Monday, 14 January 2013

Is Final Cut Pro X Ready?

Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), the latest iteration of one of the most beloved and ubiquitous film editing softwares on the market, was released summer of 2011, but unfortunately it lacked many features that non- linear editors have become accustomed to and need. That was really disappointing to many professionals and amateur alike, and accordingly, many have jumped ship to other editing programs. Apple has since released many updates for FCPX in the hopes of winning back the loyalty of those ex-FCP fans, but it’s debatable whether they have made enough changes to do so. Let’s talk about these additions and decide whether they are good enough to compete with the mainstream.

Multi-Cam Editing: Allows you to work natively, in a real time, with a variety of different formats and frame rates. You can create a multi-cam clip and sync up to 64 angles of photos and video, or you can sync assets based on time of day, timecode, markers, or audio waveforms. To adjust a Multi-cam Clip, double-click to open it in the Angle Editor, which lets you move, sync, and edit the look of individual clips. When it’s time to cut, simply drop the Multi-cam Clip into your project and click in the customizable Angle Viewer.

XML Support: XML 1.2 includes new standard metadata fields such as Reel. Final Cut Pro X XML now includes custom project and media metadata, so you can import from and export to third-party apps and media asset management systems.

Red Raw Support:  Finally, with RED Raw support you can import your .r3d files directly into FCPX, converting to ProRes 4444 or ProRes proxy in the background while you’re working. You can even adjust essential debayer and color settings without leaving FCPX.

Dual Viewer:  For many editors, dual viewing is a must. Not only does it help with skimming footage from the event browser but it’s great for matching clips and advance color correction.

Unified Import Window: Seamlessly import media from file-based cameras and file system locations using the unified import window. Built-in PTP support lets you import photos and videos directly from your DSLR camera. You can even add frequently used file system locations to the Favorites sidebar for fast access.

Multi-Channel Audio Editing: You can now edit separate audio channels when you need them and collapse them when you don’t — right in the timeline. Easily disable individual channels or select ranges for fine control of timing and volume.

Though FCPX has made some leaps and bounds since its debut, there is still a lot of functionality missing. Here is a list, just to name a few:

Roundtripping to Motion and Logic Pro:  This feature would give the editor the ability to complete the following task:
   Modify Motion and Logic projects in FCPX timeline
   Open a Motion and Logic projects from a FCPX timeline,
   Automatically update media changes made in Motion and Logic to the FCPX timeline

True Background Processing: Background processes are not useful if they degrade the performance of the foreground processes.

Robust Keyframe Editor: There is no true linear motion path as it stands in FCPX.

Relinking Media Improvement: This option, as it stands, seldom works and causes a big headache for editors.

Compressor Interface Update: They changed the logo but haven’t changed the interface. One unified window would be great.

The list can go on and on. Unfortunately, the list is still too long for us at Swagger Films to safely make the switch from FCP7 to FCPX. We handle every aspect of production, from pre to post, so we looked for a solution that could help us be more efficient in each area and have decided to go a different route for our needs. (Stay tuned to our blog to find out more information.)

We are interested in hearing from you. Are you impressed with FCPX? What features do you love? What features would you like to see in future updates? Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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