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Taking FCPX out for a new test drive

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greg janza
Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:07:46 pm

I work almost exclusively in Premiere so I don't stay current with what's happening with FCPX and I rarely take it for a spin.

However, I recently was asked to do a project on FCPX and so I had a new opportunity to give it a try.

I have to say that the FCPX engine is powerful. It's hyper intuitive and efficient. That's something I love about it. It almost knew what I wanted to do with my timeline before I did it. Also within the timeline, the workflow of editing is very nice and very quick. It's easy to manipulate video and audio and the lack of tracks is always liberating in comparison to the traditional approach.

But the down side of FCPX continues to be a deal breaker for me. I have two OWC Thunderbay raids that are pc formatted because I primarily edit on a pc so the raids are connected to my mac through ethernet. Can I use these raids with FCPX? Nope. At least not easily. I looked through this forum and I know there's some workaround apps to assist with getting shares to work but it's not easy.

Exporting out a timeline while simple on the face of it, isn't simple. I've yet to get FCPX to successfully export a master file. It goes through all of the motions just fine but the finished pro-res is unopenable in any and all apps. Again I researched this issue and there's a wide variety of reasons why this might not be working correctly. I can export a H264 to vimeo but I can't make any real export adjustments other than frame size.

If all of my problems are a result of my lack of FCPX knowledge then perhaps this critique isn't quite fair. However, I've scoured the features of FCPX enough to know that there remains a list of things that are virtually a no brainer in Premiere and previously the old FCP, but in FCPX require either helper apps or workarounds to accomplish. That continuing lack of basic professional features remains so frustrating that it cancels out the positives.

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Andy Neil
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 7:23:38 pm

[greg janza] "I have two OWC Thunderbay raids that are pc formatted because I primarily edit on a pc so the raids are connected to my mac through ethernet. Can I use these raids with FCPX? Nope. At least not easily."

How are your raids formatted? Are you using ExFAT? If so, then they can be used with a MacOS as long as you format with the cluster size below 1024. I've read up on that recently for a friend who received RED footage on PC formatted drives. But this is an OS compatibility issue, and not one related to FCPX (unless you're referring to something else). I don't think it's fair to blame FCPX for not being able to use your OWC raids if you've formatted them for PC. I mean, if I handed you a drive formatted for the Mac, would you blame your PC premiere for not being able to work with the drive?

[greg janza] "I've yet to get FCPX to successfully export a master file. It goes through all of the motions just fine but the finished pro-res is unopenable in any and all apps."

This is not normal. I can and have exported master files all the time on FCPX. It's bloody easy. Even easier than Premiere I'd say. Without knowing what you're going through, I can't tell if the problem is operator error or something wrong with your install of FCP/other computer problem. But there's definitely nothing wrong with exporting master files for me anyway.

[greg janza] "However, I've scoured the features of FCPX enough to know that there remains a list of things that are virtually a no brainer in Premiere and previously the old FCP, but in FCPX require either helper apps or workarounds to accomplish."

Such as? Keep in mind, that you pay $400 one time for FCPX, and you pay $50-60 for Premiere every month, so not having things like OMF export built in isn't a huge deal for me, since I can just make another one time purchase for the plug-in app that gives me that functionality. Apple chose to focus solely on the editing with FCPX and since the INs and OUTs of cooperative work would change constantly, leave that compatibility up to third party makers. It's a decision you can agree or disagree with, but I actually like the fact that it's built the way it is and I don't have to pay for features I never use. What features are no-brainers in Premiere and not so in FCPX. I'm honestly curious because I use both and I struggle to think of much that Premiere does intuitively better than FCPX.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 7:55:59 pm

[Andy Neil] " I don't think it's fair to blame FCPX for not being able to use your OWC raids"

The point of bringing that into the critique is simply comparing the FCPX experience to Premiere. My raids work just fine on my pc and mac with premiere. They are ntfs and I wouldn't imagine that it would be an issue at all in FCPX but it is.


[Andy Neil] "Apple chose to focus solely on the editing with FCPX"

yes, and it's the strongest aspect of the program. But editing the material is only half of the journey.



[Andy Neil] "What features are no-brainers in Premiere"

exporting a H264 with detailed compression settings like bitrate limiting. And i know i can push it to compressor but then another app purchase needs to be made. Kind of a slippery slope if you want to think of FCPX as a bargain app.

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Steve Connor
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:11:28 pm

[greg janza] "but then another app purchase needs to be made. Kind of a slippery slope if you want to think of FCPX as a bargain app.
"


Because Compressor is sooooo expensive :)


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:29:47 pm

[Steve Connor] "Because Compressor is sooooo expensive :)"

funny. the cost is obviously nominal.

Happily I've found the bug of exporting a master file. If I select a range of the entire timeline it'll export out but if I just select share as master file without selecting a range first then it won't work. odd.

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Brian Seegmiller
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 6, 2017 at 3:11:53 am

I don't have to select a range to export a master file as long as the Timeline is the active section. You can set up custom encodes as presets in compressor and than you can make them available in FCP X. One benefit of sending to compressor is it won't stop encoding as you continue to edit in FCP X. When using Media Encoder with your queued media it will stop while you play your sequence in PP.

With third party apps, they can be updated sooner instead of waiting for Apple or others to do it. It might not even be a priority.


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Andy Neil
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 9:18:44 pm

[greg janza] "They are ntfs and I wouldn't imagine that it would be an issue at all in FCPX but it is.
"


I don't have any NTFS drives to test this, but if true, that's a semi-legitimate complaint. But still it's more or less the price of doing work on both PC and Mac systems. It's a pain, I know, but at least Mac can view files on NTFS and ExFAT and FAT32 drives. PCs can't read any OS formatted drives and never have been able to. In my mind, it's the PC that's the real problem here.

[greg janza] "exporting a H264 with detailed compression settings like bitrate limiting. And i know i can push it to compressor but then another app purchase needs to be made. Kind of a slippery slope if you want to think of FCPX as a bargain app.
"


There is no slippery slope here. There are two additional apps that are HIGHLY recommended if you're using FCPX professionally: Motion and Compressor. They're $50 each which brings your total FCPX suite to $500. From there, you only need to purchase additional apps for specific workflow needs. Personally, the most helpful is the X2Pro for getting audio to pro tools. But now I question how necessary that is with the newest version of Resolve, and it's audio editing capabilities (which can read FCPXML).

Are there any other "no brainer" things that premiere does better? I'm just trying to see if there's an aspect of FCPX you're not aware of because you're more versed in Premiere. You mentioned a list of things.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 10:11:31 pm

[Andy Neil] "at least Mac can view files on NTFS and ExFAT and FAT32 drives. PCs can't read any OS formatted drives and never have been able to. "

PC's are surprisingly versatile these days and that's partly why I migrated from mac to pc. I have no issues reading any kind of drive on the PC side. I also don't think of it as a PC failing since I've had no issues with Premiere on either the mac side or pc side reading from raids or external drives.

[Andy Neil] "Are there any other "no brainer" things that premiere does better?"

Let me work in fcpx a bit more so that I don't sound uninformed. Perhaps the list is shorter than I think.

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Andy Neil
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:25:40 pm

[greg janza] "I have no issues reading any kind of drive on the PC side"

Wait a second. Windows can read Mac OS formatted drives now? Then that's your solution. Format your RAID for the Mac and then you can use it on both systems with no issues.

[greg janza] "Let me work in fcpx a bit more so that I don't sound uninformed. Perhaps the list is shorter than I think.
"


I thinking you may be right. I work with both. There little that Premiere can do better and more intuitively than FCPX (keyframing comes to mind), but I don't find either deficient in capabilities. Also, there are several things that FCPX does much better than Premiere. Bottom line, they're both fully capable in a professional work environment. I'm a pro and I have both. I usually work on FCPX at home because I like editing on it far more than any other NLE.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 6, 2017 at 3:56:01 am

[Andy Neil] "Format your RAID for the Mac and then you can use it on both systems with no issues."

not an option since the raid is formatted for pc so that I can use it with thunderbolt on pc.

Howard, I'll try your suggestion and see if the raid is happier with FCPX.

Adobe Premiere 2017.1.1
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Samsung SSD 850 EVO Adobe cache
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OWC Thunderbay 12t x 2 in Raid10 configuration (thru Storage Spaces and Disk Management)


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Howard Duy Vu
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 6, 2017 at 1:38:09 am

[Andy Neil] "I don't have any NTFS drives to test this, but if true, that's a semi-legitimate complaint. But still it's more or less the price of doing work on both PC and Mac systems. It's a pain, I know, but at least Mac can view files on NTFS and ExFAT and FAT32 drives. PCs can't read any OS formatted drives and never have been able to. In my mind, it's the PC that's the real problem here."

Hi guys, I can report that an NTFS-formatted RAID should work, because that's what we use. Our shared storage runs Windows Server 2012, and shares the RAID through 10GbE fiber using the SMB protocol. The only limitation is that you have to run the libraries LOCALLY, which I suspect could be your problem. So to sum up: you have to run your libraries (for a Premiere user, this is like your project file) locally, either directly off the internal drive, or a drive that's a directly connected external drive. All media and cache can be on your shared RAID, externally managed. Don't store any media in the library, that's the key.



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Bret Williams
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 7, 2017 at 3:55:12 pm

While $500 is pretty cheap, your math is suspect. It's only $400 ($397 actually).

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Andy Neil
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 7, 2017 at 5:40:58 pm

[Bret Williams] "While $500 is pretty cheap, your math is suspect. It's only $400 ($397 actually).
"


My math is always suspect.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Joe Marler
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 6, 2017 at 12:56:06 pm

[greg janza] " I have two OWC Thunderbay raids that are pc formatted because I primarily edit on a pc so the raids are connected to my mac through ethernet. Can I use these raids with FCPX? Nope....My raids work just fine on my pc and mac with premiere. They are ntfs..."

macOS cannot write to NTFS volumes, only read from them. Your observed problems may have less to do with FCPX than with your storage configuration. I actually don't see how Premere is even working in that config, unless your project and scratch files are not on that RAID. In general nobody using a Mac should expect normal read/write app behavior on an NTFS volume.

Mac users needing write access to NTFS will often use Paragon NTFS: https://www.paragon-software.com/ufsdhome/ntfs-mac/

I use Paragon when I infrequently need write access -- for any Mac app, not just FCPX -- to NTFS volumes and it works fine, including for FCPX.

But you are apparently not directly connecting your Mac to the RAID, but using ethernet. Unless that's 10 gig, that will cut your I/O performance (for both Premiere and FCPX) to a fraction of what's available from the RAID, so this would not be a good configuration for evaluation. This is especially so for FCPX which does many database I/O calls.

However using network-attached storage may explain why Premiere works at all. In that case the file I/O calls are translated by the network layer to remote filesystem I/O calls, so this can buffer an app from dependency on a specific file system.

Why FCPX doesn't work perfectly in that case, I don't know. If using libraries on an SMB share, this requires 10.3.x to work properly: http://www.studionetworksolutions.com/final-cut-pro-libraries-with-smb-shar...

If you want to evaluate FCPX from a feature or performance standpoint, it's probably better to put those files on locally attached storage, then after that evaluation you can investigate how best to make that work for network-attached storage. It is definitely possible and people do this frequently. But using both Premiere and FCPX with local storage would simplify the evaluation and ensure you aren't being thrown off track by items unrelated to the product.


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:49:12 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:55:06 pm

[Joe Marler] "But you are apparently not directly connecting your Mac to the RAID, but using ethernet. Unless that's 10 gig, that will cut your I/O performance (for both Premiere and FCPX) to a fraction of what's available from the RAID"

whether it's the ethernet connection or some other aspect of my setup, the ntfs formatted raid works fine on the mac and it can read and write.

and yes, there's a hit on speed by having it connected through ethernet but that's ok because I do most of my editing on the pc side.


[Joe Marler] "If you want to evaluate FCPX from a feature or performance standpoint, it's probably better to put those files on locally attached storage"

I'm currently using FCPX with local storage since I can't get FCPX to see my raid.

Adobe Premiere 2017.1.1
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Samsung SSD 850 EVO Adobe cache
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Richard Herd
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 6, 2017 at 4:04:53 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on Jun 6, 2017 at 5:37:43 pm

[greg janza] " I have two OWC Thunderbay raids that are pc formatted because I primarily edit on a pc so the raids are connected to my mac through ethernet"

How are you getting your macs to see the drives?

Are you plugging the drives directly into the mac or are you using the connect to a server command?


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:38:30 pm

[Richard Herd] "How are you getting your macs to see the drives?"

Yes, I'm just connecting to a server and selecting the raid. However, I'm also not using Apple's built in file sharing at all.

In preferences I have file sharing turned off. The built in OSX file sharing just isn't very good so I'm using SMBup. It's a complete replacement for Apple's built in file sharing protocol. There's other replacement file sharing apps out there but this one has worked well for me.

It's a direct ethernet connection to my pc and so the transfer speed is fast enough to edit on the mac with the raid as the media drive.

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Richard Herd
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 6, 2017 at 11:39:06 pm

[greg janza] "The built in OSX file sharing just isn't very good so I'm using SMBup"

Interesting. I haven't tried it with FCPX, but the normal connect cmd-K (also Go > Connect to server) from the finder supports SMB, CIFS, NFS, AFP. Then you have to put in the server address using the protocol you want. For example:

smb://[ip address]


here's a detailed video





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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 7, 2017 at 4:55:09 pm

Richard, thanks for the informational video but my problem is localized to FCPX only. I have no problem sharing my pc formatted raid with my mac. The only issue I have is that within FCPX, I can't select the raid. FCPX doesn't see it as a viable share.

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Richard Herd
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 7, 2017 at 8:27:45 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on Jun 7, 2017 at 8:39:24 pm

Did you watch the second half of the video? And I'd imagine the Library cant be hosted on the NTFS volume, but is it possible to import and the media, from the NTFS volume to a Library stored on an HFS+ volume?


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive (edited)
on Jun 8, 2017 at 4:51:28 am

Richard, sorry, i didn't fully pay attention the first time to the difference in how the shared folder was set up in that video and how i had my raid share set up.

I shared a folder from the raid with that process and voila, all works now. FCPX works fine with the NTFS raid and I can save the FCPX library to the raid as well. Thanks!

Adobe Premiere 2017.1.1
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Samsung SSD 850 EVO Adobe cache
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Bill Davis
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 10, 2017 at 8:15:26 pm

[greg janza] "If all of my problems are a result of my lack of FCPX knowledge then perhaps this critique isn't quite fair. However, I've scoured the features of FCPX enough to know that there remains a list of things that are virtually a no brainer in Premiere and previously the old FCP, but in FCPX require either helper apps or workarounds to accomplish. That continuing lack of basic professional features remains so frustrating that it cancels out the positives."

And after several dozen posts, it turns out the OPs entire problem was an extremely simple to fix in X.

Can we all just agree that anytime anyone comes here for help - can weplease leave the diatribes about how something doesn't work properly - until there's a bit of investigation as to if it ACTUALLY doesn't work properly - or a particularly user just doesn't understand how to make it work properly?

While I'd contend, X is still the most widely mis-understood NLE here - I would think this approach would be valuable about ALL the NLEs under discussion in the forum.

My 2 cents.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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greg janza
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 10, 2017 at 11:02:41 pm

[Bill Davis] " it turns out the OPs entire problem was an extremely simple to fix in X."

My main issue wasn't a FCPX fix. Instead it was a windows fix.

The issues that remain for me with FCPX:

sluggish performance overall. Zooming in and out of timelines/projects is slow as is a variety of other basic tasks. It could be my mac but again, I'm using Premiere for comparison and I experience none of the sluggishness performing basic tasks in Premiere.

making submixes within projects is no small task. I saw another post here explaining it in detail but I've yet to dive in fully. I generally like how audio is dealt with in FCPX though.

Having spent some more time with FCPX, I generally like it. There's plenty of things within it that work very well.

Others have recently mentioned the idea that editors now have the option of working in a variety of NLE programs and I'd guess that being versed in FCPX, Premiere and whatever other NLE takes hold (i.e., Resolve) will serve all editors well going forward.

Adobe Premiere 2017.1.1
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Samsung SSD 850 EVO Adobe cache
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OWC Thunderbay 12t x 2 in Raid10 configuration (thru Storage Spaces and Disk Management)


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Bill Davis
Re: Taking FCPX out for a new test drive
on Jun 11, 2017 at 11:30:34 pm

[greg janza] "The issues that remain for me with FCPX:

sluggish performance overall. Zooming in and out of timelines/projects is slow as is a variety of other basic tasks. It could be my mac but again, I'm using Premiere for comparison and I experience none of the sluggishness performing basic tasks in Premiere."


Fair enough.

I'll just note that the above runs counter to the general universe of independent performance testing videos that clog the internet these days. Overall, X on it's appropriate hardware - tends to best Premiere on it's appropriate hardware time and time again in those.

And I can say that communicating with a worldwide group of X editors near daily, I don't hear widespread tails of sluggishness or poor performance.

At least not from other than relatively new users who haven't learned their systems very well to date.

FWIW.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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