6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 25, 2011 8:34 AM by David Harbsmeier
Badunit Level 6 (11,515 points)

I found this article on FCPX interesting.  It appears to answer several questions that have been posted here.  Not all answers are "good"; there are features that "will be" added and driver support that "will be" developed but a few other things that have been mentioned as missing features or limitations are, according to the article, not actually missing or limiting.


http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/professional-video-editors-weigh-in-on -final-cut-pro-x/

Mac Pro 2008/Intel iMac 2009/Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • AHXtreme42 Level 3 (540 points)

    That's a good article.


    I'm definitely not a professional editor yet (although one day hopefully [or tv production]) but from what I've experienced with FCPX as an intermediate level editor is definitely a similar attitude.


    The enhancements FCPX brings, absolutely rock. 64 bit is great, background rendering has saved me an amazing amount of time, I needed native AVCHD support, and I kinda like the new UI with some few exceptions. The things that are DIFFERENT will take time getting used to, and Im willing to learn.


    However, it is clear that elements are missing. Even as only an intermediate editor, I'd like multicam back, I'd REALLY like better Motion Integration back (Send to Motion and importing .motns into the timeline), saving QT Reference Files, setting render file locations, etc. These need to be addressed by Apple (id say for their own sake) and I'm sure people more professional than me find MORE features missing that they must have. I know a lot of the things in that article the author brushes off, like for example output to tape: he says its on its way, but what if a studio needs to run something through a tape deck. So I know theres even more that needs to be restored than just my simple requests.


    However, if Apple can redeliver these elements, and combine that with the improvements in FCPX, I'm going to be a VERY happy camper.

  • Patrick Sheffield Level 7 (29,175 points)

    I was one of those professional editors who called him on his earlier review of FCX. This was my comment to the latest article:


    MultiCam... I edit music videos that my have 50 or more takes, not just 2 to bounce between. So the work around won't.

    Automatic Duck may be $200 to upgrade, but if you don't already own it (and there was little need to in the past, as FCP supported OMF directly), you'll have to pay almost double the application price ($500) to get it. And that's only to get your audio out. The fact that there are no ways to assign different audio to different tracks in FCX in the first place means that your audio guy is going to be looking at a dog's breakfast rather than an organized understandable layout.

    RED support. You can convert the RED material to QuickTime prior to bringing it into FCX, but you no longer have access to the full 4 or 5K RAW image info that you formerly did. This is not simply convenience, but a cornerstone to utilizing the RED camera.

    Scratch Disks. Apple keeps all my renders on the same disk as my source. Fine, if they fit. I am currently working on a documentary that has over 32 two terabyte drives. I keep the renders on a separate drive. Spreading the renders over all my source drives means that not only do I lose my source if I don't have a drive online, I lose the renders too. Removing the ability to set the scratch disk may keep inexperienced users out of trouble, but it ties the hands of people who know what they are doing.

    Video tape is on the way out. But it's not gone. Not for years. And FCX refusing to support it won't quicken that demise, it just removes FCX as a viable tool for professionals who still have to deal with tape.

    EDLs. Sure, they're a simplistic, lowest-common-denominator, text file. But that's often the case of things that are COMMON. Apple may think these "crude" files should be retired, but why should post facilities replace millions of dollars of hardware and software because Apple finds them "crude"?

    Many of your explanations make it clear that Apple is catering to the dabblers and dilettantes. Which is fine. But then you don't get to call your product Pro.

  • Patrick Sheffield Level 7 (29,175 points)

    This, btw, is the letter I sent to David Pogue:



    Your article in the Times was aimed at the consumer, so I'll forgive your consumer bias. You're not an editor, nor do you play one on TV. I don't say that with disdain - professional editors are a minority.


    However, as a member of that minority, I've cut award winning music videos, commercials, feature films, and documentaries, and I have to tell you - FCX is not a professional package. This is not bias against the user interface changes or having to learn a new system. It's about what Apple left behind in its pursuit of the prosumer market place.


    All those feature films you listed that were cut in Final Cut Pro could never be edited with FCX. Why? Because feature films, like most high end productions, are a collaboration. I'm sure FCX has the potential to be a fine tool, however right now, it's a closed system. It may be fine as an end-to-end solution if you use DSLR or AVCHD (but not the RED Camera yet).


    Most importantly, though, is that "closed system" part. It is a program unto itself. With no ability to import or export EDLs, XML, OMF, or even FCP's old projects, and no ability to map audio or video tracks, there's no way to collaborate with others.


    I just finished a Scion commercial in Final Cut Pro 7 - I didn't do the effects, they were done on a Flame. Guess what I gave the EFx house? EDLS - of all my elements that made up each effects shot split onto separate video tracks so the effects artist could pull those same elements in at high resolution and spend hours carefully assembling each shot in high end effects software. (If you do not know, an EDL or Edit Decision List is 30 year old technology that essentially is a text file consisting of a structured list of timecodes detailing the timecode of the start and stop of each shot. It's old technology, but it's the glue that allows the many elements that make up an edit to be dealt with by a wide variety of systems).


    And I split all my audio and output OMFs (industry standard audio interchange file) and gave them to the audio mixer who cleaned up the audio and added effects and did a 5.1 surround sound mix, etc...


    And this was just for a 30 second commercial. None of this is possible with FCX. You cannot assign video or audio to specific tracks, you cannot export your audio elements. This is very basic stuff for the broadcast professional.


    Right now FCX feels crippled - closed off from the rest of broadcast post. Maybe with time it will learn how to play well with others, but as of now I don't think it's a broadcast pro product. And while FCX is "learning" how to become a professional, Apple have pulled all the copies of Final Cut Studio from their stores, as if they're saying "I don't care what you need, you'll use what we want you to or leave".


    Understandably, many working post production professionals feel angry and betrayed by Apple's actions. One had this to say:


    Sorry if I'm a bit flippant, but I'm a little angry today because I, along with a sizable minority of other editors, have spent nearly a decade in this city championing FCP--which for many years was for me the best promo editing machine on the planet--against a solid majority of Avid editors (of, which, I was one). Today, I fear that argument is over. What I saw today was a slick little prosumer package, that I can't use in any meaningful way. Final Cut Pro 4.5 was far more useful to me than this thing is.



    And, I don't think this is a case of.. "Oh, this is a version one; it will get better when they find out what people need." They've had plenty of time to find out what people need. I think they know exactly what they are doing and know exactly where they want to go. That is what is for me so disheartening.


    I just thought you'd like to know how Final Cut X is viewed from the Pro community.

  • RedHavoc Level 3 (770 points)

    lol - you obviously haven't read his follow up article have you?






    But — and let me be clear on this point — I think Apple blew it.

  • David Harbsmeier Level 7 (29,920 points)

    To me, the most laughable part of the article was concerning EDLs being crude and old technology.  So is the wheel.  But it works and even after thousands of years, it's as viable today as it was when it was invented.


    Who knows, maybe Apple will come out with the iWheel or the Wheel Pro X.