After another online “discussion” about FCP X vs. other NLE’s, the usual “You need to do things differently in X than in others” comment from an FCP X proponent came up. The point attempting to be made was that In X you must work in a different way than anything else. “Edit in the browser before you start to edit in the timeline!” In the course of the thread I wrote the reply below. Since I have nothing else to write about right now… here it is. 🙂
Telling people that X is a completely “new way of editing” is a pet peeve of mine. (what is a peeve anyway??) It’s not reinventing the process, as editors we are doing the same thing in X as anything else. Watching the footage, making selects, organizing it all, and then cutting pieces together. As we all know, getting all your stuff organized and prepped to cut is something you need to do no matter what you’re cutting with, from flatbeds to an editing app on your phone.
What X offers, IMO, is a different, and easier way of doing the same thing. The Browser, Collections, all the metadata goodies are great of course, but to me, the things that set X apart from everything else are:
The Timeline- being able to just cut stuff in and move clips around without any thought at all as to whether it will collide/overwrite/screw up anything that’s in your cut is a huge advantage.
Embedded Components- much easier to deal with than separate A/V. And you can of course separate these if you want.
Roles- Also huge, particularly for audio versioning, and I feel like there are some very powerful possibilities that remain untapped here.
Compound Clips- Nested clips on steroids, and also have some cool potential.
Motion Templates and Compressor Bundles- Create these in Motion and Compressor, load them into X, done. You can share them with other users who don’t have the apps which is very cool. Compressor bundles don’t get enough press IMO.
Having the ability to make a preset where you can create a 2k, 1080p, 720p and SD version of a cut with a couple keystrokes in the NLE is very nice. You could do all that and also upload a cut to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook at the same time. Whatever deliverables you need… 1 command, no other apps needed.
Filmstrip View– Nothing else compares to this, it’s an enormous timesaver.
The Skimmer- love this thing, especially clip skimming.
Live A/V Effects Previews- Enormous time saver, and the quality and ease of the built in audio and compositing in X is really great.
Timeline Index- I’m not sure people get how useful this is. I mean, you can do basic editing from the index if you wanted to.
Anyway…. I could drone on and on… My point is that X is an NLE, and like any NLE, you should use all the tools it offers to get your material ready to edit. What keeps me hooked is all the other stuff that really isn’t in anything else. Makes my life much easier. What do you think?