Update 2: 10.11.2 is out, and fixes the stabilization rendering issue some have reported. The TC window UI glitch is partially fixed, but numbers are still offset… Also, Izotope’s stuff works now, and most major plugins have been updated…
In the next couple days, OS X 10.11, El Capitan, will be unleashed. Generally, I’m the moron who immediately updates anything the second it appears, and I happily tell everyone else to do the same. But this time, if you’re using Pro Apps, I’d recommend holding off for a bit. And by “a bit”, I mean until Pro App and 3’rd party plugin updates appear.
That’s not to say your apps won’t work, they will. In fact, those of you who stubbornly refuse to give up FCP 7 – (what is wrong with you?!?) – will be thrilled to learn that it still works. This is probably it’s last gasp, but it’s still kicking. 🙂
And while there are some little UI oddities, FCP X works just fine too. The problem is with plugins. El Capitan contains some fairly significant changes to the GPU code in preparation for “Metal”. It also restricts access to certain system locations, essentially making the “sandbox” more secure.
As you can see, I’ve had some issues with audio plugins, and CoreMelt has posted that the Slice/Track/Drive X plugins will need to be updated. (see updates above for fixes) I’m sure there are others with similar issues, I haven’t really tried everything.
UPDATE: Izotope plugins now work. 🙂
Ben Balser has a related post on his blog, which you may want to check out. He reports that Color Finale won’t work properly though it seems OK for me. Anyway, I’m not as strident in my warnings. Honestly, If you don’t use any 3’rd party plugins, you may be OK. But if you do, don’t dive in just yet. Leave that to fools like me!
I was bored the other day so I wrote a little AppleScript to automate the process of sharing a bunch of projects to a single destination. Basically it hits CMD-E, return, return, down arrow for the number of times you specify. You have to put your Projects in a collection or something and select the first one. Then tell Share-O-Matic how many times to repeat the action and get out of it’s way. Literally. It won’t stop until it repeats those keystrokes the number of times you specify. Seriously, it’s literally unstoppable, and kind of terrifying. Also you can’t do anything else while it chugs away.
This is not a real batch exporter, it just queues all your Shares up for you. Start small and see how it works. It’s kind of useless if you only have a few projects, but if you have a lot, you can go have a cocktail while it presses buttons for you. 😉 However, If it destroys your computer and you lose all your work, I disclaim any responsibility. Use at your own risk. And feel free to share it if you find it useful.
Here it is: Click Me!
UPDATE: Seems like great minds think alike, as there’s apparently another similar script available here. It’s 20 bucks as opposed to free, and seems a little fancier than mine, but both appear to do exactly the same thing. He has a tutorial in which he makes a good point… If you’re sharing a lot of Projects, turn off the FCP X alerts in System Prefs when you run the script. Unless you want 100 alerts piling up for you to dismiss. 🙂
So, ya know how you sometimes have a clip, usually a music ender or something, that you’d like to add a reverb tail out to? And how you have to put it in a Compound Clip, add some Gap, go back to the project and extend the clip so you’ll have some media for the ‘verb to tail out in? Or you set an I/O range that extends beyond the clip, export it, import the longer clip you made and add your reverb.
I’ve been doing that in every NLE I’ve used. Actually… I think Vegas might act more lIke a DAW and verb will tail out past a clip boundary. But… you gotta do the workaround in FCP Old, Pr or MC.
Well, in FCP X, turns out you don’t need to do that at all. There’s an easier way – using the audio hold frame “panhandling” trick. Check it out, and thanks to a viewer of one of my other videos for pointing this out, it’s an enormous timesaver…
Track Tetris. If you’re an editor, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a game we all play constantly while we work. I don’t really think about it. It’s just a part of the process of moving clips from a source – or within a timeline – into a section of the timeline containing other clips. I suppose I could’ve just said ‘editing’, but this is a very fancy blog.
Like anyone, I prepare the timeline for each move or cut. Set rollers, patch the source tracks, lock tracks, move audio or video up or down to adjacent tracks, make new tracks etc. Once I’ve cleared the way, I move or cut in the clips. Usually it’s fine. But sometimes, I overwrite something I didn’t intend to. I lose the game. No biggie, hit undo and try again. Like I said… I never really gave it a second thought.
Then… I started using Final Cut Pro X. And the game changed.
I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It wasn’t. Counting my years as an audio guy, I had over 2 decades of daily brain/muscle conditioning screaming that this trackless magnetic timeline thing was completely absurd. No tracks?! WTF!?
DRAMATIZATION – DO NOT ATTEMPT
However, being a glutton for punishment I persevered. And I discovered that it does work, quite nicely in fact.
Yes, I still move things around in the timeline. But only when I want to, not because I have to. And I never need to move things out of the way. Mostly all I need to do is set my source I/O, select an in-point in the timeline, and press a key. Or grab some clips in the timeline and move them. FCPX takes care of how it fits into the puzzle for me. I don’t clear the runway, I just land. 😉 If I don’t like the arrangement I can change it later. Right now, I can stay with the flow, in the groove, whatever you want to call it.
So… why do we need tracks again?
Tracks exist because they’re analogs for, uh… analog. Audio tape recorders, film projectors, videotape players… all these things pass media over a fixed head of some sort with which they need to be in perfect alignment. That paradigm carried over into the digital world. It made it easier to understand. But the change to a digital world is (mostly) done. We don’t need tracks for that anymore.
I Used to Calibrate Things Like This
What tracks are very good for, is visual organization in a timeline. Walter Murch’s famous FCP “classic” timeline is the perfect example of that. Could he do something like that in FCPX? Well… If he needed it to look like that he probably couldn’t. Although, I can think of some ways to approximate it, but it’d be like using popsicle sticks and glue to build a house or something. So how do you visually organize a timeline in FCPX? you ask. Secondary Storylines and Roles, that’s how.
Admittedly, visual organization in the FCPX timeline needs some work, it’s far from perfect. But the foundation is there and it’s solid. Assign Roles properly, and you can see where everything is instantly. Maybe not how you’re used to seeing things, but not much about the FCPX timeline works the way you’re used to anyway.
In fact, if you’re like me and are more concerned with fitting all your clips onscreen than carefully arranging things, FCPX works really well right now. I have no idea how Mr Murch was able to work in that timeline. He must have had a really big monitor!
Here’s an illustration from an article comparing FXPX to FCP7 I wrote for Creative Cow some time ago… It’s a visual organization comparison of the same cut in both timelines. As you can see, my X timeline looks just like my 7 timeline. I was confused and terrified by the Primary Storyline back then, and didn’t use it. Foolish Noob! 😉
In 7, if I hadn’t cut it, I’d have no clue what any of those clips were just by glancing at the timeline. In X, select the desired Role(s) in the timeline index and there they are. Yes, you should be able to have clips with the same Role “stick” together. And preferably be able to choose where roles are placed vertically. VO at the top, then DIA, then FX, then MX or whatever you prefer. Once Apple figures that out, and I think they will, that will replace the last visual function that I think tracks still serve.
Organizationally, Secondary Storylines can already do what tracks do, and they’re more flexible. If you have a clip or clips cut into little pieces, and you’d like them to stay together rather than magnetically flying toward the Primary Storyline, Stick ’em in a secondary. Voila! A track. A track that you can grab and put wherever you want it in the timeline.
And if you connect your secondary to the first frame of the Project, all your little clips will stay right where they are in the timeline. They’re not connected to the Primary so they won’t unexpectedly move when you move clips in the Primary storyline. Great for Music beds and other things like that.
I agree that there’s work to be done with Roles. I’ve talked a little about the visual aspects, and there are audio aspects as well. Some sort of mix buss a Role(s) could be assigned to. Sends, Returns, things like that. Being able to mix a Role might be nice, though I’d rather do that in a DAW. And honestly, if Roles had all the Visual and Audio things I’ve talked a little about, I’d be OK with a trackless DAW. (don’t bother flaming me… I get it, just speculating here…)
I realize they don’t meet everyone’s needs, but for me, Roles and Secondaries can do much of what tracks did, and more. Even with their current imperfections. Combined with the Magnetic, Trackless Timeline, they allow me to just cut stuff without stopping to think about where it fits in the timeline. I can focus on what, not how. I like that.
But here’s the best thing of all about FCPX. No More Track Tetris!! I hate that damn game…
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.
While we wait patiently for The Mac Pro Tube and the next revision to FCPX , I thought I’d post this. It’s been kicking around for a month or so but it’s worth a repost. A screen grab time-lapse of Editor Jesse Jokela cutting a Finnish reality show, Beyond Human Boundaries, in FCPX. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that nobody uses FCPX. Shot on a Canon 5DMarkIII, The show was cut in FCPX and graded in Resolve Lite. This particular episode was also mixed in FCPX 10.0.9. I guess you can do audio in FCPX too. What a surprise!
Seasons 1&2 of the show have been hugely successful in Finland, and have also been broadcast in over 130 countries worldwide (through Discovery and BBC). They are working on English dubbed versions now for wider distribution. Jesse says he made the time lapse for himself “…and to give a glimpse to an outsider of how much goes into editing an episode of tv.” I suggest watching the time-lapse full screen in 1080p. It’s pretty cool, even for a jaded editor like me. 😉
And here’s a trailer, in Finnish, for the series.