Learning Final Cut Pro X

Final_Cut_Pro I've been listening to this podcast called FCPX Grill hosted by @ChrisFenwick over the last several weeks. Chris bills it as, "An open, honest, and level-headed discussion with users of Final Cut Pro X to discover how they are using the application." And I must say, it is interesting.

He concedes that he is overly opinionated, but makes many good points. He used to edit in Premiere, switched to Final Cut Pro 7, was outraged when Final Cut Pro x was announced, but now has become a huge proponent of FCPX.

When I first switched to a Mac almost 2 years ago, I tried the trial version of Final Cut. It must have been version 10.0.something. It was pretty cool but one thing scared me away quickly: It crashed. Way too often.

Since I'm a photographer, I had to have Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom so Creative Cloud became my solution. And by default, Premiere became my non-linear editor app. And over time, I've become reasonably comfortable with Premiere Pro. I was skeptical about whether or not Adobe would really deliver new functionality and bug fixes more quickly with their Creative Cloud offering but I must say, they've been doing a pretty nice job on that front. Seems like we're getting a solid 2 functional enhancement releases per year and several bug fix updates in between. That's way better than the previous 18 to 36 month upgrade cycle.

I also found myself relying on After Effects more and more for my corporate video gigs. I still haven't fallen in love with SpeedGrade and much prefer Davinci Resolve despite SG's round-trip capabilities with Premiere. Also not a huge fan of audition, though it is hard to beat it in terms of the roundtrip workflow as well.

But Fenwick had me convinced that I at least need to give FCPX another look. So I downloaded the trial again a few days ago and have been watching a few tutorials online to get familiar with it.

Wow. It is very much an Apple approach encapsulated in an app. I mean they really questioned some of the fundamentals regarding NLEs. So far I'm still getting my bearings. I'm starting to wonder if I'll really be able to make a good decision with only 30 days of trial time, but we'll give it a go and force myself to use it for my projects in the next few weeks.

Evidently, the quality of the H.264 exported files from FCPX are better than from Premiere and Adobe Media Encoder. I have to say, it looks good on that front so far but is it something my audiences/clients will notice? More tests ongoing.

I also haven't tackled my round-trip workflow with Resolve yet. Or with audio apps. To be honest, for short pieces, I just color correct, grade, and edit audio before even taking it into Premiere. That's fine when you just have 10 or 20 short clips. Not reasonable for most indie filmmakers when you're doing a longer piece, even a short film.

One thing that alarmed me last night was that FCPX crashed. That's the first time this round so far, but not a good sign. Are any of you experiencing that on 10.1.3? Some of the reviews/comments in the app store express pretty serious frustration along these lines for this version.

For Pro apps, crashing needs to be very rare and Premiere has delivered well on that front, at least for me.

More to come.