March 28, 2013

Apple Sets Sights on Professionals, FCPX Version 10.0.8 Adds Support for Sony XAVC and Alexa Log C

Apple has been losing its grip on the professional editing market ever since Final Cut Pro X was launched in 2011 to much skepticism. With Avid and Adobe welcoming a lot of FCP7 refugees, Apple is now once again targeting those customers with its latest free update to FCPX. The major features include support for Sony's new XAVC codec up to 4K resolution, and the option to display ProRes Log C files from the Arri Alexa in Rec. 709. Also included in the free update are various fixes to both Compressor and Motion. Get the full details after the jump.

With Version 10.0.8 of Final Cut Pro X, Apple is reported to be launching a campaign today, to 'win back' professionals. In this campaign, Apple will be reporting on stories from professional editors who are making the switch back to FCPX, like Julian Liurette from Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper who, after waiting a year after its initial release, says:

It's better on all fronts. Its interface is 100 times more interesting. And it's much, much faster.

The campaign will also include a piece on Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark.

No doubt this is in response to Sony's new F5 and 4k F55 cameras and the popularity of the Alexa amongst industry professionals, and Apple's campaign is being timed to coincide with this year's NAB convention in Las Vegas from April 6th-11th.

The full list of features and fixes from Apple:

  • Support for Sony XAVC codec up to 4K resolution
  • Option to display ProRes Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec. 709 color and contrast levels
  • Resolves an issue where some third-party effects generated green frames during render
  • Resolves performance issues that could occur with certain titles and effects
  • Time reversed clips render in the background
  • Ability to use key commands to adjust Clip Appearance settings in the timeline
  • Ability to view reel number metadata located in the timecode track of video files
  • Mono audio files in a surround project export with correct volume levels
  • Drop zones no longer reset to the first frame of video after application restart
  • Fixes a performance issue which resulted from selecting multiple ranges on a single clip
  • Fixes an issue where the Play Around function did not work properly on certain clips when viewed through external video devices

Harry Miller, head of the American Cinema Editors' technology committee, shared with the LA Times:

Personally, I'm still suspicious of Apple, I don't think they have my interests at heart. And I don't want to invest money in any of their hardware or software when they might drop features in new versions.

Apple has made a lot of concessions, responses to criticism, and updates since FCPX's release; but will it make a difference, or is it too late? Have you already moved on from Apple's NLE suite, or will continued campaigning and functionality improvements convince you to come back? Share your thoughts below.

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160 Comments

I've been using Final Cut since it first came out, but I'm still using version 7. These updates to FCP X aren't enough to entice me to upgrade - it still looks like iMovie! - and if they don't make some serious improvements I suspect I'll eventually be forced onto Premiere.

March 28, 2013

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what is left to add that you would want? Other than an interface change?

Other than a send to motion tab nothing jumps out at me, personally I can cut faster on this than any program I have ever used and the updates have considerably improved it's speed, reliability and feature set. The multicam is simply brilliant I can now cut live events eg. wedding ceremonies, corporate presentations in practically realtime.

Some brilliant plugins can be found easily for free as well the TKY colour correction plugin adds so much more functionality over the color board.

A lot of the hate directed at this app is simply it is the trendy thing to do.

March 28, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Same here, the supermeet presentation looked amazing, then I was let down for lack of multicam, OMF, AAF, legacy support, etc. But since 10.0.6 and all amazing plugins and third party software I now work with it almost exclusively, only one documentary still on the Avid. But everything else, commercials, music videos and multicam edits I do in FCPX. It's so fast and easy when you understand it, and I can do 90% of what I do in that software alone. Before it was edit in Avid, send AAF (and transcode Sony EX) to Resolve for grading and export individual clips to After Effects and so on when doing something besides simple cutting. We reshot a scene for a commercial 3 hours before deadline and actually made it on time thanks to FCPX, we wouldn't have made it on Avid + AE + Photoshop + Resolve in that time. And last week I shoot a docu concert with one camera being my iPhone with FilmicPro 2 and forgot to change to 25p like all the other cameras. FCPX multicam had no problem keeping that camera in sync all the way trough despite the "wrong" framerate. Try that in the Avid without a complex workaround.

March 28, 2013

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Hampus

does your client know you shot their project partially with a phone? o_0

March 28, 2013

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john jeffreys

yes, they wanted a docu feel and placed some of my crew in the audience and backstage to get that kind of coverage. I also shot on hacked GH2, sony EX1/3's, all handheld.

March 28, 2013

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Hampus

*I placed my crew, didn't really get that through the last one.

March 28, 2013

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Hampus

Wow, multiclip editing in "practically-real-time". This is REALLY a new feature, but I remember doing it in soap TV in 1986. Surely on Avid with their expensive multicam board in the 90's. Then in FCP7 without dedicated hardware. So what's new? What would I want? Not to be dropped by a company I helped to grow?

April 7, 2013

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koldo

"It still looks like iMovie!"

-spoken only by someone who has never used FCP X or iMovie.

Why not share an original thought for once? Or would you prefer that we refer to Premiere as "Premiere Elements Pro"?

March 28, 2013

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Swested

you...are on crack....FCPX blows Premier out of the water....

March 28, 2013

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i'm a hardcore FCP7 user and love it, never had a problem with it. for the last months i've been "playing around" with FCPX for personal stuff and must say it's a major leap forward in video editing. of course it will not be everyone's cup of tea... more experienced editors may find it lacking in some features or they just don't want to be bothered learning a new way of working (myself included) but i definitely think one has to commend apple for trying a new approach.

my opinion is that FCPX was engineered for a "new breed" of filmmakers. it's simple to use, has all the tools one needs to produce high quality results, is cheap and runs beautifully on "consumer" computers.

of course people who are used to charge a lot of money for editing/post production hate it because it's getting harder to justify those rates if you're using an iMac and editing on a software that looks pretty much like iMovie and I totally get that...

March 28, 2013

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Exactly. It's ruffling the feathers of all the old conservative dinosaur editors that are set in their classical ways. I

March 28, 2013

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john jeffreys

Exactly. It's ruffling the feathers of all the old conservative dinosaur editors that are set in their classical ways.

March 28, 2013

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john jeffreys

You don't pay a construction worker based on the hammer they use, you pay them based on skill. This is not a good argument because editing is about technique and skill with telling a story. It really has very little to do with what you edit on. Some of the best movies ever made were edited with razorblades and tape. So people complaining about this stuff is just very petty, editing is so much easier now and FCPX is Apple doing what Apple does best, simplifying the user interface so people don't have to worry about the technical aspects and can focus on the editing.

I love the simple interface when I'm editing, all I see are the clips I'm using and my timeline. FCP 7 is an ugly program that looks like it was designed in the '90s. I'm glad I never used it because I wouldn't want it to ruin my experience with FCPX which is a great program that a lot of people hate for dumb reasons. Now, there are still some issues, but those will be taken care of in future updates. I don't get the feeling that Apple is abandoning the pro user, what they are doing is redefining what a pro user is. Pro doesn't mean hollywood anymore, pro is small production houses and individuals that need something simple and easy to manage while they take care of other important aspects of their business.

March 28, 2013

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Julian

First of all, you are wrong, I do not charge my "high rates" because of the money I need to expend in machines. I charge that because I'm a good editor, fast. reliable, capable of working under pressure (lets say, four agency guys looking over my shoulder for days in a row, expecting magic pour out of their very expensive rushes) and deliver an offline and some lists that will run flawlessly on an even more expensive grading or compositing or audio finishing suite.
There used to be a saying: If you are in the postproduction-for-hire business there are two groups, the one that can earn back the money they spend in machines in three years, and the one that do it in five years. If your not in one of those two, you can not survive in the post-service market. That was true until machines became available for us. Most of the post facilities I know saw that late and are dead now.
Now there is a lot of market (growing very fast) for editors for the www and other new media distribution systems, and this (indulge me, please) Imovie-pro is very useful for them. I like it. A LOT. But don't try to force-feeding it to me with arguments like "you are refusing to change". Cause I'm not. Just reluctant to loose good (and necessary) things, features already got, for some DIY tool that make me accept sub-standards as inevitable. no, sir. I will not relinquish my hard-earned standards just to be cool, though crippled.
Another example: recently the DP of some soon-to-be multicamera TV series tells proudly everybody in a PP meeting: "Oh, we don't need to use slates, I just discovered this "magical" software that synchronize automatically" My answer was "I've tried it". "It's a great idea" (this was version 2 of PluralEyes, V3 is even faster and better). But the thing is that you need to synchronize hundreds of clips every day, to the sound and then the different cameras to make multiclips. So no way, evidently. You either put same TC on each source, you do it manually using the stales, or you hire the manpower needed to go though the huge amount of rushes and the end of every day shooting. I was bashed by some of the people in the meeting with the comment: "He's so old-school, he don't want to change his ways" Production was pushing hard just trying to reduce costs.. But guess who was the only person there who had synchronize not just some clips from a wedding or your friends band music, but dozens of THOUSANDS of clips along his career, So. PE is perfect to some types of job, but if your looking for industrial flow, then you first be sure the "new toy" can do it. And FCPX is not (yet) above the basic requirements for this "big" projects. Let's see at NAB. In the meantime, try to show some respect for the people who know their trade, please. Because it will backfire you in the long run. "I can do it cheaper with my Imac" as an argument among fellow editors is that: cheap. And once production copy that, maybe you will have to reduce YOUR rates below what you need to survive, and even to buy a new Imac next year.

April 7, 2013

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koldo

I moved off FCP7 the day Adobe launched the 50% off deal for CS5.5. Now, I'm a cloud subscriber and work in AVID when the post-house jobs come along, using PP for 1-man projects. I still use FCP7 for a few clients, but FCPX has yet to ever come up in a professional setting for me. Ever. Apple did a bad thing, and people don't forget. So many editors are no longer using Macs AT ALL.

Apple lost a big chunk of the professional world - but what's more worrying is that they don't really care. They make mobile devices now. They probably make more on iphones in a week than they did on MacPros in a month...or months.

March 28, 2013

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alex

Ya Apple is just a Toy Company now

March 28, 2013

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Derek S.

I'm with you Alex. In our facility we all made the jump to Prem 6 and haven't looked back. We also have AVID, but with that company on shaky ground we haven't committed to it except for those editors and directors that demand it.
I recommend FCPX or Premiere to those starting out, but if you're currently in a pro post house you will never hear about X. Editors are quite conservative by nature - its literally like asking a woodsman to change their axe.
On a personal note I am blown away by Prem 6 constantly. Sure, it needs a better grading module, and its file system is pretty awful, but even after 10 years in FCP7 I'm faster in Prem 6 in 3 months. In our particular business, time counts.
To sum up - over 10 years editing you're probably on AVID or Prem, or limping on with 7. Under 10 years, you're probably willing to give X a go. But if you think Apple are supporting it as a pro product more than say, 3 years, you're mad.

March 28, 2013

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Marklondon

Premiere? What a buggy, ancient U/X.

March 28, 2013

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Swested

Care to elaborate on what your qualms are with the user interface? You've mentioned it three times in these comments (and seem to be the only person doing so). I'm genuinely curious. Also, we've used Premiere for years and I don't know if I'd call it buggy -it's been fairly solid with only a few occasional hiccups. But then, I've never used a single program that didn't have a few hiccups either.

March 29, 2013

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Oliver

The new CUDA accelerated iMacs i7 Ivy Bridge fly with Premiere, FCPX, Davinci Resolve and AVID Media Composer.

And you know what ? You need 1 Blackmagic Thunderbolt product to get 10 BIT HD SDI , HDMI output from ALL of those applications.

Apple is so unprofessional....

March 29, 2013

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Paul Jau

It still has a long way to go befoer its useable on a professional level. It is geared toward the casual user for sure, it has a "my first editing software" feel to it, while it does get the job done for a wide range of users, i still dont like it and have been using 7 and probably goign to adobe soon also. I mean not being able to make overlap mutiple clips from the original favorite clip without haveing to cheat the system with a work around by labeling it keywords instead of a favorite clip is just unaccetable.

March 28, 2013

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Derek S.

Are you referring to the casual Epic user, the casual F55 user or the casual Alexa user? I was just at Chuck E. Cheese for my nephew's birthday party and I couldn't believe how many people were shooting their kid's parties on Alexa. I immediately thought, "They'll probably edit their footage on FCPX when they get home." Apple continues to pour salt in the wounds of pros by supporting these $19K and up consumer cameras.

March 28, 2013

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Brian

I'm a FCPX user and I still had a good laugh at this comment.

March 28, 2013

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Sounds like someone is staging a kid's birthday party to get a free location! Haha.

March 28, 2013

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
writer, director, dp

Supporting cameras is such a small part of what a NLE needs to do for pro's to come back. Its funny to read the people talkong about cutting weddings that dont understand the hate. You used to be able to cut a feature film n FCP7 with multiple editors (albeit painfully)...you absolutely CANNOT do this with FCPX...not even close.

This is for prosumers shooting videos for the web...adding Alexa and Red support is hysterical. Ken Burns Effect button!?!? How bout the Youtube button!?!? They added back in dual monitor support after they realized professional editors couldnt be tricked by their smoke and mirrors...we cant do what we need to do on this joke toy of an NLE. Its not about what codecs it supports, thats the least of the issues with this POS. Mac Pro towers??? Logic Pro??? Shake??? DVDSP???

Apples bigger problem even if they came out with FCP8 64 bit (Adobe Premiere) with the same interface is their hubris and the way they went about this. The bad feelings they have created will be extremely difficult to fix no matter what they say in their marketing spin....people have grown tired of the hype and want results which Apple hasnt seemed capable of for a few years now down the whole line of products.

March 28, 2013

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editorx

Supporting high-end camera codecs is one indication (among others) of who Apple thinks (hopes) will use the software. That is, of course, unless you think it's an empty gesture (which you obviously do). Now, either Apple plans to further accommodate the types of projects that originate on Alexa's and Epics or they think web-only video is about to get a lot fancier with much bigger budgets.

I happen to think both are true. Those of you who poo-poo YouTube aren't paying attention to what's going on. They are positioning themselves to be an online network, complete with 4K delivery. My TV has a YouTube app built in. Convergence is the name of the game, people. Does "House of Cards" ring a bell? My TV also has a Netflix app. If any one of the many YouTube-as-evidence-of-pro-abandonment preachers ever has the good fortune to work on a runaway, smash-hit YouTube original, I'm sure you won't be able to get them to shut up about it.

What strikes me is the logic in the continued hatred for Apple and it's professional products. Everyone on the planet agrees Apple's success doesn't depend on video editors of any level because of their consumer ventures. That being the case, why do they continue to bother with your bitter, grudge-holding asses? I think it's because they DO care about you. They love you and they love the market. Seriously. The FCP revenue is a drop in the bucket and everyone agrees that Apple does what it wants to do. So, if they're doing it, it's safe to assume it's because they want to. Dislike them if you must, but some of you need better arguments for why.

March 28, 2013

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Brian

And you think they cut House of Cards on FCP-x? Who cares about its ultimate delivery method?
Any production where there are more than one company, editor, sound designer, vfx artist, etc. would never in their right mind use FCP-x. Music videos and short form maybe, but anything that is really a collaborative format just won't. Its just not user friendly when it comes to online/offline, temp etc. I've given it a chance multiple times and just haven't found a suitable workflow for a team based edit. As soon as they realize that organization and file management are just as important as codec support then they will be back on the right track.

March 29, 2013

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Alex

Who cares about its ultimate delivery method? Where it plays and how many times is of great importance to a lot of people for a variety of reasons. At any rate, you're conflating two different issues. My main point is this: how many professional features do they have to add to FCPX before people consider it pro software? What I'm seeing is people think THEIR professional needs are more professional than other people's professional needs.

When FCPX first came out people claimed it lacked a host of pro features. Apple has addressed all of the major complaints and then some but somehow it's not enough. FCPX is obviously not finished and yet people act like every version is the LAST one there will ever be and then proclaim it's for hobbyists because it doesn't do the thing THEY want it to do. Never mind that it accomplishes 80-90% of what all the editors on the planet need. Long form and collaborative editing workflows may be the next major features to be added. You don't think the development team knows those things are lacking? You're telling me if the decision were yours you would've opted to release versions that allowed for multi-facility collaborations before some of the other, more common editing tasks, even though that workflow is far less common?

Just because something doesn't appeal to your personal preferences or even your current production needs doesn't mean it's not a professional piece of gear. It may simply not be the right tool for the task at hand.

March 29, 2013

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Brian

The polish is usually in the last 10-20%

March 29, 2013

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Neill

I honestly believe that if you want to be viewed as any sort of working professional in this day and age, you should have your toe dipped in all the ponds.

I highly doubt that editors working on major hollywood jobs are restricted to only using Avid, Adobe, or Apple respectively. If the job calls for something that FCPX can't do, well then you pick the next best tool.
Likewise if the job calls for something that FCPX excels in, then why not use that tool? (And don't say that FCPX is unusable in a professional context just because it looks like iMovie. Does the audience see what software the editor used? No.)

Media is changing so rapidly that you have to have some competency in all the tools available. If a job called for FCPX and you couldn't use it because you weren't competent in it's operation, well then you'd better say goodbye to that job, cause it just went to little Johnny sitting in his studio apartment, who was willing to shell out the AUD$320 for Final Cut Pro X

March 29, 2013

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I'll buy that, but polish usually comes with maturity and, as many have stated, it hasn't been that long since FCPX was introduced. At the rates and level of implementation Apple has added features, that type of polish will come 2, 3 or maybe even 4 times as quickly as it took the original to get there, depending on the feature. At some point, people are going to have to accept that Apple didn't abandon them.

March 29, 2013

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Brian

I changed my mind, kind of. In the scope of ever evolving, ever improving software, there may be no such thing as the last 10-20% because no software is ever 100% finished. There's only "does what I need it to do" and "doesn't do what I need it to do". How well it does it is the polish you speak of.

March 29, 2013

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Brian

I think that every editor who earns his living by editing is a "pro". I'm not calling anybody "not pro" because she/he edits for youtube or mitzvah parties.
"Not-pro" is Apple, who abandoned their (extremely) loyal base of "pro-customers", not only FCP's, but designers, compositing, 3D, and a large other pros. Totally legit, they go for the profits, and money had shifted someplace else. OK
But... What can we do? Buy Apple shares? Or just go along and be oblivious of the lack of features? No criticism allowed? I like that they are hearing their customers, that's how Avid fine-tuned their soft back in the early 90's, the BBS (non-www) era: feedback. Every Avid came with a (then expensive) 14.400 bps modem a you where just one click away from them.
There is a unavoidable truth: the time when a professional high-level editing tool that fills the cinema-TV show editor was at the price of a consumer product is dying. Market is dividing again. And Apple made us held that hope for a while. That hurts, but we will survive. Sorry, I use, and surely will continue open Premiere every now and then, but the UI (let's not mention the AE timeline which is unchanged from the time they were called "La Cosa Effects") looks designed by some guys held in Siberia circa Krushev times.

April 7, 2013

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koldo

Best irony around, LOL. I hope these sentences of yours are creative-common-copyrighted, because I will use them. A LOT.

April 7, 2013

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koldo

i agree with you.

March 28, 2013

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Marklondon

Investing in Avid right now makes more sense for me. Who knows when (or if) the market is going to adopt this one.

March 28, 2013

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moebius22

The green boxes are finally going away!!! I've been waiting for this day for months!

March 28, 2013

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Darius

My department used FCP 7 and since its demise I've looked at a replacement and FCP-X was at the bottom of my list. The biggest insult was FCP-X inability to open FCP7 projects.

After trying the alternatives for over a year and using FCP7 in between, I finally jumped at FCP-X 10.0.6
It is efficient, it does 90% of what our editors want and it is much quicker to get what you want out of it.
Now the whole organization is using it, and I dread when I have to go back to 7.
The only thing missing for me is the ability to edit and export natively ( without re-compression ) as FCP7 can do.
But none of the other NLE can, so...

March 28, 2013

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Tulio

I've been using FCPX since it first came out. I have completed numerous short projects, a 1 hour documentary for broadcast on cable TV, a half-hour commissioned documentary and I'm currently cutting a 100minute feature documentary for cinema release. This software has improved with each update and I enjoy tackling complicated projects. I do a huge amount of colour correction and sound design in the time line, create intricate titles and graphics sequences and can smoothly output broadcast quality masters. FCP 7 seems so clunky and limited now when I use it. All this on an iMac. It has a few glitches, occasional freezes and crashes but it doesn't slow me down. Give it a try.

March 28, 2013

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Citizen P

I've been using FCPX for a while, but ever since the updates made the Neat Video plug-in stop working, I have considered moving over to Premiere. I'm excited to see if this fixes it. While a lot can be said about FCPX not being "built for professionals", I think a lot of it hinges on the question "professional what?" I'm a professional shooter, not really a post guy. For the relatively small amount of post that I do, FCPX allows me to do everything in one place: metadata organization, editing, grading, motion graphics and encoding. If I were a full time post guy, I would probably lean toward CS6. But for me, FCPX is a good fit...as long as Neat Video works again.

March 28, 2013

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Smartest thing Apple can do in my humble opinion: keep developing FCPX as a platform but give us FCP8 as well. Myself as well as a grip of other people I believe would be so happy to see the engine improvements in a FCP7 style interface. Most of just just did not need the wheel reinvented, just a new engine and modern adjustments to a way to work we are used to, control not stripped for ease of use.

We should not have to be casualties to new philosophies for editing if we have a way to work that we like. Leave that for ipads and ipods and commercial gear. If you read this Apple this is the point: bend this way or loose people to Premiere or Avid. They 'get it' right now and editors have taken notice. I know people at major studios who had heaps of money invested in gear to cut shows in FCP7 and they have all jumped ship.

This is kind of a big deal in the sense that we get to see which way Apple is going to go in relation to us professionals (ex Mac Pros, RIP Color). Lets hope for the best.

March 28, 2013

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Ricky

90% of the people that hate on FCP X have never used it. Shame because, it's a great program. Super intuitive and lets you focus on the actual art of editing and visualizing your film and not messing around with complicated settings and old-school user interfaces.

And thank god they fixed the green-frame issue, I hope neatvideo works now.

March 28, 2013

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john jeffreys

Agreed.

March 28, 2013

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Darius

john jeffreys on 03.28.13 @ 7:00PM
"Super intuitive and lets you focus on the actual art of editing and visualizing your film"

"thank god they fixed the green-frame issue"

>green-frame issue
>issue
>>visualizing your film

Seems like FCP had issues that stopped people "visualizing" their film and drove them away to other products or not to upgrade!

March 29, 2013

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Tyler

If the green frame issue was enough to keep you from visualizing your projects, you should probably consider seeking a new career.

March 29, 2013

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Travis

it never stopped me, it was just annoying.

March 29, 2013

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john jeffreys

Interesting comments on here.

It seems to me that the people who dislike FCPX struggle to come up with a good reason why it is not good. (Calling it Imovie pro is not a good reason). Perhaps they want to hate it because that is the stance they made when it was released and heaven forbid they change their mind.
Can anyone give a list of proper reasons why this software is so unprofessional and unusable? I ask that question genuinely.

My other observation is that anyone who has made the switch over has more or less loved it once they got use to the change.

I myself am still on FCP7 and I'm bloody fast on it too (use Premiere 5.5 a bit too), but am thinking I might make a change over to X sooner rather then later.

March 29, 2013

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Peter Kelly

I've been in this industry for 20 years. I've seen it all come and go. Got started on a tape-based nonlinear systems. Helped cut feature films on the early days of FCP when it was 1.2.5. Premiere? Sure. But the last few projects I've been on, which are heavy on graphics and back-and-forth with After Effects, I've used FCP X. It's damn fast. Haven't had any real issues with it. It has its own idiosyncrasies, just like every piece of software. It may have a slightly different way of approaching a timeline, but in all actuality, it is very flexible. And again...it is FAST. Just because it looks somewhat similar to iMovie doesn't make it any less of a product. Not everything has to look and act the way it has for the past 20 years, many of the conventions are simply outdated. And the fact that it is cheaper than other options doesn't make it less professional. I have had SGI workstations that cost more than people's houses, and now they're worth zero and your iPhone will out-render them. The best tools are the ones which are reliable and get the job done on-time and on-budget so that I can move on to the next one. FCP X does that in spades.

March 28, 2013

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You should give Prem 6 a serious try. I've also been around that long. X is ok, I've cut a few projects to completion in it, but Prem 6 is so much faster for that AE roundtrip.

March 28, 2013

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Marklondon

@Marklondon

"Prem 6 is so much faster for that AE roundtrip".

Curious as to your requirements here? An issue worth mentioning but not worth the cost of a Smoke seat?

March 29, 2013

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nobody

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