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.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Brad Zimmerman wrote:

First off, good clarification I wasn't sure how to respond to your "Professional" vs "Prosumer" comment.

Great follow up information overall and I would say the one thing I regret not saying during my news brief is that I am an Adobe guy.

Point 1: I think elimating round tripping is great, however to say it wasn't controversial to eliminate these programs is opinion. I think many users are these missing programs especially color becuase they arn't a professional colorist but they want more indepth features then what is available in FCPX.

Point 2: I actually never read any reviews from creative cow, I do agree that these loud voices can unfairly slant views on the product but no news is truly "fair and balanced". I did really love this article that I hope you would agree is by a pro who you can trust:

Point 3: Agree, many professionals can use the program now and will be happy. I think the outcry shows that people hate change.

Point 4: You may be right about the amount of missing features but it feels like there are a ton due to how often you use these features. Also not often(althought it does happen) do you get a new version of a program where they strip away features that users are used to.

Point 5: Interesting history of Final Cut, learn something new everyday! I for one am not threated but software for the masses, I am where I am today becuase the tools were made accessible.

Point 6: Again great background and insight, it shows how entrenched QuickTime is in all Apple products and why it is taking so long to see the upgrade. Unfortunately in another take I said to "be care and do your research before buying" but that take wasn't usable and as you can tell this isn't scripted so it got left out.

I think you gave great advice to the church, thanks for your thoughts and opinions.

Also I hope you aren't accusing me of trying to mislead others in this news breif, I was merely reporting on what I have read and heard from Final Cut users.

- Brad

Thu, June 30, 2011 @ 2:37 PM

2. David Chapman wrote:
I know you are an Adobe guy. And I know you know your stuff, but come on, talking about FCPX? :-P

What I would like to hear, and what Dan Rubottom has been doing as of late, is pointing out what features are NEW in FCPX, instead of dwelling on the few things that some whiney editors are complaining about. In reality, FCPX does a lot right now. And I have used Premiere (although everyone in professional workflows are looking at Avid, not Premiere).

I'll be posting some tutorials soon, specific to what churches need right now. FCP7, Premiere and MC all take too much time becoming specialized to use. For a church that wants to output more, FCPX seems to be fit best right now. And when new features come with Lion, it will prove that FCPX is just as much a Pro app as the rest. iPhone 1 couldn't copy paste, did that make it a failure? I have Final Cut Studio 3 installed and use Color, Soundtrack and FCP7 regularly. I also use MPEG Streamclip and Canon's ingest plugin for DSLR footage. With FCPX, I just edit. I save hours of time from my old ways, although I like keywording and smart folders anyways. Some people don't. But I have to say that Photographer principles (Lightroom, Aperture) with tagging and organizing is a welcomed change to the messy workflow of sloppy editors. They are used to a messy room, but now they get a maid to clean up. They just don't want to tell the maid where things should go.

Thu, June 30, 2011 @ 3:01 PM

3. Ebonyheart wrote:
Apple has stated that they will fix all of FCP X's promlebs and add more features than the previous had. They say that with the future upgrade, and that all will be better (price decrease, all of FCP Studio will be incorporated except for Compressor and Motion, it will take up less space on your hard drive, run faster, ect.). If you bought it and didn't like it, you can return it with a full refund, if you read the reviews and it doesn't sound like it's for you then don't buy it. For the people that like it great! For the ones like myself that currently need missing features, relax, pretend it was never released and wait for the better version to come out. Your FCP Studio is still great, you can continue working on all of your Professional jobs as you always have, and forget that Apple released FCP X. Don't make things so complicated. Apple stays on top for a reason! I have no doubt that within the next year or so we'll all be praising FCP X. ~Rey Rey Rodriguez

Sat, February 2, 2013 @ 9:57 AM

4. David wrote:
I think all of those promised features came with 10.0.6 last fall and all features that people were dying for are now part of FCPX, along with a few others.

I don't think Apple ever stated that "every" aspect of the studio would be inside FCPX. That might have been a careless statement from an editor or a comment misunderstood. I don't think you can get refunds anymore either. They have a trial now to download (now 10.0.7) and fully test. It's good for 30 days.

Here's the link:

Sat, February 2, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

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