Is FCPX any good for professional use yet?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Morisato, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    I've used FCP since FCP4 so I am quite familiar with traditional FCP. When FCPX came out, I demoed it and couldn't even figure out how to use it. It reminded me of when I was nosing around Cinema 4D with no knowledge of using 3D modeling software. It's the whole, I see lots of buttons but they don't seem to do anything as far as I can tell scenario. Having classic FCP knowledge, my response to FCPX was basically "WTF is this ****?"

    Anyways, it's been quite a while since FCPX released and I read that lots of features have been added back in so I wanted to know whether it has improved enough for professional use and why or why not. I really like that FCPX lifts a lot of the hardware limitations from FCP7 but if it doesn't have precision editing, no amount of speed will make up for frustration.

    Does anyone who has used the most recent iteration have a review of it? Ideally I'd like comments for feature films and what kind of troubles would be experienced and workaround would be needed.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    #2
    It all depends on your needs. Sure you could edit a feature film on it. But to me it still lacks SO many features that it should have had right out of the gate. Like you say, lack of precision trumps speed any day of the week. I do mostly commercial work and I have to tell you, I'm absolutely dumbfounded at some of the smaller things they left out. To me, RED support, and Arri Raw support would be nice, but the bigger issues in my arena are why did they leave out such small and easy things like batch export or the ability to have tabbed multiple sequences open? I work in a business where we on some days will export out up to 156 (highest yet) individual sequences which all contain :30 sec spots with slates and bars. In FCP7, it was as simple as highlight all sequences and go File>Batch Export. Done. Problem solved. And if a client needed changes to a particular spot or he/she wanted some graphics from one spot dumped into another, you could just scan through the tabs and open something QUICKLY. As it stands now you have to cycle through your sequences with the goofy left and right arrows (thanks Apple, how convenient) or do the "naming cheat" to get multiple sequences. I'm not one of those who refuses to learn new technology, but FCPX has some growing up to do. To me the bigger question that looms is why has it taken Apple so long to update this software? Adobe drops updates almost monthly for their software. Avid has even done a little updating here and there, albeit you have to pay for it. I digress.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Stuttgart, Germany
    #3
    I am an amateur. I like FCPX. It is a major improvement on performance and features (yes, features!) to FCP7 and FCPE both of which I've used before.

    That being said: Judging from your question and how you phrased it, I don't think it's for you. While it is fun and fast to quickly edit short films or music videos or similar with FCPX, if I went to edit a feature film, I would buy a different software. There are three main reasons I wouldn't recommend it for you:

    1. If you are used to FCP7 and you write that the first time you tried FCPX, you were completely lost and gave up: Nothing about the interface and the way you edit in FCPX has changed. It is very different to FCP7 and I still sometimes discover nice features that I've been missing and that were there all along. As a hobbyist, I can do this and have fun with it. As a professional, you often times don't have the time.

    2. While getting rid of the typical "tracks" for video editing and replacing it with the new magnetic timeline is actually nice and usable for me, it is terrible for the audio part. Now again, for shorts and music this is absolutely fine, but in a feature film, I want to export OMFs and edit and mix them in other programs and all of those work with tracks and the transfer is a nightmare. Plus: Audio mixing is about tracks and channels, it is just the natural way.

    3. A huge project like a feature film will get very confusing and unorganized in FCPX. Its organizational skills are fine (actually better than FCP7's) if you edit interview footage, documentaries, concert recordings, music videos, stock footage, family vacations, ... But they are terrible if you have one project that actually contains a lot of files that you might want to organize manually, not automatically.

    So, again: For me, FCPX is amazing. For you, judging from the few lines you wrote ("feature film", "WTF is this?"), I don't think it's the right thing. You should rather think about getting Adobe Premiere, which also lifts the hardware limitations but is much closer to the FCP7 way of doing things.

    But then again, I might be wrong since you wrote very little about your background and what you will be using it for.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #4
    Yup very good professional edittor

    Well I have been editing with FCP X for about a year now, The latest update (10.0.5) really makes FCP X work well for professional work. I have done 3 feature length edits, a few docs and a lot of web commercials(40+) with it.

    The next update(within 2 month) is supposed to bring in RED native support, yahoo. Like every NLE there are work arounds for things that don't work the best. Most of the updates have been every 2-3 months.

    There is a precession editor built into FCP X. Keeping the edit organized is just as easy if not easier than FCP 7.

    The audio editing is crazy at first, but pretty amazing for what it does inside of a video editor, you can now send it out as AAF to Pro tools using a 3rd party app (X2 Pro audio convert), how pro is that? Personally I find FCP X way better at laying down sound (effects, music) than FCP 7. For fine tuning send it to Pro Tools like any other NLE. Auto sync for sound works great as well as multi cam. There is a third Party app for sending to AE and Nuke as well.

    It did take me about 2 months to get comfortable with FCPX after using FCP 7 . The big strength of FCP X is the speed at which you can edit. The ridiculous list of file formats are gone from FCP 7, phew. I find it 3-4 x faster than FCP 7. You can edit in 4K, and it is possible, with a little work around, to edit in 4K+ formats. I experimented with a 9K timeline, very cool.

    I make money at editing and would say FCP X is definitely able to pull off features.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #5
    All of what you said is awesome to hear. I did not know about the AAF export, which is an amazing feature they must have added by now. I still stand by my statement that the transition to the FCPX way was a lot easier for me on the video side than it was to lose the track thinking in audio. But that may be because I mix a lot of audio with mixing consoles and am very used to that.

    Audio sync, multicam and other goodies are what also made me love FCPX, but I wouldn't consider them necessary tools in most feature films, that's why I didn't weigh them so much.

    I wholeheartedly agree on the speed factor. So I guess the OP has to take this information and decide for himself: If he is very used to FCP7 and wants to edit one feature film, he might be better off with something else. But making the change, even though a lot of work in the beginning, will pay off in speed at the end.
     
  6. bagelche, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    bagelche

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Western Mass.
    #6
    By asking if FCPX is any good for "professional" use, you've lit up one of my buttons (not attacking, just saying). There are many different definitions of pro and FCPX works well in some workflows and not so much in others. There isn't a "pro" checkbox that encapsulates everything.

    I haven't heard about people using FCPX in feature film work. That is still dominated by Avid and legacy FCP (and Lightworks and...) and that probably won't change too soon. There are, however, people using FCPX for all sorts of work, be it narrative forms, docs, commercials, sports, corporate clients, wedding/event, etc.

    Over the course of the last year, FCPX has become much more useful for more editors with feature additions, enhancements and a burgeoning 3rd party scene that offers a lot of utility (and plenty of eye candy). I think the "ecosystem" aspect was always part of Apple's plan for the program and it took a little while for it to get rolling, but now it's chugging right along.

    I'm still very much looking forward to the update that is around the corner. I also think there will be plenty of interesting things happening with the program over the next year or so. Alex4d has had some interesting posts on the topic.

    I'd recommend hanging around the Creative Cow forums, particularly the FCPX debate forum and the FCPX techniques forum. It takes a little while to get to know the personalities, but there's a lot of interesting discussion, not just of FCPX, but of where other NLEs are and are headed.

    (you'd think I get paid for each time I use "FCPX" in a post.)

    edit: I'd also check out FCP.co.

    edit2: (FCPX)
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #7
    The term "professional" is too ambiguous these days, so your question is vague. You need to lay out your preferred workflow, what kind of hardware you will need to use, type of project you're planning, etc.

    FCPX is likely perfectly suitable for many "pros" but there is still also a large chunk of the community where it's not ready nor will it ever be.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #8
    Ready or not its up to the user.
    If you want to tear your hair out over the little things its missing then go for it.
    I use all three professionally and they all have their stupid dumb quirks.
    If you ever see my tech support logs, you'd understand why I don't really care about this question :)
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #9
    The poster for the thread did ask for feature film editing and what issues and work arounds were needed. So for a feature film I am assuming dual screens, top of the line iMac or a mac pro with lots HD space and some nice speakers for audio. On the hardware side I suggest having at least 16gb of Ram, 24GB gb will give you comfortable breathing space for feature films.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
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    #10
    I would say before you think of investing into FCPX I would (and I did) invest some time watching some videos from YouTube with either Larry Jordan or the like and get a feel for it before shelling out your money. I would rather feel I wasted 2-3 hours on videos than regretting spending money and not feel the software would ever work for me.

    That said I have also watched some video for Adobe's stuff and think there is a place for both, dealers choice.

    Good luck and lots of good advise already here :D
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #11
    With every software there are things for it and against it. It mainly depends how fast you can pick a software up regards understanding.
    FCP-X is the next stage up from iMovie 11 interface. You are looking at the future editing software from Apple FCP older version was not helping the amateur person regards finance for Apple. With this one all can enjoy or hate the software.
    I personally love it. Why????? Simplicity. No more messing around like in FCP7.
    This one is like flying a plane. The one important factor is? You must understand how to execute and understand Events and Projects.
    I dont understand what professional are looking for when it comes to editing besides a dashboard of multiple items needed to execute a CUT or lay a soundtrack.
    :apple:
     
  12. macrumors demi-god

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #12
    Yes the term professional is ambiguous these days. I do professional work for clients from record label executives to SAG producers, professional musician/artists and event productions, some television work (usually related to advertising event prods.) and definitely commercial film work. I work first and foremost as an editor, not as a visual effects artist. That being said I've been pleased with the compositing tools within FCP X when working with pre-keyed effects like muzzle flash, explosions, etc. They may not be the most advanced but they work. (I'm not saying that other programs lack these basic features either). I also have FCP 7 but don't use it much anymore because FCP X works better for me (it's also decked out with plugins which makes an enormous difference).

    I've posted on this forum in the past about FCP X strengths vs weaknesses, but really it comes down to how you use it and more importantly in conjunction with what programs one uses it with. The reason why I love FCP X over every other NLE is it performs everything I need it to do, and I have never had a problem that I couldn't solve using the following programs: FCP X, Motion 5, Adobe After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve. I also have toyed with Maya but it isn't my specialty ... ideally I work with a VFX artist that sends me finished renderings from Maya.

    That being said ... if you figure out what FCP X is meant to do and what it is not meant to do, you can really kick some ass. OBVIOUSLY is it not for everyone as the work flow is different and limited in ways next to Avid, and FCP 7. However, like I said, I work for clients and not in a broadcast studio, so being an independent I call from various programs for different tasks instead of having a department do those specific things for me, and for editing, I prefer FCP X over Premiere, FCP 7, Avid, and the rest. I'm not saying it's better just I prefer it ;)
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #13
    I think the last post should help to decide what is :FOR" and what is "AGAINST" this software.
    I enjoyed reading all the comments. Good job by all who contributed.:apple:
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    dasikes

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    #14
    Agreed. This is the most civil conversation I have ever seen about FCP X on the internet.
     
  15. nateo200, Oct 19, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

    macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #15
    I made a similar thread about this a few days ago. I think it is but it depends on your needs. I enjoy FCP X allot more than I enjoy Premiere Pro...I'm very visual and for me FCP X is the perfect visual design for me. It does have some features missing but allot of "missing" features are just moved or simplified...its almost like when I went from Windows to OS X...I got frustrated because I couldn't find settings because I was so used to having to dig miles for settings when they were right there! In time we will get RED support and ARRIRAW support but for now a quick transcode to ProRes 4444 or ProRes 422 will give you a smooth edit with all the quality you really need (again depends on your needs and your level). I enjoy editing now in FCP X more so than I did with other software...the timeline works very well for me and the magnetic effect gets annoying but you can disable it...also I have become very fast with the various keyboard commands for different things resulting in faster editing....I LOVE the ability to mix surround sound with panning tools within the NLE! I can create a wonderful surround sound track in various ways using only FCP X, Compressor and Audacity! I walked into the serious video editing world at the end of FCP 7 and the beginning of FCP X so FCP X and some Adobe is what I know best and I can honestly say FCP X gets the job done...I feel confident that I can deliver a solid end product with everything the client requests for (and sometime more!) when someone gives me a task to edit something and thats really what it comes down to for me.

    I do get frustrated when I have to hunt down a plugin for something that Premiere Pro or FCP 7 does natively but so far I've only had to hunt down plugins for advanced and sort of "exotic" features...For example I like color correcting using the curves found in pretty much every other piece of software for photo/video editing...yet FCP X does not have the curves and this drives me nuts...sometimes Ill even do most of my color grading in another piece of software because of it but I'm sure in time this will change.

    EDIT: Very constructive topic! Lets keep it this way...rarely do I see soooo many positives of FCP X highlighted vs "Ugh whats a project or event".
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    Western Mass.
    #16
    I am enjoying this thread as well. There's another rehash of the topic on Creative Cow (they get bored if they don't dive in again) that might be interesting to the folks here.

    Thread

    The first post is pretty much trolling, but throughout the thread there are some good summaries of pros and cons.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #17
    Now we have got a general idea of FCP-X. How about finding out what gives one the most trouble to understand.
    My question is being able to feather a clip. For those who dont understand it means being able to put one clip on top of another and get rid of the outside line.:apple:
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

    Zwhaler

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    Jun 10, 2006
    #18
    Effects -> Keying -> Mask

    On that note, you can do this much more advanced in Motion or After Effects, or if you really want to do masking in Final Cut Pro X then I suggest MyFCPEffects BG Advanced Masking Tools Version 2.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

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    #19
    10.0.6 baby!!! ;)
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    #20
    10.0.6 is a huge update. Many of my requested features are in there, though some are still missing (batch project exporting, still more on the audio front, ProRes LT, etc.).

    I'm only just starting to play with it, but I'm very happy. The reports on GPU rendering in the timeline sound awesome.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

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  22. macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #22

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