Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Final Cut Pro X mon amor...

Apple has recently released FCPX: a full overhaul of the editing system on which my livelihood is dependent. Eeek.


What's more there's been a lot of yelling and screaming from “legacy” FCP users within a week of release, this, to my mind is not really enough time to tell whether a user interface is going to work effectively. There’s a panic over the loss of late edition features like multiclips and chapter markers as well as older pseudo-obsolete features like EDL (I can’t call it obsolete just yet, I just sent one off to Digipost)

The only worrying thing to me is the automated effects that pose to do colour-matching with a single click, this sounds highly amateurish to me but strangely I don’t hear anyone mentioning this.

No, what I’m looking for in a redesigned program are baseline features, like: utilization of the 64bit chip, utilization of all available RAM, background rendering, basic workflow features like background importing and file conversion with clip analysis none of which were available on FCP7 and were not even possible with its outdated architecture. Personally I like the move to forward-looking compatibility rather than back-compatibility, how many dinosaurs can a program support before it itself goes extinct. Version 1.0 (well, let's face it version 10.0 is actually a version 1.0) is about getting the architecture right, it’s not about whistles and bells (and all the bugs that come with them).

This is Apple’s model, start simple, get feedback, make improvements. Don’t try to do everything at once before you know what people want.

I think I just talked myself into buying it…

2 days later

So I bought it, I’ve been sitting down for an hour, and I love it. The audio controls are miles ahead of FCP7, the way they are visualized is helpful and efficient, when you raise the audio levels it actually changes the waveform (fancy that?) what’s more it shows peaking within visualization and it also has an audio compressor which a video person can actually understand rather than playing trial and error.

The flattened colour correction rectangle (as opposed to the colour wheel) is brilliant, it gives me what I’ve wanted for a long time, accurate keyboard control of colour correction rather than having to clumsily mouse a difficult to move pointer around a wheel – it also has saturation adjustments for blacks, mids and whites which was a major pitfall of FCP7′s 3-Way Colour Corrector.

And for the very small percentage of us who use the Dvorak keyboard layout, it is the first FCP that can use keyboard shortcuts in Dvorak since FCP 4.5. I think I just fell in love.

Though the magnetic timeline is new to me, I can see how it might be better than a track based timeline in many ways, but this will take longer to judge. Still don’t quite get the file management side of things but the amount of import options you have is very impressive.

I feel as though Final Cut Pro just stripped out everything I don't use and gave me everything I wanted.

I may be forced to eat my words once I actually start a proper project, but so far it’s very promising especially for a 1.0. And it hasn’t crashed yet.