Lockdown Level-up

Murdoch DalyEditing

Will I move to FCPX after 10 years of editing on Premiere?

With New Zealand on Covid-19 lockdown I had some time to take a closer look at this cheeky NLE.

Final Cut Pro X launched back in 2011 to some major controversy. Editors from around the world threw up their chubby little arms in dismay at the perceived lack of professional features in the initial version. I got swept up in the hype and snubbed the ‘iMovie Pro’ offerings as well.

FCPX is actually a Ferrari under the hood…

As time passed I kept hearing murmurs in the editing ether that FCPX was actually a Ferrari under the hood. Supposably super slippery with some kick ass features not found in Premiere. Armed with a free month of LinkedIn Learning tutorials (previously Lynda) I was quickly up to speed.

Initial Reaction

My initial reaction to the magnetic timeline and filmstrip gallery was one of disgust! Being so conditioned to track based editing my instincts threw a tantrum. But with a bit of persistence I began to enjoy the experience, in fact I fell in love with FCPX, editing became fun all over again and I was getting inspired.

One standout feature I really like is the ability to mark several sections of a clip as a favourite with the ‘F’ key. This makes a green line appear above the section you like and you can visually see multiple in and out selections on a single clip.

Showing only favourites in the browser panel is a quick way to see all your selections. I was able to rough up an edit incredibly fast with this workflow.

The magnetic timeline makes working with captions an absolute game changer. It means you can move clips around in your edit and associated captions go along for the ride! In premiere if you need to make major edits to your timeline after your captions are created you’re in for a world of pain as you have to manually re-time all the captions.

Missing Functionality

Currently in my version (10.4.8) I have noticed some missing functions that I do miss from Premiere:

  • Duplicate Detection
  • Dynamic linking with After Effects
  • Ability to track masks
  • More formatting options for captions
  • Basic Text tool
  • Visual Audio Mixer
  • FCPX Animated Keyframe workflow is still a bit clunky

Some resources and links

If you’re looking at learning the basics of FCPX I’d highly recommend the LinkedIn Learning series

Also watch Off The Tracks – A Final Cut X Documentary. It’s really well crafted doc and explores the initial controversy of Final Cut X and its epic journey back to relevance.