One of the reasons I prefer cutting in FCPX is that, in my opinion, it is much simpler to cut in. I’ve touched on this before. . . by simpler, I mean I spend less time doing technical manipulations in the app, and more time doing creative manipulation. You know… editing.
To me, the trackless, magnetic timeline, audio components riding with video clips, one inspector window, clip skimming, real time effects preview and a raft other things make cutting in X simpler, faster, and more fun. That’s not to say there aren’t complicated or confusing things in FCPX, there most definitely are. I’ve never been one to claim that X is perfect or better at everything than every other NLE available. It isn’t. Every NLE has it’s strengths and weaknesses, anyone who claims otherwise is deluded.
I believe that for most editing operations, if there is an easy way to do something then that is a better way to do something. And it’s not just true for FCPX. There are simple ways of doing seemingly complicated things in every NLE. But, maybe because editing software has been so complex and arcane for so long, sometimes the longer you’ve been editing, the more likely you are to come up with complicated ways of doing things. I know I’m generalizing wildly here, so calm down. 🙂 This generalization though, brings me to the point of this particular post.
I recently joined a couple Editors groups that are not focused, or even terribly interested in FCPX. Ya know, because nobody uses it. I like FCPX and I’d like to change that though, so I ‘m in.
Anyway. . . there were a couple FCP 7 questions posted there on which I commented.
I’m not posting this to try and come off as some sort of genius know-it-all. I’m not… I’m just lazy. lol
I look for the simplest ways to do things, and this exchange seemed to me to be a perfect illustration of the Simple vs. Complicated mindset.
Question: “how do you do a Ghost image in FCP7? You know – a guy turns around, turns around..”
First answer: “Layer same shot – superimpose w/ 8point matte key”
Follow up: “or play around with visibility”
A perfectly valid, but complicated, response. Layer x number of video tracks, offset each one by x frames, apply and adjust a mask or opacity on every clip. Keep tweaking until it looks right.
My response? “Effects Tab ->Video Filters ->Time folder-> Trails or Echo Filters.” Simple, right?
Here’s the other one. . .
Question: “How do you maintain aspect ratio while adding transition effects in Final Cut 7- particularly a cross zoom?”
Translation… “I have a cross zoom between two (16:9 or something) matted clips but the zoom fills the frame. how do I keep the 16:9 matte during the transition?”
First answer: “which version of FCP? Sequence settings? codec working with?”
Followup: “Apply the transition, and simply nest (Option+c) the 2 segments that are part of the transition: the A side, and the B Side: (. . .) Once these 2 clips are nested in a single new one, apply the Matte effect, and use the drop down Widescreen option in the effect. Here you’ll be able to choose the aspect (1:66, 1:85, 2:35, etc), and you should be able to finesse the matte further if needed. (. . .) If you want to load the nested clip in your sequence into the source viewer, you’ll have to right click and “Open in viewer”.
Again, a perfectly correct, but complicated response. Apply the transition, nest the 2 clips and transition, apply a filter, and adjust it to taste. But be careful with the nested clip. If you need to adjust the transition you’ve got to step into the nest to do it.
My response? “Just put (this) above your transition, adjust it’s size to match your crop. done.
EDIT: Oliver Peters has an interesting post on simplicity at his blog. He’s always a good read, check it out.