lion.

I agree that viewing footage is faster and easier than FCP7, even with the single viewer.

There are still some thing to work out (scope placement and shortcuts being one of them), but I think it will get there.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:05:47 am

[Rob Tinworth] " (I mean really? No video output?)"

[Jeremy Garchow] "I truly think this will change with the release of Lion."

For the record, according to an official source at Matrox, "the current shipping version of FCP X, does not have any “hooks” for Pro I/O." You can verify this in the latest published info on their website released earlier today if you wish.

So, Lion has nothing to do with the current situation regarding the absence of video output. Perhaps those hooks will be in a future release of FCP X, but as of this release they are not there for I/O manufacturers to utilize.


David Roth Weiss
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:29:41 am

[David Roth Weiss] "So, Lion has nothing to do with the current situation regarding the absence of video output. Perhaps those hooks will be in a future release of FCP X, but as of this release they are not there for I/O manufacturers to utilize."

Agreed. My prediction is that after lion is released, there will be an update to FCP along with new APIs. We all know they are missing right now.

Since the core of media handling is changing a lot with Lion, I don't see a point in writing hooks that will be obsolete in a few weeks. And why would any developer want to support something that they know will change in a few weeks? Why would Apple release an API that will

This is the eye of the storm. The middle. More weather to come.


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 12:38:08 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "This is the eye of the storm. The middle. More weather to come."

Yes indeed! :)

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tad newberry
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 7:59:30 pm

Let us collectively pray for the appearance of "La Ocho". Apple, be ye listening???

thanks for helping out a bonehead!
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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:04:52 pm

Brilliant video and brilliant post, Rob. I was especially struck by this remark:

[Rob Tinworth] "It's the very 'inefficiency' of FCP7 that immerses me in a project. It's endlessly scrubbing backwards and forwards through the rushes that means that when I'm recutting a scene, I know there's that shot of that thing, which I never thought I'd use, which an assistant editor wouldn't have flagged, which I wouldn't even have looked at, but which turns out to be just the shot I need for this sequence."

I can't overstate how essential what you describe is to my process (and probably many others' as well.) Accidental moments that might be completely missed (and could only be keyworded as "unclassifiable") are often exactly what solves a problem; and at best may take a scene to a whole new level.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:10:35 pm

[David Lawrence] "Accidental moments that might be completely missed (and could only be keyworded as "unclassifiable") are often exactly what solves a problem; and at best may take a scene to a whole new level."

See, things like this are what is so goofy about this conversation. You can still watch all of your footage in FCPx, as a matter of fact, you select the event , and FCP displays every single piece of footage in that event. No need for a bin to get in the way. You can even sort by video only or audio only. This is way easier and faster than FCP7.

FCPx does not prevent you from finding your footage, you do not have to use keywords, smart collections, or whatever.


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:41:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPx does not prevent you from finding your footage, you do not have to use keywords, smart collections, or whatever."

True, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about. What Rob describes is a massively parallel process where relationships develop on-the-fly in the editor's head. It's not just looking for footage; but looking for footage either in relation to the next or preceding shot (a process made more difficult because of the arbitrary removal of the dedicated source viewer) or in a way that may not even make immediate sense. It's much more fluid than the assembly-oriented process that the magnetic timeline dictates.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 11:37:06 am

[David Lawrence] " (a process made more difficult because of the arbitrary removal of the dedicated source viewer)"

Got ya. Yeah, I see what you are saying now. I guess I missed the point about not having a viewer and canvas. The audition feature sort of accounts for this, but no one cares.

The skimmer can also simulate a bit of this as would a keystroke toggling from timeline to browser.

In my opinion the audition feature is pretty cool and a very easy way ro stack options without rebuilding your timeline, but whatever.

I don't think that FCPx shuts down your thinking which seems to be what people are saying/alluding to.


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Chris Harlan
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 3:45:36 am

Loved it. Thanks. Caught my feeling perfectly.


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Glen Hurd
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 4:42:55 am

[Rob Tinworth] "It's the very 'inefficiency' of FCP7 that immerses me in a project. It's endlessly scrubbing backwards and forwards through the rushes that means that when I'm recutting a scene, I know there's that shot of that thing, which I never thought I'd use, which an assistant editor wouldn't have flagged, which I wouldn't even have looked at, but which turns out to be just the shot I need for this sequence.

At a certain point in any edit, I get the feeling that I have the film in my head, like there's an index in my brain. I think that's much more powerful than metadata. Editing is about pictures.
"


Ever since hearing about FCP-X's superior relational-database underpinnings, I've been thinking about this very thing. Not only did Apple drop so much, but the very things they celebrate aren't that critical to good editing. I need a better database? I have one in my head!! And with every project, I have to put it there or there's no way I'm going to maximize the value of what's been shot! And finding rejected footage to solve problems you couldn't possibly predict at the beginning of a project - how does a database help that. Yet every (good) editor will take that trip, hoping for diamonds that were initially thought to be mud.
Ever hear that a picture is worth a thousand words? Now you want me to turn pictures back to words? I get being organized, but this is weird - like trying to convince a sculptor that the next evolution in sculpting is going to revolve around using better paper to draw his sketches on. Seriously.
Again, it's like they had no idea what they were designing for, but they knew they were on to . . . something.

My dad told me a story about a time when the Air Force thought it would be a good idea to update the instruments in our fighters.
With the advent of better sensors, and solid-state electronics, they were able to bring a level of accuracy into the cockpits that had never been seen before. Every gauge brightly displayed the accuracy of each sensor, numbers rolling and shifting to the beat of a new age.
The engineers were most proud.
Only one problem.
The engineers didn't have to fight.

Pilots were impressed at first. (Those were the heady days of fat LED calculators and electronic watches that could blink in sync with the alarm.)
But after a little time, pilots began asking for the old instruments back, preferring the analog displays, though less accurate, to the digital ones.

No, it wasn't fear of change.
No, they weren't intimidated by younger cadets who were more accustomed to reading numbers (as if the older pilots weren't).
The problem was . . . workflow.

With the digital interfaces, if a pilot wanted to see his altitude, he had to read the numbers. 10,152. If he wanted to see his rate of climb, he had to read more numbers. 1,023. If he wanted to know what direction he was heading, or check how close he was to mach . . . well, you get the point. It wasn't that they were smart - it was that they had to do more thinking to get access to information that they wanted yesterday.

This was most apparent in combat, when you really, really, really didn't want to be reading. Glancing was good - microseconds at a time - reading could kill you.

If you google "aircraft cockpit," you'll see even the electronic displays on the most modern craft are primarily circles and arcs and lines. Because pilots need to understand their situation before they take up reading.
And editors need to feel their footage and their story before the need relational databases and cramped single-window nonsense with buried tags telling their audio what the he** track to go to.

Funny to see instruments in modern aircraft whose concept heralds back to the sundial. What is that, 3,500 years? Talk about "paradigm shift."


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David Battistella
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 8:13:26 am

@glen Hurd

You are so right,sometimes we just need a hammer.

Thanks for this story. It's a really nice analogy.

David

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Rafael Amador
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 5:31:07 pm

I work as a one-man-band; making mostly 10/15 minutes documentary-like videos (many ITWs in minorities languages).

When I go to the field, I have half of the video on my head.
I come back home, two or three weeks later, with 20 or 30 hours footage.

I organice, preview, pre-select, edit and script, all at once, directly in FC. Some times I even write a draft text as subtitles directly on the time-line.
The whole movie is just one process, and the edting process start even before going to the field.
But the most of my editing is done whyle previewing.
Whyle I watch a couple of times (normally I have a first preview on the field) my 20 or 30 hours rushes, they gets reduced to 1/10, and all the "best shots" are selcted and safe on few simple sequences.
With those sequences and my head, I don´t need any metadata.
I can´t work the way FCPX proposes.
No sense for me.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:06:49 pm

[Rafael Amador] "I can´t work the way FCPX proposes."

A compound clip will set you straight. Don't even need a timeline to make them. They can easily be scrubbed in the viewer/event. No metadata needed unless you want it. They can be range selected and added to timeline. Way more efficient than copying and pasting from other sequences.

FCPx does not force you to use metadata. It doesn't even force keywords. You can make folders just like bins, no keywords/collections necessary


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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:25:18 pm

Compound clips sound promising.

Like Rafael, I also work by using sequences as selects reels. This is how I orangise all my media, and all my thoughts for that matter.

So if I was to create compound clips to work like a selects reel, am I able within that compound clip to edit clips, (ie top and tail them, cut out the middle when the cameraman forgets to switch off the camera) and then reorder the clips (say establishers first, interview at the end), and highlight clips I think are more promising (in 7 I do this visually by lifting them to V2). Can I see the duration of clips within the compound clip?

With a sequence, I can visually see all this information at a glance, just by looking at the timeline.

How is a compound clip graphically displayed in FCP-X?

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:30:07 pm

[Rob Tinworth] "How is a compound clip graphically displayed in FCP-X?"

Exactly the same as a regular clip. Good luck picking them out from all the rest in a complex project.

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Rupert Shanks
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 6:00:01 pm

Fantastic wee video covering your FCP relationship!


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Rob Tinworth
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 6:39:26 pm

It's funny - a relationship is exactly how it feels. Like 8 years ago I left Avid for a younger NLE. And now that NLE has left me for a new market with bigger tits (and a fatter wallet). And I'm crawling back to Avid begging for forgiveness.

What's been great is the number of people from Avid or who work with Avid who have extended offers to help me get my head around MC or talk through setup.

I really get the sense this is not the Avid I remember, the one that offered the discount upgrade from ABVB to Merdien, and then, the very next week, launched Adrenaline.

I'm still not giving up on FCP7. It still works, and in the words of my favourite comment on the subject: "I'm going to stay with 7 until they pry my cold, dead fingers from the keyboard."

But it was exciting to read about Avid's MC6. BMD support would solve the issue with having Avid+Resolve sitting on the same system. Now if they can just get that timeline sorted out...

Rob Tinworth
http://www.1021.tv


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:09:27 pm

[Rob Tinworth] "Like Rafael, I also work by using sequences as selects reels. This is how I orangise all my media, and all my thoughts for that matter."

Compound clips can be like timelines, or nests really, or they can act just like a clip. So you don't HAVE to put clips in a timeline to organize. (Sidenote: Even if you wanted to do this, you'd open a new "project" and put clips in there, then simply switch from project to project (or timeline to timeline if FCP7 speak). Yes, they aren't tabbed, but there's an interface that isn't so bad. It's more like a web browser, back and forth. Or you copy what want from one timeline, then hit command-0 to switch to Project library, then select your destination timeline.)

In the browser, you get your clips that you'd like to group together and hit command G to make a compound clip.

You can then name it whatever you want.

In the browser the compound clip has a little icon on it that signifies a compound clip that is viewable either in list view or thumbnail view. From there, you can simply "Open in timeline" (or double click) and the compound clip will open in a timeline interface which you can then edit, replace, trim, reorder, whatever. You then copy and paste from the compound to your timeline, or use it however you want to use it. It's scrubbable in the viewer, it's scrubbable in "open in timeline". To see the duration of any given clip, hit control-d from the timeline. You can't see durations skimming a compound clip in the browser, but you couldn't scrub a timeline form the browser in FCP7 anyway. IN FCPx, you can browse the compound clip in the viewer.

If you have a bunch of different timeline selects, you can make a bunch of compound clips and name them something like "WhateverYouWant_Compound" after creating them. You can then make a smart collection to include the word "Compound" and then when you click on that smart collection, you will have all of your compound clips (or in the case of this analogy, all of your selects). Form there, you can scrub and range select, or "open in timeline" and copy paste to your main "project", or whatever. It's quite flexible. If all of your clips are in the browser, you can even skim all of them from beginning to end so you won't be locked to one "timeline".

Is it different than FCP7? Yes. Does it work better or worse? You would have to try it, but I find it better. I find the smart and keyword collections to be ultra useful, even if you edit from select sequences which is how I usually work too, although FCPx is probably going to change that a bit if it's allowed to grow up and become a broadcast ready NLE. Keyword selections will become the select sequences to some degree. Yes, it is a bit different, but really it's the same idea. I wouldn't quite knock it until you try it. If you are already an organized editor, then FCPx will do nothing but help you as it makes it so easy. I'm not joking.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:15:08 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you are already an organized editor, then FCPx will do nothing but help you as it makes it so easy."

As long as you organize the way Apple allows you to organize.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:18:46 pm

[David Lawrence] "As long as you organize the way Apple allows you to organize."

I don't get what you mean.


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:38:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't get what you mean."

Every editor I know has their own organizational style. Mine's likely very different than yours yet both of us get our work done efficiently. Different projects have different organizational demands as well.

I currently find FCPX very strict with how I'm allowed to organize media. It's optimized to do things it's way but as soon as you want to do things in your own style, it tends to get in the way.

For example, I rely on the flexible space of the FCP7 timeline to let me set up all kinds of organizational groupings that I'm making up on the fly as I go through my source material. It's a very fluid, organic process that I don't even think about. Compound clips, metadata, etc. are not a substitute for having an open canvas to play on.

I'm not saying you can't do these types of things in FCPX, you can. But you can't make up your own way to do them. It has to fit FCPX's structured model or you hit a wall. I think this is part of the reason why we see so much resistance to FCPX from many editors.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:42:02 pm

[David Lawrence] "For example, I rely on the flexible space of the FCP7 timeline to let me set up all kinds of organizational groupings that I'm making up on the fly as I go through my source material. It's a very fluid, organic process that I don't even think about. Compound clips, metadata, etc. are not a substitute for having an open canvas to play on."

We will agree to disagree. I don't see why you can't make a new "project", or even use a compound clip as a timeline as I just explained.

[David Lawrence] "It has to fit FCPX's structured model or you hit a wall."

I still don't get it. What wall did you hit? What did you want to do that you couldn't?


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 16, 2011 at 12:12:17 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't see why you can't make a new "project", or even use a compound clip as a timeline as I just explained."

Because doing this forces me out of the context of my main sequence if I want to refine my edits.

When you work in compound clips, it's like working in nests in FCP7. You go into a new timeline outside the context of of your main sequence. For me, this isn't useful most of the time in fact, to this day I rarely use nests except for very specific things. It's similar when working with FCPX projects. There's a context switch that takes you away from where you were working.

I constantly zoom in and out, jump back and forth between sections, etc. all on the same sequence. Copy paste, duplicate, move back and forth. It's very fast and makes for flexible versioning. It's organizing on the fly.

I agree that it's possible to do most everything I normally do in X, but right now it doesn't feel nearly as direct, flexible or efficient as before.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 16, 2011 at 12:41:50 am

[David Lawrence] "I agree that it's possible to do most everything I normally do in X, but right now it doesn't feel nearly as direct, flexible or efficient as before."

Fair enough. I find the connections the hardest part to learn. You can move things around on an FCPx timeline very easily but it is different from FCP7, for sure.

For me, I find FCPx's organization (keywords et al) to be what I always wanted it to be but I guess I'm weird.

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: My Life in FCP
on Jul 16, 2011 at 1:02:58 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "For me, I find FCPx's organization (keywords et al) to be what I always wanted it to be but I guess I'm weird."

I don't think you're weird at all! All those new organizational features - keywords, metadata, etc. are awesome. I love what they offer and have also wanted them for a long time.

Same with smarter object behavior. One thing that's always annoyed me about FCP is how dumb it is about object groups. For example, you can select a group of clips and unlink the audio, but if you make the same selection and want to relink the audio you're out of luck. You have to relink each clip individually. Dumb!

FCPX has tons of awesome that I really like. What I'm skeptical of is the new interaction model. Apple threw away some very efficient, time-tested tools for their new timeline model. And since this is where I do all my work, it really concerns me. I think they could have given us all the awesome without reinventing the wheel. And I'm still waiting for demonstrated proof that the new wheel is more efficient!

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