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

Re: CHALLENGED! Making transition from FCP7 to FCPX

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Andrew Johnstone
Re: CHALLENGED! Making transition from FCP7 to FCPX
on Aug 9, 2018 at 8:37:55 am

I have been forced to start cutting on FCPX as my main client now using it as their primary edit tool for features.

Like many others I have found the transition deeply frustrating and some of the comments here in this thread are, it seems to me, 'unhelpful'. Specifically:

1) Suggesting that FCPX is 'all about the story' suggests that every other edit tool is not. I am not aware that FCPX serves the story any better then any other NLE and i am not aware of having being unable to tell stories in Premier or FCP7 before now. So this is unhelpful twaddle. The idea that the magnetic timeline works some sort of magic is a nonsense. The track tool in Premier of FCP7 allowed you to move the entire story line down the timeline to build a new sequence in the middle of the film or copy and paste a sequence form elsewhere (including from another edit) and slot it in. The 'add gap' tool in FCPX is just a bit less handy than the track tool.

2) 'forgetting tracks' is also nonsense because FCPX uses tracks it just renames them as 'storylines'. Audio lanes mimics audio tracks and I can see that assigning roles to specific audio puts them on different 'lanes' but I can't see that the same is true of assigning roles to video clips. In other NLE's the ability to order video tracks so that you have say sync on track 1 and cutaways on Track 2 allows you to very easily create a sequence and shift things about. You can then add specific trans for alpha channels or grades (in Premier Pro) and build mini title animations or layered fast cut edits. etc. This kind of precise cuttign still seems to be much easier to achieve in a classic track based NLE like Premier.

3) 64 bit v 32 bit aside, FCPX is not necessarily 'faster'. There are plenty of people who have cut 1/2hrs for broadcast in a day on all manner of systems including on FCP7. You are up and running on Premier Pro much more quickly than you are on FCPX as you don't need to wait for the machine to churn to ingest & transcode footage. The biggest beef I have with FCPX so far is how it handles media. I have had to use Edit ready to transcode P2 media to ProRes Quicktime files on my last project and one of my colleagues had issues with Canon Log, which again needed to be transcoded for FCPX to play with it. FCPX saves me no hard drive space as the workflow I have settles on to the safe is that everything should go through Edit Ready before it gets imported into FCPX. This is partly due to point 4 ...(below)

4) Sharing projects seems problematic. I took the (very) rough cut into the client for final cutting. They loaded my XML without a hitch. We produced a first cut. The Series Editor asked for some script changes. I brought the XML back to my studio and none of my source material would relink to the new XML. The reason? FCPX it seems had created a load of proxy files on the client system (links to ProRes files) that I could not relink on my system. I have since learned that for grading the colourist will require the entire project (sorry "library' - minor gripe, but why use different language when referring to everything. WTF is an 'event'...?) rather than an XML. Ok, this would be the case on FCP7, but nonetheless, FCPX is not proving to be any smarter at handling/managing media than FCP7 which required a consolidated project file for post. Worse, the OMFs that FCPX exports for audio dubbing are, I am told< a shocking mess.

5) Adapting to this system has taken most of the editors i know a huge amount of time. Now for old dogs to learn new tricks is not a bad thing, but just think for a minute about how much time, collectively everyone has had to waste learning this application. It has caused days of down time with my main client and I have spent endless hours looking at Youtube and other tutorials trying to figure out how to make this system work. Compare that with the amount of time I spent learning Premier or Davinci Resolve - about an hour and you're up and running. If the system were some holy grail then it might be worth it, but to end up working on an NLE that is actually not quite as good as others out there is just crap.

Those points not withstanding and given that I have to learn this system my requests are these:
1) can the magnetic timeline be turned off? Sorry it is very annoying. I can see some benefits, but it would be good to be able to disable it.
2) can I scrub/preview clips in the preview window rather than having to do this in the bins
3) Can I have a track tool!
4) Is it possible to layout my desktop and resize windows as I need them? There only seems to be fixed layouts and you cannot resize windows. This is a major loss from FCP7. And each time I restart FCPX I have to manually reposition stuff to my seccon screen, even though I have saved my desktop layout. What is that all about...?

Given the choice, I would be cutting on Premier...just in case anyone was wondering...every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Thanks for any thoughts.


Andy Johnstone
Wild Dog Limited
film & multimedia production

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