Saturday, December 15, 2012

FCPX - After Editing 2 big projects

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know that i've dipped in and out of FCPX since it's release...with varying results.

Back in 2011, i started editing 'The Addicted' with it, but 5 hours into the start of the edit, FCPX crashed and lost all my work. I didn't look at it again for a few months.  I've always kept it on my editing machine and now and again i have used it for specific little jobs little titles or sometimes just for transcoding footage.. but with the 10.0.6 update (now 10.0.7) and with Magic Bullet Looks now running on it, i decided to give it another proper go.

A few things have changed since i last tried it... the import window is better and there isn't a separate one for camera import now (not that i use it)... and a lot of the menus have moved about. Another change i like a lot is the share menu... it's much better and works really well. I'm also a big fan of the time saving features...mainly:

  • Multi-Cam syncs to audio and really works amazingly well.
  • Re-Time with Optical Flow... in some case, better results than Twixtor.
  • The new copy and pasting of either Effects and/or other attributes from clip to clip.
  • Massive increase in render speed... it's soooo fast now. You have to try it to believe it.
After only 2 projects i can now zip around FCPX and edit far quicker than i could after 5 years on the old Final Cut Pro. There's some new shortcuts to learn and new ways of working, but it really doesn't take long at all.

The new dual viewer is really useful... i have it turned off most of the time, but for checking colour matching it's vital. I absolutely love the background rendering. I have it set to only kick in after 5 seconds of no activity. So i can edit away without stopping until i fancy a rest or until i need to think about what comes next and FCPX automatically uses that 'downtime' to render what i've done... and it renders fast. The only things that slow the render up are some 3rd party plug-ins. Magic Bullet Looks is better than ever, but it won't playback in realtime on FCPX until it's rendered... and it still takes a little while...the same goes for NEAT Noise Reduction. But...most if not all of the included 'Looks' and effects work in realtime before the render has taken place. Awesome.

Things i'd like to see. (unless there is a way to do them already...please let me know)

  • Drag settings from colour board to multiple clips.
  • Drag any effects settings from the 'inspector' to any clip.
  • Let me have 2 viewers split over 2 screens, rather than 2 on one screen.
  • Let me save favourites for FX settings
I don't have the problems some people have reported about file management. I have moved projects from one drive to another with no problem.. as long as you stick to the file structure and keep things in the right folders on the root of your drives, it's no problem. The 'Duplicate Project' feature works fine too.

Things that really help with using FCPX as opposed to FCP7:

  • RAM - You need lots. It's 64bit, so it can see and use as much as you can throw at it. I put an extra 8Gb of RAM in last week and the difference in speed was amazing. No more spinning ball.
  • No more scratch disk. It all lives in the 2 folders - Events and Projects. Use FW800 drives at the minimum for speed. Upgrade to Thunderbolt when it's feasible... then it will really fly.
  • Learn to use Keywords when importing. It'll make sense of the events window and you'll find your footage much quicker when you're working on big projects.
So there it is... it's not the crock we all thought it was a year ago... it's matured and continues to do so. It's still got a few issues, but i'm going to stick with it and learn it inside out...  i've still got FCP7 if i need it.

Oh, and it did crash once in the middle of a pretty big edit... but it re-booted fine exactly where i left off... so i can deal with that.

In other news...

I did an all day shoot last week on a 5D Mk2. It's been a while, but it was interesting to go back to doing a proper shoot on a DSLR. I had some gorgeous lenses...all Canon 'L' range zooms... apart from a Zeiss compact prime 50mm. It all worked great... but i really missed the stuff i've got used to on my FS100 and Ninja2 combination...namely:

  • Focus Peaking
  • Zebras
  • Proper playback - with scrubbing
  • Manual Iris on manual lenses
  • 1080p Slow Mo...
Having said all that, the 5D Mk2 performed as it should and it was nice to be so compact for the day.


1 comment:

  1. Great write up of the latest FCPX version. After moving to Premiere Pro last year, i've moved to FCPX this month and i'm not going back.