The State of the Union of Final Cut Pro

The Editblog on PVC by Scott Simmons

Or one editor’s take on the year after FCPX

Here we are one year after the release of Final Cut Pro X so it’s time for the inevitable slew of FCPX one year later blog posts so I’ll add one more to the list … we are called The Editblog after all. Opinions on FCPX are still all over the map. Many people like it, some love it, a lot still hate it and there’s the group who have largely ignored it. In truth there are many things to like about FCPX, some certain features that I absolutely love but others that I hate and still wonder if the designers actually used the product outside of their own bubble. One thing this blog strives to be is totally honest about products we discuss and I hope we’ve been just that with Final Cut Pro X.

The SuperMeet heard around the world

I don’t think anyone came away from the first public showing at the NAB 2011 SuperMeet without both a feeling of optimism that we might be getting an amazing new NLE when FCP shipped but also a healthy dose of skepticism that it might not live up to the reality distortion field that’s often presented around Apple products. The automated tools looked great and no editor in their right mind would turn those tools down if offered in their favorite NLE. Features like skimming and Auditions were things that looked like they could really make a big difference in ease of use and speed of editing.

But anyone who wasn’t yelling their praises at the stage with wild abandon came away from that event with just as many questions as answers. What about the other applications in the Final Cut Studio? Exactly how would that magnetic timeline work in practice? Is going trackless really a better way to edit? And how “pro” will this new NLE be if it’s based off of iMovie? That last question has proven to often be a controversial idea and one that has generated much debate. My stance has always been (and still is) that even thought Final Cut Pro X and iMovie might not share a single line of code many of the features and design elements are very similar. Apple designers either based much of FCPX off of iMovie or the concept of FCPX has been around for many years and the “new” iMovie was based off of that. They are more than distant cousins … maybe half siblings. read more...

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