Category Archives: Final Cut Pro X

Making Final Cut Pro Great Again (for Pros)

With the latest update to Final Cut Pro Apple has shown that it is serious about giving Pros the features they are looking for in an NLE. Probably for 90% of it’s users FCPX is already a complete package with little more to do.
It’s that last 10% that are still wanting more. The good news is that there is very little left for Apple to change to put FCPX right back where it was before the switch to X occurred in 2011.

Here are the changes that I feel would return Final Cut Pro to a dominant player in the high end professional market.

  • Advanced Mode which turns on these features:Libraries, Events, Projects change to Projects, Bins, Sequences

Metadata ripple – the option to have any changes made in the browser or timeline ripple through all respective clips. Also the option to modify clips at the Finder Level

Master sequence settings. Set once setting for all new sequences

Customise workspaces a view where workspaces can be set up and saved

Customise/save browser views (create custom columns)
Set ups for guides and grids

Monitor/Audio calibration tools and settings

Ability to set locations of ALL rendered data Proxy/Optimised Media, Analysis files, Thumbnails, Waveforms, Render Files

Proxy mode compression settings, giving users the ability to set a maximum data rate/size setting

  • Dupe Detection in the Timeline toggle
  • Viewers to gain position bar, have option to show previous next clip in timeline (for grading)
  • New Trim mode that includes dynamic trimming
  • Consolidate media with user defined handle length.
  • Customisable interface and the ability to have multiple browser windows open at once on more than 2 monitors

JellyFish 4K up and Running

img_2490Starting a new gig at Channel 7 on FCPX. A big leap for them.
But they didn’t want to buy a Lumaforge Jellyfish 4K (the best solution for collaborative workflows with FCPX.)

This shared storage system can accommodate multiple machine running in a shared environment with speeds well in excess of 800 Megabytes per second.

So if you’re looking to hire a blazingly fast storage solution for your next FCPX gig. Don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Adobe what are you thinking?

Producer friend rang me in desperate need of a favour. Finish off a job for a client due tonight. Premiere Pro. Normally I’d say no but this is a good friend who has helped me out in the past.
So in I went thinking “maybe it won’t be as bad as I’m thinking.”

WRONG. It’s like those bad Chinese knock offs that try to cash in on something popular but miss out on what actually made it popular to start with.

Yes it behaves in a similar way to FCP7 and it’s certainly easy to come to grips with quickly. But it is seriously like jumping from a nice sports car to a truck. Function over form.

Keyboard Shortcut interfaces compared:

fcpxkeysAdobe just can’t help themselves. The engineers must always overrule the user interface dept. (or maybe they don’t have a user interface department)
FCPX is by no means perfect and still has a long way to go to make me truly happy with it, but by god it’s a hell of a distance down the road compared to this clunky ugly muddled mess of a program.

Initial Thoughts on FCPX

object009I’ve recently started a project on FCP X and here are my initial impressions.

Of course at first I was tearing my hair out, but with an open mind, the manual and the internet I’ve been making steady progress.

Most of my work these days in on documentaries or reality tv so that’s where I’m coming from.

The most important thing you can do to get the most out of FCP X is put in the ground work with keywords before you get to cutting. This is same for any non linear editing system of course but even more so with FCP X. Once it’s done I was shocked at how much faster I was able to find material over the older systems.

Example of looking for footage.


Find bin and start double clicking on clips to skim through footage.

Keep going back to the bin and double clicking and skimming.


Type in a couple of keywords you know. Boom.

All clips are there before you in a pseudo timeline.

Skim across them until you find the shot. Not one click involved.

This saves so much time it’s not funny.

Next is working in the timeline. At first I was distressed to see that Overwrite was missing from the main interface and put into a obscure menu item and a weird keyboard command. D?

Well now I understand.

You know us NLE snobs who always looked down on the Noobs who would only do edits on the layer above because they couldn’t commit to a design or didn’t understand how to use tools like the ripple/roll tool or the slip and slide tool? Well their methodology has been vindicated in FCPX. It is encouraged that you perform all your overlay edits (American’s call it b-roll for some bizarre reason) on the second layer. Because of the way that clip connections work it makes sense to do it this way. You don’t really ever have to worry about throwing your second layer out of sync by making changes to your base layer. Even more powerful is the way you can create a second storyline. Allowing you to ripple trim clips sitting on top of the main story without throwing sync of other clips further down the timeline.

And then there’s compound clips. This is the way that nesting always should have been in FCP 7.

At first I was really frustrated that I couldn’t perform a double sided roll trim on a music track that I had effectively synchronised to a later beat further down the track. Then I just pulled it down to a new layer and and used arrow tool to reposition the edit. (with nice crossfades too I migt add) Once done I selected both tracks and hit Option G. Boom! new track that acts like one track, I never have to worry about the edit becoming unstuck ever again.

If I want to return to the way it was I just hit Shift-Apple-G, if you want to edit inside the nest just double click it.

If you think of G as ‘Group’ it’s easy.

G = Hold down to create or add to storyline

G+ALT = Nest

G+Command = New Storyline

G+Command+Shift = Un-Nest

G+Command+ALT = Synchronise Clips (Audio and Video)

This of course takes some getting used to. You really do need to throw out a lot of your preconceptions about the timeline.

But once you’ve done that I guarantee you will wonder why it wasn’t always done this way. It just makes sense.

Deficiencies? There are plenty. Too many to list in this first post. But I’ll say this. When Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 came out, was it as powerful as Avid Media Composer? No. Not even close. Then why did it succeed?

1. It was cheap.

2. It did a lot of things better.

3. It was an open system.

Will this be the same story for FCP X? I think it will.