digitalfilms on FCP X Roadblocks

digitalfilms has an excellent article on FCP X roadblocks. I agree with all of them, but one particularly as it is my favorite tool in FCP.

Track tool. This plays a huge part in how I edit and something I really loved in FCP over Media Composer. I use it to move clips downstream to open a space on the timeline to work. If I want to do the same in FCP X, I either have to insert a placeholder (essentially the OLD Avid way of working) or select a number of clips (also the OLD Avid way). Not very effective when you have an hour-long timeline. Another reason to use the track tool is to select all the clips to the right in order to apply common effects.

I really don’t get these people that are fervently defending FCP X.

I know I have said this before, but to me it is not just incomplete, and you can’t call it a beta( because if it was a beta they would still be supporting FCP 7, while they worked out the kinks of FCP X), it is actually broken. The basic paradigm of the timeline that you cannot organize is broken. Some of the new features could be interesting and powerful, but as additional features, not as the only features. And I never want a timeline that I cannot organize unless it is has zero graphics or overlays, and even then I like to organize my tracks.

And while I could see a usefulness to being able to scrub where the mouse head is, like the AVID timeline, it should be able to turn off and on (I know you can turn it off in FCP X, but then you can’t scrub in clips in the viewer either, which doesn’t work).

And what exactly does Apple want us to do on jobs where we need a FCP 7 license? I am on one right now? How do we get one? E-bay, they are going for much more than $1000, and you don’t even know how legal they are?!?!

Trapcode has an excellent Smoke Project

Trapcode is sharing an excellent Smoke Project. Download it here.

Splice now has a great AVID tip

Splice Now, have a great tip on Copying a clip to source monitor, that can really speed your up in editing.

The shortcut, not visible in the menus, is Command-Option-C. Mark a region in the timeline and select tracks, or simply select a clip or clips. Then hit Command-Option-C. Your material instantly appears in the source monitor.

FCPX.TV has a requested features article

Check out there feature request for FCP X.

I really agree with the scrolling timeline, and reconnect media.

Free Invites to Google+

So if anyone wants an invite to Google Plus, just follow this link and it will get you signed up.

So far I am digging Google+, the ability to share with who you want to makes a huge amount of sense and it something that Facebook should have done long ago.

I just can’t believe that there is no Google Reader integration, as the Buzz feed just doesn’t connect (though you can see it in your profile). They need to add one entry that adds to google buzz, google plus and facebook all at once. And not just a Chrome extension, as I personally use Firefox.

FCP X Visual Manual

For those still using FCP X, there has been released a $1.99 PDF manual that everyone says is great. It will also be $14.99 printed at AMazong, and you can get it here.

Adobe and Nvidia Ray Trace in AE

The Pro Video Coalition has an article on a joint NVIDIA Adobe research project on doing ray traced 3D within After Effects, and it looks amazing. I just hope it will work with my GeForce GTX 285, or that NVIDIA will come out with a new better CUDA card available in Mac. I would consider a 4000, but it barely work with Lion or Apple products at this point, and is already a generation behind.

Let’s hope this gets integrated into After Effects soon! Realtime 3D would be amazing.

Biscardi Creative switches to Premiere Pro

Biscardi Creative has an excellent article on why they are not waiting for Final Cut Pro X to become this amazing Paradigm of editing in the future, when they can do everything they need in Premiere Pro right now. The article really mirrors what I am feeling about Premiere Pro right now. I love not having to re-compress to Pro Res, and edit in realtime in my timeline.

There’s been so much talk about a “new paradigm” and “a new beginning” lately courtesy of Apple.  Defenders of the “new paradigm” are quick to point out that this is an entirely new application, nothing like it has ever been done, therefore, Apple had to break with all convention to create Final Cut Pro X.   It’s stripped down now, like Final Cut Pro 1, but give it time and the things we “need” will be added back over time.  It has so much “potential for the future.”

The more I work with Adobe Premiere Pro the more I just don’t understand that mentality.   Why wait?  Premiere Pro already includes the “missing elements” of FCP X and so much more it can’t do.

He goes on to say that despite all the protesting in forums he transferred over a large project to Premiere Pro final Cut Pro 7 and it all worked perfectly, he loves all the realtime effects, and also how Adobe Media Encoder can look into Premiere Pro and After Effects projects and render individual sequences without having to open the host apps, which for him, and for me is huge! You don’t have to export a quicktime movie and you don’t have to give up the host app to to the compression. THAT IS SO COOL, AND SO USEFUL! TALK ABOUT A TIME SAVER!

Which Lens to Buy for DSLR

Philip Bloom has an excellent article on which lenses to buy for DSLR photography and videography.

I wish I could afford all Canon Lenses, but this article is really worth checking out.

Lion Spaces Controls

Finally figured out something that was bothering me. I have already said that I hated that Apple had gotten rid of the spaces control panel to control which apps go into which desktop spaces, well the controls are still there, they have just been moved.

Once you have created multiple spaces in Mission control (I have 6).


Open the Application which you want to put in different spaces, and then right click on it’s icon in the dock. You will get a menu like this one which lets you pick where to put the app.

Honestly it is not as elegant as it was having the old control panel where you could set all apps, but it is pretty functionally and allows the same functionality, so I am happy.

Still not sure about Mission Control VS. spaces and Expose though. I use 6 desktops, if I start using full screen apps, I am sure going to have a lot on the top row, and I have a fairly large monitor.


Karl Soulé addition info Premiere Pro

Karl Soulé has added an addition article. This is on enabling black magic or aja playback of your ProRes timeline, as well as 32 bit color and highest quality rendering.

Thanks Karl. Worth checking out.

Karl Soulé at The Video Road shows how to do a ProRes Setup in Premier Pro

Karl Soulé at the Video Road has an excellent article on how to setup a ProRes workflow in PremierePro. This can be used for ProRes sequences from Final Cut Pro, or for projects shot in ProRes which is happening more often. It is too bad, you have to at the least Purchase the new Apple Motion to get ProRes codecs on your mac, but you need them (you have them if you have FCS 3.0) and with these setup settings you can easily work end to end in ProRes in Premiere Pro on your Mac.

Get Set Go new album on Kickstarter

Get Set Go is releasing their 5th album themselves on
Kickstarter and you can see I have already put a link to it on the side of the side, but here is their video on the project. So please give money so they can make their goal, and get a copy of their new album as well.

You can preview a few of the amazing new songs here.

Get Set Go is an amazing band, and are really good guys, so please do support them with whatever you can!

Premiere Pro Annoyance

Mostly I am really enjoying working with Premiere Pro. Sure I have not tried it with external video as of yet, but just working with my GeForce I am fairly impressed, but there is one thing I don’t like, and that is how premiere pro deals with audio tracks. You must pick your audio setup before hand, and it is a choice between, mono, stereo and 5.1 tracks. Well honestly I really never know how I am going to get audio, some stuff can be stereo and some mono (never get any 5.1), and it is nice to be able to just put stereo tacks on two tracks (as in AVID or Final Cut), versus their own single stereo tracks in premiere. Honestly the way Premier handles audio tracks is a bit strange and a bit frustrating to my workflow. Sure I can work with it, but am not sure that I like it.

Apple's Abandonement of the Pro Market

Apple's abandonment of Professionals is obvious to me.

If they were planning on supporting professionals they could have done what they did with OS X. Release FCP X as a beta, while also continuing to support FCP 7 for a time, and especially keep it available. And keep adding features to X until it was at par with 7 and then kill 7, with a definite timetable. They did it with OSX, so they could have done it here, but they are aiming for Prosumers and have abandoned the pro market completely.

All the people saying how great FCP X is, well I am glad you like it, but it is not, and will never be a professional app. Sure you can edit amazing things with it, and use it’s new very powerful features to make an incredible product or movie or whatever you are editing, but you can do that with any tool, it is just not a professional editing program and from what I see, never will be.

Kensington has awesome customer service

So while my trackball at home is a discontinued Microsoft Trackball Explorer (actually have 2 in case one breaks, but both are pretty used), I carry a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball with me from job to job.

My discontinued Microsoft Trackball.

The Excellent Kensington Expert Mouse.

In fact before the Microsoft Mouse I always had a Kensington similar to this, even back to my Mac Classic I had an ADB model. The current model is a powerhouse with 4 buttons and an excellent scroll wheel.

Well under the ball, there are 3 little red plastic balls that the ball sits on, and one of mine came out when I was trying to clean it, and I lost it. And the ball just doesn’t track right, so I contact Kensington, and they don’t have the part, but are sending me a new trackball. And I just need to dispose of my old one! How awesome is that? THANK YOU KENSINGTON! YOU GUYS TOTALLY ROCK!

And I do love your trackball!


MacFixit at CNET has a good article on Managing Lions Resume Features

Check out this MaxFixit article, it details ways to make specific resume states for different apps and how to lock out Apps from having resumes. These all work as advertised, though are a bit of a cludge, and hopefully someone will release an app to do this easier.

Macgasm article on FCP X

The web site Macgasm has an article on two editors take on FCP X, and why they are not going to be using it. It is a good read on the subject and goes along allot with how I feel about FCP X.

From Eugene Ho:

By releasing a program that ought to have been a step forward from the existing app, but instead was missing many features that used to be there, Apple made it so that FCP X doesn’t “just work” for many professionals. By changing the video editing paradigm, FCP X now “gets in the way” of many pros, who will now have to spend the time to learn the “new way” of video editing.

From Paul Skidmore:

People keep asking me what I think of the new Final Cut Pro. My answer has been consistent: “It’s hands down the best editing program I’ve ever used, and when it comes time to edit my short film this fall, I won’t be using it.”

Though Paul seems to think FCP X will get there, which I don’t. I think it has some very basic flaws that will preclude it from ever being a viable pro editing program, and that is why I will be getting Media Composer for $999 before the deal runs out, and I already have Premier Pro CS5.5 and have been spending a lot of time learning it.

Premiere Pro with Client in the Room Article

The great Pro Video Coalition and Scott Simmons has a must read article on using Premiere Pro with a client in the room. ppro-real-world-edit-main

It is a must read for an Final Cut Pro 7 switcher. And has some great stuff on using it with an external monitor with either a Kona or a Matrox (seems Kona works better, but still has issues, especially with a long sequence).

Check it out if you get a chance. I am already making the switch to Premiere Pro CS5.5, though I am having issues with Lion, and this points out some issues I had not realized that you have to think about.

I hadn’t realized Premier Pro doesn’t have any sort of Auto Media Relinking, that each clip must be manually found. Of course with how slow Final Cut Pro 7’s could be, this might actually be faster.

No timecode window, which is a must, though was not added all that long ago to FInal Cut Pro.

Reveal in Project from Source Window! A no brainer since you can do it from the sequence!

Check out the whole article. It is worth checking out.

Adobe just blew me away! Wow!

So I have been learning Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and liking it a lot as an alternative to Final Cut Pro, but there are some things I think are missing, and have been adding Feature Requests.

Well for my request to add a duplicate clip showing in the timeline, I got a response! And one that points out all the features in the program that are similar. I am so impressed by this!

Hi Jonah,

Thanks for your request and feedback. I'll add your name to the list of requestors for this feature request.

Premiere has clip usage indicators, which isn't quite what you're looking for (indicators in the Timeline), but can be very useful and is a feature that neither FCP nor Avid have.

You can turn on the Video Usage and Audio Usage data columns in the Project panel (list view mode). In the flyout menu (accessed via the widget in the upper right of each panel), choose Metadata Preferences. Then either do a search for "usage", or twirl open the Premiere Pro Project Metadata section and put a check in the Video and Audio Usage properties so they'll show up in the List View of the Project panel. You can rearrange the data columns in the Project panel so you can see these usage indicator columns while you're editing. Now each time a clip is used, the usage count indicates the number of uses across all sequences in the project. For example, this is great for monitoring which clips have been used in cutaways already and which clips are unused and available.

If you need more specific usage information, here's another tip: in the Preview Area (the top of the Project panel with the thumbnail previewer and clip info), when a clip is used in any sequence, "video used x times" or "audio used x times" appears next to the video and audio type description. And if you click on the small drop-down arrow next to the usage info, a popup menu reveals a list of the sequences the selected clip is used in, with its timecode location in each sequence usage. PLUS, if you select one of these locations in the usage popup menu, that sequence is opened and the playhead is parked at the timecode where the clip is actually used. This is one of Premiere's "best kept secrets" and we're working on making the feature much more discoverable.

David Kuspa | Adobe | Sr. Experience Designer, Dynamic Media

AWESOME! Adobe you are doing something right and winning a convert. My only complaint is your level 1 tech support in India is not good at all, and doesn’t really help until you get to tier 2 for the most part.

Premiere Pro in Lion Update 2

  1. OK, so NVIDIA has been able to re-create the problem, and there is a workaround. You must force the Mac into 64 Bit mode (If it can handle it). This Apple Tech Support Document gives how you can do it permanently or for a single boot.
If your Mac uses the 32-bit kernel by default, but supports the 64-bit kernel, you can start up using the 64-bit kernel by holding the 6 and 4 keys during startup.

To select the 64-bit kernel for the current startup disk, use the following command in Terminal:

sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture x86_64

To select the 32-bit kernel for the current startup disk, use the following command in Terminal:
sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture i386

Studio Daily has an article in Defence of FCP X

  1. The article talks to people who are using FCP X and seem to think it is great, and at the very least the future of editing, but I completely don’t agree, and have to say these people are pretty insetting.
Schechtman is a little more blunt, especially when it comes to editors who have already declared their intention to abandon FCP for the competition. "If you're making a rash decision based on a product that isn't complete, you're an idiot," he says. "We all live a technical life. We all can look back at the not-so-distant past and see that we've been through this before. Don't jump ship, permanently, while someone else is rethinking the NLE for your benefit."

Insulting and ignoring much of the big picture. Like me having a 5 month job starting where we need a new Final Cut Pro editing bay because our client is a Final Cut Pro house. Well we need to buy a new system and duplicate our Black Magic setup, which is useless for AVID (at least for now) and at this point we have to buy another copy of Final Cut Studio 3 on Ebay for more than $1000, because it currently isn’t available anywhere.

And it is idiotic to say that FCP X is going to be all this and that, if it is as you say an unfinished program! What if when Adobe moved to 64 bit they made their entire suite incompatible with the previous version, and cut out most of the features people needed. People would be up in arms, as they are about Final Cut Pro X! They did not need to release an unfinished product, they had years, and could have waited to release their supposedly finished product. They released it, so it is finished, sure they may add some more features, but it is a finished product.

I spent a week learning FCP X and did not find it any faster than FCP 7 for my editing, in fact I found many features backwards, and felt I had to spend more time organizing because of the lack of ability to use tabs for folders, and organize quickly that way for easy access.

If you want to make the old paradigm better, then add to it, add the new features on top of the old, and if people like it, it will take over, but just to make their way that only way, and to require more steps to do many of the essentials features of the previous version is unacceptable!

Premiere Pro Feature Requests

So after going through and learning about the features in Premiere Pro CS5.5, I have some feature requests, all of which I have put in with Adobe at their Feature Request web site. I will continue to expand this list as I think of more things that are frustrating me, and will always submit them to Adobe first.
  1. Clip Dupe Detection in the Timeline. Both AVID and Final Cut Pro 7 have this. As it is often important to not repeat shots in Commercials, the ability to see a visual representation which shows which clips are repeated is an essential feature.
  2. MIDI interface. With Final Cut Pro I uses a Behringer BFC-2000 to be able to do a good audio mix within Final Cut Pro using it's automation controls. This would be a perfect pairing with the Audio Mixer in Premiere, and it is frustrating that only Audition has the ability to interface with MIDI controls as I would prefer to be able to mix directly within Premiere Pro.
  3. In the Title Overlays Final Cut Pro includes markers for 4:3 center cut within a 16:9 project, which I am often using (HD project for SD 4:3 delivery).
  4. A re-sizeable, movable Timecode window, like the added to Final Cut in FCP 7.
  5. Reveal in project from Source monitor and not just from the sequence.

Premiere in Lion Update

Well my issue with Premiere and Lion is certainly a CUDA issue. NVIDIA released a new CUDA driver, 4.0.21, but it does not solve the issue. The only way to get Premiere Pro to boot is to remove the CUDA.framework from my Library, and then Premiere boots, but with software only acceleration making my GeForce completely useless. Lets hope they get on this quick!

Rob TInworth's 10 years with FCP

This video is well worth checking out, I knew what was coming, but still enjoyed it.
Rob Tinworth’s 10 years with FCP a retrospective at

Oliver Peters at DigitalFilms has an article on FCPX

You can read his post at his blog. I find a lot of what he is saying a little too positive on Apple’s turn from Niche market leader to completely consumer product, but he does have some really great things to say that go along pretty much how I feel about FCP X and what apple has done to it’s own market.
Unfortunately by releasing FCP X in the way it was done, Apple has destroyed the existing ecosystem built around FCP and all developers start at square one again. Some are happy for the new opportunities and others express concern. By ignoring legacy support and releasing a product with many gaps, Apple has alienated many high-end professionals. You can argue all you want that these users constitute an insignificant niche, but for developers, it’s these users who will pay thousands of dollars for capture cards, accessories and plug-in packages.

The danger of re-inventing the wheel

I have nearly four decades of experience in broadcast operations, production and post, with most of it in editing. I’ve gone through numerous transitions and along the way operated, reviewed or been associated with well over two dozen different edit platforms. One of the things I’ve seen in that time is that non-standard workflows and interfaces eventually return to accepted concepts. After all, editing tools are built on over 100 years of post production practices.

For me, FCP X simply is NOT faster nor easier, just DIFFERENT – precisely because Apple has radically changed the way an editor organizes the information and works in the timeline. I will freely admit that my nonlinear days started with Avid and I first disliked moving to FCP. Now, after eight years of mostly non-stop experience with Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Studio, FCP 7 has grown to be my preferred editing tool – warts and all. It’s incredibly versatile, but that level of user control was dropped from FCP X.

I use the timeline as much as a scratch pad as the location for a final assembly. Place multiple clips onto top tracks and preview them as one option versus another. Or build little sub-sequences at the back of the timeline and then copy & paste these into the place I want. Work rough and then clean things up. FCP 7  and Media Composer give me that freedom and precision. FCP X does not. Of course, some of this is handled through Audition clips in FCP X, but that requires that you know and select the possible options first and then combine them into an Audition clip, which can be cut onto the timeline for previewing. To me, this requires more work than I go through in all other NLEs.

My ideal NLE would likely be a mash-up between Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid Media Composer, augmented by the performance features of FCP X and Premiere Pro. It’s difficult to predict the future where Apple is concerned, so I don’t want to discount the possibility of FCP X picking up steam with my customers. If that’s true, then I’ll be there ahead of them; however, today, FCP X is the wrong tool for my projects and those of my clients.

Take the Precision Editor, as an example. This highly-promoted feature is little more than a toy in my view. Trimming in FCP X is much weaker than in FCP 7 and that version wasn’t anywhere close to having the trimming control of Media Composer. Asymmetrical trimming in FCP X is virtually non-existent. The basics, like trimming L-cuts, haven’t been properly implemented. For instance, split edits (L-cuts, J-cuts) are only based on trimming audio track in-points in FCP X, instead of either audio or video as in most other NLEs.

It’s these and many other little things throughout FCP X that will hinder its adoption by the upper tier of users. That has a cascading effect. In a film school, why adopt FCP X for your students, when they’ll encounter Avid Media Composer as the tool of choice out in the “real world”? If you teach a digital media curriculum, whose graduates are destined to work in the corporate and web arena, then isn’t Adobe Create Suite better suited? What Apple has in effect done – by rebooting Final Cut as FCP X – is to pull the rug out from under its own advances earned over twelve years of FCP development. They’ve handed an extraordinary gift to competitors who can better service these smaller, but still important, market segments.

Sorry, i Know that was a lot to quote, but all of that I find right on target.

Apple has new FCPX Videos Comparing it to AVID

You can see them right on Apple’s front page for Final Cut Pro X. They Claim to show how superior FXPX is at Faster Editing, A New Way to Organize, Motion Graphics and File Based Workflows, but are obviously BS marketing speak from people who are not professional editors. Sure there are some cool new features, but they needed to be ad ons to the features and not replacements, because Apple’s way is not the better way, just a different way, that I do not believe is better.

Get your Library unhidden in Lion

For those of you who are annoyed by the Library folder being hidden in your user folder in lion. Here is the terminal command to make it unhidden. You will have to change to you superuser to do it though.

chflags nohidden /Users//Library

Now if only I can change back the permissions on my Utilities folder so I can read and write...

A Quick Note: It looks like then 10.7.1 update reset this, so I guess you will have to keep making this change if you want to be able to see your library at all times.

Premiere Pro not working on Lion

I am having issues running Premiere Pro on OS X Lion with an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 285. It is crashing on launch, and seems to be a driver issues in Lion.

It seems that there is a new NVIDIA driver in Lion, as it is listed as 270.05.05f01, while the most recent NVIDIA drivers on their web site is 256.02.25f01.

And checking the CUDA Preferences it lists the current CUDA Driver 4.0.19 but says an Update is Required (though it is the latest CUDA for Mac Driver on NVIDIA's Web site).

Since this is the relevant part of the crash log, it looks like a driver crash to me, but the driver info is the 270.05.00 NVIDIA Driver.

0   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x000000011769286f cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 4359831   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x00000001176c1e25 cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 6299572   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x000000011766efa9 cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 2903773   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x0000000117669a8b cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 2685874   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x0000000117671b0c cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 3014845   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x000000011766e2a7 cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 2870476   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x00000001176372f2 cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 618427   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x0000000117637caf cuGraphicsGLRegisterImage + 643358   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x00000001176d83c8 cudbgGetAPIVersion + 869529   libcuda_270.05.00.dylib           0x000000011762715c cuGLCtxCreate_v2 + 10810  com.adobe.GPUFoundation.framework    0x000000010cf3fe4c GF::Device::InitializeContextAndLoadKernels() + 194811  com.adobe.dvacore.framework       0x0000000100190b3e dvacore::threads::ExecuteTopLevelFunction(dvacore::threads::Allocated FunctionT > const&) + 4612  com.adobe.dvacore.framework       0x0000000100190438 dvacore::threads::(anonymous namespace)::WrapGCDAsyncCall(void*) + 2413  libdispatch.dylib                 0x00007fff8f9887e9 _dispatch_worker_thread2 + 25514  libsystem_c.dylib                 0x00007fff8b2913da _pthread_wqthread + 31615  libsystem_c.dylib                 0x00007fff8b292b85 start_wqthread + 13This looks like it is a driver issue with the new Lion Drivers for the Geforce GTX 285.

The only way I was able to get Premiere to launch was getting rid of the 5.5 folder from the Application Support:Adobe:Premiere Pro: folder. The program launched, but would not show any video in the sequence or from any clips, and once I quit the program, when I tried to relaunch I got the same crash again.

Here is
my Thread at Adobe forums on the matter. I also called Adobe Tech supper and got a case number. They had me install the older driver from NVIDIA’s web site, but that froze my Mac at the spinning wheel (the wheel just kept going and going) so I had to do a restore using Command-R. It works, but is slow as it has to re-download the Lion install.

Editing Software on Lion

So I am checking Editing Software Compatibility of Mac OS X Lion.

As Apple Said Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 does open fine in Lion, though it does ask me to register, though the button to register is grayed out.

The Demo of AVID Media Composer 5.5.2 boots and runs just fine.

Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5 I am having issues with. and it won’t start. Adobe claims it should run fine, so I am going to try and re-install and see what happens. It is weird as After Effects and Photoshop work fine, but just Premiere won’t boot.
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