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

Roles: got 'em to work.

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Mark Morache
Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:50:08 am

Alright, I think I get it. Select clips --> assign role.

I can use the minimize button to shrink the tracks that I've already assigned, and then assign (or re-assign) the remaining tracks. Makes sense.

Not totally intuitive. I would have missed the button in the timeline index if Craig hadn't said anything about it. (Thanks Craig)

I'm so glad the help file is so helpful here. #sarc

So I actually tried it. A very recently edited story that I had to export 4 times to get the stem tracks was still on my HD.

It took a lot of clicking to get it right. I used the roles button in the TLindex to solo the roles, so I could make sure I didn't get an errant role where I didn't want it. When I exported the clip, I went into the Roles tab and created a preset for my particular flavor of split tracks for my show.

Here's the result imported back into FCP7.



Perfectly perfect.

And look closely... it's two mono channels and one stereo.


Here are some interesting notes:

  • You can pre-assign Roles in the bin.
  • Changing the role to a clip in the bin will not change the role of any clip already in the timeline.
  • If I've pre-assigned a Role to a clip in the event browser, I can find it listed by going back to the Modify/Assign Roles menu. (Is there another place to find this?)
  • You may not be able to select multiple clips to change at once, if any transitions are also selected. I found that I could shift-click to select a series of clips, then go through and cmd-click each transition to turn them off. If I didn't turn the transitions off then my Roles menu were greyed out.
  • You can assign keyboard shortcuts to the default Roles, but any new ones you create seem to be accessable only by using the menu.


I'll need to do some more playing with this, but it looks like it will work.

So what's the workflow? Pre-select things like the music, voice over and effects in my bins and assign the roles in the event browser.
I normally want to assign my soundbites to the vo track, and my soundbites often come from the same clip as the broll. That means I'll need to individually assign each soundbite clip to the right role.

Not quite as simple as just dropping it in the right track, but it'll do.

And of course I have another strange term to learn, and try to explain to other editors who have no equivalent on their system. (What? Avid doesn't have Roles? How two-thousand-ten!)

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:16:36 am

[Mark Morache] "If I've pre-assigned a Role to a clip in the event browser, I can find it listed by going back to the Modify/Assign Roles menu. (Is there another place to find this?)
"


Type the role in the browser search bubble?

[Mark Morache] "It took a lot of clicking to get it right."

You can also use the Index to select your clips. Index is now sortable by name,etc.

[Mark Morache] "That means I'll need to individually assign each soundbite clip to the right role."

Not quite following you here, but audio and video roles can be separate. A clip with a/v can have two roles.


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Fabien Daguerre
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:05:31 am

Is it possible to export Audio Roles including "handles" like in OMF exports ?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 12:07:27 pm

Now that XML is visibly there, I suspect this should be coming soon.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:41:11 pm

[Fabien Daguerre] "Is it possible to export Audio Roles including "handles" like in OMF exports ?
"


Roles do not take the place of OMF. Since Roles basically export "Flattened" layers, handles can only go at the beginning/end of your timeline.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 12:14:52 pm

Roles is probably the single most revealing design feature addition. You begin to see how Apple is thinking about handling metadata to create function, organization, visualization in replacing the old track paradigm of the equivalent. Had this been in the initial release I think some people might have groked where Apple is heading.

Thanks for exploring. As I play with it too, I'm thinking of things that might advance it further and other forms of metadata handling that might improve workflow.

In dramatic scenes oftentimes dialogue gets broken out by character. I'd really like to be able to put each character on a key command for example.

I'm wondering about selecting a role and applying an effect to all the selected roles although maybe Apple has something else in mind.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:12:49 pm

[Craig Seeman] "In dramatic scenes oftentimes dialogue gets broken out by character. I'd really like to be able to put each character on a key command for example."

What's weird is that roles can't be deleted at this time.

[Craig Seeman] "I'm wondering about selecting a role and applying an effect to all the selected roles although maybe Apple has something else in mind."

You can do this now, no?

I think there should be an Effects section in the Index.

It would list all effects, either by effect or by clip. Imagine being able to select an effect and have all the instances show up by clip name underneath. You could then delete the clip name to delete the effect from it. This way you could selectively choose what clips keep the effect very quickly.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:19:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Craig Seeman] "I'm wondering about selecting a role and applying an effect to all the selected roles although maybe Apple has something else in mind."

You can do this now, no?"


Haven't tried it.

[Jeremy Garchow] "What's weird is that roles can't be deleted at this time. "

I can just imagine the conversation at Apple.
Programer: Well, when we delete the role metadata it's corrupting the project
Manager: Can you fix it in two days?
Programer: Probably a couple of weeks because there's underlying project code that also needs to be fixed to get it to work.
Manager: Summer ends in two days so just disable that function because this isn't going out the door without Roles unless you're sure Adobe or Avid are hiring.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:59:28 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I can just imagine the conversation at Apple."

Its funny! I imagined the same internal dialogue as well.

How do you feel about these new features as a whole?

It did make it seem like Apple is still listening, right?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:24:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "How do you feel about these new features as a whole?

It did make it seem like Apple is still listening, right?"


Yes. In fact while people were told about XML and SAN I think Roles is a major shot from Apple. It really answers the question as to the viability of metadata/database as an implementation that can be a viable alternative to track management. That's why I envisioned the above conversation. It was the "must" part of the update for there to be anything convincing about the new paradigm. It's the "ah ha" moment that lets everyone know where they're going with this.

That fact that it serves internal organization functions, export functions, and very critically, visual functions is major. If something is to replace track management it MUST be visual. It's like designing a good vs a bad (or non existent) front end to a relational database. This is the first key "front end" function that gets their design UI usability message across.

I also think that know that people will begin to get where they're headed, the feedback for feature request may be more conscious of this direction rather then the "I want tracks back" variety. The'll be a lot more of "I want this metadata displayed that way" so I can make project editorial and management decision.

It also shows that the Timeline Index is going to be a lot more powerful than a simple time/EDL style display and manager. I'll bet a bunch of "light bulbs" went off for people with feature requests coming in about what else they'd like to manage in the Timeline Index and how the Timeline should respond visually.

Basically you know have the door open for both data management and how it should be usefully displayed.



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:23:12 pm

Call me a curmudgeon but I really don't see Roles as ever likely to fulfill the needs of higher-end audio post-production, with or without handles or other refinements.

As someone with a background in pro-audio as much as pro-editing I would say that there is simply no substitute for getting the untouched audio out of whatever NLE you are using (via OMF/AAF as things currently stand) and mixing in a dedicated environment both software and physical (i.e. on a professional level DAW in a properly calibrated room with properly calibrated professional gear) - preferably with a properly trained audio professional.

It's the same as trying to do broadcast pictures without a properly calibrated broadcast monitor - everyone here pretty much knows that's not the route to go. But somehow far fewer seem to understand that the requirements for top-end audio are substantially more stringent.

So I'm afraid I can't get excited about Roles - though I do understand there are a large number of editing scenarios where they will be useful.

I do however get a sinking feeling watching the trend for audio to be left in the hands of the picture editor - audio is a craft that is way more complex than video editing, taking years to master. A lot of the audio strategies I see video editors adopting frankly give me the heebie-jeebies - not their fault, they just don't know any better.

Sorry to sound arrogant and elitist but someone needs to start standing up and at least mentioning the decline in audio standards that is not just coming but is already well underway.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:37:51 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] " I would say that there is simply no substitute for getting the untouched audio out of whatever NLE you are using (via OMF/AAF as things currently stand)"

I do not think roles are going to take the place of clip by clip export (OMF/AAF). Roles are a way to visually organize your timeline without tracks. Roles aren't just for audio. With Roles and an OMF/AAF, the exports potentially, wouldn't have any gaps. All clips that were organized by role would come in to DAW per channel, per clip. That's all.

[Simon Ubsdell] "So I'm afraid I can't get excited about Roles"

Just curious, but why? Without tracks, how would you do it?

[Simon Ubsdell] "Sorry to sound arrogant and elitist but someone needs to start standing up and at least mentioning the decline in audio standards that is not just coming but is already well underway."

You think this is starting with FCPX? This has been going on for a very long time.

FCP Legacy had to be one of the clunkiest audio editing systems on the planet. At least FCPX gives you way more quality and control.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 2:03:40 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I do not think roles are going to take the place of clip by clip export (OMF/AAF)."

Fair enough - I think I was responding to what I saw as a general euphoria that audio nirvana had arrived. I absolutely agree that they will help with organization and that's a good thing.

[Jeremy Garchow] "You think this is starting with FCPX?"

Absolutely not - I reckon it started with FCP1 or thereabouts ;-)

[Jeremy Garchow] "At least FCPX gives you way more quality and control."

I'd agree that FCPX gives you more tools to play with (and some great ones at that) - and that's kind of my worry. I'm sure you're a responsible with your audio and this doesn't apply to you but ... the more options you give an editor for messing around with the audio the greater the chances of it all going Pete Tong.

I hate to think of some of the "stems" that are going to get handed off to the sound guys where inappropriate effects and levels have been irreparably baked in and there are no handles to fix anything with either. Sample dialogue: "What do you mean, you can't use my stems? I made them with FCPX Roles - what could possibly have gone wrong?"

I think what worries me most of all is that from an audio point of view (accepting that they have other useful functions) Roles are going to be perceived as a "pro" answer to the audio finishing workflow, when in actual fact they may well create more problems than they solve.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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greg gilpatrick
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:08:14 pm

Is there something wrong with the Automatic Duck OMF export tool?



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:13:38 pm

[greg gilpatrick] "Is there something wrong with the Automatic Duck OMF export tool?"

Yup, there is - it's called ...

PRICE!

Call me right-fisted but, I'm not going to drop an eye-watering and borderline extortionate four hundred and ninety five dollars (more than the cost of FCPX) at this point when there are still features (broadcast monitor support, EDL support) that are not there yet.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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David Battistella
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:32:38 pm

Yes.

One has to wonder about volume over price point at some point. If you could add this for 29$ then I think many people might go for it.

But I wonder how many have sold at the 495 price point.

Strange.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://vimeo.com/battistella



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greg gilpatrick
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:49:48 pm

Why would an off-line picture editor need to have OMF export anyway? Seems to me that it would be easiest for everyone if they hand off the whole project to the audio pro and audio pro uses their copy of OMF export to export things the way they think best. $500 doesn't seem like a big expense if you are an audio pro and will use something like that a lot.

When I finish somebody's project in a system like Smoke, it is usually ideal to have the off-line project to export from and/or refer to.



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:58:43 pm

[greg gilpatrick] " $500 doesn't seem like a big expense if you are an audio pro and will use something like that a lot."

It's an expense I'm only going to think of incurring when/if FCPX seems like it will be a workable solution in other areas - it's still an pretty hefty chunk of cash for a translator so I kind of object on principle even though I know I'm probably going to have to swallow it at some point.

[greg gilpatrick] "Why would an off-line picture editor need to have OMF export anyway?"

Cos that's the way it's always worked in the past - except it's been built in to your NLE whichever one it is. Maybe some audio facilities will be happy to acquire FCPX and Automatic Duck and take care of your export for you - I can't see it happening without you having to pay for it though.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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David Battistella
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 4:03:23 pm

It's just the idea that one piece of functionality costs almost twice the price of the entire Application.

Wes can charge what he wants and he should charge what it is worth.

David

______________________________
The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert
http://vimeo.com/battistella



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 4:11:16 pm

[David Battistella] "Wes can charge what he wants and he should charge what it is worth."

Are you saying that these are the same?

He can of course charge what he wants - but whether it's "worth" that is a whole other question, I'd have thought.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Lance Moody
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:35:28 pm

"audio is a craft that is way more complex than video editing"

Really?

The craft services guy told me he thought his job was the most complex one. Man, I am slipping down the ladder fast!

Lance



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:03:01 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I absolutely agree that they will help with organization and that's a good thing."

I think that is what the nirvana is all about, capability, as in FCPX is now capable of organizing without tracks.

[Simon Ubsdell] "the chances of it all going Pete Tong. "

"it's all gone pete tong" is a great movie by the way. As far as giving the tools to a picture editor, well, that ship has long sailed.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I think what worries me most of all is that from an audio point of view (accepting that they have other useful functions) Roles are going to be perceived as a "pro" answer to the audio finishing workflow, when in actual fact they may well create more problems than they solve."

I can't agree here. Roles is a way to organize a trackless timeline, which then of course allows other features (such as one click audio stem export). It is functional, but it doesn't mean that it is going to replace a proper audio mix.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:35:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPX is now capable of organizing without tracks"

I think we're probably arguing about different things since I don't find that I really disagree with you - which is kinda annoying, I mean where's the fun in that?! ;-)

I do wonder whether you aren't overselling the sexiness of Roles, though. Essentially all they're doing right now is making up for the limitations of a trackless paradigm - and not even quite doing that in my view. Do they actually as currenly constituted give you more organizational control than you had with tracks? I love for instance that you can solo stems from the Timeline Index, but then you could easily solo stems with the FCP7 track-based paradigm as well.

Which is not to say that they might not blossom into something truly astonishing in the future. Design-wise they are very impressive, but operationally they still feel like a stop-gap to me.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:55:38 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I do wonder whether you aren't overselling the sexiness of Roles, though."

I just like things to be useful.

I know you know this, but I think the very first thing one has to believe when working with FCPX is, there are no tracks.

You have to say that a million times, and forget about tracks. You can't force FCPX to work like it has tracks, because it doesn't.

Roles are how you organize (or group) your disparate clips in an FCPX Project, where the timeline organization is not predefined by a track.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Do they actually as currenly constituted give you more organizational control than you had with tracks?"

It's not if they give more or less, it's if they give at all. Either your tracks (or stems, or clips) are organized how you want them to be, or not. Before Roles, I could not organize the audio for export, now I can.

And yes, I do think organizationally, Roles have a lot to offer. Let's say things change during the edit. Instead of two tracks of SFX (or whatever) I now had to add 6 more tracks to get all the layers I want. With tracks, I would have to physically add six more tracks, taking the number of tracks from 6 to 12, or from 12 to 18 (x+6) and possibly rearrange all the other tracks vertically to make way for these 6 new tracks. In FCPX, there are no tracks, so I don't have to add that mess to the timeline. If those clips are now part of the SFX bundle, then you tag them as such and to the timeline I only add those clips where they are needed, and I don't bloat the whole timeline for a few seconds of layered effects.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I love for instance that you can solo stems from the Timeline Index, but then you could easily solo stems with the FCP7 track-based paradigm as well."

Sure, but sometimes that would means soloing 4 tracks instead of just soloing a group. This (in my view) is way more efficient.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Design-wise they are very impressive, but operationally they still feel like a stop-gap to me."

So how would you do it different?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:08:25 pm

Roles solves one of my long standing peeves with tracks. Jeremy alludes to it in when he talks about adding tracks. It was a major hassle when you had many audio tracks, forcing you to scroll up and done as you edit. That was compounded with Video was associated with audio many tracks down.

Stacking with tracks to organize sometimes made editing and screen real-estate difficult to manage. Now it's easy to highlight key areas of interest and operation without a lot of up/down scrolling.



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:20:08 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Stacking with tracks to organize sometimes made editing and screen real-estate difficult to manage. Now it's easy to highlight key areas of interest and operation without a lot of up/down scrolling."

I think this is as short as it's long. Yes, it's a better use of screen real estate, but at the same time it's much more of a visual dog's dinner - and that's despite the introduction of soloing for Roles which is pretty cute.

It's not the most ideal situation to have a visual representation of your tracks where the dialogue and narration and effects and Foley and ambience and music are all scrambled together depending on what happens to overlap something else. I accept it comes with the territory of the magnetic timeline and it's not the end of the world, but I don't think Roles have helped make this that much better overall. Tracks were overall a marginally more elegant way of working at least in terms of visual organization - despite the need for scrolling.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Mark Morache
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:46:06 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Stacking with tracks to organize sometimes made editing and screen real-estate difficult to manage. Now it's easy to highlight key areas of interest and operation without a lot of up/down scrolling."

I hate vertical scrolling with a passion, and I'm still doing that in FCX. Maybe just not as much. In FCP7 I could make all of my tracks small except for the one I'm working on, and that one I could make HUUGE if I wanted to. Perhaps there's a way for them to add that ability back to FCX.

Meanwhile, has everyone discovered the minimize/maximize button in the roles index? You can minimize every role except the ones you're working on.

Perhaps that's where I'll do my single clip maximizing.

TRACK EXPAND WORKAROUND: create a role called "max". Minimize all of your audio roles, and when you want to maximize a single or a group of clips, select them and add them to the "max" role. When you're done working on them, put them back where they belong.

Roles will help me get the job done, however I feel like after driving faster than I've ever driven, it's taking me 30 minutes to park the car and get out.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:50:14 pm

[Mark Morache] "TRACK EXPAND WORKAROUND: create a role called "max". Minimize all of your audio roles, and when you want to maximize a single or a group of clips, select them and add them to the "max" role. When you're done working on them, put them back where they belong."

Yup, that's sounds like a pretty quick and easy way to get around the unspeakably horrendous problems of having to scroll vertically ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:13:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can't force FCPX to work like it has tracks, because it doesn't."

Yup, I know I'm a bit slow but I got that part, I think ;-)

But as I say, I think you are slightly overplaying your hand. e.g.:

[Jeremy Garchow] "Sure, but sometimes that would means soloing 4 tracks instead of just soloing a group. This (in my view) is way more efficient."

I think "way more efficient" is a bit of an overstatement, isn't it?

Generally I think it's swings and roundabouts at the moment. Yes, as you say, there is a marginal advantage to assigning SFX to Roles and hence not having to worry where they go in terms of "tracks". But that is offset by the disadvantage, as I see it, of not having them laid out visually in an organized fashion - OK, so you get the graying-out when Roles are solo-ed but it's not as elegant as seeing things laid out in tracks to my way of thinking. (And no, that's not a plea for Apple to reinstate tracks - it's just an observation.)

I really don't feel strongly about this either way - just arguing the point out of academic interest, which I know is not the done thing around here ;-)

It will certainly be interesting to see where it's all going, particularly if Roles end up assisting with the better organization of OMF/AAF export (which does feel like an unaddressed issue to me at the moment) - but I've absolutely no idea how I would design it better, I'm sorry to say.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:53:29 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I think "way more efficient" is a bit of an overstatement, isn't it?"

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. One man's overstatement is another's under statement.

I think Roles are a really good way to keep an eye on your timeline from a bird's eye view, and yes more efficient when it comes to actually moving and grouping this media.

[Simon Ubsdell] "But that is offset by the disadvantage, as I see it, of not having them laid out visually in an organized fashion"

Just curious, but what do you need this organization for? Is it just confirmation to keep thinking "Track 6 is SFX"? Why wouldn't it be possible to think "SFX are SFX"? Why would a sound effect that happens at 30 seconds in the timeline have a relationship with a sound effect that happens at 1.5 hours in the timeline? That is the relationship that tracks hold, which might be a tenuous relationship. In the grand scheme, they have nothing to do with each other except that they are both SFX, and that's where Roles define the relationship.

There is no question FCPX forces everyone to rethink the approach of what is known as a timeline. FCPX is about the vertical relationships of clips that perhaps might matter more than the horizontal relationships of clips, especially when the clips are separated by time.


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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 9:55:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " FCPX is about the vertical relationships of clips that perhaps might matter more than the horizontal relationships of clips, especially when the clips are separated by time."

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you further explain?

The horizontal relationships of clips in FCPX define the edit in time, just as they do in any other NLE. Same with vertical relationships -- video composites from the top down, audio mixes without regard for vertical order -- again, same as any NLE.

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David Lawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 4:09:27 pm

[David Lawrence] "I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you further explain?"

Sure. You are going to have to follow me on this one as it is true, Apple is asking a lot of us in the trackless timeline. At least they are asking us to rethink how we are used to working.

First and foremost, let's not forget, we have to forget tracks for now. This is all predicated on that fact. There are no tracks.

Let's say you have certain "groups" of clips organzied on a track. Just for ease of this example, let's say that SFX are on track 6. If there are SFX at 30 sec and 1.5 hours in the timeline on track 6, the track "defines" that relationship horizontally. In reality, there really is no realtionship to those clips @ 30 sec and 1.5 hours. The only realtionship they have is that they are both SFX. Roles deines this realtionship better than a track does, in my opinion. You can simply click on the "SFX" role for example, and all the SFX light up in the timeline. When exporting stems/multichannel QT, all of those same types of clips will be grouped in a channel.

[David Lawrence] "The horizontal relationships of clips in FCPX define the edit in time,"

Sure, but in FCPX the clip @ 30 seconds bears no relationship to the clip @ 1.5 hours. Why should it? They are the same classification, yes, but that's it. The thing that has changed in FCPX is that horizontal relationships are only for the clips around it, not for the clips that are further down the timeline in the same track. This horizontal relationship of the clips is now more user defined, especially when working outside of the primary storyline. If you need two clips to be right next to each other spatially in the timeline, you create another storyline (or compound). Compounds can define both horizontal and vertical.

If divorcing yourself from tracks, Roles make a ton of sense.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:15:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Just curious, but what do you need this organization for? Is it just confirmation to keep thinking "Track 6 is SFX"? Why wouldn't it be possible to think "SFX are SFX"?"

In terms of the stuff I cut professionally, I'm typically running between 16-24 tracks of audio, e.g. 4 mono dialogues, 2-3 stereo musics, various tracks of spot effects, Foley and ambiences (or any combination of the last three, often in multi-track (LCR or 5.1) rather than stereo format). It really helps a massive amount to be able to know exactly where it all is all the time which is where conventional tracks come in handy. It's not always obvious from looking at a clip what it is unless you've put it on the right track. Inevitably fine-tuning the edit gets pretty complicated but it would be a lot more complicated it you didn't immediately know what was what.

The fact that FCPX encourages audio clips to gravitate "upwards" depending on the available "free space" means that it's harder to predict what any particular clip actually is at a glance. (Yes, we've got clip names but they're not necessarily going to be helpful to me in the majority of cases for reasons I won't bore you with.)

This is not to say that I couldn't devise a working method with FCPX to give me similar visual feedback but I'm not sure that Roles really add enough to the picture at this point to entirely outweigh the disadvantage of losing that visual feedback. So at this point I stick by my assertion that Roles are really so far only making up for the limitations of the magnetic timeline rather than heralding a brave new world of editing freedom as you may perhaps be implying. At least for me - I can easily see how in less complex audio editing scenarios Roles will comfortably give you everything you need.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 5:16:53 am

For me tracks at their most organized always represented visual clutter as well as UI issues.
I only want a horizontal relationships when clips actually interact (dissolves, fx, crossfades, etc).
I really don't gain anything by seeing all of "something" next to each other unless there's a technical reason for them to be that way. With Roles I can turn on/off related things as needed. Scrolling up/down is reduced. I'd much rather have fewer "tracks" than row after row of horizontal information when their only relationship is a "category." I think the desire for tracks, in instances where they don't actually interact horizontally is more of a "psychological comfort zone" than any real function. Roles allows me to see that relationship when I need to by highlighting/selecting when I want and not see them when I don't need them. I always feel I have a UI benefit but not having large numbers of tracks.



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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 6:52:41 am

[Craig Seeman] "I only want a horizontal relationships when clips actually interact (dissolves, fx, crossfades, etc)."

I don't understand what this means. The horizontal space of a timeline defines time. Everything on at timeline is always in horizontal relationship.

Again, it's simple:

Horizontal relationships between timeline objects define the edit.
Vertical relationships between timeline objects define the composite.

This is as true in FCPX as it is in any NLE.

[Craig Seeman] "I think the desire for tracks, in instances where they don't actually interact horizontally is more of a "psychological comfort zone" than any real function. "

I'm still not following. Everything is always interacting horizontally. Tracks are an efficient, human readable way to organize. That's one thing roles don't give you -- visual groupings that can be recognized at-a-glance (assuming you've kept your tracks organized).

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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:18:23 am

[David Lawrence] "I don't understand what this means. The horizontal space of a timeline defines time. Everything on at timeline is always in horizontal relationship."

A track is a horizontal relationship to each other. Connected Clips are not in a horizontal relationship to each other. They are only in a vertical relationship with the clips below/above them.

[David Lawrence] "Horizontal relationships between timeline objects define the edit."

I do not need Connected Clips to be in a track. A track is only needed (for me) when they are in a relationship to each other.

A sound effect at 1 minute is not tied to the sound effect at 3 minutes in. Only when clips abut and I want to transition or roll edit are they in a direct horizontal relationship with each other.

The Roles, as they are used in FCPX, are much more to my thinking and organization then imposing a track structure.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:03:47 pm

[David Lawrence] "The horizontal space of a timeline defines time.."

Yes. Time as in length of program and that's all. A clip @ 30 seconds and a clip @ 1.5 hours are not related by time.

[David Lawrence] "Everything on at timeline is always in horizontal relationship."

It has been up until now (or if you use a nodal based system). In FCPX, the horizontal relationship is more user defined.

[David Lawrence] "Everything is always interacting horizontally."

Really? Only because you have a track, right? What if a SFX was in track 6 @ 30 seconds, and a dialogue track was in track 6 @ 35 seconds, what relationship do those clips now have to each other except the wrong one?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:00:10 am

[Craig Seeman] "For me tracks at their most organized always represented visual clutter "

To some extent then this is a matter of taste - because for me the "jumble" of the trackless model where clips pop around wherever it makes sense for FCPX to put them represents more visual clutter than the track-based model where associated clips have a designated (by me) place and they stay there unless I move them.

[Craig Seeman] " think the desire for tracks, in instances where they don't actually interact horizontally is more of a "psychological comfort zone" than any real function. "

I think there are other issues beyond the "psychological comfort zone". If I hand off my project to another editor (or get one from him/her) it's a lot easier to get to grips with it if I/they have used a specific organized track arrangement (it doesn't even have to be mine, it just has to have a clear pattern) than if the clips are more or less randomly assigned in vertical space.

(I picked up on a feature edit the other day in MC where the previous editor was running a premixed DME in tandem with the original laid/sync tracks which were muted but still needed to be cut in sync. This would have been impossible with the FCPX paradigm I think where everything would have been jumbled vertically. The unequivocal visual feedback of the conventional timeline was what made this workflow possible.)

And the same thing goes for when I want to send my tracks off for the sound mix (via OMF). If they are organized long the traditional track model it will make immediate sense to the sound mixer what is what. At the moment, and unless Roles at some future date come to the rescue on this one, an OMF export via Automatic Duck from FCPX maintains the "random" arrangements of the source timeline.

And no, the audio exporting of Roles as currently implemented really doesn't help with this issue because everything is "baked-in" without handles and that's really not a satisfactory way of handing off audio for a final mix as I'm sure I don't need to point out.

I'm not saying it's a disaster - I do admire the thought that's gone into this and can see there's interesting potential but it's not there yet by any means.

Clearly for the documentary/corporate/news end of the spectrum Roles will have answered many questions, and similarly the loss of tracks (and hence the "random" vertical arrangement of audio clips in the Timeline) shouldn't really be an issue where you don't have that many audio elements in play at any one time, which is clearly the case for you. I just wanted to point out that for those of us at the other end of the scale running lots and lots of concurrent tracks most of the time it's really not working sweetly yet.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 4:08:25 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "To some extent then this is a matter of taste - because for me the "jumble" of the trackless model where clips pop around wherever it makes sense for FCPX to put them represents more visual clutter than the track-based model where associated clips have a designated (by me) place and they stay there unless I move them."

It certainly is a matter of taste. Before FCPX I had no choice though. All the major NLEs where tied to track workflows, which I had been bothered by since around 1990. The scrolling up/down though in projects wasn't simply a taste issue though. It was a GUI inconvenience that I'm glad is gone in at least one NLE.

I just don't see a purpose in a track unless it has a purpose such as building things that transition to each other. The only reason one needed to have title at 1 minute and title at 3 minutes was to turn on/off as a unit, which can now be done in FCPX. To me function outweighs form. I need to "see" a relationship because I'm using it that way and don't need to see it if I'm not. This is the way FCPX function. I like it. Others don't. It doesn't make it wrong though. I suspect Apple feels there's a lot of people like me out there.

[Simon Ubsdell] "And the same thing goes for when I want to send my tracks off for the sound mix (via OMF). If they are organized long the traditional track model it will make immediate sense to the sound mixer what is what. At the moment, and unless Roles at some future date come to the rescue on this one, an OMF export via Automatic Duck from FCPX maintains the "random" arrangements of the source timeline. "

Unless you think FCPX is EOL, there will likely be a future update. In fact I suspect FCPX will be sending things out in an organized method with handles around the time Logic Pro X comes out or shortly thereafter. My guess is Logic Pro X will be in the App Store and it will be, in part, the replacement for SoundTrack Pro plus all the features of Logic Pro.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'm not saying it's a disaster - I do admire the thought that's gone into this and can see there's interesting potential but it's not there yet by any means."

Certainly not, but Roles certainly gives me confidence that Apple is working out functional logistics. I'm sure we'll be seeing advances in Event and Project management as well.


[Simon Ubsdell] "the "random" vertical arrangement of audio clips in the Timeline) shouldn't really be an issue where you don't have that many audio elements in play at any one time, which is clearly the case for you."

Actually I'm thinking the opposite. It was an issue when cutting pieces that had, let's say, 4 character dialogues, nat sound, SFX, music, etc. Way too many tracks to scroll through and complex selections to do what should have been a simple edit. To me, the sound layers are now functional and track clutter kept to a minimum. I don't need to see visual stacks of tracks. I don't care about "random" because, while it might look "random" each is tied to its function whether moving or trimming edits or turning on/off based on its function.



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 11:18:33 am

[Craig Seeman] "It certainly is a matter of taste. Before FCPX I had no choice though. All the major NLEs where tied to track workflows, which I had been bothered by since around 1990. The scrolling up/down though in projects wasn't simply a taste issue though. It was a GUI inconvenience that I'm glad is gone in at least one NLE."

Here's an illustration of why I think I prefer the track-based model for audio "track-laying" as things currently stand.

Here are two spreadsheets for food types consumed during a week, days standing in for time in the timeline, food groups standing in for types of audio clips, e.g. Fruit/Veg represent dialogue, etc.

First the traditional version:



And now the FCPX version:



Yes, indeed, the FCPX version saves you some screen real estate, 25% less vertically in this case. But it comes at a cost (for me at least) of making precisely what you have called "visual clutter". The encroachment of lower order tracks upwards into the available space is for me not at all desirable.

(Note that I have actually stacked the decks in favour of FCPX by colour coding and font emphasis which is not actually implemnted in Roles yet though of course it will come.)

Personally I still prefer the traditional version which gives me the at-a-glance "visual feedback" that I have been going on about, and I would trade any disadvantages of increased expenditure on screen real estate to keep that.

I'm not saying I couldn't find ways of working with the the model but it doesn't yet feel like an improvement to me. Which is not to say that it won't get there in the future.

Also note the traditional track-based model has a further advantage that FCPX has "lost" - just as I can very easily scan along my Fish row and see clearly what's happening with my fish intake, so with numbered tracks my eye can scoot along a track and see what I've got going on in with my Musics. The track-based model makes it easier because I can keep my music tracks in view and only scroll horizontally, whereas in FCPX I would have to scroll both horizontally and vertically to hunt it down.

Again this is instant "visual feedback" that I find useful to keep things organized overall and during the nitty-gritty of editing. If I've edited out a scene and I need to find the music to trim it out to make a new transition, I know exactly where I need to go to find it on my designated music tracks. In FCPX I would have to hunt up and down to find where my music had go to because it doesn't live in any one place and it can go scooting around. And the same with dialogue and effects - only more so because being generally a lot shorter they will end up even more "jumbled".

Obviously I am talking about elaborate, long-form editing with many tracks, not 5 minute corporates with a couple of talking heads, some cutaway audio and three of four music tracks. For the latter the FCPX model is great and presents no obvious limitations. But with greater track numbers and complexity, the issues escalate quite a bit. My example only uses eight "tracks" and a very short seven day "timeline" - convert that to 24 tracks or more and drama length timelines and the FCPX model doesn't look nearly so pretty.

So, yes, Roles make the visual clutter of the FCPX audio timeline quite a lot less frustrating, but as I've said before they are so far not doing a great deal more than making up for its limitations. But who knows what the future holds? I could get very excited about it when I finally see it, but I haven't seen it yet so I'll keep my excitement in check for a little while yet ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 6:56:52 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Here's an illustration of why I think I prefer the track-based model for audio "track-laying" as things currently stand."

Thank you Simon. Your picture sums it up perfectly.

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:13:08 pm

Thanks, David. Sometimes I find I need to look a things graphically to make this sort of point clear, to myself as much as anyone - especially since what we are talking about is graphical "readability" in the UI (which is something I know you have talked about a lot most perceptively).

It's interesting that the first three months of discussion focussed rightly on how the magnetic timeline impacted on the video side of things and very little attention was paid to the ways in which it affects audio. The introduction of Roles has enabled us to be able to take a fresh look at how it all works on the audio side - and the considerations look to be every bit as complex, for better or worse.

That said, I am still prepared to be "agnostic" at this point - there is obviously some very clever work going on that we haven't seen the full results of yet, so who knows?

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:32:07 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Again this is instant "visual feedback" that I find useful to keep things organized overall and during the nitty-gritty of editing. If I've edited out a scene and I need to find the music to trim it out to make a new transition, I know exactly where I need to go to find it on my designated music tracks. In FCPX I would have to hunt up and down to find where my music had go to because it doesn't live in any one place and it can go scooting around."

Maybe I'm seeing it different but I can go to the timeline index and select what I want to find and it'll highlight and take me to the location. I can select the Role or the specific clip.

Again this may be a good example of the SpreadSheet vs Relational Database way of thinking. Maybe the Database visual front end isn't intuitive enough (yet?) for some but I haven't found a problem with it yet.



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:40:50 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Maybe I'm seeing it different"

There you go - I'm not saying for one moment that I'm right, I'm just saying what I prefer and what I think I need to be able to work most efficiently. The factors that I pointed out and tried to illustrate with my "spreadsheet" diagrams are pretty important to me and I don't think these are being adequately addressed just yet by Roles or anything else.

[Craig Seeman] "I can go to the timeline index and select what I want to find and it'll highlight and take me to the location"

Yes, you can do this but this seems to be adding an unwelcome (to me) level of "fiddliness" - I don't want to have to check out the Timeline index, I want to see it right there in front of me in the timeline itself, where I am focussing in order to edit. Anything that makes me have to change my focus or attention is going to slow me down and break the rhythm of the process. For example, I hated Media Composer's Segment Modes with a vengeance precisely because they forced an undesirable shift of attention, however momentary.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:56:28 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I hated Media Composer's Segment Modes with a vengeance precisely because they forced an undesirable shift of attention, however momentary."

I agree. It was one (of several) key reasons why I moved from Media Composer to the original Final Cut Pro.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I don't want to have to check out the Timeline index, I want to see it right there in front of me in the timeline itself, where I am focussing in order to edit."

But the manage of the ever increasing amount of metadata and the greater flexibility make tracks a problem for me. For me, the timeline index means faster targeting to find a clip or see how a class (Role) of clips relate. If a Role is highlighted I don't see much problem scanning that to pick what I need visually also.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 5:30:42 am

[Craig Seeman] "Maybe I'm seeing it different but I can go to the timeline index and select what I want to find and it'll highlight and take me to the location. I can select the Role or the specific clip.
"


Craig, that's interesting. I think, when I have a second, I'll focus a little more on the index working in conjunction with Roles.

I've gone ahead and downloaded the new version, and a little later next week, when I have a moment, I'll play. I know that I prefer tracks--my thinking is very much like David and Simon's--but that doesn't mean I can't use Roles.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 9:59:10 am

[Chris Harlan] "I've gone ahead and downloaded the new version, and a little later next week, when I have a moment, I'll play."

Make sure when you play, you toggle the option to show your clip names as Role names in the timeline (it's non-destructive, you can always toggle back). It is worth the peek.

As a side note, Chris. I thought you weren't going to give FCPX a shot. Just out of my own curiosity, what happened for you to change your mind?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 3:34:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "As a side note, Chris. I thought you weren't going to give FCPX a shot. Just out of my own curiosity, what happened for you to change your mind?
"


I not quite sure how to respond to that. I haven't changed my mind at all. I've stated many, many times that with some alterations, I might find a use for FCP X. I've even started threads about it. My primary objection has always been that there was no physical way to create stems, and no xml/edl support. These are things that made it ineligible to do my job. While the XML version is exotic, some converter tool for it might soon make it useful for me.

Now, I'm not interested in using it as my primary NLE. There are many things I don't like about it. Those may change over time, they may not, and frankly, at this point, I don't care if they do or don't. FCS is dead, though I still use it regularly (and will for at least a year), and, I'm in the process of sliding over to MC. I like lots of windows, on big monitors, and a lot more freeform interaction than FCP X wants to give, and, of course, i/o. I wish that MC were as customizable as FCS, but it has its charms. I also like tracks. They make sense to me, and I see no need for me to not have them. Tracks, alone, are enough reason for me to switch NLEs.

So, FCP X for me? It is now as cheap as a plug-in, and when I think about it on its own instead of a replacement for FCP 7 I can see ways that I might use it. The coming generation of MB Airs, for instance, is supposed to have more compatible gfx cards. I can see FCP X being very useful on one of those; I can easily see making a select reel on the go, for instance. Since I'm in promos, select reels are a huge part of what I do. Quickly breaking a film or TV show down to a palette of its most useable minutes is generally the first step when working on finished shows. With edl support, I can move to my main NLE
in minutes.

This isn't something new for me. I've said this a number of times. I haven't completely decided yet, hence the trial. (I did work with it for a while when it first came out, but got my money back. Of course, then, I was comparing it to FCS.) Ironically, I probably would not be giving X as much of a chance, if I hadn't been such a devoted user of FCS.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 5:41:31 pm

Cool. Thanks for the response, Chris.

Considering how crazy it's been around here, I was just curious.

Cheers,

Jeremy


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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 6:15:05 pm

[Chris Harlan] " I can easily see making a select reel on the go, for instance. "

Yep, same here. I wouldn't use it for any serious cutting, but it's still interesting as a $299 DAM tool. I can put it to work as soon as someone figures out a way to translate keyword collections into bins.

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Steve Connor
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 6:20:10 pm

What do you need keywords to be able to do?

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 6:55:47 pm

[Steve Connor] "What do you need keywords to be able to do?"

Here's an example -

My typical FCP7 logging workflow is:

1) import clips to appropriate bins
2) skim/JKL thru each interview or dialogue clip in browser adding color-coded markers with log comments
3) drop marked clips on timeline and begin cutting.

I can imagine a FCPX preflight workflow something like this:

1) import clips to event
2) separate interviews/dialogue and b-roll with keywords
3) skim/JKL thru each interview or dialogue clip marking favorite clip ranges with log comments

Then I'd just need a translation utility that would covert keyword groupings into bins and favorite clip ranges into markers with duration and export as XML so I can cut with tools I'm faster and more comfortable with.

This would be especially useful in field-based and quick turn-around situations, but I can also imagine using it as a general logging scenario. I think it plays to FCPX's current strengths and benefits.

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Steve Connor
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 7:05:04 pm

That's an interesting thought, one of FCPXs big strengths is the speed you can get through footage in the event library, I can log and sort in it quicker than any other NLE I've used.

"My Name is Steve and I'm an FCPX user"


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 8:00:59 pm

[Steve Connor] "I can log and sort in it quicker than any other NLE I've used."

Ya dern tootin. This is what is most exciting to me about FCPX at this moment is the power and ease of both organization and viewability. If some aren't exactly thrilled with the timeline, that can and will evolve and change, but the backbone of FCP (which is the database) seems pretty strong. This has always been Avid's advantage over FCP Legacy (as is Media 100).

Jeremy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 9:33:59 pm

[David Lawrence] "1) import clips to appropriate bins
2) skim/JKL thru each interview or dialogue clip in browser adding color-coded markers with log comments
3) drop marked clips on timeline and begin cutting.

I can imagine a FCPX preflight workflow something like this:

1) import clips to event
2) separate interviews/dialogue and b-roll with keywords
3) skim/JKL thru each interview or dialogue clip marking favorite clip ranges with log comments"


Import folder as keyword collections (bins) or create empty keyword collections and drop the clips in and they're keyworded.

JKL and use Markers with comments as part of the marker name. Double tap M and add your name/note.

drop in timeline and start cutting.

Your Marker names are visible and searchable in the timeline index



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David Lawrence
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 24, 2011 at 10:12:46 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Import folder as keyword collections (bins) or create empty keyword collections and drop the clips in and they're keyworded.

JKL and use Markers with comments as part of the marker name. Double tap M and add your name/note.

drop in timeline and start cutting.

Your Marker names are visible and searchable in the timeline index"


I'm not trying to exactly duplicate my FCP7 logging workflow, I'm more interested in the parts of FCPX that seem better. I can quickly skim/JKL in the event browser, then hit I and O to set a range and F to mark the range as a favorite. Then using list view, I enter a comment in the notes column. This is a fast and efficient workflow for logging and works great for me. At that point, I would want to move to a more flexible editorial environment to cut.

FCPX doesn't have to be an all-in-one solution to be useful. If there's a clean way to get work out, then it can find a place in many workflows as part of a larger set of tools. Mix and match the tools using just what you need to fit your style and maximize your efficiency.

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David Lawrence
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:38:55 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Personally I still prefer the traditional version which gives me the at-a-glance "visual feedback" that I have been going on about, and I would trade any disadvantages of increased expenditure on screen real estate to keep that."

I guess my question is, do you really need this visual feedback, or are you just used to it? If your Snacks and Cereal are all in the cupboard, would they need their own shelves? You lose all the space around it keeping everything segregated to itself. What if you hit a button and your snacks and cereal came ot the forefront?

In your example, the top sheet is an an example of how the OMF will look and the bottom sheet is the FCPX timeline. Once you sort what you need, the OMF will show up like you want in the top sheet.

With the growing mountains of data that encompasses each project, keeping everything in it's own little place is getting harder to do as not everything has one description or one role. FCPX tackles this with the metadata. Throw it all in pile with a descriptor/category and take what you need instead of putting everything in it's own container.

If you want to see how much fish you have, you simply look in the Index, or solo the role.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 7:48:34 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " What if you hit a button and your snacks and cereal came ot the forefront?"

I don't think this happens in FCPX, does it, or am I getting lost with my own analogy?! Do my effects pop to the forefront under Roles? What am I missing?

[Jeremy Garchow] "In your example, the top sheet is an an example of how the OMF will look and the bottom sheet is the FCPX timeline. Once you sort what you need, the OMF will show up like you want in the top sheet."

Although I do have a separate beef about the whole OMF situation, my point here was entirely to do with how I feel I need my audio to be laid out in the timeline and how the absence of the traditional type of visual feedback was not being made up adequately just yet.

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you want to see how much fish you have, you simply look in the Index, or solo the role."

Solo-ing the role isn't really going to cut it, though. Given FCPX's propensity to jumble the vertical arrangement of clips at will I woulkd almost certainly have to keep scrolling up and down vertically to try and get an overview - in fact, an overview is the one thing I couldn't actually get if I had anything like the number of tracks that I typically use.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:17:56 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Do my effects pop to the forefront under Roles? What am I missing?"

Effects? No, I do wish there was a similar option for Effects in the Timeline Index. I was keeping this an audio only based discussion as I it seems that's where most the concern lies. You can do text, but not effects on clips. FCP7 is terrible at finding/listing effects too.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Given FCPX's propensity to jumble the vertical arrangement of clips at will I woulkd almost certainly have to keep scrolling up and down vertically to try and get an overview "

But what would stop you from layering the tracks as you like? Using your sheet, you know Veg will be towards the top, Nuts towards the bottom. I understand that not every clip will have the same amount of layers (as your bottom spreadsheet represents) but you as the editor know what is what. This is where FCPXs more vertical nature comes in to play.

Again, have you tried this yet, or just thought about it?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:33:52 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Effects? No, I do wish there was a similar option for Effects in the Timeline Index."

No, sorry, misunderstanding here - by Effects I meant my Effects tracks, nothing to do with Effects ;-)

[Jeremy Garchow] "you know Veg will be towards the top, Nuts towards the bottom."

Not good enough - "towards the bottom" and "towards the top" are too vague for my purposes.

I know I'm being pedantic - but that's what editors are, a lot of them way more pedantic than I am, especially feature film editors ;-) For FCPX to gain any traction at my end of the business, believe me, it will have to satisfy the pedants to the ultimate degree.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:51:57 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Not good enough - "towards the bottom" and "towards the top" are too vague for my purposes.

I know I'm being pedantic - but that's what editors are, a lot of them way more pedantic than I am, especially feature film editors ;-) For FCPX to gain any traction at my end of the business, believe me, it will have to satisfy the pedants to the ultimate degree."


I hear that.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:39:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Again, have you tried this yet, or just thought about it?"

Sorry, I forgot to answer this question, but yes, I have tried it - I've been working with FCPX from literally day one and I think I do actually know it pretty well by now.

You may not have noticed but I've also created a fair few Motion 5 templates (Effects and Transitions)* for it, such is my commitment to seeing how far and how fast it will go ;-)

* Not as many as Brendan Gibbons by a million miles or so, but then that man is not human ...

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:51:29 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "You may not have noticed but I've also created a fair few Motion 5 templates (Effects and Transitions)* for it, such is my commitment to seeing how far and how fast it will go ;-)

* Not as many as Brendan Gibbons by a million miles or so, but then that man is not human ..."


I have definitely noticed!!! :) That's why I was wondering if you had tried anything with all the audio talk lately, as I thought you might have more of a focus on video effects.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 12:20:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "But what would stop you from layering the tracks as you like?"

Isn't this exactly what you can't do in FCPX?

In FCPX I have no real choice as to how my audio clips get arranged vertically - the only way I kind more or less control it is to be very systematic about the order I edit the various items into the timeline.

As long as I do all my dialogue edits first, then my effects, then my music, they will more or less stay in that order, with the proviso that they will (as per my diagram) sneak their way upwards at the slightest opportunity.

However, if I don't edit in this order then the vertical arrangement gets completely muddled based - whatever clip is edited in last goes down to the bottom where I like it or not. If for example I add in a new effects clip after I've already laid up all my dialogue and effects and music as per the above system, it will sit all the way down below the music and separated from the rest of the effects, which I wouldn't want. I can see this easily becoming very messy and "visually cluttered".

On another note, however, having reached a better understanding of the colour coding in the Timeline Index, I do now see that it's easier to pick out what's what in the timeline - but they do need to think about introducing distinct, user-selectable colours for each role and not just the video/audio distinction.

One final thought - on reflection, I really do like Roles a lot. But I keep thinking that they would be even better applied to a traditional track-based timeline - the randomness of the magnetic timeline ironically means that a lot of their usefulness is getting wasted.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:18:59 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Isn't this exactly what you can't do in FCPX? "

Layering? Of course you can. You can drag the layers up and down, they just will constantly "push" the stack to the top as you know and have mentioned, but you can order the layers however you want.

[Simon Ubsdell] "As long as I do all my dialogue edits first, then my effects, then my music, they will more or less stay in that order, "

You can drag them up and down at any time.

[Simon Ubsdell] "However, if I don't edit in this order then the vertical arrangement gets completely muddled based - whatever clip is edited in last goes down to the bottom where I like it or not."

Yes, it goes in to the timeline where FCPX sees it fits best, then you have to drag the layers to the vertical stacking order you want. You son't have to edit in that order.

If you set your timeline to show roles instead of clip names, a potential scenario could be if adding a new Effects clip:

Dialogue
Effects
Effects
Music
LF
RF
C
LS
RS
Sub
Stereo
Effects

Then simply drag the Effects up to the layer order you want:

Dialogue
Effects
Effects
Effects
Music
LF
RF
C
LS
RS
Sub
Stereo

FCPX does not prevent you form stacking the layers as you want.

[Simon Ubsdell] "On another note, however, having reached a better understanding of the colour coding in the Timeline Index, I do now see that it's easier to pick out what's what in the timeline - but they do need to think about introducing distinct, user-selectable colours for each role and not just the video/audio distinction."

Totally agree. Right now if just follows the color of different clips in the timeline. Blue for video, green for audio, orange for generators, purple for text, etc. More user options here would help.

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:36:57 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "
FCPX does not prevent you form stacking the layers as you want."


Yes, I had realised that, I wasn't suggesting that you can't manually move things vertically - but the point about this is that it involves a lot more "housekeeping" that isn't there with the track based model where you can choose your "layering" with one editing step, and not have to go back and revise it if it doesn't go where you want it to.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Mark Morache
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:43:13 pm

I've given up on trying to keep my timeline in any sort of order. Occasionally I'll elevate an audio clip if I see that there's room above it, otherwise I just try to let the clips lay where they want.

It's forcing ourselves to "think different", which in many cases isn't bad at all, even though it requires effort at first.

The timeline index is our new best friend. It's so easy to solo tracks based on keywords or "roles". In many ways this makes it even easier to identify and isolate or modify clips in the timeline.

If you want neatness, select every clip of one particular type and create a compound clip out of it. If you use your imagination, it almost looks like a track. Be careful however if you break it back into clips. I had unexpected results from doing that, and I decided I wouldn't do that if I didn't need to.

However you can apply effects to the compound clip, and it makes it act like a bussed effect.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:45:23 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "but the point about this is that it involves a lot more "housekeeping""

Got ya. And that's where roles would step in as the housekeeping area. If you need the visual alignment, you have to sort it as you want.

I think some sort of target system would help here. For instance, in the timeline, always keep the layers sorted by Role. This could be a preference or something. I mean, it's a database driven architecture, we should be able to sort how we want, correct? :)


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 26, 2011 at 6:09:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "For instance, in the timeline, always keep the layers sorted by Role. This could be a preference or something."

Now that sounds like a really good idea - I think Roles are powerful enough that they could accommodate a lot of good stuff like this. Hope you suggest thie one to Apple as it's a good 'un.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Mark Morache
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:33:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If your Snacks and Cereal are all in the cupboard, would they need their own shelves?"

No, but if you eat Rice Krispies you might need Soundtrack Pro to remove the snaps, crackles and pops because the noise removal in FCX is sketchy at best.

That's a joke.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 5:28:40 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "(I picked up on a feature edit the other day in MC where the previous editor was running a premixed DME in tandem with the original laid/sync tracks which were muted but still needed to be cut in sync. This would have been impossible with the FCPX paradigm I think where everything would have been jumbled vertically. "

No it wouldn't. Those sync tacks would move with the video. It would be one clip instead a bunch of disparate parts. If editing in the primary storyline, all you have to move is the clip in the primary and everything else that was attached would come along. I see this as more efficient and more simple, and even controlled.

Have you tried this yet?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 6:33:49 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "No it wouldn't. Those sync tacks would move with the video. It would be one clip instead a bunch of disparate parts. If editing in the primary storyline, all you have to move is the clip in the primary and everything else that was attached would come along. I see this as more efficient and more simple, and even controlled."

No, you didn't understand what I was saying, osrry if I didn't make it clear - I do understand how the magnetic timeline works by this point, thanks ;-)

My point was about how the audio clips behave in a vertical sense - they fill the space available. Not desirable at all in this instance if I was to keep the original editor's plan intact - without a whole load of unnecessary extra housekeeping.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 6:42:52 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "My point was about how the audio clips behave in a vertical sense - they fill the space available. Not desirable at all in this instance if I was to keep the original editor's plan intact - without a whole load of unnecessary extra housekeeping."

I guess I just don't see it that way, especially if you used "Synchronized Clips" which would then have all of your audio, double system and everything tied to one video clip, and you can then enable only what you need to listen to. Couldn't be more tidy than that. I understand that you have tried the timeline, I am just wondering if you have your proposed "impossible" scenario in FCPX. Really tried it, not just sorta tried it.

I'd be curious as to what you found.

Also, from your other post:

[Simon Ubsdell] "And the same thing goes for when I want to send my tracks off for the sound mix (via OMF). If they are organized long the traditional track model it will make immediate sense to the sound mixer what is what. At the moment, and unless Roles at some future date come to the rescue on this one, an OMF export via Automatic Duck from FCPX maintains the "random" arrangements of the source timeline. "

Have you exported Roles in stems yet and then brought that QT movie in to FCP7? You could see very easily how an OMF would work with Roles.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:36:59 pm

Hey, you know what? I really commend your enthusiasm and I do honestly see a lot of potential in where this is all going and hope for the best from it, but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree as I think we are coming from two completely different worlds of editing ... and I really don't want to bore you with the details of mine ;-)

I await further developments with genuine excitement but for me it's still very much a work-in-progress that's of academic interest only. Maybe by next Summer, who knows ...?

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:56:57 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree as I think we are coming from two completely different worlds of editing ... and I really don't want to bore you with the details of mine ;-)"

Hmm. OK.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I await further developments with genuine excitement but for me it's still very much a work-in-progress that's of academic interest only. Maybe by next Summer, who knows ...?"

I need video out. If it had video out, I would start to roll it in to honest to goodness paying jobs.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:10:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I need video out. If it had video out, I would start to roll it in to honest to goodness paying jobs."

Absolutely - once this is there I'm definitely going to start making the move, warts and all, as it's just too interesting (an oddly fun) to ignore. Not really a plausible option until then, for me at least.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 4:20:21 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I only want a horizontal relationships when clips actually interact (dissolves, fx, crossfades, etc).
I really don't gain anything by seeing all of "something" next to each other unless there's a technical reason for them to be that way. "


You said it much better than I did. This is exactly what I meant to say.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 4:19:28 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] " It really helps a massive amount to be able to know exactly where it all is all the time which is where conventional tracks come in handy."

And the FCPX timeline can't/won't provide this feedback to you in Roles?

[Simon Ubsdell] "The fact that FCPX encourages audio clips to gravitate "upwards" depending on the available "free space" means that it's harder to predict what any particular clip actually is at a glance. "

Actually, with less clutter, I think it is easier. A six track audio file can be represented in one clip. TO me, that is much easier to discern than 20 separate tracks.

[Simon Ubsdell] "So at this point I stick by my assertion that Roles are really so far only making up for the limitations of the magnetic timeline rather than heralding a brave new world of editing freedom as you may perhaps be implying."

Fair enough. Apple is asking a lot of us to relearn how the timeline relationships work. I think Roles are extremely useful if assuming we are moving to metadata based organization. I think they work visually as well.


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Mark Morache
Why roles seems like a stop-gap
on Sep 22, 2011 at 7:58:04 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Simon Ubsdell] "Design-wise they are very impressive, but operationally they still feel like a stop-gap to me."

So how would you do it different?"


I agree with the stop-gap classification, and they still need to do more to get us back to the functionality we had with tracks.

Sort as I go. For years, as I edit I drop my audio into tracks based on their "roles." It keeps my clips organized and my tracks organized. I can visually inspect my timeline and see where my music is, as well as my dialogue, my sfx, etc. I'm a visual person, and I like getting that kind of feedback.

Can I survive without it? Absolutely. Will I thrive? Perhaps not.

It's sort of like saying to the cashier, "go ahead and just dump all the coins anywhere in your till, so you can serve customers faster, and sort it all out at the end of your shift."

That's what I'm doing now. Dumping all of my tracks into the timeline then I need to sift through everything to sort and tag.

I challenge anyone to find a cash-register till without separate spaces for each denomination of coin and bill. Cashiers sort quickly without thinking, and because the money is sorted, it actually makes it faster to serve people.

Editing is like that for me. It's simple to keep things sorted as I edit, and easy to find them and modify them when I need to. Since my clips are sorted and close, I can easily lasso groups to modify them. The sorting for me happens automatically, almost without thinking.

However like Craig, I abhor adding additional tracks just because I may need the extra 2 or 3 layers for a five second clip, and I will be stumbling over those extra tracks for the rest of my edit. It's the best excuse I have for nesting, and may be one benefit of the magnetic timeline.

Here's my great idea. First, bring back our tracks. Next, let's improve on this magnetic timeline thing with an in-timeline form of nesting that works like double-clicking a stacked effect in Avid. How about if the collision avoiding could happen within nested tracks. For example, if my source audio is patched to audio track 3, and there is already a clip there, it automatically creates a compound clip to avoid the collision, and gives the clip a special visual representation to indicate the internal clips, and avoids the collision by adding the extra nested tracks necessary.

What I hate about nesting is that when I edit inside a nest I lose the relationships to the clips outside the nest. I'm losing a great deal of my context. By keeping the nesting in-timeline, I believe we would have the best of both worlds. Double-clicking the nested clip would expand it, similar to Avid, letting me patch to the nested tracks and perform edits at will, all the while seeing the visual relationship of the clips inside the nest to the clips outside the nest. I make my changes, and collapse the nest, keeping vertical scrolling to a minimum.

A note about the roles in FCPX: The roles window in the timeline index will not allow you to select multiple timeline clips. It highlights the clips, but you can't select the highlighted clips with one click. However you can use the clips window in the TLindex, and type the role name in the search field to highlight the clips in the timeline. NOW the list of timeline clips with that role are listed, and you can select all the clips in the list, then you can click any of the highlighted clips and ALL the highlighted clips will be selected.

You can also go into the "clip appearance" window and select to see the timeline clips labelled with the role names. (Now just give us the ability to change the clip color in the timeline.)

I don't love Roles. They are a necessary evil to make it possible to export split tracks, but for me it feels like one more thing I need to stop and do, for every freakin' clip in the timeline. And if the clips are inside a compound clip, you need to go inside and make sure each clip is tagged with the right role.

---------
FCX. She tempts me, abuses me, beats me up, makes me feel worthless, then in the end she comes around, helps me get my work done, gives me hope and I can't stop thinking about her.

Mark Morache
Avid/Xpri/FCP7/FCX
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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alban egger
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 21, 2011 at 9:12:27 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Essentially all they're doing right now is making up for the limitations of a trackless paradigm - and not even quite doing that in my view. Do they actually as currenly constituted give you more organizational control than you had with tracks? I love for instance that you can solo stems from the Timeline Index, but then you could easily solo stems with the FCP7 track-based paradigm as well."

The problem is.....in FCP7 you have the stems constantly blocking you from working freely. The magnetic timeline allows you to forget about all the tracks, which connections are where, which tracks need to be locked and so forth. There is not much gain UNTIL you output, which is the final stage of the project.
In FCPX you edit away and then have to spend time to sort out different languages/audiotracks and the roles-model might be a big help.

in overall speed and elegance the roles are defintitely on a level with FCP7´s track-paradigm. I agree though they are not visually self-explaining to other editors as tracks though.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 22, 2011 at 11:28:07 pm

As a post color grader and audio editor/ mixer, all that really matters is to be able to get individual clips with handles out of FCPX via an interchange format like OMF/ AAF.

Audio systems will remain track based. There are a lot of important reasons why a trackless approach to audio post won't work, so how FCPX gets a track based OMF exported is a matter for you editors to argue. But FCPX must be able to export an OMF from the editors timeline. Audio post facilities like mine that have full blown FCP installs are rare. Getting from offline lock to post is still required of an NLE. OMF is a base functionality that can't be shunted to audio post people.

First impression of roles is that they are at worst an extra step in defining where media may end up in a track based system. At best they may be a new powerful way to manage timelines. All NLE timelines that I have imported into a system like Fairlight or ProTools have had the bulk of the tracks reorganised depending on a mix hierarchy that NLE editors don't deal with. So it isn't an important thing for editors to sort their media into actual physical tracks. Likelwise plugins, levels, keyframes all ignored, so a fancy translation isn't worth developing either in my opinion. Having taken decades to finally get a robust interchange like OMF as a standard, I don't think Apple would be wise to ditch that.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:00:06 am

[Michael Gissing] "But FCPX must be able to export an OMF from the editors timeline."

WIth a plugin, it has been able to do so from day 1. I am sure more will follow.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:56:04 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "WIth a plugin, it has been able to do so from day 1. I am sure more will follow"

Yes I knew that. My comment was partly a response to the idea that sound post people would be the ones to buy FCPX AND a plugin like Auto Duck. More importantly this should have been base functionality from day one, not reliant on expensive third party plugins.

With this update, the fact that they are working on other matters is worrying as a trend. I suspect Apple are just going to get XML functionality as the primary form of import/ export and rely on third parties to fill in the gaps. This is a sure recipe to ensure that basic things get broken regularly.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:04:41 am

[Michael Gissing] "This is a sure recipe to ensure that basic things get broken regularly."

How do you mean?

I've had Automatic Duck ProImport AE for years, it's never broken.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:11:57 am

Jeremy, not a specific comment on the Duck. Like all software it needs to be constantly updated to make sure it works when versioning changes things.

At this stage FCPX is developing what seems to be a new variation on XML. I remember the agonies of third party developers in the early days of OMF when AVID would make changes and then interchange would be broken until third party developers caught up. So after such a long period since OMF has been settled, it is worrying to me that Apple are going to be coming up with a two stage approach to getting something as basic as an OMF off the system. Any two stage approach with a developing interchange format is going to break things often.

My argument is that it is so basic a function that not having it integrated from day one is a problem.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:23:28 am

[Michael Gissing] "My argument is that it is so basic a function that not having it integrated from day one is a problem."

Yeah, that's valid, but I don't think this process was simply forgotten by Apple, it's just a slow rollout.

Now that the XML system is out, my guess is that we will see fairly rapid development for interchange, but perhaps optimism makes me naive.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:36:07 am

[Michael Gissing] "I suspect Apple are just going to get XML functionality as the primary form of import/ export and rely on third parties to fill in the gaps. This is a sure recipe to ensure that basic things get broken regularly."

Apple certainly may rely on third parties. If they're "reasonably" priced I have no problem with that. You buy what you need.

It also means Apple will focus on core functions.

Actually i think the opposite is true regarding things getting broken regularly. This is why Apple needs to pay careful attention to APIs, things such as XML support, because it's a foundation that generally shouldn't be changed. This is likely why it's been slow in coming. It also means it's less likely to be broken. Architecture, whether for plugins or import/export is not likely to be messed with.

BTW it's much the same reasoning why Apple's SDK for camera compatibility will rely on the camera makers to support. The SDK won't change. The camera makers will have the ability to do their own work and changes as need be. This is what Apple is doing with XDCAM EX and why the comment about it on the FCPX update page.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:45:45 am

[Craig Seeman] "It also means Apple will focus on core functions."

That's the core of my comment. I can't see OMF export as a non core function. If FCPX couldn't export a quicktime everyone would have gone ballistic. OMF functionality is at the core of my business and something that all NLEs have had as core functionality for a long time. If Apple are palming it off, I need to know if as I must continue to steer editors away from FCPX.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:56:37 am

[Michael Gissing] " OMF functionality is at the core of my business and something that all NLEs have had as core functionality for a long time. If Apple are palming it off, I need to know if as I must continue to steer editors away from FCPX."

From the now offline FAQ:

"Does Final Cut Pro X support OMF, AAF, and EDLs?
Not yet. When the APIs for XML export are available, third-party developers will be able to create tools to support OMF, AAF, EDL, and other exchange formats. We have already worked with Automatic Duck to allow you to export OMF and AAF from Final Cut Pro X using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website: http://automaticduck.com/products/pefcp/."


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:32:55 pm

[Michael Gissing] "I can't see OMF export as a non core function."

I entirely agree - whatever else one thinks about it all the fact that they consider OMF to be a third party problem doesn't inspire me with confidence.

Having to rely on the oh-so-modestly-priced services of Automatic Duck for this function may all work fine both now and at every conceivable moment in the future, but presentationally this is a serious error of judgement on Apple's part.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Erik Krisch
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:22:45 am

Okay, I'll chime in here....and someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'll own up to it. This should be open to discussion. But in this 'modern age' I'm getting awfully tired with certain terms being thrown around without any thought of where they come from. And the dumbing down of the system is numbing.

STEMS are not delivered to a mix stage. Apple got the term wrong. Nothing is a 'stem' until the final mix is completed. Going to audio post, the dialogue or whatever tracks you choose would be SPLIT out in either raw UNITS or, if you've done some mixing to the tracks beforehand, PREDUBS.

There is a history of this within the filmmaking community, but apparently the modern age can change the vocabulary with Clinton semantics.

And Simon is right: there is simply no substitute for getting the untouched audio out of whatever NLE you are using (via OMF/AAF as things currently stand) and mixing in a dedicated environment both software and physical (i.e. on a professional level DAW in a properly calibrated room with properly calibrated professional gear) - preferably with a properly trained audio professional. "


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Michael Gissing
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:03:33 am

[Erik Krisch] "STEMS are not delivered to a mix stage. Apple got the term wrong. Nothing is a 'stem' until the final mix is completed. Going to audio post, the dialogue or whatever tracks you choose would be SPLIT out in either raw UNITS or, if you've done some mixing to the tracks beforehand, PREDUBS."

Correct Erik - the reason audio post exists is to get raw unprocessed audio as individual files so that they can be properly edited, EQ'd and mixed in an environment with proper monitoring by someone trained and experienced. You are correct in saying that you do not deliver stems to audio post and that they are what is produced in the mix to delivery specs.

However anything can be a stem if it is a 'partial' of a finished project. I am less concerned about using that term and more concerned that people might think FCPX is capable of producing proper mix stems.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:11:52 am

[Michael Gissing] "However anything can be a stem if it is a 'partial' of a finished project. I am less concerned about using that term and more concerned that people might think FCPX is capable of producing proper mix stems."

It is true that people should not think that FCPX's multichannel QT Export is an OMF replacement. Anyone who delivers OMFs will know that it isn't.

Roles will help define the clip relationships and will probably hand that info off to a proper clip by clip by channel OMF exporter.


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Liam Hall
Re: Roles: got 'em to work.
on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:08:03 pm

This roles/stems malarky is bunkum. I used to go File>Export>OMF. What was so wrong with that?

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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