A few days ago Apple gave the world a sneak peek at the next FCP. Here are my thoughts on their presentation. (I wasn’t at the SuperMeet in Vegas but watched it online)
Organization. Long has it been said by AVID editors that sure FCP is good but the bins and project management suck. Well that looks like it’ll change with FCPX. From the demo it seems like they have dramatically changed project management, and have a range of tools that will help shifting through material. Such as Range Keywording, which acts similar to sub-clipping but it puts a name and folder to parts of the clip.
64bit support was one of the first features Apple announced and to be fair its been a long time coming. What it means is FCP will be able to utilize the full memory of your computer (as opposed to the old 4gb limit) allowing you to work with larger formats and more complex projects.
Ability to work natively with formats and mix them. Color sync so you know what colors you’re really working with. Fast background rendering. Compound Clips; a nice way to quickly nest in the timeline. Match color to quickly obtain the color look of another clip and J/L cuts have never been easier to make.
The Look. Editors spend hours upon hours on these programs so the interface is important. It’s one of the reasons why I tend to prefer FCP over AVID. The new version however is a little strange. Yes it’s shinny but it looks more like iMovie (Pro) than FCP and are we saying goodbye to the viewer?
It’s hard to say if this new look will be bad, it’s different and needs hands on testing before passing judgment.
Earlier I said how I welcome the change to project management and the new levels of organization it brings. However with it comes with a lot of automation, perhaps too much? On a similar line the auto render could cause problems, with large files building up, in hidden places.
The main cause of my worry is the new timeline. A lot has changed here and from the demo it seems to be encouraging drag and drop editing. Having no tracks could make handling audio difficult, especially when exporting just certain audio tracks.
The main thing to say is it’s different from the old FCP. For better or worse remains to be seen. I don’t think they’ve dumbed the program down for the mass market, for they wouldn’t have shown it off in front of 1700 professionals if that were the case. A key thing to draw from the sneak peek is that not a lot of info was given out. Many blogs have pointed out that the devil is in the detail, I want to know what’s happened to the rest of the studio, have Color and Motion gone? We’ll just have to wait for the release in June to know all, but I for one am looking forward to trying it out.