FCPX, Apple's Final Cut Pro X Editing Software Reviewed

FCPX, Apple's Final Cut Pro X Editing Software Reviewed


Before I start I want to s

ProPhotog1's picture
Before I start I want to say up front that I love my Mac Products and I have no affiliation with anyone or entity. I work on a iMac Quad 16gram 3.4gh i7. While this article accurately defines the features, the author obviously has not edited on this new software where the project is 10 stories high filled with over 100 plus video clips, photographs, transitions and effects approaching 4 minutes in length. I can't explain how much I wanted to love this software because the first things you use in this editor work very very well! Importing and using the Event Browser are very friendly, with still a little work needed. But over a 3 and half month period, while taking many notes on the the very weird things that happen and don't happen in this editor...it hit me!!! I kept asking myself...why doesn't this editor work better??? The answer is in the very aspect of what is supposed to make this editor revolutionary...the Magnetic Timeline! While there are many other aspects of this editor that are very buggy...(like the timeline not always keeping up with the cursor-on a very involved project adding a text element can take a minute or two to render) These are just two of many. But lets get back to why this editor will never be what the potential suggested. Have you ever played with magnets? One gets too close to the other and it randomly moves and dances. This timeline acts the same way...unpredictably! I can drag a transition across a timeline and it would get snagged, copied and attached to another element along the way. Because every element has to connected to another, deleting one unwanted element can delete a bunch of other ones if not all. The Timeline is too magnetic and without the "predictability' of controlling tracks your editing experience can quickly turn to madness. This is not fun at all. Crop a photograph or piece of video and lay it over another, don;t think about applying a transition to it...it will apply itself to the entire frame of view. This is very disappointing. Transitions are not attached to clips so when you move a clip the transitions disappear. Append,Insert and Connect edits can only be applied to the "main" darkened track. Which means things will move and fly and your whole project will be changed. Copying and parting when it works is good. But when it doesn't it means elements jumping and moving around to try and connect to something else to make room. The project is now completely different. If you decide to move elements around it can often times create chaos as the timeline flashes and jumps. The bottom line is...sadly to say, this editor in application will never be accepted as more than ever, thanks to this Platform, the editor has to have control of the tracks in the timeline. If Apple is smart or should I say not too stubborn to really take a look at the unpredictability of an uncontrolled magnetic surface and implement the ability to have free tracks that can take any element, and have only the transitions or effects only apply to what is in that track and not the entire frame of view this will make using FCPX much more "Professional"! Output rendering is very fast and intuitive. But the need for compressor seems a bit confusing. Just put all the options in FCPX and get rid of Compressor. And to say that Motion is tightly integrated with FCPX is false. Nothing was easier than telling FCP7, "send to Motion"...add the desired effects/text and send back ready to edit. Why the need to activate being able to adjust the Motion settings in FCPX...just do it automatically!? When you are in the timeline in FCPX and have a piece of footage you want to lay some of the nice Motion Text to...you can't! You have so many more steps than you had in previous versions. I have given FCPX a very fair try and it just does not work...and won't with a Magnetic Timeline. Track Control is probably the most important aspect of video editing and its the one thing you don't have and it takes a lot more time fixing all the stuff that happens that you don't want to. So in the next few weeks I'll make a move to a new editing system that can take advantage of Multiple Core 64bit processing. I will miss the interface and file management of FCPX, even without dual screen support (a must). But I won't miss the shear madness of the Magnetic Timeline and the inability to really be creative with individual elements.

FCP X does take some getti

benb's picture
FCP X does take some getting used to, but once you do, it's very fast and easy. It is a version 1 of a product. Since ProPhotog01's comments were posted, an update has come along, and Apple has revealed more about it's plans for FCP X. Since the publishing of this review, and of the comments here back in October, FCP X has grown, is gaining more and more acceptance, and many of the complaints many had were simply a lack of understanding and training. The magnetic timeline at this point is making editing easier and faster for most editors using it, who very much like it. We will see FCP X continue to grow, evolve, and it is at this time very professional, being used by many professionals, and it's acceptance is growing daily. It will be a pleasure to look back as this and review it again in October 2012.