A Closer Look at Final Cut Pro X

By April 22, 2011editing, post

Here is what the great Larry Jordan (FCP guru) had to say about his thoughts on the new FCP X…..pulled from his blog.

 

FCP X

“While the slide show was identical to the February meeting, the demo was not. Randy Ubillos, who did the demo, added more features and additional explanations on effects (see the screen shot above). However, I was told later that the build that was demoed was the same build that was shown in February – and that the application has moved significantly forward since that time.

In other words, what we saw tonight was nowhere near the final form of the application.

I was also very impressed that audio was not treated as an unwelcome step-child. First, the demo paid a lot of attention to setting and maintaining audio sync, however lots of little details were also obvious:

* Sample rate precision in scrolling an audio clip
* Pitch corrected audio scrolling in slow motion
* Displaying waveforms at a size big enough to see what they look like
* Displaying audio levels within the waveform that are approaching clipping (as one engineer near me remarked, “And THAT took us a LONG while to figure out.”)
* Displaying audio peaks for the entire mix that are approaching clipping
* Improved audio cleanup controls, which can be applied or ignored by the user (these look to be borrowed from Soundtrack Pro)
* Adding fades with a keystroke, or by pulling in the top corners of a clip, with four different fade shapes, rather than the limit of two inside FCP 7; these, too, borrow interface ideas from Soundtrack Pro.

THE CROWD’S REACTIONS

In brief, the crowd was loving it. Granted, many of them got well-lubricated at the open bar before the event, but nonetheless, everyone seemed to have a good time.

The new interface drew applause, 64-bit support and background rendering had people drooling and the new price of $299 received a standing ovation.

MY REACTIONS
I’ve been thinking hard about this since I first saw the software six weeks ago.
And, truthfully, I’m very torn. There are some features here that I really like a LOT. There are a few that I don’t like at all. But there is a great deal that has not yet been said.
And that, I think, is the key point. The devil is ALWAYS in the details.
Apple has done its usual magnificent job of previewing a new product. But this is only the preview.

I met Randy Ubillos, Chief Architect for Video Applications at Apple, after he presented the demo of the software. I told him that parts of what I saw I liked a lot and parts had me quite concerned. And I asked if Apple was interested in our feedback. He immediately said that Apple is VERY interested in our feedback, that they are listening and want to make this application something that all of us can be proud of using.
I believe him. And I also believe that it is way too early to make any final decisions about this version. There are too many unanswered questions. For example, here are some questions the answers to which are still unknown:

* The retail price for FCP is $299 – but what is the retail price of the other software parts of the Suite? Are we back to ala carte pricing?

* The application will be sold through the Mac App store. What happens to all the great data files that were available with the suite in earlier versions?

* How does FCP X work with existing FCP 7 projects?

* What other applications ship with Final Cut and how do they integrate?

* How many of our existing plug-ins, peripherals, hardware, and other gear need to be updated to work with the new software?

* Editing does not exist in a vacuum, how do we share files, clips, metadata, and project information with other software tools?

* How does it handle media?

* How has QuickTime changed to support what Final Cut Pro X can do?

* Real-time, native video processing is great for editing – however, we still need to encode to get files on the web. How?

As of tonight, Apple hasn’t provided answers to these, or many other questions. As they do, or as I’m able to find them out, I’ll share them with you in this blog and my newsletter.
As one engineer told me at the Cupertino meeting in February, Final Cut Pro is still a work in progress. We’ve seen the outline of the work – the rough cut, if you will. Now we need to give the engineers time to listen to our feedback, polish it up, and deliver the final cut of Final Cut.

ONE LAST THOUGHT
I’ve made a promise to myself to provide training on the new version of Final Cut Pro as soon as possible after the release date.
If you are interested in getting up to speed quickly on the new version – please sign up for my free monthly Final Cut Studio newsletter. As I learn more, I’ll be sharing it with you there.
And as I make new training available, I’ll announce it there first.
For now, I’m going back to the drawing boards. I’ve got a lot of new work to do.

Larry

2 Comments

  • Jumanous says:

    can they play back 4k on FCP yet? Premiere cs5+ seems to win on this cause of the no intermediate files.. if they can do that, they are on a winner.

  • admin says:

    Yes it will be able to play back 4K. It will be even better with Thunderbolt.

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