Final Cut Pro X: Useless or a Matter of Getting Used To?

tech2 by Padmini Harchandrai

Apple released its "industry changing" video editing software Final Cut Pro X and upon tinkering with it a little, most video editors around the world screamed in outrage. Yes, it's a whole new layout, it's a new interface and not quite unlike iMovie, which could be viewed as a step downwards. Things aren't where they used to be, for example, there's not even a preview window anymore and this is quite agitating to people who are used to the Standard Two Up set up in Final Cut Pro 7. Effects, transitions, colour correction are features that you need to go scouting for or look up in a manual.

I have my gripes with Final Cut Pro X. First of all, I'm one of the many editors that hate the layout. I never liked iMovie. It was good for very simple cutting but the way my projects and sequences were saved, and the way I could add clips to my timeline were not intuitive at all. In comes Final Cut Pro X. I can't save multiple sequences in the same project, the movable place line is less intuitive than the older version's and there's no preview window. You can scroll over clips that are sitting in your clip bin to make rough edit choices but you can't preview them flowingly unless you place them on your timeline. Furthermore, features that I use often, like transitions, are not the same at all. One example is the side push. In the old Final Cut, you can see the first clip slide out of view as the second clip comes sliding in, almost pushing the original clip out. Now, I do like this method stylistically (even if it seems a little hokey). In the new Final Cut Pro, the same words describe a line that goes across the screen 'wiping' away the original frame which is being replaced with the new frame. Audio editing isn't too easy to do without a preview window. Finally, the way Apple's been touting 'magnetic clips' honestly means nothing to me. Clips automatically realigning themselves really doesn't add much to my editing experience.

Moving on to Final Cut Pro X's inabilities, there are two big ones. For starters, you can't bring a Final Cut Pro 7 project file into Final Cut Pro X. This is a big mistake if Apple intends to have editors switch over to the new Final Cut Pro. Secondly, you can't do multi-camera editing. Apple says it will bring this feature in, but for many news stations, this is a drawback. Apple says that Final Cut Pro X is really meant for footage that's shot on cards as opposed to tape. However, especially in India, much of what's shot, is shot on tape. RED is just about coming in but majorly, most footage is still shot on tape. You can't mark in and out points on your clips as a result when you "capture" them, because you're importing clips in their entirety instead of capturing them. This to me is a little inconvenient as someone who likes to capture extra footage for safety. read more...

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