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Guest Sao_Bento

Final Cut Pro X

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let's be real and say that FCP has always barely held onto the "Pro" label (whatever that means)

 

True but for a while some years back it looked like FCP was an up and comer that was really fighting to be in there and could give Avid some viable competiton (maybe I am completely wrong on this but I feel like Avid releasing software only versions, and improvements in Premiere, had a lot to do with competition from FCP). It would be good for everyone if there was a little more legitimate competition in the pro space.

 

I would love to switch to Premiere but I still find it unreliable and crashy on both Mac and PC (more so than FCP). Right now I offline in FCP, and online/grade in AE (using FCP xml), and send my OMF to sound for mix using pro-tools etc. It might not be the most "pro" workflow but it gets the job done until I am at a point where my business can support a DaVinci etc. (and that might be sooner rather than later the way the prices are coming down on that as well which has to be due in part to the competition from Color etc.)

 

My point is only that for me Avid Vs. FCP have both been viable options when it comes time to decide on new software and I like to have options and competiton. FCP was never full on pro but it wasn't a closed system or iMovie. The one thing FCP never had that causes me the most headaches and means sooner or later I am bound to switch is the lack of a reasonable way for multiple editors to work on a project.

Edited by anothername

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that FCPX has a market in web video editing. Think about how many blogs, newspapers, tv stations, etc that are producing video exclusively for web, and it seems like FCPX would be a perfect solution for those guys.

 

Ah, but then would those people go Mac? Most journalists I know prefer cheap PC notebooks... If that is the strategy behind it, I doubt it would be viable business model, as those would only generate one time sales as those same journalists would never bother to upgrade until their notebook breaks... And I really don't think that is what they want. For once, I do believe that Apple are serious about sticking with the Pro crowd, it's just that they seem to have wasted too much time getting there and now all too hurriedly released FCPX before people got even more impatient.... If you will, the app makes sense, but it feels like what some small software developers do - a "free" public Beta in the hopes of generating interest for the final product without ever telling when that might be ready...

 

Mylenium

Edited by Mylenium

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I think Apple are having a go at really shaking up a market thats been fairly solid over last decade, and they will achieve that. Anyone who uses FCP for work day in, day out will still use FCP7 until they solve most of the core issues. Give it time, i think most people will change over in the next couple of years and everyone will be happy again.. until 2030 when FCPXXX hits the app store.

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Give it time, i think most people will change over in the next couple of years and everyone will be happy again..

 

Yeah but is it true that FCPX won't lay to tape? If that's something they're planning to stick with, I don't know that you'll get so many FCP7 converts.

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Even with CS5.5?

 

Haven't tried 5.5 yet. To be fair every time I have tried it on PC it has been IT department and not myself that has set up the machine, I know I have heard good things about how Premiere runs on PC these days, just hasn't been my experience so far.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Evil doth have a name, and it's name was "Skimming".

 

Honestly, when you ask Randy for his opinion on the best way to do an editing app, he only has one opinion, so FCP becomes iMovie. If you want something different, you're going to have to ask someone else.

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Seems like a bit of a clusterfuck, can't understand why they'd release it before it was ready to be rolled into existing pipelines. Surely it was worth waiting the extra 3 months to release a product that people can actually use?

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I haven't installed any of the 3 new applications myself

but I've heard from a colleague that after installing Motion 5 some codecs (PNG, …) were missing.

Anyone else with a similar experience?

 

I've sent him the Terminal line

qtdefaults write LegacyCodecsEnabled yes

No answer yet.

 

Also, here's a collection of more first thoughts and reviews…

The Final Cut Pro X Community Review

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I've installed Motion, the codecs all seem to be there. After installing you run a software update that brings in additional content & codecs, perhaps some legacy ones were overwritten.

 

Playing with Motion is fun - it's a toy for sure, but not without use. I think I'd give it a go if I had a lot of text-based movies to produce - ooh, look Adobe, text with a gradient fill and stroke :P And the numbers generator is a handy gadget - count as text, count as numbers over 30000, auto-insert commas etc - leaps over AE's clunky numbers filter.

 

But, big but - 8-bit only. And the export options are limited, at least without compressor.

 

Still - £30? For multiple installs? Kerching.

 

I haven't installed any of the 3 new applications myself

but I've heard from a colleague that after installing Motion 5 some codecs (PNG, …) were missing.

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they've added some great new features at the expense of leaving out some of the most critical features...No multi-cam, no external video, no plug in support, no backwards compatibility. But they say they will have multi cam available as an update. Why would they make a pro app only able to import Imovie projects?? I've used FCP since it first came out, but this shit's ridiculous. And is DVD studio pro dead??

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I agree with a lot of what C.Smith is saying. It is nice to see a step forward. I understand times are changing and that we all need to adapt with change. What is getting me with FCPX is that they have changed everything. They havent just gotten rid of the bulk and useless tools they have changed all the simplest features. To anyone that has worked as an editor doing something as simple as moving a tool or removing a drop down menu is crucial. Yes the new system may be faster in some ways but it is making a lot of people start from scratch again and have to relearn a system they have spent years already using and learning. The workflow between FCP and AE has always been a nightmare. The main thing keeping me with FCP is the familiarity and all the hours spent within the program. At this point if I have to re-learn an entire program I might as well switch over to Premiere and reap the benefits of the Premiere to AE/ creative suite workflow.

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I agree with a lot of what C.Smith is saying. It is nice to see a step forward. I understand times are changing and that we all need to adapt with change. What is getting me with FCPX is that they have changed everything. They havent just gotten rid of the bulk and useless tools they have changed all the simplest features. To anyone that has worked as an editor doing something as simple as moving a tool or removing a drop down menu is crucial. Yes the new system may be faster in some ways but it is making a lot of people start from scratch again and have to relearn a system they have spent years already using and learning. The workflow between FCP and AE has always been a nightmare. The main thing keeping me with FCP is the familiarity and all the hours spent within the program. At this point if I have to re-learn an entire program I might as well switch over to Premiere and reap the benefits of the Premiere to AE/ creative suite workflow.

 

I'm not adverse to re-learning something. My problem is they released a program that's really not ready to be released. Apple says they are going to be updating twice a year that's two six month gaps and who knows what's going to come in these updates? So far they're just talking about multi-cam & some sort of revised XML protocol. There hasn't been any talk of OMF, tape layoff, or external viewing. Sad thing is the potential is there. from what I hear i's screaming fast. Like C.Smith said (minus the bashing) the foundations laid for a good editing app. Lets see where they go with it. IMO what a cluster fuck of a release though-

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I've been witnessing the avalanche of backlash on forums, twitter and blogs, Apple has a very short window to set things right. The Premiere Pro team must be dancing with joy right now, with so many fence sitters now finally taking the jump. Think of the software what you will, the real fuck up here is Apple's (mis)communication. Had they come out right away, saying this would be a barebones app, a foundation for future versions, the backlash wouldn't have been this bad. They completely failed to manage expectations.

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The Premiere Pro team must be dancing with joy right now, with so many fence sitters now finally taking the jump.

 

I just checked: I don't see more than the usual amount of dancing in the hallways.

 

We are glad that people are taking this opportunity to check out what we have to offer. We're the first to admit that we had some pretty serious problems a while back, but we've also come a very long way since then. It's good that this event is getting some folks to give another look.

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Apple finally responds to the complaints through David Pogue(NY Times):

 

 

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/professional-video-editors-weigh-in-on-final-cut-pro-x/

 

Complaint: There’s no multicamera editing. In the old FCP, you could import the footage from various cameras that covered an event (say, a concert) from different angles simultaneously, and then easily cut back and forth between them while editing. It was a star feature of Final Cut, and it’s gone from FCP X.

 

Answer: Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.” Until it does, here’s a stopgap facsimile of multicam editing: If you drag two clips into parallel timeline tracks, you can choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips exactly. Now, each time you select a piece of the upper video track and press the V key (“disable”), you are effectively cutting to what’s on the lower video track.

Complaint: You can’t share a project with other editors. In professional editing companies, editors routinely exchange projects. But in FCP X, “all of your project organization is now globally contained in the application rather than in your project file. You literally have to give that other editor your entire computer,” writes one blogger.

 

Answer: Not true. You can share your project, your files, or both.

If the other editors already have the raw video files, you can hand over the project file. The other editors can inspect the Project Library; on its Info panel, they can click “Modify Event References” to reconnect the project to their own copies of the media files.

 

If the other editors don’t have the raw files, the various commands in the File menu let you move the project file, the media files, or both to another computer on the network, to another hard drive or whatever.

 

Complaint: You can’t freely organize your media files. “There is no way to customize the organization of the project media,” gripes one blogger.

Answer: You can customize the organization freely if you’re willing to understand the new keyword tagging system. Dragging a clip into a folder essentially applies a new keyword to it.

 

Complaint: You can’t specify import locations. “When you import video files, FCP X puts them all into your User-> Movies folder, like iMovie does. Ridiculous,” says one reader in an e-mail.

 

Answer: Again, not true. In the Import dialog box, there’s an option called “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder.” If you turn it off, Final Cut leaves the imported files where they are.

 

Complaint: No Reconnect command when media is offline. When media is offline, you get a red screen with an exclamation point. There is no Reconnect Media command, as there used to be.

 

Answer: True. Then again, the old Reconnect dialog box got people into a lot of trouble; they often reconnected a project to the wrong files, or the wrong versions of files.

 

FCP X assigns a unique behind-the-scenes identifier to every single video clip. When you reconnect the missing hard drive, your project reconnects to its original files automatically, even if you have moved them around or renamed the hard drive. You can’t reconnect to the wrong thing.

 

Complaint: You can’t assign audio tracks. “We send all our audio files out for ProTools mixing,” writes one editor in an e-mail. “We always put narration on Track 1 and 2, interviews on Tracks 3 – 6, and so on. So our audio engineers know exactly what’s on which track. But FCP X’s ‘trackless’ design makes that impossible.”

 

Answer: For now, you can use a utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0 ($200 to upgrade) to create and manage these tracks automatically when you export to ProTools. Apple says it will restore this feature to FCP X.

 

Complaint: No custom frame rates or custom frame sizes. Editors are complaining that you can’t specify unusual frames-per-second rates or frame dimensions.

 

Answer: Not true. When you create a new project, you can specify any frame rate or size you want, right in the Import dialog box. You can also change the frame rate or size when you export the finished product — if you’re willing to spend $50 on Compressor.

 

Complaint: No support for RED digital cameras. The RED camera is a favorite of filmmakers; it records incredibly high-resolution video directly to a hard drive. But FCP X can’t import its files.

 

Answer: Apple is working with RED to create a plug-in that will give native RED support to FCP X. In the meantime, you can set your RED camera to shoot and capture video in the QuickTime format, which FCP X imports just fine. Or you can use RED’s free conversion program, which converts its own files into the Apple ProRes format, which FCP X loves because it’s so much faster and easier to edit than the native RED files.

Complaint: No P2 support. Professional Panasonic cameras record onto special memory cards called P2 cards. Editors are used to inserting the P2 card into a card reader and importing its video directly into Final Cut.

 

Answer: FCP X imports files from P2 cards just fine. The trick is to use the Import From Camera command (even though it’s a card), not Import ->Files.

 

Complaint: No ability to pause or fork the Autosave. Final Cut Pro autosaves your work as you go. Editors complain, therefore, that they can’t save different versions of a project as they go along.

 

Answer: You can duplicate your project at any time, thus freezing it in its current condition. Just click it in the Project Library and choose File -> Duplicate Project.

Complaint: Can’t specify the scratch disks. In previous versions of Final Cut Pro, you could choose individual hard drives for storing your project’s render (preview) files. But if you didn’t know what you were doing, things could get messy. For example, you might store the project on one drive, and then render files on another; then, later, you would open up the project when the render-file disk wasn’t available. You would have to re-render the whole project.

Answer: In FCP X, the render files are stored on the same disk as the project, so they don’t get separated. You can still store your files on any drive; you determine that by where you store the project file.

 

Complaint: Can’t output to tape. Videotape is on the way out — you would be hard pressed even to find a camcorder that takes tape anymore — so it’s not built into FCP X. This is one of several ways that FCP X is clearly a program designed more for the future than the past.

 

Answer: You can buy tape-deck control programs like AJA VTR Exchange and Black Magic Media Express. AJA and Black Magic are two major makers of add-on circuit boards for professional video editing. These apps work with their boards.

 

Complaint: Can’t export EDL files. These are Edit Decision Lists: a 30-year-old, ASCII-text, single-video-track export file format that can be moved from tape machine to tape machine, in order to continue working on a project on another computer. FCP no longer imports or exports them.

 

Answer: No solution in sight. Plenty of video-editing companies still traffic in EDL files, but Apple thinks these crude files should be retired. There are much better formats (read on).

 

Complaint: Can’t export AAF or OMF files. These formats are successors to EDL. They let you export your project to other programs, like Avid, Quantel or Pro Tools, for more sophisticated editing.

 

Answer: Automatic Duck ProExport 5.0 adds AAF and OMF exporting to FCP X. There will be other companies offering similar export plugins (including EDL, by the way), once Apple publishes its XML programming guidelines (API).

 

Complaint: Can’t connect an external monitor. Pros work with Final Cut on the Mac screen, but they prefer to view the actual edited video on a dedicated second screen. While Final Cut Pro X works just fine with a second computer monitor — you just choose Window -> Show Events on Second Display (or Window -> Show Viewer on Second Display) — there are complaints that it can’t connect to an external video monitor (TV), which pros feel offers better color fidelity.

 

Answer: Just as before, you need a Mac Pro with a video-output card in order to connect a TV monitor. Apple expects that the output-card companies will soon offer the necessary drivers for FCP X; AJA, one of the major makers of these boards, already offers beta versions of such drivers. Apple is working with Black Magic to offer drivers for its boards.

 

Complaint: Can’t specify QuickTime export settings. In FCP7, you could export your project as a QuickTime movie, with full control over the frame size, compression scheme, frame rate and so on. In FCP X, you have a few presets, but not the full range of control.

 

Answer: FCP’s companion program, Compressor, has a full range of compression schemes. It’s a separate $50 purchase, and its presets can be installed in FCP X directly.

 

Complaint: Can’t import old FCP files.

 

Answer: As I noted in my column, this is true; your old projects are stranded forever in the older FCP program. You’ll have to keep both programs on your hard drive, and edit the old projects in the old program. When you install the new FCP, your old copy is safely preserved.

 

The Bottom Line: Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence: (1) throw out something that’s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that’s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces.

 

Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, (2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet, (3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better.

Edited by mario5

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ugh, reading through those responses was shameful. The words "if you didn't know what you were doing things could get messy" came up way too often. If you don't know what you're doing that's not apples problem. theres a thing called the internet that has just about every answer to every question you could ever have. In order to be able to do the things professionals need to be able to do there has to be a level of complexity. If a person can't handle the complexity they need to get another job.

 

 

Also, C.Smith, I hear you 100% on the power of a DS or some of the other monster systems out there. The problem with saying FCP is just for cutting is that its exactly right. It was never meant to be anything else other than just an editor. Thats why you got your DS (as I recall, do correct me if I'm wrong I didn't double check that number) for a steal at $60k and one can build a pretty bad ass FCP edit system for around $10-15. It's an apples to oranges comparison.

 

I bought a Mac to use FCP and yes, I have come to realize that OS X kicks windows ass, but I still like the program. I liked the UI, I liked the way it worked, I liked the way it did most things. Just make it 64bit. don't reinvent the wheel. The wheel works fine how it is. we like the wheel. don't fuck with the wheel. make the wheel how it used to be. please.

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Also, C.Smith, I hear you 100% on the power of a DS or some of the other monster systems out there. The problem with saying FCP is just for cutting is that its exactly right. It was never meant to be anything else other than just an editor. Thats why you got your DS (as I recall, do correct me if I'm wrong I didn't double check that number) for a steal at $60k

 

Man I wish. I paid a LOT more than that in 2005 for it. They knocked the price to less than half last year down to 60k.

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