A Radical Workflow Idea for Final Cut X Users

Dare Dreamer by Ron Dawson

Last week on FCP.co, I was reading and watching an FCPX tutorial by John Davidson at Magic Feather Inc., a video production agency in Los Angeles that does work for high-profile channels and TV shows. In the tutorial, John mentioned that in their shared editing environment, they use compound clips for the various iterations of a project, as opposed to Projects. Now this isn’t necessarily new. I know a number of people who do this. But this is what surprised me…I had previously thought that in order to create a compound clip, you had to have a project first. You would build a project, then select all the clips, then group them into a compound clip (which from here out I will just call “comp” for short). In watching John’s tutorial I learned that you can actually create a comp without creating a project first (they save the creation of a project until the very end). This was totally eye-opening for me.

So I started thinking: if you can create a full video in a comp without creating a project, do you even need to create projects at all?

A Whole New World

Many people have lamented the fact that versioning in Final Cut X is more clunky than the legacy version. Before, if you wanted to create a subsequent version of a video, all you had to do was duplicate a sequence. Now, in FCPX, the intuitive course of action is to dupe a project. But that has issues (which I’ll address in a moment).

If using and duping comps could take the place of projects, this could make a world of difference in my usage of FCPX. I ran a few tests and discovered:

  • When creating a comp from scratch (e.g. without grouping clips already in a timeline) you can set the clip parameters just as you would a project (e.g. resolution, frame rate, audio rate, etc.)
  • When you open a comp in the timeline, you can export it just like you would from a project.
  • You can render a comp, just like you would a project.

This my friends, could be the start of a beautiful friendship read more...

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