APPLE FINAL CUT PRO: Apple Final Cut Pro X FCPX Debates FCP Legacy FCP Tutorials

Re: Is this why the new Mac Pro has been taking so long?

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Is this why the new Mac Pro has been taking so long?
on Apr 1, 2017 at 5:05:03 pm

[Joe Marler] "This was true before widespread use of 4k cameras. The nMP was released in 2013, and probably some design work done in 2012. In 2012 few people envisioned that by 2017, 4k acquisition would be this widespread. Back then people thought the limited 4k distribution and playback infrastructure would diminish the need for 4k acquisition and editing, leading to slow adoption."

It's an old cycle though. DV (and MPEG-2 DVD) was a drag on computers until the early 2000's (an editing PC I built in '99 had a hardware card designed to improve real-time DV playback). Computers got faster, storage got cheaper and fewer people need to do the offline/online dance with SD. Then HD came out and all of a sudden our computers were 'slow' again and offline/online came back. I remember HDV just being a slide show on most computers back then. Now we are seeing the same thing with HD and 4K.

And it's not just the frame sizes it's the codecs as well. Even when computers could play a very compressed codec back okay like HDV (MPEG2) or XDCAM EX (MPEG4) a less compressed codec like ProRes or DNx would still perform better. So that was trade off (and still is today). Even with the Mercury Playback Engine you'll still get better performance using ProRes or DNx than you will using camera native codecs, but if using the camera native codec is 'good enough' then people will go that route. That's certainly what I have done.

6 or 7 years ago I'd always know what cameras were using during production so that I could properly setup FCP 7 or Avid. These days when I'm using PPro I generally don't need to know. The last three docs I've worked on with PPro I couldn't tell you what cameras were used other than it was a mix of DSLRs, some higher-end handicams and the occasional Alexa shoot.

[Joe Marler] "I've seen countless cases where recreational editors are mystified at why their computer became so slow at video editing -- "it's only a GoPro/iPhone/DJI clip", they say. "

A recreational editor isn't going to drop $6,000 on a beefy computer though. They'll being using an iMac or MB and cutting with proxies or optimized media in FCP X which is exactly what Apple intended.

[Joe Marler] "If Apple knew this was going to happen back in 2012, and if they weren't going to release an updated nMP until 2017, they might have designed the nMP differently with more upgrade options. "

Steve Jobs' vision for Apple since day one has been to release sealed box, computing appliances and the Mac Pro was the last hold out against that philosophy. I don't think Apple would've changed the design of the nMP because Apple's solution to the problem is to use proxy editing. If Apple wants a faster nMP all they have to do is release a faster nMP.

Maybe Oliver and other's are correct in guessing that Apple will release another MP. Maybe the product cycle will be once every 5 years or so (big leaps as opposed to incremental improvements).

[Oliver Peters] "Right now, that's only two films ☺ But in general, that's because they are either working with actual FCPX proxy files or externally generated "proxies" for editorial."

I had to refresh my memory, but "Focus" was cut at online rez. It was shot in anamorphic 2048 x 1536 ProRes 4444 and then converted/ de-squeezed to 2048x1152 ProRes 4444 for editing. They had 145 hours of footage so that's around... 25TB of data. I think working w/online media was one of the feather's in X's cap on that project.

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