Opinions and assumptions about FCP X

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nateo200, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. nateo200, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    "Final Cut Pro X users are all incapable editors" - Of course I don't feel like this BUT its a catchy title and I want to have a civil discussion on choosing a NLE software for editing content. (EDIT: Changed it so it didn't come off hostile). I edit content from little personal things like my younger sister on my iPhone 4 all the way up to paid gigs where I need a stable NLE that runs decently quickly on my machine.

    I do realize that Final Cut Pro X has been labeled "iMovie Pro" and many features like initially lacking XML export support were quite candidly RIDICULOUS! But I feel as though the software has matured and will mature as time goes by.

    However everywhere I go I get this negative energy from certain types that since I edit on FCP X I must be a complete idiot that lacks any skills and will never make it anywhere...In fact its gotten to the point where often when people ask what I edited on I will just say Final Cut Pro and thats it...I once cut a 30 second video and various people really enjoyed it (it was one of my first a while ago) and when I said FCP X everyone just laughed. It was as if what I had just created was null and void. Now I'm starting to see more professionals embrace it but I still see this "FCP X segregation" for lack of better terms allot, as if like I said before it completely kills your creative thinking.

    So lets talk about it! Is a NLE software really what defines a film maker, editor, film, etc.? I don't think it matters what you cut the film on at all...I just happened to walk into the editing world when FCP 7 was getting old and suddenly FCP X came out so I went to that platform and found I really liked FCP X (although FCP 7 does feature some features that allot of us still need so we end up going back or going towards Adobe, and Adobe knows this :eek:).
  2. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    I can only speak personally, so I will.

    1. I have no interest in learning a completely new package. (FCP X)
    I don't judge others that embrace it, in fact I commend them.

    2. As of today, FCP is still useable and valuable on all of my computers. I have spent the last 7 years learning it, and do not feel that was time wasted.
    Until FCP is no longer available on any of my computers, then, I will be forced to make a decision;
    If FCP X has made leaps and bounds, I might go with it.
    If it is still incapable of doing the things that I need to do, then "Hello Adobe!"
    The crossover from FCP to Premier looks much easier than the crossover from FCP to FCP X.

    Premier is a fierce competitor, and the two companies have been stealing from each other for years.

    I am an audio engineer. I use Digital Performer to record and mix.
    I also use Ableton Live, because it does things DP does not do. Same with Reason, and Mainstage.
    I made the effort to learn these programs because as I mentioned, they do something DP cannot do.
    I suggest the same way of thinking for video:
    If FCP X does something that FCP cannot do, by all means, go for it.
    I just feel like there are so many programs out there, that I would rather be learning like...Boris, Nuke, why waste time learning yet another way to skin a cat?

  3. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Thank you for your reasonable but candid post. I am open to using other platforms as well. I've decent in Premiere Pro, FCP 7 and After Effects...one of my issues with Premiere Pro is its slow on my computer, if I had a faster computer I would inevitably probably own both Premiere Pro and FCP X and switch between the two (I know people who do this and it seams common place). I can understand learning a platform for 7 years and then having it completely changed on you...its frustrating!

    As for other programs, I am REALLY interested in DaVinci Resolve but like After Effects it chews my computer up...being able to use different NLE's is like speaking different languages IMO and everyone has their preferences, weak points and their strong points.

    If I had grown up on FCP 7 it would be my main choice no doubt as I do not like change when it comes to just getting things done, but I walked onto the editing world from basic iMovie stuff and saw FCP X as the natural upgrade path...But if you don't know any ways to skin a cat than theres no harm in starting off learning a few different ways :D I plan like I said to learn a variety of platforms....I just can pump out projects in FCP X nicely and it feels very natural to me...when I go to encode my videos I use 3 different pieces of software because some can do things others cannot, I don't criticize one or the other at all really (well speed sometimes is an issue) but I've been encoding video for 7 years from when I was a kid ripping DVD's using Handbrake and for example I am comfortable with Handbrake but if I want to make a Blu-ray I usually use Compressor + a Blu-ray authoring package or just TsmuxeR.
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Defines? No. Influences perception of professionalism? Yes, and FCP X is just the most recent NLE to get dismissed out of hand. Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, FCP Classic, Edius, Pinnacle's NLE's (prior to Avid take over) have all been looked down upon for not being a product from Avid, Media100 or Discreet (I'm dating myself a bit here).

    It wasn't until FCP 6 that FCP finally shook the stigma of being the NLE that you used when you couldn't afford a 'real' NLE. I think Premiere C6S is approaching that level but it's not quite there yet. Vegas? Well, that's still for lowly wedding videographers, corporate work and local used car commercials (or so goes the stereotype).

    10yrs from now FCP X could gain the same level of acceptance that FCP 7 had but then Apple would probably blow it up again and everyone who loved FCP X will be pissed just like people who love FCP 7 are now. ;) The animosity towards FCP X isn't just about the program but also about Apple's exceeding poor launch and the waning attention to the needs of Pro users. FCP X, to many people in the Pro community, has become the symbol of everything they dislike about the change in direction at Apple over the last 5yrs or so.

    If you are working with a budget, a deadline and are trying to out perform other editors it certainly can matter what gear you choose. Extreme example here, the Award winning documentary Tarnation was edited with iMovie but that doesn't mean iMovie is a suitable tool for cutting feature length movies.

    I'm not saying that FCP X is like iMovie, I'm just saying that in the professional worlds tools can make a difference.
  5. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    I would say, go with what feels natural to you.
    The LAST thing you need is hurdles to your creative vision.

    Some people will look down their noses at you, because you are not "bleeding edge", and they can go ahead and be "right".

    As a professional musician, my audience doesn't give a flying rat's ******* whether I am using Mainstage, Ableton Live, or Microsoft Word to perform the music for them.
    But, the 1% in the audience who is watching very carefully what I do, does.

    Unless those dudes happen to be the next band on the stage, they are of no concern.

    Your art will speak for itself, and no one cares how you do it.

    Got a slow computer?
    Don't forget: speed is relevant.

    I haven't purchased a new laptop for 6 years.
    Looking forward to the speed bump, because hell yes, I'll notice it!

    I like what lethalwolfe said:

    "The animosity towards FCP X isn't just about the program but also about Apple's exceeding poor launch and the waning attention to the needs of Pro users. FCP X, to many people in the Pro community, has become the symbol of everything they dislike about the change in direction at Apple over the last 5yrs or so."

    As a pro user I DO feel left behind somewhat, and it's irritating, since it was FOR US that the Macintosh was originally designed for, and supported by.

    However, I am a slave to Mac software, and so the donkey chases carrot.

  6. ytk macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Can you achieve similar results in FCPX as other editing packages? Technically, yes. But that's not the only thing that matters. If you have inferior tools, you're going to have a hard time getting to those results. And if you don't even recognize that you have inferior tools, then the odds are that you don't know enough about what you're doing to get those results anyway. That's why people look down on you for using FCPX, and rightly so.

    Editing is far more than just clicking buttons for a while then hitting File->Export. It is both an art and a science, with techniques and disciplines that have been refined since the birth of filmmaking. Those techniques are used because they work. It's not just the orthodoxy prescribing a certain way of doing things because that's how it's always been done. When you understand not just what your goal is, but how to get there in the most effective way possible, you'll begin to see why tools like Avid, FCP7, and even Premiere help you to accomplish those goals. FCPX, on the other hand, has decided to be "revolutionary" in its approach to editing—and in so doing, has short-circuited several very important steps in the process.

    If you get along with FCPX, great. If you're happy with your results, great. But experienced editors understand that achieving the best possible product is partly a consequence of following the process carefully. For example, I can almost always tell how skilled an editor is just by looking at his or her timeline. Good editors will keep things organized into different tracks—preferably as few as necessary. I know professional editors who refuse to use more than one video track and six or eight audio tracks, and are religious about keeping dialog, fx, and music on separate tracks.

    By contrast, when I open up the sequence of an inexperienced editor, I usually find dozens of video and audio tracks, with material thrown every which where with no concern for keeping it organized in any meaningful way. This is the sort of editor who won't see any problem with the way FCPX manages your timeline (er, excuse me, storyline) for you. But the experienced editor will look at this and immediately realize that it's an impediment to reaching the best results. The inexperienced editor simply won't understand why it matters, and will neither know nor care that he is setting himself up to likely achieve a sub-optimal, not to mention sub-professional, result.

    So, for all the cries of "It's just a tool", there's more to it than that. Some tools are better than others for achieving the best results. If you're not experienced with a drill press, you might not understand why you can't simply use a power drill to accomplish the same task. A power drill, after all, is arguably more versatile, simpler to use, and faster. And technically, if you know exactly what you're doing, you can indeed achieve results very close to what you'd get from a proper drill press. Still, you won't see experienced craftsmen trading in their drill presses for power drills, because they understand that going through the process of carefully measuring your piece, putting it in the press, and precisely placing a hole where it needs to be is the way to achieve the best results. The inexperienced woodworker just says "a hole is a hole", and moves on, never even realizing that there's a better process, that would likely have led to better results.
  7. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I agree that editing is far more than clicking buttons and then 'share'. But I also think you might misunderstand FCP X somewhat. I've been using it since day 1 of its release and can say with confidence that it is fully capable as an editor. BUT. Anyone who chooses to use FCP X needs to know a few things about it. First and foremost, it isn't really usable in a broad professional editing environment without LOTS of third party plug ins. If you don't have hundreds of these plug ins like I do, then it appears far less capable than it really is. Also, FCP X for me, is a tool used for CUTTING. It doesn't pretend to replace other dedicated apps in a post production workflow. That's why I can use it in conjunction with DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, and Apple Motion. In this context it is extremely powerful in my opinion. I could use Premiere or Avid, sure. But I choose not to because I can work so much faster in FCP X. I also have lots of experience using it and have a variety of commercial work published work in Film, Television, etc. with my focus being music industry productions (Live concerts, music videos, corporate videos)

    Now I want to get into a little more about what FCP X means in the editing field. The application functions as a platform, and has opened the door for third party developers to create powerful tools for it that make it professional. It was built from the ground up which means it isn't going to be anything like what editors are used to. And that is a good thing for some, and a bad thing for many others. I don't encourage people to use it if they don't like it, but do acknowledge that it has the potential to create videos that rival that created by others NLE's. Notice I didn't say that it is equal in all broadcast and studio workflows (I'm talking about Avid here.) There are certain features people believe are missing in FCP X but can easily be accomplished with simple workarounds... again the editor simply has to learn and get used to using the program and figuring out how to solve problems using the available tools. But the finished product that FCP X creates, if the editor knows what they are doing, is no worse than if FCP 7, Premiere, Avid, or another NLE is used.
  8. ytk macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    That's my point. If you know what you're doing, you can achieve nearly similar results. But how do you know if you know what you're doing? If your only experience is with FCPX, you won't know enough to even know what you're doing wrong—or that there's a better way to do it—because, as you point out, the software isn't inherently capable of helping you to do the things you should be doing without extensive third-party support. And if you don't even know what the problem is in the first place, it wouldn't even occur to you that there's a reason to do things differently.

    I disagree with you about FCPX being a tool for cutting, however. It's actually the opposite—it tries to be an all singing, all dancing, does-everything-for-everyone type application. And it's not really great at anything, least of all cutting. If you like it, great. But it has numerous problems, not all of which can be resolved with a plugin. For example, by constantly trying to move your stuff around the storyline, it encourages sloppy editing and a lack of attention to detail. Can you manage your project carefully, if you know what you're doing? Sure, but it's a struggle, and to someone with less experience it may not be clear how to do so, or why you should even bother.

    That being said, there's a big difference between somebody who says, "I have a lot of editing experience with different packages, and I choose to use FCPX for a specific reason, knowing its limitations", and somebody without a lot of experience with other systems who says "I don't understand why people don't think FCPX is a decent editing package, because it works fine for me". Without the in-depth knowledge of editing, you won't be able to understand the ways in which FCPX hinders the creative process. And using a sub-optimal workflow likely leads to a sub-optimal product. When you don't know enough to understand why your workflow is sub-optimal, you're setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.
  9. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    There was a time were one only had 3 items to edit ? Scissors,film, different formats and a viewing editor.
    What do we have today???? enough editing software to have a debate of what is good and what is rubbish.
    In the end of the day all what matters is who sees your work.
    For the professional editors FCP-X its ...............yeah heard of it.
    FCP-7 good editing software but............Apple stopped.
    iMovie the springboard for learning how to edit.
    In the end of the day i dont care what i use as long as i understand the software and the finished product get an approval of those people who watch my work.
    Still very interesting reading of all those people who have contributed.:)
  10. nateo200, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

    nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Thanks for the posts guys! I just feel as though when I say FCP X its akin to someone pulling up in the Bentley and saying "You drive an Audi? Pft....:rolleyes::roll eyes:" with dripping arrogance...Not that arrogance from others gets under my skin to the point of getting hot and bothered and not being able to do anything but just a point.

    Anyways its late and I can't think and word clearly so I'm liable to screw up my words but don't feel like waiting to post..
    I'm not a pro but I feel some of the hurt of what Apple has been doing...I don't have the latest OS X because I don't want to pay for something thats too iOS ish and I can see how FCP X REALLY looks like that way too...I fear that things like the Mac Pro are going to disappear....I made a thread about After Effects and someone made one of the greatest posts basically saying After Effects will chew up your machine and spit it out and I laugh at those who think Mac Pro's with 12 cores and 32gigs of RAM are overkill...was talking with my boss today about this...NO ONE understands how important a fast computer is like a Mac Pro than people who deal with video, its not about being impatient or cool its about exporting that file in time for something. I finished cutting a 1.5 hour video for my boss and on my MacBook rendering out would have taken 14 hours....I just handed her an external hard drive said the ProRes file was on their and to render it out on her quad core iMac and it took less than half that time (we are pretty informal FYI)...I feel as though Apple is forgetting about power users because they will ALWAYS exist albeit in smaller levels...then you have the other camp who criticizes power users for being arrogant when in reality we just demand performance.

    As a person who is looking to make films I find it critical to know how to edit and be a jack of all trades but focus on things like the story. Editing is most DEFINITELY a skill...I don't think I need that read out! I just think that if you can work faster with FCP X then good for you.

    On Apple's website it shows examples and one of the editors for the show Leverage (shot on RED Epics mind you) talks about needing absolute fastest solutions and getting their show on the air before others...that too me tells me that this program can (given your skills) live up to your demands of getting things out the door fast. Of course the gear you use matters for speed though!

    If I was given a task of shooting something that needed to look good but be ready to edit the second it was done I might use an Arri Alexa because it records straight to ProRes for example, grab the drives, dump them, input files in without rendering, clean and cut. Apple seams to be a fan of the Alexa too and I've noticed allot of TV shows going from RED one to Alexa...while I can only say I've talked with two guys in the industry why both said it was for speed sake...everybody hates rendering, that to me is an area where speed can increase and I'd say the NLE that is chosen should be based on what the editor is comfortable with (although if he can't use more than one NLE than his flexibility is compromised). I think workflow is a far more important factor than what NLE to choose from, as long as the software your choosing from all has similar capability's, which people talk about FCP X lacking features when allot of it is in a different place and admittedly you do need quite a few plugins.

    BTW I think Adobe is pretty top notch...I've always viewed them as being on top of there game...dont know how its viewed in the real world though.

    That seams to be my overarching point summed up.
  11. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I have :rolleyes: end note too this wonderful debate. (Who Cares???). For year i have been making films and video and editing and working with british directors. But i always enjoyed that part as a hobby as well.
    What gets me now..... Technology is moving so fast in the field of editing software and many people make a living from it. If money is no object you buy the best. If you got a certain amount of cash you read and read what to buy....Windows or Apple and all the other editing softwares on the market. That is the point were you are stuck, like a canoe without a paddle.
    All the softwares will do is give you the power to edit and some will give you the tools to move mountains.
    I use Apple software.......Why???? I know no different and started with iMovie and loved the thrill to edit by clicking a mouse. Advanced to FCP3. The lords name was used many times but what a editing software.....then FCP7 no lord needed but my brain worked overtime. FCP-X at first i believed Apple made a error. This is iMovie11 vamped up??????. No.. but to me it is like driving a automatic car. You need to really understand how Event and Project works otherwise you end up working on a rubbish tip.
    I say enjoy your editing software as many more new version will come out. If you got the cash be flash. Also use the forums and learn as it can save you calling the Lord or using his name or any other language not in the dictionary.
  12. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    The key issue about FCX is that it launched as a product that would not work in a professional workflow environment, and no road map to resolve this. It was fine for someone working with digital files as a one-man band, but launching without multicam, full control over track assignments, and xml support meant that anyone editing in traditional post production would not be able to use it at all.

    Thus the impression that Apple saw more money in prosumers and treated the normal professional customer i.e. post houses, production companies, and broadcasters as not a big enough market to care about.

    I work in tv production, and I watched friends charged with building out large facilities for the likes of the BBC (doing major capital spends lately) have to re-map their future around this. It damaged Apple's reputation and opened the door to competition.

    As a cutting tool for the art of editing, if its what you use its your cutting that matters. As part of a process where you send audio out to mix, cuts out to color correction, edit multiple camera concerts and reality shows, manage media for teams of editors, it was not ready for prime time and most processes are still built around the previous FCP or AVID, and while Premiere is making inroads, esp in short form and spot work, this is still the lie of the land.
  13. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Frequent CreativeCow and you will get this debate over and over.
    Its a tool a pencil and just another app that I can open and get work done in.
    As I sit here at work trying figure what the ******* is up with Avid MC and 2 hour long sequences, I keep thinking I would have been done by now if I started in FCPX.
    Oh well, they are both tools that I have live with :)
  14. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    I don't think a promo video made by Apple for FCPX is a legitimate argument.
  15. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    It wasn't really a promo video and granted you can pay people to say whatever you want but the editor stated that he was using FCP X for the current TV show he was working on as well as two feature films....it wasn't the 10.0.0 version though since that one was rough...no XML export was just plain scary. Now you can export XML as well as audio stems, etc.

    I like it for cutting but if I had to do a serious project with allot of different people I think I might run into trouble. I could imagine cutting everything on it then using other software like Premiere Pro CS6 for the final touches since I'm slower in that NLE (and so is my computer :O).

    Yeah I don't have an account on there but whenever I do google searches for really technical things or random thoughts it usually pops up right away. My Boss comes from the Broadcast TV world so she loves Avid but uses FCP 7 for simplicity...cant say I've touched Avid though :O

    I don't understand why people have trouble with understanding Events Projects or in FCP 7 land Bins and Sequences.....I think the new recycling bin's out there where its like "Plastic Bottles only no card board" and then "Cardboard and Trash only" is more complicated...if you don't know what I'm talking about be grateful you haven't had to wonder which of the six containers to throw your soda, trash and food away in :O

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