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jan

Final cut pro X, ready for business?

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Hello,

With some time on my hands, I was wondering if i should make the plunge. (god i'm still on snow leopard and no plans to change that)

Haven't looked for some time at the problems that originally surfaced when it came out.

 

What do you guys think? Do you use it in production ? Talking small studio here.

Thanks.

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Nope, switched to Premiere Pro here. The latest version is even more FCP like and the integration with the rest of the Adobe apps is really nice.

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use the codec that comes with whatever IO hardware you're using, eg if you have a blackmagic HD card then render to blackmagic avi/mov files. Or just use quicktime animation.

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Guest Sao_Bento

If all you're going to do is edit, FCPX works pretty well (although differently). Once you get to more complicated workflows that involve trips into and out of compositing and audio sweetening, you start to feel the constraints. If you're going to give it a try, I recommend getting up to speed by doing a personal project - something with no time crunch or money riding on it. I found the Lynda.com training helpful in explaining the differences in terminology and showing some of the hidden strengths.

 

The stuff I like:

The color correction works great - I've got Magic Bullet Looks installed, but don't really need it anymore. FCPX has some nice masking built into the color corrector.

Background rendering is cool.

Handles right on the audio clips for fade in/out make so much sense.

FCPX does a great job of presenting options for conforming frame rates that don't match the project's frame rate (high fps, etc). Built in handles for fading titles in/out. Automatically tagging and grouping footage as WS/MS/CU.

It's annoying at first, but the skimming feature is really handy if you have long takes to scan through.

 

What I don't like:

No explicit "Save" command - just kind of unsettling, although I've never lost any work in FCPx.

Weird media management - this is one of the harder things to deal with but the info is out there, it's just something boring that you have to commit to learning.

Apple workflow ecosystem is lacking.

 

In summary:

If you're doing basic editing of DSLR footage, you'll get a great result from FCPx. If you're doing national broadcast commercial level work for an ad agency, you're going to want more workflow options. My understanding of the hate for it is that a lot of people (pro people) were instantly put off by the initial lack of pro hardware I/O support and the idea that it required learning new terminology. It seems like the people who made the time commitment to understanding FCPX are generally pretty happy with it. Apple definitely shifted the target market from pros to prosumers though.

 

(For context, I have Premiere CS6 as well and I was once a certified Avid Media Composer guy)

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Scary times.

I've been in the biz long enough to remember being crucified by a buggy Premiere,

At that time, Adobe flatly refused to clean it up, apparently because of not wanting to step on the toes of Avid. I remember editing corporate videos in After Effects. It was hell, but at least a 5-day render didn't crash in the final 10-minutes, and ruin the entire render. And AE didn't annihilate other video files on the hard drive.

Only when FCP came along did Adobe think about making Premiere decent.

My fear is what will happen when Adobe has the low-end editing monopoly again.

Also Adobe has this tradition of attempting to herd all of its users to peecees - rumor had it that Adobe was being paid for the courtesy.

For these reasons, I am going to try to stick with FCP, and hope.

Edited by tomcat

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Also Adobe has this tradition of attempting to herd all of its users to peecees - rumor had it that Adobe was being paid for the courtesy.

For these reasons, I am going to try to stick with FCP, and hope.

 

This was a long time ago (90s), Mac users have grown and I would not worry about it. Stick to FCPx if you need to edit personal projects. If you do pro work, then think again, just the fact that I can't choose to save a version of the working project is downright stupid. FCPx has some cool tricks but it's just not for me, The entire media management is a total nightmare, so if you have clients to worry about, I would stay away.

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I couldn't figure out a decent Premiere to DaVinci workflow so I went the Avid MC route, but always find myself in Premiere anyway because I can copy / paste things between Adobe Apps.

 

I'm a bit surprised that nobody else is saying they went Avid.

Edited by AromaKat

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Actually really like FCPX after using it extensively. The media management totally kills it for me though. I hate the fact it creates its own folders and doesn't allow me to save exactly where I want it to. I've got a filing system I quite like.

 

I agree with the posters above. No way in hell would I use it for important client work. For personal/experimental stuff, I love it.

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I've only had one client move over to Avid MC so far. The rest have stayed FCP 7 (including myself for now). I prefer editing in FCP so I may switch to Premiere for my own system at some point if/whenever I upgrade computers, kinda waiting to see what happens with the Mac Pro line before I make any decisions. I started using Premiere around 97 or 98, so I'm familiar with it's bugginess. Sounds like they've fixed a lot of the issues for the current version.

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Putting in another +1 for Premiere. I had used premiere from 94 - 98 when my old man had it on his Mac II. It failed me when I was cutting my feature film and wouldn't load the project after the timeline was longer than 45 minutes. Luckily a new program called FCP came out and I switched to that until 2005 when I went Avid DS. I'm not here switching because FCP became FCPX. Only coincidentally because I moved out west and couldn't take the company DS with me and didn't feel like investing so deep in a system again.

 

I assumed I would just go Avid MC and Nuke/Hiero as the offline/online workflow. But I did the 30 day tests of CS6 and Avid MC6 and although MC6 is pretty damn solid. I completely fell in love with the whole CS6 solution. The dynamic link is dope and Premiere is just the right blend for me. In that it's fast and snappy as shit to edit with and not overly complex with shit that an offline edit system shouldn't be filled up with. Just simple and fast. So, I signed up for that Adobe Creative Cloud for a year and am loving it so far.

 

But FCPX is basically free at $300 so there really shouldn't be debated as whether to get it or not. Everyone should just keep it around as a back up or alt solution for some stuff.

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Alot of motion houses in NYC (including my job) have switched to Premiere (we still have a few machines with FCP7 on it) ... As of right now I'm pretty happy with it and I do like the improved workflow.

 

It was saddening that Apple took such a solid program and "prosumerized" it but thats the trend that Apple doing for everything (ie shake, fcp, mac pros, etc)

 

~Florio

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Been messing with Premiere as well and even though the interface is similar to FCP7 there's some things that I'm missing/bothers me. Granted I haven't been using it that long but let me know if I'm just overlooking something in the menus:

- If I hit play then click somewhere down the timeline the playhead stops and I have to hit play again unlike FCP, kinda annoying if you're used to scrubbing around while playing

- No solo button?

- Wish had an 'option + up' shortcut to move a track up or down so you know you didn't nudge it by accident

- Relinking media doesn't have a 'search' function like FCP. After doing a project collect (which moved directories) opening that version on a different computer couldn't find the paths and had to manually relink

- Is there a way to resize all video/audio track height at the same time equally instead of dragging each divider out?

 

I should give FCPX a proper try, it was just easier to jump into Premiere interface-wise.

Edited by superegophobia

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Been messing with Premiere as well and even though the interface is similar to FCP7 there's some things that I'm missing/bothers me.

 

Coming from Avid DS, there's quite a number of things that all the software only editors are missing. Some I miss and others I don't. One thing I give Premiere credit for is the Adjustment Layer in Pr. In Avid DS, it works better than that as you can put effects on a clip basis, a track basis or the entire timeline. Whereas in FCP you have to nest things to do that. Adjustment layers are interesting but still annoying in that they work on anything below them which I've always felt was a hacky way to implement it in AE. But at least now in Pr you can keep an adjustment layer at the top of the stack with a basic Color Correction and Letterbox and it applies to anything you edit underneath it. Still not as good as the DS way of just throwing them in the Timeline effect track, but I'll take it.

 

Another thing that confounds the shit out of me is with the 3-way color corrector. It's the same as FCP in that it only works in YUV space. So unlike DaVinci, Apple Color, Baselight, Colorista, Speed Grade, and every other good coloring system out there that works in RGB. So in the Pr CC, if you increase contrast, the ratio of saturation doesn't change with it and you end up chasing the sat constantly. Whereas in RGB space, Sat naturally changes as a result of contrast. So with the 3way, it is a constant pain in the ass to make it look good. Why the fuck they just can't make it like Colorista Which in turn is a copy of DavInci will forever confound me

 

Another thing that is driving me cray is that Pr has the great ability to use all the Media Encoder presets on output and even better auto FTPs for client approval. HOWEVER, they didn't include the ability to do streaming(fast start) to the Quicktimes, completely negating it's usefulness. Don't know about yallz, but to post a QT without it playing when it can rather than wait for the entire thing to download is unacceptable. If I post it that way I get emails from producers saying it's "stuck" and not downloading. I hate when someone builds an entire car then leaves off the steering wheel. More annoying than if the thing never existed. I'm hoping someone will tell me I'm just not seeing where to set Fast Start, streaming Quicktimes.

 

The Dynamic Link in concept is really cool, but could use a few small changes that would make it far more useful as a workflow. Specifically: Give the option to in one go, convert every shot into it's own Composition in AE. Right now you can turn all selected shots into one long composition which is useless to me. Or you can go one shot by one shot sending it to AE until you've covered your edit. Kind of a pain in the ass. Like in the DS, every single shot could be a container where inside that container you could do node based or layer based compositing. When trying to simulate that functionality, you have to do every shot by hand. Kind of lame.

 

And as much as I love AE, the fact that the pre-comp workflow hasn't been changed or augmented with node based is frustrating when a comp gets even remotely complex. DS had node based and layer based compositing work hand in hand. That would be a dream for AE.

 

anyhoo, I still like the whole thing though as a whole. AE has really come a long way in the last few years. And with a few key plugins, it's pretty damn powerful these days.

 

Like an effects shot that we did a few months ago in Avid DS, Synth Eyes, AE, and C4D I re-did all in AE CS6 as a practice test drive. Not only did it take far less Apps to do it in, but I did it in a fraction of the time. And that really what it's all about.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Agreed on the Dynamic Link implementation. I spent a long time thinking I was missing something. You'd think they would have figured it out by now.

 

What are people using as an intermediate codec with Premiere???

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What are people using as an intermediate codec with Premiere???

 

Like what to edit off of? I mostly edit straight from the Alexa Pro Res files and it works well with that. Or I'll put them in Resolve and do colored one-lights rendered to ProRes Proxy then later reconform back in Resolve from the original Alexa files. Then DPX out of Resolve back to Premiere.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Yeah, that's a pretty simple one there. I was wondering more about the people who are dealing with non-ProRes material - what offers expanded color bit depth and playability other than ProRes? Seems like they would make their own QuickTime DNG type codec at some point. Are people just using ProRes? No gamma issues anymore?

 

Like what to edit off of? I mostly edit straight from the Alexa Pro Res files and it works well with that. Or I'll put them in Resolve and do colored one-lights rendered to ProRes Proxy then later reconform back in Resolve from the original Alexa files. Then DPX out of Resolve back to Premiere.

 

On a tangent regarding why Apple would "do this" to their professional customers, it's all the same guy. Randy wrote Premiere, FCP, FCPX, and iMovie. FCPX represents an opportunity taken to rethink the established conventions about why video editing software works the way it does, and who it's made for. You can disagree with it (and maybe realize that pros are now the "corner case"), but you can't say that it's the result of ignorance or stupidity.

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I have to say, I'm very impressed with a lot of the editing features of FCPX that have changed the old way. I will say the main reason I don't reach for it more often is that I'm too lazy to get used to the new way and the project setup is such a turn-off to me. Like anything I've cut in it is for like quick experiments or quick things for pre-pro meetings and stuff and I just keep importing into the same test project I started back when I first got it. I get annoyed by how when I try to drag a clip from the bin into the timeline I end up trimming it's in and out in the bin and then get pissed and look for the overwrite keyboard shortcut. That's the extent of my experience with it.

 

My old man went and learned it inside and out and swears by it and that fool has been editing since splicing film for newscasts in the 70s.

Edited by C.Smith

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Guest Sao_Bento

News editing is probably the most natural fit for it. Ironically (characteristically?), the media management is contrary to what you'd want in a news environment in almost every way.

 

I have to say, I'm very impressed with a lot of the editing features of FCPX that have changed the old way. I will say the main reason I don't reach for it more often is that I'm too lazy to get used to the new way and the project setup is such a turn-off to me. Like anything I've cut in it is for like quick experiments or quick things for pre-pro meetings and stuff and I just keep importing into the same test project I started back when I first got it. I get annoyed by how when I try to drag a clip from the bin into the timeline I end up trimming it's in and out in the bin and then get pissed and look for the overwrite keyboard shortcut. That's the extent of my experience with it.

 

My old man went and learned it inside and out and swears by it and that fool has been editing since splicing film for newscasts in the 70s.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Bumping the "intermediate codec" portion of this thread. If you're out there looking for a high color depth intermediate codec and you don't have ProRes, you might look at CineForm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CineForm. It's a codec that gets installed when you install CineForm Studio (free). A quick test today showed it doing 16 bit color at about half the size of ProRes 4444. It also plays back smoothly in Premiere (Even on a laptop), and it's friendly with things like Speed Grade, in case you think it seems ludicrous to convert your DSLR video to a DPX sequence. You can download the software from GoPro.com. It also supports 3D and other stuff - read the wiki for all the info.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Another interesting thing about the CFHD files is that, when used with the Cineform software, it has "live metadata", meaning that you can make real-time non-destructive color adjustments. You can have the file open in an editing app, then change the file within Cineform, and you see the update ripple through the file within the editing app (without saving or rendering or anything). I was playing around with mixing multiple layers with different exposure values to get more detail in the highlights and shadows. Kinda neat camera RAW-esque approach.

 

Hey man thanks. i have been wondering about this.

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I started out in Premiere and then eventually switched to FCP.

 

I started cutting a documentary in FCPX almost a year ago mainly because of it's H264 support. I had over 1tb of of DSLR footage. My main reason for using it was that it handled the footage better than cs5 (which is what I was running). The only thing I've enjoyed in FCPX is how fast I can scrub through shots. Other than that It's been just a headache.

 

I have now been using Premiere CS6 over the last few weeks and I've got to say it is performing beautifully. I will prob start cutting a lot of things in cs6 from now on. Though I still like editing with FCP7, CS6 has started to grow on me.

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