how I learnt to stop worrying and love the new final cut

Posts tagged ‘workflow’

Let’s call it… Co-operation!

There’s a strong declaration of intent over at CrumplePop¬†where they explain why they have tied themselves to the mast of FCPX. In particular they are predicting that everybody will be over the fear of change and the learning curve (and the bug fixes) within a year. That’s pretty bold.

Call me skittish but right now I don’t even know if I will have done a ‘Day Job’ Job on FCPX by then.
Probably. But not likely enough to bet the everybody will be doing it.

Motion, on the other hand, is a different case.

Turns out my mum is reading this (hi mum) so I’ll explain. Motion is the tool for making text, images and all that magicky stuff fly around on the screen. Like PowerPoint but better.

There are three reasons why I will be using the new version of Motion in ‘combat’ conditions long before I take that chance on Final Cut Pro.
1. It hasn’t changed as much.
2. It runs 64-bit which is more efficient and that’s a bigger deal for this kind of work.
3. It over-writes the old version when you install it.

Number three means that I’ve been working with it today at the office. I could re-install the old one but that would be a hassle I could avoid.

Here, then, are my first impressions:
Doesn’t play well with Final Cut Studio 7 – Roundtripping is just broken but I never really trusted roundtripping before.
Fast but erratic – works, renders and plays back quickly and well. Then it kinda freezes up for thirty seconds for no particular reasons. I had a couple of crashes but I didn’t loose any work to speak of. Some of the controls were kind of twitchy.
Not immune to the Apple mind control juggernaut – I spent a few minutes looking for the export command. Apparently we ‘share’ everything now. Because nothing says Pro User like a Sesame St reference. It’s all very friendly and stuff but it’s one of those changes where Apple has actively asserted something and it has no clear benefit for the user. Therefore you can only assume that it is more valuable to their master plan.
Fortunately the default keyboard short-cut is still command-E so you can think export even while you’re sharing.


Sculpture vs Painting

henry dancingWhen I start a project my habit is to throw all of my material down on the timeline then go through it and cut out the bits that are totally useless. If they are really good I might move them up a track for easy finding.

Then I duplicate the sequence and go through again and take out more.

Depending on the scale and complexity of the project I’ll keep repeating the process. In some cases this can more ore less finish the edit.

That’s the sculpture approach. Chip away everything that doesn’t look like my creation and what is left is what it is.

FCPX seems to favour the opposite approach.

Locate the good shots. Find the good bit of the good shot. Put that in the Storyline (we’re not supposed to call it a timeline anymore). Then find the next bit you need.

To extend the painting metaphor the script is your sketch. You apply a base layer. Then flesh out the details. It’s an entirely sensible and logical way of working. It may even be the sensible and logical way of working.

Now if only I could work on a project which had a script and was shot according to plan to fulfill the promise of that script. It happens but it’s handy to have techniques for when it doesn’t happen too.

Maybe its just my because my comfort zone is tweaked. Perhaps someone who habitually works in the ‘logical’ script-first manner would feel like their favorite buttons were missing too. But I genuinely felt myself being pushed into that style.

The other possibility is that there is a new way of working that I’m not seeing that will solve all my problems.Chances are its a bit of both.

I spent most of a decade working out the best way to bash together a project in different circumstances. No one taught me to do the sculpture thing. It wasn’t in the manual. It was trial and error.

So trial and error is what I’m doing.