Montag, 29. August 2011

Questions from an AVID user answered

I was asked in a forum:
" I know j/k/l functions are in tact, but what about "fit-to-fill","replace edit", "extend edit" or "top" and "tail" ? It would be great to hear your thoughts on that stuff..."

I have talked about some of these before in this blog, but here is a dedicated answer:
"fit-to-fill": well since you ask about the extend edit after I guess this should be a fit-to-fill retime-tool. There is a tool for it, but only half implemented yet. Select the clip, hit CMD-R (or the retime-tool-button), now you can drag the top and tail and of the clip and it adjust the speed, so the ins and outs stay, but the duration changes. Problem...this is always in ripple mode, so you don´t close the gap, but push it; half implemented, because in POSITION MODE it should overwrite the following GAP/CLIP. 
Workaround in version "tendotzero" is to select clip OPT-CMD-UPARROW it so it is above the primary storyline and now retime the clip to fill to wherever you want it. Then OPT-CMD-DOWNARROW to put it back into the Primary storyline.

"replace edit": that one is very well done in FCPX. Drag a clip above the one to be replaced. You now have the options to replace (duration stays as it was in timeline), replace from start (new clips stays as In Out are set in the bin), replace from END or even replace as audition (so you have both and can watch how each one looks in the timeline)

"extend edit": SHIFT-X

"top" "tail": not sure what they are in AVID, but I guess they are "trim-start", "trim-end" and "trim-to
-selection" in FCPX. I put them to the keys 1, 2, 3 respectively and they are HUGE upgrades to FCP7.

Another "tool" that make editing faster in FCPX is (even if it is not polished yet) the magnetic timeline. I know 90% of seasoned editors hate it, but I can only understand this if someone didn´t really teach themselves in it (as you have to in every tool, also AVID) or only talk heresay. The magnetic timeline takes away a lot of problems that are existing in FCP7; I know they are not as bad in AVID and Premiere from the heresay I get, but I can only directly compare to FCP7 and Edius, the two most recent NLEs I used, and FCP7 was simply the worst in keeping sync. One is constantly asked to check down the timeline, lock tracks to be able to ripple, I was constantly cutting through clips that I didn´t want to touch etc. 
I know the so called pros say if you know what you do these steps are easy, but I prefer software that simply works without those additional steps. FCP7 was flexible, but it was clumsy.

two more features:
J- and L- cuts are a blast in FCPX with a simple doubleclick on the audio.

And finally: The magnetic timeline keeps sync all the time. With the clip-connection (which can also be a compound of dozens of clips or even a secondary storyline) I can move big parts of a timeline by simply taking the "masterclip" in the primary timeline. 
For example I am editing a documentary now that follows 3 people alongside the mainstory. So I drift off to one of them at a sunset-clip with her own interview (in a secondary storyline container) and added B-Roll that is also connected to the same sun-setclip. This sunset will now stay together with her story and her B-roll. No need to select many clips and beware which audio follows with it. All is connected to this sunset-cip. I can even replace the sunset with a clip from dinner, still everything stays where it was. I can now easily move her story with that clip. It is hard to understand, but the way everything stays in-sync is just easy and it works. It is truly more magic than magnetic when you take a junk of your story that is several minutes long and contains maybe 50 clips with one and simply drop it behind another chapter of your film.

I see many good things there that are nice improvements over FCP7. But I also see problems. As nice as the magnetic timeline is, it still has its bugs and is far from usable for everyone. I don´t blame anyone for waiting on it. But keep your eyes open to what happens there and what direction Apple and the 3rd party vendors go, before you sell yourself totally away from FCP.

Montag, 22. August 2011

A review of FCP7 from a FCPX-user

For those who didn´t follow our whole "megatest". We had a project for 3 weeks in July where we ended up with close to 6.000 clips to be editied into two seperate films for two different pan-european networks.
Produced in 1080p in FCPX. And it went well. If you are interested in it....start in the beginning of July on this blog.....
For those who hate FCPX and bash it wherever they can, because they are sour with Apple and never got around to learn FCPX....well, leave, because this post will hurt you and expose you as an editor stuck in an old workflow.

I went back to FCP7 for two films. You might ask why since I was all over FCPX for a month.....well.....
Project A was edited in 2009 in FCP7 and it had to be rearranged a little and made ready for a broadcast with 8-channel output. So there you have it: the lack of backwards-compatibility definitely didn't have me thinking for more than a second. Had to be done in FCP7. (until we can import legacy projects that is)

Project B is a bit different. A 25-minute season-review for a sportsclub that consisted of several long recordings (exist as huge ProRes files; huge means 50+GB per file and there were 15+ of them) and there were five 10 minute magazines that were done in FCP7 and there was much material (interviews, talking heads, practices, gamefootage) to be used from within them. And I wanted to grade them again.
I also had about 10 hours of fresh footage (XDCam EX, XDCam Hd 422, Canon DSLR that had to be imported)
And I needed 8-channels out so would anyway at some point have to come back to FCP7.

This time the decision was harder, but I figured it would be faster to stay in FCP7, have the magazines open in tabs and copy-paste the clips that I need in the summary-film to have handles.

So here's my FCP7 review of August 2011:

The overall look
When you open FCP7 for the first time you are shocked at how old-fashioned it looks. The fonts are so small you need a magnifying glass. Everything has a dull grey look.
The bin-window is a mess. It is a neverending scrolling-procedure once you have a few hundered clips in the project.
Edius has the best Bin-window in my opinion and FCPX comes close. Graphically FCP7 is just an eye-killer and it is easy to lose overview. Show a complicated FCP7 project to a person who never saw it and tell them to find a certain clip from a certain day/reel/take. Then do the same on another NLE...guess which one is slowest.

Importing old material
I had a project with all magazines and the long recordings in it. It was easy to just select it and it opened without problems. I had several missing files. FCP7 is great in that situation, because while it opens the project it offers the option to reconnect the files by pointing at the backup drive; or you just rightclick the missing clip in the timeline and reconnect. This took quite some time, because some stuff was spread out over several backup-locations the week before and I had to find it again (didn't expect to make this movie out of it and therefore didn´t have it properlycatalogued yet )....costed a day, but it would have taken just as long or rather longer to find it and import to FCPX, because I would also have to find the stuff that was reconnected quickly.
I also had some new graphics ....I have just overwritten the old ones and they appeared in the project just fine.
So importing old material that had been moved is a feature FCPX is missing and it misses this badly.

Importing new material
I had to ingest XDCam EX and XDCam HD 422 footage. Well , same procedure as in FCPX, use the XDCam Transfer and XDCam Browser to re-wrap them to quicktime. Then import those files.
Importing Canon DSLR stuff is a bit of a hassle, because FCP7 doesn behave well with h.264 files. You need to convert first. At least Canon made a nice plug-in so I can do that within the "Log and transfer window". So it was not a big hassle, you only need for the material to be transcoded and AFTER THAT can edit away. FCPX would have handled this better and it would allow me to edit while it's working in the background on the re-wrap/transcode.

Conform files
 I had some XDCamEX material shot in 720p50 so I could have audio and also create smooth slomos of it. In FCPX you simply conform the clips in the timeline; it uses the old cinema-tools engine for this and it is non-destructive and in real-time (plays back instantly and renders in the background).
FCP7 has none of this. You need to identify which clips are actually in 720p; that takes time; then duplicate your material (the following process is destructive), then you have to make ProRes files out of everything ; then open these ProRes Files in Cinematools (it works with a Batch list)...then it conforms. Import these files again. Well....this costed me a few hours I could have used better. Point for FCPX; to me an important feature that FCP7 doesn't have or only with a long workaround. Pretty much offset the time I saved with the re-connect feature.

Footage Managment
Now I had everything in the project. Hundreds of clips, approximately 60 hours or more. FCP7 did not once slow down and also works fine on my Macbook Pro (late2008; 4GB RAM). So it doesn't really need a huge machine to work.

I started watching interviews...ahm...where was the keywording? Oh....yeah that's right...subclips and notes is how I did that. So I created dozens of subclips. My Bin structure started to get messy and I had to scroll quite a lot to find stuff......searching in the bins is possible, but somehow not as fluent as in FCPX. Also once I have 12 answers to one topic there is no automatic way (that I know of) to collect them.
I don´t know....the bin-windowin FCP7 is the one I really won´t miss.

Finally let´s get to work.
Ah, yes...there is the split timeline with audio/video separated. So here we go. Every clip I put into the timeline needs to have the audio-tracks selected beforehand or it gets very chaotic; after all I have ambience, music, interviews, voice-over and stereo-mix to be separated. Speaking of "adding to the timeline"...where´s my APPEND command "E"? Oh really need to watch out in FCP7 before you do anything. Gone are the FCPX days when you effortlessly add clips and never have to worry to mess up an edit or an audiotrack.

When you did some editing (like 20 minutes with 600 clips) and you want to add one extra piece at 1minute3seconds22frames and then maybe trim it anyway....WATCH OUT ...clipcollisions on the audiotracks....use the audio-patch-tabs...hey I did checkerboard my timeline after all, but dropping a new clip with audio while wanting to keep both audios is a task. J clip, detach audio, lift video a track higher, press "T" four times, lock the audio, press "R" two times and roll, attach the audio again...phew.....what a clumsy way wehn in FCPX you just double click the audio and drag the video or audio; at least FCP7 has the red numbers that show me missing sync. FCPX is missing those, but then again....I hardly see a reason why FCPX should lose sync on my primary audio.

You know what, I want to see how the other interview sounds / looks here. Where´s my audition button...oh right. Didn´t exist when FCP7 was around. So that involves some work when they are not the same length. A lot of work .

Yes you can read it.....editing in FCP7 is just a hassle once you got used to FCPX (unless you need multicam....).
I also need to mention FCP7 crashed at least daily on me....usually after 6-8 minutes in the 10 minute autosave-loop. And every autosave that shows me a spinning beachball gives me a near-heartattack. In my experience crashes happen often when I need waveforms (turn them off mostly for that reason alone) and also thumbnails-cache seems to be buggy always in legacy FCP. FCPX crashes also in its 1.0 version, but at least you never lose work, because it saves every step anyway.

Speaking of steps.....FCP7 has one step involved often......RENDERING...something you simply never need in FCPX. In FCP7 you often need to stop to render a quick preview to see how a composite or a transition with a graphic overlayed looks or you have like me Nattress Effects or other 3rd party effects that don´t play realtime. Annoyning when you have a machine that costed thousands and has more power than needed for this.

Some good news in FCP7: I could watch my editing on my monitor via the calibrated Matrox MXO2....something FCPX doesn´t offer (yet) and is missing badly.

Colour correction:
Send the timeline to Color. Since I use the FCPX waveforms and Colourboard I can´t get around to use the 3-way colourwheels in FCP7. They are just bad in quality; the scopes are pixelated like a Nintendo Game Boy game. Color on the other hand is a monster and gives great results. Send the corrected timeline back to FCP7......done. But once you want to handles...the roundtripping starts. In this project the FCPX colourboard would have been sufficient, I never used more than 3 secondaries here, something FCPX handles easily.

Video: no difference; create a Quicktime in Apple ProRes, drop into compressor if needed. Well there is a difference: if you need to render or you want to render all once again for some reason (switching from one ProRes flavor to the next) then it takes LONGER in FCP7. Way longer, because it doesn´t use all your cores.
Audio output: FCP7 shines. Change the audio-output settings, set the dedicated audio-tracks and voila.....8 tracks out to an OMF for the audio-department in the network.
One feature that really is only in FCP7 (unless you want to buy Automatic Duck for FCPX)

In the end I doubt I was faster by using FCP7. had I imported all the capture scratches and keyworded them I could have had a nice project (event) setup. The problem was the 10-minute films where I wanted the turned out I only needed an  extra-handle on a clip once or twice, so had I rendered some ProRes versions and taken the needed parts from there I would have had the advantage of the faster editing, saved the roundtrip to Color and would have a project now that can be used in 3 years again when FCP7 is probably not installed on many of my machines.

FCP7 is EOLed.....and this was probably the last time I used it out of my decision. From now it only comes into play when a client wants some old (as in pre-June2011) project changed.

Mittwoch, 3. August 2011

Some new friends

Apple has changed many keyboard-shortcuts around. Why and how they decide these things ...don´t ask me. But I usually follow a programs shortcuts and don´t remap to much, so when I sit at someone´s machine I can also use the custom set.

But....there are many commands that are NOT in the manual or had to find but are very useful. So you need to open up File-> Commands and remap some keyboard shortcuts or create them.

YOUR new (and some old)  best friends are .....
(but beware...some items are different on international keyboards, i use a german keyboard!):

1- Trim-Start / Trim-End / Trim-to-Selection: I mapped them to "1" "2" "3" - they are very fast and work on the fly.

2 - Shift-R / Option-R….your new 3-point editing tools. Select a clip or range in the a clip or set the In Point in a clip in the event and use Shift- or Option-R to REPLACE (replaces with the whole clip from the event) or REPLACE FROM START (replaces the clip in the timeline beginning from the event´s clip IN). If you add SHIFT you can do it backtimed 

3 - Copy colour from last edit. I mapped this to Shift-V for the last edit (Shift-CMD-V for 2 edits back; Shift - OPT-CMD-V for 3 edits back): these commands will copy the colourcorrection from the clip before the selected one (or two clips ahead, or 3....). It does not copy/past all effects (CMD-OPT-V does that), only the colour-correction.

4 - OPT-W creates a GAP

5- OPT-CMD-arrow-up: this lifts the selected clip from the primary storyline to be a connected clip, leaving a GAP-clip down on the storyline. I use that often. It´s a fast and easy way to pre-edit an interview (just drag the GAP-outpoint a little)

6 - CTRL- + CTRL- - changes the audiolevel by plus1 or minus1 db. And it does so on the fly withoput stopping the playhead.

7 - OPEN CLIP in TIMELINE: this opens a clip and all its audiotracks into a seperate timeline, where you can adjust the audiotracks without getting them out of sync. Turn tracks on/off or adjust their levels etc.
I mapped this to CMD- ^ as open timeline and SHIFT- ^ to close this timeline again (^ might be something else with you, it is the one above the TAB with me)

8 - CTRL-V: opens the effects-tab of a clip IN the timeline, not the inspector. You can then for instance double click the opacity and fade I/O. CTRL-AA closes this effects-tab again

9 - CMD-G creates a storyline. You need this to be able to add a transition to audio. And I like secondary storylines, because they behave like primary storylines: rippled. And they stick to your primary connection, so when you move the clip they are connected to, they go with it. That dreamsequence is always in sync with the talent closing his eyes.....

10- finally......ß (next to the 0) and ü (next to P) are what the "u" was for in FCP7 and select, if you edit the incoming or outgoing frame of a cut

I hope I could inspire some of you to look at the commands, because if you scroll through them you might find more stuff you thought wasn´t possible in FCPX!

Montag, 1. August 2011

Tools I prefer in FCPX

In a discussion over at I got asked to list "the many ways" that I believe FCPX was better than FCP7....

so here´s my answer, and when I get time I´ll extend the list

- Media Management and the whole keyword-structure...don´t think I need to explain why that is better than the old FCP bin where I never knew where I was and when I looked for something needed a loupe for it; now just type a keyword;and in fact it looks like bins still
- smart collections are on top of all that without subclipping (e.g. best/crane/evening/talentB/crowdnoise) 
- Skimming: Open your Event and skim through hours in minutes; no more double clicking dozens of clips to see what´s in them and it allows you to be a little careless with your keywords if need be;

editing: I list a few simple tools that make life easier for me
- on many operations FCPX keeps playing! It doesn´t stop for every trim or plays.and it plays in the background while you maybe adjust a motion effct or work in Photoshop or read the Cow
- again skimming: no more aiming for the timebar; move your mouse to where you want to start, hit SPACE or some other key....done; BTW you can turn it off and use JKL...surprise
- primary storyline (full ripple-mode): I often get back to my edits to tighten them. This time I don´t need to watch for collisions and lost sync on various tracks. Maybe again I can edit a little more careless, but why is that bad? If I need more "freedom", use the P tool to position clips down the line
- Trim-Start / Trim-End / Trim to Selection: these save hours every week and I missed them since I saw them on Edius.
- the new replace commands are a faster way of the 3-point edit. Select the clip (one click instead of click in, set I, click out set O; but you can still do that and then you can still insert, overwrite the selection or set a connected clip above) 
- this time round nesting works: compound clips and especially the secondary storyline help arranging sidetracks of the story and stay connected to the exact moment in the primary storyline where you want them no matter what you do; if I need them in certain tracks I need to be innovativ, that´s true, but I can manage that because you can move compound clips up and down; say you have graphics for different languages....compound them; stack them and toggle them on / off
- timeline index: longtime missing in FCP
- audition; although I didn´t use it much yet, when I did it was a solid help
- Titles/Effects from Motion: some of you pure editors don´t need this if you have graphics departments, but for smaller houses this new motion-to-FCPX plug is very practical. And trust me your graphics artists will surprise you when they publish new graphics into your project without you noticing it ;-)

add ons:
- NO became so "normal" i forgot about this.

- 64-bit..if FCPX needs to render it does so by using 100% of my hardware talks about this blog

Slashcam is a large resource for german-speaking information for indiefilmers. They took us to the frontage. Nice ;-)

Samstag, 30. Juli 2011

QC survived, FCPX a success-story?

So the file is with the broadcaster, we can reflect on the last 3 weeks of FCPX as in 10.0 experience.

Do we like FCPX? yes, some of it.
Does it frustrate us? yes, a lot at times.
Is it ready for broadcast. Definitely not, not on its own. You can produce good results with it, but not without help from FCP7. And that needs to be addressed fast or they lose their fanbase VERY VERY quickly.

Where can I start?

I speak exclusively for the stuff we imported: XDCAM EX, DVCProHD, Canon and Nikon h.264 VDSLR flavors

XDCAM EX….still the same transfertool from SONY needed; then it edited fine, although on my Macbook I felt a transcode to ProRes helped when I was mixing material. We hope there comes the day when XDCam is imported like the other formats and FCP works first native, then automatically switches to transcoded material.

DVCProHD: on my Macbook I had errors, on my Mac Pro no problems really. Only I had a clip corrupted in the timeline once ; don´t know if it had to do with the codec

h.264: works as advertised; import, edit and while you work it transcodes to ProRes

The automatic fixes during import are a waste of time and CPU energy. It is better to fix the shots that need fixing in the timeline. 

skimming…….how fast can you breeze through your files.

Once you understand the eventstructure and you buy more harddrives so you can copy the media into the event-structure, then the way FCPX organizes your media and helps you to keep it organized is great.
there is no re-connect yet, so you can´t link to your camera-media without risking losing the connection when moving these files!! Therefore I recommend using the "COPY to FCPX" structure.

The way FCPX allows you to take parts of an event to another drive and user and then get the project/timeline back and reconnect to your original event is really a nice way to allow for multiuser work, BUT there has to be a masterevent. One event has to be the one with all the footage and motionfiles.

Editing is the one thing FCPX does best. It truly is fast and efficient. I had hardly any problems with the magnetic timeline. The connected clips help when rearranging a timeline and in fact I used a lot of secondary storylines also. 
You don´t really miss tracks IMO and I also like that the audio is implemented into its original videoclip, because it just keeps things more organized.
It is nice when you adjust things (like audiolevels) without FCP stopping to play; and you can for instance jump out to photoshop and FCP keeps playing in the background; maybe you want to hear the rest of an interview or just get a feel for the music.

Finally FCP is smart enough to know where I am with my pointer to change itself into a rippletool or a rolltool etc. I need "A" and "T" and that´s the shortcuts I use for hours. I practically never use "P" which is the FCP7-mode. Instead I add gaps (OPTION-W) to put clips further back.
There are also a few very nice new shortcuts, which I will post in another blogpost. Most have them are not originally assigned!

But there are a lot of missing pieces. Just one example: I have no clue what portion of a clip I am having in my timeline. In FCP7 you just double click on it. It opens your viewer and shows you the I/O. In FCPX you can also "reveal in event browser", but when in icon mode you have dozens of icons and need to look for the one that has a grey bar to show the I/O…..hardly recognizable; and in listview it shows you the clip, but not your I/O. 
Another weirdness:  If you have a clip in the primary storyline and a connected clip and you lift the clip from the primary storyline, then the connected clip of course also goes up one layer. BUT if you have a title connected and lift the clip, the title stays connected to the gap and is underneath the clip it was connected to.
No audio-only roll trim? No audio-only fade without being a storyline? The list is long.

These little bugs/features/anomalies and also inconsistencies in the user-interface, and there are many, are making you scratch your head and are clearly a sign this software is not finished yet. But it might be "finished" in the upper markets soon, because pros (people who earn their living with these tools) don´t have time to scratch their heads too much.

Yes, people need training, but when I have training then I expect a software to react similar throughout the interface, FCPX is far from. Every window and many working-steps within certain windows are different from each other. It seems the programmers have worked separately and everyone has tried to solve a problem without looking at what the others did to solve theirs. 
To throw away certain standard terms to create a new language is another weirdness. No more In-Point, but "Selectionstart"? What are they smoking in Cupertino. It is like "Hit ENTER" is taken from a computer-programmer. Oh well, there is no "Enter" on my iphone.....let´s say we take the "Slash" away from them, see how they like that and how they type an adress then......

the lack of a proper preview is simply stupid and dangerous, becaus when you want to have a decent grade you need to SEE IT. This is VIDEO/FILM. Apple do you listen?
If Apple had just implemented 3 more tools: the preview, the audio-track-selection and the XML-compatibility, the noise would have been much less.  

The colourboard is fast and works in great quality. But it allows for illegal colours, there is no option to make it a standard colourwheel and it lacks important features like tracking. For a 299-app it is good, but I am afraid in the long run I will have to buy something that supports colour-grading (DaVinci Resolve?!). But that again only works, if we ever get XML-out or some other tool to open the timeline in other programs.

What is amazing is the whole Motion-publishing and rigging program. It is so cool to have titles and effects made in Motion, then publish them to FCPX and work on with them there. This feature is a reason why I hope FCPX will evolve into more, because this is a killer-feature.

But then the CONNECTION TO MOTION is gone. In FCP7 how often did I click "Send to…Motion"….How they can make this Motion-highway a one-way-street is another mystery to me.

Well, there are many good filters out of the Logic suite now and while I haven´t used much yet, I dropped the logic-compressor onto every interview in this project. 

The lack of audio-track selections (on output) has been commented a lot so we leave it up to Apple to fix this, because this is one of the real dealbreakers for many.

Is FCPX a proper and complete NLE? Not yet, honestly.
Can I recommend it? Not yet. Especially not to someone who doesn´t have FCP7.
Do I keep using it? You can bet on that.

Huh? Yes, I will keep using FCPX, because the one thing it is good at is editing and I like editing with it. When you get back to FCP7 you are astounded at how backwards it is; even if it works snappier and especially the output options are exactly what we need. Gone are the days when you lock tracks, select clips on 3 tracks, avoid clipcollisions 2 minutes down the line, hit RR, then S then SS, then A, sleect more tracks, then blade then RR again then … know what I mean. so many steps for the most basic functions.

If I wouldn´t own FCP7 I couldn´t use FCPX as much as I do now. It lacks too many features. Since Apple EOLed FCP7 they HAVE TO upgrade FCPX soon or by christmas they will have lost their opinion-leading clients and will indeed only sell this to potential iMovie-Pro-customers, even if it is much more than that.

Freitag, 29. Juli 2011

Teaser for the first broadcast; sunday July 31st / 19.15cet

If you want to watch our programme, 95% FCPX ....follow the link:
At the bottom is the teaser

Output part 1

The output-process

The first 20 minute documentary was edited, graded and basically the soundmix was done for a normal digital distribution (file, internet).
But I had to get this program to a broadcaster; luckily file not tape, but the rules are still different than with pure internet-output; basically you follow the tape-workflow, only you don´t use a tape anymore. One step less and a 17GB upload more.

Let´s start with the image. Well the lack of proper broadcast monitoring solutions forced me to make several renders to watch the clips via FCP7 and my Matrox MXO2. I tend to grade a little dark when using the computermonitor only. So that is really a problem and I hope Apple provides Matrox/AJA/BlackMAGIC and others with hooks so they can give us access to monitors again. Liquid Edition, which also relied heavily on GPU performance,  did this via a USB breakoutbox, so I expect something thunderboltish soon. If not....might be a dealbreaker, really!

Audio….different beast in broadcast environments. 
the problem was I had to get the audio-mix to the broadcaster with up to 8 dedicated audiochannels. that was something I couldn´t do in FCPX anymore. I had to output the timeline in various versions to merge them back in FCP7.
This is the same process I do in FCP7 also, I always make one file per audio-bus there and rebuild a timeline. Only this time I had to detach audio (because much ambience sound was in the clips) and jump between FCP7 and FCPX. Not really a lot of time lost there, but still weird to have to leave an NLE to do what an NLE should do.

First I exported the film with the audiomix i had done in FCPX as ProRes Masterfile.

Then I duplicated the Project/Timeline.

I then opened the timeline-list (the list where all items of your timeline are listed in the left bottom) and selected the keyword "SONG", since all my songs and SoundFX have that keyword. I made a compound clip of this selection. That process takes 10 seconds. 

Now I soloed this compound and tried to export an AIF, but that doesn´t work. I need to look into this, but I was not able to output AIFs or WAVs  through "Share->Export Audio…"

So I  exported a ProRes file with a GAP as video. That went fast…but when opening in FCP7 it is 1 frame only….apparently outputting GAPs alone is not an option. Puuhh….that gets annoying. So drop a black generator in the timeline, extend to 20.00 and output a Prores again….ok, that worked.
This should have taken 2 minutes and it took 30. I hope in FCP10.1 it will be 2 as expected.

Then I had to break up my tidy timeline and Detach all Audio for ambience and interviews.

I used the SONG - Compound as spreader between ambience (above) and interviews (below). Whoa, now the timeline looks messy, turn off connections and turn off thumbnails and waveforms and it is better to organize what I do. 

So I made two new compounds copied all 3 compounds to a "Audio only" timelineproject and exported each of them  (toggling the others).

Now drop the resulting 4 files (Pro Res master, ambience, SONG, interviews) into FCP7, adjust the audio-track-outputbus, adjust the pan when needed and export the whole lot as Prores ready for sending via ftp. I additionally export a AIF track-collection to make sure it will work. Since I do it similar in FCP7 the only drawback (well, besides the non-functioning audio export in version dotzero) is the closing and starting of the different FCP versions.

What would help was the option to tell FCPX in the inspector which (compound-)clip should output to which audio-channel. Simple. And they should make the "Export Audio function" function!
But I guess it won´t take long to fix these audio-issues in FCPX; now all we need is OMF/XML output so we could give the audiomix on for further work, which is needed for many production houses.

My guess is, Apple has a problem with these output-hooks, because stuff like auditions are not easy to write into a list, because they overlap each other.

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2011

more F3 settings

although principal shooting is finished for now for this project (there will actually be another shoot for the long documentary with some race-participants from Scandinavia in August) we want to share more infos about the F3. Stefan is tweaking his settings based on our experiences on this project. Here´s his newest report:

something was missing... something that the vdslr have and the f3 hasn't.... a baked in look i mean. well, today i hooked up my d7000 and looked at my F3-profiles. something seemed wrong - not wrong, but different.... so i started all over again, and here's the vdslr match i came up with....

Level: -4
Phase: +2
R-G: 31
R-B: -9
G-R: -5
G-B: 8
B-R: +57
B-G: +9

!!!...this will make the reds go way too "orangeish"....!!!

so: go to multimatrix, do a region detection: select a red/orangeish region in your picture, and let the F3 detect this region
then dial in:
Axis: R
Hue: +35
Saturation: -37

i have to work with this setting to see if something goes wrong in skin tones etc, but so far i like this one...
try it out and tell me what you think!

Samstag, 23. Juli 2011

How to take parts of a Project (aka Event) with you, edit mobile and come back.

I had to travel for a day but wanted to keep editing on this project. I didn´t want to bring the RAID, knew the project itself was too much for my MBP and decided I wanted to edit a certain segment only.

Here´s how it works:
1. Decide which part of your Event is needed for the mobile edit (e.g. one day, one set of interviews etc.)
2. Plug in a mobile drive and create a new event there (e.g. mobileEditDay3)
3. drag the keywordcollection that is needed mobile from the main-Event to the new mobile Event on the mobile disk. FCPX will copy the footage from the "original Media Folder" to the mobile drive into that Original Media folder. Double check in Finder that your media is there.....but it works ;-)
4. on your MacBook you create a new project which is linked to the Event on the mobile drive and you can do your magic in FCPX now. This project will access the event with the copied media.

Now comes the interesting part when you are back home/in your studio:
5. back on your main machine don´t open FCPX but in the Finder copy the PROJECT on the mobile drive into the Projects folder of your main drive where the main Event lies!
6. unmount the mobile drive(!)
7. Open FCPX and in the Project library you have this mobile Project now. But all media shows as offline??!!! SHREEEKKK

8. Select the offline Project and in the Inspector Modify the Event References to your original Event

9. is all reconnected again, even the renderfiles are in place already! Now you can leave this project alone until you need it elsewhere, then copy and paste the clips out of it into your other projects when needed.

!!!!!! This workflow will also work when sharing the workload. Let´s say you are 3 editors in a project. You collect everything on one machine, then drag the needed footage (via keywordcollections) to each others mobile drive. Let´s say one guy does Scenes 1-11, one guy does the action sequence and the opening sequence and one guy works on the third act with scenes 12-25.

You simply drag the keyword collections for each scene to the according drives, they take these drives with them, create new projects (for each scene?) and in the end come back and you modify the references. Brilliant, easy, fast.

I can see FCPX as a great networking tool, when you have a fileserver (heck a macmini will do with a big tunderbolt RAID attached) and the editors only take the footage they need or use it out of the network event.

Donnerstag, 21. Juli 2011

F3 settings

Stefan is so kind and shares his settings with you...

F3 Picture Profile Settings:

as promised i'd like to share my PP Settings that i use the most - essentially these are the same settings i use on my EX-1. 
check them out and tell me what you think...

Level: -8
Phase: -4
R-G: +59
R-B: -6
G-R: -21
G-B: -32
B-R: -29
B-G: +13


Black: -10


Further features, bugs and cleaned up misunderstandings about FCPX

New update 0800cet July26th, bad news section

Well, you need to read aaaalllllll of this blog to hear everything...but this post will be updated every now and then with news about the actual editing process and when I find new features.

Here are more features and bugs (or missing features) that I find while working on this project.

Good news:
- In 2-screen mode while trimming or sliding there are in fact two viewers. I have the viewer and the scopes/hostogram on the right screen. When trimming the Scopes make room for the IN-Point view. So it is a dual viewer when you need it.

- Did you know you can add keyframes to the audio by holding ALT and clicking anywhere on the audio-volume-line?
- I have Compressor rendering in the background (using 400% of my 16 cores = 1600%). FCPX doesn´t mind at all. In FCP7 a render process in another program always slowed FCP7.
- I love the icon view now - but still want a "one-line-per-clip-view". I have the duration set to 10 seconds and it is a breeze to skim through a bin/collection with dozens of clips.
- OMG. I just found a simple way to speed things up: Menu "View-> Hide Waveforms", do that for the Event and you can race through the icons even faster.....WOW! In the timeline it also helps to turn them off or just change the clipappearance in the bottom right.
- in the Project Browser you can select a project and share it (render out a version), FCPX does this in the background and you can work on another project/event. more waiting at all
- The new colour correction tool is a great color correction tool. I don´t say grading (yet), but colour correction.- Correction often means to fix a "too cool" or "too warm"....well....minus reddish or minus blueish is what you want. It works. Easy. Grading I am not so sure yet, but fixing problems it is fast and the quality of it seems to match that of the old "Color"

Bad news:
- database stopped workin on me for two hours. did colour corrections and audiocleanups for several hours. when i realized the undo function stopped working i restarted FCPx. 2 hours lost. apparently when the CMD-Z doesn´t work and in the menu EDIT-UNDO is greyed out the database doesn´t work anymore and your work is NOT SAVED. 2 hours between 11pm and 1am lost. GRRREEAATTT...NOT
- with 5600 items and dozens of keywords it takes a while now to open and close the project. 2 minutes each way i guess.
- today I had a few crashes, don´t know yet if it is the compressor in the background (rendering for 12 hours now....)
- major flaw found !!!! you know you can´t drag an effect from clip to the next. you have to copy the clip and paste ALL its effects. Doing this you will also copy all audio-efects for example. If you have a soundcompressor on one clip you will copy it over to the next. if there was one before...messed you have to clean up stuff after this copyprocedure. if haven´t found a shortcut "copy video effects only" or "copy audio-effects". they need to find a way so you can drag an effect from the inspector onto another clip. making presets is no help either....i will end up with hundreds of presets soon. and it´s slow to scroll down to them anyway.
        !!!!!EDIT: I found some help: you can go to COMMANDS and find "Copy Color Correction from previous clip, two clips before and three clips before and copy/paste these corrections alone. I have now shortcuts for these 3 paste-commands.

- interesting tidbit: i have some synced clips (shot with 7D and H4N; synced fine in the event) and when I went through them to add keywords the program went very very very sluggish. I thought at first I had reached the point of breakdown, restarted the machine, but no help. then tried on "normal clips" and there was no problem. So apprently when the database reches this size then adding keywords to a synced clips (i guess it adds keywords to several items in the background, since there are several audiotracks involved) is a little bit of a timeeater. so it might be better to keyword synced clips first, before you reach 80+ keyword collections like me ;-)
- missing: the ability to rename corrections in the colourtab. if you have 4 or five it would be nice to call them (expose, vignette, skin etc)

My way:
- title-fades.....there are two ways to fade titles/graphics. One is to make it it a secondary storyline (CMD-G), only then can you add a transition like a dissolve. This turns the title into a clip (also in size/height in the timeline, only purple). I don´t like that because I will put the titles on the "highest track" in the end so i can create a clean version of the film easily. And when they are thinner they are easier to be identified as titles to me. So I use the videoanimator in the clip (CTRL-V), adjust the opacity fade there and then CTRL-A to collapse this video-animationtool again.

- now you ask how I will put things into higher tracks....well...I use gap-clips to adjust the magnetic timeline. It is fairly easy. At the end of the project when I go through it all anway to check audio I will add gapclips and position them where I need to lift clips higher up (or lower on audio). This is one of the setbacks of the magentic timeline....but IMO it is by far not as long as what the magnetism saves me in time during the actual edit). 
- when you want to fix several audio-tracks that are attached to a video, don´t detach audio, but instead open the clip in a timeline of its own. I made myself a keyboard shortcut for that. there you can toggle and edit the audio without losing sync and then collapse it back to the videoclip.

Dienstag, 19. Juli 2011

5429 items and growing, database still untested.

I have now ingested pretty much all filmclips and some songs. there will be several more audioclips and animation out of Motion or AfterEffects, but I guess 5500 will be where this project will end up sizewise.

FCPX seems to handle this load of clips easily (keep in mind it uses all of my 16GB RAM right now!).

When in List mode the Event Browser is snappy. When in Icon Mode I need to wait a little while changing keywordcollection or Folder, but nothing unusual. While I stay within a folder/collection there is no delay or lag at all.

FCP7 constantly crashed on me while scrolling, when I had bins with many clips and thumbnails activated . FCPX does not mind to show dozens of clips with waveforms in the Event Browser. That is a surprise to me for a .0 release.

Then again it crashed twice today when I imported animations (ProRes422 movs). So it is not perfect yet, but it is definitely workable.

One little feature would be useful in the Eventbrowser: Now I have listview with the selceted clip showing one line, or I have icon-view where clips simply fill the lines and then drop into the next line. that´s hard to scroll through. I would like a iconview where every clip has its own line regardless of its duration. That would be a cool addition to the slider that allows to select seconds, minutes or ALL in the icon-view settings.

I miss my MXO2

well well......while everything runs smoothly I really have to complain about the missing Broadcast monitoring. I am used to have three screens running (one for bins / events, one for timeline, viewer, scopes, one for the screen itself.

Matrox cannot provide me with drivers for FCPX to output high quality, only preview Q. That is a no-no. Apple are you listening? I have to rely on my scopes now. I wish even more I had an option to show 4 scopes in the "CMD-7 window"......or is it there and I can´t find it?

Montag, 18. Juli 2011

Roadtrip over, now the real editing starts and FCPX is working still

We are back home, the race is over. Over are the long days on the motorbike/in the trunk of a car.

As you have noticed we only did some basic editing on the road. Those clips were mainly made to show the racers at their prizegiving. So it was not artistic editing and we had no time for audioediting, but killed the atmosounds and put music on top. The goal was to see how fast FCPX can be, and if you consider we had shooting days that lasted up to 15 hours, then ingested 500 clips and more and then edited a 2,5 minute piece (still the same people working, no assistant editor on set etc) all in a few hours on two macbooks then those "webclips" are great and they helped to motivate the racebikers to saddle up the next day again. I doubt Avid could have been faster.....or premiere....maybe Edius has the same speed.

BTW we shot a few nice interview-sets beside the race don´t worry, just because there are none in our small daily clips. doesn´t mean we didn´t shoot any.

Ok, what happened FCPX-wise: Once I got home I mirrored the BEAST working disk...again.
Our workflow is finally set and I learned a lot these days. Here´s how my plan would be now and is for the future:

1. Offload all original data from cameracards into main RAID "BEAST" (WD MyBook SE 4TB RAID-0). I sorted the Folders by "Day-Shooter-Camera".
2. On XDCam material: send it through XDCam transfer into a new directory "Day-Shooter".
3. On h264...leave it where it is.
4. Now back all these files up onto a small 2,5 inch drive
5. Format camera cards
6. In FCP import the material and click "Optimize Media". I wouldn´t click "Copy media" anymore. That would mean (and does so on a few days of this project) that I have on the same drive the native footage, then the Copy of the native footage and then the Optimized media. Not necessary when I have a mirrored image of my Events and Projects folders with all optimized media anyway.
7. Mirror "BEAST" to a 3,5`` backup-drive.
8. Every now and then I also copy the "CurrentVersion" Final Cut Files from the Events and Projects.

So in the end I have the native camerafootage, a copy of that, then the FCPX structure and a copy of that as well. 4x safety......and preferably transport the copies in different bags/cars ....we didn´t do that though.

Ok, when we got home as I said we mirrored the project to a brandnew disk. Now I have a Status Quo after the race, which I leave in the closet and work on as before with the other disks.

And finally move to the MacPro.....aahhh...nice. As I said 64-bit is hungry and my Macbook might simply be too old now for 1080p work with thousands of clips. It is still great for dailies and such though.

Then....I had to merge the main project with the daily Events from Stefan. If you read all of the blog you remember this didn´t work to good last time. I started with his "stage one". It took an hour...spinning beachball and all. When it was done....I had lost all folders and smart collections as expected. But the keyword collections from the Events "Peakbreak" and "Stefan Etappe 1" were there. So far so good.

Now I selected all other dayevents from Stefan (2-6) and dragged them onto Peakbreak and started the merge. I left it running overnight.......came back in the morning and it looked good, but it felt terrible. Clicking an icon meant a spinning beachball for a did we now finally break FCPX and my Mac Pro? The RAM was used up...I have 16GB installed and had 23MB left.

No, we didn´t. I quit FCPX which gave me my 16GB back, restarted the machine and started FCPX again. Now it is running happily again. This database-merging stuff seems to be hard on the machine.

Next step....importing the last stage and importing all material from the third camera. This is the P2 stuff that we didn´t have time to ingest yet. This is currently happening and I am well beyond 4500 quicktime clips, add audio, synced compound clips, grafx and so on.....the project is relatively big now. Not a feature film yet, but a shortfilm easily. During the P2 import I am left with 300MB apparently the RAM and GPU do a lot of work, while the CPU is almost idle right now.

What´s interesting on the P2 DVCProHD import is the fact that I had errors on my Macbook...but not on my Mac Pro. No idea why, but wanna share the info.

Ok, ingest should be over soon. a few more GoPro Shots need to be transcoded (I do that in MPEG streamclip. because I don´t want to have 80GB of GoPro rubbish in my project but select them outside FCPX).

Then we start the edit - teh real edit - where broadcast rules apply....the audio needs to be proper, the colours need to be legal and the story needs to be in place.

We have 2 deadlines looming and need to be ready to output to tape. So we will have to leave the FCPX universe one day for that. I will keep you guys updated with screenshots and findings and also have a few more features I would like and miss now. So maybe Apple listens in here and takes notes.....

Freitag, 15. Juli 2011

3400 clips and counting....

Ok, one worry we had seems not to be justified. We have now reached almost threeandahalfthousand clips in the main project (oops...I mean event). Besides we have now 6 day-events from Stefan with about 300 clips each.

FCPX didn´t crash on me for 2 maybe it wants to be pushed a little ;-)

But...I do still have spinning beachballs when jumping between events and also when I am transcoding new material in the background, while editing a project. Sometimes 10 seconds, sometimes 2 minutes. I am quite sure it is a limitation with my laptop and the 4GB it has. They are maxed out all the time. 64-bit is hungry!

Another thing we noticed: when you transcode material to ProRes it is just smooth. You can edit XDCam just as smooth. When you mix them.....FCPX strats thinking or drops frames. Again I can tell you more when I am on my MacPro, because I also think this is a problem with my 2008 MacbookPro. 1080p is just too much for that "old machine".

We are having the last stage today, will wrap with about 10 more interviews tonight. Then we will merge the whole Event library to about 6000 clips and items on the big machine. I will tell you what happens, because now come the interesting days: edit for TV networks is a little bit more challenging than webclips.....but we will get some sleep in between, so I am confident it will be a breeze :D

P.S.: Daily tip: I had problems at first with the organization of events and imports. I used the FCP7 method and imported folders and said FCPX should make the foleders to keyword collections. So for instance I ended up with DCIM and 7DEOS folders everytime.....that bugged me. Now what i do is this: create a folder for the day (e.g. Etappe 1), then make a keyword-collection "E1Alban7D" (that means stage 1, cameraman Alban, camera 7D) and now rightclick here and import files right into this collection. Somehow this makes the initial import into an EVENT cleaner for me on such a huge PROJECT (which they call EVENT the stu.....aaaahhh I won´t go there now)

Anyway...stage 5 is online now

The F3 experience and some lost items.

Today I lost something precious....noooo not in FCPX...I lost the rubber on the viewfinder of the EX3. According to the rental house SONY charges 136 Euros for that piece. And there are people complaining about the 300-Euro FCPX? Sheeesh, where´s common sense nowadays?

We didn´t only bring FCPX as a test-tool this week. Stefan also brought his brandnew F3 as you know. Since I do most of the editing and he hardly allows me to touch it - ever-  I can only say the files are treated just as EX files and the images are gorgeous. It has this lush look that I miss with the FS100 and the AF100. F3 is just a different league. A 5D with videohousing.

Anyway, here´s Stefan´s report about using the F3 in a racesituation: 

first off: i got mine about a week before this project, and i had no time whatsoever to really dig into all the features - especially picture profiles and how she reacts to different settings. 
so all of this using the f3 in a sports documentary is more "let's see what happens if we use it" kind of thing.

so how does it work in such a run'n'gun scenario?
perfect. period. 
i didn't expect it to be that great. really. 

workflow/speed: it's just like working with an EX-1.

color: as i had no time to prep i downloaded the abelcine-settings for the picture profiles and ran with them. until today. i copied my own ex-1 settings to the f3 and will be testing them tomorrow, for i'm not too happy with the colors yet. i like a neutral flat image. a matter of taste, really

but how well the F3 resolves in the blacks is mind blowing. if you look in the EVF you might think that all the info is gone in the blacks, but once you watch it on the computer you can see stuff in the blacks you never dreamed of. we often had to shoot straight into the sun and the F3 resolved the shadows very nice.
the ex-1 is a very decent camera for what it is, but the F3 is a different league.

i took off my 3 Stage Matte Box 4x5,65" for the setup is just too big to be
constantly be pulled out of my bag, shot handheld, then put back, then pulled out again… the F3 is heavier than the EX-1. you feel it.

as my MTF adapter isn't "powered" i have no VR on my Nikon Glass. i was worried for shakiness, but as it turned out the camera is heavy enough that you can work without VR very well! (still i wish i had VR as an option… ;-) 
this is one of the reasons why i don't like the VDSLR/RED Epic Form factor. you always need some form of support to work with it handheld. 

the glass i use mainly is a tamron 28-75 2.8 
as you already have seen i also used a sigma 10-20 3.5 for more extreme pictures.
both are wonderful glass but i was worried about pulling focus.
i use a TRUSMT T3 Follow focus which works really great for the price. it feels and works very solid. i found it 2 weeks prior to this project on ebay and am very happy with it.
i wish i had the samyang 85mm and 35mm 1.4, for Samyang does what i miss on my glass: the focus-ring has a much longer focus throw…. and the glass is wonderful! (ed. Alban: Ha, thank god I have the Samyang 85 on my 7D)

so, the f3 performs very very well, even in this challenging situation.
what was meant as an experiment turned out to be perfectly suitable.
i sure will get the s-log option sooner or later, because this is what this camera 
really needs to unleash it's full potential.
but i must confess that it will take me some time to really squeeze out the best picture possible with this beast. it took me 2 months on the EX-1 to find settings that i was happy with - so i think that there's some room for improvement to what i see 

so i'm very happy with it. the pictures are wonderful - a huge step-up in picture quality comparing it to my EX-1 and D7000.

But do you need it? That's the question, i know…

i think nowadays you don't buy the gear for the client any more. heck, if commercials are shot on a 5D and the client is super happy, why should i spend 5 times the money on a F3?
 i bought it, because i think it makes my work better. it has the handling of an EX-1 and that's what i miss with DSLRs. Does the client see the difference? i don't know. in fact, do i care? I want a tool that i have fun with, that can face a lot of challenges, and challenges me to become a better photographer.

and the F3 has all that i missed on a feature film project i did last year with my EX-1.

btw, the mic that comes with the camera is superb.

what bugs me:
there's no joystick any more and that in run'n'gun situations you can't easily reach the ND with the monitor flipped out.. but hey, just dial in 6db or 9db gain - you won't notice at all ;-)
and i'm not too sure if i will use in the rain because i can see the internals beneath the ventilation shafts and i have no decent rain cover yet.

The battery drain is much higher than on the EX-1, I guess double energy consumption.

Mittwoch, 13. Juli 2011

Stage 3 online

All F3, all with the Sigma 10-20

If FCPX would already allow for native XDCam editing we would be happy campers. But we are anyway.

Stage 2 is online - FCPX is rocking our workflow

New clip online. We are getting the groove of FCPX. It rocks pretty bad. We are shocked how fast you can shoot out such a clip.

We might have a little time to post here today.
In short. FCPX is fast, very fast.

Watch the clip and guess how long it takes to edit such a piece. I tell you it takes half the time.

Dienstag, 12. Juli 2011

here´s the clip for stage 1

FCPX is still working and we get deeper and deeper into the features

Hey again…..after 450kms and 11.000 altitudemeters on a Yamaha or shooting out of a the open backdoor of a car, at 100km/h downhills and edits throughout 4 nights we are pretty tired already.

But it is fun, at least as long as the weather is dry. And FCPX does treat us well so far. After the little merge problem everything went fine. 

This is our modern TV studio packed into one petrol bag: 2 MacBooks, 8 TB of harddrive space on 3 devices (more on our backup system later in the blog), IPads as secondary monitors (via AirPlay app).

We know you want to see a shootout between the F3 and the DSLRs....but at the moment all you get is the allmighty GoPro:
A screenshot from one of the downhills today between Austria and Italy

Great stuff in the new FCPX
- it is just great the way Final Cut X allows an editor to edit away while the ingest/re-wrap/transcode runs in the background. No more waiting for files to be ready, just edit away. 
- the option to share events and then move and (if you are lucky) merge them is saving a lot of time.
- Trim-Start/Trim-End are now on my keyboard as "1" and "2" and it is my favorite editing and trimming tool. 
- This is how I make a Roughcut with Trim-Start and Trim-End commands: 
  1. Point FCPX at folder where new dailies are. Tell FCPX to import/copy and create optimized media.
  2. Start editing immediately; throw all clips into a new Project called DayXroughcut; FCPX will automatically switch to the ProRes files once they are ready.
  3. JKL through timeline/project and hit "1" and"2" when I want a file to start/end; clips I don´t want are selected and thrown out with backspace; FCPX will always close the gaps for me.
  4. DONE. 300 dailies are done in 20 - 40 minutes 
  5. yes, if I now needed to output to tape i´d be busted with the current audiotools, but I don´t have to, so leave me alone.......

- the new colour is maybe more powerful, than we thought at first glance. I don´t like the colourboard, but as an option for people who use it little, because all they do is newsstuff or colourmatched cameras, it is fast. And it is very deep once you start digging into it. But no replacement for colour really. Just a MUCH better Colourcorrector within an NLE. 
- Background Render is GREAT, but we turned it up to 20 seconds delay, so it waits 20 seconds before starting. Background render causes spinning beachballs on my MacBook (late 2008; 4GB RAM), but didn´t so in my test on my MacPro (early 2009; 16GB RAM)
- when you crop and press ALT, you crop centered - nice…at least that is consistent
- when you add a STILL to your timeline, you can then adjust it to any length; in FCP7 it stuck to a certain length. So defaulting an imported STILL to 4 seconds doesn´t stop you from making it 1 minute long in the timeline; 
- 64-bit: FCP and Compressor are maxing out the machine constantly, using all RAM and CPU…..finally the investments in the hardware paid off in time-saving

Not great at all
- when I have a disk that contains FCP events plugged in, I cannot eject it from my Mac without quitting FCPX first
- in some dialogues you can apply setting numerical, in some not. We are missing the option to change settings with the mousewheel. All this is not consistent throughout the UI at all.
- VERY BAD is the screenlayout. It is not made for a laptop, which seems weird, since everyone says FCPX is made for MacBooks. It is not workable. When you do a colorcorrection you have 4 windows open and we wonder why they chose a one-viewer layout when you cant use the gained space by clicking away the libraries and put the colortools (waveform, vectorscope etc) there. We want a two-screen layout and the option to click away parts of the screens to put others there. Same goes for Motion BTW, which is one-screen program now and that is just so wrong.

Look at this photo....the Event library on the left is not needed during colourcorrection or audioediting. But I can´t make it smaller or click it away. WASTED SPACE!

- at the moment FCPX is quite unstable. It crashes more frequently than FCP7; but that crashed often on me also; twice a day I´d say; now it´s 5 times a day)
- Curves and Levels would be nice in the colorcorrector….and pleaseplease Apple, we know you read this :D…please make the colourboard a colourwheel again (optional is fine with us)
- all the automatic stuff is useless: match-color? we tried on different clips and it shifts the Hue to weird colours. Why stabilize all your imported clips? Audio enhance the same…it is much better to do these tasks on the few clips that need fixing instead of wasting the time and rendertime. These bells and whistles are really not for us pros. 
- MOTION: make a text layer. Open the inspector and there are lots of attributes to be adjusted. Sometimes you need some space in the inspector so you hide various attributes. Now go to another layer and get back to your text-layer....there are all the attributes tabs open Motion doesn´t remeber your settings......annoying....

Clip follows soon......