FCP X and the Future of Mac Video post-production

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ebobster, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. ebobster macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    I'm an conscientious and savvy mac enthusiast. I love and hate apple for so many reasons. I have a 6' x 4' poster on my wall of this photo: http://osxdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/steve-jobs-ibm-finger.jpg. The prior sentences serve to accredit myself in the eyes of likeminded apple lemmings interested in intelligent discussion.

    Now for my confusing question(s):

    I advise people on apple hardware and software for a living among various other things and am currently trying to help a small production company with a significant hardware purchase and have come to realize that the status quo in apple's video editing products is about to change markedly.

    I am by no means expert in this field which is why i seek advice.

    FCP X appears to be moribund software. Xsan already is. Xraid too. At the time these product lines were relevant and supported unwaveringly and amounted in my eyes to effective albeit exspensive solutions for video editing. Then came RED cameras and native 5K resolution and the demand for faster everything. If you want to survive in this industry you need performance but apple can no longer offer a reasonable setup for a small studio in need of a file server for 6 desktops. Please object if this is not the case, but the damn FibreSAN card alone would dent my budget noticably.
    So I think the best approach to be very cautious and recommend a highly upgradable and expandable setup. That's ideal, but in reality, i feel otherwise since such a setup would be in the high $20K+ range.

    The studio seems intent on moving to CS6 and I think thats wise since Adobe has a devotion to the professional media user base. My main interest is in hearing the thoughts you might have about what you think professional video editing is going to look like on a mac in 5-10 years and whether or not a rock solid file server and some highly tuned iMacs will be useful down the road. I'm aware that the mac pro line has been promised a noticeable revamping in the months, and barring an ****** move by apple that solders every god damn piece of hardware to the mac pro, that would be the more cost effective route to go as you can start small and go pretty big with those machines.
    Is that the prudent and wise route to go for professional grade performance that won't be choking on the video file of the future that is presumably larger?

    How much can one completely tuned up model year iMac handle at once? I ask solely because I know what they can theoretically do but the temperature of their 2010 iMacs at capacity is borderline unsafe. My temp gun showed 165F on one of their machines. This leads me to believe that they'll run longer and more efficiently at much less than their capacity. Common sense, yes. Common practice, No.

    So just tell me what you would do if you were a indie-type studio looking to get the most bang for your buck on a mac. Or if you would scrap this idea altogether and build Hackint0sh boxes from scratch with a hardware selection geared solely for video editing.

    Much obliged,

    Harry J
  2. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    10 years? 10 years ago we were dealing with G4's and FCP2. Would/could anyone have predicted the state we are in now? You can't make any assessments of future with technology. You buy what you need, when you need it and deal with the ramifications that it could become obsolete very shortly. Luckily, unless you predict something mind-blowing to reveal itself, there is no reason you can't build a network and systems that could easily last the next 4-5 years now.

    And no I wouldn't build hackintosh's. We need **** to work at all times. Trouble shooting something dumb isn't in the cards. This is an expensive business and cheaping out will cost you more money in the long run.
  3. joshualee90 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    I'll have to disagree with this. I have a hackintosh and it is extremely reliable. Of course setting it up took a while but once it is up and running and you don't muck around with it, it works fine. While it took me a while to get things working when i first built it with Snow Leopard when i upgraded to Lion I did a fresh install and had everything running fine within 1hr.

    That being said take a look at Avid Media Composer as well. I find it works well and software only version is close to the price of Premiere.

    CS series is also a great option. Integration between Premiere and After effects is really nice if you do a lot of work in AE but if your main focus is cutting then I find Avid to be the fastest.
  4. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002

    We budget in two year intervals.
    To date all our Mac Pros (2006 to 2012 models) are still alive and well on an XServe G5 and XServe Intel (SL Server).
    XServes are tied to a QLogic 1400 SANbox Fibre Switch with a slew of G-Tech FC XL RAIDS as well as a very reliable Apple XRAID (with one dead drive).
    All this on a Giganet supplied by the corps IT dept.
    If we didnt have the Giganet we could have easily gone simple routers.
    Have done this in the past when we we're moving from building to building.
    All Mac Pros dealing with heavy data such as R3D, ProRes, Maya and After Effects have SAS attached G-Tech eS Pro RAIDs.
    We have a few killer Maya PC workstations (BOXX and DELL) that live happily with the above AFP/SMB network.
    As you can tell, we trust Apple will be around for awhile yet here ;)
    Of note, we are mainly Avid in NLE but have Premiere Pro and FCPX in most of the computers.
    I personally prefer FCPX.
  5. markjones05 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I am stuck in the same predicament. I currently oversee post production for a small boutique production company in NYC and we are on the verge of needing to make some serious overhauls. The main edits are early 2007 MacPros and while we have been able to keep them viable by making upgrades to RAM, Video cards and Raided Raptor HD's, they are really starting to show their age especially with 3 or more multicam streams in FCP7 and rendering is labored in AE5. Not to mention We are now 2 operating systems in the past running Snow Leopard.

    We are growing and need to make upgrades fast. Since FCPX does not seem like a realistic solution for us nor do I personally believe it will ever be widely adopted among video professionals, I have also considered moving to a CS6 solution. While learning Premiere would be a bit of a learning curve, it somehow seems less so than that of FCPX and it is also compatible with FCP7 XML's. We also use After effects a lot and the ease of use between the two programs is another selling point.

    We are currently an all Mac office and while I dread the idea of moving to a non Mac OS for stability issues alone, there are shared storage solutions that offer compatibility for Mac and PC simultaneously. One of the build outs I was looking into was having one or two MacPro stations and additional workhorse PC builds for graphics work, rendering and exporting.

    I would love to hear from anyone out there who has already made this switch or from anyone with compelling reasons not to.
  6. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    IMHO Premiere is not that hard to learn if you are coming from FCP legacy.
    In defense of FCPX, that too wasn't hard to learn for me.
    I had to dive into it since I teach it at local college.
    I went into it with a smile just like I do with all new software.
    I would not discount it as a professional option but I wouldn't use it to replace a workflow like Avid/FCP legacy.
    Just use it as an option and so far its been great :)

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