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Re: Resolve XII...

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Tim Wilson
Re: Resolve XII...
on Jul 29, 2015 at 5:18:11 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Do you really see walled-off separate crafts? Look at your own sig: "promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics." "

It's not walled-off crafts. It's walled-off applications.

The thinking goes, "Adobe could have integrated AE and Premiere, and "Avid could have integrated Pro Tools and Media Composer," "Apple could have integrated Final Cut Pro and Motion."

There are four reasons why it hasn't happened. In the case of Adobe and Avid, it hasn't happened after 20 years. With Apple, it's been 16. But those four reasons are...insurmountable is the wrong word, but it's close. See what I mean.

1) The essential codebases came from different places. Pro Tools After Effects, and Final Cut Pro Legacy were adopted by their current parents. None of these pairs was designed to work together at the root level, and to use Aindreas' wonderful phrase, you can't bolt this stuff on.

2) The applications work at cross purposes. To oversimplify, editing is horizontal and compositing is vertical. To put it another way, editing is Time, and motion graphics is Space.

No matter how many layers an NLE TIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMMMMELLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNE has, or whatever the F FCPX cares to call it, and no matter how nonlinear the creative process, the orientation of production is forward in time. The layers are more organizational than compositional.

Compositing sometimes wants to hide the layers, but the spatial nature of motion graphics more often wants to expose them.

That is, the 400 layer stack is INTENDED to show depth and complexity, even if the viewer can't describe what they're seeing as "lots of layers."

Pro Tools in that sense is spatially oriented BOTH to hide the layers AND expose them. You want to hear the birds and monkeys in the jungle, but you still want to hear the voices, and all of them are perceived to originate from different points IN SPACE. Hence, SPATIAL organization, rather than temporal.

3) The requirements of the two creative process require such incredibly different toolsets that, Flame, Pablo, Baselight notwithstanding, no single interface could contain the full range of each of them. The requirements for modal interfaces to support them is impossible to manage, because each of those applications have modal interfaces, disguised to one degree or another, but inescapably modal at the source.

The more of these you add, the harder it is for users to use them, and the harder it is to develop.

4) Which brings us to the kicker: so few people need the full richness of both feature sets that there's no way to monetize the superhuman efforts to overcome obstacles 1-3.

Even though most editors do graphics and graphics people do editing, most editors will never work with 3D cameras or need to support 25,000 pixel x 1125 pixel layers or whatever crazy aspect ratios a tradeshow video might require. (Right, Walter?) The graphics artist creates THAT, and the editor manages the HD or 4K or 8K visible window.

Or for Avid, every Media Composer editor needs audio features, even if Pro Tools guys don't need editing. The whole model is around picture lock, as indeed most VFX creation is. EDITING may be nonlinear, but not top-level audio or VFX.

There have been 2 *desktop* apps that have tried to have it both ways, and one more that tried to have it 5 ways.

The 5-way app was Liquid, but it was BEYOND modal. There was even a mode that let you choose between the "classic" interface and the new "modern" interface using a fundamentally different visual language and organizational scheme. In 2004!

It was EXACTLY like it would be for Apple to have a pref checkbox to select between a Legacy UI and media management scheme and one app. It would have been a disaster, and it would have been foolhardy to even attempt.

You could in fact do some nifty stuff to extend DVD authoring far beyond markers in the timeline for example, but it was ultimately too dear a price to pay.

***Sidebar begins***
I'm sorry that this is getting so complicated, but I'll add one more twist for Liquid. I wasn't in charge of development in any way, but once it came to Avid, I was very much responsible for a meaningful part of its marketing and industry support.

So I had to cultivate reviewers who could understand five feature sets MULTIPLIED BY TWO, because we wanted to continue to sell to editors more comfortable with the old ways, AND comfortable with the new ones.

A forehead-slapping moment was when the reviewer who best understood both the modern and legacy interfaces used each of them to illustrate how the other was a failure.


***Sidebar ends***

A more analagous example is Sony Vegas, which grew out of Sonic Foundry. Mr. Rofrano is the expert here (and perhaps the single most expert expert in the known galaxy -- he probably knew that Pluto was a planet all along), but speaking as an observer and former plug-in development guy, it appears that you can in fact do terrific audio work in Vegas.

Now that I think about it, you can also do some terrific effects work and DVD set-up in Vegas, so they may be trying to have it FOUR ways, to varying degrees of success.

(Modal, modal, pants on fire.)

But there still comes a time when you need to go into a specialized application for greater depth, whether in audio (spatial) or DVD authoring (spatial menus plus temporal timelines) so, unlike Pinnacle, Sony does in fact sell specialized apps for each of those.

The MOST analagous example is actually FCP. It arguably did the best non-Sony Vegas job of any application to integrate compositing and editing. In some ways, I think even better than Vegas.

But who actually used the full range of effects in FCP? NOBODY. And neither FCP nor Vegas has much to offer in the way of motion graphics. Neither application does entirely what it needs to do for title animation. Neither actually comes close.

So both users turn to After Effects, and the Apple guys add Motion to the mix.

And, to wave the flag for the former applications for which I WAS the product manager, many users ALSO had some combination of products from Boris FX in the mix.

Which means that any effort to enrich the entire toolsets by merging them will never pay off, for either developers or users.

From the user's perspective, it's better for developers to focus on better links between horizontally and vertically oriented environments, and to make each of them, independently, be the best they can be for the customers who need each of to BE the best.

Walter, you may be the only person on earth who needs both sets of editing and motion graphics to the extremes that you you can imagine the nightmare of that degree of modality, the drain on development, the drain on performance, and the cost of merging 100% of them.

All of which, incidentally, is why Pablo, Baselight, and Flame keep selling, even though they cost a fortune: the cost it takes to develop them, and the uniquely-tuned hardware requirements to enable that kind of performance.

And the difference between them and Adobe, Avid, and Apple is that the different environments they're trying to merge all came from the same place. But the scope of the work costs THAT MUCH to develop.

To extend the example one more time, Flame and Maya are ultimately two different applications for allllll of the reasons above.

So IN PRACTICE, it doesn't work. It CAN'T work on any of the four vectors: merging incompatible code bases, merging two otherwise incompatible orientations (time and space), merging incompatible feature sets, and the potential to monetize this superhuman effort, because the effort to create all this is humongous, and the number of customers to pay for it is miniscule.

All of which is why the merging of Resolve and Fusion will never happen. The freemium model would bear an unimaginable weight.

Raised a quantum level of difficulty because NEITHER codebase comes from BMD.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

This forum is replete with examples of my confident assertions that have been proven wrong, but I don't think I am this time. I think anyone who has spent much time in either will understand in an instant what a bad idea this is.

And as I've noted, the existence of somebody who needs the full range of feature sets and NOT named Walter Soyka is only theoretical, and otherwise easily disproved.

And Walter, I'm not sure that even YOU need the full range of features in both Resolve and Fusion so badly that it would be worth BMD's effort to merge them.

Avid and Adobe have had 20 years to do it, Apple has had 16, and it hasn't happened yet, and those are the four biggest reasons why. There are of course others, but I have to end this post eventually.

And that time is now. LOL

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