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Old December 1st, 2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

So I thought (despite the well documented list of missing features) I'd give FCPX a go. And I'm finding some things to like, but...

There appears to be no way to copy/paste individual clip attributes (a very easy task to accomplish in FCP7 and a feature I rely on). It seems FCPX takes an all or nothing approach: ie you can copy ALL changes (CC, distort, crop, audio fx etc) from one clip to another, or none.

This seems an incredible omission. Or have I overlooked something? Is there a work-around? I'm hoping a solution is staring me in the face and I'm just to obtuse to see it right now.

But if not, for this reason alone FCPX is going to see a very early retirement in my studio.

Thanks,

Josh
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Try turning off the "activation lights" for the filters you don't want to copy. I believe it will only copy what's on. It's awkward though. FCPX is still a work in progress. I suspect the next major update will be . . . major. Coming in Q1 2012.

In another thread I mention that a facility owner, beta tester of the next update says he'll be moving his facility (50 seats as I understand it) to FCPX. I suspect he sees some changes he likes.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Thanks for the reply Craig, but I'm afraid while deselecting works for effects (in a very awkward way as you suggest), motion and colour correction characteristics are still overwritten, even if deselected in the clip being copied.

So, for instance, if you crop and reposition a bunch of clips, and later decide to copy a grade across multiple clips from one you'd worked on, all the transform/crop/CC data is lost. Nuts.

And the equally useful "remove attributes" option is also conspicuously absent... I didn't realise how much I rely on these two features until they're taken away. Seems sooo simple for these options to be there... I'm scratching my head as to why they would be left out. Even if you could right click on an attribute in one clip and paste it on to others, or drag an attribute onto other clips (both of which you can do in FCP7 in addtion to the copy/remove attributes option), this would be very helpful indeed.

Thanks for the heads-up on a major update - desperately needed methinks! Fingers crossed it delivers.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 01:54 PM   #4
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Copy the clip with the attributes and paste it at the end of your project or into another storyline. Remove anything you don't want to apply to the other clips and then copy. You will now have only the attributes you want to apply to the other clips. It's ridiculous to have to do this but to will get you where you want to be.

Be sure to mention your frustration in the FCPX feedback section of Apple's website.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Thanks William...

I appreciate you taking the time to help; I'm afraid this doesn't actually solve the problem. While this method doesn't copy unchecked changes from the source clip across, it still resets all the CC/Transform/Crop/Distort etc attributes of the destination clip... so any work you had done on that clip is lost.

This experience makes me consider just how different our workflows can be as editors, because whereas for my colleague and I this issue alone renders FCPX practically unusable, for others it's not a big deal.

Being able to freely paste/test/remove *specific* attributes either globally or across large subsets of clips is fundamental to my editing process, and right now I can't see a way to work with this program (unless at a snail's pace).

I will take up your advice of posting my first feedback on Apple's site.

Kind regards,

Josh
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Old December 4th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

I was about to start learning FCPX, but after reading about this issue I don't think I'll bother .. or at least not until this is addressed.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Chris,

It does mean for now I will be leaving any complex work to FCP7 - this, along with many other missing features is annoying.

That said, there are many superb (and time saving) features in FCPX - I shoot predominantly two system sound and the automated syncing of audio is wonderful, much better than using Plural Eyes in FCP7. There are lots of nice little additions. When they get it right it will be a great app... I'm really looking forward to the next major iteration to address some glaring omissions.

Josh
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Old December 4th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Josh,
I've been following this forum for a while and have noted the positive comments regarding new features in FCPX.
However, like yourself, I rely on being able to selectively copy and paste or remove attributes from clips. It's something I use in every project when editing in FCP 7.
The rumours indicate some important updates next year so I'm hoping this feature might be included.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Just to help you understand what's going on here...

There's a strict "effect path" required by how FCP-X operates— that wasn't present in Legacy. In legacy, a clip was simply "placed" in a timeline, and any "effect" applied thereto - was applied in a single instance and in a single case. So "copy and paste" of clip attributes was pretty trivial. The were generated in one place - and put on something in one place.

Under X, the relational database nature means that now there's a purposeful "bi-directional" sense to the flow of meta-data. At the base level, there's the imported clip. It is NEVER changed. The data attributes that are imported with it STICK to it. That clip, then must then be attached to an EVENT - where it can be layered with new meta-data via the Event Browser. This meta-data includes many useful concepts like pre-edit decisions, keywords, and clip membership in multiple collections - concepts that are amazingly powerful for organization.

Then, when you next put that clip into the timeline (more accurately the "primary storyline") that clip arrives with ALL the meta-data applied in the event browser intact. On TOP of that meta-data, you're allowed to add MORE meta-data during your edit. This "layering metadata" system is very powerful and extremely useful when you lean how it works. As one trivial example, you can open up the Timeline Index and see a searchable/sortable list of every element you've put in your timeline, something completely impossible under Legacy. Legacy timelines "talked" to nothing. They were a closed island. In X. Your storyline is the center of a stream of essentially two-way information that is updated constantly by your edit decisions, and reports to other parts of the program constantly.

What I've discovered over and over is that a lot of the things people get initially "stuck on" as things that are "missing" are actually things that simply don't function the way you expect them to by necessity. They are design elements that had to be re-considered as a direct result of the new concepts in X. "Paste Attributes" is a good example. That's a trivial idea when "a clip" is a simple thing that exists on one timeline and "talks" to nothing else, but it's far from trivial when every clip is the center of a virtual spider web of keyword links and meta-data.

What if the "attribute" that you're cutting and pasting is linked to 10 different clips via meta-data - how do you tell the program exactly how to handle "pasting" it? If you simply add that "paste" data to single target clip how does that attribute effect, for example, a PARENT compound clip that the clip might belong to? Or to ALL the clips "connected" to that clip by metadata links? Should the new data overwrite the original data? Be appended to it? In all cases? In some cases? See the problem?

Yes, X is "missing" stuff - but in exchange, as you explore it, you'll come to see it gives you amazing new capabilities in the place of many, if not all of what was removed. And the stuff that was removed was, as I see it, often not because the FCP-X team simply didn't take the time to put it back. But rather it's usually things like "paste attributes" which have become necessarily more complex because of the new design.

The challenge, IMO is not getting too stuck on what's NOT there in X right now. It's better to concentrating on learning about all the useful stuff that IS there.

And there's a vast array of that in X that will take most people months of diligent exploration to uncover.

Start or not. You're choice.

FWIW.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #10
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

@Bill,
Are you saying Josh is doing something wrong because he's gotten into a situation where he wants to copy/paste attributes? What should he have done differently so that these internal architectural limitations won't stop him from being productive?
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Old December 14th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #11
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

Bill, thanks for sharing the inner workings of FCPX. It certainly helps to understand why it's not there, or might not be there in the near (or even far) future, even though this knowledge does nothing to speed up one's workflow, or to resolve the problem at hand. It reminds me of Adobe not implementing grouping of the layers in folders in After Effects despite it being a very popular feature requests for quite a few years.

Perhaps a checkbox of "apply it to all other instances of this clip" in the "paste attributes" dialog box would resolve some of the dillemas that you pose. Local override vs global setting.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #12
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Re: Can't copy/paste individual clip attributes?? I'm dumbfounded

I think part of the problem is related to system resources given the complex relational database that FCPX is (and most people don't get this at all so thanks for detailing Bill). It's almost as if the attributes exist as a single cell at the moment. If each bit of info in that cell were instead a separate cell, there's a significant multiplier effect.

If you've used a large data base you can feel it slow down and really complex queries with complex relationships (depending on the system). In fact some people have already noted slowdowns with certain aspects of FCPX depending on the config, events available, etc. I think things will get there as hardware improves and Apple advances FCPX.

Personally I think there's a lot that's going to happen on the management side of FCPX in the next year or two most people aren't thinking about. I think there's going to be a significant relationship to server/seat based management. I wouldn't be surprised to see clustering of multiple system resources as well. This is just my crystal ball speaking but Apple is a hardware company and FCPX is designed to sell hardware, I think.
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