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By now I am sure everyone has heard all the bad press, negative reviews and blogs on FCPX. I am sure you know what is missing out of FCPX, if you don’t then clearly you are extremely busy and did not even know FCPX was released, therefore kudos to you.

Before I begin this review I would like to point out 2 things. First this will not be a rant by any means. Secondly I have not had this up review up earlier as I wanted to examine FCPX for at least a week cutting an actual project. For those of you unaware, here are some examples of what is missing.

FCPX has been completely re-written to a 64bit application. It is no longer Quicktime based, which now in lame-ins terms much faster and more responsive. FCPX has also integrated SoundTrack Pro and Apple Color into FCPX for a new lower price $299, include the new  Motion 5 and the updated Compressor at $49 each, and you can see this replaces the old Final Cut Studio at a much lower price.

Initially I was amazed by the colors of the application. It just looked pretty, and yes it does remind me of iMovie. However I have never worked with iMovie, I have only seen it at a glance,  so I can’t  comment on how closely it resembles iMovie.

After downloading the application I began ingesting footage, I mean capturing, or importing or whatever you want to call it. As I began to work with FCPX I began to get extremely frustrated as I realized the whole 3 point editing workflow no longer works. My first thought was “ What on earth was Apple Thinking?”  After my entail shock I sat down and dug deeper into FCPX.

While working with FCPX, I noticed was how much faster this new application feels.  Renders happen in the background seamlessly. I was amazed I was able to throw 4 layers of H.264 and a video filter, and still be able to playback the time line. A very nice feature.


After just playing around I began setting up my FCPX for an actual project. Setting up the keyboard for my shortcuts was simple enough. I needed to to do this as Apple has changed some the default shortcut keys. Also mine differ from Apple’s so this was a must.


A very nice feature is the the location and size of the new timecode. As many of you know I like working with timecode. It helps me stay organized, and while working with a broadcast environment , helps keep me frame accurate for air times. However there seems to be  missing issue with this feature.  The ability to set your own timecode. This may be due to the fact Apple did not even place in the feature to print to tape. That could be Apple’s reasoning for dropping this ability. But even so, I still have projects or handing off to another editor with specific time-codes such as 10 hour that we use for HDCAM is a necessity.  I really hope Apple rectifies that issue.

FCPX does on the other hand give you the ability to Superimpose a Timecode Generator for dailies, but again no custom features other than colors, and fonts. That’s nice and all but I need to lay back a proper timecode. Strange….

Adjusting clips with filters, and crops and other effects are now done within the Inspector window. Those of you who are familiar with Motion will feel right at home. This is a nice feature as it gives you an are to adjust the variables for each effect.

This brought me to the attention of the Media Browsers here you can see everything from Title scrolls to Keying, looks, and even transitions. Speaking of transitions I could not stop laughing at some of the transitions in FCPX. These must have come from iMovie, because I don’t see any editor ever using these. They remind of the old days of the Toaster transitions.  My favorite ones were the Curtains and the Night Vision.  I think I will use the Curtains to replace the my old favorite the Star Wipe.

All joking aside some the effects, looks and title generators are very good. and can be a real time saver.

Organizing media has also changed drastically. FCPX now places everything into one folder if you allow it to organize for you. This includes your renders folder. As frustrating as this can be, simply because I like to set where all my media  goes. There is a benefit to this madness. Metadata has been really improved. You can now assign keywords to clips. this is great especially while working on features, docs, or just about anything with tons of footage. With this feature I can then search all my media with a simple keyword to find all the clips that “john” are in.


Continue reading Part 2 Here


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