The Final Cut Pro User Group gathering, SuperMeet, was the most exciting event at NAB this year. FCPUG always has a big event during NAB, featuring presentations from profesional editors, software companies, and a huge raffle. This year, Apple bumped all the planned speakers (such as Kevin Smith) to show a sneak of the new Final Cut Pro. As someone who retinely watches live blogging of Apple press conferences, it was it pleased the Apple nerd in me to no end to be in the room the first time the new Final Cut was demoed to the public.
The event began with a
powerpoint keynote presentation about Final Cut and then had a demo both by Apple engineers who worked on designing the software. While there is still a lot of unanswered questions about the new software, there’s plenty to be excited about.
The most exciting things we learned about FCPX:
- Magnetic Clips/Non-destructive Editing
Anyone who has spent time using the current Final Cut (or any NLE, or even flatbed editing for that matter) knows that you need to put a great deal of effort and care in making sure that any edit you make don’t affect clips in the “future”. You may just want to make one shot a second shorter, but suddenly every shot after that shot is now a second off. In the current FCP, only synched audio clips will move, but any other tracks that you have manually synched to a clip (click sound effects, music, titles) will be off.
Enter FCPX where you can “magnetically” link multiple audio and video clips together. Once you link the clips, it’s imposible for you to unlink them by making changes elsewhere on your timeline. If you want to cut your audio form one shot overlap the next shot, don’t worry about a clip collision, simply drag the audio over and the other track will automatically get out of the way. It’s something I never exactly thought of as a problem with Final Cut, but once I saw it in action I was wowed by how powerful and simple it was. Why hasn’t it aways been this way.
- Tons of Nesting
True, there is nesting in the current FCP, but now nesting has become a lot more useful. If you bring in a video with synched audio that are linked together in a “nested” shot. On your timeline they are one item (unlike the three items they would be in the current FCP). You can also nest together groups of shots (or entire scenes). That way, if you had a feature film, you could have could have only one item on your timeline for each scene. At any time you could than clip into that scene to make edits, all the while care free from the worries that your edits will affect clips later in the timeline. Trust me, this is very very cool.
- Native Editing
Instead of having to convert everything to ProRes, in FCPX you can edit H.264 and AVCHD natively (as a AVCHD shooter, I cheered when they announced this part).
It’s $300. Everyone can afford that. It makes the $500 price tag for the Adobe half-update look even more ridiculous.
I conclusion, FCPX is going to be a must have program. Also, I didn’t win anything in the raffle.