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Axel

Out now: FCP X 10.3

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With new GUI, workspaces, flexible audio-transitions, audio-roles (and probably video-roles) shown as "lanes" (like intelligent tracks), wide color gamut, what have you. Check out Ernie & Bert:

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I also am very very glad I took the plunge with I think 10.0.6 which was when I think they added multicam and some other useful features. Not made the 10.3 update yet as I've projects on, but everything I've seen looks superb. They've fixed loads of issues people had and made major and massive improvements. Finally saved workspaces! The role based editing looks superb and something that the program was badly missing. People will still trash it after the now 5 years ago botched release (I bet most of them have never used it either) but this is certainly a Pro NLE now. I tried using Premiere the other day, it felt so old, outdated and slow compared to even FCPX 10.2

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1 hour ago, Fritz Pierre said:

Love FCPX....and it keeps on improving....I think one day we'll all look back on this and laugh about it:glasses:...although I must admit I do always hang back a bit with every upgrade, before downloading!

I'll hang back myself for a few months purely for the sake of my 3rd party plugins. Though I have never had any problems before, there is always a first time.

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This is controversial-ish, but I feel after looking at Premiere that in comparison to FCPX it's pretty "old-school". Not that old school is bad. FCPX is clearly a lot more modern with the way it's constructed and performs. 

More of the critical non-users are bashing it again. Ridiculous really. It's an ace editor, and in my opinion, the best. 

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1 hour ago, Oliver Daniel said:

This is controversial-ish, but I feel after looking at Premiere that in comparison to FCPX it's pretty "old-school".

Track-based NLEs have worked reliably for decades. Editing on computers had always been that way. And editors are used, trained, conditioned to the way of thinking which independant tracks demand, which is arranging ideas in time. You can place your first clip three minutes or hours into the future with FCP X too, but the program strongly discourages this. It gently forces you to compose your story linearly. Each clip you add seems to strengthen the magnetic pull, resulting in self-suggesting cuts. This can be a trap. You so early see the outline of your whole project that you rarely think twice. It has the efficiency of a mind map. A mind map, through visualizing the connections of your seemingly uncorrelated fancies on a certain topic, organizes these ideas. Happens almost without effort on your part. Vague thoughts are rendered concrete, they become storylines. The process is dramatically abbreviated, doubts about alternatives have no time to sink in. 

1 hour ago, Oliver Daniel said:

It's an ace editor, and in my opinion, the best. 

In mine too. But the above arguments are from my best buddy (with Premiere), and I know he wishes just the best for me.

A way to approach FCP X: more experiments. Don't start with clip one. Edit chunks in own projects, compound them. Edit compound clips. Rearrange everything, start over if things seem to fall into place too readily. Use gap clips (delete) to break up shock frozen structures. Use connected clips more to avoid storylines.

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1 hour ago, Oliver Daniel said:

This is controversial-ish, but I feel after looking at Premiere that in comparison to FCPX it's pretty "old-school". Not that old school is bad. FCPX is clearly a lot more modern with the way it's constructed and performs. 

More of the critical non-users are bashing it again. Ridiculous really. It's an ace editor, and in my opinion, the best. 

I always think (because of what I have read, as opposed to experienced) that Premiere is for serious professional editors and FCPX is for beginners who have just progressed from iMovie. Whenever I use FCPX it runs through my mind that it's for kids due to both its simplicity of use and the general consensus (mainly on forums) that Premiere is for serious filmmakers.

Whenever I have watched editing tutorials for Premiere (usually when looking at a plug-in not yet released for FCPX) it looks to be the most complicated thing in the world that would take years to scratch the surface of.

Perhaps I will look at Premiere sometime in the future, but for now I am happier with what I know I can do standing on my head.

How much 'better' is Premiere as an editing suite over FCPX - for somebody with the same footage from the same camera and an expert with both, what can Premiere do that FCPX can't with regards to producing the exact same film?

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The biggest advantage of FCP X is performance. I edit 4K clips like butter. Fearing Apple prices, I tried Da Vinci Resolve, but in my same Macbook it runs like shit with Full HD files. And price, I bought FCP X when it came out for 180€, I have been using it for five years. Not even 40€ a year for a pro program!!!

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13 hours ago, Davey said:

Whenever I have watched editing tutorials for Premiere (usually when looking at a plug-in not yet released for FCPX) it looks to be the most complicated thing in the world that would take years to scratch the surface of.

To understand the basics is not as hard as it may seem. I know vintage FCP and Premiere up to CS5.5 (and followed it through my friend who also teaches Adobe) very well. Under the surfaces (which from some distance are almost identical, compared to FCP X) there are a lot of things that got built in over the years, adding new functions, trying to fix bugs, adding new bugs by becoming too bloated. 

If for you Premiere approaches as the NLE equivalent of an Imperial Star Destroyer for all it's size and power, it's ridiculously weak in organizing footage. The features for that, despite Prelude (a separate app in the CC), are practically non-existent. And so, if you are new to the software, you right-click or so in the window that obviously is some kind of empty browser and import.

In FCP X, if well advised, you do a lot of preparation work before you even start a project, make a cut.

11 hours ago, Davey said:

This is on Live right now:

 

As Matzdorf says (34'25">>) he doesn't want to work with Premiere because he finds it "very clunky, (...) handicapping in many ways".

I deliberately set aside the track management for now and start earlier, with playback and navigation. In order to load a clip to the viewer (the one to qualify footage clips), you need to double-click the clip (list name or thumbnail, there is only a thumbnail view for hover-scrubbing, there is no skimmer) and then use spacebar, jkl or drag the playhead. If you had bothered to sort your clips in folders to kind of rudimentarily organize them, you of course have to first double-click those folder-icons to see their content.

All this is absurdly redundant, all this useless clicking, key-hitting and shoving costs so much time and energy and mental health. This alone disqualifies Premiere for me, I could never go back.

The paradigm of the open timeline with independant tracks, on the other hand, slows down editing when you have to deliver news or when you just know in advance how the cookie will crumble, like for instance in wedding videography. In Final Cut, I compose the whole thing in my mind whilst viewing, favoring and tagging the footage. The actual timeline work is little else than an execution of that, with the aid of the primary storyline concept and the magnetism. Some rearranging, some trimming, that's more or less the extent of it.

The point is, as always with unique virtues* (for example low light capabilities of a camera can be bad if they make you think you didn't have to know about lighting), that you can easily forget to care (see my motto).

13 hours ago, Davey said:

How much 'better' is Premiere as an editing suite over FCPX - for somebody with the same footage from the same camera and an expert with both, what can Premiere do that FCPX can't with regards to producing the exact same film?

Nothing. But an NLE is a tool. If creative decisions look too obvious, they are the worse ones. Editing means trial & error. Repetition. The power of starting over with more experience, like reincarnation with conscience about your karma. Tracks facilitate error and encourage creativity. 

In consequence, because we don't want to make bad films, we have to raise the bar in FCP X. We have to aim for the 'future of storytelling'. People are ready to follow much more complex and fragmented narrations (one hesitates to say stories), in fact they favor them!

 

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15 hours ago, Davey said:

....How much 'better' is Premiere as an editing suite over FCPX - for somebody with the same footage from the same camera and an expert with both, what can Premiere do that FCPX can't with regards to producing the exact same film?

I edited with Premiere for years before switching (mostly) to FCPX. You can get the job done in either editor. Both are used to edit Hollywood feature films, although most of those are edited in Avid.

Assuming "Premiere" means the entire Adobe suite, you have a wider array of tools. E.g, you can do spectral audio editing using Audition, whereas in FCPX you'd have to get an expensive external tool like RX5 for that.

Premiere is available on both Windows and Mac, so you can build a very powerful Windows editing machine using the latest hardware, whereas FCPX is Mac-only so you're limited to that hardware.

OTOH FCPX is generally faster and more efficient. Running on my 2015 iMac 27, it transcodes and exports to H264 about 4x faster than Premiere CC -- on the same hardware.

A big advantage of FCPX is "digital asset management". It is essentially a database merged with an editing program. Premiere by contrast has limited ability to catalog, tag and keyword content, and no ability to do this on ranges within clips. Working on a large project with 50 or more hours of material, it is easy to get bogged down just trying to find content. I worked on a large documentary using Premiere and that was a big problem. We evaluated CatDV (an external asset manager) but back then it was unsuitable so ended up having to write a complex Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the content.

By comparison FCPX has a built-in asset manager and makes finding content easy -- including tagged and keyworded ranges within clips. The FCPX "skimmer" is vastly faster than any other editor and facilitates rapid visual searches for content.

Many people find FCPX easier to use -- initially. However IMO FCPX is harder to fully learn and exploit all the features. E.g, Premiere (at least prior to recently) had no storage management features, so obviously there was nothing to learn. FCPX has both managed and unmanaged libraries, plus all kinds of side issues related to this -- consolidation, creating "lean" transfer libraries, etc. 

For people coming from other track-based editors like Avid, Vegas, etc, Premiere is familiar and requires no fundamental reorientation. By contrast using FCPX most efficiently requires adopting a different workflow -- using the metadata features, tagging and keywording content in the Event Browser *before* you start cutting on the timeline, etc. This is especially true regarding the magnetic timeline. E.g, making a "split edit", aka "J cut" or "L cut" in Premiere is intuitive and straightforward -- the audio and video tracks are separate and this visually reinforces what you're doing. In FCPX, making that same edit while not detaching the audio is not as intuitive.

Up until the recent FCPX 10.3 release, Premiere had a major ease-of-use advantage in doing certain tasks on a multicam clip. E.g, you could easily apply stabilization, optical flow smoothing or color-correction tracking directly to the multicam clip. By contrast FCPX required a complex workaround of looking up the timecode range in the base clips. As of 10.3 this has been improved but I haven't fully tested it.

From a cost standpoint, Premiere (for the whole suite) is about $50 per month per person, and Adobe essentially discontinued any non-profit discount with CC. FCPX is $299 for a one-time purchase and you can use it on all the computers that "you own or control", and updates thus far have been free. If you ever stop paying Adobe $50 per month, you lose access to your projects, although your rendered output will still be there. IOW you are never "vested" in the software no matter how many years you pay.

OTOH $50 a month is a lot less immediate out-of-pocket expense than the previous one-time-purchase of the Adobe suite, which was thousands of dollars. For that monthly price you are getting a huge amount of diverse software which is continuously updated.

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19 hours ago, Axel said:

Track-based NLEs have worked reliably for decades. Editing on computers had always been that way. And editors are used, trained, conditioned to the way of thinking which independant tracks demand, which is arranging ideas in time. You can place your first clip three minutes or hours into the future with FCP X too, but the program strongly discourages this. It gently forces you to compose your story linearly. Each clip you add seems to strengthen the magnetic pull, resulting in self-suggesting cuts. This can be a trap. You so early see the outline of your whole project that you rarely think twice. It has the efficiency of a mind map. A mind map, through visualizing the connections of your seemingly uncorrelated fancies on a certain topic, organizes these ideas. Happens almost without effort on your part. Vague thoughts are rendered concrete, they become storylines. The process is dramatically abbreviated, doubts about alternatives have no time to sink in. 

 

That's actually a really interesting point that I haven't considered as a FCPX user and I'll definitely keep it mind in future edits. One counterpoint is that Final Cut makes it so much easier to rearrange edits into completely new ones because of the magnetic timeline. You just drag the clips you want to move to the end, to the beginning, wherever, and the other clips shift around as needed and then your edit is ready. You may need to change some J or L cuts, but as long as your connected clips are set properly it should be very smooth. With track-based editing, if you decide you need to restructure, then you could be in for a very long process with many opportunities to make mistakes and misplace things.

Additionally, any good editor should be able to plan their story before putting a clip on the timeline. Pen and paper aren't going away. And I'd argue that using a gap to place a section three minutes in isn't necessarily working against the FCPX workflow. You place your gap, and then utilize the magnetic timeline from that point on. Then, you can place a group right above the gap and you've got a new 'magnetic timeline' to work with, that you can easily merge with the main timeline whenever you'd like. Yes, you've created a track. But it's a very powerful track.

Sure, FCPX does make it easier to be lazy with an edit, but why should that be an argument against it? Isn't that an effect of any new technology? Certainly the same arguments were made when Media Composer.

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On 31/10/2016 at 8:35 PM, Davey said:

I always think (because of what I have read, as opposed to experienced) that Premiere is for serious professional editors and FCPX is for beginners who have just progressed from iMovie. 

This simply is not true. This is the internet talking. 

Apple did something quite clever in that they made FCPX accessible for amateurs or those using iMovie - with the idea to progress them into the professional features of FCPX and keep them there. Premiere looks more daunting, but why does it have to be that way to be "professional?" Why settle for complicated when you don't have to? 

The term "professional" gets thrown around a lot and doesn't actually mean anything in context to these NLE's. I make a living out of video work. Would I be any less of a professional if I thought iMovie was the best editor for the job? If it was revealed that Pulp Fiction was edited on Windows Movie Maker, would that make it any less of a film?  What matters is the end result, and any of these programs will help get you there. 

That said, and I know Axel commented on this, is that FCPX still gets dismissed by many, even though they won't use it, because FCPX goes against the norm with a new style of editing video. Change is hard, but in this case, I think change is better. Much better. There's no denying that FCPX is the most modern editor of all, and some of us understand this next-generation change of magnetic timelines and rich metadata media management. Some of us like it the usual way. 

 

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I'll have to upgrade and check it out. It looks like this is what FCPX should have been when it launched. 

I will say I find editing on FCPX to be a different beast, and a different way of working to both FCP7 and Avid (have not used Premiere that extensively so can't really comment).

I really like FCPX's background tasks. Makes editing quicker. 

On 10/31/2016 at 7:02 AM, Axel said:

You so early see the outline of your whole project that you rarely think twice. It has the efficiency of a mind map. A mind map, through visualizing the connections of your seemingly uncorrelated fancies on a certain topic, organizes these ideas. Happens almost without effort on your part. Vague thoughts are rendered concrete, they become storylines. The process is dramatically abbreviated, doubts about alternatives have no time to sink in. 

I agree to some extent - though I find that whilst FCPX makes it quick to assemble a basic edit, fine cutting and even things that would seem as simple as finely editing transition timing can get extremely finnicky and difficult. 

If FCPX decides to make the two clips you've put your transition on a storyline, it makes it really difficult to adjust the things inside it. Similarly, if FCPX decides the audio track you've dragged onto the timeline first to cut to is your main storyline, it makes it really difficult to adjust the position and timing of the audio clip without having to re-adjust everything else. The lack of definable tracks can be annoying as well - handy in some instances, annoying in others. Even things like scrubbing are slightly more annoying than in other editors.

Not to mention that the organisation of multiple cuts seems unneccessary. Rather than simply having multiple sequences, you have to duplicate Projects.

And the biggest one of all - no OMF support!

These are all things that are easy in other editors... Use what works for you though - there's plusses and minuses to any system. I can see why FCPX is popular amongst certain editors - it fits certain types of work and jobs better than others. For the right job, it's very very good. For the wrong job, it's annoying as all hell.

The one thing about Avid, Premiere, FCP7 etc. is that they tend to be at the very least very adequate regardless of the job.

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