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It will also detect people and group them together. The power of the new metadata engine comes from its extensibility. Users can now create their own keyword tags, and even tag-specific sections of clips using custom keywords. All this tagging and metadata becomes incredibly powerful when you realize that Final Cut Pro X adds search capabilities. For example, a user can tag all the footage of an interviewee, and then perform a search query looking for medium-only shots for that interviewee.
Loggers and assistant editors will be much happier. Apple also says that the metadata engine will be extensible via third-party plug-ins, so it won't be too far from the day that we see plug-ins that transcribe and auto-sync transcripts to video. One project, one timeline As you discover the quirks of the new interface, one thing that might not be so obvious is that there is exactly one timeline or sequence to every project.
That might sound natural for amateur video editors, but it's a major change for professionals. Editors routinely duplicate sequences in the same project, so that if you have to go back to a previous version because the new sequence just didn't work out, it's right there. For now, Apple says that if you want to create a snapshot of the current sequence, you can use the Duplicate feature in the menu bar, which creates a new copy of your current project.
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Fortunately, projects are easily viewable from the Project Library. While many will be upset that projects can only contain a single timeline, Apple has really rethought the old track-based timelines, and in the process created some innovations that might make the lack of multiple timelines more palatable.
Final Cut Pro X's most touted feature has got to be the new Magnetic Timeline and all the features that build off of it. Tracks have disappeared, and instead we have what Apple calls "lanes. Like lanes of traffic, clips automatically make room for one another when you move them on the timeline, so you never have to worry about accidentally overwriting a track of audio or video. It's magnetic because clips automatically ripple i. New and amateur video editors will absolutely love the Magnetic Timeline, but it is going to take some time and practice before you see many professional editors embracing it.
Most professional editors won't admit it, but we do spend too much time making room for clips we want to insert, closing up gaps and keeping everything in sync. Admittedly, we find ourselves itching to press the T key for the Track tool to make some space in the timeline.
By just double-clicking on the border where two clips meet, the Inline Precision Editor will expand the clips to show all the footage available in the outgoing and incoming clips. As many gripes as we might have with the loss of separate Viewer and Canvas windows, the Inline Precision Editor is a much better view of footage than Trim Mode.
You can now easily see how much more footage you have left in each clip. Once you have extended or decreased the selection, the timeline ripples all the changes through the sequence, keeping everything in sync. In previous Final Cut Pro apps, you would have to tediously separate out the clips from a sequence before moving them around.
Now, with Clip Connections, you can have multiple pieces of video, title and audio move around on the time line and remain perfectly in sync. In large projects, once you've finished a complex scene or segment, you can now group all the audio, title, and video clips together to act as a single massive clip.
It's a bit like nested sequences, but much easier to use. Effects can be applied as a whole onto Compound Clips, and video can even be retimed as one giant clip. All the while, they remain perfectly in sync. Apple says editors won't have to create multiple sequences for each scene, but can use compound clips instead. Auditioning Often, an editor will be the only individual who has seen all the footage, and by the time directors and producers join edit sessions, an editor will have likely laid out the core elements and structure of a video piece.
Inevitably, though, the producer or director will want to see alternate takes. And pulling apart a sequence to slip in an alternate clip is a major headache. Auditioning will alleviate much of that pain. Editors can try out alternate takes by simply marking an in and an out on alternate clips, drag them onto the existing clip on the timeline, and select "Add to Audition. Effects Because virtually every part of the Final Cut Pro X application is different from its predecessor, it probably isn't a surprise to many that your old bit Final Cut Pro 7 plug-ins won't work with the new FCPX.
That's not to say that Apple is giving up on the third-party plug-in community. In fact, it's relying on it heavily to fill in some missing features. Final Cut Pro X comes complete with a new plug-in architecture that is bit from the start, called FxPlug 2. Developers can access the full specification, on Apple's Developer Web site, and it's been rearchitectured to take advantage of the new high-performance, multithreaded, floating-point rendering engine.
The work that Apple has put into the new rendering engine really shows. Effects can be applied in real time and require little to no rendering. You may see some resolution drops and a few frames here or there, but in our tests it stayed close to real-time performance. Applying effects has never been easier. Instead of dragging and dropping effects and taking a coffee break to wait for it to render, you can simply press play in the timeline and try out different effects and looks in real time by hovering over the effect in the Effects Browser.
Performance There might be a lot to get used to when it comes to the changes to the user interface and missing features, but one area where the new Final Cut Pro X deserves universal praise is performance.
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All the while, we were applying real-time effects and color corrections to untranscoded, p H. Be careful, though, and don't assume that every Mac that Apple has released in the last few years is OpenCL-capable. Part of Final Cut Pro X's new performance increase comes from background processing. While you're pondering your next edit, FCPX will use those down cycles to execute a number of different tasks including transcoding, content auto-analysis for stabilize shaky footage, or removing background noise from audio. Final Cut Pro X even includes a Background Task window, which shows you exactly what FCPX is doing and even offers some manual controls like pausing or canceling a background process.
The new Final Cut Pro X is undoubtedly much faster than its predecessor, but it still maintains high picture quality throughout its rendering engine. The new rendering engine is floating-point based and uses a much wider color space, meaning you could blow out the highlights in one effect and bring back detail into the image with another effect.
Unfortunately, all that exceptional color management goes to waste because as of right now, Final Cut Pro X doesn't support monitoring on professional broadcast monitors. Still, it's quite a disappointment that for now, Final Cut Pro X users will have to trust their computer monitors and know that it probably won't look the same once it hits a real television set or gets projected in a screening room. Motion 5 Many video professionals have been wondering for years when Motion would step up into the big leagues of compositing after it shuttered its Academy Award-winning Shake compositing program.
While the new Motion 5 inherits Final Cut Pro X's new look and high-quality rendering engine, it is not Shake for mere mortals. And Apple says it's not intended to be. Motion graphics designers can now set up Smart Motion Templates with editable parameters that can be "rigged" together. For example, a motion graphics artist can give motion graphic titles several variations with different colors and font sizes that work together.
Editors can adjust these rigs with simple sliders, pop-up menus, or check boxes. Motion 5's new Smart Motion Templates are also more intelligent than their predecessor.
Artists can now define intro animations and out animations, but leave a flexible title "body" to fit the correct timing in the middle. The days of slicing motion graphics and fading between the two to extend a title that just wasn't long enough to cover an edit are over. The most useful improvement to Final Cut Pro X motion graphics is that you can now edit the text right in the Viewer panel. No more opening up a title's controls in the Viewer, changing a bit of text, and then clicking somewhere else on the timeline for your text to update.
Primatte is gone from the package, but Apple says that the new chroma keyer is better than ever. It utilizes the same bit high-quality rendering engine, and our limited testing shows it to be at least on par with Motion 4's Primatte keyer. For the most part, it looks a lot like its previous incarnations, but Apple has cleaned up some of the interface, mostly by getting rid of all those extra Compressor presets that most people only ever used in a blue moon. Considering Final Cut Pro X lost support for laying off video to tape, it's even more important that editors have a compression tool like Compressor 4 to upload files to YouTube, Vimeo, FTP, or whatever future platform, though admittedly FCPX builds some upload functions right into the menu bar.
The moniker is a bit misleading, however. Compressor 4 does not gain the ability to encode live video streams. HTTP live streaming is still file-based, but it does make it a lot easier to generate multi-bit-rate H.
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M3U playlist. HTML5 video the H. Finally, Compressor 4 incorporates Apple's Qmaster rendering engine into the application itself rather than as a separate background application or installation. Users can now designate encoding nodes within the application to take advantage of unused CPU cores or machines on your network.
You will, however, need to install Compressor 4 on other machines on your network to take advantage of the distributed encoding. It's not coming back. Apple sees iTunes as the future model of media distribution, and if you've been following the development of Final Cut Studio, you'll know that DVD Studio Pro hasn't really changed in more than five years. Color was always the odd-man out in the Final Cut Studio suite. Originally, it was called FinalTouch and was developed by Silicon Color until the company was acquired by Apple. But it was always obvious that the app was not very Apple-like, nor is the idea of stepping out of your video-editing application to perform a color correction.
The new Final Cut Pro X incorporates most of the basic features of Color without ever having to leave the application. Color correction is no longer a special effect, but it's built into every clip you lay on the timeline. By just tabbing over, you'll be able to create global color corrections within FCPX, as well as additional secondaries. The color board does take a bit of getting used to, and many users will miss Final Cut Pro's iconic three-way color corrector. In return, however, they will get features like masking and even selective keying to make fine adjustments. It's not as powerful as Color.
You won't be able to track faces or moving elements on screen. For that, Apple recommends using Motion 5's built-in trackers and color correction engine. Finally, we get to Soundtrack Pro. Fortunately, Final Cut Pro X upgrades much of the audio-editing tools. For instance, sound can now be edited to precision levels. One reason you needed apps like Soundtrack was because Final Cut Pro audio tools still lived in a world where frames are king. Editors around the world know the pain and frustration of trying to remove that half-frame long pop or click.
Even better is that they support Audio Unit plug-in custom interfaces, so you don't have to worry about using imprecise sliders to make your adjustments. Honestly, though, Soundtrack is not an application we will miss much; others might disagree. Yes, you could clean up audio, mix multiple tracks, and look for sound effects, but in the professional world, Soundtrack Pro simply did not compare with the industry-standard Pro Tools, which leads us into perhaps the biggest gripe of all. If you don't know what these acronyms mean, you're probably not a person who needs to upgrade to Final Cut Pro X.
Also, if you've read the early reviews of Final Cut Pro X, then none of what we're about to say will be a surprise. Final Cut Pro X is a complete overhaul of a very mature application. Unfortunately, Apple failed to include some features that aren't simply missed, but are very much needed. As great as Final Cut Pro X's new tools are, they simply aren't a match for dedicated applications like DaVinci Resolve for color correcting or Pro Tools for audio editing.
Virtually, every post production facility for sound uses Pro Tools. Still, it's a shame that "pro" video-editing software doesn't do this natively. For some editors, this won't be much of a big issue. It's an article of faith that you never upgrade your NLE software in the middle of post-production. But there will always be a time when you need to crack open an old project file to grab a still or rejigger an edit. The company says that because of the major architecture changes, it would create more problems than it would solve.
Conclusions Final Cut Pro X It's clear from the price and the new workflow of FCPX that Apple believes that video will be even more ubiquitous in the near future. It wasn't too long ago that writing for the masses meant landing a coveted job at a major newspaper, but then blogging came around. Now, anybody with barely a modicum of an interesting thought can blog, and the writing can be seen by millions. Apple believes the same thing with video. There are three groups of users that the new Final Cut Pro X might appeal to, and to each of them, there are three different conclusions.
For professionals, it is hard to recommend Final Cut Pro X Enlightened editors who envision the day that file-based workflows will be the norm still have to deal with the reality that the network still wants an HDCAM SR archive. The company has already assured us that it will be updating Final Cut Pro X with some much needed features, like XML export and multicam-editing support.
Third-party manufacturers like AJA and Black Magic Design will likely be releasing Thunderbolt and PCIe accessories soon that will let editors lay off to tape and professionally monitor on broadcast-quality displays. Apple has already said that the company will be moving to a more rapid release schedule, but it would not be a surprise to see an update to FCPX in the next few months instead of the next two years.
Meanwhile, Apple says your current Final Cut Pro 7 setup still works. It would also not be a surprise if Apple makes Final Cut Studio still available for purchase again in the interim. It's iMovie way too much. Clip connection may be amazing when a producer wants to see the scene moved around, but it's too much for amateurs, who just want to edit out the part where they forgot to shut off the video camera. The latest version of iMovie is a fine video-editing program, and it comes with a whole suite of programs like iPhoto that video-making newbies will find immensely more useful.
Still, if you're willing to spend the money to sample pro features and haven't used the app for years like professionals , you might find the new way of doing things more palatable. In other words, for that portion of the post-production world that keeps an open mind and is comfortable with the lack of tape, XML, and Pro Tools support, Final Cut Pro X is worth your consideration.
Editors' note: Wilson G. As a video and film professional, he has had almost a decade of experience with Final Cut Pro and other nonlinear video-editing software on a day-to-day basis. In addition, he has had extensive experience in the field, using everything from film cameras to new digital cinema video cameras that shoot to memory cards. Where to begin Hard to come up with something that hasn't already been said, so I'll just reiterate. Even with the update, it's still just not a good product. Still missing a lot of what was great about the last FCS, the worst being that it can't import old files.
Seriously Apple, what were you thinking with that. As others have said, this should have been a new FCE. The new features and interface do not overcome what is missing. Used it on another system and refuse to buy it myself. Sticking with FCS3 for as long as I possibly can. So disappointed in Apple. Worse, CNET keeps asking me to upgrade and trying to download it, no matter how many times I tell it not to. Lion is kinda terrible too, but ML is ok. Would never upgrade if I didn't need iCloud as MobileMe is ending.
If this is indicative of where they're deciding to take things, it does not bode well for Apple's future. The rest of you can be the pioneers I'm sitting tight with FCS3 - professional tools for a professional job. Great interactive feel Very fast interactively - I have not timed specific operations Speed of render-type effects and compositing is unbelievable. You cannot easily use created as opposed to recorded footage as any change requires a re-import and re-edit. Implying footage from a camera copy duplicates the footage. I like Motion 5 for the most part, kind of like the old one with a new ui and faster and slicker - kind of what I think I was expecting from FCP.
Over all, I am using it since I am a one-man-band and the integrated features like color matching are great for me since before this I never bothered to spend the time doing color correction or grading. Everything that was professional about Final Cut studio is no longer in this App. The re-written architecture is sensless and seems to be done by a complete non-professional.
Powerful Media Management section that enables you to find, edit and tag your media files, especially helpful in large projects with different shots. Overall faster and definitely background rendering. The interface overall will require editors with optimised workflows based on previous version to rethink media management and get used to a more iMovie interface. Some third party plugins may not work. Highly recommend to give it a go without replacing your current setup.
You can run 2 versions in parallel without a problem. You may want to learn FCPX on smaller and easier projects first to learn as you go.