One of the biggest “issues” people coming from other NLE’s seem to have with FCP X is the how the Timeline works. Magnetism! No Tracks! Storylines?! It’s crazy! As I’ve said before, probably the best way to get acclimated to it is to put a chunk of Gap (slug) into the Primary Storyline and just cut with connected clips. Then it pretty much behaves like what you’re used to. And by “pretty much”, I mean you can grab or lasso clips, drag ’em around etc, and they all stay put relative to the sequence time. You can use transitions as well, FCP X will automatically create secondary storylines as needed when you apply them.
Despite the lack of tracks, you can SHIFT-Drag (to maintain sync) to vertically arrange clips so that, say for audio, VO is up top near picture, then FX, then Music. However, every clip is going to want to stick to the Primary, so if you have 5 nicely stacked clips in one section, followed by 2 clips in another… they’re not gonna line up horizontally.
Now, my premise here eventually is… who cares? But, if you do, you can either create empty secondary storylines to use as separators, or, as I still do sometimes, record a long clip of silence, connect it to the first frame of the sequence, give it a unique Role, minimize and mute it, and drag it out to length. he latter is preferable as it takes up less space. Also, you can put “sequence markers” on these as well, which is kind of nice. I think eventually this workaround won’t be necessary, but for now it does the trick.
Whether you work with or against Timeline Magnetism, It’s really important to properly assign your Roles from the get go. If you do, You can use the Timeline Index to mute or solo elements, select and modify common properties of multiple clips (or transitions) at once and a boatload of other really useful things.
So, that’s how to kind of cut in X by doing everything you can to counteract the magnetic timeline. In “Part 2, Not fighting The Magnetic Timeline”, I’ll tell you why using the preceding methods sucks, and how embracing Magnetism makes editing fun! And I’m not talking about sequences like you see in tutorials with nice long shots and a 2 or 3 layers of audio which make dealing with connections fairly straightforward. The project below has around 36 tracks, or 18 stereo pairs. There are a lot of connections, but if you use X like X, it’s not a big deal to manage. If you try to use X like 7 or Pr or MC… It’ll get ugly pretty quickly, which is I think what tends to happen to some folks.
Given my posting schedule of late, it may take a while for Part 2 to appear, but I’ll do my best. Happy Editing!
oh, please do tell! I do a lot of editing to a music soundtrack, so put a slug in the primary storyline, but do so want to make more use of the magneticism that is fcpx. help me graduated from old skool!
looking forward to part 2
lol… OK maybe Old Skool was kinda flip, just one (perfectly good) way of doing it. I’ll try to get part 2 up soon-ish.
Great post, thanks!
I agree especially with that you have to think about assigning Roles.
My question is — could you list all the Roles you’re using? Along with obvious ones like Video, Music, Dialogue.
And thank you. I just create Roles based on my sources. generally the defaults suffice, but I’ll often add a Narration Role. Best Practice is to keep the number of “master” Roles to a minimum, and use Sub Roles to be more specific. Library music sub-Role, Sometimes Effects sub roles (Library FX, LFE etc) If you were doing a feature you of course could have Dialog Sub Roles for each character… Basically anything you’d like to be able to select, find, mute, solo, etc individually you can make a Role or sub role. Remember, once you create a Role or Sub Role you can’t delete it, so think it out before you hit OK. 🙂