The Truth About FCPX from a Pro

A great resource and community for Christian designers in and around the church world is CreationSwap

They have many free designs in PSD and AI formats, even a few from yours truly. They have even gained talented blog writers like Brad Zimmerman of to post "update videos" specific to the church design community as a whole.

But, guess what. Final Cut Pro X is such a hot topic that even Brad himself has decided to put his own twist on things, largely based on blogs and tweets he has read from others. It doesn't seem any actual research was put forth on his part to give the best advice to anyone that is interested in FCPX.

Here is the CreationSwap Update 2 video with a "review" of FCPX:

Now, you know I have some arguments to this video...

1. The Suite
The biggest and most used features of Soundtrack, DVDSP and Color were merged in with FCPX. No more round-tripping needed and who, besides colorists (where that's all they do) actually did any advanced node-corrections in Color anyways? This wasn't the controversy at all anyways, but a welcomed advancement for FCP.

2. Everyone said it wasn't ready for professional use
I don't know about "everyone", but the biggest Adobe paid blogs sure have done their best to tear it apart. This includes Walt Biscardi, Rich Harrington and others. I don't really consider some of these people "industry leaders" anyways, but they definitely have loud voices because of their past training and blog entries on Dan Rubottom, a higher level player in the industry, actually likes the new FCPX a lot, as do I. The old-school, tape-based, non-creative editors hate it because, well, creativity doesn't fit within their workflow.

3. Professionals or unique professional workflows?
There is a key difference here. Some workflows in a large production company are set to work in a particular way. They have outlined a process to spit out as many edits as possible and aren't necessarily telling a story. This doesn't mean FCPX isn't ready for "Professional Usage" because I can use it now. I just don't have a system for a cookie-cutter edit pipeline for car commercials, corporate meeting videos, etc.)

4. A ton of different missing features and formats
Again, I don't know where a "ton" is pulled from 4-5 missing features. I think 2-3 of those features have been tweeted a ton, but there sure aren't a lot. Missing currently include: multicam, xml import and export, edl import and export, broadcast monitor output (well yes it is), and FCP7 project import. That's not a ton to me. XML translation is already in the build of FCPX, but I'm sure there are a few bugs they are working on before they turn it on. AJA already has beta drivers for broadcast reference monitors, but soon AJA and Blackmagic will have full support for this. EDL is too old to support (and Apple stated this) and I never see a FCP7 project import option. No one needs to keep opening an edit from 2006 to make changes, as some have screamed they do on a regular basis. FCPX is for new projects with a new, and honestly a vastly improved workflow. Multicam has been promised by Apple to be coming. And I don't know which "ton" of formats aren't supported. Seems to me that all are already supported, except RedRaw. Apple is also working with Red for a streamlined support of this too. This should have been described as "a few" missing features for SOME professional WORKFLOWS, not for professionals as a whole.

5. Only importing iMovie projects
Okay, so the iMovie we know was never supposed to be iMovie at all. It was called "First Cut" and developed for the sole purpose of going through dailies and footage before importing into FCP. This was developed into a new editing paradigm and introduced as "iMovie08", but was always intended to be in a new professional workflow. Just because iMovie got features before FCP that doesn't mean it's not professional. It means some non-creative editors that have jobs because they know a particular NLE or have money invested in hardware are feeling threatened because their only stake in the word "professional" has been expensive hardware and software. It sickens them to have their editing software available to a larger audience. But their group is quickly shrinking—just like Flash web designers that stuck their noses up to real HTML and CSS.

6. Quicktime X and be careful?
You have missed some technical aspects of Quicktime. The QTkit/Quicktime architecture will always be 32bit—and it's over 11 years old! Apple has been moving to AVFoundation for 64bit support. The Quicktime changeover has been a major, backend project for years—which is why a new framework needed to be built for 64bit before FCP could be 64bit natively. FCPX is 64bit and built around AVF. AVF actually first made it's debut in iOS, actually. But that doesn't mean FCPX belongs on an iPad! It means newer products get newer functionality first, especially if they are being released sooner than a much longer project (like FCPX has been). Quicktime X will be 64bit in Lion. Because the new OS will have full AVF support. Did you know that Adobe Premiere is still 32bit when working with quicktime files? Hmm...

My advice to almost everyone in the church world:

1. FCPX will speed up your projects now. If you do 411 or announcement videos at your church, FCPX will increase your speed tremendously right now. No more learning various applications that Apple had purchased (Color) for you to do quick and complex color adjustments or fix audio problems with needless roundtrips to Soundtrack Pro. You can do these things faster than ever before.

2. Motion 5 is an amazing upgrade. You can get integrated titles and whole designs inside FCPX without rendering, and even edit Motion projects inside FCPX without opening Motion at all. Still no rendering.

3. If you want to make a DVD or Bluray, FCPX still has DVDSP templates to do this.

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