What to watch out for with FCPX

Dare Dreamer by Ron Dawson

It’s a Paradigm Shift. Use it as Such.

A paradigm shift is a completely new way of looking at something. FCPX is a paradigm shift in non-linear editing. You have to go into it with that in mind. If you try to force FCPX to edit like you did in FCP7, 1) you may get frustrated, and 2) you’ll miss out on some of the power of the new paradigm.

Perhaps the biggest shift in that fact that FCPX is not a track-based editor like FCP7 was. There are no video tracks and audio tracks. There’s a Primary Storyline that can contain audio or video. Then additional audio and video clips are connected to that storyline. This is one of the hardest things to get used to coming from the old FCP.

The other big change is the magnetic timeline. As you move or extend clips on the primary storyline, clips before and/or after it move accordingly. The purpose of this is to keep everything in alignment. Songs and voice overs you have synched with a part of the video will stay in synch so long as they are attached to the part of the primary storyline where the video occurs. I love the magnetic timeline about 90% of the time. Then there’s that 10% when I have to spend some extra time thinking about how to add a clip in such a way that won’t mess up the primary storyline. Or the times when I shorten a connected clip and everything behind that clip moves (I think that’s a bug. But I’m not sure. Anyway, when it happens, it’s annoying).

Bottomline: embrace change.

With Great Power Comes… The Need for Great Power

FCPX is an extremely powerful program. It takes full advantage of the new Mac’s 64-bit architecture (assuming you have such a machine). It also moves much of its processing power from the computer’s CPU to the graphics card. What all of this means is that, you need a fast machine and a fast drive to take full advantage.

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