FCPX byJon

FCPX byJon - student project

Here's my link to the 3rd video:


(I deleted my first project, but it's still on Vimeo. So I put my second project at the begining of the final)

I signed up for this course to get a good hands-on look at the new Final Cut, and how different the editing workflow would be as compared to good ol' Final Cut, which I am used to working with. This has been a great introduction to FCPX - thanks, Andrew, and all of the class for the useful help and insights! I will certainly be revisiting the tutorials, and the work everyone else has uploaded.

For the final, I chose to concentrate on the interviews themselves — as if the project was only about the sculptors. 

My approach is straightforward since I'm coming from the photojournalism spectrum of video making, which does not encourage the use of flashy titles and editing techniques, and where turnaround time is the most important thing. Getting videos shot, edited and deployed in minimal time is a main objective I'm after, and it looks like FCPX does indeed expedite workflow. I like that it does more of the common tasks such as transitions and file handling in the background so you don't have to do as much final tweaking — especially with transitions.

One comment Andrew made in the audio tutorial about the importance of good audio was that one of his instructors stated that audio was 51% video. I would actually put that in the 70% range, especially when dealing with face-to-face interviews. I'm happy that Andew's clips had decent audio quality, or those clips would have been unusable. 

One FCPX feature I ended up liking very much was using compound clips to group together segments of clips that have been resolved and can be used as building blocks for the final. I moved the clips from each interview down to the timeline, reordered and trimmed until I got a coherent audio sequence and then grouped as a compound clip for each of the 3 guys. From there, I put the 3 interview compound clips down as the primary timeline, then added the B-roll on top of it. 

One thing I dearly miss from the previous Final Cut is the ability to zoom in and out of the timeline view by dragging the ends of the scroll bars. Now I have to go down to the magnification slider. Ugh.

I would have liked to use ambient sound only for the background, but I ended up adding a music track instead — other than the power tools (which are a grating sound) there wasn't much decent ambient sound to work with.

The good news is that I didn't have any crashes working on this one, probably because I was staying away from the fancy titles and effects.

WEEK 2 *******************************************************************

Here's a link to my clip....


This week's work is more what I should have had done for last week....no extra credit for me!

I'm really liking some of the features of FCPX (as compared to Final Cut Express), but unfortunately, the one feature that's been the most useful is the auto-save for recovering after a crash, which I've experienced (again).

My  circa 2009 iMac with 4GB of RAM is clearly not up to the task and it's made it difficult to work with dissolves, and especially titles. I experience two crashes after adding titles, where the rendering process would just grind to a halt and refuse to let go. 

So....I had to simplify my video and stay away from the fancier titles and transitions.

One thing I miss about working with pre-FCPX Final Cut was that the timeline was a visual indicator as to how the project is constructed, so easier to get at the individual clips and see what you were doing. The FCPX timeline is collapsed into one timeline basically, and you can't see how the clips are arranged to get to where you are. I do like the concept of a streamlined timeline, but it would take some getting used to. I did use the Compound clip feature to combine segments of the timeline that were resolved, and it does clean things up.

Here's how my timeline looked....the fist part is a compound clip, followed by layered clips.

FCPX byJon - image 1 - student project

And heres a look at the compound clip - unpackaged...

FCPX byJon - image 2 - student project

For comparison, here's what I'm used to working with in Final Cut....

FCPX byJon - image 3 - student project

************************************ WEEK 1 BELOW ***************************

Hello all,

My name is Jon Snyder and here's why I'm enrolled in this class...

I have experience working with Final Cut Express, and I have heard some good and bad things about Pro X and wanted to see for myself (with guidance) if it would be worth moving on to Pro X at this time.

The complaints I've heard about FCPX include: stability problems (which I've already experienced), too dumbed-down of an interface and buggy and quirky interface. Some folks I've talked to like the simplified interface and haven't had many problems, so the truth is somewhere inbetween.

For the first part of the project, I've chosen to edit in 720p for a couple of reasons: I'd like to have the flexibility to crop in and adjust the framing on the clips without losing resolution, and since the project is intended for web-only display, working in 1080p is a bit of overkill since it will be downsampled considerably, and maybe I can save some disk space in the process. 

For the first assignment, I've grabbed a couple of clips to try out the features outlined in the first lessons, and I added an audio-only track to fool around with, which I realize is getting ahead of the game a bit.

The 30-second video URL is...


And here's my screen shot of the timeline...

FCPX byJon - image 4 - student project