Kat Caverly

Calling all FCPx editors

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WOW! Lowepost is true to their word. I post wondering why there is no FCP forum and within hours there IS a FCP forum.

I started out with Final Cut Pro v1 and Premier Pro. For whatever reason these programs never clicked with the way I think about story telling. I came from a still photography and animation background, and kept going back to Final Cut up to version 7 for live action shorts. But was never really into it. Tried Premiere Pro again. Still not clicking.

Then came FCP 10 which I started my training in 2012 and I was truly excited. It was very different and it clicked! I made my first short with it 2013-1015, but it wasn't until 2018 that I knew there was nothing better for me for editing. I started to my Premiere Pro training in 2018 while working on a very complicated projected, but quickly went back to FCP 10.3. When Resolve 15 was released I spent two months using nothing but Resolve 15 for a whole production (I've used Resolve for color grading since 2014) and at the end of it I went back to FCP 10.4.4 for editing projects. Why? It is just more fun. I just works with the way I think about organizing and my production pipeline. I think it is the best NLE ever, but then again I never bothered much with Media Composer.

I don't much like track based editing styles compared to the magnetic timeline. I hope to connect with other FCPx editors here. What do YOU think?

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i see the vast majority of FCX conforms being total trainwrecks, to the point that i ask for the project be sent to an experienced assit to sort / conform and deliver me a DRP, so i don't have to get near it with a 1000 foot pole

to that end, any cheat sheets / check lists for an editor without experience handing over a project for gradeing would be vastly appreacated

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As an editor who is also the colorist (and all post-production) on our projects I know of some things that don't translate to Resolve in the fcpxml, but aren't there also problems with conforms from Avid and Premiere Pro?

I will gather some checklists for my workflows. Maybe these will spark some answers to your conform issues. Maybe the Final Cut editors are applying effects? I did run up against some issues but since I am also the editor these were solved in the round-trip back to Final Cut.

I am trying to do all of my finishing in Resolve now. I do all sound design in Adobe Audition since Fairlight hasn't worked out for me yet and I gave up on ProTools before I started to do sound editing and design. I only use PT as a dedicated system on a vocal booth.

But sorry for getting off-topic. You are a professional colorist and have huge problems with Final Cut XML conforms. I would like to know more about your issues.

10 hours ago, dermot.shane said:

i see the vast majority of FCX conforms being total trainwrecks, to the point that i ask for the project be sent to an experienced assit to sort / conform and deliver me a DRP, so i don't have to get near it with a 1000 foot pole

to that end, any cheat sheets / check lists for an editor without experience handing over a project for gradeing would be vastly appreacated

 

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a few issue wit h Pp and MC is to be expected, nothing major, all the shots show up in the correct place

so nothing near the level of nuttyness that appears from FCX typicaly

i'm thinking it's mainly due to the FCX crowd...  the folks i deal with on MC projects are usualy union assists, and are super well orgnised top to tail

the folks i deal with on Pp projects are usualy pretty good, not up to IATSE standards, but clean timelines appear

the timelines i have seen from FCX are layers of overlapping media, no order for priority, something that is wanted to be seen is on v3, and something useless and not needed is covering it on v17, on and on....

thinking it more about the lack of training, only folks with next to zero money + next to zero experience seem to be cutting in FCX, and then their film gets some legs and they have to finish it to a reasonable standard, meaning outside FCX, usualy preditor's not editors

the other issue is i have a long list of Pp and MC trained assists that can sort pretty much anything, and no resources to turn to localy for FCX, it's like the blind leading the blind

a good union assist can clean up a film cut in FCX in a few days, but that makes it more expensive than buying a perm licence of MC and getting it right in the first place

i would love to have a cheat sheet i could hand off to a FCX preditor, save them the expense of getitng their trainwreck sorted, and i can focus on getting their film to shine like a diamond

many thanx for listening, sorry for the bad news right up front

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane

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1 hour ago, dermot.shane said:

a few issue wit h Pp and MC is to be expected, nothing major, all the shots show up in the correct place

so nothing near the level of nuttyness that appears from FCX typicaly

i'm thinking it's mainly due to the FCX crowd...  the folks i deal with on MC projects are usualy union assists, and are super well orgnised top to tail

the folks i deal with on Pp projects are usualy pretty good, not up to IATSE standards, but clean timelines appear

the timelines i have seen from FCX are layers of overlapping media, no order for priority, something that is wanted to be seen is on v3, and something useless and not needed is covering it on v17, on and on....

thinking it more about the lack of training, only folks with next to zero money + next to zero experience seem to be cutting in FCX, and then their film gets some legs and they have to finish it to a reasonable standard, meaning outside FCX, usualy preditor's not editors

the other issue is i have a long list of Pp and MC trained assists that can sort pretty much anything, and no resources to turn to localy for FCX, it's like the blind leading the blind

a good union assist can clean up a film cut in FCX in a few days, but that makes it more expensive than buying a perm licence of MC and getting it right in the first place

i would love to have a cheat sheet i could hand off to a FCX preditor, save them the expense of getitng their trainwreck sorted, and i can focus on getting their film to shine like a diamond

many thanx for listening, sorry for the bad news right up front

 

 

Thank you so much. Honestly I prefer to deal with the bad news right up front. It helps me troubleshoot and find solutions, maybe, with any luck, I can avoid the problems in the first place.

Nothing excuses a lack of organization in a production pipeline. I came from an animation background and before that commercial photography (film days) so I approach workflow with a commitment to what serves the creative process.

My husband is an IATSE crew member (art department) and we have friends who are editors, DIT on union productions for me to ask questions and get insights into finding a way for professionals like yourself to help Final Cut editors solve these problems. These are not the colorist's problems to solve, though I hear the frustrations.

If it is just a no budget/inexperience issue I imagine you'll see the problems come up with Resolve editors too. There are some amazing teachers, a few even for Final Cut, but I must admit it is possible to edit a project in FCPx with no training at all in the technical aspects of the application nor training in editing. But oh boy, does the training open up a whole world of creative possibility and what I know about no-budget productions is sometimes you can't help them.

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Just now, Kat Caverly said:

i would love to have a cheat sheet i could hand off to a FCX preditor, save them the expense of getitng their trainwreck sorted, and i can focus on getting their film to shine like a diamond

I will work on this!

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@dermot.shane I have thought about your issues all weekend. I doubt that Media Composer would "get it right in the first place" since Final Cut doesn't inherently get in wrong.

With some of these preditors maybe the best workflow for you is for them to render out a ProRes 422HQ video only file and then you can use scene detect if the fcpxml truly is a "trainwreck".

I found that FCP generators don't translate, nor titles, but then I replace these in Resolve or do a roundtrip back to FCP after grading.

I would suggest:

Simplify and Organize the timeline: flatten video to primary storyline (this became easier in v 10.4), break apart compound clips. And they have to decide how to handle FX filters (again they can handle it in a roundtrip back to FCP) the export XML as well as a reference movie.

Maybe suggest they get a free copy of Resolve so that they can see for themselves the issues, especially if they really don't have the budget/experience. It is easier if the editor is also a colorist and vice versa. I know how to fix things both in Resolve as well as FCP, but I really only use FCP for editing, and not effects, and I am trying to do finishing in Resolve 15+ now.

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Have you guys seen the lesson overview of  the new coming conform course? Kevin is an award winning editor with extensive FCP experience, so I bet these roundtrip lessons will cover what an editor need to know to prepare a messy project for Resolve.

 

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good suggestions, many thanX for looking at this

 

is this what i might send on to a FCX preditor?

"simplify and Organize the timeline:

flatten video to primary storyline

break apart compound clips."

- i mentioend i don't see how FCX software could get it so very wrong, so very often, i'm thinking it's the training or lack thereof, coupled with the entry point focused user base that's the root of the pain - so your input would be valuable if you can edit in FCX  and finish to a high standard / pass QC in anything else

- as to the free Resolve idea, i do often suggest that, and it's never been a workable solution, it's appears to be far to hard to figure out for a person who only knows FCX, or their machine cannot run it...

- flattened timelines are not workable for me, i usualy deliver DCP for theatre and prefer to work from cam orig or VFX plates to control the quality of the image and the project's color managment, no matter the software used in editorial

many / most broadcast projects are roundtripped back to Pp or MC for finishing so effects come back home cleanly, for theatrical i do the finishing, and eye match as best possiable, although i do not use Resolve for finishing, it's getting better every version, but the weaklinks are too weak of a link currently for my comfort, and i have options at hand that are dead reliable already

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane
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@ Thomas

No i had not seen that, i knew that something was in the works, but any talk of that was a long time ago, and the FCX trainwrecks keep appearing

last one cost the preditor two days of edit assist time to get a timeline that was clean enough to start conforming, like i mentioned i do not even touch a FCX project anymore, instead asking for a DRP / XML / AAF from Resolve, Pp or MC, and let the preditor get that sorted before it darkens my doorstep

Chapter threeeeee wheeeeeeeeee

no real issues with Pp & MC projects, do not see FCp7 anymore, never seen a Lightworks projec

 

 

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broadacast = production sends me a DRP + media, i send them roundtripped media + XML/AAF

Featiures = production sends me a DRP + Media, then more DRP's as VFX trickle in

i grade and runout an uncompressed colortimed master file seq @ largest raster

that goes into a finishing system for tweaks/fixes and all that not so fun stuff, do the roller and then create the deliverables from there

often i start the finishing process early by running out a dummy file seq and when scenes are finished gradeing they overwrite the placeholder seq, and appear in the timeline of the finishing system automagicly

if production cannot sort out getting me a DRP, i ask them to send the project and media to an assist, and they deliver a DRP to me fully sorted and ready to rok, that's at the producer's expence, but cheaper than tieing up a gradeing suite looking through the rushes for a missing shot

the finishing system i use offers parent /child timeline relationships, so a change to the main timeline ripples through all timelines, a change to the master HD downconvert timeline only ripples to the HD delvierables, on and on.. a huge safety valve for dealing with QC notes and mutiple deliveries with differing mixes and show runtime's

oh, and really simple and reliable audio mapping

 

 

 

Edited by dermot.shane
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"goes into a finishing system for tweaks/fixes" ~ @dermot.shane

 

so what is your finishing system? Hardware, software? a curious Kat wants to know :)

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Avid|DS,

eol'd a few years ago, i have two licences running, so far there's nothing better for my workflow,

next best is Flame,

and maybe by version 17, Resolve

it really only needs Fusion to be a bit more stable and responcive, parent /child timelines & sane / reliable audio mapping, not too far given where it was only a few years ago

but if i had to mothball the DS's for any reason, i'd turn to Flame today

 

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