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Re: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: After a year has perception of FCPX changed?
on May 28, 2012 at 8:29:18 pm

[Liam Hall] "The timeline isn't designed with complex editing in mind. The file structure and media management aren't designed with a busy editor or facility in mind. And the trackless timeline, with its roles/stems, connected clips and storylines... ...well, that's all simply mindless...

Among other things, I find "Events" and "Projects" ill-conceived, and whilst I know there are workarounds, I'm not convinced FCPX is designed with editing in mind. I'm sure FCPX looked good on Randy's powerpoint presentation though."

I think this is all relative. I have a much different view of this. What we see today does not represent a "final" product. It represents the beginnings of an infrastructure. It still needs work, sure, but for an out of the box sharing solution, it's a very decent start, and I wouldn't say it is ill conceived.

First,let me say that I can understand your frustration. X is a totally different beast when it comes to media management and sharing. I am not saying you don't understand it, I'm not discounting your expertise and knowledge, but speaking as someone who is trying to figure this out, I will say it's really different. Certainly different than fcp7, but different from the other big NLEs as well. It most closely rivals Avid's and media100's finder level bin/timeline system, but yet it's different than those as well.

If you have a SAN, especially an XSAN system, the true "facility" level that's built right on to X makes a whole lot of sense. I understand that working with local drives and multiple machines isn't ideal at this point, but if you are a SAN facility, the media management support in X, I find, to be a pretty good start. In my opinion, there was some thought put in to how to share media, Project, Events between many users, relatively easily. The events and projects are separate, and for good reason. The method employed in how X can reference media into many Events means that people can have their own Events, but reference the same media without doubling/tripling media. There's also the Merge Events and other media management commands (such as consolidate). Instead of sending an XML of a bin, timeline, or sending a project with those things as one would in 7, you simply send the Event or Project file itself, and since X has what some might see as a "rigid" file structure, it actually works to an advantage. Quit fcpx, place an event/project in the proper place, relaunch and everything is connected. I imagine at some point we might get an "import Project" dialogue so that you won't have to shut down X to refresh the libraries, and the file system will be taken care of automatically (similar to how the iMovie project import works today).

Sure, some more work is needed, such a being able to trim if you need to dupe media for whatever reason, more robust XML support so that metadata can be passed around outside of fcpx and reimported if need be, and Project only timeline conforms.

Custom filters are also a bit of a kludge at this point, but Andreas Kiel has been working on system that helps to mitigate some of that:

So while it's not perfect, the starting infrastructure is actually pretty interesting, even if all the pieces aren't quite there. It is obvious that Apple has put thought and time in to this, and is thinking of "facility" level sharing. The "SAN Locations" (which serve as an Event/Project check in/check out system of sorts) that are built in to X work pretty well. I think that there's not a lot of people that have SAN's on this forum, and that's understandable, but if you do, I encourage you to take a good look at it. In my mind, it's a rather decent and forward looking start of a shared file system built right in to the NLE, even if it doesn't appear that way at first.

I also think that thunderbolt will make having smaller SAN based systems cheaper and easier than ever, but that is just more speculation.

I'm not saying this system will work for everyone, or even that you will like it, but in my opinion, there's some real thought put in to how this system will work, and it will take sometime for it to get there.


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