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Re: Why do users say FCP X is fast? Some new numbers.

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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Why do users say FCP X is fast? Some new numbers.
on Aug 22, 2015 at 12:19:34 am

Hi Christian,

well, FCPX has a 'better performance' and 'better quality' button. It seems simple, and in my opinion, just simple enough. In one it will try to optimalize to give you a smooth playback, but at reduced resolution, whatever it has to go to, to give you that. And the other is full quality.

I *really* like the simplicity of the one-button switch for proxy workflow. I don't disagree with everything you say in the sense that I think Apple could give some more options (although I don't miss it with the playback control, and I even prefer the current solution).
I would like it that you could choose which kind of Prores you want to use for optimizing. Now it's Prores 422, or when working with RED RAW, Prores 444.
I also would like some easier control over where to put Proxies and that the Proxy Mode would also make clips with alpha channel into a kind of proxy 4444.
And it would be nice that clips that you didn't convert to Prores Proxy just have a yellow warning signal when you are in Proxy mode, but would still play in the timeline. Now you just can't see them. Pitty.
But I think Apple will give more options. It has already when talking about placement of Proxies, the Library Structure, etc. ...
But I also think, just like with a lot of their software, they try to think about what is necessary and what is too much. Of course that could be different for everyone, but I think FCPX's simplicity works in it's advantage a lot of the times. Like with the Better Performance or Better Quality choice. Simple. Clear.

And I really think some of the examples are weird. The post you reply to is complaining about how you don't have storage to make Apple Prores Proxy. But this is a CHOICE. You can also Optimize. You can also stay Raw. You could also use Resolve to make light weight H.264's and link back to the R3D's in Resolve. (I wouldn't recommend it, but you can do it). How is this much different then Premiere or Avid?
Personally, I've even been able to play 4K R3D on a Macbook air with a USB 3 drive, so I really don't think performance is bad, but I also haven't worked with 20hours a week R3D 4K or higher resolution material, with the work-load of a feature. But from what I read on REDUSER, I'm not sure if Premiere is all that much better in performance with R3D RAW then FCPX. I read a lot of the oppossite, to be honest. I don't have my own experience, I haven't touched Premiere in a couple of years.

And complaining about editing 6K material being sluggish without making Proxies... Even in Hollywood (Gone Girl) they were using 2K Prores to edit with.
6K is still very new, very high demanding (4K is very demanding for computers, 6K is a LOT more data even, in most cases). I don't know if this is completely fair, or an FCPX problem. Or an issue where FCPX is very sluggish and Avid and Premiere is supersmooth. Again, I have my own experience in FCPX, but also read a lot on Reduser. Since when is 6K native editing something normal and is it a big software fault if it doesn't happen supersmooth? Eh? I think you would have trouble doing it in any NLE.

I do agree that FCPX used to get a bit sluggish in the user interface. Newer hardware and the latest updates (10.2) have done a lot to remedy that, however.

I don't know if the 'my way of the highway' thing is so specific to FCPX, or more because people aren't used to how FCPX does some stuff and a lot of the track-based NLE's work pretty much the same way in a lot of ways. I could also complain that Avid and Premiere and FCP7 FORCE me to use bins instead of keyword collections. But in FCPX I actually have MORE choice. I would work with Keyword collections like folders. I could drop folders from Finder in it, and it will take the name of the folder as a keyword collection (it has some caveats though). But I have EXTRA options. Of making smart collections (which Premiere had in it's latest update to, I believe?). I can have overlapping parts with clips having multiple keywords? Which most people see as a MORE flexible way of working, not a less flexible.
I could keep all my media external. I can copy it to the library. I can consolidate it outside. I can work with clips where I use them as secondary clips instead of putting it on the primary or use the position tool and have a lot (not all) of the magneticism gone. Or I could work more with the magnetic timeline (which is faster in *a lot * and I would dare to say *most* cases).

About users vocalizing it's flaws instead of evangilizing... First of, I have a bullet list of things that I want Apple to do differently with FCPX or change, or add. I send it to their feedback page once in a while, mostly after a new update is out and I cut out the stuff that has changed that was on my list.
I also think a lot of people here using it a lot (Charlie, Jeremy, Oliver, ...) often say in a thread "it would be handy if you could do...". But it comes from using it a lot.

I could reverse the question. Why, if we talk about other track-based NLE's, don't we talk about the fact that you have to patch tracks? That bins can't have the overlapping flexibility of keyword collections? That I have to make 3 tracks where in X I have an Audition feature, where I can try clips out, and all the rest of the timeline adjusts itself even if you put markers on clips in the Audition? Why do they force me of looking for clips manually in a timeline, instead of me being able to search trough a Timeline Index?
They force you just as much as X does. Maybe not in the same arenas though.
And considering that X is pretty new, has a different way of working, has a very bad reputation (partly because of ignorance, partly because of a -very- bad launch by Apple), I think a lot of people praising it after using it, can be PERCEIVED as Evangilizing. And I think the software could use it too.
Not because we think people are stupid and we are geniuses. Because a lot of use complained about how stuff worked in X too, and learned along the way that we just had to get used to new stuff and looking back, we talk about our own faults and experience when we talk about how most people that first work with X hate stuff because they haven’t learned to use it ‘correctly’.
And we notice that some of us *really* think now it’s faster than a lot of track-based NLE’s in a lot of editorial tasks, and to be quite frank, a lot more fun too.

I'll give you an example. Last year I did a demo on X in Belgium. Apple, in combination with a provider of editing systems in Belgium, did a kind of small event for the launch of the new Mac Pro. I saw teachers from high school passing by. Before I did my demo they came to me and they literally said: "you can try to convince us to use X, but you're not gonna succeed. We work on 7, we tried X, we don't like it, we hate it, we're gonna stay with that, but you can try to give your demo."

I showed them X, they completely reversed course after my demo, and I got a mail from them last month that they finally got permission to buy X-licenses for the school and they asked if I could come and teach the teachers of the school how to work with it.
A lot of people in the audience where people from broadcast, camera-men, editors, etc. ...
Most of them had only heard bad stuff about X, had tried it a couple of times, hated it, etc. ... When they saw it in action by someone who knew it (not only talking about myself) and the time they could speed up stuff with 3rd party products like Sync' N Link and Shot Notes, these people gasped and/or laughed OUT LOUD.
With some of the tricks you could sense this holy fuck mood going trough the room.
A lot of people came to ask questions afterwards. Those people all were clients from the editing-systems provider and he told me most of them where VERY sceptic about X before they went in, and he got A LOT more interest afterwards.
You can call it evangilizing, I don't mind that. But the term insinuates that I think it's all holy and I don't have a critical voice. I do. I used Premiere. I went to FCP7. I used that for years before I used X. I hated it first. I still have stuff that I critisize. I don't mind sharing you my bullet list once if you would be inclined.

But I do disagree with *most* examples given here, and some of the complaints made. I notice that I disagree much less with complaints made by Jeremy or Charlie. I suppose because I notice a lot more experience in their complaints. That being said, I enjoy the civilized discussion. Let's keep it going ;-)


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